Vegan Food and Incredible Coffee Served at New Coffee Shop alt.coffee roasters in Kyoto

16.March.2019 | FOOD

alt.coffee roasters is a new coffee shop opening near Nijō Castle in Kyoto on March 16, 2019. They are set to serve hand drip coffee that bursts with the the original fruity flavour of the coffee beans and emits an unending and irresistible aroma along with a selection of vegan food made with ingredients sourced in Japan, and more.

The coffee served at alt.coffee roasters uses light roast beans which ooze a rich aroma and maintain tantalising flavours. Using the hand drip coffee method means that the great taste stays even when served cold.

The reason alt. is obsessed with light roasts is because they believe the closer the flavour is to the original bean the more delicious it is―and since the taste of every bean is completely different depending on where they are grown, they intend to bring out those flavours to the absolute max. Keeping closer to the original flavour also means the coffee can be enjoyed bitterless.

 

In Japan, dark roasts are the most popular. Coffee in Japan equals bitter, and so alt. wishes to provide a new way of enjoying coffee to people, hence why they also serve it in wine glasses. It is served black and has a sweet flavour even without sugar.

Pour Over Coffee: ¥500

Flat White: ¥450

The cafe is all about single origin coffee and uses fair-trade beans from Ethiopia which has a history with coffee spanning over 1,000 years. Only the best beans are selected by the farmers. A range of different coffees will be sold including flat whites.

Homemade Fruit Granola: ¥780

Homemade Open Bagel Sandwich With Domestic Vegetables: ¥780

The food menu includes a homemade and gluten-free bagel made using seasonal ingredients farmed in Japan, vegan desserts made with original recipes, and more.

 

Indulge in fantastic coffee and a great meal at alt.

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  • The Perfect Souvenir: Kyoto’s Famous OTABE Confections in Velvety Matcha Chocolate

    17.November.2019 | FOOD

    If you’re in Kyoto looking for a delicious elegant souvenir for your people back home then BijuuCo.,ltd. is your port of call. Their irresistible desserts vary from their well known sweet bean paste-filled Yatsuhashi to their Kyo-Baum. They will be releasing the mouthwatering Matcha Chocolate OTABE from November 20, 2019.

    The rich aroma of the matcha chocolate will be the first thing to entice you. The matcha Yatsuhashi is made from specially selected water and Koshihikari rice, which is famed as Japan’s best rice. The soft and chewy texture of the Yatsuhashi dough gently embraces a velvety, melt-in-the-mouth matcha chocolate ganache filling. These OTABE confections are bursting with the flavours of Kyoto and are only available to purchase for a limited period.

    OTABE combined with Kyoto’s famous matcha chocolate is matcha match made in heaven. If you’re ever in Kyoto, you must try it.

  • Make Your Own Matcha Drink and Try Black Bean Butter Toast in Nakameguro, Tokyo

    13.November.2019 | FOOD

    If you’re looking for a cool café experience in Tokyo then head to Nakameguro for a goldmine of craft beer taprooms, coffee roasters and restaurants. One café to consider adding to your list of must-go places is music café and wine bar epulor. The café has added a number of exquisite and unique items to its menu this November including a matcha drink, black bean paste and butter toast and craft cola.

    Take a seat and admire the walls of old records which create a soothing artistic atmosphere while sipping your cup of the café’s specialty hand drip coffee or sommelier-selected wine as the music of old records fills the air. When you have finished, feel free to take a gander at the gallery corner to appreciate the cafés art. 

    The November menu introduces a high-quality matcha by UK brand Matchæologist®, providing the opportunity to make and enjoy your own matcha drink. From the high-quality rich flavour to the contemporary design of the tea vessel, Matchæologist® lives up to its reputation as artisanal matcha green tea specialists.

    Fans of epulor’s popular Red Bean Paste and Butter Toast are in for a treat as the café is now serving up the Black Bean Paste and Butter Toast. The bread is a charcoal bread from the bakery Lotus baguette, which uses only natural yeast, Japan-produced wheat and no additives. The binchotan charcoal used to prepare the bread is a traditional charcoal which has been used since the Edo period. The appearance is just as striking as its taste. 

    The café has also started to sell Japan’s craft cola TOMO COLA. The cola is spiced with flavours from around the world including kola nut, nutmeg, Japanese herbs and Japanese citrus fruits. This natural cola contains no additives so you can indulge in the taste of nature and enjoy a unique flavourful experience of Japan. 

     

    epulor is the perfect spot to enjoy a luxurious moment of relaxation during your busy day while immersing yourself in an artistic and cultural experience. 

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #12 – ‘J-COOK’ in Gaiemmae

    08.November.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited J-COOK in Gaiemmae, a place I visited one time while off work which ended up in me wanting to absolutely feature it in the series!

    It’s just a 5-minute stroll from Gaiemmae Station.

    The cafe enjoys lots of sunlight, which is brightened further by all the plants scattered through the shop. The cafes I have visited to date are often a little darker with only a little light seeping through the windows to create a certain atmosphere, and they are wonderful, but this was the first I have ever visited with so might light and so many plants. The air felt clear, adding to the level of comfort in the cafe, perhaps because there are so many plants adorning the interior.

    The cafe also has a space with a slightly more darker light and atmosphere on the left side. I haven’t sat in that area yet, so I think I’ll try it out on my next visit.

    When I come to J-COOK, my eyes always wander over to the marzipan creations (¥450).

    These ones here were actually all individually handmade by the owner’s husband from the early morning.

    If you look really closely, you’ll notice all the dog designs are different. When ordering, get to pick out which one you want, so try finding your perfect pup!

    I had mine together with an iced coffee (¥450). The sweet marzipan is a delicious combination with the bitterness of the coffee.

    I also got some potted cream (¥450). It’s kind of like a Japanese custard pudding with just a moderate amount of sweetness.

    I had mine with a bit of brandy which had fragrant vanilla notes. They’ve had this brandy for 33 years since the store first opened.

    The cream was sensational, and the gentle notes linger afterwards.

    They have a lot of different homemade soups too which are perfect for the coming cold weather. I got the New Orleans-style gumbo soup. It’s spicy with clam and okra in it.

    Relaxing jazz music plays in the cafe while you sit and enjoy your drink and meal.

    J-COOK is a wonderful little cafe run by a husband and wife. When I first came, the wife came and talked to me. She’s super friendly, and although it was our first meeting, she made me feel really comfortable and welcome. She must be full of happiness, which in turn naturally gives people who visit the strength to be positive and work hard.

     

    I reckon their smiles have saved a lot of people.

     

    I can’t wait to visit again!

     

    Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Design: Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Chat and Eat Japanese Sweets With a Real Maiko at Hoshinoya Kyoto

    07.November.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Hoshinoya Kyotoーa Japanese inn in Arashiyama where all rooms offer a river viewーhas announced a new event titled “Maiko Salon” which will run next year from February 4 to March 4 which offers female guests the chance to chat with a maiko (an apprentice geisha).

    Maiko Salon is a women-only get-together that offers female guests to chat casually with a real maiko. The clothes that a maiko wears, including the kanzashi ornate hairpin, kimono, obi sash, obidome sash clip, okobo footwearーeverything, from head to toeーis carefully crafted by an expert artisan. This is why maiko have been called “walking pieces of traditional craftsmanship.” At the Maiko Salon, you have the opportunity to wear such craft made in Kyoto and enjoy a sophisticated womanly party.

    For example, the table runners are made with Nishijin-ori, a type of fabric made in Kyoto’s district of Nishijin that has a history spanning over 1,000 years. The walls will also be decorated with obi cloth art panels with Maiko motifs.

    Learn all about the Hanamachi geisha district through womanly conversation

    Being entertained by geisha, known in Japanese as Ozashiki Asobi, is associated with maiko and geisha serving and entertaining men, and as being very private and inaccessible without being introduced by someone else. But since 2018, Hoshinoya Kyoto has been holding this women-only occasion for women to learn more about the culture in a casual environment. It’s a chance to learn more about maiko and their lifestyle through womanly topics like skincare, makeup and so on. There will also be a dance performance, after which attendees can ask about the practises of a maiko, what they think of their work, and so on.

    Edible Kanzashi Ornate Hairpins

    An original Japanese confection made to look like kanzashi ornate hairpins has been whipped up in 5 flavours by Kameya Yoshinaga, a long-standing Japanese confectionery maker which first opened almost 200 years ago. Enjoy together with sparkling wine during your time with the maiko.

  • Starbucks to Release Two Anniversary Drinks in Kyoto and Hyogo for Only 10 Days

    06.November.2019 | FOOD

    Starbucks Coffee Japan is commemorating 20-years since opening their Kyoto and Hyogo Prefecture branches with a 10-day-limited anniversary project which will run from November 12 to November 21. The barristers of both prefectures rose to the challenge to come up with three anniversary drinks and a vote took place to decide on a winning drink for each prefecture. The winners were announced as the Kyoto Erai Matcha Matcha Frappuccino® and the Hyogo Bari Choco Haittou Frappuccino®.  

    *  Update: Starbucks Coffee Japan has just announced that the 20-year commemoration drink sales period has been postponed. The new drink launch date and limited period is yet to be announced. For more information, please follow this link (Japanese only) : https://www.starbucks.co.jp/press_release/pr2020-3224.php 

    One sip of the Kyoto anniversary drink will send your taste buds on a journey to Kyoto. The ideas for the drink originated from the Kyoto Porta West branch. The barristers of Kyoto took it in their hands to interpret the culture of Kyoto in the form of a Starbucks drink by infusing the essence of Kyoto’s historical temples and elegant flavours. The taste of Starbucks’ popular Matcha Cream Frappuccino® can be tasted in the drink. Just seeing the green colour is enough to trigger memories of the Zen Buddhist temple Saiho-ji, which is famous for its moss garden to the extent that it is even called “Koke-dera”, meaning “moss temple”.

     

    The whipped cream creates a contrast with the green matcha which will definitely spark memories of Ryoan-ji Zen temple in some keen Kyoto travellers. The drink is dusted with matcha and dark mocha powder, creating the image of green and brown leaves. The milk base fully enhances the matcha flavour. A creamy cloud of whipped cream and dusting of bitter matcha are layered to create a wonderful flavour adventure which is bound to take your taste buds on a journey off the beaten track.

    Stretching from the north to the south of the Japan, Hyogo Prefecture is the largest prefecture in the Kinki region and is home to many towns which are bursting with originality. Hyogo’s barristers created their drink based on the concept of increasing love for Hyogo Prefecture’s unique towns. The idea for the Hyogo Bari Choco Haittou Frappuccino® came from the barristers of the Himeji Minami branch. 

     

    The Port of Kobe opened in 1868 and has since flourished as the gateway to the world. Foreign culture including western confectionary has since spread across Japan with Kobe as its starting point. Considering Kobe’s history with western culture and the cold winter days that lie ahead, chocolate was chosen as the main flavour. Chocolate chips, chocolate sauce and chocolate whipped cream decorate the drink in diversity. The drink is even topped with chocolate sauce and dark mocha powder, making the perfect luxury Frappuccino® to tempt all chocoholics. After just one sip, you will immediately fall in love with the top-class chocolatey flavour. 

     

    If you’re in Kyoto or Hyogo, make sure to stop by a Starbucks to get your fill of cultural flavours.

  • Kyoto Sightseeing | 4 Spots to Visit Before Autumn 2019 Ends

    03.November.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Autumn is a popular season in Japan, especially amongst tourists and travellers. While in spring you have the bright pink cherry blossoms, when autumntime rolls around, the trees turn into enchanting reds and yellows. People from around the world flock to see this incredible sight, with Kyoto being a very popular location.

     

    Of course, viewing the beautiful colours of the trees and their leaves is a must during the daytime, but seeing them in the evening has become popular in recent years too. It offers you an entirely different experience and atmosphere. So if you’re in the ancient capital for autumn this year, why not experience the season in an entirely new lightーat night?

     

    Jitokuin Temple

    Jitokuin Temple is located in the town of Yosano in Yosa District. Maple trees were planted almost 11 years ago with the help of locals and the chief priest to create local ties. Every autumn, the trees behind the mountain bloom in vivid hues, leading the temple to be nicknamed “Koyo-ji,” or “Temple of Autumn.” The locals work hard in the surrounding gardens day by day, so the sights change a little bit every year.

    The maple trees are planted in a way that it looks like they take an entire side of the mountain. They are a sight to be hold during the day, but for one week in November there will be illuminations in the evenings, creating a magical scene under the night sky.

     

    ▼Jitokuin Temple

    Light-Up Period: November 9, 2019 – November 16, 2019

    Light-Up Time: 17:00-20:00 (Temple is open 09:00-20:00)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Mid November

    Address: 2250 Akeshi, Yosano, Yoza-gun, Kyoto

    Support Fund: ¥300

    Official Website: http://jitokuin.com

     

     

    Nariaiji Temple

    Nariaiji Temple, located in Kyoto Prefecture’s city of Miyazu, is an ancient temple betwixt mountains overlooking Amanohashidate, one of Japan’s “Three Scenic Views.” It’s home to a grand 5-storey pagoda which is surrounded by hundreds of maple trees, offering an incredible, quintessentially Japanese view during autumn.

    During the day, you can snap some gorgeous photos with the Sea of Japan and Amanohashidate in the back. For two nights only, on Saturday November 9 and Sunday November 10, the entire area will be beautifully lit up with warm illuminations.

     

    ▼Nariaiji Temple

    Light-Up Period: November 9, 2019 – November 10, 2019

    Light-Up Time: Sunset – 21:00 (Temple is open 08:00-16:30)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Late November

    Address: 339 Nariaiji, Miyazu, Kyoto

    Price: ¥500

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

     

     

    Kasagiyama Prefectural Natural Park

    Kasagiyama Prefectural Natural Park: is located atop Mt. Kasagi and is also home to Kasagi-dera, a temple with a 1,300-year history. During autumn, one entire side of the park is dyed in autumnal colours.

    This November, the area will be lit up for a limited period, offering a gorgeous view from the mountain peak of the trees below as well as the flowing Kizugawa river.

     

    ▼Kasagiyama Prefectural Natural Park

    Light-Up Period: November 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019

    Light-Up Time: 17:00-21:00 (Temple is open 09:00-16:00)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Mid November

    Address: Mt. Kasagi, Kasagi, Soraku District, Kyoto

    Price: Illuminations – Free / Temple – Adults ¥300, Children ¥100

    Official Website: https://www.kasagidera.or.jp

     

     

    Yokokuji Temple

    Normally, the Joshoin at Yokokuji Templeーalso known as Yanagidani Kannonーonly opens on the 17th of every month. But for a special autumn event, it is now open every day up until December 1. The beauty of its autumn colours have come to be enjoyed by VIPs, dating back to the pre-war period when it was designated as a place of scenic beauty. For more details on this event, click here.

     

    Yanagidani Kannon Autumn Colours Week

    Running: November 2, 2019 – December 1, 2019

    Time: 9:00-16:00 (Joshoin open 10:00-15:00)

    Location: Yanagidani Kannon, Yokokuji Temple (Dōnotani-2 Jōdodani, Nagaokakyo, Kyoto)

    Entry Price: ¥300

    Full Ticket: ¥1,100→¥1,100 (Includes entry to multiple areas)

    Official Website: http://yanagidani.jp/

     

     

    Take the time to enjoy an autumnal Kyoto this year at one of the city’s seasonal events.

  • Kyoto Sightseeing | Yokokuji Temple’s Autumn Event Schedule Announced

    30.October.2019 | SPOT

    Yanagidani Kannon, also known as Yokokuji Temple, is located in Kyoto Prefecture’s city of Nagaokakyo and has been used as a place of prayer for many people with eye disease since the Heian Period. It is believed that praying at the temple will cure eye disease.

     

    For autumn-time this year, the temple is set to hold an event titled “Yanagidani Kannon Autumn Colours Week” from November 2 to December 1. With a seasonal schedule that includes illuminations in the gardens to a flower display at the temple water basin, if you’re looking for the must-visit locations in Kyoto this autumn, then you’ll want to add Yokokuji Temple to your list.

     

    Jodoen Garden Illuminations

    Last year’s popular light-up event is making a return for 2019, with gorgeous illuminations developed by light designer Yuuki Kogawa which will brighten the area with an enchanting and mystifying aura different from a usual visit to the garden.

     

    Dates: November 8th, 15th, 22nd-23rd

    Time: 17:30-18:30  (Reception open from 17:00)

    Price: ¥2,500 (Includes limited edition goshuin stamp)

    No. of People: 20 (Bookings Only)

    Bookings: https://yanagidani.jp/contact/

     

    Special Opening of the Joshoin

    Normally, the Joshoin only opens on the 17th of every month, but for this autumn week event, it will be open every day. It’s an area normally limited to officials and those in the imperial family. The beauty of its autumn colours have come to be enjoyed by VIPs, dating back to the pre-war period when it was designated as a place of scenic beauty.

     

    Hanachomizu Flower Water Basin

    At every temple and shrine in Japan there is a water basin which you are to use to cleanse yourself before entering. The Hanachomizu has become hugely popular on social media since the name first appeared 3 years ago, where leaves and flowers are placed into the basin. It has become adopted at temples across the country, with the one at Yokokuji Temple starting the trend. When it was first posted onto social media, it received reactions from over 80,000 people both in Japan and overseas. The flowers used change with the seasons, from hydrangeas to maple leaves.

     

    Limited Edition Goshuin Stamp Book Designs – Garasha Matsuri & More

    Visitors will be able to pick up limited-edition goshuin stamp books which never fail to sell out whenever they are released. Goshuin are collectable stamps/seals at temples around Japan. They are ¥500 each and limited in stock.

    This is just a small peek into what’s to come during Yanagidani Kannon Autumn Colours Week. If you’re in Kyoto, make sure you pay a visit to Yokokuji Temple.

  • Experiencing Japan: Dining at Denkiya Hall in Asakusa Wearing a Retro and Antique Kimono

    25.October.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Hi, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON readers! Banako here again from the MOSHI MOSHI Friends group.

     

    I have a question to ask you all. If you’ve been to Japan, did you ever dress up in a kimono or yukata to go sightseeing? It’s become common to see not only Japanese people, but foreign travellers and tourists clad in traditional Japanese ware snapping photos in the country’s historical locations. Dressing up in a kimono and walking the streets really immerses you in that Japanese spirit and transforms your experience entirely.

     

    I visited kesatokyo in Asakusa which rents out kimono that are somewhat different from the norm, got myself a kimono, and took a trip to Denkiya Hall, a long-standing cafe in Asakusa.

    Denkiya Hall is located along Senzoku-dori Shopping Street which is a 10-minute walk from the Tsukuba Express side of Asakusa Station. The street is quiet and peaceful since it’s away from the hustle and bustle of the station front.

    The kimono at kesatokyo are renowned through the town as they give off cute retro-antique vibes with their combination of things like lace necks, head dresses and berets.

     

    You can get some romantic co-ords which you won’t find with other kimono by matching with your friend in terms of design and accessories. I headed into the cafe excited with my kimono choice which matches the old-fashioned design of the cafe exterior.

    A standout feature of this cafe is that some of the tables have arcade games attached to them. If there’s a free seat at one of them, pick your favourite-looking, slot in a coin and start playing! Be sure to ask the staff to switch it on for you beforehand.

    While gazing through the nostalgic games, I ordered the cafe’s popular omumaki (¥700) and cream soda (¥650) while my friend got hot cakes.

    Stuffed and wrapped inside the omelette is a hearty serving of fried noodles. The noodles themselves are on the thicker side and have a rich seasoning like that from the Showa period. You can also pick between different noodles.

    The cream soda had deliciously sweet syrup and vanilla ice cream inside it.

    Your kimono will match the atmosphere of the cafe really well, so you can take some really great pictures at any time.

    Denkiya Hall opened over 100 years ago and incorporates styles from three different historical periods: Meiji, Taisho and Showa, giving it a nostalgic feeling.

    Another one of Denkiya Hall’s specialities is their boiled adzuki, the perfect treat to warm yourself up as the weather gets colder.

     

    It was fun strolling around Asakusa after our cafe visit, as well as searching for more modern towns like Ginza and Omotesando.

     

    We returned our kimono to kesatokyo at 18:40, right before the final return time. The basic rental plan for one person is ¥6,050 and it even includes hair styling! You can make reservations either via DMs on the store’s official Instagram or by telephone. You’re certain to get a reply on Instagram so it’s recommended going that route. The shop has more details on their plans on their website.

     

    Wearing a beautiful kimono and warming up inside a cafe during wintertime. How does that sound?

  • 3 Must-Visit Locations to See Kyoto’s Autumn Colours at Night in 2019

    17.October.2019 | SPOT

    Kyoto is known as the ancient capital of Japan. It is said to be the place where quintessential Japanese culture started, and has charmed the world over with its incredibly rich 1,200-year history.

     

    Autumn is a popular season in Japan, especially amongst tourists and travellers. While in spring you have the bright pink cherry blossoms, when autumntime rolls around, the trees turn into enchanting reds and yellows. People from around the world flock to see this incredible sight, with Kyoto being a very popular location.

     

    KYOTO SIDE, a regional information website run by Kyoto Prefecture, has listed a number of must-visit places around the city for seeing the autumn foliage, which is known as koyo in Japanese. Of course, viewing the beautiful colours of the trees and their leaves is a must during the daytime, but seeing them in the evening has become popular in recent years too. It offers you an entirely different experience and atmosphere. Here’s three places you should jot down for your Kyoto trip this autumn.

     

    Jitokuin Temple: A place of rest created by the chief priest and locals

    Jitokuin Temple is located in the town of Yosano in Yosa District. Maple trees were planted almost 11 years ago with the help of locals and the chief priest to create local ties. Every autumn, the trees behind the mountain bloom in vivid hues, leading the temple to be nicknamed “Koyo-ji,” or “Temple of Autumn.” The locals work hard in the surrounding gardens day by day, so the sights change a little bit every year.

    The maple trees are planted in a way that it looks like they take an entire side of the mountain. They are a sight to be hold during the day, but for one week in November there will be illuminations in the evenings, creating a magical scene under the night sky.

     

    Light-Up Period: November 9, 2019 – November 16, 2019

    Light-Up Time: 17:00-20:00 (Temple is open 09:00-20:00)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Mid November

    Address: 2250 Akeshi, Yosano, Yoza-gun, Kyoto

    Support Fund: ¥300

    Official Website: http://jitokuin.com

     

    Nariaiji Temple: The 5-storey pagoda comes together with the autumn colours

    Nariaiji Temple, located in Kyoto Prefecture’s city of Miyazu, is an ancient temple betwixt mountains overlooking Amanohashidate, one of Japan’s “Three Scenic Views.” It’s home to a grand 5-storey pagoda which is surrounded by hundreds of maple trees, offering an incredible, quintessentially Japanese view during autumn.

    During the day, you can snap some gorgeous photos with the Sea of Japan and Amanohashidate in the back. For two nights only, on Saturday November 9 and Sunday November 10, the entire area will be beautifully lit up with warm illuminations.

     

    Light-Up Period: November 9, 2019 – November 10, 2019

    Light-Up Time: Sunset – 21:00 (Temple is open 08:00-16:30)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Late November

    Address: 339 Nariaiji, Miyazu, Kyoto

    Price: ¥500

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

     

    Kasagiyama Prefectural Natural Park: A bright-red landscape from the mountain peak

    Kasagiyama Prefectural Natural Park: is located atop Mt. Kasagi and is also home to Kasagi-dera, a temple with a 1,300-year history. During autumn, one entire side of the park is dyed in autumnal colours.

    This November, the area will be lit up for a limited period, offering a gorgeous view from the mountain peak of the trees below as well as the flowing Kizugawa river.

     

    Light-Up Period: November 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019

    Light-Up Time: 17:00-21:00 (Temple is open 09:00-16:00)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Mid November

    Address: Mt. Kasagi, Kasagi, Soraku District, Kyoto

    Price: Illuminations – Free / Temple – Adults ¥300, Children ¥100

    Official Website: https://www.kasagidera.or.jp

     

     

    See Japan’s autumn colours in an entirely new way this year at one of Kyoto’s many autumn-time illumination events.

  • THE MACHIYA SHINSEN-EN: Kyoto’s New Traditional & Modern Fused Hotel

    17.October.2019 | SPOT

    THE MACHIYA SHINSEN-EN is a new hotel that just opened on Tuesday (October 15) located just a five-minute walk from Kyoto’s world heritage site Nijō Castle. Renovated from an old Kyoto-esque townhouse, this 21-room hotel fuses traditional Japanese architecture with the modern, complete with a lounge on the first floor decked with an open space where guests can enjoy a gorgeous breakfast if they choose the option. The friendly staff will be waiting to welcome guests to the hotel like friends.

     

    The hotel’s name derives from Shinsenen, a Japanese Buddhist temple and Kyoto sightseeing  spot located just a one-minute walk from the site. The temple is home to Japan’s only “ehomaki shrine” where Toshitokujin, the goddess of auspicious directions for the current year, is enshrined. The temple is also home to an enormous and beautiful lake, and is said to provide good luck with marriage ties, something which is known to everyone in Kyoto. The “machiya” part of the hotel’s name means “townhouse” in Japanese.

    The hotel combines the traditional with the modern effortlessly, with four types of suite rooms available including the spacious corner suite rooms, as well as suite rooms that focus more on traditional Japanese architecture, namely that of the old-fashioned townhouse. All suite rooms have a kitchen, washer/dryer, and other convenient amenities for those looking for a longer stay, as well as for families and larger groups.

    THE SHINSEN-EN Deluxe Suite

    Located on the top floor, this corner suite room offers a spacious environment and enjoys plenty of natural lighting for the window which takes up an entire wall. There are both beds as well as a tatami area with futons so you can pick how you want to sleep. There’s also a roomy washroom as well as a dining space with a fully-equipped kitchen and washer dryer. The room also has a sofa, TV, refrigerator, free WiFi, and more for your convenience.

    THE MACHIYA Deluxe Suite (Dragon)

    This suite room has a Japanese aesthetic with its paper sliding doors and hanging scrolls. Natural light seeps in from the ceiling window fitted to the high ceiling. As well as the Japanese-style bedroom, it also has a western-style bedroom and living room, as well as both beds and futons, so you can pick if you want a Japanese sleep or a western sleep. There is a fully-equipped kitchen and washer dryer. The room also has a sofa, TV, refrigerator, free WiFi, and more for your convenience.

    THE SHINSEN-EN Suite

    The entrance to this suite room has lattice doors and stone paving, welcoming you with that traditional Japanese aesthetic. The spacious room basks in natural lighting from the enormous windows. There is a fully-equipped kitchen and washer dryer. The room also has a sofa, TV, refrigerator, free WiFi, and more for your convenience.

    In addition to suite rooms there are four other types including Deluxe Twin, Superior Hollywood Twin, Hollywood Twin, and Classic Hollywood Twin. The rooms enjoy indigo blue and orange colouring for a relaxed and modern feel. Each have their own washrooms, toilets, sofas and desks. Additionally, all first floor rooms can be connected, so you can turn them into full 2-3 or 4-5 people spaces.

    Guests can use the first floor lounge space freely and at their own leisure. And if they choose so they can also enjoy breakfast there.

    The front desk staff can speak both English and Japanese so can support foreign travelers. The hotel is situated in a great place for sightseeing, so be sure to consider booking at the all-new THE MACHIYA SHINSEN-EN if travelling to Tokyo.

  • Japanese Sweets Brand Minamoto Kitchoan to Open Cafe Restaurant K. MINAMOTO in Ginza

    16.October.2019 | FOOD

    Japanese confectionery brand Minamoto Kitchoan will open a new cafe and restaurant called “K. MINAMOTO” on October 19.

    K. MINAMOTO will be located on floors 2-5 at THE HOUSE, Minamoto Kitchoan’s new company building which it just moved to on October 3. The cafe-restaurant’s menu concept is dubbed “Ginza Sunny Fruits.” It takes into consideration how daily fruit consumption has greatly decreased today by serving up a luxurious fresh fruit-packed line-up.

     

    Minamoto Kitchoan is a company that has made full use of fruits since its establishment, including the suikanshuku, a Japanese wagashi confection made of whole dried domestic persimmons. We can trust then that K. MINAMOTO will provide us with our 5-a-day.

    Roast Beef Sandwich w/ Fruit Soup – ¥2,420 (Tax Included)

    Seafood Lemon Cream Fedelini w/ Fruit Soup – ¥1,650 (Tax Included)

    Each and every dish on the menu has fruit, all grown in Japan to ensure the a high level of quality. Since the dishes have fruity flavours, prepping them is simple, and they enjoy the colours and textures of each fruit.

     

    Drinks haven’t been left out either. They are made with fruit purees and syrup, or are tossed in as they are, allowing for maximum fruity goodness.

    Smoked Salmon, Fruit Salad & Potato Galette w/ Fruit Soup – ¥1,980 (Tax Included)

    Autumn Fruit Almond Pudding – ¥1,760 (Tax Included)

    All the staff at K. MINAMOTO have a wealth of knowledge about the menu and the fruits used in each dish. Their service creates a comfortable atmosphere, and though they are polite they are incredibly friendly, so you can call out to them without worry.

     

    Get your fill of fruit from the all-new K. MINAMOTO, opening October 19.

  • Suiran Ranks as Japan’s Best Hotel in Condé Nast Traveler For Second Year in a Row

    14.October.2019 | SPOT

    “Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto” has ranked as the number one hotel in Japan for the second year in a row in the Japan’s Top Hotels category of Readers’ Choice Awards 2019 in Condé Nast Traveler.

    The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards lists the world’s best travel experiences as ranked by international travellers. Over 600,000 people voted Suiran as Japan’s best hotel for the second time.

    Suiran is located in Arashiyama, Kyoto and first opened in March 2015 under a brand of luxury hotels known as The Luxury Collection®. The hotel’s concept is to make full use of Arashiyama’s appeal, lauded for its deep culture and history, while paving the way to the future. It houses guests from around the world who can enjoy a view of Arashiyama’s lush natural landscape which changes beautifully with the seasons, and who can experience a fusion of the traditional and the modern while being served classic Kyoto hospitality.

    Speaking about the award, the hotel’s general manager Hiroyuki Hatori said the following: “I am greatly honoured that we have been given the number one spot two years in a row in this internationally-recognised poll. To all the people in the region who continue to support Suiran, and to all our guests who use the hotel, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. These results are an incentive to further work hard with our associates to ensure this is a hotel that people will love even more.”

     

    If you are travelling to Kyoto and looking for a place to stay, why not consider the city’s best: Suiran, a hotel which continues to pass down tradition while embracing the modern?

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