World heritage site Nijō Castle, Kyoto holds Sakura illumination event!

24.March.2019 | SPOT

From national holiday Thursday 21st March to Sunday 14th April, world heritage Nijō Castle (Kyoto) is holding a cherry blossom festival to celebrate its 25th anniversary called “Seikaiisan tōroku 25 shūnenkinen Nijōjō Sakuramatsuri 2019”. Last spring, approximately 304,594 people visited the castle during the day and during the night illumination event, making Nijō castle one of the most popular places in Kyoto to watch cherry blossoms.

 

Nijō castle is home to 300 cherry blossom trees. There are approximately 50 different varieties of cherry blossoms and some bloom earlier and later than others. Kanhi-zakura tend to bloom first, followed by Somei Yoshino, Yamazakura, Segakuzakura and Satozakura, meaning that you have approximately one month to enjoy cherry blossoms!

 

For two years now, the night Sakura festival includes projection mapping on the castle gates, illumination on the rapeseed blossoms, and much more! This time the festival space will be the largest it’s ever been. This has been powered up to become an even more enjoyable event.

 

Gate projection mapping

Blue butterflies form on the gate, turn into gold and dance into the castle as if they are bringing spring into Nijō castle.

 

Illumination of thin Sakura-lined paths and Rapeseed Sakura

This will be the first time that the small path that passes out of the park of Sakura will also be illuminated. The area before the thin pathway is a great photo spot that visitors can enjoy! This is where the illuminated rapeseed blossoms will be.

 

Seiryu garden illumination

At Seiryu garden, the illumination suddenly moves when you shine your smartphone light on it, and when you sit on a bench, the trees in front of you will suddenly light up ー this illumination is an interactive experience affected by the movements of the visitors!

 

There are also a variety of other special events such as a live flower arranging performance and a traditional arts performance called “Denraku”. This is a festival that combines traditional and digital art and it is a flower viewing experience unique to Nijō Castle.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Starbucks Japan Reveals Cherry Frappuccino®ーThe Second Drink of Starbucks Sakura Season

    20.February.2020 | FOOD

    Starbucks Japan has announced that the second drink in its Sakura Season series of springtime cherry blossom drinks will be released on February 26, 2020. Named the “Sakura Sakuranbo Frappuccino®” (Cherry Blossom Cherry Frappuccino®), this tasty-looking drink is exclusive to Japan.

     

    Sakura Sakuranbo Frappuccino®—Savour the sweet and tangy fresh cherry pieces

    Sakura Sakuranbo Frappuccino® – Tall ¥590 (Before Tax) / Available: February 26, 2020 – March 12, 2020

    The new drink contains fresh and sweet cherry pieces. It uses a cherry blossom flavoured base together with strawberry milk, which adds a subtle flavour, and a sauce made from fresh cherries. Cherries in Japan also go by the name outou (桜桃), which has the Japanese kanji for sakura (cherry blossom) in it. This is because its roots come from the same family of roses.

     

    The drink has a unique sweet and sour punch to it, and one sip is enough to make you feel like spring is here. Topped with pink, white, or blue Japanese sugar candies known as konpeitō, this drink truly offers a toast to a kawaii Japanese spring.

     

    Customise your drink for free with “Sakura Toppings”

    Free Sakura Toppings / Available: February 26, 2020 – March 12, 2020

    For Sakura Season at Starbucks, customers can customise all drinks with two different colours of mochi pieces and dried raspberries shaped like cherry blossom petals. The coffee company highly recommend topping cappuccinos, white mochas, and matcha cream frappuccinos® with them. Make your drink your own!

     

     

    Starbucks is also releasing a new range of merchandise, such as mugs and tumblers, with theme “Spring Misty-Rain,” on February 26. These gorgeous designs are inspired by the light rainfall in spring which falls onto the cherry blossoms and grass and makes them glisten with the light. A new cherry blossom Starbucks Card will also be available to pick up for a limited time.

     

    Sakura Season at Starbucks is always a popular time in Japan, so if you’re planning a trip here for spring and are in need of a coffee top-up, then you’re in for a real treat.

  • ‘SAKURA Romantic Tea Party’ is Q-pot CAFE. Omotesando’s Newest Afternoon Tea Experience

    20.February.2020 | FOOD

    Q-pot. has revealed its new “SAKURA Romantic Tea Party” line-up which is set to be served at Q-pot CAFE. in Omotesando, Tokyo from March 1, 2020 for a limited time.

    The cherry blossom pink coloured and flavoured line-up includes a glamorous afternoon tea set, limited-edition parfaits, plated goodies, drinks, and more. “Romantic” is the key word for this beautiful Japanese springtime assortment.

    Romantic SAKURA Parfait w/ Drink – ¥1,850 (Tax Included)

    The tall Romantic SAKURA Parfait is layered with a mix of both Japanese and Wesrern flavours, built up delicious with cherry blossom cream cherry blossom petal-laced jelly, houjicha tea sauce and more, all of which is topped off with cherry blossom cookies and meringue.

    Romantic SAKURA Mont Blanc Plate w/ Drink – ¥2,060 (Tax Included)

    This plate of delight features a soft mont blanc made with cherry blossom bean paste cream, rich matcha chocolate, Japanese waguri chestnut, and chestnut cream. Q-pot. CAFE offers a selection of original macarons too which you can pick from including strawberry, chocolate, lemon, and melon. Feel the call of Japanese spring with this romantic cherry blossom mont blanc.

    Romantic SAKURA Afternoon Tea Set w/ Drink – ¥2,400 (Serves 1) (Tax Included) *Photo shows tea set for two

    Simply put: a colourful pink and romantic afternoon tea set.

    The top tier is decorated with cherry blossom St. Honoré cakes made with gorgeous cherry blossom cream, peach bavarois, strawberry cookies, and rich cream ganache-filled biscuits.

    The bottom tier includes fat croissants filled with duck pastrami and cucumber that has been dressed with white wine vinegar. They’re served together with a white asparagus cream potage soup and skewered olives, mini tomatoes and pickles, creating a truly gourmet addition to your afternoon tea experience.

    Romantic SAKURA Berry Blossom Tea (Hot/Iced) – ¥750 Each (Tax Included)

    There’s also a cute pink cherry blossom tea that can be served hot or iced. It’s made using Q-pot CAFE.’s popular “Flower Garden” flavour which has a refreshing after taste as well as a floral and fruity sweet scent. Added to it is cherry blossom and raspberry flavouring which mixes deliciously with the milk.

    Hanami Party Plan – ¥3,000 Per Person (Tax Included) *Reservation-only

    You can also book a special hanami party plan which adds a sparkling beverage to the afternoon tea set together with a a cherry blossom card and a crunchy meringue. You must reserve for 2+ people, making it perfect for enjoying together with a friend or special someone.

     

    It’s not long until March now, meaning springtime, cherry blossoms, and Hanami flower-viewing is just around the corner in Japan. Why not celebrate romantically at Q-pot CAFE.?

  • Fermented Food Cafe ‘Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi’ to Open in Kyoto’s Sanjo Area

    19.February.2020 | FOOD

    Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi is a new cafe opening in the Sanjo area of Kyoto on February 22, 2020, that is centred entirely on fermented foods.

    The name “Haccomachi” derives from the Japanese word Hakko (Hacco), meaning fermented, and Komachi (Comachi), meaning a beautiful woman. The cafe hopes for people to incorporate fermented foods into their livesーsomething which is rooted in Japanese food cultureーand live comfortably.

    The cafe’s logo showcases the making of kōjiーa type of mould used in the fermentation process of certain food products in Japan, like soybeans. The logo hope to pass down this long upheld tradition.

     

    Hakko fermentation is a major part of Japan’s food culture. Since ancient times, the sweetness and umami brought about by the enzymes in the fermentation process have served to accompany many foods in the country, such as miso, soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, and so onーall traditional condiments used in the Japanese kitchen that are still fundamental today.

     

    The menu at Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi features a line-up of fermented foods made in Kyoto, including those from Kyoto-based soybean makers Fujiwara Shokuhin, Sawai Shoyu Honten which has produced the same high quality soy sauce for decades, sake brewery Kitagawa Honke which has been around since the Edo Period, and more.

     

    A Small Look at the Menu

    Lunch Menu

    Haccomachi Special – Fermented Lunch Plate: ¥1,690

    This lunch plate is an assortment of hors d’oeuvre made with fermented condiments, tandoori chicken that has been pickled to elevate the umami, marlin fish, soup, and more.

     

    Dinner Menu

    Spare Ribs On The Bone in Miso Yuan Yaki: ¥1,490

    This hearty portion of spare ribs are marinated in a miso, mirin, and soy sauce mix. Taste the full umami flavour of the juicy meat.

    Namerō Miso Salmon in Yoghurt Sauce: ¥770

    The salmon is served namerō style, a type of tataki or pounding method, in miso. The yoghurt has both a refreshing and rich flavour.

    Homemade Komekoji Rice Malt Sweet Sake Yoghurt: ¥470

    The splitting of the sour yoghurt serves to elevate the sweetness of the sake. This is a drink that even those who don’t like sweet sake are sure to enjoy.

     

    Cafe Menu

    Miso Pound Cake w/ Vanilla Ice Cream: ¥550

    The miso pound cake is a collaboration with Japanese confectionery company Sarasa, which has 6 branches of cafes and shops in Kyoto. It’s made using komekoji rice malt powder provided by an old-fashioned Japanese shop (菱六もやし). The umami of the miso is intensified, and the cake stays moist thanks to the powder. It’s served with a dollop of refreshing vanilla ice cream.

    Blackcurrant & Vanilla Sweet Sake Affogato: ¥550

    A unique spin on the affogato dessert which has you pouring hot sweet sake over tangy and refreshing blackcurrant sherbet and rich vanilla ice cream. Enjoy the mix of the hot sake and the cool ice cream.

     

    Discover the Japanese tradition of fermentation at Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi, opening February 22, 2020.

  • Taro Okamoto’s Prints Exhibition to Run at Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum in Tokyo

    16.February.2020 | SPOT

    The Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum has announced a new exhibition entitled “Taro Okamoto’s Prints” which will run at the Tokyo-based museum from February 26 to June 28 this year.

    Taro Okamoto employed many channels to try and bring art into the lives of the people. His range of expression was diverse, made up of countless genres, including the Tower of the Sun.

    One form of media that Taro poured his talents and energy into was prints, ranging from lithography to etching, silkscreen, woodblock, and so on.

     

    For Taro, art was synonymous with life and living, which he expressed over his lifetime, and which will be shown in the first ever print exhibition of his work.

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

    15.February.2020 | FOOD

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

     

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

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

    Strawberry Chia Oolong – ¥900

    Poppun Sakura Jasmine Tea – ¥950

    Floating Blossom – ¥900

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

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

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

     

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

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

    15.February.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

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

     

    Sakura Strawberry Afternoon Tea at InterContinental Tokyo Strings


    Sakura Strawberry Afternoon Tea – ¥4,800

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

     

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

     

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

     

    ▶︎Sakura Strawberry Afternoon Tea

    Running: March 1, 2020 to April 30, 2020

    Location: Rhythmos Café and Bar (InterContinental Tokyo Strings)

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

    Price: ¥4,800 per person

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

     

    InterContinental Tokyo Strings

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

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

     

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

     

     

    Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea at Hotel Chinzaso Tokyo


    Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea

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

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

     

    Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea

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

     

    Hotel Chinzaso Tokyo

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

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

     

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

     

     

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


    Sakura Picnic Basket – ¥5,500

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

     

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

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

    Price: ¥5,500

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

     

    Grand Hyatt Tokyo

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

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

     

    Gorgeous Springtime Cherry Blossom Set at Keio Plaza Hotel

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


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

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


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

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

     

    ▼Gorgeous Springtime Cherry Blossom Set at Keio Plaza Hotel

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

     

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

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

     

     

    Spring Sakura Sweets & Pastries at Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba

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


    Sakura Opera – ¥610

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


    Spring Milk Cream – ¥320

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

     

    ▼Spring Sakura Sweets & Pastries at Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba

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

     

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

     

     

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

  • ART LAB KYOTO: The New Shop Opening at Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art

    14.February.2020 | SPOT

    ART LAB KYOTO is the new museum shop set to open at Kyocera Museum of Art on March 21, 2020 in line with the revamp currently undergoing at the museum, with design work being co-created by Japanese architects Jun Aoki and Tezzo Nishizawa.

    Kyoto is known as a hub of Japanese culture, managing to maintain traditions while constantly evolving. ART LAB KYOTO will embody everything about this idea when it opens after the museum’s revamp. The spacious shop will not only sell merchandise related to the exhibitions, but books and goods related to art from Kyoto both traditional and contemporary, items in collaboration with external artists, original and exclusive sweets, and more. ART LAB KYOTO will also host events promoting the diversity of art and culture in Kyoto.

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

    14.February.2020 | FOOD

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

    12.February.2020 | FOOD

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

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

    Running: February 15, 2020 – February 25, 2020

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

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

     

    Reusable Cherry Blossom Cups ー Japan Only

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

     

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

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

    Release Dates:

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

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

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

     

    SAKURA Season Merchandise ー Batch ①

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

     

    Batch ①

    Release Date: February 15, 2020

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

     

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

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

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

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

     

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

    Running: February 15, 2020 – March 12, 2020

    Available: At most Starbucks branches in Japan

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

    08.February.2020 | SPOT

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

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

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

     

    2: Overhead cherry blossoms fill your vision on the rickshaw

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

     

    3: Hanami bento and sake provided by a longstanding shop

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

     

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

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

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

    07.February.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

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

    Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea

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

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

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

    Cherry Blossom Roll Cake

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

    Cherry Blossom Cube

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

    Cherry Blossom & Pistachio Panna Cotta

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

     

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

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

    05.February.2020 | FOOD

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

     

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

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

RANKING

  • DAILY
  • MONTHLY

FOLLOW US