Shaun the Sheep Farm Garden to Open on March 31
A new amusement facility themed on the British stop-motion series Shaun the Sheep named Shaun the Sheep Farm Garden is set to hold its grand opening on March 31, 2019. A special preview was carried out for the press on March 19. In the run up to the grand opening, the park will pre-open for general admission from March 23.
The facility is opening adjacent to English Garden Rosa & Berry Tawada, a 5,000m2 farm where you can come into contact with sheep.
This is Japan’s first ever permanent establishment for Shaun the Sheep. It will be home to a farmer’s house, a sheep shelter, and Shaun himself and his sheep friends will also be present. There is also a cafe on the east side of the facility as well as an event house and more.
Dive into the world of Shaun the Sheep at his Farm Garden!
Shaun the Sheep Farm Garden
Address: 605-10 Tawada, Maibara, Shiga Prefecture
Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00
Price: General (12 Years Old+) ¥1,000 / Children (3+ Years) ¥500 / Infants (2 Years and below) Free
*Tax included in prices
Official Website: http://www.rb-tawada.com/farm-map/shaun.html
Hirosaki and Hakodate to Begin Winter Tourism Campaign with Snow Miku Starting December 2022
The cities of Hirosaki and Hakodate in Hokkaido have announced that they will team up with Hatsune Miku’s popular iteration Snow Miku to promote tourism in the area this winter. A number of activities will begin in December 2022.
[Snow Miku x Hirohako] Collaboration Project
■Hirohako Winter Tourism Campaign Poster Featuring Snow Miku
・Period: Mid-November~February 28, 2023
・Locations: Facilities in both cities, tourist facilities, hotels, shopping areas
■Snow Miku Illustration Contest Exhibition Event
Over 50 illustrations have been submitted under the theme of Snow Miku and Hakodate / Snow Miku and Hirosaki. These will be on display through the winter!
・Running: December 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022
・Venues: Hirosaki Municipal Tourist Center (Hirosaki)
Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse (Hakodate)
■Snow Miku Photo Spot
Snow Miku panels featuring shamisen and apples from Hirosaki will be on display, while the Hakodate version will include references to squid fishing and footbaths.
・On Display: December 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022
・Locations: JR Hirosaki Station, Chuohirosaki Station (Hirosaki)
JR Hakodate Station, Hakodate Airport (Hakodate)
■Digital Stamp Rally Using the Mikunavi App
A number of panels will be installed at five checkpoints in Hirosaki and Hakodate. A total of 1,000 people–500 in each city–will win original merch including a Snow Miku mask case and decorated masking tape. All you need to do is check in!
・Available: December 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022
・Locations: (Hirosaki) Hirosaki Municipal Tourist Center, Hirosaki City Machinaka Information Center,
Hirosaki Tourist Information Center, Hirosaki Castle Information Center, Tsugaru-han Neputa Village
(Hakodate) Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse, Yunokawa Hot Spring Footbath, Goryōkaku Tower,
Hakodate Green Plaza C Block (Hakodate Lumi-Pop), Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward
■Hirohako Winter Tourism Campaign Theme Song and Music Video
The tourism theme song will get a new music video that will be broadcast on YouTube, at local tourist facilities, and on TV and radio!
・On Air: December 1, 2022~
・Theme Song: Mahou no Keshiki (Lyrics/Composition: ryuryu)
■Snow Miku Welcome Announcements to be Broadcast at Tourism Facilities, etc.
A one-minute welcome announcement by Snow Miku will air at tourist facilities!
・Running: December 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022
・Locations: Tourist areas in both cities
■Snow Miku Filters Using AR
When each barcode is scanned with a smartphone, Snow Miku will appear on the screen! Visitors can take pictures with Snow Miku to commemorate their winter trip to Hirosaki and Hakodate.
・Available: December 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022
Hirosaki x Hakodate x Snow Miku Tourism Campaign
Beginning December 2022
NAKED’s DANDELION PROJECT to Open at Hikone Castle in Shiga
NAKED’s DANDELION PROJECT will be held at Shiga’s Hikone Castle for eight days starting November 5, 2022. The work will be exhibited as a part of NAKED GARDEN ONE KYOTO, a next-generation art project put on in conjunction with Kyoto City, Uji City, and Otsu City in Shiga Prefecture.
Created by Ryotaro Muramatsu, the art project has appeared in a number of towns and cities around the world, inviting participants to create flowers and send them around the globe digitally as a hope for peace. Visitors can use their smartphones to send dandelion fluff digitally to other participants around the world, sharing a wish for world peace.
Following last year’s event, the DANDELION art piece will be exhibited at Hikone Castle again in 2022. The castle is over 400 years old and the castle tower, completed in 1606, is designated as a national treasure. During this time, the art piece will also be on display at Enryakuji and Shigain Monzeki Temple in Shiga. Hikone Castle is currently seeking to be registered as a World Heritage site. Why not take part in this unique project to bring the world a bit more peace?
Venue: Hikone Castle (1-1 Konkicho, Hikone, Shiga)
DANDELION: Hikone Castle Keep
*Hikone Castle is a satellite site of the NAKED GARDEN ONE KYOTO Project.
November 5, 12, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 / December 3
*The Special Autumn Colors Hikone Castle Night Viewing will be held starting on September 10. The DANDELION exhibit will be on display starting November 5.
Hours: 18:00-20:30 (Last entry at 20:00)
Official Site: https://www.knt-ks.co.jp/ec/2020/hikone/
Shaun the Sheep Fall Menu and Workshops Available for a Limited Time at Sunday Brunch Kichijoji
The popular series Shaun the Sheep is collaborating with Sunday Brunch Kichijoji at Kichijoji PARCO! A Shaun the Sheep-inspired autumn menu will be available starting September 12. Guests can also take part in a Halloween Fruit Tart-making workshop on September 17 and 24 and October 22 and 29. Families, couples, and friends are invited to enjoy the flavors of fall at Shaun’s Cafe.
Shaun’s Tomato Cheese Cream Penne with French Toast
Shirley’s Autumn Vegetables and Hamburger Meat Doria
From Left: Shirley’s Grape Jelly & Muscat Soda / Shaun’s Coffee Jelly Milk Float / Bitzer’s Blue & Orange Soda
Baby Shaun’s Chestnut & Berry Pancakes
Baby Bitzer’s Grape & White Chocolate Hotcakes
Shaun’s Halloween Fruit Tart Workshop
Shaun the Sheep with Sunday Brunch Cafe
Venue: Sunday Brunch Kichijoji (Kichijoji PARCO 4F, 1-5-1 Kichijoji Honcho, Musashino,
Limited Fall Menu: Available starting September 22
Workshop Dates: September 17, 24 / October 22, 29
Kansai’s Largest Illumination Event to Start Third Phase on October 8
10.September.2022 | SPOT
The third phase of the popular illumination event at the English Garden Rosa & Berry Tawada will be held from October 8, 2022 until February 12, 2023! One of the largest light-up events in the Kansai region, this year’s theme is ‘Evolutionary Lights!’
Let Time Pass in The Golden Forest
Visitors will be welcomed into a glorious forest of golden lights as they arrive in the main area.
The clock tower rises in the center, and the spectacular production begins at the start of nightfall when the tower itself begins to glow and 100 trees are enveloped in golden light.
The White and Silver Garden of the Fairies
The area has undergone a major transformation, from the warm European-inspired colors of last year’s event to a mysterious silvery-white color scheme. Visitors can also enjoy the popular light-up experience Miraculous Blue Roses and the Seven-Colored Prayer Tree.
※Details: Lights and effects are triggered in response to the sound of bells rung by visitors and special pedals stepped on as they explore the event.
Shaun the Sheep Area
A special Christmas display inspired by the new Shaun the Sheep movie, releasing in December 2022, will be on display.
*Images of the special display will be available in mid-September.
SHAUN THE SHEEP AND SHAUN’S IMAGE ARE ™ AARDMAN ANIMATIONS LTD. 2022
Galactic Express Milky Way
The Milky Way is said to be a magnificent shade of blue. The Milky Way Galaxy Railroad, which requires a separate fee, runs through the area, inviting guests to explore a sea of stars. Why not take a trip through this glittering world of lights while taking some incredible photos?
Why not visit this incredible sea of lights this winter?
Rosa & Berry Illumination 2022-2023 – Evolutionary Lights
Running: October 8, 2022 – February 12, 2023 *Closed on Tuesdays
Hours: 17:30-21:00 *Subject to change depending on the season
Venue: English Garden Rosa & Berry Tawada (Maibara, Shiga)
Official Site: https://www.rb-illumi.com/
Private Jet Package Now Available in Toyama Offering Spectacular View of Tateyama Mountains
22.June.2022 | SPOT
Mizu to Takumi, a company associated with the Toyama West Tourism Promotion Association, has teamed up with SKYTREK to offer guests a once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit the area via private jet. Reservations for the incredible experience began on June 17, 2022.
Offering an entirely new tourism experience in Toyama Prefecture, visitors can see the area’s natural wonders from miles above the Earth. The program also aims to share local culture and more about traditional craftsmanship and cuisine.
Toyama Prefecture boasts dramatic topography, from the massive peaks of the Northern Alps and the Tateyama Mountains to the deep waters of Toyama Bay. To better allow visitors to see the sights, these private jet tours will be chartered on special courses different from standard airlines.
After the flights, guests will be welcomed to explore Takaoka’s deep history and culture. Kane no Sanzun, a restored and preserved inn, will welcome visitors, offering a relaxing and rejuvenating time.
Visitors can also book optional excursions to further explore the area, such as a Zen meditation experience at a famous temple in Takaoka, a traditional crafting workshop, and a tour and tasting of the only whiskey distillery in the Hokuriku region.
Come enjoy a trip to Toyama with a whole new perspective!
Travel to Toyama by Private Jet
Available: June 17 – October 26, 2022
Travel Period: June 22 – October 31, 2022
Airbnb Reveals Top 10 Most Popular Summer Destinations in Japan
08.June.2022 | SPOT
Airbnb boasts one of the largest travel communities in the world, filled with users offering up lodging and those eager to visit somewhere new. The Japanese subsidiary of the company has revealed the top spots added to Japanese users ‘Favorites (Wish Lists)’ from May 1 to May 17, 2022. Where will travelers in the country be headed this summer?
Golden Week is long gone and users are starting to think about where to visit during the hottest part of the year. This national ‘Wish List’ might make it easier to pick a spot, with many locations highlighting lesser-known areas!
Gujo Hachiman Villa, Limited to 1 Couple Per Day (Gifu)
This completely private rental villa was made for sauna enthusiasts. One lucky pair per day can book this suite along the Yoshida River flowing through Gujo Hachiman, known as the “City of Water and Dance.” Currently booked through the end of August, reservations for September and beyond will be available in early June. Book a stay to enjoy the gorgeous autumn foliage!
A House Surrounded by Lush Greenery in the Countryside (Tottori)
Hosted by a family of musicians and architects, this guesthouse invites guests to enjoy gorgeous Nordic-inspired interiors and the serene quiet of the countryside. For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, this is the perfect spot.
Hoshina Satomachi, Limited to 1 Couple Per Day (Nagano)
There’s nothing like spending the summer in a traditional Japanese home. Enjoy a barbeque on the terrace and relax on the massive lawn. This is the perfect spot for families with children or pets!
Coastal Cabin (Chiba)
You can’t have summer without a pool. This luxurious coastal retreat boasts a 15-meter pool, outdoor Jacuzzi, bonfire space, and a barbeque. Relax by the pool while listening to your favorite songs or soak in the outdoor bath as you watch the waves crash along the shore.
An Elegant and Peaceful Log Cabin (Nagano)
Located at 1,300 meters above sea level on the Iizuna plateau, this log cabin is situated in the midst of a dense forest. A perfect space for couples, families, or small groups of friends, guests are welcome to enjoy hiking through this gorgeous landscape in the center of Japan!
Izu, the Setting for Laid-Back Camp, Now Offering Travel Plans
JR Tokai Tours has released a new travel plan for fans of Laid-Back Camp Season 2, which aired from January to March 2021. The tour will take place in the Izu area, which was heavily featured in episodes 10, 11, and 12. Guests can enjoy a travel plan with single lodging and original goods starting May 23 until June 29, 2022.
The slice-of-life series Laid-Back Camp is currently serialized in COMIC FUZ.
Set in Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures, Laid-Back Camp is a relaxing series following a group of high school girls going camping and enjoying their daily lives. The series is based on the author Afro’s personal experiences and interviews, and since serialization in 2015, the series has attracted fans from around the world. The original comic has sold over 7 million copies. In 2018, the first anime series premiered, inspiring a spin-off Room Camp in 2020 and a second season in 2021.
Four years after it was announced in 2018, a Laid-Back Camp animated film will arrive in theaters this summer.
EMOCAL, a Project to Support Japanese Regions, Releases Music Using Local Sound Samples
The EMOCAL project aims to support small-town areas of Japan. As a new initiative in the project, specific soundscapes only found in certain areas of the country have been combined with music to create some unique tracks. A selection of musical artists have collaborated with the project to bring these songs to life!
EMOCAL was created by ZOWA’s original label, CatchyStuck. The project supports local regions and communities by using ASMR soundscape videos recorded in each region to convey their particular charms to all of Japan. The sounds recorded in each place are considered to be very valuable and are intended to serve two purposes: to bring tourism back after the pandemic and to provide fans of ASMR a way to experience these areas from afar.
Check out each of these unique ambient tracks created by four up-and-coming musicians! Each song is available on viviON’s ASMR platform ZOWA and on Spotify.
Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture / Ikkyuu x Hige Driver, I Love Ikkyuu
Beard Driver created this ambient track with sounds recorded inside of Ikkyuu, a ramen shop.
Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture / Miyuki no Hama x Powerless, Seiren
Powerless created this track, inspired by the sounds of waves crashing at Miyuki no Hama, a seaside recreation area 20 minutes from Odawara Station.
Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture / Wasabi Field x baker, On the silent hill
Utogi in Shizuoka city is surrounded by incredible nature. Known as the birthplace of wasabi cultivation, baker used sounds recorded in the area to create this ambient track.
Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture / Cape Tara x SeA0, Akushu
Cape Tara is a popular spot featuring an 800-meter-long sandbar at low tide. The sounds captured here were used by artist SeA0, and this track is sure to make you miss the water.
Official Site: https://catchystuck.jp/ambient/
Banyan Tree Rooftop Bar Opens on Japan’s Southernmost Island
30.March.2022 | SPOT
The Banyan Tree Rooftop Bar, located at Hoshino Resort Risonare Kohamajima on Japan’s southernmost island, is holding a special stargazing event until April 20, 2022. Visitors can enjoy a cocktail as they gaze at the countless twinkling stars overhead.
Kohama Island is located within the Yaeyama Islands. With a warm climate, it’s comfortable to spend long hours outside, even at night. Kohamajima was also the first island in Japan to be protected by the IDA (International Darkness Association), meaning that no bright manmade lights can interfere with stargazing. Visitors can see 84 of 88 constellations!
Enjoy a Boundless Starry Sky
The Banyan Tree Terrace will bring guests together to feel the sea breeze and taste colorful mojitos as they enjoy the pleasant weather. Why not spend a relaxing time in a fantastic space lit with faintly glowing candles as you stargaze?
Taste Colorful Mojitos
A limited number of colorful mojitos will be available at a bar counter set up on the terrace for this event only. You can also enjoy Okinawan original mojitos with made with Okinawa lime, brown sugar instead of sugar, non-alcoholic mojitos for children, and tropical fruit mojitos with pineapple and passion fruit.
Munch on Snacks Perfect to Pair with Cocktails
Guests can also enjoy a snack set with salty nuts perfect for enjoying with alcohol!
Banyan Tree Rooftop Bar
Open: March 1 – April 20, 2022
Location: Banyan Tree Terrace
Official Site: https://risonare.com/kohamajima/
Lake Biwa Canal’s Cherry Blossoms to Come to Life During Spring Illumination 2022 Event
28.March.2022 | SPOT
Lake Biwa Canal, one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Shiga, will be completely illuminated each night from March 25 until April 10! The nearby Onjo-ji Temple will also be lit up during the duration of the event.
Lake Biwa, Otsu Spring Illumination – Cherry Blossoms on the Lake Biwa Canal
The Lake Biwa Canal carries water from the biggest lake in Japan to Kyoto and was built during the Meiji era using the best civil engineering technology of the time. Both sides of the bank are lined with almost 200 cherry trees, making it one of the most beautiful cherry blossom viewing spots with a spectacular view leading to Onjo-ji Temple.
Onjo-ji Spring Illumination 2022
Over 600 lights will be set up around the temple grounds to illuminate the cherry blossoms. The national treasures and designated cultural properties will be completely open to the public for nighttime viewing.
Lake Biwa, Otsu Spring Illumination – Cherry Blossoms on the Lake Biwa Canal
Running: March 25 – April 10 (Dates may change depending on when cherry blossoms bloom)
Hours: 18:00 – 21:30
Location: Lake Biwa Canal
Sponsored by the Lake Biwako Otsu Tourism Association
Onjo-ji Spring Illumination 2022
Running: March 25 – April 10
Hours: 18:00 – 21:30 (Last Entry at 21:00)
Location: Onji-ji Temple
Admission: Adults ¥1,000 / Children ¥500
*Public transportation is recommended due to heavy congestion on surrounding roads during the event period.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Collaborates with Popular Shimane Manju for LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of her major label debut, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is staying active in 2022. In conjunction with the nationwide tour, the “LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project” was launched to energize Japan through the appeal of regional towns and cities, and has been attracting major attention. Kyary’s tour made it to Shimane on March 12, and the details of her next collaboration have been revealed!
Kyary will be teaming up with Nakaura Foods and their delicious local delicacy Dojou Sukui Manju. Known as the representative treat of the San’in region, the name is a reference to the mask worn during local performances of the Yasugibushi folk song. The steamed buns were developed by Nakaura Foods in 1967 and have been loved by locals ever since. In the 2000s, the company began experimenting with new flavors by teaming up with other local creators.
The company’s logo is being reimagined for the project, inspired by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s 2013 Furisodeshon music video.
The name of the popular product has also been changed to Kyary Sukui Manju! Each box has a pop design and would make a perfect souvenir for Kyary fans.
A collaborative T-shirt is also on sale featuring the new logo and the singer’s 10th-anniversary logo. A special LINE collaboration is also underway, and 50 people who order the new Kyary-themed treats from the official Nakaura Foods online store will be entered to win a shirt!
Dojou Sukui Manju (Shimane) x LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project
Sales Period: March 12 – April 8, 2022
Where to Buy:
Nakaura Foods Official Online Store
Nakaura Foods Stores in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture and Sakaiminato, Tottori Prefecture
Where to Purchase: LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project Online Shop
Available until March 25 at 23:59
Commemorative Kyary Sukui Manju T-shirt Gift Campaign
Application Period: April 8, 2022
How to Enter:
- Add Nakaura Foods as a friend on LINE and get the campaign keyword.
- Enter the keyword when purchasing Kyary Sukui Manju from the Nakaura Foods online store.
- 50 winners will be selected by drawing to receive a special collaborative T-shirt!
Booking.com Reveals 4 Best Lodgings with Outdoor Baths for Snow Viewing
16.March.2022 | SPOT
Booking.com Japan has revealed its top four picks for the Japanese accommodations with the best outdoor baths and snow views!
Zao Kokusai Hotel (Zao Onsen, Yamagata Prefecture)
Located 900 meters above sea level and surrounded by the gorgeous natural beauty of the Zao mountains, this resort has long been renowned for its spectacular view of seasonal scenery. During winter, guests can enjoy a fully spring-fed open-air bath while gazing at the snow-capped mountains. The milky white waters of the Zao Hot Springs have high sulfur content which will improve the texture of your skin. The resort also has a bath large enough to accommodate up to seven people at a time and a private bath for families or lovers.
Midorinokaze Resort Kitayuzawa (Date, Hokkaido)
The Midorinokaze Resort Kitayuzawa is surrounded by nature and contains one of the largest open-air baths in Japan, along with 20 unique fragrant baths for guests to enjoy. In winter, the surrounding trees seem to glisten with snow, and visitors are sure to find plenty of peace and relaxation while lounging beneath the grey skies.
Akakura Kanko Hotel (Myoko, Niigata Prefecture)
This highland resort sits on a 1,000-meter peak, offering unmatched views of Niigata Prefecture. The natural hot spring flows from the inside of Mt. Myoko, with healing waters perfect for soaking in during the cold winter months. The large baths are also equipped with a sauna and deck, and those wanting to view the scenery from their room can enjoy guest accommodations with private baths as well!
Satoyama Jujo (Minamiuonuma, Niigata Prefecture)
Winning a design award for its facilities, Satoyama Jujo has a different feel when compared to most hotels and ryokan. Booking.com recommends it for travelers looking for new experiences! In the open-air bath, visitors can relax while enjoying a panoramic view of Mt. Makihata, one of Japan’s 100 most famous peaks. Guests can also enjoy the starry skies at night. This is a perfect location for couples!
Each season in Japan offers uniquely beautiful scenery. How would you like to enjoy winter in one of these luxurious baths?