Komuroyama Park’s 48th Rhododendron Festival Taking Place in Golden Week

30.March.2019 | SPOT

The 48th Rhododendron Festival in Komuroyama Park is set to run from April 20 to May 6 during which Golden Week will also hit. Golden Week is a series of consecutive holidays in Japan which take place from April 29 to early May.

 

100,000 trees of around 40 species will dyed the park park in gorgeous red hues from the trees to the petals that dance down to the floor to create a red carpet.

The “Rhododendron Tunnel” is a must-see of the festival. This romantic site sees trees reaching out to each other overhead to create a tunnel-like shape that is bigger than human height. Enjoy gazing up at the colourful trees.

 

At nighttime the park is lit up with illuminations. A special lift will take people up to the park summit to overlook the red park and up at the starry night sky.

Local food will also be served and various events carried out.

And don’t forget to try the festival’s famous Rhododendron Soft Cream ice cream. It costs just ¥300!

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • 6 Cherry Blossom Events in Japan 2018: Festivals, Digital Art & More!

    15.March.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Have you decided where you’re going to see Japan’s cherry blossoms this year?

     

    If not, then we have you covered. Here are 5 hanami events happening this year that are a little different from usual – from more traditional festivals to others using technology like AR and projection mapping.

     

     

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    Aqua Park Shinagawa – “SAKURA AQUARIUM by NAKED”
    “SAKURA AQUARIUM by NAKED” is an experience-based hanami event that will use the latest in Tokyo’s cutting-edge entertainment to combine Japanese traditional culture, digital art, cherry blossoms and the world of the sea. NAKED is a leading creative company in Japan who will use projection mapping and artwork to depict illustrations of vividly coloured cherry blossoms using all parts of the room including the ceiling, walls and floor. Guests will be completely surrounded by cherry blossoms upon entering the aquarium.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/92366

     

    ◼︎information
    SAKURA AQUARIUM by NAKED
    Running: 3 March 2018 – 15 April 2018
    URL:http://www.aqua-park.jp

     

     

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    Gotenyama Cherry Blossom Festival

    From the Edo period, Gotenyama was used for many activities and gatherings, such as a place where successive shogun engaged in falconry, and where formal tea parties were also held. It’s an area that has bred elegant culture and has even come to become a famous place to view cherry blossoms ever since the common people of the Edo Period used it as a popular retreat. This year, the festival will combine Edo, art and technology to host a range of events and activities, such as a cherry blossom light-up show, a Gotenyama tea party, a cherry blossom bar, an AR experience, and more.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/95179

     

    ■Information

    Gotenyama Cherry Blossom Festival 2018

    Locations: Gotenyama Trust City, Tokyo Marriott Hotel, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, and more

    Address: Gotenyama Trust City, 4-7-35 Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa, Tokyo

     

    Time/Date:

    Friday April 6th, 2018 @ 11:00-20:00

    Saturday April 7th, 2018 @ 11:00-20:00

    Sunday April 8th, 2018 @ 11:00-16:00 (*some events will run until 20:00)

     

    Access: 5-minutes free bus ride or 10-minute walk from Shinagawa Station via the JR Line / 5-minute walk from Kitashinagawa Station via Keihin Kyūkō Line

    *For more details on the free bus ride to and from Gotenyama Trust City and Shinagawa Station, please visit the official homepage.

    URL:http://www.trustcity-g.com/access

     

     

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    Takato Sakura Matsuri
    Takato Sakura Matsuri is held every year in Nagano Prefecture, bringing in almost 200,000 people during the cherry blossom season. There are about 1,500 cherry trees planted inside the park, which is known as one of the 3 most famous spots for hanami in Japan. This year, the festival has teamed up with famous confectionery store Ina Sweets! They are also holding a campaign where you can get your hands on some limited-edition collaborative spring sweets.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/94437

     

    ■Information
    Takato Sakura Matsuri
    Address: Takatomachi Nishitakato, Ina-shi, Nagano Prefecture
    Running: 1 April 2018 – 30 April 2018
    Opening Hours: 8:00-17:00 / High Season 6:00-20:00
    *Last entries at 21:30
    URL:
    https://takato-inacity.jp/h29/takatoh_sakuramaturi_no_goannnai

     

     

     

     

     

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    Nihonbashi Sakura Festival    
    You can look forward to enjoying an artistic hanami at this event. This year marks the 5th run of the festival, where there will be cherry blossom inspired food, a music festival, an art exhibition and much more. The main highlight of the festival is the “SAKURA TUNNEL” that will run along the road to Fukutoku Shrine where around 100 cherry blossom lanterns will illuminate the entire street in a magical pink colour.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/88158

     

    ■Information

    “Nihonbashi Sakura Festival Aratani Deau, Nihonbashi, Yaesu, Kyobashi
    Running: 16 March 2018 – 15 April 2018
    Contact: Nihonbashi Information Center 03-3242-0010 (10:00-21:00)
    URL:
    Japanese Site   http://www.nihonbashi-tokyo.jp/
    English Site    http://www.nihonbashi-tokyo.jp/en/

     

     

     

     

     

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    Kichijoji Yozakura

    The dining bar “Kichijoji SUN Tama Bar” is now holding a limited spring event where the interior of the bar is decorated with 8,000 cherry blossoms and 1,500 illuminations. Tuck into some original sweets such as the “Horoyoi Parfait” and enjoy a strawberry cocktail. Sounds nice for a girls-only get-together.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/93129

     

    ■Information
    Kichijoji Yozakura 2018 -Hikari no Kawa-
    Running: Until Mid-April 2018 (Subject to Change)

    Kichijoji SUN Tama Bar
    Address: Sakigakedai 3 Bldg. 2F, 1-1-19 Kitamachi, Kichijoji, Musashino-shi, Tokyo
    Opening Hours: 18:00-02:00 (last orders 01:30) 7 Days a Week & Holidays
    No Fixed Holidays.
    Access: 10-minutes on foot from Kichijoji Station via the JR Chuo Line and Keio Inokashira Line
    URL:http://hitosara.com/0006044876/

     

     

     

     

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    Sakura Train
    Tokyo Metro are holding a campaign where you can hop on board their trains to go and see the cherry blossoms. During the campaign, the interior of Tokyo Metro 1000 series trains on the Ginza Line will be decorated in cherry blossoms. A guide to hanami in Tokyo will be displayed at each Tokyo Metro station recommending spots and places to drop by to view the cherry blossoms. There are also spots where you can receive special bonuses by presenting the booklet.

     

    ◼︎Information
    Let’s get on Tokyo Metro for go to see the cherry blossoms! ! campaign.
    Operation period: March 12th (Mon) – April 8th (Sun) 2018
    Operation section: Ginza Line Asakusa Station – Shibuya Station
    URL: https: //metro-sakura.jp

     

    Did you enjoy our list?

    Get involved in lots of cherry blossom events in Japan and have an unforgettable spring!

     

  • Experience Tokyo’s Illuminated Cherry Blossoms at Night: 7 Recommended Spots

    09.February.2018 | Uncategorized

    Japan’s cherry blossom season is almost here! While it’s most definitely a beautiful sight to see the flowers during the day, we also recommend making a trip to see them at nighttime too.

     

    Here’s a list of 7 spots you should stop by in Tokyo to see the illuminated cherry blossoms this year.

     

    Chidorigafuchi Moat

    kiyotakaさん(@kiyotakakubo)がシェアした投稿

    Chidorigafuchi is known as one of the best locations to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo. When the Yoshino Cherry trees are in full bloom along the grand moat, many people turn up to see the spectacle whether it’s a weekday or weekend. You can rent a boat and sail along the moat while gazing at spring’s awakening.

     

    ■Information

    Address: 2 Kudanminami, Chiyoda, Tokyo

    Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Time: End of March – Beginning of April

    Illumination Time: Sunset (around 6pm) to 10pm *subject to change or cancellation in case of bad weather

     

     

    Rikugien Garden

    The lush Rikugien Garden is a 7-minute walk from Komagome Station. It’s a typical example of a garden from the Edo period where the daimyo lords would stroll, and is famous for its Shidarezakura, or “Cheal’s Weeping Cherry” trees. There is a tea house in the garden where you can enjoy snacking on traditional Japanese wagashi and drinking tea. The Bunkyo Green Court and other commercial facilities also neighbour the garden, making it a fun day out for the family.

     

    ■Information

    Address: 6 Honkomagome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo

    Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Time: Middle of March – Beginning of April

    Website: https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/index031.html

     

    Rikugien Garden “Shidarezakura & Daimyo Garden Illuminations”

    Running: March 16th to April 6th
    Time: 9:00-21:00  (illuminations from sunset onwards)
    *The park closing time is extended to 21:00 for the event.

    *For safety reasons, entry will be limited from 16:30 onwards.

     

     

    Meguro River

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    Meguro River is a famous cherry blossom location in Tokyo, where cherry blossom trees line almost 4km along the river. Simply take a stroll and take in scene, and take some photos at the hugely popular photo spot along the bridge.

     

    ■Information

    Address: 3-1 Higashiyama to 2-9 Shimomeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo

    Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Time: End of March – Beginning of April

    Illumination Time: Sunset – 21:00

     

     

    Ueno Park

    Ueno Park is just 2-minutes on foot from Ueno Station. As well as having an art gallery, museum, and zoo, Ueno Park is one of the most popular cherry blossom spots in Tokyo, with both locals and tourists gathering to soak up the mesmerizing foliage.

     

    ■Information

    Address: 3 Ikenohata, Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo

    Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Time: End of March – Beginning of April

    Illumination Time: 17:30-20:00 (March 18th – April 9th scheduled – will begin from the day on which the park’s full bloom is announced)

     

     

    Tokyo Midtown

    head lococoさん(@kololon0426)がシェアした投稿

    Head on over to Toshimaen, an amusement park, for a fun day out and stay after-hours to experience their "Sakura Nights" where a fantastic display of 500 cherry blossom trees will be lit up from sundown. Enjoy a hanami where the cherry blossoms turn even more enchanting at night. Immerse yourself in the experience even more by snuggling under a kotatsu with the park's "Enkai Plan."

     

    ■Information

    Address: 3-25-1 Koyama, Nerima-ku, Tokyo

    Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Time: End of March - Beginning of April

    Illumination Time: Sunset to 20:00 (March 24th - April 5th)

    Website: http://www.toshimaen.co.jp

     

     

    Yaesu Sakura-dori, Nihonbashi

    arisaさん(@aririichan)がシェアした投稿 -

    Spanning the length from Tokyo Station's Yaesu North Exit to Kayabacho are 150 cherry blossom trees. The area from Sotobo-dori to Showa-dori will become pedestrian paradise as it will be lit up once night falls. Whether you roll up during the day or at night, you'll get your fill of springtime while you're in the center of Tokyo metropolis. What's better is that you can walk there from Tokyo Station.

     

    ■Information

    Address: 1 Chome Yaesu / 2 Chome & 3 Chome Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

    Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Time: End of March - Beginning of April

    Illumination Time: 17:00-23:00 (end of March - April 9th)

     

     

    Did any of these cherry blossom spots peak your interest? Make sure you get to experience multiple illuminated locations if you're in Tokyo this spring.

     

  • Cherry Blossom Inspired Food & Drink in Japan: Spring 2018 Edition

    02.February.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD

    As the cold winter continues to freeze forward, we’re all waiting in anticipation for spring’s warmth to break through. Did you know, there are places in Japan where the cherry blossoms bloom as early as the end of January? Keep that in mind as we introduce you to some cherry blossom inspired food and drink hitting Japan very soon.

     

    “Cherry Blossom Drink” – Lindt

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    Lindt is an established premium chocolate brand from Switzerland founded in 1845 loved all over the world. The company will release some limited edition, early-springtime items including the “Lindt White Chocolate Sakura Ice Drink” and the “Lindt Delice Sakura” on February 16th. Enjoy this refreshing cherry blossom drink and feel the vibe of spring early.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/88257

     

    ◼︎Information

    Lindt White Chocolate Sakura Ice Drink

    Available: Lindt Chocolate Cafés throughout Japan

    Date: February 16, 2018 – April 1, 2018 (*limited stock available)
    Price: Ginza Branch – Eat-In (served in a glass) – ¥1,388 / Other Branches – Take Out – ¥772

    (The Jiyugaoka branch also offers an eat-in option)

     

    Lindt Delice Sakura

    Available: Lindt Chocolate Café except stores in outlets

    Date: February 16, 2018 – April 1, 2018 (*limited stock available)

    Price: 1 Piece – ¥302 yen

     

    Lindt Delice Set

    Available stores: Lindt Chocolate Café except at Ginza stores and outlet stores

    Date: February 16, 2018 – April 1, 2018 (*limited stock available)

    Price: ¥1,080-¥1,296 (includes one drink and two delices of your choice)

     

    *all prices include tax

     

    Lindt Japan: http://www.lindt.jp/

     

     

    “Sakura Mini Bon” – Cinnabon

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    Cinnamon roll specialist store “Cinnabon” are selling a limited edition cherry blossom flavoured cinnamon roll, the “Sakura Mini Bon,” from February 1st to March 31st. The roll is topped with a gracious amounts of cherry blossom flavoured cream cheese frosting and a crunchy decoration. Enjoy an exquisite balance of subtle cherry blossom and specially made cinnamon.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/88270

     

    ◼︎Information

    Sakura Mini Bon

    Available: February 1, 2018 – March 31, 2018

     

    Prices / Available Branches:

    Sakura Mini Bon (1 roll) – ¥390

    Branches: Roppongi / Futakotamagawa Rise S.C. / COCOON CITY/ atre Kichijoji

     

    Sakura Mini Bon (3 rolls) – ¥1,170

    Sakura Mini Bon Combo (6 rolls) – ¥1,850  (includes 3 “Sakura Mini Bon” and 3 “Mini Bon”)

    Branches: Roppongi Store / Futakotamagawa Rise S.C. / COCOON CITY

     

    Sakura Mini Bon Combo (3 rolls) – ¥1,100 yen (includes 2 “Sakura Mini Bon” and 1 “Mini Bon”)

    Branches: Tokyo Station / atre Kichijoji

     

    Official Website: http://www.cinnabon-jp.com/

     

     

    “Spring Coloured Veggie Pota Soba” – Cafe & Bar BW CAFE

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    SOBA (buckwheat noodles) CAFE & BARU BW CAFE which sells original soba dishes serve up their new menu “Haruiro Vege Pota Tsuke Soba” from February 1st. Their new menu “Haruiro Vege Pota Tsuke Soba” uses lots vegetables such as fresh potatoes and corn and one can eat soba with a warm dipping soup that tastes like potage. The dipping soup and ground vegetables go well with soba since it uses a Japanese-style broth. Also, the baked cheese used as a topping adds a mildness and special aroma to the dish. Enjoy this pink-coloured soba that brings to mind cherry blossoms.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/87477

     

    ■Information

    SOBA CAFE & BARU BWCAFE

    Address: 2-7-5 Okubo, Shinjukuku, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11:30-23:00 (last orders 22:00)

    Closed: Sundays

    Contact: 03-6278-9658

    Webpage: http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1304/A130401/13177140/

     

    Haruiro Vege Pota Tsuke Soba

    Price: ¥850 yen (tax incl.)

     

     

    “Matcha Milk Sakura Flavour” – Tsujiri

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    CAFE & BARU BW CAFETsujiri Online Shop will sell a seasonally limited product of an established store in Kyoto, Tsujiri’s “Tsujiri Matcha Milk – Sakura Flavor” with only a limited supply. “Tsujiri Matcha Milk -Sakura Flavor,” is a matcha milk which has the scent of cherry blossoms and the soft flavors of Ujimatcha and milk. It is a seasonally limited flavor which uses matcha from “Tsujiri,” an established store in Uji, Kyoto. The tea masters of Tsujiri selected the Uji Matcha that goes well with milk by blending two kinds of matcha to draw out the flavor of matcha. A cherry blossom leaf powder produced in Japan is added to the soft flavor of milk to give the product its cherry blossoms flavour.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/84872

     

    ◼︎Information
    Tsujiri Matcha Milk – Sakura Flavor

    Released: January 1, 2018 (limited stock available)

    Price: ¥513 (tax included)

    Homepage: http://kataoka-online.jp/nr-sakura

     

     

    “Spring Bouquet Salad Set” – BOTANIST café

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    “BOTANIST Tokyo,” the flagship store in Omotesando, is serving a spring themed menu on the 2nd floor “BOTANIST café” from February 1st to March 31st. The “Spring Bouquet Salad Set” uses lots of fruit and vegetables reminiscent of springtime to look like a botanical bouquet. They’re selling a range of other foods and sweets too which taste great and are fun to look at. Everything on the menu is available for this spring only!

     

    ■Information

    BOTANIST Tokyo

    Address: BONTANIST Tokyo 1F & 2F, 6-29-2 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00

    No fixed holidays.

    Homepage:  http://botanistofficial.com/

     

    Feel the warm breeze of spring early with these cherry blossom inspired foods and drinks.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • A Date With Yutaro: Soaking Up the Japanese Summer Sun & Visiting the Art Aquarium | Tokyo Stroll

    16.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    It’s been a while since our last date with Yutaro. He’s been very busy with film shoots. He had some spare time today so we paid a visit to Nihonbashi for our next date. “ECO EDO Nihonbashi: Enjoy Cool Edo With All Five Senses” is an event held every year in the Nihonbashi area which takes the Edo period cultural idea of “coolness”―an in, to enjoy being cool during the summer-and puts a modern spin on it. There are many exciting things to look forward to, including the art aquarium which proves massively popular every year.

     

    We gave ourselves more time to arrive at the meeting place to be in the safe side, but it seems Yutaro-kun was already there waiting for us!

    Nihonbashi Information Center | IPPIN CAFÉ “Sparkling Herb Tea” – ¥518 (Tax Included)

    “Here, you must be boiling.” Yutaro-kun kindly offers a cup of IPPIN CAFE’s limited-edition sparkling herb tea. It’s a delicious mix of fizzy soda and lemon, a perfect refreshment for the summer. Since he ordered takeout the drink came with a goldfish straw. Goldfish are a staple sight during Japanese summer festivals so it’s very fitting for the occasion! 

     

    With our drinks in hand, it’s time to head to Nihonbashi for our Edo summer date!

    Wind-Chime Forest Path

    Lining the path between Fukutoku Shrine and Fukutoku Garden is the Wind-Chime Forest Path where around 200 Edo-style wind chimes dangled. This year, during the evenings, the path is illuminated with beautiful lighting. 

    When the breeze rolls past the wind chimes ring one by one-a cool and refreshing sound.

    “I hear each one of these Edo wind chimes are individually handmade by craftsmen.”

    When you hear the sound of the wind chimes it makes you feel cool like a gentle breeze of the wind.

     

    After strolling along the Wind-Chime Forest Path we make our way towards this year’s ECO EDO Art Aquarium event.

    The moment we step instead Yutaro is already dazzled by all the goldfish: “Wow! I knew about this place from what I’d seen online, but this my first time here! This art aquarium really is something!”

     

    The full title of the event is “ECO EDO Nihonbashi ART AQUARIUM 2019 ~Edo, Coolness of Kingyo~ & Night Aquarium.”  Goldfish were a huge part of the common culture in Nihonbashi during the Edo period. This event recreates that and brings that “coolness” aspect while combining it with contemporary art by having people observe the fish in lots of different artistic environments.

    Super Oiran

    “This is the biggest fish tank, apparently it has 3,000 fish swimming inside!”

    “Seeing the light reflect on the water from the illuminations lets you see the fish in a different light, doesn’t it?”

    Looks like Yutaro-kun is having a lot of fun taking photos.

    He’s equally interested in just about every fish tank!

    These other fish tanks have a different aesthetic to them. Their Japanese-style designs make for great photos.

    Kaleidorium 3D

    “This one’s beautiful, it’s like a kaleidoscope.”

    It really does look like one. When you take a peek instead you can glimpse all kinds of colourful fish gently swimming around.

    Ceiling Kingyo

    “There’re goldfish swimming on the ceiling too. So cool! This aquarium is incredible. It brings together the great culture of Edo and contemporary art.”

     

    The Art Aquarium bustles every single year with visitors, but this year will mark its last run. It’s being held at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall, so if you have the chance to go then please do.

    We of course checked out some local Nihonbashi treats too! We stopped by morozoff for some cheesecake after the aquarium.

    morozoff Kamadashi Cheesecake (Goldfish) – ¥270 Each (Tax Included)

    These cute cheesecakes with their goldfish designs are available for a limited time only. They’re filled with sweet red bean paste. They perfect with iced tea.

    “Got some! Let’s eat them while we head back.”

    Goldfish Lantern Walkway

    Our first date in Nihonbashi was so much fun. While on the date Yutaro-kun spoke about the new live-action film he’s in, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War.

     

    “It’s a romance film with mind games to try and make the other person confess their love. I play the character Tsubasa. His number one highlight scene is the kabedon scene. That was my first day shooting, so I was super nervous, but I got along well with the other actors, and the atmosphere on set was harmonious, so I was able to relax for the shoots. Tsubasa is a genuine guy who will believe things that have been said to him in earnest. You’ve definitely gotta check out all his scenes throughout the film!”

     

    “A lot of the cast are the same age as me, so we were all energetic together in the waiting room. There’s a scene at the end where all the cast get together. It took 3 days to shoot so we ended up getting along really well.”

     

    “This film has made me realise that love comes in many shapes, and that mind games happen in a variety of ways between guys and girls. There’s cute scenes that express that small bit of pride that teenagers have, the embarassment they feel, when they get butterflies, scenes that will warm your heart. The film has various elements to it so I thoroughly enjoyed watching it myself. I hope that couples in love in their teens and twenties watch it, and I also hope that married couples watch it and crack up laughing too.”

     

    “In the film it’s summer break, and they go and see fireworks and stuff. It’s definitely one to watch durnig the summer. You’re gonna come watch it too, right? Shall we go?”

     

    An offer we cannot refuse! We’ll definitely go and see it with you, Yutaro-kun! 

     

    Model: Yutaro

    Writer: Yuki Yokoo

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    TALENT PROFILE

    Yutaro

    Yutaro was born in Hiroshima on June 3rd 1998. His modeling career has earned him lots of attention as a fashion icon of the new generation. The famous model also works as a “charisma” shop assistant. Yutaro has gained his reputation as a “mysterious and handsome guy” from his appearance on Japanese variety shows. His debut was made on the show “Gyoretsu no Dekiru Horitsu Sodanjo” and has since then appeared on numerous different TV shows. He challenged himself to appear on stage for the very first time in March this year and is gaining popularity by the day for his diverse work.

  • Awa Odori Festival 2019 Kicks Off in Tokushima With Spectacular Traditional Dance

    14.August.2019 | SPOT

    The Awa Odori Festival is the largest dance festival in Japan and is held every year in Tokushima Prefecture from August 12 to 15 as part of the Obon festival. This year, the first day welcomed over 380,000 spectators who gathered to witness the groups of traditional dancers.

     

    This year marked the first Awa Odori Festival of the current Reiwa era which began on May 1, and so to commemorate the occasion, new elements were introduced. The biggest of these were four areas that showcases performances of Souodori which saw over 1,000 people dance along the 100 meter long dance floor.

    The first day of the festival was held at the Konyamachi Theater along the bustling shopping streets of Tokushima. This spacious location made for easy access and guaranteed you could watch the procession. While the people in packed-out outdoor theatre were looking left and right to see when the show was about to start, the clock struck 10pm, at which musicians began playing their instruments. The orchestra was made up of over 400 people who played enchantingly in perfect order. As they split into groups on the left and right side of the theatre, the crowd caught the first glimpses of the dancers. Out they came in different groups, starting with female dancers, then male dancers, and then more female dancers, this time dressed in happi coats. The crowd cheered them on, especially when they spotted somebody they knew.

     

    The dancers made up in the free areas included groups of workers, students and various others. But in the paid premium area spectators were able to watch the “famous” group.

    The premium area was located in front of the town hall and packed full of people. The famous group are made up of dancers with incredible skill.
    There was also a group for people in the crowd or onlookers to join in if they wanted to as well. Many celebrities also took part including comedians Hayashiya Sanpei II and Kazuya Kojima, actresses Sachiko Kokubu, Tomoko Fujita and Wakako Shimazaki, and more.

  • Harajuku Summer Festival 2019 to Take Place at Togo Shrine

    14.August.2019 | BUSINESS / SPOT

    GLOBAL PRODUCE, a Japanese event organiser, is set to sponsor Harajuku Summer Festival 2019 which will be held at Togo Shrine in Harajuku, Tokyo on August 23. Bringing together professional event producers, the festival will combine elements of traditional Japanese culture with the latest trends.

    Food trucks and stalls will open in the dozens, including appearances from the shaved ice shop Kooriya bebe which makes its fluffy shaved ice from the natural spring waters of Mount Fuji―perfect for the hot weather―as well as Ichika, a cafe known for its tapioca Japanese tea lattes made with high quality tea leaves from Kagoshima. Current popular restaurants will also serve up delicious summertime food. There will even be the Harajuku Bon Odori 2019 dance event, and the marchers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will also be present.

    Tokyo Bijin Project will make their first ever live appearance, a group of shining Japanese women with “wisdom, dignity and compassion” who are set to speak out for other strong women. They will talk leadership, interpretation, attending to people, the spread of Japanese culture, and more.

     

    If you are in Japan for the summer then make sure you attend all of the different summer festivals you can.

  • See Hundreds of Japanese Wind Chimes at Nyoirin-ji Temple Festival in Fukuoka

    13.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Fukuoka is a tourist hot spot of Japan, bustling with tourists and travellers both from the island nation and those from overseas, especially from China, Taiwan and South Korea.

     

    Situated on the northern shore of Japan’s Kyushu Island, Fukuoka offers amazing shopping experiences and serves up some of the most delicious gourmet cuisine at its rows of restaurants. But nothing compares to its bountiful sightseeing splendours.

     

    Rie is an Instagrammer who travels to all the different sightseeing spots Kyushu has to offer which she documents on her Instagram page. Today, she gives us a special look at one her most recommended places to visit in Fukuoka: Nyoirin-ji Temple.

     

    Nyoirin-ji Temple is often nicknamed “Frog Temple” due to the many frogs you can see at the temple grounds, a rare sight at a Japanese temple. It’s located in Fukuoka Prefecture’s city of Ogori which can be reached by catching a Nishitetsu Tenjin Ōmuta Line train from Tenjin in the heart of Fukuoka and getting off at Mitsusawa Station. From there the temple is just a 15-minute walk.

    Nyoirin-ji Temple is the home of thousands of frogs. A lot of the frog ornaments and items at the temple were collected by the temple’s chief priest.

     

    There’s one ornament which you can take a photo through as seen above, so you should definitely try taking one yourself in your own way. You can even get a goshuin stamp with a frog illustration too if you take your goshuincho stamp book.

    The frogs are a given at the Frog Temple, but a must-see is the Wind Chime Festival which is currently running until September. The temple entrance onward is decorated with lots of cute and colourful wind chimes.

    Up the stairs you can walk through a wind chime tunnel which gives you a cool, refreshed feeling even in the hot summer.

    It costs ¥500 for one wind chime which you can write your wish on before hanging up. You can’t take them home however so be cautious of that!

    Nyoirin-ji Temple was built in 729. It is home to a Cintāmaṇicakra statue which is a rare sight in Japan. It is also a registered cultural property of Fukuoka Prefecture. It’s not just a location for kawaii adoration―it has been long been loved by locals since ancient times and has a long history.

    The wind chimes will be strung up until the end of September. Their gentle ring is sure to make you feel at peace, so why not try dressing up in a yukata like Rie and experiencing the festival for yourself?

     

    Rie has many other examples of popular tourist destinations from around Kyushu on her Instagram page. Be sure to give her a follow if you’re planning a trip to Kyushu yourself!

     

    Photos by Rie

  • During the summer holiday period between July and September, Aquamarine Fukushima is holding a range of events and supporting children to learn about marine life independently. Come join in the festival fun with goldfish scooping games, quoits, and much more. There will also be a fair from August 11 to 15. 

    Aquamarine Fukushima Rare Creatures Picture Book <Complete the pictures!>

    Dates: July 13 ー September 1

    Aquamarine Fukushima is displaying rare creatures and ecological systems. The children can write the name of the new creatures they discover in their own picture book. Once they have completed the picture book, it will be an original record of discoveries. As the children record the features of the animals and other organisms they discover, adults will also find this information beneficial when looking around the exhibitions. 

     

    How to take part: Pick up an application form at the entranceway on floor 1 of the aquarium main building (Honkan). The answers will all be distributed in one place. (Subject to change).

     

    Summer Aquamarine Fukushima: Children’s Answer Room

    Open: July 20 ー September 1 

    Here, all the answers to the children’s puzzles about Aquamarine life are presented in panels and explained in easy terms. Along with the picture book where the children can record interesting life forms, this is the perfect way to support independent exploration. 

     

    Goldfish scooping and Fun Fair

    You can purchase goldfish that were bred at the aquarium, or catch them yourself at the goldfish scooping area. There is also a games corner where you and your children can enjoy a range of fun activities such as quoits. 

    The goldfish building, which just opened last year, will be bringing back its 60cm-large Goldfish Nebuta lantern. To raise spirits during Japan’s O-bon lantern festival, the aquarium will be open for much longer so that a lantern event can be held in the evening. 

     

    Iwaki Traditional Vegetable Marché

    Open: August 17 ー 18 (11:00 ー 14:00)

    Head to the Aquamarine Aguri located outside Aquamarine Fukushima to purchase everyday vegetables as well as Japanese vegetables that have been grown through the cooperation of Iwaki farmers and Iwaki city. The traditional Iwaki marché sells mainly traditional summer vegetables such as okuimo potatoes, yardlong beans, beefsteak plants, kojiroi cucumbers, and much more. From local vegetables to healthy goods, everything is produced at Aquamarine Fukushima. 

     

    Iwaki Fireworks Festival 

    Enjoy the sight of fireworks soaring through the sky before your very eyes from the Aquarium grounds. This large-scale fireworks event will run until 9 pm on August 3.

     

    Running: August 11 ー 15 (8pm) . 

    ※ Last entries: Up to 1hr before closing time. 

     

    Come visit Aquamarine Fukushima for a perfect fun-filled day with the family!

  • One of Japan’s Largest Awa Odori Dance Festivals To Be Held in Minami Koshigaya

    21.June.2019 | SPOT

    Every August, Japan holds the three-day Awa Odori dance festival. One of the three largest Awa Odori dance festivals that will take place this year is the 35th Minami Koshigaya Awa Odori. This year, there will also be a festival the night before the main festival days. The main events will run from August 23 to 25 around Shin-Koshigaya Station (Tobu Skytree Line) and Minami Koshigaya Station (JR Musashino Line).

     

    Minami Koshigaya’s festival is the third largest in Japan following Tokushima, the Awa Odori‘s place of origin, and Koenji. Koshigaya hosts  80 participating dance groups and approximately 6,500 dancers. 

     

    At Minami Koshigaya Awa Odori, you can witness the beauty of top class performers that are as good as those who take part in Tokushima’s Awa Odori. The distance between the performers and the audience is very close, so you will definitely feel the genuineness of the performance as well as the passion of the dancers.

    Traditional Kumi Odori dances, a form of narrative dance, will take place in nearby theatres and on special outdoor stages. These are popular because visitors can gather before the stage as they please to watch the entire show or just a snippet. There are also Awa Odori dance classes running for children and even an Awa Odori contest. A typical year sees 750,000 visitors. As this is the most popular summer festival in Saitama, there is no doubt that you will be more than satisfied with spending the day here.  

  • Toshl and MIYAVI Will Perform at FUKUOKA MUSIC FES at Fukuoka Yahuoku! Dome

    20.June.2019 | MUSIC

    FUKUOKA MUSIC FES will be held at the Fukuoka Yahuoku! Dome on June 30, 2019. Taking to the stage will be two of Japan’s most iconic artists ToshI, who has performed worldwide, and rockstar MIYAVI. 

    Toshl

    MIYAVI

     Details on the schedule for the day have also been released.

    Click here to find out about other artists who will be performing at FUKUOKA MUSIC FES

     

    There will also be festival food and original goods too that will enhance the festival spirit.

     

    Come enjoy a special day at FUKUOKA MUSIC FES.

  • Concert Review: LiSA, GARNiDELiA, ReoNa & More Perform at SACRA MUSIC’s Music Festival

    22.May.2019 | MUSIC

    SACRA MUSIC―a music label under Sony Music Labels―held a music event entitled SACRA MUSIC FES.2019 -NEW GENERATION- at Makuhari Messe in Chiba on Saturday May 18 and Sunday May 19. This non-stop live show housed a 360° stage in the centre of the venue on which artists signed to the label dazzled a total of 12,000 fans across the weekend.

    This was the first live event of its kind by SACRA MUSIC. The show’s subtitle “New Generation” refers to artists both signed to the label and the new generation of artists leading the music scene into the future. The line-up feature a diverse array of talent and genres spanning voice actors to rock bands, idols, virtual YouTubers and more.

    The line-up for both days included ASCA, Ayano Mashiro, =LOVE, Luna Kaguya, GARNiDELiA, ClariS, Soma Saito, SawanoHiroyuki[nZk], Sangatsu no Phantasia, Spira Spica, TrySail, halca, PENGUIN RESEARCH, and ReoNa. A live band of skilled musicians dubbed the “SACRA BAND” also took to the stage to aid in performing various hits songs and anime songs. Virtual YouTuber Luna Kaguya performed as an opener, and EGOIST also made a surprise performance on screen, fusing the 2D world with the 3D world.

    Several special collaborations also took place throughout the festival where artists banded together to perform covers as well as perform each others’ songs. This included ClariS x TrySail, Mikiha (Spira Spica) x halca, Soma Saito x Yoji Ikuta & Shota Horie (PENGUIN RESEARCH), GARNiDELiA x Ayano Mashiro, and ASCA x ReoNa.

    At the end of the first night, Eir Aoi appeared as a secret guest to perform three songs including her first single Ryuusei. At the end of the second night, LiSA was the secret guest, who performed several songs including her latest number Gurenge. The two also came together to sing each of their respective hits IGNITE and Rising Hope.

    A teaser video was also shown for two new SACRA MUSIC projects titled BATON=RELAY and Tenka Soul. The concerts are only set to continue growing bigger and better.

  • 6 Japanese Music Festivals to Visit During Golden Week

    29.April.2019 | FEATURES / FES / MUSIC

    Hi, readers. I’m Heir from the MMN editorial department.

     

    Japan’s week of holidays known as Golden Week is about to begin. This year there are a whopping 10 holidays in a row, and during that time, lots of festivals are set to take place up and down the country.

     

    Have you ever experienced a Japanese festival yourself? In this article I’m going to recommend 6 music festivals taking place during Golden Week that won’t fail to excite music lovers.

     

    1. ARABAKI 2019 (Miyagi)

    ARABAKI ROCK FEST is one of the main rock festivals in Japan that takes place in the Tohoku region. The event came to be as a way to promote Japan’s native culture up and down the country through a fusion of history, culture and rock music.

     

    A total of 52 artists are set to perform this year including Aimyon, Wednesday Campanella and QUEEN BEE. Enjoy two days of music while getting up close and personal with Tohoku culture.

     

    ▶︎INFO

    ARABAKI ROCK FES.2019

    Date: April 27, 2019 – April 28, 2019

    Location: Michinoku Park, Kawasaki, Miyagi Prefecture

    Official Website: https://arabaki.com

     

    2. FM802 REQUESTAGE (Osaka)

    This live event will take place at Osaka-jo Hall on April 29. Six huge names in the Japanese music industry will take to the stage for this one-night show: ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, [ALEXANDROS], UVERworld, King Gnu, THE ORAL CIGARETTES, and Motohiro Hata.

     

    ▶︎INFO

    FM802 30PARTY SPECIAL LIVE Kiyo Bank presents REQUESTAGE 2019

    Date: April 29, 2019

    Time: Open 15:00 / Start 16:00

    Venue: Osaka-jo Hall

    Official Website: https://funky802.com/requestage/

     

    3. Kyoto Mirai Matsuri (Kyoto)

    Kyoto Mirai Matsuri 2019 will take place at Minami-za, Kyoto’s oldest kabuki theatre, where the latest cutting-edge technology will clash with contemporary culture. The event will take place both in the day and at night offering their own unique experiences.

     

    The line-up includes artists such as Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, BiSH, m-flo, CAPSULE and more. This is a chance to witness traditional Japanese culture combine with modern art, so if you’re in Kyoto this Golden Week be sure to check it out.

     

    ▶︎INFO

    OTOMATSURI–

    Date: April 30, 2019 – May 5, 2019

    Venue: Minami-za (198 Shijo Dori, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)

    Official Website: https://www.miraimatsuri.com

     

    4. VIVA LA ROCK 2019 (Saitama)

    VIVA LA ROCK, or VIVA LA for short as it’s known, is a rock festival that has taken place every May since 2014. The event invites a line-up of next generation artists that represent the “now” of the Japanese music scene.

     

    An incredible 97 artists will be at this year’s festival including ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, UVERworld and KEYTALK. As well as music, concertgoers can look forward to food, outdoor BBQs, DJ performances and much more.

     

    ▶︎INFO

    VIVA LA ROCK 2019

    Date: May 3, 2019 – May 6, 2019

    Venue: Saitama Super Arena

    Official Website: https://vivalarock.jp/2019/

     

    5. JAPAN JAM 2019 (Chiba)

    JAPAN JAM is a huge music festival that has taken place every Golden Week since 2010. This outdoor event will take place at Soga Sports Park where attendees can look forward to a line-up of 54 artists and musicians such as Aimer, Fujifabric, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Gesu no Kiwami Otome, miwa―the list goes on.

     

    ▶︎INFO

    JAPAN JAM 2019

    Date: May 4, 2019 – May 6, 2019
    Venue: Soga Sports Park, Chiba

    Official Website: http://japanjam.jp

     

    6. TOKYO M.A.P.S (Tokyo)

    Another annual Golden Week event―this one since 2008―TOKYO M.A.P.S is a celebration of music, art and performance. The line-up this year features Trio Ohashi, Kitri, Ukigumo and more.

     

    What’s great about this event is that it’s free to attend! Kick back and enjoy the live performances of a line-up of incredible artists in a relaxed environment.

     

    ▶︎INFO

    J-WAVE & Roppongi Hills present TOKYO M.A.P.S ohashi Trio EDITION

    Date: May 5, 2019 – May 6, 2019

    Venue: Roppongi Hills Arena

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

     

    Golden Week is a time for fun and games, so if you’re in Japan, be sure you get to experience one of its many music festivals!

  • Sakanaction Collaborate With Summer Sonic 2019 On All-Night Event

    07.April.2019 | MUSIC

    Bands and artists from around the world are set to perform for their Japanese fans at Summer Sonic 2019 in Tokyo and Osaka from August 16 to 18. The exciting announcements for this year’s festival keep on coming.

     

    This year, Sakanaction are set to hold a special collaboration with the festival’s “MIDNIGHT SONIC” event which runs at the same time as the main festival.

    It has been named NF in MIDNIGHT SONIC and will see rock band headline. More artists are set to be announced in the near future so stay tuned.

     

    It will take place on Saturday August 17 and can be attended by picking up either a Summer Sonic Tokyo 3-Day Ticket, Summer Sonic Tokyo August 17th 1-Day Ticket/Platinum Ticket, or the NF Ticket which will be released soon which enables late-night access only for August 17. Tickets are expected to sell out quickly so don’t miss your chance.

  • Sakura Miku Appointed Official Character of Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival

    09.March.2019 | SPOT

    It has been announced that Sakura Miku―an alternative design of Hatsune Miku―has been appointed as the official mascot character for this year’s Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival which will take place from April 20 to May 6.

    Hirosaki Park is one of Japan’s most prominent cherry blossom sites. The park blooms cherry blossoms from its 2,600 or so cherry trees, of which there are 52 varieties, which bring in over 2 million tourists every year for the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival. Next year’s festival 2020 will be the event’s memorial year when it celebrates its 100th run.

    The event’s main visual features a bright pink Sakura Miku with the cherry trees of Hirosaki Park behind her. This picture will be pasted around the park during the festival.

     

    A stamp rally will take place during the event from April 20 for tourists who can get their hands on an original postcard by taking part.

     

    Take part in this year’s festivals for which lots is being planned.

  • Gaze at Cherry Blossoms and Tokyo Tower at Tokyo Prince Hotel’s Sakura Festival

    24.February.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Tokyo Prince Hotel is set to hold Sakura Matsuri 2019 from March 16 to April 14 where they will serve a cherry blossom inspired menu.

     

    The Shiba Park area by the hotel is a famous cherry blossom spot which brings together lots of people each year who visit to see the pink flowers in bloom. Tokyo Prince Hotel has put together a special menu to excite this year’s hanami season for tourists and sightseers visiting Tokyo to view the flowers.

    Sit atop the hotel’s wide-open cafe and bar Tower View Terrace where you will be served colourful hors d’oeuvre, steak, temari sushi and many more springtime foods. Meals are made even more memorable with the gorgeous cherry trees standing at eye level behind which towers Tokyo Tower.

    Lunch – “Hanami Box – Cherry Blossoms”: ¥6,000 (Served 12:00-15:00)

    Dinner – “Hanami Box – Nighttime Cherry Blossoms”: ¥9,000 (Served 17:00-21:30)

     

    Nighttime Cherry Blossoms Wagyu Beef Teppanyaki & Seafood Barbeque Set (Serves 1): ¥10,000 (Served 17:30-21:30)

    Over at the hotel’s beer restaurant Garden Island you can look forward to enjoying an evening BBQ under the cherry blossoms. Tuck into wagyu sirloin beef, spiny lobster and other top quality hotel ingredients as you gaze at the nighttime cherry blossoms. The restaurant also serves a meal plan that comes with an all-you-can-drink option.

     

    Beautiful Sakura Gozen Meal: ¥5,000 (Served 11:30-14:30 / until 17:00 on Saturday & holidays)

    Roll up to the hotel’s Shimizu restaurant where they will be serving a vivid traditional Japanese meal which can be enjoyed with the stunning view of the cherry blossoms and Tokyo Tower outside the restaurant’s enormous windows.

    Sakura Course: ¥8,000 (Serving 17:00-21:30)

    Maronie is a restaurant at the hotel that specialises in Chinese cuisine. Like Shimizu, you can appreciate the cherry blossoms peeking at you through the window as you dig into a delicious Chinese meal.


    Lunch: Weekends ¥3,500, Saturday & Holidays ¥4,000 (Served 11:30-15:00) / Dinner: Weekends ¥6,000, Saturday & Holidays ¥6,500 (Served 17:30-21:30)

    Porto, a buffet restaurant in the hotel, is preparing a springtime buffet which can be enjoyed with a full view of the pink flowers and Tokyo Tower.

     

    Bloom: ¥4,000 (Serving 17:00-21:00)

    Cherry Blossom Sweets Plate: ¥1,500 / With Drink ¥2,100 (Serving: 11:00-21:00)

    The tea salon Pikake will be cooking up a range of meals including pasta served in spring colours, salad, roast beef and more as well as a special sweets plate with 4 different Japanese sweets.

    Snow Sakura: ¥1,800 (Served 17:00-Midnight)

    Spring Fizz: ¥1,800 (Served 17:00-Midnight)

    The hotel’s main bar Windsor will be pouring two different cherry blossom inspired cute pink cocktails.

    Party Plan: ¥5,800 Per Person (Weekdays 17:00-Midnight / Saturdays 15:00-Midnight / Holidays 15:00-23:00)

    Petrea Karaoke Room has a very special party plan planned which includes a cherry blossom themed menu as well as karaoke and all-you-can-drink.

    Tokyo Prince Hotel’s Hanami Season Map

     

    If you’re visiting Tokyo during the hanami season then don’t miss out on this luxurious flower-viewing experience.

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