2016-2018 rankings for top lodgings in Hokkaido! Best picks for foreigners included!

03.May.2019 | SPOT

TrustYou is a campaign aimed at encouraging tourism in Hokkaido. They have released accommodation rankings 2016-2018 to reveal which are the most highly rated hotels, resorts and lodgings based on word of mouth, and which places cater most for international guests. TrustYou’s stats also include the best picks for foreigners!

1st place (general) : Noboribetsu Onsen Kyo Takinoya

In 1st place is Noboribetsu Onsen Kyo Takinoya. It has a history of 102 years in the business and was founded in the 6th year of the Taisho era of Japan. Due to a large scale renovation that took place in 2008, the 61 room hotel was converted into 30 room hotel which stayed true to its traditional Japanese style whilst holding a slightly modern touch. They have many large hot springs so it is often called the  “Onsen Depart” (because it is full of variety ー like an onsen department store). Here there are four varieties of natural baths from sulphur baths to radium baths. As well as indoor baths, there are also baths on the rooftop which are surrounded by a forest view and gardens.

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

2nd place (general): Pension Jokura

In 2nd place comes Pension Jokura. The building was once the main office of a northern wealthy merchant from the Edo period called Takadaya Kahei. The old wood from the warehouse was used to build a six-room boarding house.

 

“44 years ago, I stayed in a boarding house in Central America to pursue my career. I was there for a few weeks which then led to my dream of owning and managing my own boarding house. After many years, I have finally made my dream come true!” said owner Sato-san, who manages the property with their partner. The best part about this place is the at-home atmosphere that you can only get in such a small boarding house like this. From word of mouth of the guests, it is clear that the owners are “very kind and friendly” and “their hospitality is absolutely wonderful”. They can even speak English. This level of hospitality has made them extremely loved by their guests.

 

Website: https://hakodate-kankou.com/stay/2099/

 

In 5th and 10th place come Shikotsu Lake tsuruga resort spa Mizunouta and Extract of Niseko Konbuonsen Tsuruga villa heather. These lodgings are run by the Tsuruga group, which manages 13 hot spring lodgings in Hokkaido.

 Shikotsu Lake Tsuruga resort spa Mizunouta

Shikotsu Lake Tsuruga resort spa Mizunouta is a resort hotel which holds the concept of physical beauty and healing. From plentiful rest, food, walks, aesthetics and fitness to hot spring baths, this hotel covers all areas of health and well-being. The resort is located in Shikotsu-Tōya National Park and it is here that you can enjoy the beauty of Lake Shikotsu. There are a variety of exercise machines in the gym and approximately 20 types of pillows in the pillow gallery for guests. You can also pay a visit to the aqua bar which serves a variety of mineral waters sourced from within and outside of Japan. This truly is a unique hotel that provides more than enough for its guests.

Website: https://www.mizunouta.com/

 

After looking at the highly rated lodgings based on the language support they offer, you can see a clear distinction in the hotel locations and the other features that they offer. 3 of the top 5 English lodgings are located in Abuta District, Niseko. Each of these is suitable for long stay trips so it is clear that these places are popular amongst western tourists who stay for longer periods of time.

 

For Chinese speakers, there are two resorts that are managed by a Chinese company. The Hoshino Resorts Tomamu The Tower and Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Tomamu ranked highly for foreign language support. These large-scale resorts are useful for making large group bookings which adds to its high popularity.

 

TrustYou will help you find accommodation in Hokkaido so that you can be completely satisfied with your trip! For more information on the rankings, please check out the individual official lodging websites.

 

RELATED ENTRIES

  • HOSHINOYA Guguan Chosen as Best New Hotel in the World by Travel + Leisure Magazine

    26.February.2020 | SPOT

    HOSHINOYA Guguan, a ryokan in Taiwan managed by Japanese ryokan operator Hoshino Resorts, was picked as one of Travel + Leisure’s “The Best New Hotels in the World (The It List)” on February 20, 2020.

     

    Travel + Leisure is a New York-based travel magazine. “The Best New Hotels in the World (The It List)” shines a light on hotels around the world that have newly-opened or have been renovated that year.


    HOSHINOYA Guguan opened on June 30, 2019 as the first Taiwan-based luxury hot spring resort produced by Hoshino Resorts, which manages 41 branches outside Japan. It is also the second overseas branch of the company’s “HOSHINOYA” brand, whose concept is “taking a break from the modern world.” It’s located on the outskirts of Taichung in Guguan which is home to natural hot springs. There, it co-exists and blends in naturally with the landscape. All guest rooms have open-air baths, so guests can enjoy the warm water together with the breeze in a spacious environment. They also offer various programs for guests to enjoy Guguan’s culture and natural environment.

     

    If you’re planning a trip to Taichung, why not consider staying with HOSHINOYA Guguan?

  • Tokyo Cherry Blossoms 2020: Hotel Gajoen Tokyo Reveals Cherry Blossom Food Menu

    17.February.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Hotel Gajoen Tokyoーwhich is both a museum and hotelーhas announced its plans to serve up cherry blossom themed food at its numerous restaurants this spring beginning in March.

     

    Hotel Gajoen Tokyo is situated along Meguro River, which is one of the most famous cherry blossom spots in Tokyo during springtime and Hanami season. To chime in this year’s sakura season, the hotel’s restaurants are preparing a selection of gourmet cherry blossom food and desserts.

    Sakura Dining – From ¥7,000 (Before Tax/Service Charge) @ RISTORANTE “CANOVIANO” / Serving: March 20, 2020 – April 5, 2020

    Dine in style at RISTORANTE “CANOVIANO” where they’re serving up their ‘Sakura Dining’ course. Based on the idea of a cherry blossom bento meal, the heapfuls of veggies conjure up the image of the budding flowers of springtime.

    Sakura Lunch – ¥5,000 (Before Tax/Service Charge) @ RISTORANTE “CANOVIANO” / Serving: March 16, 2020 – April 10, 2020

    An assortment of hors d’oeuvres such as the “Cherry Blossom Carpaccio,” “Sakura Ebi Pasta,” and other spring-inspired delights.

    Sakura Afternoon Tea – ¥4,000 (Before Tax/Service Charge) @ New American Grill “KANADE TERRACE” / Serving: March 14, 2020 – April 12, 2020

    Treat yourself to a luxurious afternoon tea with cherry blossom bon bon chocolates, panna cotta, and moreーand wash it all down with a cup of floral cherry blossom tea. Available this spring only.

    SAKURA LADY – ¥1,200/ Shizuku Sakura drops – ¥1,000

    KANADE TERRACE also has two cherry blossom cocktails: the “SAKURA LADY” (¥1,200) and “Sakura Drops” (¥1,000). These drinks are inspired by blooming cherry blossoms and dancing cherry blossom petals. The “SAKURA LADY” is a gin-based White Lady cocktail.

    Sakura – ¥600 (Tax Included) @ PATISSERIE Lien 1928 / Serving: From March 1, 2020

    This luxurious dessert is surrounded by white chocolate and is made up of strawberry biscuit topped with strawberry jam and cherry blossom cream, creating a tempting and extravagant fragrance of strawberries and cherry blossom flowers. It also contains a bit of jelly with Japanese sake in it which adds a full-bodied flavour to the overall dessert.

     

    Experience Japanese spring in luxury this year at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo.

  • Japan Airlines Offers Special Travel Plan to the Love Live! Sunshine!! Setting in Hakodate

    16.February.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    JALPAK, a division of Japan Airlines (JAL), has announced a very special collaboration with the anime series Love Live! Sunshine!!.

    Titled “Go And See Saint Aqours Snow in Hakodate!” (Saint Aqours Snowに会いに函館へ行こう!), the travel plan offers fans of Love Live! Sunshine!! to visit Hakodate, the setting of episodes 8 and 9 of the anime series. Hakodate was also newly-entered into Anime Tourism 88’s “Real Life Anime Locations I Want To Visit” for 2020. The plan comes in two packages: the “JAL Dynamic Package” which departs from locations across Japan, and the “JAL Inbound Dynamic Package” which departs from Thailand.

    Exclusive Merchandise – Folder

    Exclusive Merchandise – Hakodate “Saint Snow” Acrylic Stand

    Those to take part in the tour will receive some exclusive Love Live! Sunshine!! collaborative merchandise. Guests will stay at Hakodate Kokusai Hotel, where the Aqours members stay in the anime series. They will get the full Hakodate experience just like the members.

    Hotel Image

    The package also includes a digital stamp rally held across 11 locations where the Aqours and Saint Snow characters appear, and you’ll get to wear the same pyjamas the members wear in the animeーwhich aren’t available anywhere else as of yet.

     

    Jump into the world of Love Live! Sunshine!! and feel like you’re really living the anime series!

  • 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?

  • 6 Must Try Soft Serve Ice Creams in Hokkaido – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    08.February.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Hokkaido is home to some seriously sumptuous desserts, not to mention their matcha range. Today we’re looking at 6 unmissable ice creams you can try around Sapporo, because if Hokkaido is known for anything, its the soft serve ice cream.
    We are joined once again by Kei, a Japanese Instagrammer who posts enticing pictures of the delicious desserts and drinks he has tried at cafes around Hokkaido. He has kindly provided us with his incredible pictures along with a descriptions, which we have translated into English.

    UMIERE 2nd in Tanukikoji

    UMIERE is credited with lighting the fire on the popularity of mokomoko, or ‘fluffy,’ soft serve ice cream. Their second branch, UMIERE 2nd, recently reopened after a revamp. As part of their renewal, they have introduced a number of new menu items like shiratama white flour dumplings.
    Macaron Soft Parfait – ¥718
    I ordered the Macaron Soft Parfait, which is a tower of organic soft serve ice cream, macarons, chocolate sauce, and sponge cake filled with sliced strawberries. The ice cream itself is both refreshing yet rich. As you continue to scoop up mouthfuls from the ice cream cup, the other ingredients gradually reveal themselves: the fresh cream, the strawberries, and the sponge, just like a parfait.
    The cafe enjoys a relaxed atmosphere and is a great place to pop into if you’re looking for a hideaway.
    ▼Umiere 2nd (ウミエール)
    Address: Marufuku Bldg. Floor 2F, 4-Chome-9, Minami 2 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 11:00-18:30
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 011-211-4738

    JB ESPRESSO MORIHICO in Shindohigashi

    When talking about coffee in Hokkaido, the name that’s likely to pop up is Morihico. And when talking about their most popular menu item sold at their chain cafe JB ESPRESSO, it’s their variety of cute ice creams.

    JB Soft Cream Pudding à la Mode – ¥450
    Based on the Japanese “purin à la mode,” a type of Japanese custard pudding served with an assortment of other desserts, this ice cream is custard pudding flavoured and is drizzled in caramel, topped with whipped cream, and crowned with a cherry. And the caramel isn’t just sauceーit’s crunchy like caramel chocolate, giving the ice cream a variety of scrumptious textures.
    JB Soft Cream Mix – ¥420
    The mixed ice cream is one of the specialities of JB, combining milk and chocolate flavours. The milk ice cream is made with milk from Jersey cattle, so is rich in flavour while still being smooth and refreshing. The chocolate is also rich, made from three types of Spanish chocolate.
    JB ESPRESSO MORIHICO (ジェービー エスプレッソ モリヒコ)
    Address: 16-1-1 Kita 34 Johigashi, Higashi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 9:00-22:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 011-788-2133

    Kinotoya Bake (Pole Town Branch) in Odori Park

    Kinotoya Bake is located in Pole Town, accessed by walking towards Tanukikoji from Odori Park. They don’t sell cooked confections or take like the Kinotoya brand is known for, but rather tarts, apple pies, and ice creams.

    Gokujo Milk Soft – ¥410
    The name of this ice cream alone screams Hokkaido, as the prefecture is known for its Gokujo, or “first-rate” milk. It’s pretty big as you can probably tell from the photo! This full-bodied milky cream, which is smooth like fresh cream, is the one I’d recommend from the various different ice creams made with Hokkaido milk. And because of its size, your belly is sure to be satisfied afterwards!
    ▼Kinotoya Bake
    Address: Pole Town, 3-Chome, 2 Minami Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0120-24-6161

    TEA SIGN in PARCO Odori Park

    TEA SIGN is famous in Sapporo for its tapioca, and at the PARCO branch, they sell it with milk tea flavoured ice cream.
    Tapioca Milk Tea Soft Cream – ¥520
    You can really taste the flavour of the tea leaves. The ice cream is moderately sweet with a strong black tea taste. The ice cream means it offers a different kind of tapioca experience from your usual tapioca milk tea.
    ▼TEA SIGN (ティーサイン)
    Address: PARCO (Floor B2F), 3-Chome-3, Minami 1 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays

    TSURU CAFE in Miyanomori

    TSURU CAFE is a stylish little cafe in Miyanomori where they serve cooked confections, cakes, and many popular ice cream flavours. As well as the cafe side of TSURU, they also sell artwork and other things by creators.

    Flavour Soft Strawberry – ¥830
    The “Flavour Soft Strawberry” is a speciality of TSURU CAFE. This towering dessert is layered with ice cream, fresh strawberries, meringue, and strawberry sauce. The milky ice cream is refreshing, and the sweet taste of the strawberries is divine. The flavours are simple, but every thing in the dessert is delicious. The strawberry sauce is served on the side so you can pour over the amount that suites your taste.
    ▼TSURU CAFE (ツルカフェ)
    Address: 5-2-8 Miyanomori 2 Jo, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: [Mon-Sat] 10:00-20:00 / [Sun & Holidays] 10:00-19:00
    Closed: Wednesdays

    COCOBON in Shin-Sapporo

    COCOBON is a super popular fruit and ice cream shop that opened in Shin-Sapporo just last year. The ice cream and fruits are mixed together as soon as you put your order in.

    Walnut Chocolate – ¥400
    I ordered the Belgian chocolate ice cream with walnuts and chocolate cereal. The Belgian chocolate is sweet and its texture is amazing together with the walnuts. If you love chocolate, you’ll love the rich flavour of this ice cream.
    The shop actually closes when all the stock is sold out, so if you’re planning a trip here, be sure to arrive nice and early so as to not miss out.
    COCOBON (ココボン)
    Address: 8-7-30 Aobacho, Atsubetsu Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00
    Closed: Mondays & Tuesdays
    Enquiries: 011-887-8984
    Did you enjoy these ice cream scoops? We hope you get to try some of them, and if you want even more dessert recommendations from Hokkaido, be sure to follow Kei on Instagram.

     

    Photos & Original Text: Kei / 敬 (@607keih)

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

    *Information written in this article is correct at the time of publishing. For more details on each shop, please visit their official websites and social media pages.

    *Food names are translated from Japanese into English where appropriate.

  • 9 Must Try Desserts and Sweets in Hokkaido & at New Chitose Airport – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    06.February.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    We at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON know our readers love desserts and sweets as much as we do, and that’s why we make sure to never go too long without writing about the latest must-try treats in Japan, like our recent article on matcha desserts in Sapporo.
    We return to you once more with the 9 must-try delectable delights at New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido, and at various locations across Hokkaido. If you’re heading to Japan’s northernmost prefecture, and are using this airport, or are travelling throughout Hokkaido, then you can’t miss out on these irresistible picks.
    Today, we are joined by Kei, a Japanese Instagrammer who posts enticing pictures of the delicious desserts and drinks he has tried at cafes around Hokkaido. He has kindly provided us with his incredible pictures along with a descriptions, which we have translated into English. Enjoy!

    GINRYU・BonBon BERRY | New Chitose Airport

    GINRYU・BonBon BERRY is a revamp of the original shop, GINRYU. Located on the second floor of New Chitose Airport Terminal, the new shop has teamed up with BonBonBERRY, another store right next to Atami Station in Shizuoka Prefecture.

     

    The shop specialises in Tokachi Ginryu strawberries, a variety of strawberry produced in the town of Otofuke. They have a distinct appearance and taste, with their beautiful white inside, low acidity, and high sugar content.

    Omocchiizu Strawberry Skewer – ¥432
    This skewered dessert is made up of strawberries, cheese-filled sticky rice cake, and strawberry baumkuchen. This is the ultimate strawberry indulgence!
    Strawberry Bavarois – ¥740
    Bon Bon Soft – ¥500
    The Strawberry Bavarois and soft serve ice cream look super cute too. The high sugar content of the Ginryu strawberry makes them perfect for any kind of dessert.
    The shop is stocked full of other great sweet treats too, so be sure to check out their strawberry range.
    ▼GINRYU・BonBon BERRY
    Address: New Chitose Airport Terminal – Floor 2F
    Opening Hours: 8:00-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0123-29-4480

    Chocolatier Masale | New Chitose Airport

    Chocolatier Masale is a standout name in Hokkaido. This leading chocolate company have multiple branches – in addition to the Sapporo shops, they have sites in both the lobby and gate lounge of New Chitose Airport.

    Mousse Glacee White Chocolate & Hokkaido Milk – ¥410
    Exclusive to the departure lobby branch of Chocolatier Malase, this chocolatey dessert is an ensemble of ice cream made from mousse-packed Hokkaido milk and covered in chocolate. It’s finished with cracked freeze-dried strawberries which give a fruity kick to the smooth taste of the ice cream and delightful chocolate.
    ▼Chocolatier Masale – New Chitose Airport Departure Lobby (ショコラティエマサール 新千歳空港出発ロビー店)
    Address: New Chitose Airport Terminal – Floor 2F
    Opening Hours: 8:00-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0123-29-4115
    Official Website: https://www.masale.jp/

    siretoco sky sweets | New Chitose Airport

    siretoco doughnuts were created in the town of Nakashibetsu in Hokkaido. The New Chitose Airport Terminal branch is immensely popular for its cute mini animal doughnuts which are steamed instead of being dropped into hot oil, making them a healthier doughnut option.
    Happy New Year Lucky Rat – ¥420 / Rich★Cream Cheese – ¥390
    The doughnut on the left celebrates 2020 and the Year of the Rat in the Chinese Zodiac. It’s white chocolate and strawberry chocolate flavoured. It’s also not too sweet and has a soft and fluffy texture. The cheese doughnut has a very cheesy flavour indeed. All the animal faces are also made by hand, so each and every one is unique. Both are really cute looking.
    ▼siretoco sky sweets (シレトコ スカイ スイーツ)
    Address: New Chitose Airport Terminal – Floor 2F
    Opening Hours: 8:00-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0123-46-2109

    Cafe Owl | Lake Shikotsu

    Handmade Baked Purin – ¥500
    Cafe Owl is situated in Shikotsuko Onsen, a popular tourist spot about a 55-minute transit bus ride from New Chitose Airport. It has a warm atmosphere to it with its log house-like appearance. Their food menu has just two things on it: pizza and purin (Japanese custard pudding). I ordered a purin and cup of coffee as a set.
    The photo doesn’t show how big the purin actually is – it’s like a cake slice. It has a refreshing taste and isn’t overly-sweet so can be chowed down easily.
    ▼Cafe Owl (カフェアウル)
    Address: Shikotsuko Onsen, Chitose, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
    Closed: Wednesdays
    Enquiries: 0123-25-2590

    Pennennolde | Lake Shikotsu

    Atsuma Honeysuckle Rare Cheese & Cocoa – ¥380 / Walnut Chocolate Ganache – ¥380
    This cafe is also located in Shikotsuko Onsen. Their main meal is muffins, which are served warm inside their very relaxed space. The honeysuckle cheese muffin is thick and sticky, and doesn’t have an unpleasant smell from the cheese. It’s simply delicious. The chocolate ganache too is melted which only adds to the nice texture of the walnuts.
    The muffins can be ordered for takeout too, so you can take them with you to enjoy the local sights.
    ▼Pennennolde (ペンネンノルデ)
    Address: Bangaichi, Shikotsuko Onsen, Chitose, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0123-25-4115

    Kita no Umaimonten Hekisui | Lake Shikotsu

    Raspberry Chocolate Soft Cream – ¥500
    This cafe is close to Lake Shikotsu. They sell soft serve ice cream from the famous Iwase Farm located in the city of Sunagawa. This flavour is made with rich chocolate ice cream and is topped with freeze-dried raspberries, creating a great balance between the two.
    This small place has its own eat-in area too, so you can kick back and relax while you enjoy the taste of some Hokkaido soft serve ice cream.
    ▼Kita no Umaimonten Hekisui (北のうまいもん店碧水)
    Address: Shikotsuko Onsen, Chitose, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: Not known
    Closed Days: Not known
    Enquiries: 0123-25-4115
    Official Website: Not known

    Doremo LeTAO | Chitose

    Chocolate Noisette Berry – ¥1,540
    Doremo LeTAO is just a 15-minute walk from Chitose Station. Their “Chocolate Noisette Berry” is packed fully of rich chocolate, nuts, and berries.
    Berry Mascarpone – ¥1,650
    The “Berry Mascarpone” comes with four pancakes drizzled in berry sauce, mascarpone, custard, strawberries, and vanilla ice cream. The pancakes have soft meringue inside them, but are still light to eat, so you can rest assured you won’t have a heavy stomach afterwards.
    ▼Doremo LeTAO (ドレモルタオ)
    Address: 6-1-1 Asahinochi, Chitose, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 11:00-18:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 050-5570-2975

    Mirtillo | Osatsu

    Mirtillo is a gelato shop on the outskirts of Osatsu in Chitose. It’s a tricky place to reach without a car, but it still stands as an incredibly popular gelato store. They have 16 flavours of gelato including several limited-time options.

    Waffle Parfait – ¥1,000
    I tried their “Waffle Parfait,” which lets you pick from two gelato of your choice along with toppings. The combination of the crunchy waffles with the gelato is delicious. Added together with the blueberry sauce and fruits, you get a variety of tastes and textures.
    The blueberries are actually all grown on site.
    ▼Mirtillo (ミルティーロ)
    Address: 2 Osatsu, Chitose, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 11:00-18:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0123-23-5323
    Official Website: http://mirtillo.tank.jp/

    Donut Chaya Honwaka | Eniwa

    Honwaka Cocoa – ¥140 / Autumn Chestnut – ¥220
    Honwaka is a doughnut shop about 1.5km from Eniwa Station. I got to try some of their seasonal autumn flavours: the fluffy and flavourful “Honwaka Cocoa,” and the chestnut and chestnut cream-loaded “Autumn Chestnut.” The chestnut cream is just the right amount of sweetness and has a really delightful chestnut flavour.
    The store offers limited-time seasonal flavours with each passing season, so be sure to check out my Instagram to see more.
    ▼Donut Chaya Honwaka (ドーナツ茶屋 ほんわか)
    Address: 7-18-4 Koganeminami, Eniwa, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0123-25-5346
    Did you enjoy these dessert picks? We hope you get to try some of them, and if you want even more dessert recommendations from Hokkaido, be sure to follow Kei on Instagram.

     

    Photos & Original Text: Kei / 敬 (@607keih)

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

    *Information written in this article is correct at the time of publishing. For more details on each shop, please visit their official websites and social media pages.

    *Food names are translated from Japanese into English where appropriate.

  • Kissho Caren: Gaze at Shizuoka’s Moonlit Night Sky From Your Hot Spring With New Hotel Plan

    28.January.2020 | SPOT

    Kissho Caren is now offering a new hotel plan for women only which is available until the end of March 2020.

    Kissho Caren is an incredible hideaway resort and inn located alone the quiet shores of Hokkawa Hot Spring in Shizuoka. All rooms offer a breathtaking ocean view, and all rooms, plus the restaurant and infinity pool open-air baths, offer a panoramic spectacle where the sky and sea meld together into one beautiful scene. Guests can also witness the “Moon Road,” a popular power spot of Hokkawa Hot Spring which was chosen as one of Japan’s “100 Moon Views.”

    Kissho Caren boasts two of its own water sources for its flowing water. It houses 18 water spots, including hot springs in seven locations around the inn and its sister facility Tsuruya Kisshotei, as well as rentable baths, foot baths, and the beachside “Kurone Rock Bath.” All of these hot water spots are fully equipped with bath towels, face lotion, and other amenities. The inn’s hospitality is also well-praised, including its salon which offers barely tea, soft drinks, and tokoroten made in the city of Izu. In the evenings, it also offers beer amongst other things.

    After checking in, guests choose a yukata and obi of their liking and enjoy a luxurious and tranquil afternoon tea. The seasonal pancakes are prepared in front of you by the chef and are topped with sweet and refreshing soft serve ice cream and served with beautiful tea. The pancakes are mixed with whey which has a lot of skin benefits, and the teas vary from Izu guricha tea to Izu aloe tea which have anti-ageing benefits and strengthen the immune system. All of this takes place at Aodake which is open 14:00-15:30.

    At the Kissho Spa, one can spy the gorgeous ocean from the window. Guests can enjoy some relaxing thalassotherapy with the warm climate of the beach and seaweed, oils prepared in Izu Ōshima, guricha tea, and other local treatments, all of which are popular.

    The French course dinner comes with a free drink and flambéed dessert. All rooms also come with lots of other hopsitable gifts too, including a free mini bar and snacks, 20% off from the Kisso Spa, and more.

     

    If you’re looking for a place to stay with your girlfriends in Japan, then we recommend putting this place on your list. Don’t miss out on this limited-time, girls-only offer.

  • Kyoto Brighton Hotel Offers 5 New Hotel Plans For Springtime, Cherry Blossom & Temple Experiences

    26.January.2020 | SPOT

    Kyoto Brighton Hotel is now selling reservations for its new “Haru no Asobi Plan” (Springtime Fun Plan) which is taking place between March and May this year and offers guests the opportunity to enjoy Kyoto in the spring and its cherry blossoms.

     

    Spring in Kyoto is the most popular season for tourists and travellers who flock from not only across Japan but from around the world. The Haru no Asobi Plan is made up of 5 exciting plans to see the ancient capital’s breathtaking cherry blossoms, vibrant green maples, and other offerings.

     

    “Asakatsu” – An early morning temple visit and stroll

    Get away from the crowded streets and enjoy the rare opportunity to experience incredible early morning sights you don’t normally get to see. Spend a quiet morning in a gorgeous environment in this plan. Several temples and gardens are in place for the experience: Kōdaiji Temple, Bishamon-do Temple, Taizō-in, Haradanien, and Tenryū-ji.

     

    Kiyomizu-dera Temple special night viewing

    One of the must-visit spots when travelling to Kyoto is Kiyomizu-dera, officially a World Heritage Site. This plan rents out the temple for you to experience it at nighttime. The main building is currently undergoing large-scale renovation to secure the roof as well as the inner construction of the temple. Seeing the temple is truly a sight to behold.

    You are guaranteed a view of the famous “Stage of Kiyomizu,” an enormous veranda attached to the main hall. The surrounding trees will be lit with enchanting lights, and you’ll be able to gaze at the distant city nightscape. Experience Kyoto like never before as the warm lights illuminate the Niōmon (Deva Gate), 3-storey pagoda, and purified water which runs from the Otowa Waterfall.

     

    Discover the world of Kyoto embroidery

    The traditional practice of Kyounui, or Kyoto-style embroidery, has continued since the Heian Period and is even garnering attention overseas. It’s a delicate and refined style of embroidery unique to Kyoto.

    After your embroidery session which will take place in a Kyoto town house nearby the cherry blossom-filled Hirano Shrine, you’ll look at kimono and yukata so beautiful they’ll look like they should be in an art museum, before heading to eat together with the creator.

     

    See the green maple trees of Hōgon-in on a private train

    Board the private 1-2 carriage Randen train on the Keifuku Electric Railroad, which runs from Shijō-Ōmiya to Arashiyama. This cute retro train will take you Arashiyama where the green maples are breathtakingly beautiful.

    You’ll also get to stroll through the quaint gardens of Hōgon-in Temple, view artwork painted by Noriko Tamura, and more.

     

    Sky Bus

    Enjoy a panoramic view on a private ride of the Sky Bus, a double-decker bus which is gaining huge popularity right now. You will ride through the city of Kyoto and see the rows of pink cherry blossoms. In April, they will also do an evening tour of the cherry blossoms so you can see them at night, and in May they’ll do a green maple tree tour.

     

    Discover the beauty of Kyoto in this very special hotel plan at Kyoto Brighton Hotel.

  • Star Wars Theme Cafe Opens in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido & Fukuoka

    25.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    With The Rise of Skywalker concluding the Skywalker saga of the Star Wars film franchise, fans are left craving more from the galaxy far far away.

     

    If you’re one of those people, and need a fix before season two of The Mandalorian, which is coming in late 2020, then you’ll want to hit up the all-new Star Wars-themed cafes now open for a limited time at branches of OH MY CAFE across Japan in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido, and Fukuoka.

     

    We visited the Tokyo branch of the cafe which is located inside Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku. Here’s our report of this must-see cafe for Star Wars fans, a museum-like space chock-full of concept art.

    Ready to greet you as you walk into the cafe is none other than Darth Vader. This life-size recreation of the Sith Lord is really striking, but don’t worryーthough he is realistic, he won’t use his Force choke on you, he only wishes for you to have a nice meal.

    Plastered across the cafe walls are pieces of concept art used during the production of the Star Wars film series.

    Here’s a galactic showcasing of the cafe’s menu. There are 7 food items and 5 drinks to choose from, all inspired by the franchise and its characters.

    <STAR WARS> Far Far Away Galaxy Black Curry – ¥1,590

    A signature dish of the cafe, this black curry features the Star Wars logo which is actually an edible wafer. The space design is bamboo charcoal-cooked rice which is mixed with spicy sauce and topped with peanuts for stars.

    <BB-8> Seafood BB-8 Gratin – ¥1,690

    Fans of BB-8 won’t be able to resist this delicious gratin, served with salad and French bread for a full belly.

    <Yoda> Root Leaf Stew – ¥1,590

    This stew is inspired by Yoda living his final years in his little shack in Dagobah during Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. It’s packed full of vegetables and will no doubt be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike.

    <R2-D2 & C-3PO> Buddy Burger Plate – ¥1,990

    This set of two chicken burgers comes with an R2-D2 seasoned with béchamel sauce and a C-3PO burger seasoned with meat sauce. You can take the flags home with you too. We recommend sharing this between two people.

    Portion Bread – ¥500

    This is the one I was most interested in personally, because I was curious to know from its appearance how it would taste. It’s the portion bread that Rey tries eating in the film. At first glance it looks crunchy, but to my surprise it was soft with a subtle sweet flavour.

    Lightsaber Drinks – ¥600 Each (w/ Coaster ¥1,300)

    From the left, the flavours are Darth Vader blood orange, Luke Skywalker ramune, and Yoda melon. When you draw your straw from the paper wrapping, it turns into a lightsaber!

    <STAR WARS > Jet Black Coffee – ¥600 (w/Bottle ¥1,750)

    These limited edition bottles of black coffee feature the famous Star Wars opening crawl credits. Which one you get is randomーa must-have for all fans!

    After enjoying some Star Wars food and drink, it’s time to check out the cafe’s exclusive merchandise. There are 13 types of merch in total all bearing artwork from across the film series.

    Folder – ¥350

    I recommend picking up one of these folders made in collaboration with the cafe. It has illustrations of the food and drinks being sold there.

    Tote Bag – ¥3,500

    This tote bag has illustrations of characters from Star Wars and how they are all connected.

    There’s plenty of other must-grab merch too, from music to stationery and more.

    Customers who spend over ¥1,000 (excluding tax) on any of these exclusive items will receive the above-pictured limited edition bag. These are limited in stock so are available while supplies last.

    There’s plenty of places inside for fans to take great photos, so make sure you snap lots.

    Also, if you book a table in advance and order something from the menu, you’ll receive one of these 25 possible A5 folders, so be sure to book before you go!

     

     

    © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

    *All listed prices are pre-tax. Photos are for illustrative purposes only.

  • 3 Breathtaking New Rooms to Open at Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa

    25.January.2020 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa, a branch of Hoshino Resorts’ hotels for tourists and travellers, has announced that it is opening three new room types to guests from April 1 to make their stay and travels that much better. They are the “Double Room,” “Superior Room,” and “Family Room.”

     

    OMO7 Asahikawa opened in Hokkaido April 2018 as the first branch of Hoshino Resorts’s “OMO” brand of city tourism hotels. The hotel offers not only a great sleep, but enjoys the benefit of its location with must-see sights surrounding it, and all of this to make guests’ stay the best it can be.


    The hotel’s Studio Rooms, formerly named the DANRAN Room before the renovation, have received praise from guests that have stayed there for offering everything they needed while being compact, as well as it being easy to kick back and relax in them. It was revealed that in 2019, the average number of people staying in a single room at Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa was higher than the average of that in other city hotels in Asahikawa, as well as the hotel being popular for catering to tourist and sightseers’ needs.

     

    The hotel has now renovated 111 of its rooms in response to it being used by a lot of people because of its catering towards tourists’ needs. It has also added the three new types of roomsーDouble, Superior, and Familyーwhich incorporate the well-received functionality of the Studio Rooms. That’s 226 room renovations out of the hotel’s 237 rooms.

    All beds have storage space underneath them. Those travelling in big groups like families will especially benefit from this if they have a lot of luggage as they can save on plenty of space in rooms.

     

    New rooms are furnished with new sofas and tables for maximum comfort amongst friends and family where they can talk about their trip while enjoying local drinks and snacks.

    Also, in the Superior Rooms and Family Rooms, where there is a small amount of guests, beds can be folded and turned into spacious sofas.

    The OMO brand promises “a reasonable price for your travels,” and this rings true: the new Family Rooms start at ¥5,500, allowing an affordable stay so you can spend more on the local sights.

     

    Room bookings will open on February 3, 2020, so if you’re visiting Hokkaido, be sure to check out Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa.

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

    20.January.2020 | SPOT

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

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

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

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

     

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

  • Matcha Desserts in Sapporo You Just Have To Try

    06.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

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

     

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

     

    KotoniSand, Nishi Ward

    Macchan French Toast: ¥1200

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

     

    ▼KotoniSand

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

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

     

    Ame no hi to yuki no hi, Minami Ward

    Gelato Futatsu: ¥450

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

    ▼Ame no hi to yuki no hi

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

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

     

    KANON pancakes, Shiroishi Ward

    Matcha Tiramisu Pancake: ¥1500

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

     

    ▼KANON pancakes

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

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

     

    Any cafe, Kita Ward

    Matcha Kintoki: ¥1350

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

     

    ▼Any cafe

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

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