Visit Ashikaga Flower Park for the Great Wisteria Festival to enjoy 350 Wisteria trees and 5000 Azalea in full bloom!

18.April.2019 | SPOT

The Great Wisteria Festival 2019 will be held in Ashikaga Flower Park from Saturday 13th April.

During the festival, the park will be in full bloom, featuring mainly wisteria. The wisteria will only be in bloom from a week before to a week after the festival, adding to the precious value of the festival. If you pay a visit, you can enjoy over 150-year-old wisteria trees spread over a 600-tatami trellis area, an 80 m-long white wisteria tunnel, a tunnel of Kibana wisteria, and even more wisteria trees in full bloom.

 

Various colours of wisteria bloom in order over the course of a month, from pale crimson, violet and white to yellow. CNN praised the park as a magical scenery of spreading light, and it was the only Japanese location to be voted as one of the “2014 top 10 world dream destinations”.

Dazzling pale crimson (cherry blossom-coloured) wisteria.

Best seen: mid ー end of April

Great wisteria (designated as a protected species of Tochigi prefecture)

Best seen: End of April ー early May

More than 5,000 Azalea plants

Best seen: mid-April ー early May

 

Azalea can be found all over the world. Including the species that are specially cultivated in parks, there are over 1,000 species. These flowers dazzle with vivid colours in the sunlight, which looks especially beautiful when they are in full bloom. Ashikaga Flower Park station opened in April 2018, meaning that you only have to walk for three minutes to reach the beautiful flowers.

 

During the holidays, bring your family and friends to the park and enjoy the dazzling flowers to your heart’s content!

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    Starting May 9, Ashikaga Flower Park is celebrating spring with the Rose Garden ~Spring Rose Festival~ event. Since April, the Fujinohana Monogatari Ofuji Festival has been drawing guests to the park to see the symbolic wisteria. As the weather warms up, the rose festival will be held at the same time as the Great Wisteria Festival 2022, which is scheduled to end on May 22. 

     

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    21.April.2022 | SPOT

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    After temperatures rose to higher than normal over the past few weeks, Ashikaga Flower Park’s symbolic wisteria bloomed earlier than expected. If the high temperatures persist, the blooming process will speed up considerably, with some flower clusters growing up to 10cm in a single day.

    The park is one of Japan’s top destinations for wisteria, boasting 350 trees that typically bloom from mid-April to mid-May. The stunning flowers, which dangle from wooden trellises, come in many colors including violet, blue, pink, white, and yellow. Each color tends to bloom at different times: pink first, followed by purple, white, and then yellow wisteria. CNN praised the massive wisteria tree as looking similar to the “tree of souls in the film Avatar,” and the park was the only place in Japan selected as one of the ‘10 Global Dream Destinations’ in 2014.

  • Three New Additions to the Poké Lid Project Appear in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture

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    Three new Pokemon manhole covers have been unveiled in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture as part of the ongoing Poké Lid project. These new additions to the long-running initiative feature Electabuzz, Skwovet, Electrike, Crustle, and Thundurus along with images of the city. These are the first Poké Lids to be installed in Tochigi Prefecture.

     

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    The quarry is located about a 30-minute drive from the center of Utsunomiya. Stone from the area is well-known across Japan, and this particular region was named a Japanese Heritage Site in 2018. Last year, more than 700,000 tourists visited the region. 

     

  • Four Must-See Winter Illuminations in the Kanto Region This Holiday Season

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    In October 2017, Ashikaga Flower Park was recognized as having one of the three best illumination events in Japan, along with the Sapporo White Illumination in Hokkaido and the Huis Ten Bosch Kingdom of Lights in Nagasaki. It has also ranked number one in the Night View Convention and Visitors Bureau Illumination Awards for five consecutive years from 2016 until 2020. Be sure to visit the popular and newly-renovated Flower Castle!

     

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    [Shinagawa, Tokyo] Tokyo Mega Illumination 2021-2022 x NAKED

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    Location: Tokyo Midtown Hibiya, Hibiya Nakadoori, Hibiya Chanter locations

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    Rose Garden of Light

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    2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the winter illumination event at Ashikaga Flower Park. In October 2017, the location was recognized as having one of the three best illumination events in Japan, along with the Sapporo White Illumination in Hokkaido and the Huis Ten Bosch Kingdom of Lights in Nagasaki. It has also ranked number one in the Night View Convention and Visitors Bureau Illumination Awards for five consecutive years from 2016 until 2020. 

     

    The popular Flower Castle has been completely redone for the event’s anniversary. A professional florist also helped design the illuminated flower basins. The park’s famous wisteria flowers will be illuminated in many unique ways and in different colors. A special blue light performance will take place to show appreciation for medical professionals who have assisted during the pandemic. 

     

  • Ashikaga Flower Park Turns On the Lights For ‘The Garden of Illuminated Flowers’

    13.October.2020 | SPOT

    Ashikaga Flower Park in Ashikaga, Tochigi, has announced an illumination event for the autumn and winter seasons called “The Garden of Illuminated Flowers ~Flower Fantasy 2020~” which will run from October 17, 2020 to February 7, 2021.

     

    The annual event is being held a week later than usual in order to implement the necessary precautions against COVID-19 and to ensure visitors are divided from one another so that they can enjoy the event as always safely. Masks will need to be worn and visitors must sanitise their hands as well as have their temperature checked with the on-site thermal camera before entering the park.

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    So, why is this event adored so much?


    The Miraculous Great Wisteria

    Due to COVID-19, people were unable to enjoy the blossoming wisteria during this year’s spring season, but now they can be enjoyed in autumn and winter in the form of illuminations.

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    The multicoloured wisteria that bloom from mid-April to mid-May at the park are also being represented as dazzling illuminations which will reflect off the water surface to create a magical atmosphere.

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    Enter a romantic world of Japanese illuminations at Ashikaga Flower Park.

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    15.September.2020 | SPOT

    Kato Pleasure Group is set to open its 4th branch of FUFU NIKKO hotels in Nikko, Tochigi on October 2, 2020 following their Atami, Lake Kawaguchi, and Nara branches.

     

    A resort steeped in Japanese history and culture

    The site in which the hotel is located has a sacred air to it. It dates back to the Meiji Period and has continued into modern times. Upon entering the hotel, your ears are treated to the sound of classical music. Overhead you will spot high ceilings made from wood which give it a warm and welcoming atmosphere.The shadows of the outside walls, the warmth of the inviting lights, and the metallic decorations which catch the light present a calm and quiet mood.

     

    Classy and sophisticated cuisine

    Both the food and plates it is served on capture the essence and beauty of the Japanese way. Meals are prepared using seasonal ingredients from Tochigi as well as high quality foods like foie gras, truffles, and caviar. Each dish expresses elegance and refinement and combines both Japanese and Western flavours.

     

    Hot spring water sourced from Tamozawa

    All rooms at the hotel are fitted with hot springs or large baths which natural light from the outdoors shining through. In the open-air baths, guests get to experience the surrounding sights of nature coupled with the sound of the flowing stream and chirping birds.

  • Indulge in a Strawberry Heaven at Hoshino Resorts KAI in Tochigi Prefecture

    15.October.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    A new hotel plan has arrived at three branches of Hoshino Resort’s hot spring hotel brand KAI in Tochigi Prefecture where guests can enjoy the luxury of strawberries together with their stay. Tochigi is famous for growing strawberries, and so all three hotels will serve up their own unique succulent strawberry experiences. The branches in question are KAI Kawaji, KAI Kinugawa, and KAI Nikko.

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    KAI Kawaji: Strawberry Picking at a Japanese-Style Hot Spring Inn

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    Running: January 15, 2020 – February 29, 2020 (Check In)

    Price: From ¥25,000 (1 room for up to 2 people / Service charge included / Tax not included)

    Reservations/Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/kawaji/

    KAI Kinugawa: Taste and compare seasonal strawberries

    KAI Kinugawa’s “Mingei Ichigo Taizai” (Folk Craft Strawberry Stay) plan will see the appearance of the tochihime strawberry which has been dubbed the “phantom strawberry.” This sweet variety is large and has a soft flesh and is exclusive to Tochigi. Guests will be able to taste and compare this and a handful of other types, as well as tuck into various strawberry confections. They will pick from 300 cute different bowls from the bowl gallery and pile inside them strawberries and assorted confections. In the evenings, strawberries will also be served boiled in white wine. A two-day and one-night experience you’d expect from the place that boasts the biggest strawberry haul in Japan.

     

    Running: December 10, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Check In)

    Price: From ¥29,000 (1 room for up to 2 people / Service charge included / Tax not included)

    Reservations/Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/kinugawa/

    Note: Limited to 5 separate bookings per day

    KAI Nikko: Revel in wintertime Okunikko

    KAI Nikko is located beside the grand Lake Chūzenji. Their “Zekkei Ichigo Taizai” (Spectacular View Strawberry Stay) plan will see their lobby, which offers a panoramic view of Mount Nantai, turn into a tearoom inspired by the rest stops of Nikkomou, an event that took place during the Edo Period when the Tokugawa Shogunate made their pilgrimage to Nikko. Guests can enjoy the contrast between the setting sun and the snow, as well as the pink-coloured sky when morning breaks. Taking place between sunset and sunrise, guests can tuck into rare white strawberries and warm confections made with yōkan―a Japanese jellied dessert made from red bean paste, agar, and sugar―which is a local specialty of Nikko.

     

    Running: December 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Check In)

    Price: From ¥28,000 (1 room for up to 2 people / Service charge included / Tax not included)

    Reservations/Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/nikko/

    Note: Limited to 2 separate bookings per day

     

     

    Enjoy you’re a seasonal strawberry fill like never before at Hoshino Resorts KAI.

  • From Wine to Hydrangeas Taste the Regional Shaved Ice Flavours of Japan at Hoshino Resorts KAI

    10.July.2019 | FOOD

    Hoshino Resorts hot spring ryokan brand KAI is offering guests the opportunity to explore different regional shaved ice desserts that are served with delicious regional syrups and toppings. Shaved ice is a traditional summer dessert that was even mentioned in the famous work The Pillow Book, which was written by Sei Shonagon during her time as Empress Consort Teishi’s court lady during the 990s and early 1000s of the Heian period.

    The concept of KAI expresses both originality and the thirst for experimenting to make something new. The event offers a range of original flavours, embracing the Japanese tradition of eating flavoured shaved ice to battle the heat of summer. From wine-flavoured shaved ice in Nagano, to Hydrangea shaved ice at Hakone, this is the perfect opportunity to try a range of shaved ice desserts that are full of vibrant colours. These regional flavours are sure to spark your curiosity for discovery in that region. 

    Wine Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Matsumoto (Asama Onsen, Nagano)

    The cone-shaped region of Kikyogahara, which is located next to Matsumoto city, is well known for its wine production. This area produces around 50 different kinds of Kikyogahara wine. The flavoured syrup for this shaved ice comes from concord grape wine sourced from Kikyogahara. Each porcelain bowl for the dessert is handmade. Customers can enjoy the smooth, rounded feel of the grape pattern on the bowl as they dig into their dessert. As the alcohol is burned out of the dish, even those who do not like alcohol can enjoy this mature dessert. From the carefully prepared wine syrup to the handmade bowl, you will be able to feel all the hard work put into the making of these luxurious desserts. This is the perfect way to cool off after a hot day.

    Hydrangea Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone

    Due to the altitude differences at Hakone, you can enjoy the beautiful hydrangeas for an even longer time than other areas of Japan. There is a Hydrangea train (Ajisai Densha) that runs up the mountains providing passengers with the beautiful view of blooming flowers, creating the perfect summer memories. Observing the large groups of flowers in full bloom fills you with such a refreshing feeling. Their beautiful colours are expressed in the colour of this hydrangea shaved ice.  

    Strawberry Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko (Chuzenji Onsen, Tochigi)

    Tochigi prefecture has been Japan’s no.1 producer of strawberries for 50 years straight. This shaved ice is served in a strawberry-shaped bowl and is served with sweet yet slightly sour strawberry syrup and a topping of bittersweet matcha sauce. Here, you can enjoy a cool evening up 1,300 metres high overlooking beautiful scenery from inside the establishment whose spectacular interior that boasts Tochigi’s traditional art of Kanuma Kanoko craft. 

    Tomato Flavoured Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso (Sonomoto, Oita)

    As tomatoes thrive during the summer, this tomato shaved ice is the perfect way to cool down. This shaved ice is sweet and slightly sour and the vibrant red colour is enough to refresh you. Tomatoes are low in calories and contain an abundant range of healthy nutrients. They are also high in vitamin C which is good for your skin and is known for helping prevent illness. Tomatoes are also a good supply of vitamin E, which is good at slowing the effects of aging. Take a seat on the terrace and enjoy your shaved ice as a refreshing breeze rolls by. This is the perfect way to enjoy a cool summer with a healthy and delicious dessert. 

    Neputa Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru (Owani Onsen, Aomori)

    The Neputa Shaved Ice represents the Hirosaki Neputa Festival that takes place in the summer at the old castle town of Hirosaki. To represent Tsugaru Vidro coloured glass, which is an important part of Tsugaru culture, red, blue and green coloured jelly pieces decorate the top of the shaved ice. These colours also represent the vibrant colours of Neputa festival. This Instagram-worthy dessert shows off the best of the fresh colours of Tsugaru. 

  • Colourful Harajuku Area to Open at Nasu Highland Park With KAWAII MONSTER CAFE Collab

    12.April.2019 | SPOT

    During Japanese Golden Week the event “HARAJUKU COLORFUL STREET” will run at Nasu Highland Park from April 27 to May 6.

     

    The event is produced by ASOBISYSTEM, a company based in Harajuku―Japan’s hub for fashion, culture and trends. Nasu Highland Park will be decorated in all things Harajuku.

    Photo: KAWAII MONSTER CAFE HARAJUKU (The food sold at the event will be different from that at the cafe)

    The KAWAII MONSTER CAFE is a thriving Harajuku tourist spot popular for its eye-catching food, desserts and drinks. They will serve up a colourful and crazy pop menu at the event as well as much-enjoyed desserts and drinks from Harajuku.

    Colorful Rebellion -WORLD TIME CLOCK-

    Colorful Rebellion -WORLD TIME CLOCK- is an art piece created by Sebastian Masuda who is known for his work on Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s live performances. The clock is a former symbol of Harajuku with many photos having been taken in front of it by locals and tourists. It will be set up at the event in addition to lots of other bright and vivid photo spots.

     

    Other activities will include workshops for parents and children, shopping booths with cute products and lots more. More information will be released on the park’s website in the coming weeks.

     

    Nasu Highland Park is the largest amusement park in Tochigi with around 40 attractions from thrilling roller coasters to a haunted castle as well as a fishing pond, BBQ area, zoo and more. Travel to the park this Golden Week with friends and family for a day of fun.

  • 4 Best Evening Illumination Spots in Tochigi Prefecture

    19.December.2018 | SPOT

    Tochigi Prefecture boasts a long list of spots officially designated as “Night View Inheritances of Japan” where illumination events, shrine and temple light-ups, mini lanterns and more are set up.

     

    This is a list of 4 must-visit locations with illuminations events running until March 2019.

    Ashikaga Flower Park – “Garden of Illuminated Flowers)

    Ashikaga Flower Park is one of Japan’s three main illumination spots. Its popularity has earned it the No. 1 spot for illuminations for two years in a row. The newly-built Ashikaga Flower Park Station at the park’s west gate makes it easier than ever to access.

     

    The wintry trees are decorated with colourful lights, brightening the beautiful flowers at nighttime. There is also a recreation of the park’s symbolic great wisteria tree made entirely out of lights down to the flowers. It sways with the wind making it look like a real tree.

     

    Address: 607 Hasamacho, Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture

    Running: October 27, 2018 – February 5, 2019

    Closed: December 31, 2018

    TEL: 0284-91-4939

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

     

    Ashikagaorihime Shrine at Orihime Park

    Another one of Japan’s officially registered Night View Inheritance sites. Orihime Park offers a gorgeous view of the town’s nightscape. The park’s Ashikagaorihime Shrine is lit up making for a magical atmopshere. The shrine itself is famous for its associations with marriage, making it a popular date spot.

     

    Address: 3890-17 Tomoecho, Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture

    Open: All Year Round

    Shrine Illumination: 5:00pm-midnight

    TEL: 0284-22-0313

    Website: http://orihimejinjya.com/

     

    26th Yunishikawaonsen Kamakurasai

    Taking place at Yunishigawa Onsen, this event was designated as a Night View Inheritance site in 2009. It sees hundreds of candles lit up across the entire area that create a mysterious atmosphere. It’s also chosen as “one of the must-see places before you die.”

     

    Address: 1042 Yunishigawa, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture

    Running: January 26, 2019 – March 3, 2019

    Candle Lighting: 5:30pm-9:00pm

    *Subject to cancellation depending on weather conditions.

    Closed: Wednesdays & Thursdays

    TEL: 0288-22-1525

    Website: https://www.tochigiji.or.jp/event/1064/

     

    Okunikko Yumoto Onsen Snow Festival 2019

    This event began in a desire make use of the abundant snow and light up nighttime Okunikko. Ice sculptures created by hotel chefs from inside and outside the prefecture will be set up on January 31. In February, around 500 snow lights will be set up at the hot springs, and illuminations will glow against the snowy walls.

     

    Address: Yumoto, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture

    Running: February 2, 2019 – February 10, 2019

    Illumination Time: 5:00pm-9:00pm

    TEL: 0288-62-2570

    Website: http://www.nikkoyumoto.com/

     

    Tochigi Prefecture is easily accessible from Tokyo, so if you’re in Japan then take advantage of this season to go and see some enchanting nighttime scenery.

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