Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara one of the few luxury hotels worldwide to be hand-picked by American travel magazine AFAR.

14.May.2019 | BUSINESS / SPOT

Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara was one of the 27 hotels worldwide to be specially selected for “The Stay List” in the April 10th 2019 edition of American travel magazine AFAR.

AFAR is targeted at upper-class North American travellers. “The Stay List” is the name of the magazine’s list of hotels that are recommended by the magazine’s writers and editors. The April 10th edition of the magazine’s Stay List consists of just 27 hand-picked hotels from countries worldwide and Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara was one of them. KAI Sengokuhara was praised for its location amidst abundant nature whilst being close to the city. The magazine also admires its inspiration to the guests.

In July 2018, KAI Sengokuhara became the 15th hotel set up by Hoshino Resorts. With the concept of a “studio room-style hot spring” in mind, the hotel was built in the midst of the vast and magnificent nature. Each guest room was designed with an open-air bath with a large window through which the guests can enjoy the beauty of each season. The room design fuses western and Japanese-style designs with the tatami flooring and sofa combination. In addition, each room has pieces of art on display, each inspired by the surrounding nature. Guests can thoroughly enjoy food sourced from the mountains and the sea such as beef and abalone shellfish. Every night, there is a special event that the guests can get involved in called Go touchi gaku which involves decorating and colouring hand towels.

 

This hotel is highly rated by both the Japanese and foreigners. So, how about treating yourself?

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  • ONSEN GUEST HOUSE TSUTAYA to Open in Hakone This November

    21.September.2019 | SPOT

    ONSEN GUEST HOUSE TSUTAYA is a new hot spring and guest house facility set to open in the town of Sokokura in Hakone on November 26. The building is being renovated from an old guest house that has enjoyed a long history of hot springs since the Edo period.

    Sokura Onsen is about a 90 minute car drive from the city centre and is considered one of Hakone’s “7 Hot Springs,” a list that has been around since the Edo period. The place is said to have been used and loved by many military commanders back in the day for the high water yield gifted by the water source.

     

    When the building was first constructed it was known as “Tsutaya Ryokan” and became a famous guest house with not only locals but travellers who would arrive all the way from Tokyo. ONSEN GUEST HOUSE TSUTAYA combines history of both Sokura Onsen and Tsutaya Ryokan.

    The renovated building was built 29 years ago. Though it has been revamped, it still maintains a nostalgic air to it in the style of a traditional guest house. It’s home to 6 spacious ryokan-type rooms and 46 compact rooms.

     

    There is a space where one can gaze at the river after taking a dip in the hot springs, as well as a lounge with tables which encourages you to socialise with people you have just met. There are male and female open-air baths and indoor baths as well as a cooking space and laundry service for those looking to stay longer.

     The facility offers a retro environment in which each guest can relax and enjoy their own time as they please. Throughout the guest house is original old-fashioned furniture that has been upcycled, including kotatsu tables and shelves, to give that sense of traditional Japanese culture. This has been combined with contemporary art to create a fusion of the old and new.

    It is a harmonious combination of a traditional Japanese hot spring ryokan, or inn, and a guest house, which means travellers from abroad will be able to enjoy the beauty of the country’s traditional culture.

    Escape the noisy city and enjoy peace and tranquillity surrounded in the colours of autumn at ONSEN GUEST HOUSE TSUTAYA

  • Winter is Coming But Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo’s Yuzu Lemon Afternoon Tea Will Warm You Up

    16.September.2019 | FOOD

    Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo will begin serving its new citrus fruit-packed Yuzu Lemon Afternoon Tea on November 1 at the Le Jardin, the hotel’s lobby lounge which offers a view of the beautiful garden.

     

    You’ll see yuzu and lemons throughout the year, but it is said that winter is the best season to enjoy them. Both lemons and yuzu are said to have a relaxation effect, and so Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo will beckon guests through its cosy doors with the afternoon tea set’s refreshing citrus fragrance, inviting them to an early wonderful winter at the beginning of November.

    The set includes an assortment of sweets including a yuzu and lemon flavoured savarin, a lemon cheesecake that squeezes out all the juicy nectar of the citrus fruit, and more. The lemons and yuzu are the citrus kingpins of this afternoon tea.

    The seasonal scones are a mix of yuzu and vanilla scones and silky white chocolate scones to relieve some of the sourness. Enjoy together with a mix of dips including salted clotted cream for even more flavour.

    On the savoury side of things there is a tempting mix of bites and nibbles, including the use of spicy ginger to warm up your cold body.

    Welcome the winter early this year and do it in style with Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo’s new afternoon tea set.

  • Kyoto’s Capsule Hotel Anshin-Oyado Now Offering Plan to Take Guests to Sacred Sword Locations

    10.September.2019 | SPOT

    Capsule hotel Anshin-Oyado Premiere Kyoto Shijo Karasuma introduced a new plan on September 6 which gives guests the chance to go and see sacred places across Kyoto associated with Japanese swords.

     

    October 4th is known as “Japanese Sword Day” in Japan. In Kyoto alone, the number of people visiting from distant places to see sacred sword places, as well as collect goshuin stamps from shrines and temples, is on the increase-as is the number of people staying at Anshin-Oyado Premiere Kyoto Shijo Karasuma. That’s where this new guest plan comes into play.

    The plan will take guests around different parts of Kyoto, so the hotel as prepared three options to cater to all guests’ needs: one that offers a rental bicycle, a ticket to use the subway or bus, or the normal plan. You will receive a map which shows you the most efficient way to get around all the locations. There is also a QR code on the map which not only shows where you can park your bicycle if you go for that option, but also where to collect goshuin stamps.

     

    Moreover, to really slash home those sword memories, guests will be lent a free selfie-stick which also acts as a tripod. There is also a separate powder room for guests wanting to dress up in full sword cosplay gear too which can be used until checkout.

    Guests can also rent a portable power bank for their phone so they don’t have to worry about their battery running out when snapping photos amongst other amenities, and have free use of the massage chairs, foot baths, open-air baths, and more to rest up after their long pilgrimage around Kyoto seeing the different swords.

  • The Fanciest Egg and Rice Dish You’ve Ever Seen Will Be Sold at Grand Hyatt Tokyo

    09.September.2019 | FOOD

    Towering over the bustling city of Tokyo is the capital’s luxury hotel Grand Hyatt Tokyo. Starting from October 1, the hotel’s restaurant Shunbou, which serves Japanse-style cuisine, is introducing an all-new exquisite serving of TKG, or tamago kake gohan (“egg on rice”).

    The dish will be made with shinmai, or “new rice,” which refers to the new rice harvested for the current year. It’s topped with rich egg―a simple combination but incredibly delicious and loved by people in Japan. Normally TKG stops there, but Grand Hyatt Tokyo is taking it to the next level with a topping of caviar to create the most exquisite egg on rice you have ever seen.

     

    Rice: The best of the best

    The rice served at the hotel is harvested in the city of Nanyō in Yamagata Prefecture. It’s a special kind of rice known as Tsuyahime, and the hotel makes strict selections of the harvested rice, ensuring they serve the best possible rice to guests. This rice is served only at Grand Hyatt Tokyo making it even more special.

     

    Nanyō is blessed with rich soil. The farms have been using organic fertiliser for well over 10 years, meaning their beautiful harvests are reduced in agricultural chemicals and chemical fertilisers unlike many other farms. The rice’s taste quality value has also been listed as over 80, much higher than your average rice.

     

    Sturgeon Caviar

    The caviar used in this dish is from the Sturgeon fish from Kagawa prefecture. Everything from the food to the temperature of the water for the fish is considered from when they are a young age, allowing for the best possible caviar. They are seasoned with the perfect salt quantity and are additive free, allowing for a creamy and velvety taste and texture that just melts in your mouth the moment it hits your tongue.

     

    Rich Egg Yolk

    The eggs served on the rice are from what is known as one of the country’s best egg specialist shops in Kyoto. To ensure the perfect egg, the shop takes great care in the fodder and water given to the chickens from the time they are chicks. This takes away the unpleasant raw smell characteristic of eggs, and is also a healthier lifestyle for the chickens themselves. The eggs are also packed with nutrients that are said to be lacking in the people of today including vitamins, DHA, niacin, and so on.

     

    To top it all off, the hotel has created their own original blend of dashi soy sauce just for this dish.

  • Tokyo’s Revolutionary Buena Àrte Hostel to Open in Ryōgoku Area On September 14

    09.September.2019 | BUSINESS / SPOT

    Buena Àrte Hostel is a revolutionary new hostel set to open in the Ryōgoku area of Tokyo on September 14, 2019.

    In response to the increase in the number of foreigners staying in Tokyo, and especially in anticipation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics-when numbers are expected to skyrocket-Japan’s capital is well underway in developing more accessible accommodation options for foreign travellers, from hotels to hostels.

     

    Hostels in particular are a huge focus for the city, and so more and more of them are opening. Catered to younger people and travellers, hostels are a much cheaper accommodation option when compared to hotels, and thus are likely to increase the number of days in which people will stay.

     

    However, what is considered much more valuable for foreign travellers is the level of comfort, cleanliness, and safety. Buena Àrte Hostel is all of these and more, meaning even somebody travelling on their own can feel safe and secure. With over 200 pieces of art adorning its walls, it is the world’s first art-centred capsule hotel, focusing on “fun, comfort, and encounters.”

    The hostel has collaborated with globally-active artists and up-and-coming illustrators to bring their art to the walls of the communal spaces, restaurant, and even bedrooms. A lot of the pieces you can buy too.

     

    Found in over 160 of the bedrooms are illustrations drawn by artists who want to convey the fun and excitement of travel. These illustrations are exclusive as they were drawn for the hostel and so there is only one of each in the world. There are around 60 rooms without illustrations yet, so the hostel is asking for submissions. If your illustration is picked, the hostel will offer you a free night with breakfast and dinner as thanks. You can find more details on the official website.

    Buena Àrte Hostel has its own cafe and restaurant on the first floor, the Buena Cafe & Dining Bar, where guests including foreign tourists can enjoy authentic Japanese cuisine. The “Washoku Plate” is a meal set aimed at those arriving from overseas so they can enjoy a filling portion of Japanese-style cuisine. It includes everything from sukiyaki to tempura, kushikutsu, and more. It also includes Japanese sake. The bar sells other drinks too including wine, whisky and highball.

    The closest station to Buena Àrte Hostel is Ryōgoku Station. Ryōgoku is a district of Tokyo filled with Japanese tradition. It is home to Ryōgoku Kokugikan, which is considered the holy ground of sumo wrestling, as well as the Sumida Hokusai Museum which houses works by the famous ukiyo-e painter Hokusai, the Japanese Sword Museum, the traditional Japanese garden Former Yasuda Garden, the Edo-Tokyo Museum-the list goes on. And all of these places and more are within 10-minutes’ walking distance from Buena Àrte Hostel.

     

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  • Tokyo’s Anime & Game Concept Hotel Announces Collaboration With Granblue Fantasy

    05.September.2019 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Sunshine City Prince Hotel is currently collaborating with the anime and game media franchise King of Prism and the video game DREAM!ing to rave reviews on the hotel’s IKEPRI25 floor.

     

    The hotel has just announced that its third collaboration will be with the popular RPG video game Granblue Fantasy which will arrive in early November.

    IKEPRI25 is located on the hotel’s 25th floor and operates as a “concept floor.” Decked out with 20 rooms and 4 lounges, the floor is every anime, manga and game fan’s paradise as it themes its room on many different titles. The floor is produced in co-operation with Tokyo Otaku Mode Inc.

     

    Granblue Fantasy is a fantasy role-playing game for Android, iOS, and web browser. It launched in 2014 and is available to play in both English and Japanese. The game features music by legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu who is known worldwide for his work on the Final Fantasy series. A new title, Granblue Fantasy Versus, developed by Arc System Works (Guilty Gear series; BlazBlue series).

     

    Further details on the concept room will be announced in the near future, so stay tuned.

     

    ©Cygames, Inc.

  • A Magical Ice Village is Forming This Winter at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu in Hokkaido

    01.September.2019 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts Tomamu―one of Hokkaido’s leading snow resorts―is set to open a new area called the Ice Village this winter. It will run for a limited time from December 10 to March 14.

    The Ice Village spans coolly across 3.2 hectares of land and is home to 11 domes made entirely of ice. This winter-only experience has been running every year since 1998. Made to look like a real village, some of its iconic sights include the Ice Church and Ice Hotel which can be found at the very back. Everything from the towering ceilings to the walls are formed solely of ice.

     

    The main street, named fittingly the “Ice Street,” includes a cafe, gallery, shops and more, all enveloped in a chilly white world.

     

    Ice Crystal Park: A New Addition to the Ice Village to Gaze at the Sights and Scenery

    The Ice Crystal Park is frozen over with tables and chairs made of ice and has snowflakes dotted here and there, creating a true winter wonderland. Order a hot drink from the Ice Bakery & Cafe or munch on a tasty treat from the Ice Sweets Shop as you sit and gaze at the snow-covered landscape of the Ice Village while surrounded by towering white birch trees. And everyday at 19:30, a 5-minute firework show will warm up the winter sky which is best enjoyed while sitting in the park.

     

    Time: 17:00-22:00

    Price: Free

     

    Bite Down Frosty Treats at the Ice Sweets Shop

     

    It wouldn’t be a complete Ice Village without its own glacial cuisine. At the Ice Sweets Shop you can order ice cream which is made from liquid milk on an ice block. The temperature of the air coupled with the frozen coolness of the ice block causes the milk to freeze into a yummy dessert. There’s also chocolate ice bars made from hot chocolate, colourful macarons, toasted marshmallows, and more.

     

    Time: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:00)

    Price: Milk Gelato – from ¥1,100 / Macarons ¥550 / Ice Bar ¥550 / Marshmallows ¥550 (*All prices include tax)

     

    Grab a Drink From the Ice Bar

    The village even has its own Ice Bar, complete with an ice counter and ice cellar for serving sake. This year, the bar will serve an all-new original gin drink made using snowmelt from Tomamu. There are over 50 drinks to pick from, including original cocktails, whisky, and more.

     

    Time: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:45)

    Price: Original Gin – ¥1,650 / Drinks With Ice Glass – from ¥1,100 (*All prices include tax)

     

    There are many other exciting things to find at the ice village, including the Ice Hotel which you can sleep in, the Ice Atelier, and more. Have a reason to go out this winter by visiting the Ice Village in Hokkaido.

  • Creepy-Cute Halloween Menu Spooks This October at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

    01.September.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    The Bistro is a restaurant at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo which offers casual dining in a warm and welcoming spacious environment. This October, the restaurant is set to serve up at “creepy-cute” Halloween menu with bone-chilling designs and delicious flavours.

    The first dreadful dish is the pain de campagne which is made to look like real lips and fingers. The pork and foie gras pâté fingers are complete with a balsamic jelly coffin while the caprese lips are a mix of tomato and mozzarella cheese.

    Next on the menu is a meaty meal made to look like squashed eyeballs. The eyeballs are made from small onions and are filled with blueberries to give them a very creepy and realistic look. They are served with beef cheek which has been marinated in red wine for three days before being cooked.

    For dessert, look forward to meeting a seriously cute purple sweet potato mont blanc monster.

    Making a return this year is a cooking lesson where a chef will teach you how to make a Halloween themed afternoon tea made up of sweets, scones and more. This is a rare chance to ask questions to a professional chef.

    There will also be a children’s event which is held every year and welcomes more than 200 kids. They can dress up and join in the stamp rally where they will be given a map to find all the stamp locations dotted around the hotel while gathering snacks. After the rally ends they can enjoy some Halloween desserts in the hotel’s cafe Foresta.

  • teamLab Now Holding Digital Art Exhibition at World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto

    31.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    With the increase in number of collaborations between contemporary digital art and traditional and historical Kyoto sites, teamLab is getting in on the action with its new digital art exhibition “Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine.”

     

    We are joined by Instagrammer Macchan who recently attended the exhibition and who has provided photos for us.

     

    Shimogamo Shrine is a shrine located between the Kamo River and Mount Kōya. It was registered it as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The shrine is associated good luck in marriage and welcomes sightseers from Japan and around the world. It can be reached by the 205 Bus from Kyoto Station and getting off at either Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社) or Tadasu Forest (糺ノ森前). It’s also about a 20-minute taxi ride from Kyoto Station.

     

    This marks the third run of teamLab’s “Digitized Forest” exhibition at Shimogamo Shrine, and this year’s exhibition has been made even bigger. It is running until September 2, 2019.

    Floating by the Rōmon Gate of the shrine are spheres of light which change colour and emit various musical tones unique to the colour when touched by a person. They also react to the other spheres around them, changing to the same colour and letting out the same tone, creating a chain reaction.

    Egg-shaped orbs of light can be found dotted around the Tadasu Forest by the shrine which illuminate the trees. Like the light spheres, when the eggs are pushed they change colour and play a musical noise specific to that colour, the sound and tone spreading through the forest.

    These objects of light can also be found at Mitarashi Pond where they float on the water. The orbs shine brightly and then fade slowly as if breathing. If pushed by people or blown by the wind they will change colour and emit sound.

     

    The best part about teamLab’s art exhibitions is how visitors become part of the exhibition itself by interacting with the installations, offering a much more engaging experience than simply looking. Visit Shimogamo Shrine before the exhibition ends to see digital art meet a traditional Japanese shrine at night.

     

     

    If you’re looking for more sightseeing recommendations for Kyoto then be sure to follow Macchan on Instagram!

     

    Photos by まっちゃん

  • The Peninsula Tokyo Hotel Now Offers Restaurant IPPUDO’s Ramen as Room Service

    29.August.2019 | FOOD

    The Peninsula Tokyo is teaming up with tonkotsu ramen specialist restaurant chain IPPUDO―which has restaurants across the world―to offer their ramen as room service at their hotel.

    The hotel and restaurant first came together in autumn last year to begin plans for their collaboration, which comes in response to many guests at the hotel asking staff where a great place to eat tonkotsu ramen is, and even some expressing their desire to dine at IPPUDO.

     

    IPPUDO is a prominent ramen chain in Japan and so is sure to please the palates of all guests.

    The ramen is boiled fresh in the kitchen and is delivered to guest rooms in a soup together with what looks like a jewellery box, but instead of being filled with rings and necklaces it’s packed full of delicious ingredients to add to your broth, including walleye pollock roe―which is a staple with tonkotsu ramen―as well as mustard greens, red pickled ginger, cloud ear mushroom, seaweed, and more. Topping the broth is boiled egg, fried garlic, sesame seeds, BBQ sauce specially prepared by the hotel’s restaurant Hei Fung Terrace, XO sauce which originates from The Peninsula Hong Kong, and more.

     

    Enjoy the ultimate ramen room service now at The Peninsula Tokyo.

  • Kyo no Ondokoro Nishijin Bettei: A Traditional Kyoto Townhouse Transformed Into a New Hotel

    28.August.2019 | SPOT

    Wacoal Corp, the owners of Kyo no Ondokoro―a chain of traditional townhouses turned into hotels―are opening a new branch in the Nishijin area of Kyoto on October 1, 2019.

    Kyo no Ondokoro Nishijin Bettei will be the fifth branch of their hotel chain. It was designed by Akira Minagawa―the owner of Japanese clothing label Minä Perhonen―and architect Yoshifumi Nakamura.

    The Nishijin area is located a little distance away from the city centre meaning one can avoid the hustle and bustle of the busy streets. The hotel is renovated from a luxurious 95 year old townhouse which was originally set up by merchants in Nishijin silk fabrics to house guests.

     

    It has been renovated to make it feel as if guests are living there and thus feel like they are living in Kyoto.

    The first floor features a fully-equipped kitchen with wine cellar as well as a spacious dining area where one can cook up and feast on meals made with ingredients and produce from Kyoto.

    Dotted throughout are various art pieces selected by Minagawa to elevate that at-home feeling.

    The townhouse also offers lots of convenient services including bagging storage, transport service, guidebooks catered to each season, and more. Staff can also offer information about shops and restaurants in the surrounding areas, and they can also sign you up to food plans packed with Kyoto flavours, and more.

     

    If you want to feel like you’re living in Kyoto then book now with Kyo no Ondokoro Nishijin Bettei.

  • MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Opens Origami Themed Accommodation ‘ORIGAMI’ in Harajuku

    27.August.2019 | SPOT

    The second room of the ASOBISYSTEM-produced home sharing facility MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS has finally opened. Named “ORIGAMI,” the room is available via Airbnb, and is a joint-effort between ASOBISYSTEM, which promotes Harajuku culture to the rest of the world, and Rokuyon, which manages unique accommodations in Shibuya.

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS SAKURA 

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS is an accommodation service that offers concept rooms brimming with originality which you won’t find at any other hotel, hostel or home sharing facilities. The first room, SAKURA, opened in December last year, proving popular with travellers around the world with its cherry blossom theme.

     

    Joining as the second room in the series is ‘ORIGAMI,’ a room based entirely on the Japanese art of paper folding which covers the entire room at every turn.

     

    Living Room

    The cosy living room is decked out with benches and stools, furnished in the style of a Japanese tea house. Dangling overhead are lights which brighten the room with their warm colour. The light shades are in fact traditional Japanese umbrellas which help bring that quaint Japanese atmosphere alongside the colourful folding fans, matcha-making tea set, and more.

     

    Bedroom

    The picturesque room is floored with tatami where you can sit and relax on a zaisu―a traditional chair with no legs used for sitting on tatami mats. The paper lanterns and sliding doors elevate an exciting air in the room. The stairs leading upstairs are made up of chests of drawers which you can use to store your luggage.

    Both the upstairs and downstairs are fitted with mattresses spreading 2.6 meters wide which can accommodate up to 6 people in total. The mattresses are by Nishikawa which offer dreamy comfort and a high quality sleep. The mattresses can also be switched out for a different type depending on what kind of feel you are looking for.

     

    Powder Room

    The Powder Room is equipped with amenities including cotton swabs, cotton pads, and hairbands. Seat yourself comfortably at the wide table and get ready for your day or night out.

     

    Shower Room

    The Shower Room also has everything you need including shampoo, conditioner, and body soap. As well as a shower, there is also a Japanese-style Washlet toilet.

     

    Everything Else & The Amenities

    ORIGAMI has all of the living essentials. If you’re looking to cook while staying here, the kitchen has a microwave, refrigerator, plates, pans and more. There is even a washing machine.

    Guests can also rent a kimono haori. Be sure to take lots of pictures!

     

    4F Entrance – Staircase

    The ORIGAMI room begins from the staircase leading from the third floor to the fourth floor. The door is actually made of tatami mats.

     

    Building Entrance

    Our building is very easy to spot at the ground floor entrance with the giant neon sign that reads “MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON” in Japanese as well as the MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS logo on the wall.

     

    Rooftop

    Guests are free to use the rooftop which offers a panoramic view of Harajuku.

    Like SAKURA, ORIGAMI is available to book on Airbnb only. Whether you’re coming from overseas and in need of a room, are doing a staycation, or just want a place to get together with the girls, then book now with MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS.

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