See the Snapdragons at Tobu Zoo Park’s Flower Festival
18.May.2019 | SPOT
If you head to Tobu Zoo Park right now you will be able to see the snapdragons in full bloom. They are located in the Campus Garden which is part of Heartful Garden, a garden made up of five areas each with their own theme.
The Campus Garden is made up of over 6,600m² of flower beds. Planted on one side of the garden are winding rows of five different coloured snapdragons which will are now in the height of their bloom until early June.
You also won’t want to miss the Rose Garden where around 220 species of roses are bunched together. From late May to early June, you’ll also be able to catch a glimpse of 16 species of roses which were inducted in the Hall of Fame by the triennial World Rose Convention, as well as rose arches and gazebos.
School students are set to perform a garden concert at the Welcome Garden and event stage too.
Enjoy a spring day out in Japanese nature this year at Tobu Zoo Park.
Tobu Zoo Park
Address: 110 Suka, Miyashiro, Minamisaitama District, Saitama Prefecture
An Otaku’s Dream: The EJ Anime Hotel in Saitama Where You Can Stay in Rooms Themed On Anime Series
Manga publisher KADOKAWA opened the new anime concept hotel EJ Anime Hotel at Tokorozawa Sakura Town in Tokorozawa, Saitama, on October 1, 2020.
Tokorozawa Sakura Town is a new shopping complex set to open on November 6, 2020, where it will serve as a hub for the latest in Japanese pop culture with events, shops, restaurants, a museum, and more. EJ Anime Hotel opened on early Thursday in the run up to the complex’s grand opening to welcome guests.
The ‘EJ’ of EJ Anime Hotel stands for ‘Entertainment Japan.’ The hotel aims to have guests living inside the stories they love from a wide range of Japanese media from anime to manga, movies, tokusatsu SFX movies, idol culture, and more.
As well as room decorations and the exclusive merch that will be on sale, the hotel is also offering a new kind of accommodation experience by incorporating videos, sounds, lighting, and more. Its restaurant will also offer a selection of food and drink in collaboration with various series including all-out full course dinners.
When using the hotel elevator, you will hear announcements from none other than popular Japanese voice actor Yuki Kaji who has played many big roles in anime including Eren Jaeger in Attack on Titan. “As an anime fan first and foremost, having such a fun concept hotel like this open, not to mention getting to be involved as an announcer, makes me really happy,” explains Kaji. “I want guests to make some great memories staying at EJ Anime Hotel.”
“Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense.” Collab Room ©2020 夕蜜柑・狐印／KADOKAWA／防振り製作委員会
“Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!” Collab Room © 2020 丈／KADOKAWA／宇崎ちゃん製作委員会
“KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!” Collab Room ©2019 暁なつめ・三嶋くろね／KADOKAWA／映画このすば製作委員会
“A Certain Scientific Railgun T” Collab Room ©2018 鎌池和馬／冬川基／ＫＡＤＯＫＡＷＡ／PROJECT-RAILGUN T
“Yuki Yuna Is a Hero” Collab Room ©2017 Project 2H
Right now, EJ Anime Hotel is collaborating with five different anime series: Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense., Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!, KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!, A Certain Scientific Railgun T, and Yuki Yuna Is a Hero. The hotel is taking bookings on its official website.
If you’re thinking of travelling to Japan as an anime fanatic, then look no further and book with EJ Anime Hotel.
EJ Anime Hotel
Grand Opening: October 1, 2020
Location: Tokorozawa Sakura Town Floor 6F
Address: 3-31-3 Higashitokorozawawada, Tokorozawa-shi, Saitama Prefecture
Opening Hours: 24 hours a day
Check In: 4pm / Check Out: 10am
No Fixed Holidays
Official Website: https://tokorozawa-sakuratown.jp/hotel/
Japan’s Moominvalley Theme Park Announces ‘Harvest Special Week’ Autumn Event
11.September.2020 | SPOT
Moominvalley Park has announced the special autumn event “Harvest Special Week” which is set to run from September 19 to 27.
Moominvalley Park is a theme park centred on the Moomins. It’s located inside Metsä, a bigger Nordic-themed entertainment complex. The theme park is based on the Moomin’s home of Moominvalley, where guests can enjoy a variety of activities from enjoying nature to making their own accessories, dining on Northern European food, and more.
Harvest Special Week
The Harvest Special Week is themed on the season of harvest—autumn. Near the entrance to the theme park will be the “Welcome Cove Area” where around 3,600 balloons will be set up, inspired by the berries of Northern Europe during autumn. The design was created by textile designer Masaru Suzuki who has worked with the famous Finnish brand Marimekko.
During the Harvest Special Week event, guests will receive an original pin badge celebrating 75 years of the Moomins. They will be handed out at the Welcome Cove Area (area in Japanese: はじまりの入り江エリア) between 10:00-15:00.
Guests can also take pictures at the Harvest Gate, Berry Road, and Apple Tree photo spots. The shops and restaurants in the park will also sell and serve all things harvest-themed.
Harvest Special Week
Running: September 12, 2020 – September 27, 2020
Address: 327-6 Miyazawa, Hanno, Saitama 357-0001, Japan
Event Page: https://metsa-hanno.com/en/event/8798/
Japan’s New High Speed Bus Travels From Kyoto to Mount Koya
23.August.2020 | SPOT
Keihan Bus and Nankai Rinkan Bus are bringing back their high-speed bus service this year which will run from September 18 to November 30. The service will incorporate a mandatory booking system, making it even more convenient than last year.
Mount Kōya is the name of the temple settlement found in Wakayama which first settled in 819. It is the centre for the Kōyasan Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism and is designated as a World Heritage Site, one of many found in Kyoto alongside Kinkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, and Shimogamo Shrine.
The new Kyoto Koya-san buses offer a smooth, direct ride to the World Heritage Site, arriving there from Kyoto in just 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Kyoto Koya-san Bus (Japanese Name: 京都高野山線)
Running: September 18, 2020 – November 30, 2020
Keihan Bus Official Website: https://www.keihanbus.jp/
HAIKYU!! TO THE TOP Event to be Held in Collaboration With Tobu Zoo in Saitama
Japanese company arma bianca and Tobu Zoo have announced a special event in collaboration with HAIKYU!! TO THE TOP which will take place at Tobu Zoo from October 3 to December 27 this year.
Fans who roll up to Tobu Zoo during this time will find illustrations dotted around featuring the characters of HAIKYU!! themselves visiting the zoo. Fans will also be able to get their hands on pre-sale merchandise of the characters in superdeformed mode, enjoy food inspired by the series, and more.
Further details will be announced in the coming months in the lead up to the event, so watch this space.
©Haruichi Furudate / Shueisha・”HAIKYU!!” Production Committee・MBS
HAIKYU!! TO THE TOP x Tobu Zoo
Running: October 3, 2020 – December 27, 2020
Location: Tobu Zoo
Address: 110 Suka, Miyashiro, Minamisaitama District, Saitama 345-0831, Japan
Event Website: http://www.tobuzoo.com/event/details/1678/
*Information listed is subject to change
*Event is subject to cancellation depending on the situation surrounding COVID-19
teamLab’s Acorn Forest Exhibition to Open in Saitama’s Higashi-Tokorozawa Park
17.July.2020 | SPOT
teamLab’s upcoming new digital art exhibition teamLab: Resonating Life in Acorn Forest is set to open in Higashi-Tokorozawa Park in Saitama on August 1, 2020. The interactive display will react to and change from the presence of people.
The Kadokawa Culture Museum calls the collection of oaks and other deciduous broadleaf trees of Musashino the “Musashino Woods.” These Musashino Woods transition through the greens of spring and summer, display beautiful autumnal leaves from fall until early winter, and are home to ripe acorns in autumn.
Deciduous broadleaf forests were widespread in Japan during the Jomon Period. These forests were home to acorn-bearing trees, and acorns were a major food source for the Jomon people. During the Jomon Period, many people existed alongside the acorn forests, living easily with this abundant food source.
teamLab’s Digitized Nature art project uses non-material digital technology to transform nature into art without having a physical impact on it.
teamLab: Resonating Life in the Acorn Forest will transform the acorn forests of Musashino into an interactive art space which changes due to the presence of people.
Autonomous Resonating Life – Liquified Light Color, Sunrise and Sunset / teamLab, 2020, Interactive Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi
With sunrise, the ovoids begin to reflect the world around them. When pushed down by a person or blown by the wind, the ovoids fall back and then rise releasing a resonating tone. The ovoids around it also respond one after another, continuing to resonate with the same tone.
As the sun sets, the ovoids shine by themselves. When an ovoid is pushed by a person or blown by the wind it falls down and then rises, a sound resonates out, and it emits a light color specific to the sound.
Resonating Trees / teamLab, 2014, Interactive Digitized Nature, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi
The trees shine brightly. The light of each tree is autonomous, slowly blinking.
The light transmitted from Autonomous Resonating Life – Liquified Light Color, Sunrise and Sunset causes the trees’ lights to change color, and a tone specific to that color resonates out. The light of a tree is transmitted to the surrounding trees one by one, as the sound is continuously emitted.
When a light resonates from the trees in the distance, it signifies the presence of people. Perhaps people will become more aware of the existence of others in the same space.
teamLab: Resonating Life in the Acorn Forest
Running: August 1, 2020 – Permanent
Address: Musashino Woods Park in Higashi-Tokorozawa Park (3-9, Higashi-Tokorozawa, Tokorozawa, Saitama)
12:00 – 22:00
Daytime: 12:00 – 17:00 / Nighttime: 18:00 – 22:00
*Hours of exhibition varies depending on the season
Jan, Feb, Mar: 12:00 – 17:00 / 18:00 – 22:00
Apr, May, Jun: 12:00 – 18:00 / 19:00 – 22:00
Jul, Aug, Sep: 12:00 – 17:00 / 18:00 – 22:00
Oct, Nov, Dec: 12:00 – 16:00 / 17:00 – 22:00
*Last entry at 21:30
Tickets: On sale from July 22, 2020
*Also available to buy at the exhibition
Official Website: http://acornforest.teamlab.art
Feel Refreshed at Moominvalley Park With the New Hattifatteners Thunder Splash Event
09.July.2020 | SPOT
Moominvalley Park is set to hold a new event this summer called Nyoro Nyoro no Kaminari Splash (Hattifatteners’s Thunder Splash). Set to run from July 18 to August 30 as part of Metsa Umbrella Sky Design Project 2020, the event will see guests sprayed with mist to cool themselves down in the summer heat.
A rolling cloud of multicoloured umbrellas will float overhead inside the park. It will begin in the “Moominvalley and Umbrella” area and take you to a special zone where lots of Hattifatteners are. Flashes of lightning and sounds of thunder will trigger after which a shower of mist will rain overhead. When the rain falls, the storm sets in, and the thunder roars, it will feel like the mysterious Hattifatteners are alive.
Children’s Water Fountain Spot
Right nearby the Moominvalley and Umbrella zone is a water fountain spot where water spurts from the ground. This is great area for kids to keep cool in the summer heat too.
Nyoro Nyoro no Kaminari Splash!
Running: July 18, 2020 – August 30, 2020
Location: Moominvalley Park
*The mist may not be sprayed on days when the weather is bad
Moomin Official Website: https://www.moomin.co.jp/
Hamtaro Cafe 2020 to Open in Tokyo, Saitama, and Osaka
LEGS COMPANY has announced that it will open three cafes based on the popular Japanese character Hamtaro in Tokyo and Saitama on July 30 and Osaka on July 31.
Hamtaro is a manga and storybook series created and illustrated by Ritsuko Kawai. The series began serialisation in 1997 and an anime adaptation first broadcast back in 2000. More than 20 years later, Hamtaro continues to enjoy much popularity in Japan.
Hamtaro Cafe 2020 will be themed around sunflowers and the sea, and will serve up a fun experience perfect for the hot summer. The Ham-Hams have come out of their Clubhouse to pay a visit to the seaside and enjoy the sun. There will be sunflower and ocean themed food, drinks, and desserts for everyone to munch on.
Yakisoba On Beach Hut Sunflower Bread: ¥1,499
A plate of yakisoba and egg arranged to look like a sunflower, with Hamtaro sat right in the middle.
Cone Cappy Hide and Seek Ice Cream Parfait: ¥1,399
Cappy is wearing a cone on his head and is hiding amongst the ice cream, chocolate banana, and fresh mint.
Ham Ham Glass Drinks: Drink Only – ¥789 Each / With Glass – ¥1,789 Each
There are two drinks to choose from: the orange flavoured Hamtaro and the yogurt flavoured Bijou.
Vinyl Pouch: ¥1,300
Mascot Keyring Hamtaro: ¥1,550
The cafe will also sell a range of exclusive merchandise too, which is scheduled to be available for online purchase as well in Japan.
Ham-Ham Fans (14 Designs)
Original Coasters (15 Designs)
Those who dine at the cafe will receive a free Ham-Ham fan, and if you order a drink you’ll get a coaster too.
©Ritsuko Kawai / Shogakukan
Hamtaro Cafe 2020
Booking Price: ¥500 (4 people max per booking) *Comes with free gift
Tokyo: TOKYO BOX cafe&space / July 30, 2020 – September 6, 2020
(Address: Tokyo Solamachi Floor 1F East Yard 8, Tokyo Skytree Town, 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo)
Saitama: BOX cafe&space / July 30, 2020 – September 27, 2020
(Address: AEON Laketown kaze Lake Town Gate 1F, 4-2-2 Koshigaya, Saitama)
Osaka: Shinsaibashi contact / July 31, 2020 – August 16, 2020
(Address: 1-6-24 Kitahorie, Nishi-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka Prefecture)
Official Website: https://hamutarocafe.sho.jp/
MAXPLAN AZABU10: The New Landmark of Tokyo’s Azabu Juban District
31.May.2020 | SPOT
MAXPLAN Co. is set to open MAXPLAN AZABU10 on October 22, 2020 which is set to become the new symbol and a landmark of Tokyo’s Azabu Juban District. The building will offer many unique and extraordinary experiences.
Nakamura Suzuko (CEO, MAXPLAN Co.) | Comment
“This project borrows the strength of internationally-active architect Kengo Kuma. I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to be a driving force together with him once again. This building, which is the ‘Azabu Juban Development Project,’ will be a place that creates and discovers new collective value between companies and individuals. A place of creative symbiosis. It aims to offer well being for companies that brings about a sense of cultural values. It will be a creative space for companies and individuals to resonate, bounce ideas off, and flow with one another. I pray from the bottom of my heart that these things will serve as a connection to how we want to live in the future.”
Kengo Kuma (Architect) | Comment
“Azabu Juban is Tokyo’s intersection between tradition and the future. I wanted to create a symbol for this district of ‘fluctuations’ around its crossroads. Combining panels of varying sizes with different heights, thicknesses, and textures expresses the district’s diversity and energy. I wanted the building to blend in as part of the ‘fluctuations,’ as well as create a small 3D city which itself has ‘fluctuations’ […]”
We look forward to seeing how this new landmark and symbol of Azabu Juban brings together the traditional and the futuristic.
Building Site: 4-1-1 Azabu Juban, Minato Ward, Tokyo
Access: 1-minute on foot from Azabu Juban Station (via Tokyo Metro Namboku Line and Toei Oedo Line)
Grand Opening: October 2020 (subject to change)
O Park OGOSE: Saitama’s Hotel Resort Opens New Sauna Suite Cabin
11.March.2020 | SPOT
BIO RESORT HOTEL & SPA O Park OGOSE, a hotel resort in Iruma, Saitama, is opening a new accommodation facility on March 12, 2020 called the “Sauna Suite Cabin.”
This single-building cabin brings to mind a sauna cabin of Northern Europe. The entire interior is decked out in beautiful warm wood. It’s roomy and fully equipped with furniture, a Finnish-style private sauna, jaccuzi, stove, and other bits.
Guests can enjoy a contrast bath experience with the sauna and open-air bath, as well as entertain themselves with a glamping-style dinner in the spacious outdoor dining area.
To make the Sauna Suite Cabin’s atmosphere even more enjoyable, O Park OGOSE teamed up with Finland’s oldest textile brand, Finlayson, which turned 200-years-old this year, to bring in some of their elephant design furniture and products, including bed linen, towels, and more. Their “ELEFANTTI” line-up is popular even in Japan.
In the bedroom drawers, their are even ELEFANTTI notebooks and letter sets which guests are free to take and use.
If you’re looking for a private sauna experience away from the busy city while in Japan, then be sure to check out the new Sauna Suite Cabin at BIO-RESORT HOTEL & SPA O Park OGOSE.
Sauna Suite Cabin
Location: BIO-RESORT HOTEL & SPA O Park OGOSE (3083-1 Ueno, Ogose, Iruma-gun, Saitama Prefecture)
Date: March 12, 2020
Official Website: https://opark.jp/
Go On A Wild Adventure with Tama and Friends at Tobu Zoo
05.February.2020 | Uncategorized
Tobu Zoo is collaborating with Tama and Friends – a popular anime series which premiered on January 9, 2020 on a number of channels including Fuji TV’s programming block Noitamina. The collaboration includes a limited event which will run from February 1 to April 5, 2020.
The collaboration includes a number of original illustrations of adorable chibi versions of the characters with animals created specifically for the collaboration project. The illustrations will be fixed into area panels across the zoo.
Explore the zoo-limited merchandise decorated with original illustrations. Spend more than ¥3,000 (After Tax) at the Little Cabin for a chibi design badge. (Comes in 10 designs, one will be presented at random to the customer.)
Purchase Point: Little Cabin, located in the park.
Collaboration Game: Candy Toss
Head over to Tobu Zoo’s games corner Rainbow Town and challenge yourself to a game of Candy Toss to win an original prize.
¥300 Per Go (After Tax)
Order from the collaboration menu to receive an original drink coaster.
Tama and Friends Churros: ¥500 (After Tax)
Tama and Friends Tsubu Tsubu Float: ¥600
Sold At: Snack Stations around the Leisure Park
Enjoy a fun day out at Tobu Zoo exploring the rides at the leisure park and then an exciting wander around the zoo.
Character Voice Recordings
Tobu Zoo-exclusive voice recordings by the original voice cast of Tama and Friends can also be heard around the park.
①All areas around the park
Characters: Pochi Yamada, Nora
Start Times: 10:10/11:10/12:10/13:10/14:10/15:10/16:10
②Ferris Wheel Emma’s Cheese Windmill: Inside each gondola
Character: Tama Okamoto
Announcement Times: During operation (Plays once per ride.)
Ride Price: ¥600 per person/6 ride tokens/ One-Day Ride Passes accepted
For safety reasons, the ride will be closed temporarily from time to time for maintenance checks and during strong winds.
Enjoy a thrilling day out at with Tama and Friends at Tobu Zoo.
Tama and Friends and Tobu Zoo Collaboration Event
Running: February 1 – April 5, 2020
*Closed every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during February
Location: Hybrid Leisure Land Tobu Zoo
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 16:30 *Opening hours may vary from day to day and season to season.
Admission Fees: Adults (Junior High +): ¥1,700/ Children (3 years +): ¥700
One Day Pass (Admission + Unlimited Rides): Adults: ¥4,800/ Children: ¥3,700
Twitter: Tobu Zoo Official: (@tobuzoo_info)
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.
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.
Kyoto Brighton Hotel
Address: 330 Shiteicho Nakadachiuri Shinmachi-dori (West side of Gosho), Kamigyo, Kyoto
Official Website (English): https://www.brightonhotels.co.jp/kyoto/en/
Plan Page (Japanese): https://www.brightonhotels.co.jp/kyoto/lp/spring2020/index.html
Bunjee Jump From the Top of Kyoto Tower With Their New VR Experience
17.January.2020 | SPOT
Have you ever wondered what the thrill of bungee jumping would be like, but are too afraid of heights to even consider putting it on your bucket list? Have no fear, because Kyoto Tower is bringing a new VR bungee jumping experience to the top of the building which will be available to experience from February 1 for a limited time.
This VR experience was first brought to the tower in the fall of 2018, and this year it is making its grand return. After the event originally ended, there was huge demand for it to be held again.
Those brave enough to have a go at this VR bungee jump (or bungy, depending where you are from), will go above and beyond the 100 meter observation deck to the highest accessible point of Kyoto Towerーup 120.9 metersーwhich is normally closed off to the public, to the special VR deck which has been prepared.
The experience will offer you not only the thrill of jumping from Kyoto’s tallest structure, but the chance to gaze upon a panoramic view of the beautiful city too.
Kyoto Tower VR Bungy Jump
Running: February 1, 2020 – March 31, 2020
Time: 12:00-21:00 (Last Entries 20:45)
Location: Kyoto Tower Observation Deck – Floor 1F (the 11th floor of Kyoto Tower)
・VR Bungy Ticket: ¥800 (Tax Included)
・Observation Deck & Bungy Set Ticket (Tax Included): Adults: ¥1,400 (Individual Purchase: ¥1,600)/High School Students: ¥1,300 (Individual Purchase: ¥1,450)/Elementary & Junior High Students: ¥1,100 (Individual Purchase: ¥1,350)
*Ages 7+ only
*Set tickets are available to purchase on floor 1F of Kyoto Tower
*Run times subject to change
*Ticket charges applied for ages 7+; those aged below 7-years-old are not permitted to use the VR system
*An entry ticket to the Kyoto Tower observation deck is not necessary to experience the VR system
Official Website: https://vr-bungee.com/