Summer 2019 Japanese Fireworks Festivals With The Wow Factor

30.June.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

Hello everyone, this is Midori from MMN’s Editorial Department!

The first thing that pops into your head when you think of summer is fireworks. During the summer, Japan hosts so many large-scale fireworks events that it can be difficult to decide which one to visit. However, some festivals really stand out from the crowd. Today, I will share with you some fireworks festivals I would highly recommend for their extra wow-factor. 

 

If you’re interested, check out the 2019 list for the top 10 fireworks festivals in Japan

 

2019 Artistic Fireworks at Moerenuma Park, Sapporo

Last year, this event was cancelled due to an earthquake, so excitement levels are high this year. 

This year, the fireworks dream team have put together a special non-stop program which includes the highest fireworks in the whole country. A fireworks photo and painting competition will be held after the fireworks event day.

 

▼2019 Artistic Fireworks at Moerenuma Park

Date: September 7, 2019

Official Website: https://www.moere.jp/

 

Relax 221m Above Ground: The RESTAURANT LUKE with SLY LOUNGE Fireworks Plan

Fireworks events held within the city can get very crowded, so how about watching them explode beautifully in the night sky from a restaurant? RESTAURANT LUKE with SLY LOUNGE is the perfect place to watch the Sumida River Fireworks festival and its 20,000 fireworks, or the Edogawa Fireworks Festival, where 14,000 fireworks are launched. Make sure to ask for the fireworks plan if you want this experience.

Being able to watch fireworks high in the sky is a wonderful lifetime opportunity. 

 

▼RESTAURANT LUKE with SLY LOUNGE

Address: St.Luke’s Garden, 47th floor, 8-1 Akashicho, Chuo City, Tokyo

TEL: 03-3248-0211

Firework event plans:

July 27 Sumida River Fireworks Festival Special Plan

August 3 Edogawa Fireworks Festival Special Plan

Adults: ¥15,000, high school students: ¥6,000, middle school students: ¥4,000, elementary school students: ¥2,000 (Free for those under elementary school age)

Official Website: https://www.restaurant-luke.com/restaurant.html

 

Shin Yokohama Fireworks Festival  2019 Special Tickets

Kohoku-ku, Yokohama will be celebrating the 80th year of the Shin Yokohama Fireworks Festival. Tickets for seats to watch the 2019 fireworks event are now being sold. The fireworks will be launched in an area that is hundreds of metres wide. For the finale, you can enjoy yellow streams of light as they fall out of the sky. As this fireworks event is taking place at Shin Yokohama, you can get seats at the Nissan Stadium or the tennis court to enjoy a beautiful night.  

Photo: Takeshi Kanetake 

 

▼Shin Yokohama Fireworks Festival 2019

Date: July 7, 2019

Prices: Special entry area (unreserved seats): ¥2,000 (per person, 1m2 picnic sheet, 1 entry ticket).

Tennis court garden table seat: ¥20,000 (4 people, 4 tickets, 1 garden table), Nissan Stadium north side (for legal supporters/ event sponsors and others who contributed to the event: ¥54,000 (6 people, 6 tickets, table seating).

Official Website: http://shinyokohama-hanabi.com/

 

Enjoy Fishing With A Beautiful Fireworks Display In The Sky at Echizen, Fukui

Visit Echizen port to enjoy a beautiful fireworks display whilst on the hunt for fish and squid. This is a relatively cheap plan considering that you also get the chance to enjoy a beautiful view. This is a wonderful way to create special memories.

▼ Fishing and Fireworks in Echizen, 2019

Date: July 13, 2019

Price: Squid: ¥ 6,000 per person Fish: ¥7,000 per person (40 people max).

(Includes fishing equipement. Price is the same for both children and adults).

Official website: https://www.town-echizen.jp/SSL/experience/detail.php?id=90

 

A Cool Night at The Pool and Fireworks Every Day at Phoenix Seagaia Resort, Miyazaki

During the summer holidays, there will be a fireworks show every evening at Phoenix Seagaia Resort in Miyazaki prefecture. They have special seating, and also those who choose accommodation on the club floor can see the fireworks launched before their very eyes.

You can also enjoy the night pool or barbeque and simultaneously witness the fireworks. The best part is that there is a show everyday, so there is no need to worry about fitting it in with the rest of your plans.

 

▼Phoenix Seagaia Resort Summer Fireworks 2019

Event Period: Every day from July 20 ー August 31, 2019

Official Website: https://seagaia.co.jp/

 

This summer will be the first ever fireworks season of the Reiwa era, so how about making it extra special by attending a fireworks festival with that extra wow factor?

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  • Mapping event, “Sky Fireworks ‐FIREWORKS BY NAKED‐” will be held at Osaka Abeno Harukas

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    The night-time projection mapping event, “Tenku Hanabi FIREWORKS BY NAKED –“ staged by NAKED will be held at the observation deck of “Abeno Harukas” named “Harukas 300” from September 21st 2018 (Fri.).
     “Harukas 300” has been holding the projection mapping event called, “CITY LIGHT FANTASIA BY NAKED” for the past 4 years, during the winter season. This event has gained much popularity from both domestic and foreign visitors and over 600 thousand visitors have visited the event to date.

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    Visitors can also enjoy watching fireworks from different angles in a space (58F to 60F) surrounded by 3-layered glass which is known as a unique aspect of “Harukas 300.” 
     
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    ■Information

    Harukas 300
    Address: 1-1-43, Abenosuji, Abenoku, Osakashi
    Business hours: 9:00 to 22:00
    TEL06-6621-0300
     
    Tenku Hanabi -FIREWORKS BY NAKED-
    Venue: Harukas 300 (observation deck) 58F “Tenku Teien”
    Date: starting from September, 21st 2018 (Fri.)
    Time: After sunset ~ 21:40
    Event price: Free. You can enjoy this event just by paying the entrance fee to the observation deck.
    Tickets: Abeno Harukas 16F Harukas 300 (observation deck) ticket counter, Kintetsu Business Office, Family Mart

     

  • Fireworks inside a mall?! Enjoy the wonders of projection mapping at Ginza San-ai Dream Centre!

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    From Friday 10th August 2018, make your way to San-ai Dream Centre, which is located at the crossing on Ginza 4-Chome, to witness fireworks blooming in the mall by 80 Ricoh Ultra Short Throw Projectors.

    As fireworks are heavily associated with Japanese summers, this is the theme for the projection mapping project. Combining colours and 3D images, Ginza’s night sky will glisten as fireworks launch into the sky, producing a magical atmosphere. This project was first launched in December 2017 with the intention of contributing to Tokyo’s diverse culture and entertaining visitors in Ginza. 

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    Enjoy the summer feeling of fireworks launching into the night sky of the city.

     

    ■Information

    Display period: Friday 10th August 2018 — Sunday 16th September 2018

    Display times: 19:00 — 23:30  (One cycle lasts 7 minutes and is repeated every 30 minutes)

    Display area: San-ai Dream Centre (Ginza 4-Chome Crossing), 5-7-2, Ginza,  Chūō Ward, Tokyo

    Access: Directly outside Ginza station (exit A2), 2-minute walk from Higashi- Ginza station (exit A1), 4-minute walk from  Yūrakuchō (exit A0 on the Eastern side)

    Official website: http://jp.ricoh.com/company/advertisement/dreamcenter/

  • Top 10 Japanese Summer Fireworks Festivals to Attend in 2019

    31.May.2019 | SPOT

    When May rolls around in Japan, ticket sales open for the country’s many firework festivals. It is the season when Japanese people start checking their calendars so they don’t miss out on the summer fireworks and being drawing up any travel plans if they are attending a faraway festival.

     

    Today we will take a look at the Top 10 firework events to attend in Japan this summer as ranked by Hankyu Travel International from the number of attendees from last year’s festivals.

     

    1st Place: Omagari Fireworks Festival (Daisen, Akita Prefecture)

    Soaring in at No. 1 is the Omagari Fireworks Festival. Boasting a bright history of over 100 years, this famous festival enjoys an attendance rate exceeding 700,000 every single year. As well as the general display, the event also holds a firework competition which sees firework masters from all across Japan come together in a battle to put on the best light show. Some of these experts have received various awards such as the Prime Minister Award and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Award. Omagari is also the only place in Japan to hold a firework competition in the late afternoon.

    The theme for 2019 is Heizei Rinrin (“the awe-inspiring ordinary”). In the latter half of of the program, a display will be held called “Firework Musical Reiwa Festival” where over 2,000 fireworks will be launched. It will commemorate the new Reiwa era of Japan with hit songs from the Heisei period and more.

     

    Date: August 31, 2019

    Time: Afternoon Fireworks – From 17:15 / Evening Fireworks – From 18:50

    Location: Omagari, Daisen, Akita Prefecture (大仙市大曲 雄物川河畔)

    Access: 30-minutes on foot from JR Omagari Station

     

    ▼Omagari Fireworks Festival Details & Tour (Japanese)

    https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/event/oomagari/?p_baitai=9599

     

    2nd Place: Nagaoka Fireworks Festival (Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture)


    On August 1, 1945, the lives of 1,488 locals were taken during the Bombing of Nagaoka. The following year, a festival was held in an effort to aid in restoring the destroyed town. This is the precedent to the annual Nagaoka Festival which includes a firework display. It has been held every year for over 70 years with people from all over the country travelling to attend it. It is considered one of the main three firework festivals of Japan.

     

    2019’s program has several famous fireworks lined up for the display as well as the Phoenix, a firework to commemorate the restoration of the Chuetsu area of Niigata Prefecture from the earthquake back in 2004.

     

    Date: August 2, 2019 – August 3, 2019 (*Nagaoka Festival will take place on August 1)

    Time: 19:20-21:15

    Location: Riverside of Shinano River under the Chosei Bridge in Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture

    Access: 30-minutes on foot from JR Nagaoka Station

     

    ▼Nagaoka Fireworks Festival Details & Tour (Japanese)

    https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/event/nagaoka-hanabi/?p_baitai=9599

     

    3rd Place: Huis Ten Bosch Fireworks Festival (Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture)

    The Huis Ten Bosch Fireworks Festival is the biggest in all of Kyushu. Fireworks can be enjoyed at Huis Ten Bosch all throughout the year, but what’s special about this year’s festival are two particular displays: one which will be combined with music from Studio Ghibli films and another being a competition between firework experts from all around the world. The estimated number of fireworks to be launched is around 22,000. Don’t miss out!

     

    Dates

    Ghibli Music Fireworks: July 13, 2019

    Summer Special Fireworks: August 10, 2019

    Kyushu Fireworks Competition: September 21, 2019

     

    Location: Huis Ten Bosch

    Access: 5-minutes on foot from JR Huis Ten Bosch Station

     

    ▼Huis Ten Bosch Hotel Tour & Information (Japanese)

    https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kyushu/nagasaki/huistenbosch/?p_baitai=9599

     

    4th Place: Ashikaga Fireworks Festival (Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture)


    This year will mark the 105th run of the Ashikagawa Fireworks Festival which takes place beside the Watarase River. Last Year, Hankyu Travel International offered a tour plan consisting of both the Ashikagawa Fireworks Festival and the Kiryuyagibushi Festival. The latter gained popularity for its program which included a Blue Impulse performance, an aerobatic demonstration from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. The finale of this year’s Ashikagawa festival will feature an 800 meter firework display.

     

    Date: August 3, 2019

    Time: 19:00-20:45

    Location: Under Tanaka Bridge near Fujioka Watarase Sports Park and the riverside

    Access: 5-minutes on foot from Ashikaga Station via the JR Ryomo Line

     

    5th Place: Kachimai Fireworks Festival (Obihiro, Hokkaido)


    The Kachimai Fireworks Festival is organised by Tokachi Mainichi News which celebrates 100 years since launching this year. The first run of this festival dates back to 1929 when it was the first ever fireworks festival to be held in Hokkaido. In recent years, the company have set up a live VR stream which offers a a 360° view of the fireworks and festival. This year, to celebrate Tokachi Mainichi’s 100th anniversary, they will also hold a demonstration on how fireworks are launched for the first time. The finale will be the Nishikikamuro, a special firework launch synonymous with the festival, which will light up the night sky with a spectacular display.

     

    Date: August 13, 2019

    Time: 19:30-21:00

    Location: 400 meters along the Tokachi Ohashi Bridge in Obihiro, Hokkaido

    Access: 30-minutes on foot from JR Obihiro Station

     

    ▼Kamachi Fireworks Festival Tour (Japanese)

    https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/keyword/%E5%8B%9D%E6%AF%8E%E8%8A%B1%E7%81%AB%E5%A4%A7%E4%BC%9A/?p_baitai=9599

     

    For numbers 6-10 on the list check out Hankyu Travel International’s website below.

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  • Top 4 Places to Visit in Kyoto This Winter: Snow, Gourmet Food, Hot Springs & More

    26.November.2019 | SPOT

    Kyoto is known as the ancient capital of Japan. It is said to be the place where quintessential Japanese culture started, and has charmed the world over with its incredibly rich 1,200-year history. Today, we take a look at some of the best places to visit in Kyoto this winter as covered by the November 2019 issue of Japanese magazine Mou Hitotsu no Kyoto (“The Other Kyoto”).

     

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    Address: Tango-Amanohashidate-Ōeyama Quasi-National Park, Miyazu, Kyoto

    Official Website: https://www.amanohashidate.jp/lang/en/

     

     

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    Address: 5 Chome Naiki, Fukuchiyama, Kyoto

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)

    Closed: December 28-31, 2019 / January 4-6, 2020

    Entry Price: General ¥330 / Elementary & Junior High School Students ¥110
    Official Website: https://dokkoise.com/en/temple_shrine/index.html

     

     

    Monjusou Shourotei: Feast on crab fondue while gazing at Amanohashidate

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    The inn offers an original salted snow crab fondue. Snow crab is particularly enjoyed for its degree of freshness. It’s served with vegetables and the boiled crab itself, making for a delicious combination of flavours.

    The hot springs at Amanohashidate are famous and praised as “the baths of the gods.” They are also said to leave your skin looking beautiful after a dip. The inn also offers open-air baths lined with stones from Shikoku and wild grass from the mountains, offering a truly indulging experience.

     

    Address: Amanohashidate Monjudomisaki, Miyazu, Kyoto

    Official Website: https://shourotei.com/

     

     

    These are just some of the incredible places you can enjoy in wintertime Kyoto. You can find more information on Kyoto Side or from one of our many articles on Kyoto.

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    Let’s take a look at some of the delicious gourmet seafood meals you can expect to tuck into at TOTOCO Odawara!

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    Osashimi Tengoku – Odawara Kaisen GO GO

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    59 Minute All-You-Can-Eat
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    ▼Obara Shikizakura Cherry Blossoms

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    Access: Take the Toyota Oiden Bus bound for Kaminigi (上仁木行き) and get off at Obaraokusa (小原大草) or Kaminigi (上仁木)

    Details:  http://www.kankou-obara.toyota.aichi.jp/

     

    ▼Obara Shikizakura Matsuri

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    Locations: Senmi Shikizakura no Sato, Obara Fureai Park, and elsewhere in the region

    Notes: The Kururin Bus can be boarded for free on weekends and public holidays while the festival is on

    Official Website: https://www.aichi-now.jp/spots/detail/132/

     

    The Korankei Maple Festival is also taking place this month where you can witness around 40,000 maple trees bearing their gorgeous autumn foliage.

    The trees are being lit up every night for the month of November. Watch the sun set before the illuminations are turned on, creating an enchanting atmosphere with the warm, radiating lights against the night sky.

     

    ▼Maple Trees

    Peak Blossom Time: From Mid-November

    Location:  Iimori Asukecho, Toyota, Aichi

    Access: Ride the Meitetsu Mikawa Line to Toyotashi Station, change onto Meitetsu Bus, and alight at Korankei (香嵐渓)

    Official Website:  http://asuke.info/korankei/

     

    ▼64th Korankei Maple Festival

    Running: November 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019

    Location: Around Iimori Asukecho, Toyota, Aichi

    Light-Up: Sunset to 21:00

    Access: 20 minutes from Sarugata Green Road Interchange / 20 minutes from Toyota-Kanpachi Interchange

    Official Website: http://asuke.info/event/nov/entry-705.html

     

    Witness two of Japan’s most celebrates treesーthe cherry blossom and the mapleーflower together in one place in Aichi.

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    12.November.2019 | SPOT

    Instagram launched a campaign with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government entitled “#MY TOKYO IS” on November 11 together with three limited-time stamps that can be used on people’s Instagram stories.

    The campaign is a global initiative to have people capture their favourite moments in Tokyo in the form of photos, videos and stories on Instagram. Shared posts will be used to curate places and scenery in Tokyo that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government want to showcase to the people of the world. This curation will take the form of an exhibitionーwhich will take place at GINZA ATRIUM on floor 6F of GINZA SIX and GINZA TSUTAYA BOOKS in late March 2020ーas well as a website and a book.

     

    Statistics have shown that Instagram has a significant influence on the Japanese economy in terms of tourism, and so the Tokyo Metropolitan Government hopes that this interactive campaign will help to promote the city to tourists and travellers worldwide.

    The stamps created as part of the campaign only appear in the tray when you’re in the city of Tokyo. When you click the stamp, the #MYTOKYOIS search result page will be displayed, allowing you to see the other photos and videos posted by the people who have used the campaign hashtag.

    If you’re in Tokyo, then be sure to get involved in the campaign and show the world your favourite things about the city!

  • Sightseeing in Ise: 4 Must-Visit Souvenir Shops Near Ise Grand Shrine

    02.November.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The city of Ise is located in central Mie Prefecture on the eastern tip of Kii Peninsula, the largest peninsula on Japan’s largest main island Honshu. Every year, the autumn season brings in a flurry of tourists and sightseers who flock to see the city’s leaves expressing their vibrant hues of red and yellow. The city boasts a magnificent catalogue of sightseeing spots, but perhaps the most famous of all is Ise Grand Shrine, whose inner and outer shrine give visitors a sense of what the townscape looked like in ancient times. This can also be seen at Sarutahiko Shrine, amongst other places.

     

    In this article, we’re going to introduce you to 4 must-visit souvenir shops near the inner shrine for your Ise travel bucket list.

     

    Amano Pearl

    When talking about specialty products of Ise, the one thing that’s sure to come to the minds of Japanese people are the pearls sold in the city. Amano Pearl can be found in Oharaimachi, an almost 1km long street lined with traditional shops. The owner themselves purchases and appraises the pearls while the shop staff manufacture and design gorgeous accessories to sell at an affordable price.

    Accessory – ¥2,200

    This rose-shaped necklace is a design favoured by women of all ages. They have plenty of other high-quality bargain picks like this too.

    The shop’s diverse line-up of beautifully accessories includes those perfect for combining with one pieces and dresses, as well as for parties. Prices and designs vary greatly, so there’s bound to be something for everyone who steps inside this quaint store. So if you’re shopping for souvenirs during your trip to Ise, then you absolutely have to pay a visit to Amano Pearl to see the city’s famous pearls.

     

    ▶︎Amano Pearl – Oharaimachi Branch

    Address: 45 Ujiimazaikechō, Ise, Mie

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website: https://www.amanopearl.jp/

     

     

    Matsujiro Honey – Ise Oharaimachi Branch

    Matsujiro Honey is a long-standing honey shop that was established back in 1912. The shop sells various varieties of honey, including flavours you won’t find in supermarkets like apple honey and soba honey.

    Hanabana – ¥864

    Hanabana is the shop’s No. 1 most popular variety of honey and it’s made in Mie Prefecture. Its name in Japanese means “flowers,” and as the name suggests, it includes the nectar of numerous types of flowers. It has a smooth texture and distinct full-bodied floral fragrance.

    Centre: Mini Honey Soap – ¥503 / Right: Honey Soap – ¥2,200 / Left: ¥2,200 Honey Face & Body Oil (48ml) – ¥2,200

    The shop even sells its own honey-imbued cosmetics, all made with natural ingredients. Their soap is made with their popular Hanabana honey, and gives off a flavoursome honey smell. Your skin is left smooth, moisturised and smelling great after using it.

    Their rich honey oil too is made with 90% plant-derived oil and is free from preservatives. It’s a great option for the coming dry season and is gentle on the skin.

     

    If you visit the shop, they let you taste test their different types of honey too! Find your favourite.

     

    ▶︎Matsujiro Honey – Ise Oharaimachi Branch

    Address: 7 Ujinakanokirichō, Ise, Mie

    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website: https://www.matsujiro.shop/

     

     

    Uoharu

    Uroharu first opened its doors in 1931. Their products are sold as souvenirs to help spread the word of Ise’s rich food culture.

    Same No Tare – Salt Flavour / Mirin Flavour

    The item you absolutely want to look out for when going into Uohara is their “Same No Tare,” another Ise speciality. It was originally only eaten in Shima, Ise, but it was picked up on national television, leading it to become a food souvenir associated with Ise.

    Uoharu’s products are seafood based, and there’s plenty to choose from. If you’re looking for a food product specifically from Ise then look no further than Uoharu.

     

    ▶Uoharu

    Address: 49 Ujinakanokirichō, Ise, Mie

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00 (*Changes depending on season)

    Closed: Wednesdays (Except on national holidays in which case closed on Thursdays)

    Official Website: https://www.samenotare.jp/uoharu/

     

     

    Henbaya – Oharaimachi Branch

    Yet another speciality product of Ise comes from the much-beloved Henbaya, which first opened way back in 1775. The speciality products, also called “henbaya,” can be ordered either for takeout or enjoyed in the shop.

    Henbaya (Includes 2) – ¥160

    Henbaya are thin, round sticky rice cakes made with top of the range domestic ingredients and packed with smooth red bean paste. Both sides of these deliciously fragrant rice cakes are browned, and when bitten into, fill and melt in your mouth with the sweet, smooth flavour of the bean paste.

    At the Oharaimachi branch of Henbaya they sell various other rice cakes too, all chewy and made with high quality ingredients from Japan. Pick up a pair and enjoy the sweet taste of Ise.

     

    ▶︎Henbaya – Oharaimachi Branch

    Address: 1-149-1 Ujiurata, Ise, Mie

    Closed: Mondays (Except on national holidays in which case closed on Tuesdays)

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Eating in-store runs until 16:30)

    *Products may sell out before 17:00

    *Opening hours subject to change for January

     

     

    So, if you’re making a trip to the beautiful city of Ise, you now know the must-visit spots for finding souvenirs. Let us know if you visit any!

  • Kyoto Sightseeing | Yokokuji Temple’s Autumn Event Schedule Announced

    30.October.2019 | SPOT

    Yanagidani Kannon, also known as Yokokuji Temple, is located in Kyoto Prefecture’s city of Nagaokakyo and has been used as a place of prayer for many people with eye disease since the Heian Period. It is believed that praying at the temple will cure eye disease.

     

    For autumn-time this year, the temple is set to hold an event titled “Yanagidani Kannon Autumn Colours Week” from November 2 to December 1. With a seasonal schedule that includes illuminations in the gardens to a flower display at the temple water basin, if you’re looking for the must-visit locations in Kyoto this autumn, then you’ll want to add Yokokuji Temple to your list.

     

    Jodoen Garden Illuminations

    Last year’s popular light-up event is making a return for 2019, with gorgeous illuminations developed by light designer Yuuki Kogawa which will brighten the area with an enchanting and mystifying aura different from a usual visit to the garden.

     

    Dates: November 8th, 15th, 22nd-23rd

    Time: 17:30-18:30  (Reception open from 17:00)

    Price: ¥2,500 (Includes limited edition goshuin stamp)

    No. of People: 20 (Bookings Only)

    Bookings: https://yanagidani.jp/contact/

     

    Special Opening of the Joshoin

    Normally, the Joshoin only opens on the 17th of every month, but for this autumn week event, it will be open every day. It’s an area normally limited to officials and those in the imperial family. The beauty of its autumn colours have come to be enjoyed by VIPs, dating back to the pre-war period when it was designated as a place of scenic beauty.

     

    Hanachomizu Flower Water Basin

    At every temple and shrine in Japan there is a water basin which you are to use to cleanse yourself before entering. The Hanachomizu has become hugely popular on social media since the name first appeared 3 years ago, where leaves and flowers are placed into the basin. It has become adopted at temples across the country, with the one at Yokokuji Temple starting the trend. When it was first posted onto social media, it received reactions from over 80,000 people both in Japan and overseas. The flowers used change with the seasons, from hydrangeas to maple leaves.

     

    Limited Edition Goshuin Stamp Book Designs – Garasha Matsuri & More

    Visitors will be able to pick up limited-edition goshuin stamp books which never fail to sell out whenever they are released. Goshuin are collectable stamps/seals at temples around Japan. They are ¥500 each and limited in stock.

    This is just a small peek into what’s to come during Yanagidani Kannon Autumn Colours Week. If you’re in Kyoto, make sure you pay a visit to Yokokuji Temple.

  • Limited Booking For Sebastian Masuda’s Artistic Kawaii Room Opens Soon

    29.October.2019 | SPOT

    Booking.com is one of the world’s largest accommodation booking websites that connects people from all over the world with many unique places to stay. For the first time ever, Booking.com has announced a very special stay at ‘KAWAII Japanese Room – Addicted to Tokyo.’ Designed in collaboration with no other than art director and icon of Japan’s kawaii pop culture Sebastian Masuda. The stay is available exclusively through Booking.com with only a handful of  booking dates available which are: November 13-14, 14-15 and 15-16. 

     

    One significant pattern which can be seen in the room is that of a traditional jūnihitoe, which is a set of formal kimono garments worn by court-ladies in Japan. The designs and patterns have been fused with a vivid pop colour scheme and created in a modern graphics style for a new form of experimental art. The main concept of the room is “Addicted to TOKYO”. Once you step into the room, you will be immersed in a world of vivid colours and patterns where abstract wonder is fused with traditional features. A stay here is bound to be stay you will never forget. The room is located at the MIMARU TOKYO AKASAKA apartment hotel and was remodeled specifically for this purpose. Reservations will open worldwide at 7pm JST (11am in Amsterdam). Only three reservations – one for each night – will be accepted and it is first-come, first-served.  

    The room is filled with Japanese-style room features such as tatami flooring, sliding doors, zabuton floor cushions, and a raised tatami-floored seating area. There are two beds and a large open space in the room. Once you enter, you will be immersed in a world of patterns.  Using Japanese celebratory culture as a starting point, Masuda has created a space which reflects the atmosphere of an exciting Japanese celebration. Although there are many traditional features to the room, there are also animal patterns and patterns that make the word “TOKYO”, creating a room full of impact. One of the most iconic decorations in the room is the bear which rests on the pink tatami flooring. The bear’s unique design resembles origami, reflecting the cute yet edgy culture of Tokyo fashion. 

    In the room you’ll find KAWAII Japanese Room-limited design yukata. These unisex yukata are designed with a range of patterns and colours that can be seen around the room. You can use them as pyjamas and can even take them back home with you.

     

    You cannot leave the accommodation without checking out the giant mushroom display located on the MIMARU TOKYO AKASAKA roof. Those staying in any room at MIMARU TOKYO AKASAKA during the limited period as well as those staying in the KAWAII Japanese room both have access to see this glorious masterpiece

     

    If you are not one of the lucky few who get a chance to stay at the KAWAII Japanese Room- Addicted to TOKYO, you could book another room in the hotel during the same period to witness Masuda’s iconic mushroom masterpiece. This is the perfect place to experience a full-on kawaii experience right in the centre of Tokyo. The first 100 people to visit the rooftop between 3pm and 9pm on each day between November 13 and 15 will receive an original hand towel. 

     

    Be sure to check it out.

  • Hoshino Resorts to Open New Facilities in Okinawa, Hawaii & 3 More Places

    28.October.2019 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts opened HOSHINOYA Guguan in Taiwan in June and Iriomotejima Hotel in Okinawa in October this year. It will also open Risonare Nasu in November. The hotel chain has now just announced that it will open 5 more new facilities in 2020, pushing the number of locations they manage up to 45 next year.

    Iriomotejima Hotel

    Risonare Nasu

    Hoshino Resorts prides itself on offering a hotel experience that makes use of local regions as well as offering unique experiences. With their catalogue of facilities now set to increase, the company has a released a video detailing the five new hotels.

    The five new hotels will open in Hawaii, Nagato in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Tsuchira in Ibaraki Prefecture, Kohama Island in Okinawa Prefecture, and mainland Okinawa.

    The Hawaii hotel, named Hoshino Resorts Surf Jack Hawaii, describes itself as an “ohana-friendly retro boutique hotel with a satisfying Waikiki experience.”

    Nagato, Yamaguchi will give rise to the 16th hotel in Hoshino Resorts’ brand of KAI hotels, named KAI Nagato. It will open in the Yumoto Hot Spring area and be inspired by Yamaguchi’s traditional tea houses as well as buke samurai culture. Look forward to bathing in the hot springs of this traditional Japanese inn, steeped in history and culture.

    Over in Ibaraki Prefecture, Hoshino Resorts will open Japan’s biggest cycling resort, named Hoshino Resort BEB5 Tsuchiura, which we covered earlier this month. It will act as a “base camp” to enjoy cycling, with its core concept being “more an izakaya and less travel-focused where you can enjoy a laid-back time with friends.” It hopes to put a new spin on travel by combining the worlds of cycling and accommodation.

    Okinawa is getting three new hotels. Hoshino Resorts Risonare Kohama will feature 60 rooms each their own private villas. Its concept is “a private beach resort on a remote island swimming with the manta rays” and will offer a beach and resort-like experience to guests with views of the white sand and blue ocean.

    HOSHINOYA Okinawa will be inspired by gusuku which refers to castles in the Ryukyu Islands that feature stone walls, with the hotel itself being enveloped in one. The hotel will be surrounded by the gorgeous ocean and coast, offering that quintessential Okinawan resort experience.

     

    The tables at Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe will offer a breathtaking view of Okinawa’s grand seas, with a menu serving food and drink made with Okinawan ingredients.

     

    2020 is looking to be a big year for Hoshino Resorts as it begins expansion. If you’re travelling to Japan, why not check if one of their hotels is near where you’re looking to stay?

  • 3 Must-Visit Locations to See Kyoto’s Autumn Colours at Night in 2019

    17.October.2019 | SPOT

    Kyoto is known as the ancient capital of Japan. It is said to be the place where quintessential Japanese culture started, and has charmed the world over with its incredibly rich 1,200-year history.

     

    Autumn is a popular season in Japan, especially amongst tourists and travellers. While in spring you have the bright pink cherry blossoms, when autumntime rolls around, the trees turn into enchanting reds and yellows. People from around the world flock to see this incredible sight, with Kyoto being a very popular location.

     

    KYOTO SIDE, a regional information website run by Kyoto Prefecture, has listed a number of must-visit places around the city for seeing the autumn foliage, which is known as koyo in Japanese. Of course, viewing the beautiful colours of the trees and their leaves is a must during the daytime, but seeing them in the evening has become popular in recent years too. It offers you an entirely different experience and atmosphere. Here’s three places you should jot down for your Kyoto trip this autumn.

     

    Jitokuin Temple: A place of rest created by the chief priest and locals

    Jitokuin Temple is located in the town of Yosano in Yosa District. Maple trees were planted almost 11 years ago with the help of locals and the chief priest to create local ties. Every autumn, the trees behind the mountain bloom in vivid hues, leading the temple to be nicknamed “Koyo-ji,” or “Temple of Autumn.” The locals work hard in the surrounding gardens day by day, so the sights change a little bit every year.

    The maple trees are planted in a way that it looks like they take an entire side of the mountain. They are a sight to be hold during the day, but for one week in November there will be illuminations in the evenings, creating a magical scene under the night sky.

     

    Light-Up Period: November 9, 2019 – November 16, 2019

    Light-Up Time: 17:00-20:00 (Temple is open 09:00-20:00)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Mid November

    Address: 2250 Akeshi, Yosano, Yoza-gun, Kyoto

    Support Fund: ¥300

    Official Website: http://jitokuin.com

     

    Nariaiji Temple: The 5-storey pagoda comes together with the autumn colours

    Nariaiji Temple, located in Kyoto Prefecture’s city of Miyazu, is an ancient temple betwixt mountains overlooking Amanohashidate, one of Japan’s “Three Scenic Views.” It’s home to a grand 5-storey pagoda which is surrounded by hundreds of maple trees, offering an incredible, quintessentially Japanese view during autumn.

    During the day, you can snap some gorgeous photos with the Sea of Japan and Amanohashidate in the back. For two nights only, on Saturday November 9 and Sunday November 10, the entire area will be beautifully lit up with warm illuminations.

     

    Light-Up Period: November 9, 2019 – November 10, 2019

    Light-Up Time: Sunset – 21:00 (Temple is open 08:00-16:30)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Late November

    Address: 339 Nariaiji, Miyazu, Kyoto

    Price: ¥500

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

     

    Kasagiyama Prefectural Natural Park: A bright-red landscape from the mountain peak

    Kasagiyama Prefectural Natural Park: is located atop Mt. Kasagi and is also home to Kasagi-dera, a temple with a 1,300-year history. During autumn, one entire side of the park is dyed in autumnal colours.

    This November, the area will be lit up for a limited period, offering a gorgeous view from the mountain peak of the trees below as well as the flowing Kizugawa river.

     

    Light-Up Period: November 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019

    Light-Up Time: 17:00-21:00 (Temple is open 09:00-16:00)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Mid November

    Address: Mt. Kasagi, Kasagi, Soraku District, Kyoto

    Price: Illuminations – Free / Temple – Adults ¥300, Children ¥100

    Official Website: https://www.kasagidera.or.jp

     

     

    See Japan’s autumn colours in an entirely new way this year at one of Kyoto’s many autumn-time illumination events.

  • Wear Plain Clothes This Halloween at Shibuya’s Jimi Halloween 2019 Event

    13.October.2019 | FASHION

    Worried about what to wear for Halloween this year? No need to panic. If you’re spending your Halloween in Shibuya this year, which is known the world over for its incredible Halloween festivities, then head to Tokyo Culture Culture on October 27 where a very unique event is taking place.

    Jimi Halloween is an event that takes out the stress of having to go all out for Halloween as people go dressed as ordinary people. It has been held annually since 2014, with the number of attendees growing each year. Over 800 people took part last year, all clad in their plain clothes.

     

    This year’s event will be split into three slots, with a capacity of 200 people per slot. Sign-ups begin on October 15 at 12:00pm (JST).

     

     

    Past Examples

    ①Situational attire

    Beauty salon client

    Dressing up as someone doing something has been a popular choice at the event recently. You can come up with some creative ideas that’ll make people say, “You came as that?!”

     

    ②”I’ve seen people like that!” attire

    Flea market woman

    There’s always certain types of people that everyone sees, and in Japan this is one of them!

     

    ③”I get it, but I don’t get it” attire

    Hawaii vibe  uncle

    You’ve heard all about them, but have you seen them?

     

    ④Work attire

    Handing out tissues with pachinko ads on them

    Work attire is a go-to at the plain clothes event. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this is the one that started the entire movement.

     

    ⑤Miscellaneous attire

    Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

    The final entry is those which are hard to categorise. They serve whatever vibes they are feeling.

     

    Attend this year’s event and show off your own unique ideas!

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