Oita Prefecture News Letter June 2019

22.June.2019 | Uncategorized

Oita Prefecture is Kyushu is known as having the most hot spring sources and yield in Japan. Places in Oita such as the city of Beppu and town of Yufuin are highlighted as some of the most famous hot spring sites in Japan and enjoy an influx of tourists every year, but their appeal doesn’t stop at hot springs. Oita will host this year’s Rugby World Cup, and because of that, the prefectural government is putting more efforts into dining, speciality products and spreading tourist and sightseeing information.

 

Let’s take a look at some of the must-see sites, art and culture of the prefecture.

 

InterContinental ANA Beppu Resort & Spa

InterContinental ANA Beppu Resort & Spa is Oita’s first foreign-owned luxury brand hotel set to open this year on August 1. This resort-style hotel will combine Beppu’s status as Japan’s spearhead of hot springs with the concept of an intercontinental brand hotel to offer the ultimate relaxation and healing.

 

There are 89 rooms at the hotel which incorporate the strenuous craft and expertise of local artists and artisans such as bamboo work. The rooms span 62-212mand are decked out with interiors made with natural materials and enjoy presentations perfect for those seeking peace and tranquillity. 21 of the rooms are suites and club rooms each with terraces equipped with private open-air baths. And if you make use of the Club Intercontinental Lounge you can enjoy top class service.

 

Guests can enjoy the rich spring water of Beppu in both the open-air baths and public baths. Not only is there a spa there’s even an infinity pool from which guests can enjoy a gorgeous view.

 

Official Website: https://anaicbeppu.com/en/

 

Ryumon Falls (Kokonoe)

Ryumon Falls is a 26-meter waterfall spanning 40-meters wide. The waterfall itself runs down the rocks below it, almost creating a second waterfall. In summer, kids and adults alike both enjoy the thrill of using it as a water slide. During the summer season, the camp sites, diners and souvenir shops bustle with tourists. You can pick up a mat and other items required to slide down the rocky slope in the surrounding area.

 

Address: Matsugi, Kokonoe-machi, Kusu-gun 879-4632, Oita Prefecture

 

Traditional Crafts at Nakatsu Castle Shitamachi – Shuka’s Japanese Umbrellas

During Japan’s economic crisis at the turn of the 19th century, policies were enacted that encouraged areas to create their own speciality products. This sparked the manufacturing and selling of umbrellas which were made from bamboo, Japanese paper, oil, astringent and other materials all sourced locally. The early Showa period was the golden age for Japanese umbrella production, but it later declined and production eventually stopped in 2003 due to the ageing of the craftsmen who made them. However, production restarted in 2005 by Shuka to help revitalise the traditional Japanese craft of creating umbrellas. Since then, the same production methods that were used back in the day have been adhered to, and new designs have come to life. They are now back in fashion and growing in popularity.

 

Official Website: http://shu-ka.jp/

 

Michi no Eki Innai

Michi no Eki Innai is located in the centre of Innaimachi Kushino, a town home to the only village in Japan built on a stone bridge. They sell a variety of food products including speciality food items, including a range of loach dishes such as fried loach and loach hot pot. They also have information on the stone bridge itself, and visitors can see a Japanese giant salamander up close. Their Usa Karaage is a favourable dish amongst visitors.

 

Official Website: https://www.michinoeki-innai.net/

 

Oita Prefecture is home to many fun and exciting spots and events, so be sure to explore if you’re planning a visit.

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    Guide To Magical Shores | Siloso Beach, Sentosa:

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    “Yowamushi Pedal” Anime | Five Bridges of Amakusa in Kumamoto


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    Comment from the person in charge of the Kamiamakusa Planning Committee

    “Thank you for honouring us with 1st place in this […] ranking. Five Bridges of Amakusa features as the location for the race in the Yowamushi Pedal movie. It gets its name from its five bridges which connect the islands along National Route 266. The area is also nicknamed ‘Amakusa Pearl Line’ for the abundance of pearls that can be found here. It was also selected as one of Japan’s 100 Roads. It’s a truly beautiful bridge which is also an example of Japan’s fine bridge building craftsmanship.”

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    Tokiwa Park

    Address: Tokiwakoen, Asahikawa, Hokkaido

    Access: 25-minutes on foot from Asahikawa Station (via JR Line). Alternatively, board the Tohoku Bus and get off at Tokiwa Park (常磐公園).

    Official Website: http://www.asahikawa-park.or.jp/

     

    Twin Harp Bridge

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    Twin Harp Bridge

    Address: 4 Chome Toko 18 Jo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido to 5 Chome Kyokushin 1 Jo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido

    Access: 20-minutes by car from Asahikawa Airport / 15-minutes by car from Asahikawa Station

    Official Website: http://www.city.asahikawa.hokkaido.jp/files/tosi_kei/index.htm

     

    Kitoushi Forest Park – Family Village

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    Kitoushi Forest Park – Family Village (Kitoushi Shinrin Koen Kazokuryokomura)

    Address: 5 Gokita-44 Nishi, Higashikawa, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido

    Access: 40-minutes by car from Asahikawa Station

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

    More Information (English): http://www.asahikawa-tourism.com/asahikawa/asahikawa_sites/higashikawa/higashikawa_en.html

     

    Maruyama Park

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    Maruyama Park

    Address: Miyagaoka, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido

    Access: 5-minutes on foot from Maruyama-Kōen Station

    Official Website: http://www.sapporo.travel/find/nature-and-parks/maruyama_park/

     

    Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park

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    Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park

    Address: 393 Higashimokotosuehiro, Ozora, Abashiri-gun, Hokkaido

    Access: 30-minutes by cat from Abashiri Station. Alternatively, board the transit bus from Abashiri Station, get off at Higashimokotocho (東藻琴町). The park is a 5-mintue drive from here.

    Official Website: http://www.shibazakura.net/

     

    Photo:Mirina has visited many sightseeing spots in Hokkaido, so if you’re looking for more places to visit be sure to follow her on Instagram.

     

    Photos: Mirina Nishio

     

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    Delivering the sounds of the relaxing onsen from Komoro

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    ITO City, Shizuoka, Japan in 8K HDR

     

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    Tsutsuji Garden at Hotel de Yama

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    A combined view of the kaleidoscopic rhododendrons and Mount Fuji

    The staff who are experts on the garden have set up two photo frame stands in two of the best spots in the garden for taking picturesque photos. Snap some Instagrammable and memories with the colourful rhododendrons and Mount Fuji together.

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    Salon de thé Rosage, the dessert restaurant that sits in front of the hotel, is serving up a new special dessert called “Saison a colorier” in line with the full bloom of the rhododendrons. It captures the colourful pink, red, white, and purple appearance of the flowers, and looks like a mini version of the hotel’s garden on your plate. The main part of the dessert is the tea mousse, which has a bright red colour as it is coated beautifully in a strawberry puree nappage. The tea used in the mouse is an original rhododendron blend exclusive to the restaurant.


    The white rhododendron dessert is a macaron that’s filled with raspberry sorbet. The red which contrasts with the white is a rhododendron milk tea cream and fresh raspberries. The rest of the plate is adorned with pink jelly and edible flowers. The perfect afternoon tea to finish off your time at Tsutsuji Garden.

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    In response to the decreasing number of tourists, Kaname Inn Tatemachi opened its doors to Japanese citizens through Facebook for free accommodation to help support businesses like local restaurants that could no longer make a living. They received a lot of guests, as well as a request from a friend who asked if someone from the Netherlands could stay there because they couldn’t get back to their country. This sparked the “Room for rescue” project for stranded foreign tourists to stay at Kaname Inn Tatemachi for free too.

     

    Kaname Inn Tatemachi is using its own funds to pay for the project and allow free stay. However, doing this long term will put strain on the business, so to help pay for hotel use and staff’s wages, the hotel has opened up a crowd funding page which you can find here.

  • 3 Must-Visit Cherry Blossoms Spots in Nagasaki Prefecture’s Hirado City | Spring 2020

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    Spring has arrived in the city of Hirado, Nagasaki, which has been dyed a cherry blossom pink colour from the blossoming of the cherry trees. A simple glance at the signs of spring there is enough to have one feeling elated. It has also made the news that the budding of the cherry blossoms in Hirado has arrived earlier than usual.

     

    We’ve made a list of 3 popular spots to enjoy Hanami in Hirado this spring.

     

    Jigenzakura

    Jigenzakura is a single sakura tree that stands proud and majestic. Aged 140 years old, the tree is listed as a National Treasure of Hirado. It’s close to the Oshima variety of cherry tree, and was planted by Catholics who migrated to Japan at the beginning of the Meiji Period. A visit to Jigenzakura offers a splendid sight to behold as it blossoms in the ravine. The best time to see it in full bloom last year was March 31.

     

    Address: Kigatsucho, Hirado, Nagasaki (35-minutes from Hirado Bridge)

    Nagasaki Tabi Net: https://www.nagasaki-tabinet.com/guide/51690/

     

    Kameoka Shrine / Kameoka Park

    Kameoka Park is a famous cherry blossom site that’s adjacent to Hirado Castle. It’s home to around 1,000 sakura trees, which are best seen from the end of March to early April. It also has a very rare type of cherry blossom called the nidozaki-zakura which blooms twice. You can see these around mid-April at Kameoka Park.

     

    Address: 1458 Iwanouechō, Hirado, Nagasaki (7-minutes from Hirado Bridge)

    Nagasaki Tabi Net: https://www.nagasaki-tabinet.com/guide/370/

     

    Tabira Park

    Tabira Park is just over Hirado Bridge, and is a place where you can look out at both Hirado Bridge and Hirado Seto while gazing at the rows of cherry trees.

     

    Address: 823-1 Tabirachō Kotedamen, Hirado, Nagasaki (Next to Hirado Bridge)

    Official Website: http://nagasaki-park.or.jp/free/tabira

     

     

    Hirado is easy to get to, and is a must-visit not just for Hanami, but for the food and its rich history too.

  • Feel Like You’re Living On Okinawa’s Taketomi Island With HOSHINOYA’s New ‘Workation’ Hotel Plan

    27.March.2020 | SPOT

    HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island in Okinawa rolled out a new hotel plan on March 18 that’s set to run until June 30 this year.

    Taketomi Island can be said to be home to landscape of what Okinawa used to be, with the Ryukyuan red roof tiles of its buildings, stone walls, and alleys spread with coral sand. Someone plucks away at a three-stringed sanshinーthe Okinawan precursor to the mainland shamisenーas time flows with gentle ease on the island. Taketomi Island is rich in traditional culture which can be felt throughout.

     

    The guest rooms at HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island emulate the island’s traditional architecture. All guest rooms have south-facing windows that can be opened to let in the southern winds, which the local islanders say are lucky. HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island developed its new workation plan in response to the current situation when more people are having to do remote work and work from home. It enables people a private abode where they can work and relax simultaneously. And all the necessary amenities have been prepared for a workation.

    The guest rooms at HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island are known as guest pavilions, which allow for you feel like you’re living like a real islander. They are equipped with Wi-Fi, printers, pand photocopiers too, making it the perfect work environment. And you don’t have to worry about hay fever as there are no Japanese cedar or cypress trees around.

    The pavilions offer a beautiful view of the bright blue sky and sea. The beaches are also open from March, so you can take a dip in the springtime sea too while basking in the warm climate.

  • Japan’s First Guest House Meiji Kinenkan Officially Designated as Tangible Cultural Property

    27.March.2020 | SPOT

    Meiji Kinenkan, located in Minato, Tokyo, was officially designated as a Tangible Cultural Property this month.

    Meiji Kinenkan was built in 1881 as a dining and reception hall used for receiving important guests from abroad to the Akasaka Temporary Palace. In October 1881, a dinner was held at the site with Prince Albert Victor and Prince George who visited Japan that autumn. Five years later, in 1886, Empress Shōken received foreign guests in Western clothing for the first time. In 1888, a meeting attended by Emperor Meiji was held to discuss the draft of the Constitution, which is represented in artwork you can see on the walls of Meiji Kinenkan. During the construction of Meiji Jingu Gaien in 1918, Meiji Kinenkan was dedicated to Meiji Jingu from the Ito family and relocated to where it stands today. Before the war, the building was known as the “Constitution Memorial Hall” and was used for events related to the Imperial Family. It was renamed “Meiji Kinenkan” in 1947 and became a wedding hall of Meiji Jingu.

     

    Dining hall used as the stage for Emperor Meiji’s Imperial Court diplomacy

    Golden roosters flutter on the walls around the black-lacquered mantle piece mirror

    This building was used for court diplomacy under Emperor Meiji. Located on the grounds of Meiji Kinenkan, its interior exemplifies the idea of “Modern Meiji.” It has survived two relocations, the Great Kantō earthquake of 1923, and the Second World War. The lavish decor is a harmonious fusion of the traditional and the modern, with the overhead chandeliers, golden roosters, and mantle piece with its black lacquering and towering mirror.

     

    Overlooking the garden, offering not only a modern cafe experience but banquets too

    The Meiji Kinenkan Main Building was designated as an Tangible Cultural Property for its 100+ years of history, honouring its historical background, cultural role, and value as a building. Today, it is used for many different things, from a wedding reception to a venue for company parties.

    On weekdays, it is mainly used for its “kinkei” lounge, a spacious area that faces a gorgeous green garden planted with a variety of flowers that bloom through the seasons. Its interior decor also has history, such as its ceiling which is a reflection of the Meiji Period. They even serve cake from Meiji Kinenkan’s original sweets brand “Kaminomi no Mori” and coffee.

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