Goldfish Art Exhibition Begins at Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari in Tokyo Odaiba
26.June.2019 | SPOT
Onsen theme park Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari in Odaiba, Tokyo launched its biggest event of the year Kingyo Matsuri Art Exhibition on June 24. The festival feature a range of exciting exhibits including Japan’s biggest terrarium developed by aquarium creator Masanori Miyazawa.
Aquarium ①: Japan’s biggest Japanese-style Terrarium
A terrarium is a sealable glass container inside which soil is placed to grow plants. Aquarium creator Masanori Miyazawa, who goes by the artist name GA☆KYO, has built Japan’s biggest Japanese-style terrarium which represents the change from the old generation into the new. Standing at 5-meters tall and stretching 1.5-meters wide, the terrarium makes use of bonsai, moss and driftwood.
Aquarium ②: Yukata x Aquarium x Photo Spot
Inspired by the ladies of Edo Castle, beautiful cylindrical fish tanks with kimonos wrapped around them act as a great photo opportunity together with the goldfishes.
Aquarium ③: Meet the 1 Million Yen Ryukin Goldfish
This innovative art installation pairs the Ryukin, a type of Japanese goldfish that has been sold in long-standing fish shops for more than 200 years, with onigawara decorative tiles that have been used to ward off spirits since ancient times, bonsai and more. Also in the exhibit is the “Pre-Edo Goldfish Tearoom” and “Large Round Fish Tanks.”
Summer Festival Drinks & Desserts
From Left: Blue Goldfish Shaved Ice: ¥550 @ Kuranoe / Goldfish Blue Hawaii Soda: ¥580 @ Yumeakari / Blue Mojito: ¥850 @ Ooedo Cafe
Feel the festive spirit with these summery drinks and desserts.
The souvenir store Ryokokuya is selling a range of goldfish themed merchandise perfect as gifts and souvenirs or for taking on summer trips with you.
Hotel Gajoen Tokyo to Hold Japanese Art Exhibition at Hyakudan Kaidan
12.June.2019 | SPOT
Hotel Gajoen Tokyo is both a museum and a hotel which celebrated its 90th anniversary in December 2018. The establishment is set to hold its 5th Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan art exhibition at its Hyakudan Kaidan, or ‘100 Steps Staircase’―which was registered by Tokyo Prefecture as a Tangible Cultural Property in 2009 for its exceptional architecture and artistic beauty.
The event will run from July 6 to September 1 and will feature all-new exhibits from 40 independent artists and groups from around Japan: from Aomori in the north to Kagoshima in the south.
Bamboo Artwork by NIITAKE
Participating in the exhibition for the first time is bamboo artist NIITAKE from Nichinan, Miyazaki. His pieces will include entrancing room installations as well as a colourful collaboration with the Nagasaki Lantern Festival which enjoys an incredible one million visitors.
emullenuett: The Sand Art Duo
emullenuet are an up-and-coming duo who create artwork out of sand. The two of them have created some pieces just for this exhibition such as Japanese ranma transoms.
Edo Furin Wind Chimes
This dramatic exhibit will include lacquer work, glass work, metal carving and more by Tokyo Teshigoto―a group backed by the city of Tokyo which is a collaboration between contemporary designers and traditional Edo techniques which aims to pass down theses kills to the next generation. Summertime furin which chimes will also line the showcase with their delicate designs and sounds. Other contemporary artists will also display their work with Japanese-style paper, allowing for visitors to see cultural assets established during the early Showa period.
This year’s exhibition will also see the return of some legends who have enjoyed popularity at previous runs of the event. As you descend the huge mother-of-pearl raden elevator you will be welcomed by an overwhelming assortment of standout pieces.
Other popular names include Tadaharu Kawamura, a sculptor who works with natural materials such as leaves, shells and Japanese lantern cherries, and Takatoshi Hayashi who is known for their kokeshi dolls.
Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan 2019 ~Kokoro no Shikisai~
Location: Hotel Gajoen Tokyo (1-8-1 Shitameguro, Meguro Ward, Tokyo)
Running: July 6, 2019 – September 1, 2019
Opening Hours: [Sun-Thurs] 10:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30) / [Fri-Sat & August 11-18] 10:00-20:00 (Last Entries 19:30)
*Photography allowed (Tripods, flash and photography for business purposes forbidden)
Price: Same-Day ¥1,600 / Advanced ¥1,300 (Special Advanced Price of ¥1,100 Until July 5) / University & High School Students ¥1,200 / Elementary & Junior High School Students ¥600
*Student ID required. Preschoolers permitted free entry.
Online Tickets: https://www.e-tix.jp/100event/#akari
Art Exhibition: ‘Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan’ to Take Place in Meguro Gajoen
17.June.2018 | SPOT
Hotel Gajoen Tokyo is a hotel and museum celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. The hotel is home to the Hyakudan Kaidan, or 100 Steps Staircase, where the Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan art exhibition will take place from June 7 to September 2. This marks the 4th run of the event, which will put on a fantastic display of lights and installations celebrating Japanese summer and its events.
The 100 Steps Staircase was built in 1935 and has been a place of meeting for many people over the course of Gajoen’s history. It was registered by Tokyo Prefecture as a Tangible Cultural Property in 2009 for its exceptional architecture and artistic beauty.
During the exhibition’s first run in 2015, the Hyakudan Kaidan was celebrated in collaboration with the Aomori Nebuta Matsuri, a registered Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property. The ideas and concepts surrounding the exhibition have changed each year. The second run saw a boost in popularity with over 90,000 attendees, more than the prior year.
This year, 63 exhibitors will participate in the event, close to double the amount than last time. It will be a celebration of everything from the giant Aomori Nebuta Matsuri to Edo Kiriko glassware that you can hold in the palm of your hand. An amalgamation of festivities, art, design, craftsmanship and technology, attendees are permitted to take photos of anything there.
This year’s exhibition will see a huge range of content, including art installations by MIRRORBOWLER, three new works completed by Majima Hidenori at the end of last year that took him 6 years to complete, a light-up byobu folding screen that people can draw on, products by body care brand SABON who originate from Israel and are celebrating 10 years since arriving in Japan, and much more.
There will be a bunch of collaborative projects too. Full details can be found on the event website.
Get up close with Japanese art and culture at this year’s exhibition.
teamLab Brings “Resonating Trees” Permanent Digital Art Exhibition to Tokushimaken Bunkanomori Total Park
06.April.2018 | SPOT
teamLab will set up their Resonating Trees exhibition as a permanent display at Tokushimaken Bunkanomori Total Park on April 29th. This digital art space transforms and alters with lights, sounds and tech when people are present.
teamLab is an ‘artist collaborative, interdisciplinary creative group’ made up of specialists including programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians, architects – the list goes on. They work to blur together the art, science, technology and creative industries.
The exhibition set to hit Tokushimaken Bunkanomori Total Park is titled ‘Resonating Trees’ and is one of the team’s Digitized Nature art projects. Rows and rows of trees will illuminate the area. Each of the tree lights is automatic so will resonate gently as they glow on with dazzling light before fading away. When passersby and animals pass through the trees, the colour of the lights will change and different sounds will play. Each trees’ lights will diffuse one after the other.
Experience digital art like you’ve never seen it before with teamLab.
Take a Plunge at Natural Hot Spring Heiwajima Near Haneda Airport
13.February.2020 | SPOT
When it comes to recommending things to do when travelling to Japan, one of the biggest attractions for tourists is the country’s “onsen,” or hot springs. If you’re landing into Haneda Airport, or happen to be around that area when exploring Tokyo, then we can’t recommend Natural Hot Spring Heiwajima enough.
Located inside BIG FUN Heiwajima, this hot spring facility commemorated its 30th anniversary last year, and underwent a revamp before reopening on March 28, 2019. There actually aren’t that many large-scale hot spring spots in Tokyo, so to have one so close to Haneda Airport makes it the perfect location for your sightseeing and must-visit agenda.
Direct shuttle bus from Haneda Airport and equipped with suitcase lockers
A shuttle bus runs directly from Haneda Airport to Natural Hot Spring Heiwajima which takes just 15-minutes and can be boarded in the early morning and late at night. Additionally, the hot spring facility is also equipped with suitcase lockers if you have heavy luggage with you. It also has a lounge you can relax in, and the entire building has free Wi-Fi. Hotel check-ins are generally from 15:00. If you arrive early in the morning, you can take a dip and relax in a nice warm onsen to unwind before heading to your hotel.
Bus Details: https://www.heiwajima-onsen.jp/en/bus/
You can enter the hot springs with a tattoo seal
When going to an onsen in Japan, many places forbid entering if you have a tattoo, no matter how small. Some places let you cover them up before entering, and Natural Hot Spring Heiwajima is one of those places. You can purchase a tattoo seal for ¥200 (10cm x 15cm) to cover your tattoo, and then you’re free to enter and enjoy your toasty bathe.
One of Tokyo’s best natural hot springs
Heiwajima Hot Springs is one of the largest hot spring facilities in Tokyo, with 150 tons of hot spring water bubbling up from 2000 meters underground every day. The water leaves your skin smooth and moisturised.
Experience the spacious Viewing Spa (6:00 am – 2:30 am the following day)
The Viewing Spa is open late until 2:30am everyday, where guests can plunge themselves into the thermal water bath or sit in the hot stone bath. We recommend the stone bath for those who aren’t good with super hot saunas as it’s set at a comfortable temperature. There is also a highly-carbonated bath which helps open small blood vessels and promotes good blood flow which helps boost metabolism. Carbonated water is also said to beauty the skin and restore moisture.
Enjoy a variety of baths at the Shining Spa (9:30 am – 6:00 am the following day)
The Shining Spa is home to a variety of different baths including a hydro-jet Jacuzzi-style, reclining-style, and more. The one I personally enjoyed the most was the Micro Bubble Togoal Bath which wraps your body in delicate bubbles and smooth-like hot water. You feel really refreshed afterwards.
Get comfy in one of the relaxation areas
Natural Hot Spring Heiwajima offers plenty of relaxation spaces after your bath, including a restaurant, a lounge with a TV and reclining chairs, and more. They even give you a towel blanket in the lounge, so I ended up dozing off. There’s a female-only lounge space too.
This is just a small look at the many services offered at Natural Hot Spring Heiwajima. Visit their website for more information, and be sure to pay it a visit when travelling via Haneda Airport to relax after your long flight.
Natural Hot Spring Heiwajima
Address: BIG FUN Heiwajima (Floor 2F), 1-1-1- Heiwajima, Ota Ward, Tokyo
Open: 24 hours a day all year
Hot Springs @ 9:30 am – 6:00 am the following day
Viewing Spa @ 6:00 am – 2:30 am the following day
Hot Stone Bath @ 10:00-23:00
Full Relaxation Price Plan
Adults: Weekdays ¥2,000 / Weekends & Holidays ¥2,300
Children: Everyday ¥1,000 (From 3 years old to elementary school-age)
Infants: Everyday ¥300 (Under 3 years old)
*Covers 7 hours allotted time and includes spa wear and towel
Midnight Fee: ¥1,500 (Adults/Children) from 2:00 am – 5:00 am
Hot Stone Spa Fee: ¥500 (Adults) *Includes towel, spa wear, and hot drink
Full Price List: https://www.heiwajima-onsen.jp/en/price/
Access – By ¥100 Shuttle Bus
①Take the bus for Heiwajima Natural Hot Springs departing from the #6 bus stop at the East Exit of JR Omori Station. (about a 10-minute ride)
②Take the bus for Heiwajima Natural Hot Springs departing from Keikyu Heiwajima Station. (about a 3-minute ride)
Additional Methods: https://www.heiwajima-onsen.jp/en/access/
Official Website: https://www.heiwajima-onsen.jp/en/
5 Must-Visit Beautiful and Romantic Lantern Festivals in Japan | 2020 Edition
02.February.2020 | SPOT
The season for Japan’s enchanting and romantic lantern events has finally arrived, and the line-up this year is diverse, from events where lanterns are the main attraction to lantern-lined festivals and Japanese matsuri festivals.
Hankyu Travel International compiled a list of these events , and we’ve pulled out some of the best ones for you.
Hanamaki Hoshi Meguri no Yoru | Iwate Prefecture
This year marks the third run of “Hanamaki Hoshi Meguri no Yoru,” an event held during winter for guests staying at Hanamaki Onsen. The event is comprised of many elements, including fireworks, folk entertainment, and more. People will also write wishes and messages or draw pictures on their lanterns before sending them up into the winter night sky. Afterwards, they can enjoy a dip in the hot springs at Hanamaki Onsen to warm themselves up and unwind from the day.
Running: January 26, 2020/February 22, 2020/February 11, 2020/February 16, 2020/February 24, 2020
Location: Namari Ski Center
Address: Nakadaira-36-1 Namari, Hanamaki, Iwate
China Lantern Festival | Chiba Prefecture
Tokyo German Village is hosting its second China Lantern Festival, inspired by the typical traditional festivals held in China during spring. A selection of 30 lantern installations of varying sizes made by the world’s biggest lantern maker Lantern Group have been set up in the 50,000 square meter area. Pieces include lanterns over 10 meters long and high, lanterns floating on the water, moving lanterns, and more.
Running: November 23, 2019 – April 5, 2020
Location: Tokyo German Village
Address: 419 Nagayoshi, Sodegaura, Chiba
Tsunan Yuki Matsuri | Niigata Prefecture
Since 2012, the people of Tsunan in Niigata have raised sky lanterns into the sky to pray for the revival from the disaster that the Tohoku earthquake brought in 2011. It is a two-day festival, with the first day of the event taking place at night, and the second being the main day of the festival. The festival is so popular that tickets never fail to sell out quickly every year. It brings with it a host of events, from the lanterns to the snowboard straight jumping tournament, the hanging of snow lanterns, snowmobile rides, and more.
Running: March 14, 2020 (There will also be a lantern event the night before on March 13, 2020)
Location: New Greenpia Tsunan
Address: 12300 Akinari, Tsunan, Nakauonuma-gun, Niigata
▼Niigata Tsunan Sky Lantern Festival Tour
Nagasaki Lantern Festival | Nagasaki Prefecture
This festival was originally held during the Chinese New year by the people of Nagasaki Chinatown, but in 1994 it was given the name “Nagasaki Lantern Festival.” To date, it has been attended by over 1 million people. This year, around 15,000 lanterns of varying sizes are set to light the streets. Taking place across several areas, some standout pieces include the peach-coloured lanterns at Nagasaki Chinatown, the ceiling lanterns at Hamanomachi Arcade, the water lanterns at Nagashimagawa Park, and more. On weekends, there are also parades, traditional Chinese performance, and other exciting events. And if you head to Nagasaki Confucian Shrine (also known as Koshi-byo), you can offer a love lantern to pray for happiness in your relationship.
Running: January 24, 2020 – February 9, 2020
Locations: Nagasaki Chinatown/Central Park/Tojin Yashiki/and elsewhere
Address: Various places throughout the city of Nagasaki
▼Nagasaki Lantern Festival
Hankyu Travel International Tour: Hankyu Travel International
Nagasaki Tourism Page: https://travel.at-nagasaki.jp/en/what-to-see/62/
Ryukyu Lantern Festival 2019-2020 | Okinawa Prefecture
Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park is known for having originally been used as the set for several historical drama series, and was subsequently turned into a theme park after filming was finished. The Ryukyu Lantern Festival welcomes a variety of different lanterns, including Chinese lanterns, paper lanterns, various Asian lanterns, and more, each of which bring a completely different atmosphere depending on the area you are in. This year sees the welcome return of the annual lantern contest where 45 individual lantern pieces are exhibited. There are also different street performances every day on the Night Lantern Stage, as well as projection mapping displays, the Night Lantern Cafe, and more.
Running: December 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020
Location: Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park
Address: 1020-1 Takashiho, Yomitan, Nakagami-gun, Okinawa
Murasaki Mura Official Website: https://murasakimura.com/
Be part of one of Japan’s many beautiful lantern festivals this year and witness some seriously breathtaking night scenes.
▼Hankyu Travel International – Japan Travel & Tours
Kissho Caren: Gaze at Shizuoka’s Moonlit Night Sky From Your Hot Spring With New Hotel Plan
28.January.2020 | SPOT
Kissho Caren is now offering a new hotel plan for women only which is available until the end of March 2020.
Kissho Caren is an incredible hideaway resort and inn located alone the quiet shores of Hokkawa Hot Spring in Shizuoka. All rooms offer a breathtaking ocean view, and all rooms, plus the restaurant and infinity pool open-air baths, offer a panoramic spectacle where the sky and sea meld together into one beautiful scene. Guests can also witness the “Moon Road,” a popular power spot of Hokkawa Hot Spring which was chosen as one of Japan’s “100 Moon Views.”
Kissho Caren boasts two of its own water sources for its flowing water. It houses 18 water spots, including hot springs in seven locations around the inn and its sister facility Tsuruya Kisshotei, as well as rentable baths, foot baths, and the beachside “Kurone Rock Bath.” All of these hot water spots are fully equipped with bath towels, face lotion, and other amenities. The inn’s hospitality is also well-praised, including its salon which offers barely tea, soft drinks, and tokoroten made in the city of Izu. In the evenings, it also offers beer amongst other things.
After checking in, guests choose a yukata and obi of their liking and enjoy a luxurious and tranquil afternoon tea. The seasonal pancakes are prepared in front of you by the chef and are topped with sweet and refreshing soft serve ice cream and served with beautiful tea. The pancakes are mixed with whey which has a lot of skin benefits, and the teas vary from Izu guricha tea to Izu aloe tea which have anti-ageing benefits and strengthen the immune system. All of this takes place at Aodake which is open 14:00-15:30.
At the Kissho Spa, one can spy the gorgeous ocean from the window. Guests can enjoy some relaxing thalassotherapy with the warm climate of the beach and seaweed, oils prepared in Izu Ōshima, guricha tea, and other local treatments, all of which are popular.
The French course dinner comes with a free drink and flambéed dessert. All rooms also come with lots of other hopsitable gifts too, including a free mini bar and snacks, 20% off from the Kisso Spa, and more.
If you’re looking for a place to stay with your girlfriends in Japan, then we recommend putting this place on your list. Don’t miss out on this limited-time, girls-only offer.
Girls-Only Amenity-Packed, Wine & Flambéed Dessert Plan
Running: January 6, 2020 – March 31, 2020
Prices (1 Night With Breakfast/Prices Per Person):
- From ¥26,500 (2 People/1 Room)
- From ¥24,500 (3 People/1 Room)
- From ¥23,500 (4 People/1 Room)
*An extra ¥5,000 on public holidays. An extra ¥2,000 from February 9, 2020. Includes tax and service charge.
- Dinner: French dinner course at “Four Season” restaurant
- Breakfast: Japanese breakfast at “Four Season” or teppanyaki breakfast at “Aodake”
- 1 free drink (White or Red Wine/Sparkling Wine/Soft Drink)
- Flambéed dessert after dinner
- Free mini bar in all rooms and confectionery set
- 20% off Kissho Spa (Discounted: ¥8,000 / Usual Price: ¥10,000): 60-minute body lymphatic drainage/60-minute facial treatment
Address: 1130 Naramoto Higashiizu, Higashiizu, Kamo District, Shizuoka
Official Website: https://www.kissho-caren.com/en/
Celebrate Tokyo Midtown’s Cherry Blossoms at MIDTOWN BLOSSOM 2020 Event
24.January.2020 | SPOT
MIDTOWN BLOSSOM 2020 is set to take place in Tokyo Midtown from March 20 to April 19 to celebrate and welcome the spring and the cherry blossoms.
This marks the 13th year of the event, which will take place both in Tokyo Midtown’s garden area which is home to rows of gorgeous cherry trees, as well as around the building where they have sparkling wine, sweets, flower displays, and many other exciting things planned.
CHANDON Blossom Lounge
Enjoy a luxurious cherry blossom experience this year with a glass of premium Chandon sparkling wine available at the outdoor limited-time CHANDON Blossom Lounge. This vibrant sparkling rosé wine is the perfect accompaniment to your springtime banquet and to say “Cheers!” to this year’s hanami flower-viewing in Japan.
There will also be food prepared by Nagase Mitsunao, head banquet chef at the 5-star Ritz-Carlton Tokyo Hotel, as well as incredibly decorative-looking sweets to adorn the able. There are two new types of seats available this year with Japanese twists to them, including seats in the roofed lounge where you can enjoy the cool spring weather in the evening.
Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020 (Closed in the case of stormy weather)
Time: 12:00-20:00 (Last Orders 19:30) *Extended to 21:00 (Last Orders 20:30) on Fridays, Saturdays and during cherry blossom full bloom
Location: Midtown Garden, Sakura-dori area
*Select seats require a reservation – full details to be released in mid-February
Spring Flower Display ~Flower Art Award pre~
Za Sogetsu is a performance unit specialising in ikebana, or flower arrangement. One of the most recognised groups in the industry, their work will displayed around various locations at Tokyo Midtown, including large-scale pieces as well as never-before-scene ones. One look at this breathtaking flower art will be enough to fill you with spring vibes.
Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020
Time: 9:30-24:00 (Galleria Floor 1F) / 11:00-21:00 (Galleria Floors 2F-3F)
Location: Galleria 1F’s Tree Shower & various locations at Galleria 2F-3F
Nighttime Cherry Blossom Light-Up
The entire 200-meter length of cherry trees in Tokyo Midtown’s garden area will be lit up with beautiful illuminations at night－a sight that never fails to drawn in countless people. Before the flowers are in full bloom, pink lights will be used to get people ready for the main show. When the cherry blossoms are at their height, white lights will be used every night.
Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020
Location: Midtown Garden, Sakura-dori area/In front of Garden Terrace
Tokyo Midtown has many other events planned for spring 2020, so don’t miss out this year.
MIDTOWN BLOSSOM 2020
Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020
Location: Tokyo Midtown (9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato Ward, Tokyo)
Official Website: https://www.tokyo-midtown.com
Interview: Internationally Popular Japanese Artist Chocomoo Talks About Upcoming Harajuku Exhibition
23.January.2020 | SPOT
A huge exhibition of Chocomoo’s artwork is set to adorn WITH HARAJUKU HALL from August 20 to September 28 this year for “Chocomoo EXHIBITION -OUR SECRET PARTY- Supported by WITH HARAJUKU.”
Chocomoo is a Japanese artist born and bred in Kyoto. Her work is known for its originality and pop style which she draws in black and white. Her work has been used for clothing and apparel brands, for music artists, and for many other special collaborations with other companies. She is active internationally and draws huge popularity with Japanese women between the ages of 10-20. We have translated an interview with her which was just released.
“I’ve loved drawing ever since I was a kid. I’d draw in notebooks, sketchbooks. When I went to New York for the first time, too, I kept a sketch diary and would draw in the park. I was later asked by a guy who managed a gallery if I’d put my work on at his site.”
It was there at that gallery exhibiting several of her works that the first buyer came by.
“I sold my first piece of art. A piece of art drawn by an ‘ordinary person,’ not someone who was an active artist. It was about 30 dollars, if I recall, but I was super happy.”
New York helped pave the way for Chocomoo to begin her first steps towards becoming an illustrator.
She would post her art on her blog and social media, which was seen by singers and songwriters who got in touch with her. She penned artwork for their tour merchandise, album covers, and more. Recently, she collaborated with Italian car brand FIAT. They released 100 limited edition cars with her art on it. Japanese convenience store FamilyMart even sold umbrellas with Chocomoo’s illustrations on them. The reach of her work has no limits.
“When I create a piece, I incorporate a lot of positive words into it in the hopes that it lifts people up.”
One distinct aspect of Chocomoo’s art is the black and white monotone colouring. When asked why she draws in this way, she said: “I did calligraphy from elementary school to high school and was captivated by how we would write in black. When using black ink, it has a matte look to it, and when using black paint, it’s got a glossiness. I think that’s part of the reason why I do it.”
This will be Chocomoo’s biggest exhibition. She is currently working on new material and looking into the details of the exhibition. Speaking about it, she said: “I want to try evolving in a way that’s me. I’m aiming to stimulate the people who come to see my work in a different kind of way.”
She also commented on the ‘OUR SECRET PARTY’ part of the exhibition title. “It’s an exhibition of my work, but I want everyone to enjoy it like they would a party. There’s also new things to be discovered which you won’t no about unless you visit, so I put ‘secret’ in there.”
Chocomoo was asked to give a comment on her future plans and goals. She said, with a smile: “I want to steadily keep doing what I’m best at without changing what I already have, but I also want my work to reach lots of children too. I’d be happy for them to colour in my work, and I want to challenge myself to making some kind of video format aimed at kids. After that, since I’ve already painted a car, I want to go bigger and paint an aeroplane!”
Interview/Original Text: Naho Sotome (五月女菜穂)
Photos: 大黒屋 Ryan 尚保
English Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
As Chocomoo looks to expand her portfolio and reach, we look forward to seeing what she has in store for her exhibition in Harajuku.
Chocomoo EXHIBITION -OUR SECRET PARTY- Supported by WITH HARAJUKU
Running: August 20, 2020 – September 28, 2020
Location: WITH HARAJUKU HALL (1-14-30, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo) *Building under construction at the time of posting this article
Exhibition Website: http://chocomoo-exihibition.com/
Rakuten Travel Reveals Japan’s Top Hot Spring Locations For Women Travelling Solo
22.December.2019 | SPOT
Travel booking website Rakuten Travel has revealed the 2019 ranking for Japan’s most popular onsen, or “hot spring” sites for women travelling alone. Taking the crown at No. 1 is Hakodate Yunokawa Onsen in Hokkaido.
Night view of Hakodate
The Le Havre lounge in Hakodate Kokusai Hotel
Hakodate Yunokawa Onsen placed at No. 3 in last year’s ranking. It rated highly amongst women for it being so close to Hakodate Airport, as well as it being easy to access local tourist and sightseeing spots by train from there like the Hakodate Morning Market (Hakodate Asaichi) and Mount Hakodate, which is listed as one of Japan’s Three Night Views. The area also offers a variety of accommodation options, from long-standing traditional ryokan inns to business hotels.
In second place is Dogo Onsen, a hugely popular hot spring location with Dogo Yamanote Hotel having ranked number one in Rakuten Travel’s list for the most leisurely accommodations for women travelling solo.
Rose Bath at Dogo Yamanote Hotel
In recent years, the number of plans for women travelling solo as well as services for renting open air baths for one person have been on the increase. Dogo Onsen is a 25-minute train journey from Matsuyama Station via the JR line and a 40-minute bus ride from Matsuyama Airport.
Hakone Tozan Railway
Hakone Yumoto Onsen ranks at No. 3. Despite the effects of the earthquake, the hot spring has enjoyed solid popularity, with Rakuen Travel having given travel coupons and offering special plans to help raise money and support the area. It’s only about an hour and a half’s train ride from Shinjuku Station, it offers plans to stay at local hotels, and it’s easy to set up a travel plan to visit there, which is what has led to its popularity.
Yugawara Onsen in Kanagawa came in 4th place, while Yufuin Onsen in Oita came in 5th. Use this list as reference when planning which hot springs to visit in Japan.
Rakuten Travel: https://travel.rakuten.co.jp/
FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020: Details Revealed For Tokyo’s Flower-Themed Art Event
18.December.2019 | SPOT
FLOWERS BY NAKED is an annual flower-themed art event held by NAKED Inc., and the company has announced its next run: FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020 – Sakura – will take place from January 30 to March 1 next year at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall in Tokyo, where visitors can enjoy flowers an a wholly new kind of interactive experience. Tickets went on sale on December 17, 2019, and this event will mark its 5th anniversary of taking place in Nihonbashi.
To date, FLOWERS BY NAKED has seen over 500,000 people attend the events, which have become a place for Instagrammable photos with over 660,000 posts made with the hashtag #flowersbynaked.
2020’s theme is cherry blossoms, so to celebrate, NAKED has unveiled four key visuals for four gardens set for the event along descriptions. As visitors journey through the gardens, they will experience an immersive story melding the worlds of flowers and art.
“When a butterfly telling the spring dances in the snowy winter world, the page is turned and the world changes from winter to spring.”
This is where the story begins: where winter flowers bloom. But as the pages of the big book are turned, the space is transformed into springtime as the snow melts.
“When you blow dandelion as if you were playing as a child, the fluff soars up to the sky with your old memories.”
Watch as the scenery changes when you blow on the towering dandelions in this incredible interactive experience that combines real life with digital technology.
“In a shimmering space that seems to be lost in a kaleidoscope by a mirror, the sun shines even more.”
When you step into this radiant garden which is lit by the pouring sunlight, it will seem as if the entire world around you glows with the fiery light of our burning star.
“The fastest cherry blossom viewing space in Japan where you can enjoy the five senses, such as the blossoming cherry blossoms and the scent of spring.”
The river seen at the beginning of the story leads to here, a holy cherry blossom garden watched over by an enormous pink cherry tree. There is plenty to interact with in this area for visitors to experience cherry blossoms with all five of their senses.
Advance tickets for this event are now on sale, so don’t miss out.
FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020 – Sakura –
Running: January 30, 2020 – March 1, 2020
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Last entries 30 minutes before closing time)
*Opening hours subject to change
Location: Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall COREDO Muromachi Floors 1F + 5F (Entrance is on 4F)
Official Website (English/Japanese): https://flowers.naked.works/2020nihonbashi/
Rakuten Travel Reveals the Most Booked Onsen Regions of 2019
14.December.2019 | SPOT
Japan’s largest online travel site Rakuten Travel has announced the 2019 rankings for the most popular onsen spots in Japan. Having calculated the number of people staying at an onsen resort multiplied by the number of days they stayed, the rankings reveal that the winner has been the same for six years in a row now: Atami in Shizuoka.
Atami in Shizuoka has established its reputation as one of the leading locations for onsen in Japan. Its high quantity of hot spring water has earned the area top spot on Rakuten Travel’s rankings for six years in a row now. Along with easy access from Tokyo and its range of leisure facilities, this is a popular location for couples and even families with children.
In second place is Beppu Onsen, Ōita prefecture which has also made it into the rankings for six years in a row. Rakuten Travel’s customisable domestic travel package “Raku-Pack” has proven to be particularly popular among travellers to this region. “Raku-Pack” includes your airline ticket, access to all accommodations offered by Rakuten Travel across Japan, and free usage of rental services. Starting with Ōita prefecture’s first ever ANA InterContinental resort in Beppu (InterContinental – ANA Beppu Resort & Spa), more than 10 travel accommodations have opened this year and next year sees even more resort development.
In third place is Gunma Prefecture’s Kusatsu Onsen which has risen by one place since last year. This year, Sainokawara Open-air Bath (Sainokawara Rotenburo) received high amounts of praise for their mixed bathing day and changed this to be offered on a weekly basis as a result. A variety of events and tourist spots are constantly opening including the steepest zip line in Japan which will open in April.
For more information on places to visit in Japan, please visit Rakuten Travel’s website.
Andy Warhol Exhibition in Kyoto: Select Major Artworks Revealed
20.November.2019 | SPOT
An exhibition centred around Andy Warhol, the American artist who was at the forefront of the pop art movement, is set to roll up to the Kyocera Museum of Art in Kyoto from September 19, 2020. Around 200 pieces of art will be showcasedーover 100 of which have never been displayed in Japan beforeーas well as 15 video art pieces.
Three Marilyns (1962), Andy Warhol. The Andy Warhol Museum. *First showcasing in Japan
All of the pieces to be shown at the exhibition are the property of The Andy Warhol Museum, which is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the US, where Warhol was born.
The Last Supper (1986), Andy Warhol. *First showcasing in Japan
Tunafish Disaster (1963), Andy Warhol. *First showcasing in Japan
Peacock (1957), Andy Warhol. *First showcasing in Japan
The line-up displays Warhol’s diverse works, including his highly treasured Three Marilyns, as well as Tunafish Disaster from his Death and Disaster series, the enormous The Last Supper piece, Peacock which makes use of the Japanese style of gold leaf art, and more.
Kyoto (Kiyomizu-dera) (1956), Andy Warhol.
The exhibition will also turn its attention to Warhol’s connections to Kyoto which haven’t been discussed before. It will feature Warhol’s sketch of Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto which he drew during his trip around the world.
*All pieces are property of The Andy Warhol Museum
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
ANDY WARHOL KYOTO
Running: September 19, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Location: Toyama Cube, Kyoto Kyocera Museum of Art
Exhibition Website: https://www.andywarholkyoto.jp/
Exhibition Twitter: https://twitter.com/andywarholkyoto/
Exhibition Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andywarholkyoto/
Exhibition Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andywarholkyoto/
Evangelion Second Impact Hits Hakone Kowakien YUNESSUN Spa Resort
If you’re looking for a unique onsen experience in Japan then spa resort Hakone Kowakien YUNESSUN is for you. From Japanese sake to coffee, there are a range of unique baths for you to enjoy a soak in. The resort is also home to a number of water attractions for those looking for a splash of fun. From January 10 to June 30, 2020 the resort will be doubling up the excitement by collaborating with Evangelion. The upcoming Second Impact no Yu event provides a chance for Evangelion fans to discover the exciting world of Evangelion while soaking up the spa goodness.
The Second Impact no Yu event is being held in cooperation with the Evangelion Hakone 2020 MEET EVANGELION IN HAKONE project run by the Odakyu Group. As the first step of this project, the Evangelion series’ global catastrophe “Second Impact” will be invading the swimsuit area of the Yunessun spa. If you’re looking to plunge straight into some thrilling action, make sure to head to the cave bath and water slide.
From the inside to the outside, the resort has been completely invaded by Evangelion-themed decoration. More details on the collaboration event contents will be released on the resort’s official website so make sure to check it out if you are interested.
Second Impact no Yu
Running: January 10 – March 31, 2020
Location: Yunessun Swimsuit Onsen Outside Area
Opening Days and Times:
Weekdays:10:00 – 18:00
Weekends and National Holidays: 9:00 – 19:00 (Last Entry: 1 hour before closing time).
Adults: ¥2,500, Children (3 y/o – Primary School-Aged): ¥1,400 (Tax Included)
* You must be over 110cm tall to enter Rodeo Mountain.
Resort Evangelion Decorations
Running: January 10 – June 30, 2020
Location: Hakone Kowakien Yunessun
Weekdays: 10:00 – 18:00
Weekends and National Holidays: 9:00 – 19:00 (Last Entry: 1 hour before closing time)
Hakone Kowakien Yunessun
Address: 1297 Ninotaira, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa
Collaboration Website: https://eva-hakone.com/
Official Touken Ranbu Event to be Held Across Japan to Celebrate Game’s 5th Anniversary
The key visual for the upcoming “Touken Ranbu Honmaru Haku 2020” event has been released. The event will take place across Japan, including Sunshine City in Ikebukuro, Tokyo from January 5 to 19 next year in celebration of the online browser and mobile game’s 5th anniversary.
The event was first held in 2017 to celebrate two years since the game’s release where it was taken to 5 cities around Japan. This new event promises to be even bigger and better than before, with each room having its own theme. It will be a coming together of everything encompassing the franchise, including the anime, stage play, musical, film and more. After Ikebukuro, it will head to Osaka, Aichi, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Niigawa, Ishikawa, and elsewhere. More dates and details are to be announced.
All tickets are designated to specific time slots for each day. Pre-sale tickets for Ikebukuro opened on October 25 will close on October 31, so don’t miss out.
Touken Ranbu Honmaru Haku 2020
Running: January 5, 2020 – January 19, 2020
Venue: Ikebukuro Sunshine City Exhibition Halls A & B (3-1 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima Ward, Tokyo)
Entry Price: ¥2,000 (Tax Included) / With Folder ¥2,600 (Tax Included)
*Same-day and advance ticket prices are the same
Event Website: http://honmaruhaku2020.jp
Shibuya PARCO Refurbishments Reveal Collaboration Exhibitions With AKIRA, AUTO MOAI, JUN INAGAWA And More
The new fully refurbished Shibuya PARCO shopping complex is set to reopen on November 22, 2019. When Shibuya PARCO closed for renovations in 2016, GALLERYX BYPARCO was moved to Spain-zaka in the centre of Shibuya. This November, GALLERY X will return to its home on the basement floor 1 of the shopping complex.
The first opening exhibition of GALLERY X is titled “AKIRA ART OF WALL Katsuhiro Otomo × Kosuke Kawamura AKIRA ART EXHIBITION” which will see an entire wall decorated in a collage of art by manga author and film director Katsuhiro Otomo and his legendary series AKIRA until May 2020.
The art wall is in fact a relocation of the AKIRA art wall that has existed at the infrastructure building site in Shibuya for almost two years. Parts of it was damaged over time, and so it will resurface at PARCO MUSEUM TOKYO on the 4th floor of the new Shibuya PARCO. That’s not all: there will also be valuable original works displayed as well as posters, 3D model recreations of things seen in AKIRA, the series soundtrack by Geinoh Yamashirogumi playing, 3D attractions where you can interact with a futuristic “Neo Tokyo” and much more.
AUTO MOAI (December 2019)
Kazuki Iio (Zun) (December 2019)
Misaki Tanaka (February ー March 2020)
JUN INAGAWA (April 2020)
The first exhibition will be followed by a strong lineup of exhibitions. The exhibition areas will be filled with a wide range of attractions, making it appealing for a wide range of people with different tastes.
* The above information and dates are subject to change at any moment without prior notification.
GALLERY X is full of originality and is a source of the latest entertainment culture so please check it out.
Address: Shibuya PARCO floor B1, 15-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00 ー 21:00
Official Website: art.parco.jp/