Goldfish Festival, Fireworks And Much More Family Fun at Aquamarine Fukushima
01.July.2019 | SPOT
During the summer holiday period between July and September, Aquamarine Fukushima is holding a range of events and supporting children to learn about marine life independently. Come join in the festival fun with goldfish scooping games, quoits, and much more. There will also be a fair from August 11 to 15.
Aquamarine Fukushima Rare Creatures Picture Book <Complete the pictures!>
Dates: July 13 ー September 1
Aquamarine Fukushima is displaying rare creatures and ecological systems. The children can write the name of the new creatures they discover in their own picture book. Once they have completed the picture book, it will be an original record of discoveries. As the children record the features of the animals and other organisms they discover, adults will also find this information beneficial when looking around the exhibitions.
How to take part: Pick up an application form at the entranceway on floor 1 of the aquarium main building (Honkan). The answers will all be distributed in one place. (Subject to change).
Summer Aquamarine Fukushima: Children’s Answer Room
Open: July 20 ー September 1
Here, all the answers to the children’s puzzles about Aquamarine life are presented in panels and explained in easy terms. Along with the picture book where the children can record interesting life forms, this is the perfect way to support independent exploration.
Goldfish scooping and Fun Fair
You can purchase goldfish that were bred at the aquarium, or catch them yourself at the goldfish scooping area. There is also a games corner where you and your children can enjoy a range of fun activities such as quoits.
The goldfish building, which just opened last year, will be bringing back its 60cm-large Goldfish Nebuta lantern. To raise spirits during Japan’s O-bon lantern festival, the aquarium will be open for much longer so that a lantern event can be held in the evening.
Iwaki Traditional Vegetable Marché
Open: August 17 ー 18 (11:00 ー 14:00)
Head to the Aquamarine Aguri located outside Aquamarine Fukushima to purchase everyday vegetables as well as Japanese vegetables that have been grown through the cooperation of Iwaki farmers and Iwaki city. The traditional Iwaki marché sells mainly traditional summer vegetables such as okuimo potatoes, yardlong beans, beefsteak plants, kojiroi cucumbers, and much more. From local vegetables to healthy goods, everything is produced at Aquamarine Fukushima.
Iwaki Fireworks Festival
Enjoy the sight of fireworks soaring through the sky before your very eyes from the Aquarium grounds. This large-scale fireworks event will run until 9 pm on August 3.
Running: August 11 ー 15 (8pm) .
※ Last entries: Up to 1hr before closing time.
Come visit Aquamarine Fukushima for a perfect fun-filled day with the family!
Goldfish Display and Sales
Running: August 11 ー 12 (Monday, national holiday)
Times: 10:00 ー15:00、16:30 ー19:00
Goldfish Scooping/ Fair
Running: August 11 ー 15
Times: 16:30 ー19:00
The goldfish scooping event will end once all fish have been caught.
Water Yo-Yo Fishing, Quoits, Fishing Games, Barbecue Skewers: ￥300 per turn.
Address: Tatsumicho-50 Onahama, Iwaki, Fukushima
Official Website: https://www.aquamarine.or.jp/
Summer 2019 Japanese Fireworks Festivals With The Wow Factor
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
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?
Visit Japanese Family Homes and Learn to Cook Authentic Japanese Food With airKitchen
30.May.2019 | FOOD
airKitchen is an online service gaining popularity by inviting foreigners travelling to Japan to experience what it’s like to cook at home there.
The number of foreign visitors to Japan has been on the rise in recent years, and with the Tokyo Olympics right around the corner, that number is predicted to continue increasing. One shift happening amongst travellers to the country is their desire for more experience consumption over material consumption. This shift has been noted by the Japanese government and companies who are pushing to offer more experience-based content to foreigners.
One such company doing just this is the online platform service airKitchen whose popularity is only continuing to increase. By using the website, foreigners can choose from a long list of Japanese hosts who will teach them how to make many different Japanese dishes in their very own homes. Bookings and payment can both be done via the company’s official website. airKitchen launched in April 2018 and by April this year it already has over 4,000 users.
airKitchen’s popularity can be accredited to it satisfying overseas visitors’ desire to experience everyday Japanese life. They will cook authentic Japanese food in a common Japanese-style kitchen. In 2013, Washoku (“Japanese Food”) was registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. The appeal of Japanese food is on the rise and is sure to become even more popular.
airKitchen Introductory Video
Some of the most popular foods taught on the website include gyoza, bento and sushi. A total of three hours are allotted for each experience which includes both the cooking and eating time. The price for each service varies but the average is ¥5,000 per person. The biggest ratio of nationalities come from Europe and Australia and range from couples to families.
If you’re travelling to Japan, why not book with airKitchen yourself and get a taste of everyday Japanese home life?
Beautiful National Park Projection Mapping to Illuminate Shiraito Falls This Summer
25.June.2019 | SPOT
For eight years now, Shiraito Highland Way, Karuizawa has been showing its gratitude to its summertime visitors with a special nighttime illumination display. This year, that time has come yet again.
The illumination event will take place at Shiraito Falls (白糸の滝, Shiraito no Taki), which is a special area of conservation located in Joshin’etsu-kogen National Park. Abiding by the rules set by the Ministry of the Environment and after a careful study of the wildlife, ecosystem and natural surroundings, preparations have been made in order to hold a successful show without any negative environmental effects. This will be the first ever projection mapping event to be held in a national park in Japan amongst the nature.
The 2019 event will be filled with a rich variety of beautiful animation to highlight the beauty of Karuizawa’s natural undertones and will also celebrate the new Reiwa era. The theme of the projection mapping will be “the birth of the earth and our prayers for the Reiwa period”.
This has been recognised as one of Japan’s Nightscape Heritage sites, so please come witness it for yourself.
2019 Shiraito Falls Projection Mapping, Karuizawa
Running: Friday ー Sunday from July 26 ー August 25, 2019
※ Running every day from August 12 ー August 15
Show Times: 19:00 ー 21:00
※ For safety reasons, the illumination will be prepared from 18:30
※ The projection mapping show will run 9 times on each day in 15 minute intervals starting from 19:00)
※ In times of overcrowding, there will be an entry limit.
※ To confirm whether the event will be postponed due to bad weather, please check the website below.
※ On August 13 and 14 only, the first 200 visitors will be presented with Karuizawa Chocolate Factory sweets
Official Website: http://www.karuizawa-shw.com/
3 Must-Try Refreshing Summer Desserts at Tokyo DisneySea
Hi, everyone, it’s Midori from MMN’s editorial team.
Many people travel to Tokyo DisneySea during the summer break, which is great for them as when the hot season rolls around so too does the park’s deliciously refreshing desserts. Today, I will introduce 3 must-try desserts at Tokyo DisneySea for the sweltering weather this year♡
Mango Ice Cream: ¥300
If you head to American Waterfront in the park and go to Toyville Trolley Park you’ll find a wagon out the front selling this mango ice cream. This is being held as part of the Duffy and Friends event “Duffy’s Sunny Fun.” The ice cream cup has an adorable illustration of Duffy wearing a swimsuit♡
This refreshing dessert is a mix of rich mango ice cream covered in mango sauce and cool shaved ice.
Sea Salt Ice Cream Wafer: ¥300
Another wagon can be found over in Mermaid Lagoon where they sea salt ice cream served inside a seashell wafer. The wafer is filled with slightly salty vanilla ice cream and a sweet and sour berry ice cream. You won’t find an ice cream served like this anywhere else♡ What’s more is that the ice cream inside doesn’t melt quickly so you can enjoy walking around and eating it without worrying about it dripping everywhere.
Deep Sea (Pineapple Smoothie): ¥400
Finally, near the Nemo & Friends SeaRider attraction in Port Discovery, you can get your hands on a pineapple smoothie called Deep Sea which is served in a cup with clownfish on the side♡
The vivid blue jelly inside is the perfect match for Port Discovery. The jelly sits underneath pineapple flavoured smoothie, and inside the blue jelly are pieces of chewy yellow jelly for added textures.
If you’re going to be waiting in line to get on one of the attractions why not keep yourself cool in the hot sun with one of these refreshing desserts? Have fun at Tokyo DisneySea!
Tokyo Disney Resort Official Website: https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/index.html
5 Temples in Kyoto Announce Exclusive Viewings For Their Secret Cultural Assets
05.September.2019 | SPOT
The history of Yamashina dates back over 1,400 years when Kyoto, then known as “Heian-kyō,” was the official capital of Japan. Located in the southeastern part of Kyoto, Yamashina is rich in history, abound with nature, and has maintained a traditional industry that has gone unbroken since ancient times.
This year, with the arrival of Japan’s new emperor and the opening of a brand new era, five of Yamashina’s great temples are set to unveil several cultural assets, which until now have never been shown to the public.
They are as follows.
Anshoji Temple’s Wooden Jūichimen Kannon Statue (Important National Treasure)
Kajū-ji Temple’s Sliding Door Panel Artwork – “Eight Views of Ōmi” & “Tatsuta River Autumn Leaves” (Important National Treasures)
Zuishinin Temple’s Gold Lacquered Fan Inkstone Case & 4-Panel Folding Screen
Bishamon-do Temple’s Imperial Prince Flag & Tortoise Shell Doors
Honkokuji Temple’s Kyōzō (Important National Treasure)
Get away from the hustle and bustle of central Kyoto and steep yourself in its history with this very special once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Running: November 16, 2019 – December 1, 2019
Anshoji Temple, Kajū-ji Temple & Honkokuji Temple: 9:00-16:30 (Last Entries 16:30)
Zuishinin Temple: 9:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)
Bishamon-do Temple: [Until November 31] 8:30-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30) / [From December 1] 8:30-16:30 (Last Entries 16:00)
Anshoji Temple: ¥500 / Kajū-ji Temple: ¥400 / Bishamon-do Temple: ¥500
Zuishinin Temple: ¥500 (¥700 during illuminations at 6pm-8:30pm)
Honkokuji Temple: ¥500 (+¥500 to view the Kyōzō)
More details can be found over on Totteoki Kyoto Travel: https://totteoki.kyoto.travel/ (Japanese)
Kobe Readies For Rugby World Cup With Hospitable Events
The 2019 Rugby World Cup is set to take place in Japan from September 20 to November 2. Many stadiums are hosting the games across Japan this year, one of which is Kobe Misaki Stadium. It is predicted that there will be many people visiting the city of Kobe for the World Cup.
The competing teams at Kobe Misaki Stadium, also known as Noevir Stadium Kobe, are as follows: England vs USA on September 30, Ireland vs Russia on October 3, and South Africa vs Canada on October 8. An estimated 120,000 spectators will be present across the four matches, around 30,000 of which arriving from overseas.
In response to the many fans set to appear in Japan’s sixth-largest city, venues are shops across Kobe are set to serve up a classic plate of Japanese omotenashi―or “hospitality―with a line-up of events and tours. Let’s take a look at just some of the exciting things the city has planned for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
1. Meriken Park Fanzone in Kobe
Rugby fans can enjoy the thrilling atmosphere of the World Cup at one of the many Fanzones set to open across Japan for the games. Entry to all of the Fanzones is free. In Kobe, look forward to live screenings of the matches, food stalls serving local food, promotional booths and more. The fun doesn’t have to end at the matches: fans can continue to enjoy the excitement before and after too at a Fanzone.
2. Hospitable Events
The Kobe Tourism Bureau has teamed up with local business around the city to prepare what they are calling “Hospitable Events For Fans.” Taking place from late September to early October, these events will offer exclusive and unique Kobe experiences. There are 6 in total, but we will take a look at just 2.
MUSIC&DANCE@KOBE PORTOPIA Night 2019
From big disco hits to rock tunes, EDM beats and groove, enjoy a feel-good late-night dance and music party at the fancy Kobe Portopia Hotel. Soak up the warm summer evening while freestyle boogieing.
YORU-BAR ~Night Food Festival~
People of all ages are invited to the popular YORU-BAR at Sannomiya Center Gai which will run from late September to early October. They will serve up a tasty selection of Japanese seafood to Kobe cuisine.
3. KOBE Experience Guided Tour
Aimed at foreign tourists attending the Rugby World Cup in Kobe, the Experience Guided Tour is comprised of 25 unique programs for people to experience Japanese culture, Kobe’s local food culture, and more. The tours will not only be limited to Kobe either―some will also spread to neighbouring cities. Let’s take a look at some of them.
*All programs available in English only
Premium Kobe beef at the almost 150-year-old restaurant Oi Nikuten
Kobe beef is one of the three top brands of high-quality Japanese Wagyu beef. It’s the most well-known and popular type of Wagyu in Japan. With this program, you will learn various ways to enjoy Kobe beef at Oi Nikuten, a long-standing restaurant that first opened back in 1871.
Experience Zen Meditation at Tenjoji Temple in Kobe City
Immerse yourself in traditional Japanese culture with Zen meditation session at Tenjoji Temple. Learn all about the rich history of the temple with an incredible guided walk before sinking deep into meditation.
There is lots to be discovered in Kobe, and the doors to its culture are open and ready to embrace all for the Rugby World Cup. Look forward to everything here and much, much more when the matches begin on September 20.
Meriken Park Fanzone in Kobe
9/28 @ 11:00-21:30
9/29 @ 11:00-19:00
9/30 @ 11:00-21:30
10/3 @ 11:00-21:30
10/5 @ 11:00-22:00
10/6 @ 11:00-19:00
10/8 @ 11:00-21:30
Venue: Kobe Meriken Park (Address: 2-2 Hatobacho, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
Official Website (English): https://www.2019kobe.com/news/20190816_03/
MUSIC&DANCE@KOBE PORTOPIA Night 2019
Dates: September 25th-30th / October 3rd-4th, 7th-8th
*An event titled “FM802 & FM COCOLO Night” will run on September 27 and October 4
Venue: Party Room Key Notes at Kobe Portopia Hotel (South Building Floor 3F) (Address: 6-10-1 Minatojima Nakamachi, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture)
Official Website (English): https://www.portopia.co.jp/en/convention/venues/keynotes/
Official Website (Japanese): https://www.portopia.co.jp/event-culture/event/detail/25/
YORU-BAR ~Night Food Festival~
Dates: September 26 / September 30 / October 3 / October 8
Location: Sannomiya Center Gai, Kobe
Official Website (Japanese): http://yorubaru.kobe-sc.jp/
Adventure World Wildlife Theme Park in Wakayama Adopts SmaLingual Multilingual App
Adventure World has announced that it has adopted SmaLingual to the park, a multilingual app designed for foreign tourists and travellers in Japan to help them get around.
SmaLingual is a simultaneous multilingual interpretation service which uses a multilingual speech translation engine. Available in 10 languages including English and Brazilian Portuguese on both phones and browsers, the service translates and interprets both text and speech simultaneously, enabling people to have conversations with each other in different languages. The app’s functions also have a language level over TOEIC800, ensuring that you convey the right information correctly.
Using this app means you will be able to read and understand descriptions and explanations written around the park, cautious on interacting with the animals, and so on.
Now guests can enjoy Adventure World with friends and family to the fullest without making a mistake.
Adventure World – SmaLingual
・Park Services Using App: 45
・Adventure World currently accepts 10 languages including Japanese, English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Thai, Indonesian, Myanmar, Vietnamese, and Brazilian Portuguese
How to Use
①Scan the QR code provided on the park staff’s tablet
②Translate your own text or voice using your own smart device
*Guests do not need to install the app if they do not wish. The app can be used online.
Address: 2399 Katata, Shirahama, Nishimuro District, Wakayama Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.aws-s.com/
Himeji Castle Places Number 1 On Japan’s Top 20 Castles For 4th Year in a Row
TripAdvisor® has just released its list of the top 20 castles in Japan from 2019 as reviewed by travellers and tourists.
This is the 7th time the website has run this list. Coming in at No. 1 for the fourth year in a row is none other than Himeiji Castle, located in the city of Himeiji in Hyogo Prefecture.
Moving up from 4th place to 2nd place this year is Matsumoto Castle in Nagano Prefecture, and from not ranking at all last year to 3rd place this year Kumamoto Castle. These top three castles comes as a package as they are considered Japan’s three premier castles.
Kumamoto Castle is set to re-open this autumn after reconstruction work is complete. The castle suffered damages after the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes. Although time is required for the full restoration, you can still see the majestic tower keep surrounded by paling. Japanese users on TripAdvisor have commended it as a symbol of restoration and their joy with the repairs being done.
For the first time in four years, Hirosaki Castle ranks on the list in 12th place. Situated in central Hirosaki in Aomori Prefecture, the castle is a known living symbol of the Edo Period (1603-1868). Construction work has been taking place since 2015 to repair the base of the castle structure on the east side due to deterioration. In summer 2015, the castle tower was moved 70 meters without taking the castle apart to allow for work to be carried out. A moving castle is certainly a rare sight to see in Japan－and something you only imagine from a Studio Ghibli movie!
The castle has been praised on TripAdvisor for how beautiful its surrounding nature is, from the cherry blossoms in spring to the red and yellow leaves in autumn. The castle can be enjoyed throughout all the seasons.
Making the list for the first time ever is Tsuyama Castle which can be found in the beautiful Kakuzan Park in Okayama. When you ascend the magnificent stone steps of the castle and turn around you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city of Tsuyama. In spring, the castle’s white watchtowers look picturesque next to the pink cherry blossom trees.
From castles that have been maintained since they were first built to others that have been rebuilt from their former forms, there are countless sites to behold while in Japan. Be sure to use the Top 20 list as reference when travelling there!
Top 20 Castles in Japan 2019
A Magical Ice Village is Forming This Winter at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu in Hokkaido
01.September.2019 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts Tomamu―one of Hokkaido’s leading snow resorts―is set to open a new area called the Ice Village this winter. It will run for a limited time from December 10 to March 14.
The Ice Village spans coolly across 3.2 hectares of land and is home to 11 domes made entirely of ice. This winter-only experience has been running every year since 1998. Made to look like a real village, some of its iconic sights include the Ice Church and Ice Hotel which can be found at the very back. Everything from the towering ceilings to the walls are formed solely of ice.
The main street, named fittingly the “Ice Street,” includes a cafe, gallery, shops and more, all enveloped in a chilly white world.
Ice Crystal Park: A New Addition to the Ice Village to Gaze at the Sights and Scenery
The Ice Crystal Park is frozen over with tables and chairs made of ice and has snowflakes dotted here and there, creating a true winter wonderland. Order a hot drink from the Ice Bakery & Cafe or munch on a tasty treat from the Ice Sweets Shop as you sit and gaze at the snow-covered landscape of the Ice Village while surrounded by towering white birch trees. And everyday at 19:30, a 5-minute firework show will warm up the winter sky which is best enjoyed while sitting in the park.
Bite Down Frosty Treats at the Ice Sweets Shop
It wouldn’t be a complete Ice Village without its own glacial cuisine. At the Ice Sweets Shop you can order ice cream which is made from liquid milk on an ice block. The temperature of the air coupled with the frozen coolness of the ice block causes the milk to freeze into a yummy dessert. There’s also chocolate ice bars made from hot chocolate, colourful macarons, toasted marshmallows, and more.
Time: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:00)
Price: Milk Gelato – from ¥1,100 / Macarons ¥550 / Ice Bar ¥550 / Marshmallows ¥550 (*All prices include tax)
Grab a Drink From the Ice Bar
The village even has its own Ice Bar, complete with an ice counter and ice cellar for serving sake. This year, the bar will serve an all-new original gin drink made using snowmelt from Tomamu. There are over 50 drinks to pick from, including original cocktails, whisky, and more.
Time: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:45)
Price: Original Gin – ¥1,650 / Drinks With Ice Glass – from ¥1,100 (*All prices include tax)
There are many other exciting things to find at the ice village, including the Ice Hotel which you can sleep in, the Ice Atelier, and more. Have a reason to go out this winter by visiting the Ice Village in Hokkaido.
Running: December 10, 2019 – March 14, 2019
Location: Hoshino Resorts Tomamu area
Time: 17:00-22:00 (Last Entries 21:30)
Entry Price: Elementary School Children & Older – ¥500 (Tax Included) *Free for guests staying at Tomamu The Tower or RISONARE Tomamu
Available: To both guests and visitors
Notes: Times, prices etc may vary depending on each service or activity. Select services and activities are subject to changes depending on weather conditions. Certain services and activities scheduled to start at later dates.
Hoshino Resorts Tomamu / Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Tomamu
Address: Nakatomamu, Shimukappu, Yufutsu District, Hokkaido
Official Website (English): https://www.snowtomamu.jp/winter/en/
Witness the Sengoku Period Parade at the Kazutoyo Festival in Kisogawa
01.September.2019 | SPOT
The town of Kisogawa in Nagoya, Aichi is just 30-minutes by car from Nagoya Station, which is set to welcome the 36th annual Kazutoyo Festival on September 15.
The city of Ichinomiya was the birthplace of Yamauchi Kazutoyo, a famous military commander during the Azuchi–Momoyama period (1568-1600). Every year, the bustling Kazutoyo Festival recalls the Sengoku Period, a time of war and upheaval in Japan which lasted over a thousand years, as well as the helmet and armor-clad commander.
The festival also has mini live performances, as well as an anime show which can be enjoyed by children. There’s also food, horse riding, and other fun activities.
Experience a unique cultural autumntime festival this year at the Kazutoyo Festival in Kisogawa.
36th Kisogawa Kazutoyo Festival
Date: September 15, 2019
Main Location: Ichinomiya Shiritsu Kuroda Elementary School (Kojo-26-2 Kisogawacho Kuroda, Ichinomiya, Aichi)
Sub-Locations: Aeon Mall Kisogawa (25-1 Kisogawacho Kuroda Minamihatsukaike, Aichi Prefecture) & APiTA Kisogawa Shop (51-4 Kisogawacho Kuroda, Ichinomiya, Aichi Prefecture)
Sengoku Period Parade
Time: From 10:00
Course: Sotowariden Crossing→Kisogawa Ginza Shotengai→Kuroda Elementary School
Enquiries: Kisogawa Kazutoyo Festival Planning Committee (0586-87-3618)
Transvaal Daisies & Wind Chimes Cool Down You This Summer at Kasuga Shrine in Fukuoka
Situated on the northern shore of Kyushu is Fukuoka Prefecture, a hot spot for tourists and travellers both Japanese and foreign, particularly those visiting from parts of Asia such as China, Taiwan and South Korea.
When it comes to delicious Japanese food, Fukuoka is high on the list, home to a bounty of incredible restaurants. It’s the same with shopping too―there are countless stores to rummage through with shelves lined with innumerable things you’ll want to buy.
But your Fukuoka experience will not be complete without a trip to one of the prefecture’s breathtaking tourist spots. Today, we are visiting Kasuga Shrine (not to be confused with Kasuga Grand Shrine in Nara), and we are joined by Japanese Instagram user Rie, who posts about her trips around Kyushu, and who has provided us with her experience visiting the shrine along with photos. You’ll find out how to get there and the must-see aspects.
Kasuga Shrine is located in the city of Kasuga, Fukuoka. It’s about a 30-minute drive from Fukuoka city. But if you’re looking to catch the public transport, you’ll want to hop on the JR Line to Kasuga Station, or you can board the Nishitetsu Bus and get off at Kasuga (春日). The shrine is about a 7-minute walk from either of these stops.
The shrine has a long history. Its origins are said to lie in Emperor Tenji enshrining the male deity Ame-no-Koyane-no-mikoto there.
In the shrine grounds there is a camphor tree called “Kasuga no Mori” (The Grove of Kasuga) which is registered as a natural monument. The shrine is also home to a festival called “Kasuga no Muko Oshi” which has also been designated as an significant intangible folk cultural asset.
But what’s been catching people’s attention recently is the flower-filled chōzuya. A chōzuya, also known as a temizuya, is a water basin placed at shrines and temples in Japan which visitors use to cleanse themselves before entering the shrine or temple.
It’s more common in May and June to see hydrangeas placed in the basins, but at Kasuga Shrine they flutter in transvaal daisies♡
The flowers were placed in there on August 19 and will remain there until September 1. During the same period, there are lots of beautiful wind chimes being strung up around the shrine ground. Their tranquil sound as the breeze blows, together with the watery flowers, are enough to make you feel cool this summer.
If you’re looking to find more beautiful places to visit around Kyushu, Rie has plenty of recommendations on her Instagam page so be sure to give her a follow.
Photos by Rie
Address: 1-110 Kasuga, Kasuga-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.kasugajinjya.jp/
Shibuya’s New Tourist Information Center is Open For Business at Night & Offers Airport Bus Service
31.August.2019 | SPOT
Tokyu Land Corporation has announced that Shibuya’s all-new tourist information center will be named “shibuya-san.” Located on the first floor of Shibuya FUKURAS, the tourist information and are center is set to open its doors to the public this December.
Tourist Information: Where you can become a Shibuya local
The tourist information section of the center is staffed by people from countries around the world, from Europe to Asia, most of which are non-Japanese students studying abroad. They are able to offer detailed tourist and sightseeing information for Shibuya from the perspective of a “foreigner in Japan.”
The center also does away with the ordinary set-up of most tourist information centers in which you speak to someone over the counter. Instead, tourists entering shibuya-san will be greeted directly by staff and talk to them side by side.
They also offer English guide books with a map produced by Time Out Tokyo. Time Out is a city guide service published in 108 countries around the world in 39 languages.
Art Center: Where art brings Shibuya and the world together
shibuya-san will be the first tourist information center in Japan to have its own art gallery. Being located right in front of Shibuya Station means that people visiting from around the world will be exposed to Shibuya’s culture through art. Focused on “Travel, City & People,” the art gallery will offer not only exhibitions and performances, but also events in which tourists can participate, as well as opportunities to talk directly with artists.
Open Late: Shibuya’s nightlife propelled with the center’s night hours
Almost all tourist information centers close in the late afternoon/early evening, but not shibuya-san. Shibuya’s nightlife is a huge part of the city’s culture, and so to make it more accessible to tourists, shibuya-san will be open until 11:00pm, offering helpful information and suggestions for getting around and enjoying yourself after-hours.
shibuya-san even has its own drinks counter where alcohol is served in the evenings. Events will be held there periodically where you can meet and talk with people.
Limousine Buses: Haneda Airport and Narita Airport
The bus terminal in front of the tourist center offers regular buses and will soon offer airport limousine buses from Haneda and Narita Airport. They will serve to create a new doorstep to Shibuya at Shibuya Station’s west exit for tourists visiting Shibuya. They will begin running in early December.
Whether you’re visiting Shibuya for the first time or are a returning guest, find out all there is to know about the area when shibuya-san opens this December.
shibuya-san tourist information & art center
Address: 1-2-3 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo
Services: Tourist Information Center / Baggage Storage & Delivery / Airport Limousine Bus Tickets & Service / Foreign Money Exchange / Shibuya Experience Program / Drinks Bar / Art Center / Events
Business Hours: 10:00-23:00 (*Select services will run at varying times)
Grand Opening: December 2019 (subject to change)
Official Website: https://shibuyasan.jp
*The website is currently a teaser site which opened on August 28, 2019. The full website will go live in the coming months.
teamLab Now Holding Digital Art Exhibition at World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto
With the increase in number of collaborations between contemporary digital art and traditional and historical Kyoto sites, teamLab is getting in on the action with its new digital art exhibition “Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine.”
We are joined by Instagrammer Macchan who recently attended the exhibition and who has provided photos for us.
Shimogamo Shrine is a shrine located between the Kamo River and Mount Kōya. It was registered it as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The shrine is associated good luck in marriage and welcomes sightseers from Japan and around the world. It can be reached by the 205 Bus from Kyoto Station and getting off at either Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社) or Tadasu Forest (糺ノ森前). It’s also about a 20-minute taxi ride from Kyoto Station.
This marks the third run of teamLab’s “Digitized Forest” exhibition at Shimogamo Shrine, and this year’s exhibition has been made even bigger. It is running until September 2, 2019.
Floating by the Rōmon Gate of the shrine are spheres of light which change colour and emit various musical tones unique to the colour when touched by a person. They also react to the other spheres around them, changing to the same colour and letting out the same tone, creating a chain reaction.
Egg-shaped orbs of light can be found dotted around the Tadasu Forest by the shrine which illuminate the trees. Like the light spheres, when the eggs are pushed they change colour and play a musical noise specific to that colour, the sound and tone spreading through the forest.
These objects of light can also be found at Mitarashi Pond where they float on the water. The orbs shine brightly and then fade slowly as if breathing. If pushed by people or blown by the wind they will change colour and emit sound.
The best part about teamLab’s art exhibitions is how visitors become part of the exhibition itself by interacting with the installations, offering a much more engaging experience than simply looking. Visit Shimogamo Shrine before the exhibition ends to see digital art meet a traditional Japanese shrine at night.
If you’re looking for more sightseeing recommendations for Kyoto then be sure to follow Macchan on Instagram!
Photos by まっちゃん
Address: 59 Shimogamo Izumikawachō, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.shimogamo-jinja.or.jp/english/
Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto Art by teamLab – TOKIO INKARAMI
Running: August 17, 2019 – September 2, 2019
Time: 18:30-22:00 (Last Entries 21:30)
Location: Shimogamo Shrine
Price: Weekdays ¥1,300 / Weekends ¥1,500
*Free entry for elementary school children and below. Must be accompanied by a parent or guardian aged 20+.
Official Website: https://www.teamlab.art/e/shimogamo/
Kagoshima’s Sengan-en Gardens Nominated For Best Attraction in Travel & Tourism Awards
29.August.2019 | SPOT
Both Sengan-en, Shoko Shuseikan Museum and Satsuma Kiriko Glassworks have been nominated for “Best Attraction” in the 2019 Travel & Tourism Awards, which are held in London every year as part of World Travel Market London (WTM).
This year marks the 40th run of WTM London, which brings together over 50,000 travel and tourism professionals from 186 countries to spread the latest tourism trends and must-visit locations around the world. The Travel & Tourism Awards is a universally recognised stamp of approval, held in front of over 500 seniors in the travel industry.
Sengan-en, Shoko Shuseikan Museum, and Satsuma Kiriko Glassworks have been recognised and nominated for their renovation efforts which have increased tourism. They are up against six other facilities in the same category, including Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter by Warner Bros Studios.
With only one entry from Japan, which location will take home the award? Japan will be watching intently for the reveal on November 5.
Travel & Tourism Awards
Date: November 5, 2019
Location: Magazine London
Awards Page: https://awards.wtm.com/en/international-travel-and-tourism-awards/shortlist/best-attraction/
Official Website: https://www.senganen.jp/
Japan’s Keio Line Releases ‘Goshuin’ Stamp Book For Tourists
29.August.2019 | SPOT
In response to the rapidly increasing number of foreign tourists to Japan in recent years, Keio Corporation has designed an original Keio Line goshuin stamp book which will be released at the “Central Honshu Information Plaza in Keio Shinjuku” at Shinjuku Station on September 1.
A Goshuincho is a book for collecting goshuin, which are stamps or seals given at shrines and temples across Japan. Every shrine and temple has its own unique goshuin which are stamped alongside calligraphy handwritten by the staff there and then who write the date and the name of the temple or shrine.
When purchasing Keio’s book, you are given a pamphlet―available in English only―featuring lots of different sites you can receive goshuin up and down the train line.
Sites include the Buddhist temple Yakuou-in (Hachioji, Tokyo), Takahata Fudoson Kongo-ji Temple (Hino, Tokyo), Ōkunitama Shrine (Chofu, Tokyo), Jindaiji Temple (Chofu, Tokyo), and Ohmiya-Hachimangu (Suginami, Tokyo). The pamphlet also explains how to obtain a stamp as well as the correct way to worship at these locations. It also details information about train ticket discounts on the Keio Line for foreign travellers which were introduced in February this year.
The book will also be available to purchase at Keio Rail-Land from October 14.
Keio Line Original Goshuincho
Release Date: September 1, 2019
Available: At Central Honshu Information Plaza in Keio Shinjuku (Open 8:30-19:00). Also available at Keio Rail-Land from October 14.
Stock: 1,000 (Will discontinue once all are sold)
Keio Line Official Website: https://www.keio.co.jp/english/index.html
Kyoto’s Kurodani Temple Autumntime Illuminations Begin on November 4
23.August.2019 | SPOT
Konkaikōmyō-ji, also known as Kurodani Temple, is set to open its doors to the public from November 4 for its autumn illuminations.
Kurodani Temple has a long history, best known as serving as the Kyoto Shugoshoku―the office of the Tokugawa shogunate―during the Bakumatsu period. It has relations to the Shinseigumi, a military force which was active during this time which was dedicated to suppressing anti-shogunate activities. It is also the first place that Hōnen, the founder of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism, spread his teachings.
For the special opening, you will be able to see the famous chicken painting Tori-zu Oshiebari Byobu by Itō Jakuchū as well as treasures associated with Hōnen and more.
The number of tigers on the famous tiger doors of the temple changes as you slide them.
From the temple grounds you can enjoy a breathtaking scene of the gardens where the autumnal colours of the trees reflect from the surface of the pond.
Kurodani Temple is also home to the Gokōshiyui Amidabutu Statue, which became the talk of the town in the media when it was dubbed the “Afro Buddha,” and looks deep in contemplation.
There will also be performances three times a day in the evening using traditional Japanese instruments like the koto and shinobue.
If you pay for the premium entry plan you can enter 30 minutes earlier and will be guided by one of the official gardeners or expert of the gardens.
Running: November 4, 2019 – December 8, 2019
Time: 17:30-21:00 (Last Entries 20:30)
Price: Adults ¥800 / Children ¥400 / Infants – Free
*Groups of over 20 people – ¥700
Music Performances: Everyday at 18:00/18:45/19:30
Running: Fridays & Weekends
Time: From 17:00
Price: Adults ¥1,200 / Children ¥600
Address: 121 Kurodanicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Event Page: https://www.kurodani.jp/lightup_aut/