See Hundreds of Japanese Wind Chimes at Nyoirin-ji Temple Festival in Fukuoka

13.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

Fukuoka is a tourist hot spot of Japan, bustling with tourists and travellers both from the island nation and those from overseas, especially from China, Taiwan and South Korea.

 

Situated on the northern shore of Japan’s Kyushu Island, Fukuoka offers amazing shopping experiences and serves up some of the most delicious gourmet cuisine at its rows of restaurants. But nothing compares to its bountiful sightseeing splendours.

 

Rie is an Instagrammer who travels to all the different sightseeing spots Kyushu has to offer which she documents on her Instagram page. Today, she gives us a special look at one her most recommended places to visit in Fukuoka: Nyoirin-ji Temple.

 

Nyoirin-ji Temple is often nicknamed “Frog Temple” due to the many frogs you can see at the temple grounds, a rare sight at a Japanese temple. It’s located in Fukuoka Prefecture’s city of Ogori which can be reached by catching a Nishitetsu Tenjin Ōmuta Line train from Tenjin in the heart of Fukuoka and getting off at Mitsusawa Station. From there the temple is just a 15-minute walk.

Nyoirin-ji Temple is the home of thousands of frogs. A lot of the frog ornaments and items at the temple were collected by the temple’s chief priest.

 

There’s one ornament which you can take a photo through as seen above, so you should definitely try taking one yourself in your own way. You can even get a goshuin stamp with a frog illustration too if you take your goshuincho stamp book.

The frogs are a given at the Frog Temple, but a must-see is the Wind Chime Festival which is currently running until September. The temple entrance onward is decorated with lots of cute and colourful wind chimes.

Up the stairs you can walk through a wind chime tunnel which gives you a cool, refreshed feeling even in the hot summer.

It costs ¥500 for one wind chime which you can write your wish on before hanging up. You can’t take them home however so be cautious of that!

Nyoirin-ji Temple was built in 729. It is home to a Cintāmaṇicakra statue which is a rare sight in Japan. It is also a registered cultural property of Fukuoka Prefecture. It’s not just a location for kawaii adoration―it has been long been loved by locals since ancient times and has a long history.

The wind chimes will be strung up until the end of September. Their gentle ring is sure to make you feel at peace, so why not try dressing up in a yukata like Rie and experiencing the festival for yourself?

 

Rie has many other examples of popular tourist destinations from around Kyushu on her Instagram page. Be sure to give her a follow if you’re planning a trip to Kyushu yourself!

 

Photos by Rie

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • 5 Best Cute and Stylish Cafes in Fukuoka

    09.July.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Sat on the northern shore of Kyushu is Fukuoka Prefecture, a hot spot for tourists both Japanese and foreign, particularly those visiting from parts of Asia such as China, Taiwan and South Korea.

     

    Fukuoka has its fair share of famous tourist destinations and a delicious collection of gourmet restaurants, but did you know it’s also home to lots of different cute and stylish cafes? Today, Instagrammer moe takes us on her trip around Fukuoka’s plethora of popular coffee shops and shows 5 must-visit locations.

     

    10 Coffee Brewers

    A popular coffee shop also based in in Ōita Prefecture, 10 Coffee Brewers has another branch in Fukuoka’s Daimyo district. The mouthwatering beverage you see in the photo above is a vanilla smoothie with tapioca pearls and a shot of espresso. Topped with Oreo cookies, marshmallows and cream, this crave-inducing coffee delight offers a mix of tasty treats and textures that are sure to fill you up after a cup♡

     

    ▼10 Coffee Brewers

    Address: 1-10-18 Daimyo, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka

    Opening Hours: 11:30-19:00

    Closed: Mondays

    Official Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/10coffee.fuk/

     

     

    green bean to bar CHOCOLATE

    I ordered two different mousses together with my coffee, both exclusive to this Fukuoka branch of the cafe chain. On the left is the Vietnam x Hojicha and on the right is the Tanzania With Crumble. The cacao beans in both are sourced in separate locations. You can order several different flavours to combine with your mousse. As well as hojicha there is sesame seed, mikan and more. The mousse is crafted with a beautiful spiral shape that screams Instagram-worthy at whatever angle you point your camera at. You can even order them for takeout♡

     

    ▼green bean to bar CHOCOLATE

    Address: Nishietsu Tenjin CLASS Floor 1F, 1-19-22 Imaizumi, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka

    Opening Hours: 11:00-21:00

    Closed: Wednesdays

    Official Website: https://greenchocolate.jp/

     

     

    COFFEE & CAKE STAND LULU

    LULU’s beverages are served in simple and stylish cups. The drink on the left is the Houjicha Latte and the one on the right is a LULU Latte. Though the Houjicha Latte is a pure white colour it still has that proper houjicha taste to it. Their puddings are a must-try too and can be ordered for takeout but they were all sold out on this day. Their bouncy puddings are really popular, so if you see them on sale there you should definitely pick one up!

     

    ▼COFFEE & CAKE STAND LULU

    Address: 2-3-26 Yakuin, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka

    Business Hours: Weekdays 9:00-18:00 / Weekends & Holidays 11:00-19:00

    Closed: Thursdays

    Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/COFFEE-CAKE-STAND-LULU-1045325205611217/

     

     

    NO COFFEE

    NO COFFEE promotes a coffee lifestyle with their contemporary decor and drinks. The drinks in the photos are the matcha latte with espresso and frozen banana mocha.

     

    The matcha latte mixes sweet matcha latte with a shot of full-bodied espresso to create a refreshing combination. The frozen banana mocha is my personal favourite and a perfect choice for when the weather’s hot. The cafe is also a concept shop that sells a variety of miscellaneous items.

     

    ▼NO COFFEE

    Address: 3-17-12 Hirao, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka

    Business Hours: 10:00-19:00

    Closed: Mondays (except on national holidays in which case the cafe will close on the following Tuesday)

    Official Website: https://nocoffee.net/

     

     

    W/O STAND

    Last on the list is W/O STAND, a coffee chain that’s popular not only in Tokyo but in Fukuoka too. The hypnotic drink in the photo is a caramel macchiato. It’s common to see the illustration on the cup on Instagram in Japan. The picture is different depending on which branch you visit. Their menu is huge too so you’ll definitely want to go back more than once to get coffee.

     

    ▼W/O STAND

    Address: ARKCUBE103, 1-3-5 Daimyo, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture

    Business Hours: 11:00-19:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/without_stand_fukuoka/

     

     

    Did you enjoy this list? Which cafe do you want to visit the most?

     

    moe has many more photos of drinks, desserts and food she has tried in Fukuoka on her Instagram page too. If you’re planning a trip to Fukuoka when travelling to Japan, be sure to follow moe’s Instagram.

     

    Photos & Text: momo

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • BBQ, Beach House & Music Served at avex beach paradise FUKUOKA Landing Ashore Itoshima

    30.May.2019 | SPOT

    Itoshima is a sizzling tourist hotspot in Fukuoka and this summer, Avex Incis turning up the heat with it’s annual summer beach party avex beach paradise FUKUOKA to be held at Fukae beach!

    Avex Inc. is going all out to add a splash of colour to your summer in true Avex fashion with an unforgettable beach party, plenty to experience and the all important beach house that first landed on the shore of Kyushu in the summer of 2016.

    The beach house is a large container house with white as the main colour scheme. As you enter, you will be filled with the warm summer vibes of a luxury foreign resort. There’s a sky lounge on the second floor of the beach house. You can take a seat here, taking in the picturesque view of the Genkai Sea in one sweep. This is a popular spot amongst the trendy young crowd, who cannot stop taking pictures.

    The food and drink menu is also fully loaded with summer goodness. Thanks to the barbecue plans available on the official website, you can turn up empty handed, indulge in the barbecue, and enjoy the all-you-can-drink drinks! The BEACH BAR also has a large variety of other drinks including cocktails. The DJ booth is equipped with the latest sound system to make you feel just like you’re at an outdoor concert.

     

    As the first summer of the Reiwa era, avex beach paradise FUKUOKAis definitely going to be the hottest spot in Japan!

  • Visit the Abandoned Hotel, Tenjō-ji Temple & More at Mount Maya in Kobe

    11.June.2019 | SPOT

    A new category added to the Cool Japan Award―which is run by the Cool Japan Association―is “National Park,” which was claimed by Mount Maya in Kobe in May this year for its nighttime scenery.

     

    Mount Maya is one of the major peaks of the Rokkō Mountains in Nada, Kobe and stands at a towering 702m high. Located close to the main city of Kobe, those who reach its apex will be able to see many different sights such as Kobe, Osaka, the Kii Peninsula, and Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge. Maya is popular not just with tourists and sightseers, but Kobe locals too who visit it with families to eat bento, or those who take their special somebodies to observe the nightscape.

     

    Located on Mount Maya is Tenjō-ji, a temple which the mountain’s name has its origins in. This year marks the run of a special event which is held at the temple once every 33 years. Visitors can also go on a guide walk to an abandoned hotel which is normally off limits to the public.

     

    Let’s take an in-depth look at all the exciting things one can do at Mount Maya.

     

    Tenjō-ji Temple, Mount Maya

    The originator of Mount Maya’s name

    Tenjō-ji can be found wrapped in nature at the peak of Mount Maya in its National Park. Visitors can enjoy all weathers atop the mountain as the seasons change, but if you go on a clear day, you’ll be able to observe as far as Awaji Island, Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, and Shōdoshima. The history of this temple―the only one in Japan to have been built by Maya-bunin―dates back to the year 646 when the high priest of India accepted Emperor Kōtoku’s request to build it. Maya-bunin, the mother of Buddha, is prayed to as a guardian of safe childbirth and child rearing. This is where Mount Maya gets its name.

    The door to three hidden Buddhist statues opened once every 33 years

    Once every 33 years, a door is opened at the palace to reveal three hidden Buddhist idols: the Eleven-Faced Avalokitesvara, Acala, and Vaiśravaṇa. For the duration of its opening this August, Buddhist sermons will be given three times a day (10:30/12:00/14:00), and visitors will be able to obtain an exclusive goshuin stamp.

     

    Running: August 1, 2019 – August 15, 2019

    Time: 10:00-16:00 (Until 17:00 for this event)

     

    Tour guide walk to Mount Maya’s historic ruins

    ~Stroll around and trace the history of Mount Yama~

    As well as the temple, Mount Yama formerly bustled with people looking to dine and as well as stay in the accommodation there. After the war and earthquake disasters, a campaign began to restore life to Mount Maya, one part of which is a tour guide walk to the historic ruins.

    This includes a trip to the former Tenjō-ji temple site as well as the abandoned hotel which is off limits to the general public.

     

    Mount Maya’s Nightscape

    ~An internationally recognised landscape~

    Mount Maya has been awarded the Cool Japan Award 2019 in the new National Park category for its gorgeous evening view from which one can see Kobe’s streets, the port and more.

     

    If you’re planning a trip to Kobe be sure to use this article as reference!

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto to Open in Hokkaido in January 2022

    21.October.2020 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts, Japan’s premiere hotel management company boasting over 40 properties both inside and outside Japan is set to its new onsen ryokan (hot spring Japanese style inn) Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto in January 2022 following the completion of a partnership agreement with Shiraoi, Hokkaido on June 28, 2018.

     

    KAI Poroto comes as the 19th property for the KAI brand, following KAI Nagato (opened in March 2020), KAI Kirishima (scheduled to open in January 2021), and KAI Beppu (scheduled to open in summer 2021). It will also be the third KAI property to open in Hokkaido, following RISONARE Tomamu in Shimukappu and OMO7 Asahikawa in Asahikawa. The new property will be designed by Japanese architect Hiroshi Nakamura.

    (Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP)

    Guests will be able to enjoy Shiraoi onsen water at KAI Poroto. The water comes from a “moor spring” which contains organic minerals derived from plants. This type of water is rare throughout the world. KAI Poroto faces the shores of Lake Poroto and is surrounded by the natural forests of Hokkaido where many species of wild bird live. All guest rooms boast a lake view where changes in scenery throughout the seasons can be enjoyed.

     

    KAI Poroto will is cooperating with both the town of Shiraoi as well as “Upopoy”, the National Ainu Museum and Park, which has the aim of becoming a “symbolic space for ethnic harmony”. The facility will respect Ainu culture and provide a place of accommodation for guests to experience it.

     

    Upopoy: A symbolic space for ethnic harmony

    A symbolic space for ethnic harmony by the name of “Upopoy opened in Shiraoi, Hokkaido on July 12, 2020. This national centre serves as a base for the reconstruction and development of Ainu culture, which is in danger of survival. The main facilities are the National Ainu Museum and the National Ainu Park. The National Ainu Museum is the first national museum in Japan centred around indigenous Ainu people and the history and culture of the people as expressed through their perspective. This is expressed in a variety of different exhibits. The National Ainu Park is a field museum, where Ainu culture can be taught through a number of programs. Experiences on-site include the Ainu traditional dance, which is registered as UNESCO intangible cultural heritage, wood carving, and embroidery workshops, as well as food and traditional performing arts experiences. “Upopoy” means “to sing (in large numbers)” in the language of Ainu.

     

    Designed by Hiroshi Nakamura

    Japanese architect Hiroshi Nakamura is behind the design of KAI Poroto. “Poroto” means a large lake in the Ainu language and KAI Poroto boldly draws this lake into its premise. In the lobby of the birch forest, guests will be greeted by a magnificent view of the lake, which leads to Mount Tarumae. Guests can also relax in the lounge while watching the flames in the fireplace, something which was at the centre of Ainu people’s lives. On the surface of the lake, a bathhouse called Kashi, which is built using traditional Ainu construction methods, stands like a village. The open-air bath makes one feel as if you are immersed in the lake. The design has been created in a way that is modern, inspired by the lifestyles, nature, and family of Ainu people.

  • World’s First Mario Cafe and Shop Opens at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka

    20.October.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Universal Studios Japan (USJ) announced earlier this month that its new Nintendo-themed area SUPER NINTENDO WORLD will open in spring 2021. While the grand opening of SUPER NINTENDO is still a while away yet, USJ has everyone covered, as the new and first of its kind Mario Cafe & Store officially opened inside the park’s Hollywood Area on October 16, 2020.

     

    The cafe and shop is dream come true for fans of the Mario bros as they enter into a world inspired by the video game series with Mario and Luigi and level decorations in every corner. It can be easily spotted thanks to the red and green “M” and “L” letters on the windows symbolising Mario and Luigi as well as the Mario and Luigi hats. Gamers can enjoy this exciting space while they wait for the official opening of SUPER NINTENDO WORLD.

     

    Themed food and merchandise line-up

    Decorations are instantly recognisable with Question Blocks and Pipes on the walls, Mario Mushroom-coloured tables, and more.

    The food line-up includes dishes, drinks, and desserts like pancake sandwiches made to look like Mario and Luigi’s hats, fruit dream soda inspired by the brothers’ moustaches, and a selection of original merchandise which reads “WHOSE CAP?” on it like T-shirts and more. You can see more of what’s on the menu here.

     

    © Nintendo.

  • Japan’s Elephant Zoo Ichihara Elephant Kingdom to Receive Revamp For Spring 2021

    20.October.2020 | SPOT

    Ichihara Elephant Kingdom is the home to the largest number of elephants in Japan. The zoo has announced major renovations set for completion next spring which will allow for the elephants to live an even more enjoyable life.

    Ichihara Elephant Kingdom is located in central Chiba and is home to 12 elephants. It’s also home to around 80 other species of animals like red pandas, beavers, capybaras, hippos, and more. The zoo also has a variety of attractions, like the Elephant Ride which sits behinds where the elephants live, and the Elephant Lift where you can ride up and down an elephant trunk. The Head of  Ichihara Elephant Kingdom, Sayuri Sakamoto, served as the writer for the 2005 Japanese drama film Shining Boy & Little Randy. One of the zoo’s Asian elephants, Randy, was also a model for the film.

    The renovations will introduce a new home for the elephants as the current one is seeing wear over time, as well as a new large-scale pond for the elephants to play in, a playground, and more. The zoo has always ensured a safe distance between visitors and the elephants so people can enjoy watching them will making sure the elephants stay happy. It is now creating new spaces to continue that service.

    The water pond the zoo is building for the elephants is called Elephant Splash, and they are launching a crowdfunder on October 27, 2020 to ask for people’s help with funding the project. It will allow a new space for the elephants to play which visitors are sure to enjoy too, like seeing the 1- and 2-year-old Ramu and Momoka splashing around.

     

    The crowdfunding project has nine different tiers including tickets to an evening cherry blossom party at the park, a chance to ride the elephants, and more. The campaign will end on January 15, 2021, the same date as Ramu’s birthday.

  • Fujikawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival 2020 Begins This November

    19.October.2020 | SPOT

    The Fujikawaguchiko Tourism Association will host this year’s Fujikawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival, which will be the 22nd run, to help support the tourism industry in the northern region of Fuji which has seen a great impact as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

     

    With much less people travelling to Japan during the pandemic, and the virus having continued for a long time, the Fujikawaguchiko Tourism Association is instead focusing on travellers within the country by hosting various events that can be enjoyed at Fujikawaguchiko.

     

    All the necessary precautions will be taken at this year’s festival, including taking people’s temperature upon arrival, the mandatory wearing of face masks, alcohol gel being available at the site, and more. This will protects not only the locals but sightseers too, and so cooperation is being asked of everyone visiting.

    At this year’s festival, visitors can look forward to the popular Momiji Tunnel of maple trees which will be lit up at sunset until 10:00pm. The beautiful autumn colours can be enjoyed with Mount Fuji in the background. There will also be food, souvenirs, and a variety of activities to be enjoyed.

    The Momiji Tunnel is an absolute must-see for anyone visiting Yamanashi during autumn and is nothing less than Instagram-worthy.

  • Tokyo Midtown Announces Winter Event ‘MIDTOWN WINTER MOMENTS’

    18.October.2020 | SPOT

    Tokyo Midtown has announced that its winter event ‘MIDTOWN WINTER MOMENTS’ will run from November 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021.

     

    “ANOTHER WORLD” is the concept for this year’s rendition of the annual event, which will see new winter illuminations, Christmas decorations, the opening of an ice rink, and plenty of other fun experiences for people to enjoy throughout the entire day, right into the evening.

     

    MIDTOWN WINTER LIGHTS

    A highlight of the event will be the “MIDTOWN WINTER LIGHTS,” warm illuminations to light fires in hearts during the cold winter season that will create a dazzling spectacle the likes of which cannot be missed.

     

    Path of Light – An Illuminated World

    The pedestrian walkway will welcome a strip of gorgeous golden lights affixed to towering trees to guide your way. More golden lights than ever before are being prepared this year to pull visitors into a romantic and dreamy world.

     

    SNOW LIGHT GLOBE – A World of Snow

    The SNOW LIGHT GLOBE is a giant 3-meter tall and 4.5-meter wide snow globe inside which glistens sparkling snow, crystals, and aurora. The lights are ever-changing throughout the day, presenting itself differently every time you look at it.

     

    STEP LIGHT – A Colourful World

    STEP LIGHT is a fun and interactive illumination display with lights that light up when you step on them, creating a colourful walkway.

     

    Running: November 19, 2020 – February 28, 2021

    Time: 17:00-23:00 (Until 24:00 around the plaza)

    Location: Midtown Garden

     

    MIDTOWN ICE RINK – A World of Ice

    MIDTOWN ICE RINK is something people in Tokyo look forward to every winter. This year, the rink is opening in November. It’s one of the biggest ice rinks in Tokyo and provides real ice for people to skate on, welcoming everyone from children and beginners to pros. The rink will be open into the evening too when it will be lit up so people can enjoy a little night skating session.

     

    Running: November 19, 2020 – February 28, 2021
    Time: 11:00-21:00 (Last Entries 20:00)

    *Opens at 17:00 on November 19 and is closed on January 1

    *Opening hours subject to change depending on weather
    Location: Tokyo Midtown
    Prices:

    General (High School Students and older) – Weekdays ¥2,000 / Weekends & Public Holidays ¥2,500

    Children (Junior High School Students and younger) Weekdays ¥1,500 / Weekends & Public Holidays ¥2,000

     

    Midtown Christmas Trees

    Various Christmas trees will be set up in the Tokyo Midtown garden area, indoors, and elsewhere to set in the holiday season mood.

    Running: November 19, 2020 – December 25, 2020

     

    Present Christmas Tree – A World of Fantasy

    The Tokyo Midtown garden will welcome a mysterious kind of Christmas tree for the first time every this year—one which sprouts presents. 25 presents will be grown, and in December one will be given out each day.

     

    Time: 17:00-23:00
    Location: Midtown Garden

     

    Santa Tree – A Miniature World


    Around 1,800 individual Santa Claus ornaments will make up the 4-meter tall Santa Tree inside the Tokyo Midtown Galleria

     

    Time: 11:00-Midtown
    Location: Galleria 1F Tree Shower

     

    Choose! Choose! AR Tree – An Original World

    Tokyo Midtown also has something for people to enjoy at home. They can use an app that makes use of AR tech so that a Christmas tree can appear when you go to take a photo which you can decorate with an assortment of ornaments. There’s over 1,000 possible combinations. More details about this will be posted on the event website in early November.

  • Gaze at the Starry Sky in a Hot Swimming Pool This Winter at HOSHINOYA Okinawa

    17.October.2020 | SPOT

    HOSHINOYA Okinawa has announced its new “Hoshizora Hot Pool” experience where guests will be able to stay warm in the hotel’s warmed-up swimming pool while gazing up at the winter night sky. It will run from December 1, 2020 to February 28, 2020.

     

    Okinawa enjoys a mild winter each year; it’s uncommon for the temperature to dip below 15℃. Winter is a time where all of us enjoy being in the warmth of indoors, but in Okinawa you can enjoy being outside even during the cold season. And that’s where Hoshizora Hot Pool comes in as the end of the year approaches, a time when there are many events and celebrations to be had.

     

    The outdoor pool at HOSHINOYA Okinawa can be heated and so is perfect during the winter season. Guests are invited to soak in the infinity pool, where you can hear the sounds of the waves, and where it looks like the sea and sky become one. Almost all 88 of the constellations can be seen in Okinawa, and since the sky is clear during the winter nights, it’s the opportune time to be turning your gaze skyward.

     

    Glowing lanterns make for a romantic atmosphere

    When the sun sets, lanterns are lit by the poolside and breathe a warmth light to the cool evenings. The lights sway back and forth, reflecting off the water to create a magical atmosphere.

     

    Hot cocktails by the pool

    Guests will also be able to order from the bar once the lanterns are lit from the evening with a selection of refreshing drinks made with fresh fruits to hot cocktails to warm the body.

     

    Float beneath the starry sky to the sounds of the waves

    Guests can enjoy floating in the pool as an endless tapestry of stars unravels itself overhead. The Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe will be open for business in the evening too. Guests can order some fruity desserts, rent lanterns, and more.

  • Ibaraki Prefecture Announces Official Tours of Mount Tsukuba and Lake Kasumigaura

    17.October.2020 | SPOT

    Ibaraki Prefecture has been promoting the areas of Mount Tsukuba and Lake Kasumigaura with a variety of events and programs since 2018. For 2020, one of the programs the prefecture has announced is ‘Mount Tsukuba PLAY 2020’ which invites people on a trial tour around Mount Tsukuba and Lake Kasumigaura.

     

    About Mount Tsukuba

    Mount Tsukuba is the doorstep to tourism in Ibaraki Prefecture, known for its iconic double peaks which has it listed officially as one of the “100 Most Beautiful Mountains in Japan.” The mountain offers 10 different courses for climbers, all of which boast gorgeous views and scenery throughout all four seasons. It also has a famous shrine halfway up the mountain known as Tsukubasan Shrine which is considered the physical enshrinement of the mountain itself. The shrine has long been a place of worship for people.

     

    About Lake Kasumigaura

    Lake Kasumigaura is the second-largest lake in Japan after Shiga Prefecture’s Lake Biwa. It is loved by locals and tourists for its beautiful natural environment and the expanse of its breathtaking view. It also has its own cycling route, Tsukuba Kasumigaura Ring Ring Road, which is an official National Cycling Route that has become a popular route with cyclists in recent years.

     

    During the autumn season on weekends, the area offers a special long-ride cycling tour as an opportunity for people to soak up the local area, as well as kids programs, concerts for parents and their children, and other activity programs and guide tours. Bookings are now available online.

     

    A Look at Mount Tsukuba PLAY 2020

    Mount Tsukuba and Lake Kasumigaura – 2 Day 1 Night Sports Experience Tour

    Mount Tsukuba PLAY 2020 is offering a special sports tour for elementary school kids where a guide will take them to climb Mount Tsukuba and canoe around Lake Kasumigaura, amongst other activities.

     

    A Photogenic Tour in the Small Town by the Lake Shore

    atacamaki, a ‘slow photographer’ and resident of Kasumigaura, will be taking photographers on a two day trip around the lake and surrounding area with rental bicycles to teach them how to shoot photos like a pro.

     

    Concert in Tsukuba Forest

    A concert will be held for children in the forest where they can lay down on the grass and be at one with nature as they enjoy the performance. The performance will be played by Akashi Yamada, the forest instructor and a singer-songwriter.

     

    Cycling Along the Kokai River and Near Chikusei With Tsukuba Mounta in the Background

    A local guide will give parents and children a tour of Tsukuba and all the must-see spots. The 37km cycling tour will offer plenty for people to see and encourages beginners to cycling.

     

    A Long Cycling Tour Around Lake Kasumigaura, Kitaura, and Tsukuba

    The program also offers a two-day long distance cycling tour of 100km.

  • Get Lucky in Marriage and Matchmaking This October in Shimane’s City of Matsue

    15.October.2020 | SPOT

    Japan’s city of Matsue in Shimane Prefecture is wanting to create a new kind of sightseeing and tourist experience that encourages people to stay for a time in the city, and so it has launched the “Re Happy! Campaign.”

     

    In the old Japanese calendar, October is known as Kamiarizuki, or ‘the month when deities are around.’ The Izumo region of the country is known as a place where deities from all across Japan gather, and so October here has been called the one true Kamiarizuki. There are many different kinds of deities, but today we’ll be looking at those associated with matchmaking and marriage, and mapping out a route you can take around Matsue to up your luck when it comes to these things.

    Shop Name: Ohori to Hakucho

    We begin at Ohori to Hakucho, a confectionery shop that sells cute sweet treats and local delicacies, some of which are themed on increasing your luck with marriage ties.

    Kounkaku inside Matsu Castle

    There are many old and traditional Japanese houses around Matsue Castle which make for Instagram-worthy photos, so find the right spot as you walk around and snap some pictures.

     

    Heart-Shaped ema board

    Ema are small wooden plaques strung up at shrines on which people write their wishes. Write one yourself so that the deities can receive your desires.

    Tamatsukuri Onsen

    After a long stroll of sightseeing, head to the Tamatsukuri Onsen hot spring for a relaxing bathe. It’s said that sitting in an onsen hot spring beautifies your skin. Sit back and enjoy the fireworks on the screen while sipping on some high-grade sake.

     

    Matsue is a great place to visit whether on your own or as a couple, with plenty of spots to up your luck with matchmaking and marriage.

  • Snow Fireworks to Light Up the Winter Skies of Miyazaki at Phoenix Seagaia Resort

    14.October.2020 | SPOT

    Phoenix Seagaia Resort, a resort located in Miyazaki Prefecture whose brand slogan claims them as the most beautiful in all of Japan, has announced a heart-warming new experience for the winter season.

     

    Seagaia’s Snow Fireworks

    Miyazaki doesn’t see a lot of snowfall, but this winter, the prefecture is welcoming an all-new fireworks festival which will launch fireworks into the sky that falls like pure white snow. Phoenix Seagaia Resort is also offering a guest plan which combines a stay at the resort with front row seats to the fireworks.

     

    Running: December 4, 2020 – February 27, 2021 (Fridays and Saturdays only + January 10, 2021)
    Time: 20:00 (Approx 3 minutes)
    Bookings: https://bit.ly/3lurZWK

     

    Starlight Winter Illuminations

    THE LIVING GARDEN is the garden area of Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort exclusive to guests. This winter, the garden will be lit up with 30,000 LED lights and lanterns to create a magical, starry sky-like atmosphere by both of the garden’s pools.

     

    Running: November 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021
    Location: THE LIVING GARDEN, Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort
    Illumination Times: Sunset to 23:00

    Price: Free (Exclusive to Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort guests)

     

    A Cosy Menu For a Warm Stay

    Gazebos by the waterside at THE LIVING GARDEN

    S’mores

    Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort will also serve s’mores, hot cocktails, and other treats at THE LIVING GARDEN with gazebos and fire pits. Enjoy fluffy marshmallow s’mores served with nuts and salted chocolate.

     

    Running: November 6, 2020 – February 28, 2021 (Excluding Wednesdays & Thursdays)

    Times: 19:30-23:00 (Last Orders 22:30)

    Location: KUROBAR, THE LIVING GARDEN, Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort

  • Ashikaga Flower Park Turns On the Lights For ‘The Garden of Illuminated Flowers’

    13.October.2020 | SPOT

    Ashikaga Flower Park in Ashikaga, Tochigi, has announced an illumination event for the autumn and winter seasons called “The Garden of Illuminated Flowers ~Flower Fantasy 2020~” which will run from October 17, 2020 to February 7, 2021.

     

    The annual event is being held a week later than usual in order to implement the necessary precautions against COVID-19 and to ensure visitors are divided from one another so that they can enjoy the event as always safely. Masks will need to be worn and visitors must sanitise their hands as well as have their temperature checked with the on-site thermal camera before entering the park.

    Held for the 19th time this year, the event was ranked among the Top 3 biggest light-up events in Japan in 2017 alongside Sapporo White Illuminations and Huis Ten Bosch Illuminations. It was also ranked top by night view critics in Japan as best the illumination event for four consecutive years.

     

    So, why is this event adored so much?


    The Miraculous Great Wisteria

    Due to COVID-19, people were unable to enjoy the blossoming wisteria during this year’s spring season, but now they can be enjoyed in autumn and winter in the form of illuminations.

    Illuminated Water Lilies

    Water lilies are enjoyed from summer through autumn. These water lily lights by the waterside are like little individual flower spirits.

    Illuminated Rose Garden

    A panoramic spectacle of vivid red rose lights. A special blue light-up will also take place to give gratitude to frontline workers who will be busy this season.


    A Flower Story of Illuminated Wisteria

    The multicoloured wisteria that bloom from mid-April to mid-May at the park are also being represented as dazzling illuminations which will reflect off the water surface to create a magical atmosphere.

    Snow World

    Santa Claus will be at the park from late November to late December to hand out presents to children.

     

    Enter a romantic world of Japanese illuminations at Ashikaga Flower Park.

  • Halloween Food Served Up at Meiji Jingu Shrine’s Constitution Memorial Hall

    10.October.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Meiji Kinenkan, also known as Constitution Memorial Hall, has announced that its beer terrace Sekirei will open up for October to serve up a Halloween themed menu.

     

    Meiji Kinenkan is a unique and premium venue at Meiji Jingu Shrine that serves as a host to many different kinds of gatherings. It was designated as an important cultural property of Tokyo for its architecture in March of this year.

     

    Sekirei normally opens during the summertime each year, but this year they’ve decided to open up for business for the autumn season too. Guests can enjoy a line-up of over 40 different food items in the beautiful autumn-kissed gardens along with beer and a selection of other beverage.

     

    Halloween Menu

    The Halloween menu arrived on Monday and features a colour arrangement of tasty bites, with an original line-up of foods and desserts conceived by Meiji Kinenkan’s chef who specialises in French cuisine at the site.

     

    Other Autumn Options

    Autumn is a very pleasant season in terms of weather, and so as well as the Halloween menu, Sekirei has cooked up a separate seasonal assortment too including Japanese roast beef with vegetables, fried masutake mushroom and salmon, and more.

     

    Sekirei has a special indoor all-you-can-drink plan as well in case it rains, so guests don’t have to worry about the weather and can keep warm indoors if the occasion calls for it.

  • Learn Japanese History at Kyoto’s Nijo Castle Festival With the NAKED SAMURAI App

    09.October.2020 | SPOT

    NAKED, INC. has announced the launch of a new project called ‘NAKED SAMURAI’ that will debut at Nijo Castle Festival 2020 which begins on October 14, 2020.

    NAKED has fused technology with reality for many different projects, such as CITY LIGHT FANTASIA—an evening projection mapping exhibit—which has been showcased in the observation deck halls of government buildings and towers, the Night Walk event in Hokkaido and Aomori, and more.

     

    With the effects of COVID-19 changing the way we live our lives, so too does NAKED have to change the way it blends tech with real life. And that’s where NAKED SAMURAI comes in which the company is taking to Nijo Castle, one of Japan’s many tourist hot spots as well as a World Heritage Site.

     

    See historical architecture while learning Japanese history

    NAKED SAMURAI is an app used for smartphones that has a samurai as your guide with fully-recoded lines. The samurai will tell users the history and stories behind the various spots at Nijo Castle from his perspective. When putting your phone up to certain places, certain sites that are normally locked at Nijo Castle will open up onto the app, giving you a rare look into what’s inside.

     

    Tokugawa Ieyasu, Toyotomi Hideyori, and other historical figures make an appearance

    Your guides include Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate who ordered the building of Nijo Castle, and Toyotomi Hideyori, the general responsible for uniting Japan. They can both give you different insights into Nijo Castle.

     

    Using the app lets you see how Nijo Castle looked back in these historical figures’ days during the Edo Period, as well as former castle tower before it was destroyed in 1750, and much more.

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