From Wine to Hydrangeas Taste the Regional Shaved Ice Flavours of Japan at Hoshino Resorts KAI
10.July.2019 | FOOD
Hoshino Resorts hot spring ryokan brand KAI is offering guests the opportunity to explore different regional shaved ice desserts that are served with delicious regional syrups and toppings. Shaved ice is a traditional summer dessert that was even mentioned in the famous work The Pillow Book, which was written by Sei Shonagon during her time as Empress Consort Teishi’s court lady during the 990s and early 1000s of the Heian period.
The concept of KAI expresses both originality and the thirst for experimenting to make something new. The event offers a range of original flavours, embracing the Japanese tradition of eating flavoured shaved ice to battle the heat of summer. From wine-flavoured shaved ice in Nagano, to Hydrangea shaved ice at Hakone, this is the perfect opportunity to try a range of shaved ice desserts that are full of vibrant colours. These regional flavours are sure to spark your curiosity for discovery in that region.
Wine Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Matsumoto (Asama Onsen, Nagano)
The cone-shaped region of Kikyogahara, which is located next to Matsumoto city, is well known for its wine production. This area produces around 50 different kinds of Kikyogahara wine. The flavoured syrup for this shaved ice comes from concord grape wine sourced from Kikyogahara. Each porcelain bowl for the dessert is handmade. Customers can enjoy the smooth, rounded feel of the grape pattern on the bowl as they dig into their dessert. As the alcohol is burned out of the dish, even those who do not like alcohol can enjoy this mature dessert. From the carefully prepared wine syrup to the handmade bowl, you will be able to feel all the hard work put into the making of these luxurious desserts. This is the perfect way to cool off after a hot day.
Hydrangea Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone
Due to the altitude differences at Hakone, you can enjoy the beautiful hydrangeas for an even longer time than other areas of Japan. There is a Hydrangea train (Ajisai Densha) that runs up the mountains providing passengers with the beautiful view of blooming flowers, creating the perfect summer memories. Observing the large groups of flowers in full bloom fills you with such a refreshing feeling. Their beautiful colours are expressed in the colour of this hydrangea shaved ice.
Strawberry Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko (Chuzenji Onsen, Tochigi)
Tochigi prefecture has been Japan’s no.1 producer of strawberries for 50 years straight. This shaved ice is served in a strawberry-shaped bowl and is served with sweet yet slightly sour strawberry syrup and a topping of bittersweet matcha sauce. Here, you can enjoy a cool evening up 1,300 metres high overlooking beautiful scenery from inside the establishment whose spectacular interior that boasts Tochigi’s traditional art of Kanuma Kanoko craft.
Tomato Flavoured Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso (Sonomoto, Oita)
As tomatoes thrive during the summer, this tomato shaved ice is the perfect way to cool down. This shaved ice is sweet and slightly sour and the vibrant red colour is enough to refresh you. Tomatoes are low in calories and contain an abundant range of healthy nutrients. They are also high in vitamin C which is good for your skin and is known for helping prevent illness. Tomatoes are also a good supply of vitamin E, which is good at slowing the effects of aging. Take a seat on the terrace and enjoy your shaved ice as a refreshing breeze rolls by. This is the perfect way to enjoy a cool summer with a healthy and delicious dessert.
Neputa Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru (Owani Onsen, Aomori)
The Neputa Shaved Ice represents the Hirosaki Neputa Festival that takes place in the summer at the old castle town of Hirosaki. To represent Tsugaru Vidro coloured glass, which is an important part of Tsugaru culture, red, blue and green coloured jelly pieces decorate the top of the shaved ice. These colours also represent the vibrant colours of Neputa festival. This Instagram-worthy dessert shows off the best of the fresh colours of Tsugaru.
Kai Regional Shaved Ice Desserts 2019
Running: July 13, 2019 – August 31, 2019
Hoshino Resorts Kai Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/
Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara one of the few luxury hotels worldwide to be hand-picked by American travel magazine AFAR.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara was one of the 27 hotels worldwide to be specially selected for “The Stay List” in the April 10th 2019 edition of American travel magazine AFAR.
AFAR is targeted at upper-class North American travellers. “The Stay List” is the name of the magazine’s list of hotels that are recommended by the magazine’s writers and editors. The April 10th edition of the magazine’s Stay List consists of just 27 hand-picked hotels from countries worldwide and Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara was one of them. KAI Sengokuhara was praised for its location amidst abundant nature whilst being close to the city. The magazine also admires its inspiration to the guests.
In July 2018, KAI Sengokuhara became the 15th hotel set up by Hoshino Resorts. With the concept of a “studio room-style hot spring” in mind, the hotel was built in the midst of the vast and magnificent nature. Each guest room was designed with an open-air bath with a large window through which the guests can enjoy the beauty of each season. The room design fuses western and Japanese-style designs with the tatami flooring and sofa combination. In addition, each room has pieces of art on display, each inspired by the surrounding nature. Guests can thoroughly enjoy food sourced from the mountains and the sea such as beef and abalone shellfish. Every night, there is a special event that the guests can get involved in called Go touchi gaku which involves decorating and colouring hand towels.
This hotel is highly rated by both the Japanese and foreigners. So, how about treating yourself?
Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara
Address: Sengokuhara 817-359, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0631
Price：From ¥32,000 per night (price per guest in a 2 guest room, tax, service charge, dinner & breakfast included)
Access: 15-minute drive from Gōra station, Hakone Tozan Railway
HOSHINOYA Kyoto Tops the MICHELIN Guide Kyoto Osaka + Tottori 2019
15.October.2018 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Kyoto is a hotel resort managed by Hoshino Resorts where all rooms boast a gorgeous river view.
The establishment has topped the MICHELIN Guide Kyoto Osaka + Tottori 2019 which was released on October 12, earning five red pavilions―a symbol used to indicate the comfort and quality of a hotel―the highest number a place can receive. This marks the 7th year in a row the establishment has received this rating.
The guidebook lists restaurants, hotels and inns considered outstanding by Michelin. Restaurants are rated by the number of stars they receive while hotels and inns are ranked by the pavilion symbol.
HOSHINOYA Kyoto opened in December 2009 and has 25 rooms. It’s a 10-minute boat ride from Togetsu-kyo Bridge, a famous tourist destination in Arashiyama, Kyoto. The hotel is situated deep within Arashiyama which is accessible upstream a river accessible via the hotel’s boat.
The concept of the hotel for guests is “a private residence at the waterside.” Rooms are decked in design and appearance to look like they are from 100 years ago. They offer an unbroken view of the river along with trees and nature which change colour as the seasons go by. The hotel even offers activities and holds events catered to each passing season.
Comment: Taro Hirooka (HOSHINOYA Kyoto, General Manager)
“I feel extremely honoured for the establishment to have been selected for the 7th time in a row for 5 red pavilions for 2019. It’s all thanks to the support from our regular guests and the gift of help from locals in the region. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. We will not act out of pride for this – together with the staff, we shall devote ourselves to ensuring that everybody who lives in the historical location of Arashiyama in Kyoto can better feel its charms and attraction.” (Translated from Japanese)
Address: 11-2 Arashiyama Genrokuzanchō, Nishikyō Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Access: 10-minutes on foot from Hankyu Arashiyama Station / 30-minutes by car from Kyoto Minami Interchange
Price: From ¥81,000 (Includes 1 room for 1 night, tax and service charge. Doesn’t include meals.)
Sip champagne and cruise along the riverside with Hoshinoya Tokyo’s guest plan!
12.March.2019 | SPOT
Enjoy a refreshing morning overlooking a beautiful riverside scenery whilst sipping champagne and tucking into freshly baked goods when you stay at Hoshinoya Tokyo hotel. The hotel is running their Tokyo summer morning boat plan “Tokyo natsu no asa no fune asobi” again this year. The plan will run from 1st June to 10th September.
The Tokyo summer boat departs from Kachidoki Bridge, Harumi (Chuo Ward). This is just a 10-minute drive from Tokyo. The boat travels from Sumida river to Kameji river, stopping by “Cawaii Bread and Coffee”, which is located along the riverside. A wooden box containing the morning breakfast sets are carried off the boat and into the shop. After customers enjoy the beautiful Hamarikyu Gardens, they can sip champagne and enjoy their freshly baked bread alongside salad, cheese and other ingredients that are fresh off the farm.
Edo no Machi (Edo Town) was born as the “town of water” because it specialised in high-quality boats that carried people and goods. The rivers became the heart of Edo no Machi as markets and shops started building around them. The area started to overflow with prosperity and many people visited to enjoy themselves. You can enjoy the wealth of Edo no Machi throughout the seasons from this boat!
Enjoy freshly chilled champagne
The breakfast includes freshly baked crispy croissants and danish pastries from “Cawaii Bread and Coffee”, which is located along Hatchobori Kamejima river. The breakfast also comes with cheese and yoghurt sourced from Kibichuo, Okayama, jams made in Japan, and much more!
You can still see many features along the canal that remain from the old days of the Edo period. You will be accompanied by a very knowledgeable guide on the boat, who will explain the unseen to you as you travel, giving you the chance to uncover a whole new side to Tokyo.
Gaze upon Toyosa market from the boat and learn about the history of Tsukuda market ー there is just so much to tickle your curiosity!
Treat yourself to an elegant boat ride and delicious breakfast!
Tokyo natsu no asa no fune asobi
Running: 1st June ー 10th September 2019 (Not running on Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays).
Running time: 07:00 ー 09:00 (90-minute ride).
Prices: 2 people ￥103,000, 3 people ￥118,000, 4 people ￥132,000 (+ additional 10% tax & service charge, accomodation fee not included).
Reservations: Reserve 14 days prior to travel on the official website.
This is only available to Hoshinoya Tokyo guests only.
＊ Guests are responsible for making their own way to the departure point.
＊ The schedule and contents of the boat trip plan are subject to change.
Hoshinoya official website: https://hoshinoya.com/
Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo: A Michelin-Recognised Modern Ryokan in Front of Tokyo Station
The area surrounding Tokyo Station is home to many different types of hotels. One standout location is Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo. This hotel, which featured in Michelin Guide Tokyo 2017, renovated 30% of its guest rooms as part of its 10th anniversary. Its concept is a modern-style ryokan (a traditional Japanese in) and it stands just so as the closest to Tokyo Station. Today, we will take a look at the hotel’s design rooms.
Of its 38 rooms, 33 of them take on a ryokan style design. The rooms are fitted with small tatami flooring spaces where guests must take their shoes off on which sits a small chabudai, a short-legged table, on a raised floor. These elements have a nostalgic quality to them with Japanese guests and an inherently Japanese feel to them for foreign guests.
The carpet is decorated with a chrysanthemum design in a traditional Japanese dusky purple colour.
There are also kendama toys, books on Japanese confections and more to elevate that feeling of Japanese culture. There is plenty of space for tired bodies to relax after a long day trip.
The other 5 rooms are “Office Rooms” made with business workers in mind. They come with a big sofa and whiteboards to create a lounge-type space.
All of the bed mattresses are the highest quality models provided by long-standing bed makers Nishikawa. They aren’t excessively soft which I really liked and ensure a long, deep and natural sleep.
Rooms come with three types of original tea blended by the staff so you can pick whichever caters to your mood that day.
The feature you must absolutely try however is the hotel’s breakfast. It’s served in a buffet style so there is plenty to choose from with everything from Japanese-style food to Western-style. The buffet is packed with vegetables too so you can get your daily intake nice and early.
All of the new rooms are double rooms and are priced from ¥27,000 per night. The price changes depending on the season to be sure to check the official website for more details.
If you’re looking for a taste of Japan with that ryokan feel then be sure to check out Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo.
Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo
Address: 1-3-22 Yaesu, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Access: 3-minutes on foot from Tokyo Station’s JR Yaesu Exit
Travel Virtually to Japan’s City of Komoro in Nagano to See Cherry Blossoms, Soak in the Onsen & More
02.April.2020 | SPOT
Komoro Tourism Bureau has developed the new “Komoro Tourism Channel” using Voicy, a news and media site which reports spoken information online. The channel focuses on the latest information with regards to tourism in Komoro, and focuses on the city’s many different hot springs.
Komoro is a city in Nagano Prefecture. Komoro Castle is home to Kaikoen Park, which was chosen as the 100 best cherry blossom spots in Japan. The city also boasts a wide variety of onsen (hot springs) which offer amazing views and numerous different bathing experiences. Komoro Tourism Channel covers all of this and more.
Komoro is about 2-hours by car via the Nerima Interchange on Kan-etsu Expressway. It’s also accessible from Tokyo via car. You can also reach it in around 24 minutes from Karuizawa Station via Shinano Railway.
Delivering the sounds of the relaxing onsen from Komoro
Komoro has eight water sources which provide water to its hot springs. The city sits 1,400 meters above sea level, from which each of its hot springs offer breathtaking views. The podcast on the hot springs, which is in Japanese, lets you feel like you’re experiencing them from your very own home. More podcasts on Komoro are planned to be released in the future, and QR codes will be implemented are various hotels and tourist facilities in Komoro which when scanned will offer voice guides to those places.
Komoro Tourism Channel: https://voicy.jp/channel/1074
The Komoro Tourism Bureau is coming up with measures to continue promoting the city during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As well as Komoro Tourism Channel, it is also releasing information on its website, Twitter page, and elsewhere.
Kaikoen Park at Komoro Castle
Kaikoen Park at Komoro Castle is a tourist hot spot in Komoro. The castle itself was chosen as one of Japan’s 100 most famous castle sites. It is also famous for the castle itself being situated lower than the town around the castle. Kaikoen Park was selected as one of Japan’s 100 best cherry blossom spots, where around 500 trees bloom Yoshino cherries, shidare-zakura, higan-zakura, and more through April every year. The “Komoro-yae-beni-share” tree is an endemic species of cherry tree to Komoro and has a deep pink colour. The park also has towering stone walls and is home to the the front castle gate.
Komoro Castle Official Website (Japanese): https://www.komoro-tour.jp/castle/
Komoro Castle Official Website (English): https://www.komoro-tour.jp/lg_en/
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi: Rent An Entire Kyoto Townhouse to Yourself
01.April.2020 | SPOT
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi is set to open in the Goshominami area of Kyoto on April 25, 2020. The single-accommodation hotel is a complete renovation of a traditional Kyoto-style townhouse.
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi comes as the 7th branch of hotels from Kyo no Ondokoro. It’s a single building to rent for up to 4 people, who can enjoy taking a soak in the man-made carbonated spring bath which is kind to the skin and hair, using the soft water shower, and getting ready in the spacious makeup corner. It’s the perfect getaway for girl groups travelling together.
The hotel is in a convenient location for sightseeing in the ancient capital of Kyoto. The building has been completely renovated to adapt to modern lifestyle while still retaining those traditional elements of a Kyoto townhouse that was built during the Meiji Periodーand in an area that’s rich in traditional scenery.
The lounge space sofa seats are inspired by Japanese rock gardens
The lounge space, which connects the second-floor bedrooms and the washitsu Japanese-style room, are furnished with unique round sofas. All the rooms open up to each other so guests can enjoy the company of each other during their travel stay.
Hinoki cypress artificial carbonated spring bath
The round bath is made from hinoki cypress, and the carbonated water lets you stay glowing and nice and warm after you step out of it. The bathroom is also stocked full of amenities like shampoo courtesy of popular brand THREE.
Up to four people can apply their makeup together in the makeup corner
The makeup corner is big enough to sit four people so they can get ready for their day or night out together while chatting.
Colourful art pieces also adorn the walls of the makeup room, Japanese-style room and elsewhere to add a touch of beauty to them.
If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto with the girls then why not book at Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi when it opens on April 25?
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi
Address: 341-2 Shōshōiotabichō, Nakagyō-ku, Kyoto, 604-0873
Grand Opening: April 25, 2020
Price: ¥30,000 per night
Bookings: Opened on March 27, 2020
Offcial Website: https://www.kyo-ondokoro.kyoto/en/
See 3,000 Rhododendrons in Full Bloom at the Tsutsuji Garden by Lake Ashi in Hakone
29.March.2020 | SPOT
May is the most colourful time of the year at Hotel de Yama near Lake Ashi in Hakone, when a total of 3,000 rhododendronsーcomprised of 30 different typesーbloom their beautiful flowers in the large Tsutsuji Garden, where one can enjoy a great view of Mount Fuji and Lake Ashi.
Tsutsuji Garden at Hotel de Yama
“Tsutsuji” is the Japanese word for rhododendron. The Tsutsuji Garden at Hotel de Yama was once the villa of Koyata Iwasaki, “the fourth and last president of a unified Mitsubishi.” During that time, numerous varieties of rhododendrons were planted in the garden, which have since been maintained. There are plants amongst them that are over 100-years-old, ones that tower over the human stature, and more; with petals that bloom pink, red, purple, and white.
A combined view of the kaleidoscopic rhododendrons and Mount Fuji
The staff who are experts on the garden have set up two photo frame stands in two of the best spots in the garden for taking picturesque photos. Snap some Instagrammable and memories with the colourful rhododendrons and Mount Fuji together.
Rhododendron Desserts: Saison a colorier – ¥1,634 / Tea Set – ¥2,360 (Before Tax)
Salon de thé Rosage, the dessert restaurant that sits in front of the hotel, is serving up a new special dessert called “Saison a colorier” in line with the full bloom of the rhododendrons. It captures the colourful pink, red, white, and purple appearance of the flowers, and looks like a mini version of the hotel’s garden on your plate. The main part of the dessert is the tea mousse, which has a bright red colour as it is coated beautifully in a strawberry puree nappage. The tea used in the mouse is an original rhododendron blend exclusive to the restaurant.
The white rhododendron dessert is a macaron that’s filled with raspberry sorbet. The red which contrasts with the white is a rhododendron milk tea cream and fresh raspberries. The rest of the plate is adorned with pink jelly and edible flowers. The perfect afternoon tea to finish off your time at Tsutsuji Garden.
Hotel de Yama / Salon de thé Rosage
Address: 80 Motohakone, Hakone, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa
Official Website: https://www.hakone-hoteldeyama.jp/en/
Grab These Adorable and Delicious-Looking Kirby Figures at Japan’s Game Centres
29.March.2020 | ANIME&GAME
The second batch in a series of Kirby figurines, based on the Kirby’s Dream Land game series, began rolling out at game centres across Japan on March 26, 2020. They are part of the “Palcolce collection,” a line of palm-sized figures themed around desserts.
Three figures make up the second batch of the series, which includes Kirby standing atop a Star Block shortcake holding a bright-red strawberry, another of Waddle Dee climbing a cupcake on chocolate ladder, and Kirby flying through the sky on a cheesecake Warp Star.
A third batch is also planned drop in the near future.
Collect all three from arcades throughout Japan to create a truly kawaii Kirby scene!
©Nintendo / HAL Laboratory, Inc. KB19-3661
Kirby – Paldolce collection vol.2
Release Date: Rolling out March 26, 2020
Available: Amusement centres throughout Japan (*select branches not participating)
Official Website: https://bpnavi.jp/s/toru/pc/prizes/81933
Coronavirus in Japan: Kaname Inn Tatemachi in Kanazawa Offers Free Accommodation to Foreigners Who Can’t Get Home
29.March.2020 | SPOT
Kaname Inn Tatemachi, a hotel in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, has announced a project named “Room for rescue” which will offer free accommodation to foreigners unable to travel back to their home countries from Japan due to lockdowns and restrictions from going outside as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
With flights cancelled around the world, there is no way for foreigners to return home from Japan, resulting in them being forced to change their plans and extend their stay. They are living their days in constant worry, both financially and mentally. To ensure that foreign travellers don’t feel like their trip to Japan was a bad experience, free accommodation is becoming available to those who meet certain prescribed conditions.
In response to the decreasing number of tourists, Kaname Inn Tatemachi opened its doors to Japanese citizens through Facebook for free accommodation to help support businesses like local restaurants that could no longer make a living. They received a lot of guests, as well as a request from a friend who asked if someone from the Netherlands could stay there because they couldn’t get back to their country. This sparked the “Room for rescue” project for stranded foreign tourists to stay at Kaname Inn Tatemachi for free too.
Kaname Inn Tatemachi is using its own funds to pay for the project and allow free stay. However, doing this long term will put strain on the business, so to help pay for hotel use and staff’s wages, the hotel has opened up a crowd funding page which you can find here.
Room for rescue
Aimed at: Foreign travellers who cannot return home
How to Apply
Send the following details to the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org
①Write “Room 4 Rescue” as the subject of your e-mail
②Include which country you are from
③Write the names of all the people who wish to stay at the hotel
④Write the number of adults
⑤Write the number of children
⑥Write your check-in time and date
⑦Write your check-out time and date
⑧Attach a screenshot or photo of your cancelled flight details
Application Deadline: March 28, 2020 at 23:59 (JST)
Free Accommodation Stay Time: Until April 15, 2020
Feel Like You’re Living On Okinawa’s Taketomi Island With HOSHINOYA’s New ‘Workation’ Hotel Plan
27.March.2020 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island in Okinawa rolled out a new hotel plan on March 18 that’s set to run until June 30 this year.
Taketomi Island can be said to be home to landscape of what Okinawa used to be, with the Ryukyuan red roof tiles of its buildings, stone walls, and alleys spread with coral sand. Someone plucks away at a three-stringed sanshinーthe Okinawan precursor to the mainland shamisenーas time flows with gentle ease on the island. Taketomi Island is rich in traditional culture which can be felt throughout.
The guest rooms at HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island emulate the island’s traditional architecture. All guest rooms have south-facing windows that can be opened to let in the southern winds, which the local islanders say are lucky. HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island developed its new workation plan in response to the current situation when more people are having to do remote work and work from home. It enables people a private abode where they can work and relax simultaneously. And all the necessary amenities have been prepared for a workation.
The guest rooms at HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island are known as guest pavilions, which allow for you feel like you’re living like a real islander. They are equipped with Wi-Fi, printers, pand photocopiers too, making it the perfect work environment. And you don’t have to worry about hay fever as there are no Japanese cedar or cypress trees around.
The pavilions offer a beautiful view of the bright blue sky and sea. The beaches are also open from March, so you can take a dip in the springtime sea too while basking in the warm climate.
Running: March 18, 2020 – June 30, 2020
Price: From ¥278,460 (Before tax/service charge)
People: Up to 2 people per room
*70% off from the normal price. The above-listed price is calculated for 30 days of stay.
HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island
Address: Taketomi, Yaeyama District, Okinawa 907-1101
Official Website: https://hoshinoya.com/taketomijima/en/
*You must select the meal option if you require food
McDonald’s Japan Releases Citron and Pistachio Flavoured Macarons at McCafé by Barista Branches
26.March.2020 | FOOD
McCafé by Barista branches of McDonald’s in Japan released two new flavours in their macaron series on Wednesdayーpistachio and citronーwhich will be served for a limited time until the end of August this year.
The pistachio and citron flavours join McCafé by Barista’s colourful macaron series alongside vanilla, raspberry, and chocolate, which cost just ¥150 each.
The pistachio flavour is filled with a pistachio powder-dusted pistachio cream, giving the crunchy macaron a deliciously nutty flavour and fragrance.
The citron macaron is filled with a refreshing and sour lemon cream. Both of the new flavours are the perfect treat for the start of spring and going into the summer season. They’re even better with one of McCafé by Barista’s high quality coffees.
McCafé by Barista is also serving the “Special Macaron Set” for ¥500 which comes with any two macarons of your choice and a medium hot or iced latte.
Macaron Pistachio / Macaron Citron
Serving: March 25, 2020 – Late August 2020 (subject to change)
Available: McCafé by Barista in Japan
McDonald’s Japan Official Website: http://www.mcdonalds.co.jp/
Witness Mount Fuji and Fully Bloomed Cherry Blossoms at HOSHINOYA Fuji
HOSHINOYA Fuji is offering a very special Hanami flower-viewing experience for guests from April 7 to 21 this year where they can observe the springtime cherry blossoms against the backdrop of Mount Fuji. Offers include cherry blossom desserts, a glamping experience inside a cabin eating curry while enjoying the scenery of the outdoors, a private outdoor dining dinner, and more.
HOSHINOYA Fuji hails as Japan’s first luxury camping resort. Located on the hill overlooking Lake Kawaguchi near Mount Fuji. It offers the ultimate glamping experience, with a large outdoor terrace surrounded by nature, cabins that can be enjoyed throughout the year, and more. It’s difficult to go out and enjoy the cherry blossoms on the streets right now, but if you’d still like to enjoy spring safely with your special someone, then HOSHINOYA Fuji has created a special springtime experience.
Sakura Apéro: Witness the cherry blossoms during sunset with desserts in hand
“Sakura Apéro” is a chance to take a breather and enjoy all the beauties nature has to offer. It is held in the cabin area of HOSHINOYA Fuji under the towering cherry blossom trees. Sit back, relax, and enjoy an evening treat of cherry blossom flavoured bean paste rice cake, a cup of matcha milk or a matcha cocktail, and a front row seat of the cherry blossoms as the sun sets.
Hanami on the terrace
HOSHINOYA Fuji’s cabina area is built in such a way so that guests can enjoy an outdoor experience. One third of the cabin has a terrace area with an enormous window that looks out into the natural landscape. A fireplace and kotatsu is available so you can still enjoy the outdoors even inside while relaxing with a comfortable stay into the late nights. Some of the cabins offer a view of the surrounding cherry blossom trees, inviting spring into your room.
Curry made on one of Mount Fuji’s lava plates
At HOSHINOYA Fuji, guests can enjoy outdoor cooking in luxury be it in one of the cabins or the dining restaurant in the forest. Those who want to relax in a cabin are recommended the “Glamping Curry” at the terrace. You grill beef and vegetables yourself on a Mount Fuji lava plate and can combine five spices of your choice to create your own original flavour. In the outdoor dining area, which is exclusive to groups of guests, game meat is also served, such as boar and deer, as well as seasonal vegetables prepared in a dutch oven. For dessert, there’s cherry blossom flavoured ice cream. You can also make your own strawberry sauce using fresh strawberries over a fire to pour over your ice cream before topping it with matcha crumbles.
Due to the ongoing situation surrounding the coronavirus, all guest rooms and public areas at all HOSHINOYA facilities are being thoroughly cleaned in line with the recommended guidelines to ensure the health and safety of guests and staff. Alcohol gel is available at all HOSHINOYA facilities, and staff’s health and hygiene are being consistently examined.
Address: 1408 Ōishi, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi
Official Website: https://www.hoshinoya.com/
Dine in Luxury With Truffle Toast at Patisserie SATSUKI in Hotel New Otani Osaka
22.March.2020 | FOOD
If you’re looking to indulge yourself during your trip to Japan, and happen to be staying in Osaka, then Hotel New Otani Osaka’s pastry shop Patisserie SATSUKI has you covered with their new “Spring Truffle Toast” which is made with Bianchetto truffles. Only 5 servings are served per dayーand 10 on weekends and public holidays.
The arrival of Japan’s unprecedented bread boom
In recent years, Japan as a country has seen a boom in the baking and serving of bread. NOGAMI, a bread shop in Osaka, is credited with lighting the fire of the “shokupan” boom, a type of fluffy bread in Japan. This has resulted in many more shops opening selling shokupan. In spring 2017, Hotel New Otani Osaka decided it wanted the people of Kansai to buzz about high quality shokupan too, so it developed its French-inspired “Spring Truffle Toast.” Since releasing, the bread has continued to sell out, and if you don’t place an order for one you won’t be able to get your hands on it. Their tasty truffle toast has returned again this year.
Premium toast with loaded truffle
Spring Truffle Toast With Bianchetto Truffles – ¥1,500 Per Loaf (Before Tax)
The ambrosial Spring Truffle Toast lacks nothing when it comes to taste, texture, and smell. The ingredients used to make ordinary bread like eggs, milk, and butter aren’t used for the shop’s Spring Truffle Toast. Instead, strong flour, yeast, water, and finely chopped spring truffles are used. To bring out even more flavour, truffle butter, pure olive oil, and shortening is used.
The same goes for the crustーeggs and milk aren’t used like in ordinary bread. And to prevent the bread from drying out, more time and labour is put into kneading the dough. A lava pot is used to bake the dough. By using far infrared to heat it, it makes the finished bread nice and chewy.
The shop’s head chef wanted to ensure that the bread’s fragrant smell is preserved when you take the lid off, and so the entire loaf is lathered in truffle oil, which also gives it a moist taste.
The bread can be toasted and enjoyed on its own, and you’re guaranteed great flavour and smell, but you can take it to the next level by topping it with a fried egg or scrambled egg to create an extraordinary and filling meal.
These truffles can only be harvested in spring
Truffles are a delicacy in kitchens around the world. The types used for the Spring Truffle Toast are Bianchetto. They are a very popular traditional truffle of Italy and can only be harvested from mid-March to April. As a result, they are extremely rare in Japan, making the toast that much more special.
Spring Truffle Toast With Bianchetto Truffles
Location: Patisserie SATSUKI – Hotel New Otani Osaka Floor 1F)
Available: Until Mid-April 2020
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
Price: ¥1,500 (Before Tax)
Sales: Limited to 5 servings per day (10 on weekends and public holidays)
Reservations: 06-6949-3298 (Patisserie SATSUKI)
Succulent Strawberry Drinks & Desserts Served Up at GELATO PIQUE CAFE
21.March.2020 | FOOD
GELATO PIQUE CAFE branches in Japan began their “Strawberry Fair” on Wednesday serving up drinks and desserts made using seasonal strawberries.
What is GELATO PIQUE CAFE all about?
“Desserts for adults” is the concept at GELATO PIQUE CAFE, a cafe brand developed by GELATO PIQUE which specialises is comfy loungewear. The cafe, which has branches in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and elsewhere in Japan, serves comfort food and is interested in the health and happiness of its guests. Their menu is overflowing with ideas, with all options made using only the best selected ingredients.
The enticing line-up is nothing short of kawaii, and screams springtimeーfitting for the season as Japan celebrated Vernal Equinox Day yesterday, the first day of springーwith sweet and sour strawberries adorning their crepes, smoothies, gelatos, soft serve ice creams, and more.
Strawberry Mille Feuille Crepe – ¥830 (Before Tax)
Topped with a whole strawberry, this mille feuille-inspired seasonal crepe is made with an in-house crafted strawberry cream, mille feuille puff pastry, and vanilla gelato. The strawberries used are a mix, all grown in Kumamoto Prefecture, including yuubeni, koinozomi, koiminori, and others. Much love and care is put into growing strawberries in Kumamoto, making them sweet and delicious.
White Strawberry & Red Strawberry Gelato – ¥460 (Before Tax)
This two-coloured serving of gelato ice cream is made with sweet-smelling white strawberries and a brand of red strawberry from Fukuoka called amaou. No strawberry lover will be able to resist this pick.
Strawberry Smoothie – ¥590 (Before Tax)
Enjoy a cold strawberry smoothie made from seasonal strawbs, milk, and honey. Indulge in the refreshing sweetness of the strawberries, and enjoy the cute pink flavour of the beverage.
Strawberry Milk Soft Serve Ice Cream – ¥450 (Before Tax)
Or grab yourself a cone of soft serve ice cream to enjoy the combination of flavours: sweet and sour strawbs and sweet, creamy milk.You can also get a mix together with the light blue vanilla flavour.
Running: March 18, 2020 – May 31, 2020
Location: GELATO PIQUE CAFE (Participating Branches: atré EBISU, LUMINE Ikebukuro, Mitsui Outlet Park Makuhari, Mitsui Outlet Park Kisarazu, Mitsui Outlet Park Jazz Dream Nagashima, Gotemba Premium Outlets, Nagoya LACHIC, Mozo Wonder City, Namba Marui, Mitsui Outlet Park Hokuriku Oyabe)
Official Website: https://pique-cafe.com/
*Strawberry variety is subject to change depending on production conditions
Shirasagi Coffee: Ehime Prefecture’s Cafe Releases Springtime Cherry Blossom Menu
21.March.2020 | FOOD
Shirasagi Coffee, a cafe in Ehime Prefecture, has released a new seasonal menu full of strawberries and cherry blossoms to commemorate the spring season.
Shirasagi Coffee’s logo features a heron, a reference to a legend that says the locals of Matsuyama in Ehime noticed that a white heron healed its injured leg by bathing in the hot springs of Dōgo Onsen, one of the oldest hot springs in Japan. The cafe was renovated using furniture made from scrap wood from when Dōgo Onsen was built. It’s an artistic cafe that has garnered much attention from both locals and tourists.
Thick-Cut Natural Yeast Toast
This thick-sliced bread is provided by Panya Uzu, a bread shop also in Matsuyama, Ehime. Perfect for breakfast or lunch, it’s topped with a cherry blossom jam and mascarpone cheese cream.
Top: Cream Soda / Right: Cherry Blossom Tea Latte / Left: Cherry Blossom & Strawberry Mint Sour
This line-up of three drinks are made using seasonal strawberries grown in Ehime Prefecture.
Bavarois is a classic dessert at Shirasagi Coffee, and this one is made using matcha grown in the village of Shingu in Ehime and is coated in a cherry blossom cream.
Spring Madonna Parfait
This limited-time parfait is stacked with 12 different ingredients of varying textures and flavours, including cherry blossom, as well as Ehime strawberries, chestnuts, and matcha. It’s the culmination of Ehime’s springtime ingredients.
The cafe also serves mini parfaits, drinks and other items for takeout. Pick something out and go and observe the cherry blossoms for Hanami at Dōgo Park.
Address: 2F, 12-1 Dōgoyunomachi, Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture
Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00 (from 07:00 on weekends and public holidays)
No Fixed Holidays
Closest Station: Dogo Station via Iyotetsu
Official Website: https://shirasagicoffee.com/
*Open everyday until 22:30 from March 23, 2020
*Table reservations available on weekdays
*Breakfast-only until 11:00
Starbucks to Open New Branch Along Nakamise Street in Nagano Near Zenkoji Temple
20.March.2020 | FOOD
Starbucks Coffee Japan is set to open a new branch in Japan on March 26, 2020. It will open along Nakamise-dori, a street that leads to Nagano’s famous Zenkoji Temple.
It will open as the Kōshin’etsu region’s first Starbucks Regional Landmark Storeーa Starbucks branch unique to Japan that’s built as a symbol of that area which promotes that region’s culture to customers. They enable coffee-loving visitors to discover or rediscover the wonder of a region’s history, culture, craftsmanship, and industry, while building a connection with the region through those discoveries. The branches incorporate various local design elements into them.
The new branch, called Starbucks Coffee Shinshu Zenkoji Nakamise-dori, neighbours the Niou Gate of Zenkoji Temple. It’s a place where you can sit down with a delicious cup of coffee and relax while feeling the history of the place. The coffee shop’s design and decor also takes inspiration from local history and culture, their concept behind “Busy and Quiet, Light and Dark.” It’s situated a little away from the hustle and bustle of Nakamise-dori, and houses two spacious floors.
The sliding doors and skylight let in a soft light which also casts shadows in places, mimicking the beauty of shade found in a Japanese-style house. The ceiling and walls at the entrance are made from Japanese red pine, while the bar uses five different types of wood from Nagano Prefecture like hornbeam and katsura. The stone lanterns which were in the original building have been put at the entrance, and the great beams on the second floor have been left as they are. All of this preserves the feeling of the local region while small Starbucks touches are added here and there, resulting in a unique Starbucks experience.
Starbucks Coffee Shinshu Zenkoji Nakamise-dori
Grand Opening: March 26, 2020
Address: 483 Motoyoshicho, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture
Opening Hours: 7:00-21:00
No Fixed Holidays
Starbucks Japan Official Website: https://www.starbucks.co.jp/