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. 

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara one of the few luxury hotels worldwide to be hand-picked by American travel magazine AFAR.

    14.May.2019 | BUSINESS / SPOT

    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?

  • 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)

  • 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.

    Hoshinoya 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!

  • Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo: A Michelin-Recognised Modern Ryokan in Front of Tokyo Station

    28.June.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    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.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Kaori’s Easy Recipe: Learn to Make Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Pound Cake For Halloween

    22.September.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    With just a small bit of ingenuity, turn everyday food into something cute using Kaori’s easy recipe! With a few simple ideas, an ordinary recipe magically transforms into a cute dish.

     

    In this recipe, I will show you how to make the perfect treat for Halloween: a pumpkin and cream cheese pound cake, finished with cute bats and a ghost. This is a super easy recipe that can be made by simply putting everything into a blender and baking it in the oven. By the end of you you will have yourself a Halloween-themed rich pound cake as soft as Japanese pudding.

     

    1: Ingredients (Makes one 22cm pound cake)

    150g cream cheese

    250g cooked pumpkin (skin and seeds removed)

    50g-60g sugar

    1 egg

    150ml fresh cream

    20g soft wheat flour

     

    2: Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender

    3: Once the mix takes on a smooth texture, pour into a cake tin and bake at 180℃ for 40 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool, then leave in the fridge overnight.

    4: Once the cake has set, slice a piece and add your dollop of fresh cream for your ghost and decorate.

    To see how I did the toppings, check the video I made above. Once your cute toppings are done, your cake is ready to enjoy!

    Kaori invites you into her world of character-themed food dishes in her recipe series. Be sure to check out her Instagram where she has uploaded many pictures of her character dishes!

     

    Profile

    Kaori Kubota (@kaopan27)
    I live in Hokkaido and I love to make character themed foods, desserts and pastries♡

    I want to see my family smile, so I enjoy putting in a bit of effort to make character foods and changing food into something cute♡

    You can see more of my character foods and character bento boxes on my Instagram page→@kaopan27

  • New Food Truck Taiyaki Tainoya to Open in Shinjuku Serving Fish-Shaped Cakes

    21.September.2019 | FOOD

    Taiyaki Tainoya is a food truck set to open in front of the first floor entrance of Flags on September 20 which is connected directly to Shinjuku Station’s south-east exit.
      
    Taiyaki – ¥200 (Tax Included)
    The truck will sell taiyaki, a classic Japanese confection which comes in the form of a crispy fish-shaped cake filled with bean paste. The cakes sold here will be made using Tokachi beans from Hokkaido which have a distinct luxurious sweetness to them.
    The taiyaki here are made with takeout and gift-giving in mind, so they have been made nice and crunchy so they don’t fall apart or become mushy.
    The bean paste isn’t overly sweet so is easy to enjoy. The beans, which have a strong aroma, are cooked in sugar beet from Hokkaido, and contain a hint of moshio, which is salt you get from burning seaweed.
    The sweet bean paste has such a smooth texture that you wouldn’t believe that’s what it is. If you’re a lover of adzuki bean paste or aren’t good with sweet things, then this is a bean paste you’re going to love.
    For an extra ¥30, you can have the taiyaki packed in a cute gift box if you’re thinking of giving it to someone. There are six colours to choose from for all occasions, be it a home party or for clients. They are also wrapped with noshi paper and contain message cards. There are seven of these to pick, so you can write your own words to the person.
    If a simple taiyaki isn’t enough for you, you can also top it with a rich soft-serve ice cream. Pick between Hokkaido Vanilla or Uji Matcha flavours.
    If you’re getting off at Shinjuku Station, be sure to head out the south-east exit of the JR Line section to find Taiyaku Tainoya.
  • Sensuously Scrumptious Mont Blanc Parfait Arrives at GINZA SIX Tsujiri

    20.September.2019 | FOOD

    The Ginza branch of long-standing Uji tea shop Tsujiri has unveiled a seasonal treat that will be available this autumn only. It was released on September 18 and will be served until October 31.

     

    Tsujiri Ginza is the only branch of Tsujiri in the Kanto region of Japan, aiming to offer a “new kind of matcha experience” to the people of Tokyo. This autumnal mont blanc parfait dessert is made from an aromatic chestnut cream made in France, matcha soft serve ice cream made by the Uji matcha experts at Tsujiri, and fluffy fresh cream, creating a seasonal mix of flavours.

     

    Once you’re done shopping around the extravagant town of Ginza, why not treat yourself to a tasty matcha-packed delight?

  • Top 5 Delicious Must-Eat Parfaits in Fukuoka

    19.September.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    From must-try desserts to the most fancy lunches, the best cute and stylish cafes and more, we have covered many unmissable locations in Japan’s prefecture of Fukuoka.
    This time, we’re here to present a sweet assortment of parfaits in Fukuoka that are sure to get your mouths watering. We are joined by Instagrammer moe who has provided us with photos and descriptions of this tasty line-up.
    green bean to bar CHOCOLATE in Imaizumi
     
    Chocolate Glass Parfait
    Let’s begin with the Chocolate Glass Parfait, an extravagant parfait which is made with cocoa beans from various different regions, offering plenty of flavour. It’s a refreshing parfait topped with chocolate tea granita jelly. It’s also drizzled in a chocolate sauce which is made with cocoa beans and imbued with berries. If you’re a chocoholic then this one will provide the hit you need!
    ▼green bean to bar CHOCOLATE
    Address: Nishitetsu Tenjin CLASS 1F, 1-19-22 Imaizumi, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 11:00-21:00
    Closed: Wednesdays
    Official Website: https://greenchocolate.jp
    Patisserie Georges Marceau in Watanabedori
    You Kihi – ¥980
    A floral fragrance dances around this beautiful parfait, which one would expect the refreshing peach to be the centerpiece, only to find out that other fruits come through the flavour assortment too like lychee and raspberry. As well as fruits, the parfait includes sherbet, panna cotta, and other refreshing combinations.
    ▼Patisserie Georges Marceau
    Address: 1F, 5-8-19 Watanabedori, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Until 19:00 on Sundays)
    No Fixed Holidays
    Oyatsu cafe Hibi to in Hirao
    Strawberry Parfait
    This classic strawberry parfait contains double-sized cornflakes. I would change nothing about its taste or appearance, which also matches the atmosphere of the cosy and beautiful cafe.
    ▼Oyatsu cafe Hibi to (Japanese: おやつcafe日々to)
    Address: Maison Sansou 2F, 2-17-21 Hiaro, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Kurasukoto in Hirao
    Left: Coffee Jelly Parfait / Right: Strawberry Parfait
    Coffee jelly is a bitter flavour more suited to the adult palate. It goes perfect with the condensed milk and caramel nut-topped smooth ice cream cake. Piled with juicy strawberries and blueberries, you’re sure to enjoy your fill with this strawberry parfait.
    ▼Kurasukoto
    Address: 2F, 1-11-21 Hiaro, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 11:30-18:00 (Food Last Orders 17:15 / Dessert Last Orders 17:30)
    Closed: Sundays & Mondays
    momotose in Hirao
    Seasonal Parfait
    Strawberries, kumquat, and flower petals adorn this piece of parfait art. The combination of the sour fruits and sweet ice cream is a match made in heaven. As well as parfaits, momotose also sells other delicious desserts too like roll cake.
    ▼momotose
    Address: 1F, 3-19-20 Hiaro, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture
    Opening Hours: Lunch 11:00-15:00 / Tea 14:00-18:00 / Dinner 18:00-21:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Official Website: http://momotose-fukuoka.com
    Did you enjoy this list? If you’re looking for other sweet suggestions for must-try drinks and desserts in Fukuoka then be sure to follow moe on Instagram.
    Text & Photosmoe
    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
  • Winter is Coming But Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo’s Yuzu Lemon Afternoon Tea Will Warm You Up

    16.September.2019 | FOOD

    Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo will begin serving its new citrus fruit-packed Yuzu Lemon Afternoon Tea on November 1 at the Le Jardin, the hotel’s lobby lounge which offers a view of the beautiful garden.

     

    You’ll see yuzu and lemons throughout the year, but it is said that winter is the best season to enjoy them. Both lemons and yuzu are said to have a relaxation effect, and so Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo will beckon guests through its cosy doors with the afternoon tea set’s refreshing citrus fragrance, inviting them to an early wonderful winter at the beginning of November.

    The set includes an assortment of sweets including a yuzu and lemon flavoured savarin, a lemon cheesecake that squeezes out all the juicy nectar of the citrus fruit, and more. The lemons and yuzu are the citrus kingpins of this afternoon tea.

    The seasonal scones are a mix of yuzu and vanilla scones and silky white chocolate scones to relieve some of the sourness. Enjoy together with a mix of dips including salted clotted cream for even more flavour.

    On the savoury side of things there is a tempting mix of bites and nibbles, including the use of spicy ginger to warm up your cold body.

    Welcome the winter early this year and do it in style with Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo’s new afternoon tea set.

  • Take A Tasty Trip to Tokyo Kaikan to Indulge in Mouthwatering Marron Chantilly Desserts

    16.September.2019 | FOOD

    Kiyotaka Katsume (勝⽬ 清鷹) is the first ever confectioner of the 70-year-old Tokyo Kaikan. This autumn, Tokyo Kaikan is selling Mont Blanc Marron Chantilly dessertsーwhich were invented by Katsumeーfor a limited period only.

    Earl Grey Marron Chantilly: ¥908

    The Earl Grey Marron Chantilly is only available from October 1 to October 31. The flavour and aroma of earl grey tea leaves has been fully extracted to add to the flavour of the cream.

    Premium Marron Chantilly: ¥1,500

    The premium Marron Chantilly is only available from September 1 to October 31. Japanese chestnuts sourced from Kasama are shredded with whipped cream for a light and fluffy texture. This is a paradise for anyone who loves chestnuts.

    Pumpkin Marron Chantilly¥908

    The Halloween-themed desserts at Tokyo Kaikan are a big hit every year. This year, the Pumpkin Marron Chantilly will be taking to the scene to deliver the very best flavours of Halloween. Just looking at this Halloween-coloured dessert is enough to make your mouth water. It is such a shame that it is only selling from October 18 to 31.  

    Dig into one of these delicious Marron Chantilly desserts surrounded by the luxurious atmosphere of Tokyo Kaikan. 

  • 5 Must-Try Desserts On Fukuoka’s Beach-Lined City Of Itoshima

    15.September.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Itoshima is a city located in the western part of Fukuoka and is known for its many gorgeous and picturesque locations-especially its beaches.
    Today, we are joined once again by Instagrammer moe who is here to show us the best delicious drinks and desserts to enjoy while gazing out at Itoshima’s breathtaking beaches and rural landscapes.
    OYATSU-STAND in Nishi-ku
    Left: Tapioca Milk Ryokucha Green Tea / Right: Tapioca Milk Houjicha (¥600 Each)
    What better way to enjoy a refreshing green bubble tea than with a sun-kissed blue sky and ocean right in front of you? As well as ryokucha and houjicha, there are plenty of other thirst-quenching flavours to choose from as well, including Japanese tea latte.
    ▼OYATSU-STAND
    Address: 2198-3 Kota, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka
    Business Hours: 10:30am until sunset
    No Fixed Holidays
    Itoshima Sabo in Nishi-ku
    Specially-Made Single Classic Pancake – ¥500
    You’ll find yourself reaching for your camera to snap a picture of this Instagram-worthy pancake, branded with the cafe’s name Itoshima Sabo in Japanese. They serve everything from breakfasts to full course meals.
    ▼Itoshima Sabo
    Address: 2915-1 Kota, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka
    Business Hours: 10:00-21:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    KUROKI in Nijoishizaki
    Roll Cake
    KUROKI is a French restaurant that serves up a variety of courses. This fluffy homemade roll cake is filled with rich and smooth cream. You can order it as a set together with a meal too. Don’t forget, this place is reservation-only!
    ▼KUROKI
    Address: 459-3 Nijoishizaki, Itoshima, Fukuoka
    Business Hours: Lunch 12:00-17:00 (Reservation Only) / Dinner 18:00~ (Reservation Only)
    Closed: Sundays
    Official Instagram: @restaurantkuroki
    Sumi Cafe in Hon
    Salted Milk Houjicha Purin – ¥500
    Sumi Cafe is a long-standing cafe that can be found by following a narrow road along the countryside. This irresistible salted milk houjicha purin is combined with astringent chestnut and candied chestnut to make a luxurious dessert.
    ▼Sumi Cafe
    Address: 1454 Hon, Itoshima, Fukuoka
    Business Hours: 12:00-17:00 (Lunch Last Orders 15:30 / Cafe Menu Last Orders 16:30)
    Closed: New Year’s Holiday
    Loiter Market in Shimakeya
    Left: Salt & Caramel / Right: Milk & Strawberry (¥400 Each)
    Made with organic ingredients, Loiter Market’s gelato is served in cute pastel colours. The salt and caramel is a must-try, it’s made with salt sourced in Itoshima.
    ▼Loiter Market
    Address: 166-3 Shimakeya, Itoshima, Fukuoka
    Opening Hours: 12:00-17:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Official Website: https://loiter-market.com
    Did you enjoy these picks? If you’re looking for even more desserts to try in Fukuoka then be sure to check out moe’s Instagram page which is filled with just that!
    Photos: @amatou.fuk
  • Häagen-Dazs Release New Soybean Flour Brown Sugar Syrup and Zunda Mochi Ice Creams

    14.September.2019 | FOOD

    Häagen-Dazs Japan has announced that it will release two new flavours from its popular hanamochi ice cream series on September 17: “Soybean Flour Brown Sugar Syrup” and “Zunda.”

     

    Soybean Flour Brown Sugar Syrup Hanamochi

    The soybean flour brown sugar syrup hanamochi was released back in 2015 and returned again in 2017. This year, Häagen-Dazs is bringing is back even more delicious than before. They have blended together a variety of soybean flours to elevate the ingredient’s original flavour.

     

    The top of the mochi is sprinkled with a blend of lightly roasted black and yellow soybeans. By roasting them, the original taste and fragrance of the soybean comes through tenfold. Dark roasted soybean has also been combined with milk for a velvety texture, and the entire thing is drizzled in a rich original brown sugar syrup sauce which further enrichens the soybean flavour.

     

    Zunda Hanamochi

    Zunda is sweet soybean paste made from mashed edamame beans and a flavour that has been gaining popularity in Japan in recent years. Häagen-Dazs is incorporating the flavour for the first time in their hanamochi series.

     

    The lumpy texture of the crushed edamame goes deliciously well with the chewy mochi, taking the original authentic taste and texture of edamame to a whole new level. Mixing it with soybeans and rich milk turns it into a smooth ice cream in your mouth. The sauce also contains a sprinkle of salt to bring out the flavour of the zunda.

    The packaging has also been updated, inspired by their flavours and topped with a golden lid, giving it a modern-Japanese appeal. Don’t miss out on these two new flavours.

  • Kusatsu Onsen’s Emerald Green Pudding is a Must-Try After a Dip in the Hot Springs

    11.September.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Kusatsu Onsen is a hot spring resort in Gunma Prefecture that is one of Japan’s three principle hot spring locations. The site opened its new Japanese custard dessert (known as ‘purin’) shop, Kusatsu Onsen Pudding, on August 24, which serves the most incredibly smooth purin you have ever tried, each inspired by the hot springs.

     

    Once you’ve stepped out of the nice warm hot springs of Kusatsu Onsen you can refresh yourself with a delicious purin packed full of love from the shop which has created a flavour you can only try by travelling to Gunma and going there. Each and every dessert is made fresh in the shop to further elevate its exclusivity as a local speciality.

     

    Kusatsu Onsen Pudding also makes sure to use local and regional ingredients where it can to help support manufacturers and producers. Their purin is also made with a special type of milk sourced from in Gunma known as Haruna milk. The milk is made as delicious as can be by ensuring cows are raised on a healthy natural diet of grass on green pastures in Gunma bathed in plenty of sunlight.

    Yuhata Purin

    The Yuhata purin is inspired by the hot spring areas where mineral deposits are harvested, its jelly taking on a gorgeous emerald green colour. It’s lemon and lime flavoured, the perfect flavour to enjoy when stepping out of the hot water, and one which goes surprisingly well with purin.

    Yumomi Purin

    The staple purin of the store, this purin is based on yumomi, a method used for cooling the hot water with paddles from which cold water gushes forth. This velvety delight is made with lots of fresh cream and high-quality vanilla beans from Madagascar for added punch.

    Furomage

    A pun on the word fromage, with furo in Japanese meaning “bath,” the Furomage purin uses a rich cream cheese base which has a seriously smooth texture. It’s topped off with strawberry jelly for the perfect combination, packing a perfect balance between sweet and sour.

    Yuhata Soft (Milk/Yuhata/Mixed)

    Choose from the Yuhata soft serve ice cream which is ramune flavoured and inspired by the flowing water of the hot springs or the Haruna milk-mixed vanilla flavoured Milk soft serve. If you can’t pick, then choose mixed for a bit of both. A satisfyingly refreshing pick for when you’re done in the hot springs.

    The shop has plans to sell purin made using bamboo steamers in the near future, so you’re pudding can be steamed like yourself after a dip in the water! The wooden spoons used to eat the desserts are also made in the image of the paddles used in yumomi too.

  • Kyoto’s Capsule Hotel Anshin-Oyado Now Offering Plan to Take Guests to Sacred Sword Locations

    10.September.2019 | SPOT

    Capsule hotel Anshin-Oyado Premiere Kyoto Shijo Karasuma introduced a new plan on September 6 which gives guests the chance to go and see sacred places across Kyoto associated with Japanese swords.

     

    October 4th is known as “Japanese Sword Day” in Japan. In Kyoto alone, the number of people visiting from distant places to see sacred sword places, as well as collect goshuin stamps from shrines and temples, is on the increase-as is the number of people staying at Anshin-Oyado Premiere Kyoto Shijo Karasuma. That’s where this new guest plan comes into play.

    The plan will take guests around different parts of Kyoto, so the hotel as prepared three options to cater to all guests’ needs: one that offers a rental bicycle, a ticket to use the subway or bus, or the normal plan. You will receive a map which shows you the most efficient way to get around all the locations. There is also a QR code on the map which not only shows where you can park your bicycle if you go for that option, but also where to collect goshuin stamps.

     

    Moreover, to really slash home those sword memories, guests will be lent a free selfie-stick which also acts as a tripod. There is also a separate powder room for guests wanting to dress up in full sword cosplay gear too which can be used until checkout.

    Guests can also rent a portable power bank for their phone so they don’t have to worry about their battery running out when snapping photos amongst other amenities, and have free use of the massage chairs, foot baths, open-air baths, and more to rest up after their long pilgrimage around Kyoto seeing the different swords.

  • The Fanciest Egg and Rice Dish You’ve Ever Seen Will Be Sold at Grand Hyatt Tokyo

    09.September.2019 | FOOD

    Towering over the bustling city of Tokyo is the capital’s luxury hotel Grand Hyatt Tokyo. Starting from October 1, the hotel’s restaurant Shunbou, which serves Japanse-style cuisine, is introducing an all-new exquisite serving of TKG, or tamago kake gohan (“egg on rice”).

    The dish will be made with shinmai, or “new rice,” which refers to the new rice harvested for the current year. It’s topped with rich egg―a simple combination but incredibly delicious and loved by people in Japan. Normally TKG stops there, but Grand Hyatt Tokyo is taking it to the next level with a topping of caviar to create the most exquisite egg on rice you have ever seen.

     

    Rice: The best of the best

    The rice served at the hotel is harvested in the city of Nanyō in Yamagata Prefecture. It’s a special kind of rice known as Tsuyahime, and the hotel makes strict selections of the harvested rice, ensuring they serve the best possible rice to guests. This rice is served only at Grand Hyatt Tokyo making it even more special.

     

    Nanyō is blessed with rich soil. The farms have been using organic fertiliser for well over 10 years, meaning their beautiful harvests are reduced in agricultural chemicals and chemical fertilisers unlike many other farms. The rice’s taste quality value has also been listed as over 80, much higher than your average rice.

     

    Sturgeon Caviar

    The caviar used in this dish is from the Sturgeon fish from Kagawa prefecture. Everything from the food to the temperature of the water for the fish is considered from when they are a young age, allowing for the best possible caviar. They are seasoned with the perfect salt quantity and are additive free, allowing for a creamy and velvety taste and texture that just melts in your mouth the moment it hits your tongue.

     

    Rich Egg Yolk

    The eggs served on the rice are from what is known as one of the country’s best egg specialist shops in Kyoto. To ensure the perfect egg, the shop takes great care in the fodder and water given to the chickens from the time they are chicks. This takes away the unpleasant raw smell characteristic of eggs, and is also a healthier lifestyle for the chickens themselves. The eggs are also packed with nutrients that are said to be lacking in the people of today including vitamins, DHA, niacin, and so on.

     

    To top it all off, the hotel has created their own original blend of dashi soy sauce just for this dish.

  • Tokyo’s Revolutionary Buena Àrte Hostel to Open in Ryōgoku Area On September 14

    09.September.2019 | BUSINESS / SPOT

    Buena Àrte Hostel is a revolutionary new hostel set to open in the Ryōgoku area of Tokyo on September 14, 2019.

    In response to the increase in the number of foreigners staying in Tokyo, and especially in anticipation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics-when numbers are expected to skyrocket-Japan’s capital is well underway in developing more accessible accommodation options for foreign travellers, from hotels to hostels.

     

    Hostels in particular are a huge focus for the city, and so more and more of them are opening. Catered to younger people and travellers, hostels are a much cheaper accommodation option when compared to hotels, and thus are likely to increase the number of days in which people will stay.

     

    However, what is considered much more valuable for foreign travellers is the level of comfort, cleanliness, and safety. Buena Àrte Hostel is all of these and more, meaning even somebody travelling on their own can feel safe and secure. With over 200 pieces of art adorning its walls, it is the world’s first art-centred capsule hotel, focusing on “fun, comfort, and encounters.”

    The hostel has collaborated with globally-active artists and up-and-coming illustrators to bring their art to the walls of the communal spaces, restaurant, and even bedrooms. A lot of the pieces you can buy too.

     

    Found in over 160 of the bedrooms are illustrations drawn by artists who want to convey the fun and excitement of travel. These illustrations are exclusive as they were drawn for the hostel and so there is only one of each in the world. There are around 60 rooms without illustrations yet, so the hostel is asking for submissions. If your illustration is picked, the hostel will offer you a free night with breakfast and dinner as thanks. You can find more details on the official website.

    Buena Àrte Hostel has its own cafe and restaurant on the first floor, the Buena Cafe & Dining Bar, where guests including foreign tourists can enjoy authentic Japanese cuisine. The “Washoku Plate” is a meal set aimed at those arriving from overseas so they can enjoy a filling portion of Japanese-style cuisine. It includes everything from sukiyaki to tempura, kushikutsu, and more. It also includes Japanese sake. The bar sells other drinks too including wine, whisky and highball.

    The closest station to Buena Àrte Hostel is Ryōgoku Station. Ryōgoku is a district of Tokyo filled with Japanese tradition. It is home to Ryōgoku Kokugikan, which is considered the holy ground of sumo wrestling, as well as the Sumida Hokusai Museum which houses works by the famous ukiyo-e painter Hokusai, the Japanese Sword Museum, the traditional Japanese garden Former Yasuda Garden, the Edo-Tokyo Museum-the list goes on. And all of these places and more are within 10-minutes’ walking distance from Buena Àrte Hostel.

     

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