3 Kyoto Tourist Spots to Visit and Cool Down at This Summer
17.July.2019 | SPOT
The bustling Kyoto Prefecture is located in the Kansai region of Japan, adored for its historical architecture and richness in traditional Japanese culture for which it brings in tourists every year both Japanese and foreign.
Summertime in Kyoto is renowned for being very hot. We’ve compiled a list of 3 must-visit locations where you can cool down during the summer heat―each of which have beautiful sights―and how to get to them.
Explore the Caverns of Shizushi Limestone Cave Park
The only limestone caves in Kyoto Prefecture, Shizushi Limestone Cave Park offers an exciting mix of outdoor activities from cave exploration to camping, bird watching and much more. The caves are a designated national monument of Kyoto Prefecture. Many fossils have been collected from the caves that date back to before the Permian period (which ended 252.2 million years ago) including fusulinida and crinoids. The temperature of the caves sits between 12℃-15℃ throughout the year making it a very popular spot for cooling off during times of hot weather.
▼Shizushi Limestone Cave Park
Address: Shizushi, Kyotamba, Funai District, Kyoto
Access: Board a JR bus from Sonobe Station (JR Sagano Line) bound for Enpuku (園福線) and get off at Hinokiyama (桧山). Change onto a Choei (町営) bus. Get off at the Shizushi Limestone Cave entrance (鐘乳洞口) and walk for 5 minutes.
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Beach Swings and Sunsets at Yuhigaura
Yuhigaura sits on the coast of Kyoto’s Tango area and is known for its iconic sunsets. Every year during summertime, giant swings made from driftwood and other materials are placed onto the beaches. Sitting on these during the evening sunset make for an incredibly picturesque scene.
And this year they’re serving an original drink called the “Magic Hour” for a limited time.
Address, 390 Aminocho Hamazume, Kyotango, Kyoto Prefecture
Access: Board the Limited Express Hashidate (特急はしだて号) train at Kyoto Station and get off at Yūhigaura-Kitsu-onsen Station (夕日ヶ浦木津温泉)
Amanohashidate Sandbar Illuminations
Last year’s illuminations at the Amanohashidate sandbar brought in over 30,000 people. The sandbar is one of Japan’s three scenic views. The illumination event is held annually with this year’s running from July 13 to September 1. The lights turn the sandbar into a truly magical spectacle.
A special bar is also open for the light-up where you can get drinks along with several other exciting events surrounding it.
Address: Monju, Miyazu, Kyoto
Running: July 13, 2019 – September 1, 2019
Event Details: https://www.facebook.com/amanohashidate.machiakari/
Stay cool this summer in Kyoto by hitting up one of these tourist hot spots!
Kyoto Sightseeing | 4 Desserts You Must Try While in Kyoto
Kyoto is renowned for its historical architecture and richness in traditional Japanese culture, but did you know it’s also home to some extremely cute and delicious desserts? Their sweets and desserts are actually pretty popular, some of which contain motifs and little nods to the city.
Today, Instagrammer meme takes us on a tour in Kyoto to try out 4 popular desserts.
JEREMY&JEMIMAH is a shop selling cute and colourful cotton candy. Their staple Wata-Hako cotton candy comes in 10 different flavours! In the photo we have yuzu, rose and matcha flavours. Of the two branches of the store, there is one along Furukawacho Shopping Street where you order your cotton candy for takeout, and another in Yasaka that serves cotton candy on long sticks.
We picked up a few different ones since there are so many flavours and designs. It was fun lining them up to take a picture.
We took them home to eat and they stayed nice and fluffy the whole way back. The yuzu one tasted a little herbal, like it was healthy for you.
▼JEREMY&JEMIMAH (Furukawacho Shopping Street Branch)
Address: Furukawacho Shopping Street, 444-3 Hachikenchō, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00
Official Website: http://www.jeremyjemimah.com/
ROCCA & FRIENDS TRUCK
At ROCCA & FRIENDS TRUCK, you can order these iced dessert matcha and houjicha lattes which are topped with yatsuhashi―a confection sold in Kyoto―shaped into various sights across the city including Kyoto Tower, Hōkanji Temple, Daimonji, a Torii gate, and more.
I ordered the matcha latte. The drink itself isn’t sweet at all so you can enjoy the full original rich and bitter flavour of the matcha. The fresh cream however is quite sweet so you can mix it into the drink as much as you want to get your desired flavour.
There are lots of great spots in the area such as the Hōkanji Temple pagoda and Yasaka Shrine so you can snap some great sightseeing photos♡
▼ROCCA & FRIENDS TRUCK
Address: 370 Yasaka Kamimachi, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Opening Hours: 9:00-18:00
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rocca.truck/
We also visited Jumondo which sells Kyoto-style dango, or “sweet dumplings.” We shared three different orders amongst three people: Danraku (団楽) which comes as a set with a drink, Dandan (だんだん) which comes with matcha, and Zenzai to Aburi Kuri Kinton (ぜんざいと炙り栗きんとん).
Once you order, the dango are made fresh so are served hot and chewy. Each dumpling is on the small side so are nice and easy to eat.
The Danraku comes with five different dumplings including sweet soy glaze, mashed sweet bean paste, soy sauce and black sesame seed, fried, and white miso. The Dandan comes with three types of your choice and a wafer filled with mashed sweet bean paste. The Zenzai to Aburi Kuri Kinton with mashed sweet potatoes with sweetened chestnut dango. The final one comes with matcha which can be served hot or cold.
Everything was tasty but my personal favourite was the yuzu flavoured white miso dumpling.
The one that everybody raved about was the Zenzai which is a thick soup that the dango are placed into. These dumplings are bigger, not too sweet and light. The soup went really well with the dango, it was super tasty.
Address: 76 Tamamizuchō, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto
Official Website: http://jumondo.jp/index.html
Kyo Yasaka Pudding
Yasaka is a particularly popular tourist spot in Kyoto, and that’s where the cute purin shop Kyo Yasaka Pudding is located.
Purin is a type of custard purring sold in Japan. The first pudding we picked up was the store’s recommended option named after the store itself, the Kyo Yasaka Pudding. It contains a transparent lemon and honey flavoured jelly inside which there are small and colourful agar agar balls and mango jelly balls.
It has an enjoyable texture and a refreshing sweetness that I’ve never experienced before with other purin. It’s very tasty!
There are five flavours to choose from, the others being hard, smooth, matcha and black soy bean, and houjicha black soy bean. All are served in tiny cute jars. Not only do they look great, they taste amazing too. Each is made with ingredients sourced in Kyoto including the milk, Uji matcha, houjicha, and black soy beans.
They also sell soft serve ice cream topped with candy balls, very Kyoto-like! You can choose from vanilla, matcha, or a mix of both. I think it’ll be really fun if you can snap a photo of your ice cream with one of Yasaka’s stylish locations in the background! Speaking of which, there was a cute illustration on the wall of the store so we took our photo there.
Be sure to pay a visit to Kyo Yasaka Pudding to pick up your own pudding whether as a souvenir or for yourself.
▼Kyo Yasaka Pudding
Address: 87-4 Hoshinochō, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: https://kyo-yasaka-pudding.co.jp/
Kyoto is full of shops selling desserts and sweets perfect to walk around and munch on while you walk its ancient streets, or to take home as a souvenir. Enjoy all the tasty things you can during your visit to this beautiful city♡
Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
Gion Tsujiri, Kyoto Releases Mouthwatering Summer-Limited Peach X Matcha Milkshake
20.June.2019 | FOOD
For a limited period, popular Ujicha and Matcha (green tea) sweets shop Gion Tsujiri will release the Summer-Coloured Matcha Milkshake.
Summer-Coloured Matcha Milkshake: ￥700 (after tax)
Specially-selected, rich-flavoured matcha and mild milk is deliciously blended to make a matcha milkshake. This is topped with fresh fruity peach whipped cream and a generous serving of juicy yellow peach pieces. This summer-limited drink is the perfect balance of sweet and sour.
Gion Tsujiri stays true to its traditional sweet-making values whilst developing new ways to enjoy them. Make sure you pop by!
Kyoto’s New Art Hotel BnA Alter Museum to Showcase Japanese Art to the World
14.May.2019 | SPOT
BnA Alter Museum is a new art hotel set to open Kawaramachi-Takatsuji, Kyoto on May 17 that will showcase Japanese artwork to guests from across the globe. Its 31 rooms feature artwork from 16 up-and-coming artists, there is a gallery on the 10th floor, and more. The hotel hopes to serve as a hub to promote new culture from the Kansai region through unprecedented and experimental artwork.
Each and every room is its own unique art project. This is the third hotel that BnA has opened. The hotel chain has been picked up by over 250 media companies around the world including The Guardian and Conde Nast for its approach to compensate artists by giving them part of the revenue earned from guests.
The number of hotels using art and artwork is in the increase, but at BnA this isn’t simply a painting on the wall. The entirety of each room is a whole art piece from the furniture to the materials used.
9 art directors are also on board with the project in addition to the 16 artists to ensure the hotel becomes an important player in Kansai’s art scene. There will be a room in the hotel with a 24-hour video produced by Daito Manabe who has worked on Perfume’s performances and is a key player in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
There’s also a room with interactive sounds and lights created by BOREDOMS vocalist Yamantaka EYヨ, and room that plays with water and produced by Tetsuya Umeda who has created various installations and art performances around the world, and more. Art directors include Noboru Tsubaki from Kyoto University of Art and Design, Ogaki Gaku of ASITANOSIKAKU, and more.
There will also be a bar called Untitled, a cafe, gallery and art shop, all of which can be used by non-guests.
As you climb the stairs of the 10th floor gallery of the BnA Alter Museum you are met with a towering 6 meter tall art piece. Events will also be held at the hotel so that non-guests can enjoy the facility too.
BnA Alter Museum
Address: 267-1 Tenmacho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
・Front: 24 hours
・Staircase Gallery: 11:00-18:00 (Also open 7:30-11:00 for guests only)
・Cafe: 12:00- 18:00
・”Untitled” Bar: 18:00-02:00
BnA Official Website: https://www.bna-hotel.com/
Must-Visit Sightseeing Spots in Kyoto―From Power Spots to Maple Trees
11.May.2019 | SPOT
Kyoto, also called the “old capital,” is known as a cultivator of Japanese culture which it has developed over the past 1,200 years. Today we take a look at some must-visit places when travelling to Kyoto along with some useful sightseeing information.
Motoise, Japan’s oldest power spot
Ise Grand Shrine is located in Mie Prefecture and is home to the inner shrine which is dedicated to Amaterasu, the Japanese goddess of the sun and the universe. Kono Shrine in Miyazu, Kyoto is known as Motoise, or “former Ise,” as it was here that Amaterasu was originally enshrined before being moved to Ise grand Shrine. Motoise celebrates 1,300 years since being erected this year. The shrine houses Amanohonoakari no Mikoto, the sun goddess’s grandchild. Deeper in the vicinity is Manai Shrine which has been a ‘power spot’ for over 3,000 years. The term power spot is Japanese for a spiritual spot where one can feel in-tune with nature and the surrounding elements.
Manai Shrine doesn’t have the usual Komainu guardian lion-dogs at its entrance but Komaryuu, guardian dragon-dogs. As you head deeper in you will come to a well of holy water known as “Amenomanai’s Water” which is visited by many people to receive happiness and blessedness. “Manai” is the highest honorific possible given to water in Japan as it is said to be water from the world of the gods. The water is also known for granting strong marriage ties.
Here there is also the Iwakura, a large rock where Izanagi and Izanami―from Japan’s creation myth―dwell. It is known as the oldest power spot in Japan so is perfect for those wanting to calm down or rediscover themselves.
Aomomiji Tunnel wrapped in fresh verdure
Shuuonan in the city of Kyotanabe gets the name “Ikkyu-ji” as it is the place where Japanese Zen Buddhist monk Ikkyū spent his final years. The location is known by everyone for the autumnal colours in fall, but it is also a sight to behold in spring too when fresh verdure sprouts. A long tunnel of beautiful maple trees whose leaves have not yet turned red rolls out from the main gate. Moss too blooms fresh and lush, wrapping the entire area in bright green hues.
Green arches welcome walkers along the maple shrine road
Also easily accessible from the city is Komyo-ji temple, known locally as “Momiji Temple” for its maple trees. In Autumn, the stone pavement leading up to the shrine is called “Momiji Shrine Road” for the red leaves that adorn the trees. In the spring season however they call it “Aomomiji Shrine Road” as the trees on both sides stretch and form leaf green arches.
A world of green aboard the “Aomomiji Train”
Board the Eizan Electric Railway to experience a slow ride between the “Momiji Tunnel.” Passengers can gaze outside the windows from their seats to admire the green maple trees. For a limited-time this year, the trains will be painted maple green to fit the theme and season.
Fireflies light up the magical summer evenings
Located in the northern part of Miyazu is Tahara which is home to just 20 country fields. In early summer, genji-botaru and heike-botaru fireflies appear from early to late June. Every year the village locals hold a festivals to celebrate them where people can stroll along the fields to see them. Surrounding restaurants also participate in the festival and serve up delicious food made using local ingredients.
Kyoto is home to countless wonderful experiences. Make sure visiting it is on your bucket list.
Address: 430 Ōgaki, Miyazu, Kyoto Prefecture
Opening Hours: 7:00-15:00
Address: 102 Takigisatonouchi, Kyotanabe, Kyoto Prefecture
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Admission Fee: ¥500
Address: 26-1 Saijo Ao, Nagaokakyo, Kyoto Prefecture
Opening Hours: 9:00-16:00
*There are no car parks at Komyo-ji Temple or in the nearby area so please arrive using public transport.
Aomomiji Train Ride
Running: April 27, 2019 – May 31, 2019
Route: Ichihara Station to Ninose Station via Eizan Electric Railway
[Weekdays] 9:02-16:20 (On trains bound for Demachiyanagi Station) / 9:41-16:59 (On trains bound for Kurama Station)
[Saturdays & Holidays] 9:00-16:30 (On trains bound for Demachiyanagi Station) / 9:34-17:04 (On trains bound for Kurama Station)
Tahara Firefly Festival
Date: June 8, 2019
Location: Tahara Nousan Kakou Center, 81 Tahara, Miyazu, Kyoto Prefecture
Come try the traditional sweet flavours of Kyoto at Yasaka-dori’s first pudding shop
Confectionery wholesaler Ohashi Chinmido opened its first ever pudding shop on Yasaka-dori on Monday 15th April 2019.
Yasaka-dori is a popular tourist destination among girls. You can see many strolling the street wearing traditional Yukata robes. The area is also famous for its famous temple called Yasaka Koshindo. Here, you will be welcomed by many colourful ‘Kukurisaru‘. You can write a wish on one and hang it up for it to come true! This is a famous Instagram photo spot! It’s this very culture-filled area that the new pudding shop “Kyo Yasaka Pudding” was born. The pudding perfectly represents the colourful street.
The Kyo Yasaka Pudding is made of two layers. The first layer takes on the appearance of Yasaka’s street view. The clear lemon and honey jelly contains colourful agar balls and mango jelly balls. The second layer consists of smooth, melt-in-the-mouth pudding.
The smooth and rich pudding is made with locally-sourced milk and vanilla pods. It goes perfectly with the lemon and honey jelly! The colour of the pudding and jelly also look cute together. The pudding also has a fresh, new texture!
The shop also sells “Matcha black soybean pudding” which uses matcha sourced from Uji, Kyoto and black soybeans sourced from Tanba. Hoji tea sourced from Uji, Kyoto, and the black soybeans sourced from Tanba are also used to make another shop speciality called “Hoji tea black soybean pudding”. There are many more items on the menu, and they are all made from ingredients that really allow you to taste the true flavours of Kyoto.
Enjoy the flavours of Kyoto to your heart’s content at this newly-opened pudding shop!
Kyo Yasaka Pudding
Address：87-4, Hoshinocho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0853
Opening hours：10:00 ー 17:30
Oniku no Chirashi: Kyoto’s New Meat and Scattered Sushi Restaurant
Oniku no Chirashi had its grand opening in Ninenzaka, Kyoto on March 28 this year. This restaurant serves chirashizushi, or “scattered sushi,” combining an assortment of Kyoto ingredients and produce from Japanese black beef and saikyo miso to things like kyotsukemono, Kyoto-style pickles.
Food is served in traditional Japanese-style and combines beef and scattered sushi to fully bring out the delicious flavour of the meat.
Oniku no Masu Chirashi: ¥2,680 (Before Tax)
This scattered sushi dish comes with everything from beef flakes to Japanese black wagyu roast beef, roast beef with salted kōji, roast beef with saikyo miso, and more.
Oniku no Hana Chirashi: ¥2,280 (Before Tax)
This luxurious bowl is filled with Japanese black wagyu roast beef and kyotsukemono with added wasabi for accent.
To celebrate their grand opening, the restaurant is currently handing out the above-pictured springtime water warabimochi until May 6.
Oniku no Chirashi (Kyoto Ninenzaka Branch)
Business Hours: 11:00-18;30 (Last Orders 18:00)
Address: 349-21 Masuyachō Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Kyoto’s Sweet and Salty Matcha Cheese Tea is an Enlightening Flavour Discovery
15.August.2019 | FOOD
Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo opened at Kiyomizu Gojozaka at the foot of the famous Kiyomizudera Temple as Kyoto’s first ever cheesecake shop to sell its delicious cheesecakes in a cute jar. On August 13, they released a mouthwateringly rich Matcha Cheese Tea which will enlighten you with a new way to enjoy matcha.
The Matcha Cheese Tea harnesses Kyoto’s unbeatable Uji matcha which is full of rich and fresh flavour. A light cloud of fluffy cheese foam floats on top of the drink, adding a salty accent to the overall flavour. A traditional tea combined with a sweet and salty cheese flavour ー this brand new flavour discovery will leave you feeling refreshed and enlightened. The recipe for the cheese foam consists of cream cheese carefully selected by the cheesecake shop’s specialists. This is then blended with a small amount of salt to accent the flavour.
If you mix the matcha milk tea with the cheese foam, the rich matcha mixes with the saltiness of the cream cheese, creating a sweet salty flavour that you will not be able to get enough of. As the flavour is not too overpowering, you can enjoy this drink endlessly and will feel refreshed even on a hot summer’s day.
Matcha Cheese Tea: ￥460
Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo recommends three different ways to drink the Matcha Cheese Tea to enjoy three different levels of flavour combinations.
① First off, drink just the matcha milk tea so you can experience the true authentic flavour of Kyoto’s famous rich Uji matcha tea.
② Next, move your straw so that you taste just the cheese foam on its own. The fluffy foam will gently slide over your tongue and spread a mild and sweet flavour all over your mouth.
③ Finally, it’s time to mix everything. The saltiness of the cheese foam and the sweetness of the matcha milk will create a new salty sweet flavour that you will want to try again and again.
Whether you are a Japanese local or a foreigner, this drink is a fun new way to enjoy matcha. If you are new to matcha, this is a good way to try the flavour without being too overwhelmed.
Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo (清水チーズ工房)
Address: 569-10, Shiraitocho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 11:00 ー 17:30
No fixed closed days.
Official Website: http://kiyomizu-cheese.com/
Haneda Airport Releases First Bubble Tea Which Passengers Can Enjoy as They Fly
13.August.2019 | FOOD
XFLAG STORE + HANEDA is a small branch of XFLAG STORE and is located in Terminal 1 of Haneda Airport. On August 13th, they released three energising bubble tea flavours served in a bottle that you can take on board with you when travelling along domestic air routes. The three bubble tea flavours are; MILK TEA, HOJICHA (a type of green tea) and MATCHA.
These bubble tea flavours are limited to XFLAG STORE + HANEDA and were created with the intention of providing a splash of energizing fun to tiresome travels.
As long as you screw the lid on properly, you can store your delicious drink in your bag and even carry it onto your flight so you can enjoy it whilst soaring through the clouds. This is the first time a shop at Haneda airport has ever sold a bubble tea drink with the intention of flight passengers taking it on board with them.
*Drinks and liquids are usually permitted on domestic flights in Japan. Please check the specific rules of your flight by referring to the official website of your airline.
To commemorate the release of the new bubble teas, XFLAG STORE + HANEDA has launched an Instagram campaign with the chance to win an Amazon gift card worth ￥10,000 (approx. 80GBP/95USD).
To take part in the Instagram campaign for the chance to win a ￥10,000 Amazon gift card, be sure to take a photo with your XFLAG STORE + HANEDA bubble tea drink and then post the picture on Instagram with the following three hashtags:
#旅タピ #タピオカ #空の上で飲めるタピオカドリンク
Four winners will be selected.
Get your summer holidays off to a soaring start with a beautiful bottle of bubble tea.
MILK, HOJICHA, MATCHA Bubble Teas
Price: ￥650 (before tax)
Release Date: August 13, 2019
Available at: XFLAG STORE + HANEDA
Address: Haneda Airport Terminal 1 South Wing, floor 3 (3-3-2 Haneda Airport, Ota Ward, Tokyo)
*Bubble teas sold may differ in appearance to the images in this article.
* The MILK Bubble Tea (cup) is also available at XFLAG STORE SHINSAIBASHI. Both the HOJICHA and MATCHA Bubble Tea flavours are limited to XFLAG STORE + HANEDA.
XFLAG STORE Portal Website: https://xfl.ag/soratapi
4 Must-Visit Fireworks Festivals in Kyoto This Summer
10.August.2019 | SPOT
Kyoto―also known as the “old capital” and said to be the birthplace of Japanese culture. In its 1,200 year history, this ancient city has given rise to much of what can be considered quintessential Japanese culture. Fireworks are a monumental feat of summer in Japan with countless festivals up and down the country dedicated to them, and Kyoto is no exception.
If you’re in Kyoto this summer then you mustn’t miss these 4 fireworks festivals.
Kameoka Peace Festival Hozugawa River Fireworks Festival – A Magnificent Arsenal of 8,000 Beauties
This long-running event is held every year to pray for world peace. Its spectacular display features a lineup of fireworks specially selected by the Japan Fireworks Artist Association which aims to evolve the tradition of firework culture. Expect to see the night sky illuminated with a rainbow of colours from the festival’s launch of 8,000 fireworks, including the Starmine which shoots a cloud of bright stars into the overhead abyss, as well as some original fireworks crafted for the festival such as the “Kamemaru Hanabi.”
▼Kameoka Heiwasai Hozugawa Fireworks Festival (Kameoka Peace Festival Hozugawa River Fireworks Festival)
Date: August 11, 2019
Time: From 19:30
Location: Hozubashi Bridge
Official Website: http://kameoka-hanabi.jp/
Kyoto Nantan City Fireworks Festival – The Spectacular Starmine
Held by the riverbed of the Katsura River, the fireworks festival in Nantan makes use of the opposite shore from the viewing point which makes the fireworks look like they are raining down from the sky like a waterfall. The finale of this festival welcomes the behemoth of all Starmine fireworks which rips across the night sky in a blazing spread. The festival is also held as part of the Bon Festival and so lanterns are let loose down the Ōi River, creating a sight of subtle grace and beauty.
▼Kyoto Nantan City Fireworks Festival
Date: August 14, 2019
Time: From 19:30
Location: Katsura River
Official Website: http://www.yagi-hanabi.com/
Miyazu Toronagashi Fireworks Festival – Floating Lanterns & Fireworks For 400 Years
Held in the city of Miyazu, this festival combines fireworks with floating lanterns and shoryobune―boats adorned with tanzaku paper slips that are sent out to light the way for the deceased as part of the Bon Festival. Floating lanterns on the water (known as toronagashi in Japanese) in Miyazu began 400 years ago. This year, it was counted as one of Japan’s three biggest toronagashi events.
Together with the boat, around 10,000 lanterns are sent into Miyazu Bay, creating a beautiful and majestic atmosphere. Close to 3,000 fireworks are set to illuminate the sky above, leading to an indescribable beauty as the fireworks and lights give off their own light.
▼Miyazu Toronagashi Fireworks Festival
Date: August 14, 2019
Time: From 19:30
Location: Shimasaki Park
Official Website: https://www.kyo.or.jp/miyazu/hanabi/
Ine Fireworks – Fireworks Galore Envelop Ine Bay
Around 1,200 fireworks climb up and over Ine Bay, lighting the calm water surface and the funaya boat houses of Ine with their brilliance. The boat houses themselves are also strung and lined with hanging lanterns.
Date: August 24, 2019
Location: Ine, Kyoto
Official Website: http://www.ine-kankou.jp/inehanabi/
Did you enjoy our pick? It isn’t summer in Japan without fireworks. If you’re travelling to Kyoto to catch some sun this year, finish the day off with one of its many fireworks festival―from traditional Kyoto-esque events to large-scale ones with 8,000 fireworks ready to be deployed.
Sold Out On Day One―Itohkyuemon’s Matcha Parfait Bars Release at Gion Shijo Store
10.August.2019 | FOOD
Kyoto-based Uji tea store Itohkyuemon released its new Matcha Parfait Bars at its new branch in Gion Shijo on August 7.
The bars proved so popular that all 1,500 in stock sold out on the first day. The store is currently being piled with orders for future sales. There are five flavours to enjoy: the classic matcha parfait flavour as well as cherry blossom, tropical, mont blanc, and strawberry.
Matcha Parfait Bar – Matcha
The matcha flavoured bar retains the original rich flavour of the Uji matcha, which has been passed down since the Muromachi period, and combines it with a delicious assortment of parfait toppings including raw matcha chocolate, mini daifuku, coarse sweet red bean paste, and more.
Matcha Parfait Bar – Sakura (Cherry Blossom)
For another traditional Japanese twist there is the springtime sakura parfait bar which is made with cherry blossom pink rice flour dumplings and ice cream. It’s also topped with cherry blossom cream and salted cherry blossom petals for a cute finish.
Matcha Parfait Bar – Tropical
Tropical flavours like pineapple and mango blend together in this bar which is drizzled in a sweet, sour and refreshing tropical sauce. Topped with fresh tropical fruits, this is the ultimate summertime luxury.
Matcha Parfait Bar – Mont Blanc
This bar incorporates a sense of autumn with its mix of candied chestnut, astringent chestnut skin, and melt-in-the-mouth mont blanc cream.
Matcha Parfait Bar – Strawberry
Strawberry lovers will delight in the handmade strawberry sauce and strawberry meringue of this bar. The meringue elevates the sumptuous flavours of the parfait even more, including the fresh strawberry, raspberry and blueberry toppings which provide a sweet and sour kick.
Which of these Matcha Parfait Bars do you want to try the most?
Matcha Parfait Bars
Released: July 10, 2019 (On August 7, 2019 at the Gion Shijo branch)
Matcha Parfait Bar – Matcha: ¥540 (Tax Included)
Matcha Parfait Bar – Sakura (Cherry Blossom): ¥590 (Tax Included)
Matcha Parfait Bar – Tropical: ¥590 (Tax Included)
Matcha Parfait Bar – Mont Blanc: ¥590 (Tax Included)
Matcha Parfait Bar – Strawberry: ¥640 (Tax Included)
Participating Branches: Uji Honten, JR Uji Station, Gion Shijo, Byodoin, Kyoto Station, and online shop
Online Shop Product Page: https://www.itohkyuemon.co.jp/site/parfait-bar/index.html
Stay Cool This Summer in Kyoto at These 4 Nature Spots
When talking about seasons in Kyoto, a lot of people are sure to point towards autumn when the leaves turn fiery red and sun yellow. But did you know that in Kyoto enjoys cool and truly beautiful summers?
If you’re in the old capital this summer, or are planning to catch the sun there with a trip next year, then you’ll want to add the 4 spots in this list into your schedule, each abloom with magical foliage and verdure.
We are joined by Macchan, a Japanese Instagrammer who snaps photos of sightseeing spots around Kyoto lush with greenery.
Giouji Temple is a modest thatched hut wrapped in a bamboo thicket and maple trees. The temple is detailed in the epic The Tale of the Heike in which the dancer Gio fled to the temple from her home in the capital with her mother and sister after falling out of love with Taira no Kiyomori.
A visit here ensures you can enjoy the summer with more than just your eyes as you listen to the dancing of the bamboo thicket and the cries of the cicadas.
Address: 32 Sagatoriimoto Kozakachō, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
Official Website: http://www.giouji.or.jp/en
Adashino Nenbutsu-ji is a Buddhist temple with a history spanning 1,200 years. A memorial service for those who died without kin is taking place on August 23 and 24 at the riverbed of the temple’s west wing where candles will be lit in their honour. Lanterns are also lit in the surrounding area along the streets.
Address: 17 Saga Toriimotoadashinocho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
Official Website: http://www.nenbutsuji.jp/index.html
Fushimi Port Park
Fushimi Port Park is a huge park home to a gymnasium and sumo area. They also have a hiking course. The sea does not reach here, but there is a canal which boats go up and down, and this is where the park gets its name. It has a bounty of trees and plants, so if you’re looking to enjoy a peaceful stroll in nature then be sure to visit.
Fushimi Port Park
Address: Yoshijima Kanaidocho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto
Official Website: http://www.kyoto-park.or.jp/fushimi/
This residence was built for and used by the Kan’in-no-miya family in 1710, with Prince Naohito as its founder―the son of Emperor Higashiyama. The family lived in the house until 1877 after which they moved to Tokyo. Following the war, it was liberated and became a park, and today it is used to exhibit photography and paintings. The residence is famous for its peach trees, making it a popular spot in spring. However, in summertime, it’s much quieter, adding grace to the tranquillity of the surrounding green landscape. What’s more is that despite it being such a prestigious location, it’s free to enter! Don’t tell too many people about this secret spot.
Address: 3 Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo War, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: https://kan-in-nomiya-teiato.jp/eng/
Macchan has visited many incredible spots around Kyoto, so if you’re in need of recommendations be sure to give them a follow.
Best Kyoto Souvenirs to Pick Up This Summer at Daimaru Kyoto
08.August.2019 | FOOD
Are you planning to shop for souvenirs in Kyoto this August? Daimaru Kyoto has the perfect lineup for the summer season, from cool and refreshing wagashi confections to sweets made with matcha grown in Kyoto and more―all packaged in gorgeous in packaging exclusive to the Kyoto branch of Daimaru. Here’s our top picks for summer 2019!
Ryo no Seifuu (Contains 8) @ Sasaya Iori, Floor B1F Wagashi Marketplace – ¥2,160 (Tax Included) *Available until Mid-August
Inspired by cool springs, this tasty Japanese-style confection comes in 4 different refreshing and fruity flavours.
Kuzu Nagashi (Contains 3) @ Oimatsu, Floor B1F Wagashi Marketplace – ¥1,339 (Tax Included) *Available until Mid-August
Indulge in two different flavours of arrowroot: one made with brown sugar from the island of Hateruma and another with sweet apricot juice. The brown sugar arrowroot is also mixed with honey and the apricot with apricot honey.
Kakitsubata (Contains 6) @ Shogoin Yatsuhashi Sohoten, Floor B1F Wagashi Marketplace – ¥540 (Tax Included)
Yatsuhashi is a classic Japanese confection and is a famous souvenir sweet in Kyoto. These uncooked yatsuhashi have a faint cinnamon aroma and are formed in a way similar to dango.
Salted Lemon Pound Cake (1 Cake) @ Adachi Otoemon, Floor B1F Wagashi Marketplace – ¥2,160 (Tax Included)
Laced with tangy lemon skin, this refreshing pound cake is topped with rock salt which elevates the flavours to delicious new heights.
Raw Uji Matcha Chocolate (Contains 8) @ ATELIER de GODIVA [Kyoto Branch Only], Floor B1F Wagashi Marketplace – ¥2,916 (Tax Included) *Available until Mid-August
Luxurious, rich and melt-in-your-moth raw chocolate made lavishly with bitter Uji matcha.
Kyo Chafure (Contains 5) @ Kyoto Tsuruya, Floor B1F Wagashi Marketplace – ¥810 (Tax Included)
These soft doughy sablés made with rich Uji matcha.
Koto no Natsu @ Nomura Kyotsukidani, Floor B1F Tsukudani Marketplace – ¥1,080 (Tax Included)
If you’re looking for something a little more savoury then you’ll absolutely want to check out the popular chirimen sansho, dried whitebait seasoned with pepper. It comes packaged in beautiful summery Kyoto packaging.
Did you enjoy this list? Be sure to pick up as many tasty edible Kyoto souvenirs while exploring the ancient city.
Address: 79 Tachiuri Nishimachi, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
Business Hours: 10:00-20:00
Official Website: https://www.daimaru.co.jp/kyoto/
Become Poop and Travel Through the Body in Kyoto’s Bizarre Exhibition
The Toei Kyoto Studio Park―a theme park in Kyoto modelled after the Edo period of Japan―is set to hold an exhibition from next month titled “A Bizarrely Great Adventure Through the Body” in which you can travel through a giant model of a body to learn all about faeces.
The event is themed on the best-selling children’s book series Grossology by Sylvia Branzei which gives humorous but straightforward descriptions of bodily functions and various medical conditions.
Stinky Poop (Unchi Kusai), the ninja mascot of the event, will join visitors on their adventure as they experience the gross potential of the human body: burps, farts, bodily odours, and more.
A total of fifteen attractions will make up the event where kids and adults can discover the “secrets” of the human body.
At the Sneeze Shutter you will learn why we sneeze by firing balls―the “foreign substance” entering the nose―into the giant nostrils which will cause it to become itchy. If you can get five balls into the nose it will let out a sneeze and blown out the balls.
The Kidney Game
At the Kidney Game you will help deliver urea, sugar, and other materials necessary for the kidney to the blood vessels to understand how the kidney functions.
Poop Fortune Telling
Sit on a real toilet and a poo character will appear on the monitor to tell you your fortune that day.
Learn all about poo at the display board which features lots of interesting information.
Why do we burp when we drink fizzy beverages? Burp Kid will explain it to you.
Take a photo with the giant poo
At the end of your trip to the event, take a commemorative photo next to the giant poo pile and butthole.
This is just a snippet of what there is to see at Kyoto’s bizarre poo exhibition. Visit to learn all about something we all do but don’t talk about!
A Bizarrely Great Adventure Through the Body (Japanese: からだのふしぎ大冒険)
Running: September 14, 2019 – December 15, 2019
Price: General (13+ Years) ¥800 / Children (3-12 Years) ¥600
*A separate fee will be charged for entry to Toei Kyoto Studio Park
*Children aged 2-years and below are permitted free entry
Event Page (Japanese): http://www.toei-eigamura.com/event/detail/240
Set tickets for the event and entry to Toei Kyoto Studio Park are now on sale at FamilyMart.
Adults: Park Entry ¥2,100 + Event Entry ¥800
Junior High School Students: Park Entry ¥2,000 + Event Entry ¥800
Children (3-12 Years): Park Entry ¥1,600 + Event Entry ¥600
*By buying this set you get ¥100 off what you would pay for purchasing them separately. The first 2,000 people to buy a children’s ticket set will receive a plush toy
Toei Kyoto Studio Park
Address: 10 Uzumasa Higashihachiokachō, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
Experience Kyoto at Night: 5 Must-See Spots – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON
The ancient city of Kyoto enjoys waves of tourists and sightseers from around the world throughout the year. It is particularly hot during the summertime because it’s situated in a valley. If you’ve never walked around Kyoto’s towns at night then we invite you to add it onto your list of sightseeing experiences.
We have compiled a list of 5 must-visit locations to best enjoy Kyoto’s nightscape. We are joined by Taka, a Japanese Instagrammer who conveys the beauty of Kyoto through his picturesque photographs which has has provided us today.
Kyoto Station & Kyoto Tower
The modern architecture of Kyoto Station is a juxtaposition against the traditional image of Kyoto. There are lots of great places inside the station where you can get up high and gaze down at Kyoto’s streets, but the absolutely unmissable nighttime spot are the mirrored windows. When evening sets in, you can see Kyoto Tower―which is opposite the station―reflected on the outside. Of course, you can enjoy the tower during the day too, but at night they light it up, making for a truly magical sight.
Address: Higashishiokoji Kamadonocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Kyoto Station Building Official Website: https://www.kyoto-station-building.co.jp/
Address: 721-1 Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Opening Hours: 9:00-21:00 (Last Entries 20:40)
*Opening hours subject to change without notice
Official Website: https://www.keihanhotels-resorts.co.jp/kyoto-tower/
Yasaka Shrine is an easy sightseeing spot to reach being just a 5-minute stroll from Gion-Shijo Station. The shrine is a power spot said to provide good luck when it comes to marriage ties. It bustles with visits from people from around the world and is in fact open 24-hours a day.
Paying a visit at night provides you with an entirely different look at Yasaka Shrine. Why not dine out along Shijō Street and take a walk to the shrine when the sky turns dark?
Address: 625 Gionmachi Kitagawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: http://www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp/
Kyoto Minamiza Theatre
Minamiza is the oldest theatre in Japan and is officially registered as a Japanese Tangible Cultural Property. Like Yasaka Shrine, the closest station to the theatre is Gion-Shijo Station. Leave through Exit 6 and it’s right outside.
Minamiza has a long history spanning back to 1610 when it was founded. In May this year, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu performed a special concert there entitled Kyary Kabuki Kabuki which made use of projection mapping, fusing history and tradition with the latest cutting-edge technology to provide a concert like no other. The theatre is becoming a new sightseeing spot as it is lit up at nighttime. All of the lights are turned on until 10pm after which just the roof lights are kept on.
▼Kyoto Minamiza Theatre
Address: 198 Nakanocho, Higashiyama, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.shochiku.co.jp/play/theater/minamiza/
Ninenzaka is a long winding road that leads up to Kiyomizu-dera temple and is also a very famous tourist spot. It is registered under the Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings. In the daytime, the street bustles with locals and tourists dipping in and out of the souvenir shops, but the dark evenings of Ninenzaka are another kind of wonderful. The number of tourists drops significantly at night meaning you can have the street all to yourself and take plenty of photos, warm lanterns lighting your way.
Address: 2 Kiyomizu, Masuyacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: http://www.2nenzaka.ne.jp/
Kiyomizu-dera is a 25-minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojō Station which is reached via the Keihan Main Line. Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ancient Buddhist temple is a very popular tourist destination. What we want those of you to see when visiting in the evening is the beautiful sunset which can be seen from the temple, colouring the streets of Kyoto a gorgeous orange.
Address: 1-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Opening Hours: https://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/access.php
Official Website: https://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/
Taka has visited so many incredible locations in Kyoto, so if you’re planning a trip there and need some recommendations be sure to follow him on Instagram.
Stay in a Traditional Japanese Hotel in Kosuge Village Where the Population is Just 700
NIPPONIA Kosuge Genryū no Mura is a new hotel opening in the village of Kosuge in Kitatsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture on August 17. The hotel is renovated from an old Japanese-style house that was originally used for local personages and was constructed over 150 years ago.
Kosuge is about two-hours from Tokyo and is completely enveloped in the natural environment with 95% of the land occupied by trees and nature. Its population is around 700 which is a mere third of its peak population. It is currently faced with a serious depopulation problem due to its ageing population.
The hotel will open in an effort to pass on the beautiful landscapes and culture of the village to the next generation. It hopes to aid in solving the problem of its declining population and empty houses while acting as a means to bring in tourism and sightseeing.
The hotel serves as just the first part of this village revitalisation project. It features 4 guest rooms called OHYA as a restaurant that seats 22.
There are three rooms in the main building and one in the basement. Each is designed with privacy in mind and each has its own concept.
From the rooms guests can enjoy the view of the gorgeous Japanese-style gardens surrounding the hotel.
The restaurant menu concept is titled 24 Sekki, which denotes the twenty four seasonal turning points of the old Japanese calendar, and is made using carefully local ingredients so that guests can enjoy an authentic Kosuge experience.
All the staff at the hotel are local villagers. The majority of the ingredients used in there are grown and produced by the farmers of Kosuge. The hotel also offers other services for guests to get to know the area better such as nature walks and bike rides through the village. You are made to feel like one of the locals.
A second building will be renovated in May 2020 to accommodate two more rooms. There are 70-100 vacant buildings in Kosuge, so there are plans in place to receive permission from landlords to make further repairs, improvements and renovations.
If you’re travelling to Japan and are looking for a truly remote experience then why not visit the quaint little village of Kosuge in Yamanashi Prefecture?
NIPPONIA Kosuge Genryū no Mura
Address: 3155-1 Kosuge, Kitatsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture (In Japanese: 山梨県北都留郡小菅村3155-1)
Grand Opening: August 17, 2019
Rooms: 4 (10 People)
Price: From ¥25,000 per person (includes one breakfast)
①Approximately 2 hours by car from Tokyo.
②1 hour by bus from Ōtsuki Station via the JR Chūō Main Line, 70-minutes by car from Oume Interchange
③1 hour by bus from Okutama Station via the Ōme Line, 20-minutes by car from Lake Okutama
Reservations: Open from August 1, 2019 via the following website: https://www.ikyu.com/vacation/00050804/
Gaze at Shooting Stars at Akiyoshidai in Yamaguchi Prefecture with New Night Tour
31.July.2019 | SPOT
Akiyoshidai is located in Mine, Yamaguchi. It is Japan’s biggest karst plateau and is designated as a natural monument. If you love the stars in the night sky then you’ll want to hear about the new shooting star night tours that have been announced by the Mine City Tourism Information Center.
Cities, towns and villages across Japan are seeking to cater tourist and travelers needs to experience something that only that place can offer which can be enjoyed by simply by ‘looking.’
Akiyoshidai is a very popular site with photographers as it offers a clear and unbroken view of the stars. Mine City Tourism Information Center is capitalizing on this by offering more tours to visitors.
This series of tours will make it easier for people to travel to Akiyoshidai from the town area while taking advantage of a location where there is little artificial light.
Check the official website for more details on how you can witness the incredible Japanese night sky.
Akiyoshidai Stars Accomodation Plan
Visiting Hakone? Pick Up A Freshly Baked Hakone Basque Cheesecake
29.July.2019 | FOOD
A brand new Basque Cheesecake shop called Hakone Cheese Terrace opened on July 26th. The carefully balanced rich flavour and smooth texture of these cheesecakes makes them the perfect Hakone souvenir! Basque cheesecake is a type of burnt cheesecake that originated from Basque, Spain.
Hakone is home to a large number of Japan’s popular tourist spots as well as relaxing hot springs and beautiful nature. Located just 1.5 hours from Tokyo, Hakone has an extraordinary atmosphere which will heal both your body and mind. Hakone Cheese Terrace opened to enhance the appeal of the nature surrounding Hakone resorts and to contribute to the fascinating culture of the area.
The basque cheesecake comes in a mini cup so customers can enjoy this delicious treat while on the go exploring the local area. This is also the perfect souvenir size.
The cheesecakes at Hakone Cheese Terrace are made mostly from locally sourced ingredients. For a creamy, fresh taste, milk sourced from the south of Hakone is combined with high-quality cream cheese. An original recipe blend is used for a rich flavour and smooth texture.
The cheesecakes are baked fresh at the shop so you can enjoy your cheesecake at its most delicious stage. Rock salt, black pepper and soy sauce are available as toppings for customers to discover a new flavour.
Come enjoy the flavours of Hakone to your heart’s content at Hakone Cheese Terrace.
Hakone Cheese Terrace
Address: 54 Motohakone, Hakone, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa
Access: 3-minute walk from Motohakone Minato, 1-minute walk from Hakone Jinja Iriguchi (Hakone Shrine entrance), Hakone Tozan Bus.
Opening Hours: 9:00 ー 16:00
Official site: https://hakone-cheese-terrace.com/
Kyoto’s Famous Buddhist Temple With Heart Window Holds Wind Chime Festival
The ancient city of Kyoto enjoys flurries of tourists and sightseers from around the world throughout the year. It is particularly hot during the summertime because it’s located in a valley.
Shojuin is a Buddhist Temple located in a summer retreat that was erected nearly 800 years ago. Hidden at the temple is the 11-faced Buddha statue of Kannon Bosatsu which is open to the public only once every 50 years.
The temple has a long history, and today it is used as a site for yoga, copying the sutras, and other activities when booked in advance. It’s enjoyed by people of all ages.
Today, we are joined by Macchan, an Instagrammer who tours the many sightseeing spots of Kyoto. They have provided photographs of the must-see parts of this ancient temple.
Shojuin is famous for its beautiful heart-shaped window located in the reception hall as well as its 160 pieces of ceiling art. The decorative window has been around for nearly 1,400 years and has survived disasters. It stands as a symbol of happiness.
From outside the heart window visitors can enjoy the different flowers through the four seasons. Right now during summer the view is a green spectacle. At nighttime the outdoor garden is lit up beautifully as shown in the photo.
Shojuin is famous for its summer Wind Chime Festival which is currently running until September 18.
2,000 colourful wind chimes gently sway around the temple with the summer breeze. The chimes are there for their sound and appearance and to elicit that sense of refreshing coolness.
Even the wind chimes are illuminated in the evenings. They are lit up on weekends only (except August 1 to 18) from 18:00-20:00.
The hypnotic ring of the wind chimes sounds they are calling the wind. If you’re travelling to Kyoto this hot summer, why not plan a trip to Shojuin?
Macchan has lots of other photos on their Instagram where you can feel the vibe of Kyoto. Use it as reference when you’re planning your Kyoto sightseeing.
Address: Kawakami-149 Okuyamada, Ujitawara, Tsuzuk District, Kyoto
①Reachable by Keihan Uji Bus (Numbers 180, 182 or 184) from Uji Station and Shin-Tanabe Station. Get off at Ichumae Bus Stop (維中前)
②10 minutes by the Okayamada Community Bus or taxi
Official Website: http://shoujuin.boo.jp/