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

Website: http://www.kyotamba.org/質志鐘乳洞公園/

 

 

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.

 

▼Yuhigaura
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)

Homepage: http://yuukan.com/news/17/?view_oft=0

 

 

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.

 

▼Amanohashidate Light-Up
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!

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  • 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

    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/

     

     

    Jumondo

    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.

     

    ▼Jumondo

    Address: 76 Tamamizuchō, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto

    TEL: 075-525-3733

    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

    TEL: 075-533-8338

    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♡

     

    Photos/Text: meme

    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.

  • 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.

  • Come try the traditional sweet flavours of Kyoto at Yasaka-dori’s first pudding shop

    06.May.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    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!

  • Oniku no Chirashi: Kyoto’s New Meat and Scattered Sushi Restaurant

    30.April.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    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.

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  • Experience a Stylish Picnic at Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens

    19.September.2020 | SPOT

    Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens is now taking bookings for its upcoming “Garden Picnic 2020 -Autumn Season-” event which is set to run from September 26 to November 23.

     

    The Gaden Picnic event began in spring last year, and this time around, they’re hosting a special autumn themed picnic. Visitors can expect to tuck into a seasonal food lineup while enjoying the cooling autumn weather.

    Garden Picnic 2020 offers a range of picnic rental necessities from food to drinks, desserts, picnic sheets, chopping boards, cutlery sets, dried flowers, garlands, alphabet letters, blackboards, bubbles, and more, so visitors can enjoy a proper and memorable picnic experience—one that will definitely be Instagram worthy—amongst the autumnal verdure of the Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens.

    The garden paths, flower beds, and the Rokko mountains offer a beautiful outdoor experience throughout all four seasons. Autumn in particular, as the colours of the mountains transition into vibrant red and yellow hues and sway underneath the clear sky. From cosmos to gorgeous globe amaranth, colourful sage, and other autumnal flowers, it’s the perfect setting for an autumn aesthetic picnic.

  • Experience Old Time Kyoto in Autumn 2020 With Tea and Textiles

    18.September.2020 | SPOT

    Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, is also called the birth place of Japanese culture, with a history spanning 1,200 years. Today, we’re going to take a look at a number of upcoming events and seasonal items on sale in Kyoto for autumn 2020.

     

    Celebrating 300 years of Tango Chirimen

    This year marks 300 years since Tango Chirimen was established, a company located in Tango in northern Kyoto that specialises in a Japanese textile of flat woven silk known as ‘chirimen.’ There are many local chirimen brands around Japan, but it is the chirimen from Tango that has stood above the rest these past 300 years. The brand is now looking to the start of a new era for itself during its triple century milestone.

     

    LIFE WITH THE QUALITY

    Tango Chirimen is currently displaying a collaborative art exhibit at NEWoMan Shinjuku in Tokyo. This includes the entry display made in collaboration with Japanese artist Saki Tanaka, wall art made from woven fabrics, and more.

     

    Running: Until September 30, 2020

    Location: NEWoMan Shinjuku

    Lineup: Display in collaboration with Saki Tanaka, wall art, and more

     

    United Arrows x Tango Chirimen

    United Arrows is also collaborating with the brand and incorporating their logo mark “TANGO OPEN” on a new men’s t-shirt.

     

    Product Name: BY Tango Broad Wide Form Tapered Shirt
    Buy Here: https://store.united-arrows.co.jp/shop/by/goods.html?gid=52838245
    Sold at: BEAUTY & YOUTH UNITED ARROWS stores and their official online store

     

    Taste tea from Uji on Japanese Tea Day

    It is generally considered that the first tea of the season in Japan is best enjoyed from the end of April and during May, but in fact Japanese tea is the perfect season to enjoy Japanese tea, specially since the country celebrates Japanese Tea Day (Nihoncha no Hi) on October 1 and 31.

     

    Ujicha, or tea from Uji in Kyoto, boasts some of the most famous kinds of teas in Japan. This includes matcha, sencha, and gyokuro, all of which were first grown in southern Kyoto. Because of this, it is said that Ujicha marks the origins of Japanese tea. So when you visit Japan during autumn, why not celebrate Japanese Tea Day with some authentic tea from Uji?

     

    Ujicha Tea Murie Online Course

    The Ujicha Tea Murie Course has been held since 2015 in Kyoto, and this year, the course is heading online for the first time as a result of the pandemic. Learn how to make and serve Uji tea from a professional tea instructor as well as its history and more.

     

    Running: Session 1: September 15, 2020 / Session 2: October 2, 2020 / Session 3: October 17, 2020

    Book: Online
    Requirements: Download and install Zoom
    Official Website: https://www.pref.kyoto.jp/yamashiro/ocha/

     

    Certified Ujicha tea cafes for an authentic experience

    Tsujiri Rihei Ginza | Tsujiri Rihei Senju

    Nakamura Tokichi Ginza

    Tsujiri Rihei Ginza, Tsujiri Rihei Senju, and Nakamura Tokichi Ginza are all cafes in Tokyo that are officially recognised for serving authentic Ujicha tea which also includes proper preparation as well as teaching the history and culture behind the tea. These three cafes are also holding an Ujicha tea stamp rally as well as a Twitter hashtag campaign.

  • Kyoto’s Female-Only Hotel CAFETEL Kyoto Sanjo for Ladies Reveals Halloween Room

    17.September.2020 | SPOT

    CAFETEL Kyoto Sanjo for Ladies, a hotel in Kyoto exclusive to female guests, is offering a new Halloween room plan between October 1 and November 1. There is just one room and it can only be booked for one day between that period. This plan was offered last year and was a resounding success amongst guests.

    Last year’s Halloween room took on a more cute and bright theme, but they’re going for something darker this time. The theme this year is “The Secret Witches-Only Get-Together,” with all ideas and designs conceived and handmade by the hotel staff themselves.

    Guests will find decorations all around the room, such as bats on doors and walls who will listen in on the witches’ gossip to creepy crawly spiders in the bed. Candles are provided in the room to set the Halloween mood, and there’s even witch and devil costumes and props for guests to dress up in.

     

    Free goodies for the witch get-together

    Guests can enjoy a gorgeous view of the Kamogawa River from their room. They are also presented with a free Halloween drink exclusive to those who stay in this room.

  • teamLab’s Borderless Autumn Themed Digital Art Exhibition Arrives in Tokyo

    16.September.2020 | SPOT

    teamLab Borderless is a world of artwork without boundaries, a museum without a map created by art collective teamLab. Over at their museum in Tokyo, MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: EPSON teamLab Borderless, they are exhibiting a range of autumn themed digital art in time for the changing seasons. Let’s take a closer look at what’s on show.

    September Flowers

    October Flowers

    Proliferating Immense Life – A Whole Year per Year | teamLab, 2020, Interactive Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    Proliferating Immense Life – A Whole Year per Year looks at the life cycle of flowers. Throughout the year, with the passing of time, flowers bloom and change. They bud, grow, and blossom before their petals begin to wither and eventually fade away. The cycle of growth and decay repeats itself in perpetuity as the flowers propagate. When too many flowers grow, they scatter and fade all at once. When people touch them, the flower petals scatter and fall away

     

    A variety of autumn flowers will be recreated in digital art, such as Blackberry Lily (September) and Red Spider Lily (October). Visitors who touch these digital flowers will see them wither and decay, and subsequently bloom new flowers in their place.

    Rice Fields

    Autumn Colours
    Memory of Topography | teamLab, 2018, Interactive Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    This artwork installation depicts a rural mountain landscape of varying elevations. The scenery instills in the viewer a feeling of eternal permanence, however with the flow of real time the scenery is continuously changing. In the spring, the rice fields are still small and lush. In summer, they begin to mature, and in fall, they turn a golden color.

     

    The colours of autumn will be depicted in its glorious combination of golds and reds for the exhibit.

    Forest of Resonating Lamps – One Stroke, Autumn Mountain | teamLab, 2016, Interactive Installation, Murano Glass, LED, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    When a person stands still close to a lamp at Forest of Resonating Lamps – One Stroke, Autumn Mountain, it shines brightly and emits a colour that resonates out. The light becomes the starting point, and it spreads to the two nearest lamps. The light from the two nearest lamps transmits the same colour to other lamps, spreading out continuously. The light transmitted always resonates out as a bright light once, passing to close lamps, until all lamps have shone brightly once, and then returns to the first lamp.

     

    For October, this exhibit will turn into Forest of Resonating Lamps – One Stroke, Autumn Mountain.

    Flowers Bloom in an Infinite Universe inside a Teacup | teamLab, 2016, Interactive Digital Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    Make tea, and flowers bloom inside the teacup. If you pick up the teacup, the flowers scatter and spread outside of the cup. Flowers bloom infinitely as long as there is tea. The tea in the teacup becomes an infinite world in which the flowers continue to bloom. Drink in the infinitely expanding world.

     

    The exhibition hall’s tea house “EN TEA HOUSE” will see a variety of autumnal flowers used including safflower, dianthus, and Chinese aster for September and cosmos, osmanthus, and chrysanthemum for October.

  • Hikari no Sumika Winter Illuminations 2020-2021 to Take Place at Gotemba Kogen Toki no Sumika

    15.September.2020 | SPOT

    Toki no Sumika is set to host its 19th annual winter illumination event “Hikari no Sumika” from September 19, 2020 to March 21, 2021.

     

    Forest of Trees Illuminations


    The Forest of Trees was created together with locals and wraps visitors in a magical fantasy land of lights underneath the shimmer of stardust. This trail of trees leads visitors to the next area, the Royal Palace on the Hill.

     

    Royal Palace on the Hill


    The “Versailles Lights” water laser show entertains onlookers with a rhythmic show. A new spot has also been developed this year called “It’s a colorful world” where cuter balls of light change colour to the sounds that play. There’s also one of the world’s biggest “Bells of Love” clad in colours galore to radiate the dark night, “Slow House Twinkle,” and “Super Searchlight.”

     

    Tunnel of Lights


    Spanning 370m along, the “Tunnel of Lights” changes colours as time passes, enveloping people in a sparkling galaxy of illuminations. There’ll be plenty of photo opportunities.

     

    Twin Trees & First Dream Bridgeツインツリーと初夢の橋

    The colour of the 120-year-old fir tree at the site this year will be white. The 20 meter-tall tree will be decorated simply and gently, with more LED lights than ever before, to enhance its beauty. The “First Dream Bridge” will give rise to the “Stardust Road” of countless illuminations that run along it.

     

    Underwater Paradise Aquarium

    Around 4,500 goldfish of 200 species, including rare kinds, from all around Japan are collected here. It continues to grow as Japan’s only goldfish aquarium both in name and reality. Enjoy seeing them swim while gorgeous lights light up the room.

  • nol kyoto sanjo: Kyoto’s New Hotel Renovated From an Old Townhouse

    15.September.2020 | SPOT

    Tokyu Land Corporation are set to open the new hotel “nol kyoto sanjo” in central Kyoto on November 1, 2020. The hotel is just a 5-minute walk from Karasuma Oike Station.

     

    A place where you can be yourself

    Hotels in Japan are more and more catering to a wide variety of guests’ needs as well as not only providing convenience and being affordable, but creating a space that really places importance on peoples’ stay experience. And nol kyoto sanjo follows suit, allowing people to both let their hair down where they can be themselves as well as enjoy the local area. This comes in response to peoples’ desire to have a stay experience that feels like it’s their own home.

     

    Clad in Kyoto, living in Sanjo

    The concept for the hotel’s design was conceived by Kyoto Vintage. Sanjo-dori is connected to Kyoto’s main street, making it a convenient location for reaching the city centre. It’s also home a variety of architectural examples from old, ancient buildings to more modern ones built during the Meiji Period. Surrounding the hotel is a whole selection of cafes famous for their breakfast menus, restaurants that use local ingredients, long-standing stationery shops, and more. The hotel sits in the perfect spot for coming in contact with the local people and city.

     

    The hotel lounge built from an old townhouse

    The hotel site is renovated from a townhouse that was built during the Edo Period. It was formerly used as a place for selling Kinshi Masamune sake. To ensure that old, quaint charm was preserved in the refurbishment, the hotel hired a Japanese designer and planner who is known for renovating these kinds of townhouses in Japan.

     

    The entrance to the hotel greets guests with the lounge which gives people a chance to kick back and relax in this authentic building. Guests are even given some Kinshi Masamune sake as a welcome drink.

     

    High grade guest rooms for medium to long stays

    There are three kinds of guest rooms including 2-people rooms, 4-people rooms, and rooms with an additional Japanese-style room attached to it, for a total of 48, all of which face the hotel gardens. The rooms were designed by Yukio Hashimoto who has made sure to preserve both the townhouse and feel of the materials which have only ripened with age while adding a high grade feel to them. The scent of hinoki leaf invites you to relax in your room. All rooms are equipped with microwaves, washing machines, and mini kitchens too, making it perfect for guests looking to stay a while. Pick up some local ingredients from town and get cooking.

     

    Old-time Kyoto served in a new style

    Old townhouses used since ancient times are on the decrease in Kyoto. By renovating and reusing, new life can be breathed into them while promoting that ancient culture. If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto, be sure to check out nol kyoto sanjo, opening November 1, 2020.

  • FUFU NIKKO: The New Hot Spring Hotel in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture

    15.September.2020 | SPOT

    Kato Pleasure Group is set to open its 4th branch of FUFU NIKKO hotels in Nikko, Tochigi on October 2, 2020 following their Atami, Lake Kawaguchi, and Nara branches.

     

    A resort steeped in Japanese history and culture

    The site in which the hotel is located has a sacred air to it. It dates back to the Meiji Period and has continued into modern times. Upon entering the hotel, your ears are treated to the sound of classical music. Overhead you will spot high ceilings made from wood which give it a warm and welcoming atmosphere.The shadows of the outside walls, the warmth of the inviting lights, and the metallic decorations which catch the light present a calm and quiet mood.

     

    Classy and sophisticated cuisine

    Both the food and plates it is served on capture the essence and beauty of the Japanese way. Meals are prepared using seasonal ingredients from Tochigi as well as high quality foods like foie gras, truffles, and caviar. Each dish expresses elegance and refinement and combines both Japanese and Western flavours.

     

    Hot spring water sourced from Tamozawa

    All rooms at the hotel are fitted with hot springs or large baths which natural light from the outdoors shining through. In the open-air baths, guests get to experience the surrounding sights of nature coupled with the sound of the flowing stream and chirping birds.

  • Luxurious Matcha Loaded Parfait Served Up at MICASADECO&CAFE KYOTO

    13.September.2020 | FOOD

    MICASADECO&CAFE KYOTO had to shorten its menu due to the effects of COVID-19. Their legendary parfait too was taken off the list, but now has finally returned, and even more delicious looking than ever.

    MICASADECO&CAFE KYOTO has tried to make the parfait as breathtaking as possible, and they’ve certainly captured that. It’s vivid like the furisode long-sleeved kimono worn by the maiko of Kyoto, beautiful and dignified.

    Uji Matcha Pudding & Raspberry Parfait | ¥1,250 (Tax Included)

    This towering parfait is made up of many layers, one of which is a homemade Japanese-style pudding made with high quality matcha from Uji, Kyoto. It has a subtly sweet and deep flavour, and is taken to the next level with the matcha sauce it’s served with.

     

    The homemade raspberry jam brings a delightful sweetness too as well as adds that eye-catching aspect they’re going for. As you spoon your way through, your taste buds are treated to an amalgamation of indulging flavours.

    The lid that’s sat on top of the parfait is actually a tuile biscuit. The best way to go about beginning your feast is to break the biscuit and then pour the matcha sauce inside.

    Hidden within the parfait are also pieces of homemade matcha brownies made with lots of top grade matcha.

     

    These parfaits will be served from September 14 but are limited in stock, so if you’re in Kyoto this month, make sure you don’t miss out.

  • Shibuya’s New Tourist Information Centre ‘SHIBU HACHI BOX’ Opens October 1

    12.September.2020 | SPOT

    Shibuya is set to welcome tourists to its all-new tourist information centre SHIBU HACHI BOX which will open on October 1, 2020.

    Conveniently located outside of Shibuya Station next to Shibuya’s iconic Scramble Crossing and Hachiko statue, SHIBU HACHI BOX, managed by PLAY! DIVERSITY SHIBUYA, will act as the hub for tourist and sightseeing information on events, food, shopping, hotels, and more.

    The centre will also house a PR space for its supporting partner NTT Docomo which will offer entertainment and video content related to the latest in technology and more.

     

    SHIBU HACHI BOX will be ready waiting to welcome the people of the world to Shibuya as they step outside of the famous Hachiko Exit of Shibuya Station.

  • Kyoto Neko Neko x eXcafe Kyoto Arashiyama Collaborate On Breakfast Dishes

    12.September.2020 | FOOD

    eXcafe Kyoto Arashiyama is collaborating with Kyoto Neko Neko to release a new breakfast menu order on September 15, 2020.

    eXcafe Kyoto Arashiyama sits in an alley off the main street of Arashiyama, one of Kyoto’s most famous sightseeing spots. The cafe is home to a spacious 400㎡ modern Japanese garden.

    Hoku Hoku Dango Set

    The cafe is open from 10am-6pm and is so popular that it’s common to always see a line of people waiting to go in. Some of their most popular dishes include the “Hoku Hoku Dango Set” which has you frying your own dango using a traditional Japanese shichirin BBQ, and the “Kuromaru Roll” roll cake.

    Ikusu Cafe Breakfast | ¥1,280 (Before Tax)

    The cafe’s collaboration with Kyoto Neko Neko comes with cute thick-cut cat-shaped bread that you fry on a charcoal shichirin.


    Toast toppings include red bean paste, butter, whipped cream, and fruits which you are free to use to create your own topping combination. The breakfast also comes with two mitarashi dango for dessert.

  • 6 Best Spots to Visit in Japan’s Oita Prefecture During Autumn – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    10.September.2020 | SPOT

    Oita in Kyushu has been nicknamed “Hot Spring Prefecture Oita” due to having the largest number of hot spring water sources and outputs in Japan. Oita welcomes many visitors every year who flock to the prefecture’s many famous hot spring locations like Beppu and Yufuincho Kawakami.

     

    But the charm of Oita doesn’t lie solely in its hot springs. It’s also a location that offers breathtaking scenery during autumn. We’ve picked 6 spots around Oita Prefecture that are must-visits during autumn.

     

    Keiseki-en

    The gorge of Yabakei is designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty in Japan. Keiseki-en is a beautiful Japanese garden that was built to commemorate the completion of the Yabakei dam. It’s home to over 31,000 individual trees of around 100 species as well as a lake, waterfalls, and crags. It’s a place that boasts natural beauty throughout all four seasons.

     

    Address: 2286-1 Yabakeimachi Ōaza Ōshima, Nakatsu, Oita

     

    Kinrin Lake

    Kinrin Lake is one of Yufu’s most famous sightseeing spots for the mysterious torii gate that sits within the lake. Spring water and hot spring water flows through the lake, and because the temperature of the water is warm throughout the year, you can see steam rising from the surface in the early hours of winter days. Tenso Shrine also sits on the bank of the lake which is home to a sacred tree that’s designated as a natural monument.

     

    Address: 1561 Yufuinchō Kawakami, Yufu, Oita
    Access: 20 minutes on foot from Yufuin Station (JR Line)

     

    Kyusuikei

    Kyusuikei’s scenery spans through the prefectural road that connects the Kokonoe IC to Yamanami Highway. Its 2km expanse is made up of sheer cliffs which create the valley that is known for its autumn colours. Visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the maple and ginkgo trees from the observation deck that runs along the cliff. There are other nearby sightseeing spots too like Kokonoe Yume Otsurihasi Bridge and Kyusuikei Onsen hot springs.

     

    Address: Tano, Kokonoe, Kusu District, Oita
    Access: 20-minutes by car from Kokonoe IC

     

    Hakubakei

    The valley of Hakubaki was designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty of the city of Usuki. In autumn, surrounding trees are dyed in reds and yellows, bringing people from all over to witness the spectacle. And because the valley it at a high altitude, the gradation of the colourful trees changes as you go further in.

     

    Address: Badai, Usuki, Oita
    Access: 5-minutes by car from Usuki IC

     

    Fukiji Temple

    Fukiji Temple was built in the Heian Period for the high priest of Usa Jingu. The temple is a national treasure, and the Amida-Nyōrai contained inside is designated by the Japanese government as an Important Cultural Property.

     

    Address: 2395 Tashibufuki, Bungotakada, Oita
    Access: 30-minutes by car from Usa Station

     

    Mount Kuju

    Mount Kuju stands as the highest mountain in Kyushu Island at nearly 1,800-meters tall, which has also led to to be nicknamed the “Rooftop of Kyushu.” Its has many peaks, the highest being Mount Nakadake at 1,791-meters. One peak in particular draws mountain climbers, and that’s Mount Taisen. At its apex one can enjoy the breathtaking autumn colours together with the sight of the rolling mountains.

     

    Address: Tano, Kokonoe, Kusu District, Oita
    Access: 40-minutes by car from Kokonoe IC.

  • World Heritage Site Nijo Castle to Welcome Gorgeous Goldfish Art Exhibition

    10.September.2020 | FASHION / SPOT

    Kyoto City and Art Aquarium are set to host Art Aquarium Castle -Kyoto・Kingyo Dance- this year at the World Heritage Site of Nijo Castle from October 14 to December 7.

    Art Aquarium is an art, design, and entertainment fusion created by aquarium artist Hidetomo Kimura, who opened the first ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM in Nihonbashi, Tokyo back in August.

    Art Aquarium Castle -Kyoto・Kingyo Dance- will be the first outdoor exhibition by Art Aquarium, vividly portraying the Japanese world of goldfish and carps through traditional Kyoto-inspired works.

     

    Exhibition Concept

    Nijo Castle has a rich history. Constructed by Tokugawa Ieyasu in the early days of the Edo Bakufu, it is a striking symbol of the Edo Period. It will play as the stage for the exhibition, which will be themed on goldfish—which first arrived in Japan in the Muromachi Period and became a boom during the Edo Period—and carp, which were propagated to Japan in the Edo Period.

     

    Displayed artwork will be inspired by the castle’s Ninomaru Palace and sliding door artwork, the season flowers that bloom in the Ninomaru Palace Gardens and castle grounds, and more. It will be a marriage of both historical art and contemporary art that captures the beauty of Japan.

     

    Lotusrium: Its first exhibit in western Japan

    The design motif based on the lotus, a flower whose name is a seasonal haiku word for summer. Lotus plants require thick, muddy water in order to make the large, beautiful flowers bloom, despite the hardship and difficulty they must overcome to do so. This art piece imbibes a worldview of grace and splendour that interweaves the lotus, a symbol of beautiful and painfully ephemeral things, with the kingyo, an elegant fish that swims beautifully.

     

    Sakurarium: A flower symbolising Nijo Castle

    Combined with the cherry blossom shape of compound works. Swimming freely under the shining of the cherry blossoms, those are goldfish bearing “Sakura” such as Sakura Nishiki, Sakura To Nishiki and Sakura Ryukin,

     

    Taisei Hokan Kingyo Large Byobu: A large-scale piece capturing Nijo Castle’s history

    The huge fish tank with a length of 5.4 meters and an expansion of 18 screens projected beautiful paintings like splash-ink art through light and shadow. Countless goldfish swim among them, interpreting the changing process of Japanese art history in the scattered lights.

     

    Even more new artworks are scheduled to be displayed. If you’re in Kyoto this autumn, don’t miss Art Aquarium’s first-ever outdoor exhibition.

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