Every Single Spot in Hokkaido’s Green Town of Biei is a Sight to Behold

24.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

Japan’s northernmost prefecture Hokkaido is immensely popular with travellers and sightseers not only during the winter season but in the summertime too.

 

If you have never heard of Biei before then we guarantee you’ll want to make it your next travel destination. Located roughly at the heart of Hokkaido, the town of Biei is nothing short of majestic when it comes to its natural scenery for which it is treasured greatly. It also goes by the name “Town of Hills.”

 

We are joined by Mirina who travels around Hokkaido and posts the sights she sees on her Instagram page. Here are some of the must-visit places located in Biei using photos kindly provided by Mirina.

 

Patchwork Road

These are the kind of beautiful sloping hills you can expect your eyes to roll across when visiting Biei. The hills connect to many different locations bearing their own colours of nature. Biei’s hilly area is known as “Patchwork Road,” and as its name suggests, it looks just like patchwork.

 

▼Patchwork Road

Address: Hokuei, Kamikawa District, Biei, Hokkaido

Time: Sunrise to sunset

Biei Official Website: https://www.biei-hokkaido.jp/en/

 

 

Shirogane Blue Pond

Shirogane Blue Pond can be reached by car or Dohoku bus from JR Biei Station in 20 minutes. People flock to this place every year to see the enchanting blue colour of the pond’s surface. The way you see the colour also changes depending on the weather, so we recommend going one afternoon when the weather is good.

 

▼Shirogane Blue Pond

Address: Shirogane, Biei, Kamikawa District, Hokkaido

Official Website: https://www.biei-hokkaido.jp/en/sightseeing/shirogane-blue-pond/

 

 

Seven Stars Tree

Seven Stars Tree can be reached by car in 13 minutes from JR Biei Station. It gets its name from having appeared on the packaging for Seven Star cigarettes. Mirina’s photo was taken by the nearby white birches.

She also took one as the sun set. The pink evening sky is an equally beautiful sight to behold next to the green spectacle during the day.

 

▼Seven Stars Tree

Address: Hokuei, Kamikawa District, Biei, Hokkaido

Opening Hours: Sunrise to sunset (Light-up runs until 21:00)

Official Website: https://www.biei-hokkaido.jp/en/sightseeing/sevn-stars-tree/

 

 

Shikisai No Oka

The Shikisai no Oka flower park is 12 minutes by car from JR Biei Station and a 25-minute walk from Bibaushi Station. When summer rolls around, the fields bloom rainbows of flowers. During winter you can enjoy riding snowmobiles across the snowy hills.

This photo was taken in June and showcases the nemophilia beds. During summer break you can expect to see dianthus, scarlet sage, marigolds, sunflowers, and more. Every spot on the flower fields looks picturesque.

 

▼Shikisai No Oka

Address: Shinsei-daisan, Biei, Kamikawa District, Hokkaido

Opening Hours: Dependent upon season, please check the website for more details

Official Website: https://www.biei-hokkaido.jp/en/sightseeing/shikisai-no-oka-flower-park/

 

 

Rubeshibe no Oka

The hills of Rubeshibe are a sightseeing spot not yet known to a lot of people. They’re just a 5-minute car ride from JR Biei Station. Rubeshibe comes from the Ainu language and means “the marshy road that leads down from the mountain.” From here you can see the fields and roads of Biei, and beyond Mount Tokachi, Mount Tomuraushi and more.

 

▼Rubeshibe no Oka

Address: Rubeshibe, Biei, Kamikawa District, Hokkaido

Biei Official Website: https://www.biei-hokkaido.jp/en/visit/observationfacility/

 

 

The Sunsets of Biei

If you’re visiting Biei then you can’t leave without witnessing its breathtaking sunsets. The colours of the late afternoon sky offer a much different experience to that during the day. It really is a picturesque world.

 

Mirina has countless other photos of must-see sightseeing spots from around Hokkaido over on her Instagram page. You should definitely check it out if you’re thinking of travelling there for some amazing location recommendations.

 

Photos: Mirina Nishio

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • 6 Must-Visit Cafes in Hokkaido For Their Kawaii Pancakes

    16.July.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Hokkaido is the northernmost of Japan’s islands and a popular tourist location with both locals and overseas visitors, enjoyed for its winter sports like skiing, hot springs and more. It is also enjoyed for its cool climate, being the coldest region in Japan. It’s home to many tourist spots and seafood restaurants, but today we’re covering its countless cute cafes.

     

    Kei, a Japanese Instagrammer, posts his visits to the many cafes of Sapporo―the capital of Hokkaido―on his Instagram page

    607keih). Today he will introduce us to 6 must-visit cafes in Hokkaido with the cutest pancakes.

     

     

    Fafi Tamago no Pancake g-plus (Susukino, Sapporo)

    This popular little cafe in the district of Susukino showcases its assortment of pancakes in a glass display. The cafe now sells affordable pancake and purin sets. I ordered the “Fruits and Milky & Chocolate Purin” set (¥980).


    The fluffy pancake is made with Fafi’s famous eggs which have a rich flavour and big yolks. The milky cream is sweet and silky smooth. Inside the pancake is delicious pineapple and strawberries which add a deliciously fruity accent.

     

    Their pancakes are noticeably smaller at g-plus but since it comes with a purin in the set you’re sure to be nice and full after. The set is perfect to share too.

     

    ▼Fafi Tamago no Pancake g-plus (Japanese: ファフィたまごのパンケーキ g-plus)

    Address: 9-1019 Minami 5 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido

    Business Hours: 11:30-19:00 (Last Orders 18:00)

    Closed: Thursdays & Fridays

    Official Website: https://g-plus.owst.jp/

     

     

    Café ZIKKA (Kiyota, Sapporo)

    Café ZIKKA serves a variety of pastries and desserts. Their elusive strawberry pancakes are a limited-time-only offer. These fat and fluffy pancakes have a distinctly different taste to other places. Heaping with strawberries, the fruit and pancakes marry in the most sumptuous of flavours when eaten with the yogurt ice cream centre. The strawberries also come in a variety of forms including whole, compote and sauce, making for a variety of succulent textures.


    The fresh cream isn’t overly-sweet making for a lighter pancake. It’s also topped with crushed almond for added texture. The size of the pancakes aren’t huge but since it’s served with two and many toppings you’ll absolutely be satisfied afterwards.

     

    ▼Café ZIKKA

    Address: 11-12 Hiraokakoenhigashi, Kiyota Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido

    Business Hours: 11:00-20:00 (10:00-19:00 in January and February)

    Closed: Wednesdays (Open on national holidays)

    Official Website: http://yoshidacoffee.com/index.html

     

     

    Kaze o Kanjite (Motomachi, Sapporo)

    This cafe is just a 5-minute walk from Motomachi Station via the Tōhō Line. Simply exit from Exit 1 of the station, make a right and you’ll arrive right there.

     

    This cafe’s aim is to bring it lots of students to eat their pancakes which are both cheap and delicious. I ordered the berry sauce pancakes.


    The cafe’s homemade strawberry jam contains pieces of fresh strawberry which alone already make the pancakes tantalising enough. They are served with a side of fresh fruits like extra strawberries as well as orange slices. The pancakes served here are so good that I personally count them as the best in Sapporo. That, and the prices are amazing for the huge portions you get. I want more people to get to know about this place, and not just students.

     

    ▼Kaze o Kanjite (Japanese: 風をかんじて)

    Address: Kita House 1F, 17-2-3 Kita 24 Johigashi, Higashi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido

    Business Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:00)

    Closed: Mondays & Tuesdays

    Website: https://tabelog.com/hokkaido/A0101/A010202/1058705/

     

     

    ROJIURA CAFÉ (Susukino, Sapporo)

    ROJIURA CAFÉ is another cafe located in Susukino round on the backstreet of Round One. They serve pancakes and parfaits right into the early hours of the morning.

     

    Their caramel sauce has salt in it to add a mouthwatering salty flavour that draws out the sweetness of the fresh cream. The nuts only add to this delectable delight of a pancake.

    Fine and fluffy pancakes fit for the gods. Whether it’s a dessert like pancakes or parfaits or even meals, ROJIURA CAFÉ’s doors are open to  you from the evening until the deepest hours of the night.

     

    ▼ROJIURA CAFÉ

    Address: TAKARA6.3, 3 Chome Minami 6 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido

    Business Hours:

    [Mon-Thurs] 18:00-03:00 (Last Orders 02:00)

    [Fri-Sat] 18:00-04:00 (Last Orders 03:00)

    [Sun & Holidays] 18:00-01:00 (Last Orders 00:00)

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website: http://sapporo-rojiuracafe.com/

     

     

    OJ Coffee (Kotoni, Sapporo)

    You’ll find OJ Coffee just a few minutes’ walk from Kotoni Station in Nishi Ward, Sapporo. This cafe serves exquisite coffees and boasts an abundant menu consisting of soba noodles, curries, steaks and more. They also serve pancakes so I decided to give them a go.

    Fluffy, moist and glorious. The pancake is topped with custard and served with a side of fresh cream, both of which aren’t overly sweet and go perfectly with the sweet beaten eggs of the pancakes. Decorated the outside of the plate is an assortment of fruits, maple syrup and other tempting treats for a variety of flavours. The coffee flavoured soft serve ice cream is a great palate cleanser too. The ice cream doesn’t have the bitterness that comes with coffee but it’s very coffee flavoured. It’s close to Kotoni Station so if you’re strolling around Nishi Ward looking for a cafe I highly recommend visiting here.

     

    ▼OJ Coffee

    Address: D Planning Bldg. 1F, Kotoni 2 Jo, Nishi Ward, Sapporo

    Business Hours: 7:30~22:00 (Last Orders 21:30)

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website: https://www.oj-coffee.com/

     

     

    Café Blue (Ishiyama-dori, Sapporo)

    Café Blue, built up from a renovated old house, is currently selling a new lemon and yogurt pancake for a limited time.

     

    Their pancakes never fail to be anything less than fluffy. The generously drizzled yogurt sauce is fairly refreshing and sweet while still retaining that yummy yogurt flavour. The lemon curd sauce, too, is refreshing and combines well with the pancakes as lemon always does. The lemon also has honey in it making for a satisfyingly sweet and sour combination.


    The ice cream on top is salt flavoured which bring out all the sweet flavours of the dessert. The crunchy almonds are nice and nutty and bring a great texture to the soft and sticky combinations. When I eat pancakes this is the  kind of thing I’m looking for!

     

    The sauce was refreshing and the pancake overall was delicious and very easy to get down. The yogurt sauce really is amazing!

     

    ▼Café Blue

    Address: 16-9-12 Minami 19 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido

    Business Hours: 9:00-19:00 (Last Orders 18:00)

    No Fixed Holidays

    Website: https://tabelog.com/hokkaido/A0101/A010104/1036972/

     

     

    Did you enjoy Kei’s picks? Be sure to check out their Instagram page for more recommended desserts and foods to try in Sapporo. There’s a wealth of choices on there that will make for great reference when travelling to Hokkaido.

     

    Photo & Text: Kei (@607keih)

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • 2016-2018 rankings for top lodgings in Hokkaido! Best picks for foreigners included!

    03.May.2019 | SPOT

    TrustYou is a campaign aimed at encouraging tourism in Hokkaido. They have released accommodation rankings 2016-2018 to reveal which are the most highly rated hotels, resorts and lodgings based on word of mouth, and which places cater most for international guests. TrustYou’s stats also include the best picks for foreigners!

    1st place (general) : Noboribetsu Onsen Kyo Takinoya

    In 1st place is Noboribetsu Onsen Kyo Takinoya. It has a history of 102 years in the business and was founded in the 6th year of the Taisho era of Japan. Due to a large scale renovation that took place in 2008, the 61 room hotel was converted into 30 room hotel which stayed true to its traditional Japanese style whilst holding a slightly modern touch. They have many large hot springs so it is often called the  “Onsen Depart” (because it is full of variety ー like an onsen department store). Here there are four varieties of natural baths from sulphur baths to radium baths. As well as indoor baths, there are also baths on the rooftop which are surrounded by a forest view and gardens.

    Website: http://www.takinoya.co.jp/

    2nd place (general): Pension Jokura

    In 2nd place comes Pension Jokura. The building was once the main office of a northern wealthy merchant from the Edo period called Takadaya Kahei. The old wood from the warehouse was used to build a six-room boarding house.

     

    “44 years ago, I stayed in a boarding house in Central America to pursue my career. I was there for a few weeks which then led to my dream of owning and managing my own boarding house. After many years, I have finally made my dream come true!” said owner Sato-san, who manages the property with their partner. The best part about this place is the at-home atmosphere that you can only get in such a small boarding house like this. From word of mouth of the guests, it is clear that the owners are “very kind and friendly” and “their hospitality is absolutely wonderful”. They can even speak English. This level of hospitality has made them extremely loved by their guests.

     

    Website: https://hakodate-kankou.com/stay/2099/

     

    In 5th and 10th place come Shikotsu Lake tsuruga resort spa Mizunouta and Extract of Niseko Konbuonsen Tsuruga villa heather. These lodgings are run by the Tsuruga group, which manages 13 hot spring lodgings in Hokkaido.

     Shikotsu Lake Tsuruga resort spa Mizunouta

    Shikotsu Lake Tsuruga resort spa Mizunouta is a resort hotel which holds the concept of physical beauty and healing. From plentiful rest, food, walks, aesthetics and fitness to hot spring baths, this hotel covers all areas of health and well-being. The resort is located in Shikotsu-Tōya National Park and it is here that you can enjoy the beauty of Lake Shikotsu. There are a variety of exercise machines in the gym and approximately 20 types of pillows in the pillow gallery for guests. You can also pay a visit to the aqua bar which serves a variety of mineral waters sourced from within and outside of Japan. This truly is a unique hotel that provides more than enough for its guests.

    Website: https://www.mizunouta.com/

     

    After looking at the highly rated lodgings based on the language support they offer, you can see a clear distinction in the hotel locations and the other features that they offer. 3 of the top 5 English lodgings are located in Abuta District, Niseko. Each of these is suitable for long stay trips so it is clear that these places are popular amongst western tourists who stay for longer periods of time.

     

    For Chinese speakers, there are two resorts that are managed by a Chinese company. The Hoshino Resorts Tomamu The Tower and Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Tomamu ranked highly for foreign language support. These large-scale resorts are useful for making large group bookings which adds to its high popularity.

     

    TrustYou will help you find accommodation in Hokkaido so that you can be completely satisfied with your trip! For more information on the rankings, please check out the individual official lodging websites.

     

  • 6 Delicious Desserts in Sapporo ― The Gourmet City of Hokkaido

    14.August.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Sapporo is the fifth most populous city of Japan and the capital of Hokkaido. It’s a location bustling with tourists from around the world every year who come to enjoy its lush natural environment, fabulous food and amazing art.

     

    The city also has a whole range of popular sweets and desserts. Here’s our list of 6 of them you have to try when visiting Sapporo.

     

    Fuyuko Taniguchiさん(@okuyuf)がシェアした投稿

    Saturdays Chocolate Factory Cafe

    Saturdays Chocolate Factory Cafe is a local chocolate brand that started in Sapporo. They delicately craft chocolate in chocolate using carefully selected ingredients from around the world. The shop interior is stylish like that of a general store, with chocolate decked out in cosmetic-like packaging. Enjoy a variety of chocolate and drinks sat at the counter or on the benches.

     

    ■Information

    Saturdays Chocolate Factory Cafe

    Address: Salmon 1F, 2 Jōhigashi, 2-7-1 Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

    Opening Hours: 10:00am-6:30pm *Open Sundays

    Closed: Wednesdays

    TEL: 011-208-2750

    Website: http://www.saturdayschocolate.com

     

    KANON PANCAKESさん(@kanon_pancakes)がシェアした投稿

    KANON PANCAKES

    KANON PANCAKES is a popular pancake cafe that opened in 2012. The cafe has a high ceiling and a relaxing space with table seats and window seats where you can enjoy yourself even on your own. Their pancakes will satisfy your belly and are the perfect picture for your Instagram feed. They have a range of different pancakes to try, so tuck in!

     

    ■Information

    KANON PANCAKES

    Address: 3 Jō, 5-5-18 Kikusui, Shiroishi-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

    Opening Hours: 11:00am-5:00pm (Last Orders 4:00pm) *Open Sundays

    No Fixed Holidays.

    TEL: 011-556-0141

    Website: http://kanon-pancakes.com

     

    ひなこさん(@hinako1675)がシェアした投稿

    WORLD BOOK CAFE

    This spacious cafe has huge bookshelves lining the interior just like a bookshop with books on world travel and more. Displayed on the walls are illustrations of famous figures. The cafe is so relaxing you’ll want to stay there for a lengthy period of time. Enjoy a cup of fragrant coffee and pick from a line-up of delicious sweets or something from the food menu. They also offer a book borrowing service that lets you keep the book for 2 weeks, so if you couldn’t finish the book you were reading in the cafe then take it with you!

     

    ■Information

    WORLD BOOK CAFE

    Address: 5F, 1 Chome-2, Minami 1 Jonishi, Chuki-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

    Opening Hours: 12:00pm-10:00pm

    No Fixed Holidays.

    TEL: 011-206-7376

    Website: https://tabelog.com/hokkaido/A0101/A010102/1029784/

     

    c_mmmipiaceさん(@c_mmmipiace)がシェアした投稿

    Rokkatei

    The Sapporo branch of Rokkatei is just a 5-minute walk from the south exit of JR Sapporo Station. They are famous for their crispy biscuit snacks called Marusei Butter Sandwich which they also have an ice cream version of. This version is made with vanilla ice cream, white chocolate and raisins. This dessert can only be eaten in the Sapporo and Obihiro branches.

     

    ■Information

    Rokkatei (Sapporo)

    Address: 6 Chome-3-3 Kita 4 Jōnishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

    Opening Hours: 10:00am-7:00pm

    TEL: 011-261-6666

    Website: http://www.rokkatei.co.jp/facilities/sapporo_honten/

     

    hiro-chiro*wireworkさん(@hiro_chiro_sb)がシェアした投稿

    Shiroya

    This mochi shop uses komochi from the city of Nayoro in Hokkaido, a white, chewy kind of mochi that doesn’t dry out and get hard easily. They are made with adzuki and black soy bean both from Tokachi. They stock a whole range of different mochi using ingredients from Hokkaido, with prices starting at a resonable ¥140. They also serve matcha for ¥200 when you eat in, meaning you can kick back and enjoy some authentic traditional Japanese confections.

     

    ■Information

    Shiyoya

    Address: 1F Hokkai Bldg., Nishi 17, Minami 3 Jonishi 17, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

    Opening Hours: 10:00am-5:00pm

    Closed: Every Monday / Every 2nd Tuesday of the month

    TEL: 011-633-9550

    Website: http://www.shiroyamochi.jp

     

    yama- puchiさん(@puchi_pan)がシェアした投稿

    Parfaiteria PaL

    This bar style shop is open until 2am where you can enjoy sake together with a parfait. Their sweet parfaits are irresistible, combined with pear and yogurt. It’s the sister shop to the restaurant Risotteria GAKU which has boasted popularity for 10 years in Sapporo and Asahikawa. If you’re a fan of parfait or even of Risotteria GAKU then you’ve got to eat at Parfaiteria PaL.

     

    ■Information

    Parfaiteria PaL

    Address: 6F Minami 4 Jonishi 2 Bldg., Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

    Open: 6:00pm-2:00am

    No Fixed Holidays.

    TEL: 011-200-0559

    Website: http://risotteria-gaku.net/parfait

     

    Did you enjoy this list? Which do you want to try the most? Be sure to check out these places if you’re in Sapporo!

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Polar Bear Themed Hotel Rooms Paw Their Way to Hokkaido’s Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa

    31.October.2020 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa recently finished decorating their new polar bear themed hotel rooms which opened to guests today (November 1).

     

    Polar bears here, polar bears there, polar bears everywhere

    Everything from the bed covers to the walls are covered in cute polar bears, even the room keys, toothbrushes, and smartphone stands. The rooms even come with a special polar bear manga book for guests to read. If you love polar bears, this place will be a dream come true for you.

     

    Asahiyama Zoo’s signboards

    The official Asahiyama Zoo signboards which are all hand-drawn by the zoo staff every spring will be displayed in the rooms. The hotel worked together with the zoo to be able to produce more for Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa.

    The boards feature stories and information about the various animals housed at the zoo in Japanese. Perfect for if you’re staying at the hotel and are planning to visit the zoo.

     

    Just how many polar bars are there? Try counting them all yourself!

    There are many polar bears to be found in the guest rooms. Try counting them all and then telling your number to the front staff when you check out – they may just have something special prepared!

  • Demon Slayer Exhibition to Open at Sapporo Factory in Hokkaido

    09.September.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Sapporo Factory is set to welcome an exhibition themed on the popular TV anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba from October 17 to November 8 this year.

    Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is a manga series by Koyoharu Gotouge serialised in Weekly Shonen Jump. The popular series has over 80 million copies in circulation and spawned a hit anime series last year. The upcoming anime film Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train set for release on October 16, 2020 will serve as a direct sequel to the 2019 anime series and is being animated by ufotable.

     

    The exhibition will look back over the anime series to date, as well as the upcoming film, which will be released the day before the exhibition starts. Fans can expect a variety of exhibits at the event, from video content to artwork, as well as exclusive merchandise.

     

    Tickets go on sale in Japan on September 15 at 17:00 via Lawson. The first round of tickets will be allocated to random people who sign up.

  • Japan’s New High Speed Bus Travels From Kyoto to Mount Koya

    23.August.2020 | SPOT

    Keihan Bus and Nankai Rinkan Bus are bringing back their high-speed bus service this year which will run from September 18 to November 30. The service will incorporate a mandatory booking system, making it even more convenient than last year.

    Mount Kōya is the name of the temple settlement found in Wakayama which first settled in 819. It is the centre for the Kōyasan Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism and is designated as a World Heritage Site, one of many found in Kyoto alongside Kinkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, and Shimogamo Shrine.

    The new Kyoto Koya-san buses offer a smooth, direct ride to the World Heritage Site, arriving there from Kyoto in just 2 hours and 40 minutes.

  • Stay in a Glamorous Tent and Enjoy the Breathtaking Nature of Akan-Mashu National Park

    16.August.2020 | SPOT

    As an official partner of the Ministry of the Environment​’s Project to Fully Enjoy National Parks, wondertrunk has teamed up with Kussharo Prince Hotel (Hokkaido) to create a series of new programmes for guests to fully immerse in nature. Kussharo Prince Hotel sits right at the shore of Lake Kussharo – Japan’s biggest caldera lake and enjoys the breathtaking scenery of Akan-Mashu National Park.

     

    As well as the nature-immersing programmes, three glamping tents have been set up in the hotel’s garden. There are even areas specifically designed for those who wish to take a “workation”. These areas are located in a peaceful and soothing natural environment and are ideal for remote working.

     

    Glamping


    The glamping experience offers three glamping tents, hotel rooms and access to the workation space.  The lake shore sauna tent from last year is also available this year and can be used by glamping guests only. Each tent houses two semi-double beds and sleeping bags which is perfect for a family of two adults and two children.

    Glamping Tent Contents: Low Chairs, Low Table, Hanging Rack, Rug, Cushions, Bath Towels, Face Towels

     

    Choosing the glamping tent package also gives you access to many of Kussharo Prince Hotel’s facilities including the toilets and even the hot springs (Kussharo Onsen) which are located inside. The package also includes a delicious garden breakfast by Lake Kussharo served by Kussharo Prince Hotel. There is also the option to enjoy a delicious barbeque in the evening at the glamping site provided by wondertrunk.

     

    Experience Nature with the “Green Session” Programme

    The Green Session programme is designed to give guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in nature with their five senses. During the one-day programme, a local guide will teach you of the ways of the Ainu people – the indigenous people of Japan who live as one with nature.

     

    Programme Outline:

    A: Ainu Teachings of how to live as one with nature: Ainu wood carving experience and a canoe trip to the river source.

    Dates: September 13, October 4 and October 18

     

    B: A Tree Specialist’s Teachings of how to bond with nature: Forest trekking and a wooden cutlery-making experience.

    Dates: September 6, September 20, October 25, November 1

     

    C: Ainu Teachings of how to live as one with nature: Ainu wood carving experience and trekking around Lake Kussharo.
    Dates: September 27, October 11, November 8

    Meeting Point: Kussharo Prince Hotel Floor 1 Lobby

     

    Immerse yourself in nature and learn more about Japan’s indiginous people with this very special experience.

  • MAXPLAN AZABU10: The New Landmark of Tokyo’s Azabu Juban District

    31.May.2020 | SPOT

    MAXPLAN Co. is set to open MAXPLAN AZABU10 on October 22, 2020 which is set to become the new symbol and a landmark of Tokyo’s Azabu Juban District. The building will offer many unique and extraordinary experiences.

    Nakamura Suzuko (CEO, MAXPLAN Co.) | Comment

    “This project borrows the strength of internationally-active architect Kengo Kuma. I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to be a driving force together with him once again. This building, which is the ‘Azabu Juban Development Project,’ will be a place that creates and discovers new collective value between companies and individuals. A place of creative symbiosis. It aims to offer well being for companies that brings about a sense of cultural values. It will be a creative space for companies and individuals to resonate, bounce ideas off, and flow with one another. I pray from the bottom of my heart that these things will serve as a connection to how we want to live in the future.”

    Kengo Kuma (Architect) | Comment

    “Azabu Juban is Tokyo’s intersection between tradition and the future. I wanted to create a symbol for this district of ‘fluctuations’ around its crossroads. Combining panels of varying sizes with different heights, thicknesses, and textures expresses the district’s diversity and energy. I wanted the building to blend in as part of the ‘fluctuations,’ as well as create a small 3D city which itself has ‘fluctuations’ […]”

     

    We look forward to seeing how this new landmark and symbol of Azabu Juban brings together the traditional and the futuristic.

  • 5 Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Hokkaido | 2020 Edition – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    04.April.2020 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Sapporo, Asahikawa, Abashiriーthe list goes on when it comes to incredible places to see the cherry blossoms in Hokkaido. And the best time to see them in Japan’s northernmost main island is May.

     

    Today, we are joined by Mirina, an Instagrammer who posts photos of tourist and sightseeing spots in Hokkaido that are rich in nature. She has shared her photos with us along with details of 5 must-visit famous cherry blossom sites in Hokkaido. Let’s take a look.

     

    Tokiwa Park

    Tokiwa Park is located in the city of Asahikawa, and is home to around 200 individual cherry trees of various kinds including the Yoshino cherry and ezo yamazakura. Weeping cherries also dangle their graceful branches around the lake, which you can sail through on a boat for an even more memorable cherry blossom experience. Tokiwa Park is also listed as one of Japan’s “100 City Parks,” so it’s one that needs to go on your list of sightseeing spots if you’re travelling to Hokkaido.

     

    Tokiwa Park

    Address: Tokiwakoen, Asahikawa, Hokkaido

    Access: 25-minutes on foot from Asahikawa Station (via JR Line). Alternatively, board the Tohoku Bus and get off at Tokiwa Park (常磐公園).

    Official Website: http://www.asahikawa-park.or.jp/

     

    Twin Harp Bridge

    This spot is also located in Asahikawa. It gets its name from how the bridge looks like two harps lined up next to each other. Twin Harp Bridge is also a popular place with the locals for celebrating Hanami in the spring season as cherry blossoms bloom in the vicinity of the bridge.

     

    Twin Harp Bridge

    Address: 4 Chome Toko 18 Jo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido to 5 Chome Kyokushin 1 Jo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido

    Access: 20-minutes by car from Asahikawa Airport / 15-minutes by car from Asahikawa Station

    Official Website: http://www.city.asahikawa.hokkaido.jp/files/tosi_kei/index.htm

     

    Kitoushi Forest Park – Family Village

    Located southeast of Asahikawa, Kitoushi Forest Park – Family Village offers views of ezo yamazakura as well as shibazakura moss phlox. Visitors can also have barbeques at the facility for an even better outdoor experience combining great food with cherry blossom viewing.

     

    Kitoushi Forest Park – Family Village (Kitoushi Shinrin Koen Kazokuryokomura)

    Address: 5 Gokita-44 Nishi, Higashikawa, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido

    Access: 40-minutes by car from Asahikawa Station

    Official Website: http://www.kazokuryokoumura.jp/

    More Information (English): http://www.asahikawa-tourism.com/asahikawa/asahikawa_sites/higashikawa/higashikawa_en.html

     

    Maruyama Park

    Maruyama Park is another famous cherry blossom site where Yoshino cherry trees and ezo yamazakura bloom. Compared to Asahikawa, the cherry blossoms here bloom a little earlier during spring. You’ll catch them from late April to early May. During the cherry blossom season, there is a place where fires can be lit, so you’ll catch people cooking up jingisukan, a type of Japanese mutton dish.

     

    Maruyama Park

    Address: Miyagaoka, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido

    Access: 5-minutes on foot from Maruyama-Kōen Station

    Official Website: http://www.sapporo.travel/find/nature-and-parks/maruyama_park/

     

    Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park

    Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park’s rolling hills offer a breathtaking view of shibazakura moss phlox cherry blossoms. The hills themselves aren’t steep, so the spectacle can be enjoyed from both the top and bottom of them. The Shibazakura Festival is also held between May and June.

     

    Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park

    Address: 393 Higashimokotosuehiro, Ozora, Abashiri-gun, Hokkaido

    Access: 30-minutes by cat from Abashiri Station. Alternatively, board the transit bus from Abashiri Station, get off at Higashimokotocho (東藻琴町). The park is a 5-mintue drive from here.

    Official Website: http://www.shibazakura.net/

     

    Photo:Mirina has visited many sightseeing spots in Hokkaido, so if you’re looking for more places to visit be sure to follow her on Instagram.

     

    Photos: Mirina Nishio

     

  • Hoshino Resorts to Open New KAI Poroto Ryokan in Hokkaido in Winter 2021

    20.March.2020 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts, which manages 42 ryokan inside and outside Japan serving Japanese tradition and culture, signed a partnership agreement with the town of Shiraoi in Hokkaido on June 28, 2018, which would have them open a hot spring ryokan there. It has been revealed that the new facility will be named Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto.

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto. Built by Japanese architect Hiroshi Nakamura, the site will open its doors in winter 2021 as the 19th branch of Hoshino Resorts’s hot spring ryokan brand KAI, of which it operates 16 in Japan. It will be the third branch of KAI in Hokkaido, following from Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Tomamu in Shimukappu village and Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa.

     

    Hot springs in Shiraoi, Hokkaido include moor springs, a type of organic spring water that is rare globally. KAI Poroto faces Poroto Lake, which is enveloped in nature and home to creatures such as wild birds. All rooms at the ryokan enjoy a view of the lake, as well as a chance to see the trees and flowers bloom and change in different colours throughout the seasons.


    KAI’s aim is to offer Japanese hospitality that can only be experienced in that town or city, and during that season, as well as to give guests a comfortable experience in a Japanese-style accommodation. At KAI Poroto, they are set to offer a completely new experience tied to Ainu culture in collaboration with the Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park currently in development in Shiraoi.

     

    Upopoy is scheduled to open at Lake Poroto on April 24, 2020. “Upopoy” is a word in the Ainu language that means “singing in a large group.” The museum is the first national museum in Japan to be dedicated to the indigenous Ainu people. It will serve as the national center for the revival and development of Ainu culture, something which is on the verge of extinction, and it will do this by showcasing Ainu culture and history through exhibitions, hands-on programmes, performances, and more.

     

    Hiroshi Nakamura is the architects that designed Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto. “Poroto” is also a word in Ainu to mean “large lake.” The ryokan’s lobby, which is decorated with Japanese white birch, offers a view of the lake and Mount Tarumae. There are also small bath houses called kashi which have been made using Ainu architectural methods, as well as open-air baths that have you feeling like you’re taking a dip in the lake.

  • 6 Must Try Soft Serve Ice Creams in Hokkaido – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    08.February.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Hokkaido is home to some seriously sumptuous desserts, not to mention their matcha range. Today we’re looking at 6 unmissable ice creams you can try around Sapporo, because if Hokkaido is known for anything, its the soft serve ice cream.
    We are joined once again by Kei, a Japanese Instagrammer who posts enticing pictures of the delicious desserts and drinks he has tried at cafes around Hokkaido. He has kindly provided us with his incredible pictures along with a descriptions, which we have translated into English.

    UMIERE 2nd in Tanukikoji

    UMIERE is credited with lighting the fire on the popularity of mokomoko, or ‘fluffy,’ soft serve ice cream. Their second branch, UMIERE 2nd, recently reopened after a revamp. As part of their renewal, they have introduced a number of new menu items like shiratama white flour dumplings.
    Macaron Soft Parfait – ¥718
    I ordered the Macaron Soft Parfait, which is a tower of organic soft serve ice cream, macarons, chocolate sauce, and sponge cake filled with sliced strawberries. The ice cream itself is both refreshing yet rich. As you continue to scoop up mouthfuls from the ice cream cup, the other ingredients gradually reveal themselves: the fresh cream, the strawberries, and the sponge, just like a parfait.
    The cafe enjoys a relaxed atmosphere and is a great place to pop into if you’re looking for a hideaway.
    ▼Umiere 2nd (ウミエール)
    Address: Marufuku Bldg. Floor 2F, 4-Chome-9, Minami 2 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 11:00-18:30
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 011-211-4738

    JB ESPRESSO MORIHICO in Shindohigashi

    When talking about coffee in Hokkaido, the name that’s likely to pop up is Morihico. And when talking about their most popular menu item sold at their chain cafe JB ESPRESSO, it’s their variety of cute ice creams.

    JB Soft Cream Pudding à la Mode – ¥450
    Based on the Japanese “purin à la mode,” a type of Japanese custard pudding served with an assortment of other desserts, this ice cream is custard pudding flavoured and is drizzled in caramel, topped with whipped cream, and crowned with a cherry. And the caramel isn’t just sauceーit’s crunchy like caramel chocolate, giving the ice cream a variety of scrumptious textures.
    JB Soft Cream Mix – ¥420
    The mixed ice cream is one of the specialities of JB, combining milk and chocolate flavours. The milk ice cream is made with milk from Jersey cattle, so is rich in flavour while still being smooth and refreshing. The chocolate is also rich, made from three types of Spanish chocolate.
    JB ESPRESSO MORIHICO (ジェービー エスプレッソ モリヒコ)
    Address: 16-1-1 Kita 34 Johigashi, Higashi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 9:00-22:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 011-788-2133

    Kinotoya Bake (Pole Town Branch) in Odori Park

    Kinotoya Bake is located in Pole Town, accessed by walking towards Tanukikoji from Odori Park. They don’t sell cooked confections or take like the Kinotoya brand is known for, but rather tarts, apple pies, and ice creams.

    Gokujo Milk Soft – ¥410
    The name of this ice cream alone screams Hokkaido, as the prefecture is known for its Gokujo, or “first-rate” milk. It’s pretty big as you can probably tell from the photo! This full-bodied milky cream, which is smooth like fresh cream, is the one I’d recommend from the various different ice creams made with Hokkaido milk. And because of its size, your belly is sure to be satisfied afterwards!
    ▼Kinotoya Bake
    Address: Pole Town, 3-Chome, 2 Minami Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0120-24-6161

    TEA SIGN in PARCO Odori Park

    TEA SIGN is famous in Sapporo for its tapioca, and at the PARCO branch, they sell it with milk tea flavoured ice cream.
    Tapioca Milk Tea Soft Cream – ¥520
    You can really taste the flavour of the tea leaves. The ice cream is moderately sweet with a strong black tea taste. The ice cream means it offers a different kind of tapioca experience from your usual tapioca milk tea.
    ▼TEA SIGN (ティーサイン)
    Address: PARCO (Floor B2F), 3-Chome-3, Minami 1 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays

    TSURU CAFE in Miyanomori

    TSURU CAFE is a stylish little cafe in Miyanomori where they serve cooked confections, cakes, and many popular ice cream flavours. As well as the cafe side of TSURU, they also sell artwork and other things by creators.

    Flavour Soft Strawberry – ¥830
    The “Flavour Soft Strawberry” is a speciality of TSURU CAFE. This towering dessert is layered with ice cream, fresh strawberries, meringue, and strawberry sauce. The milky ice cream is refreshing, and the sweet taste of the strawberries is divine. The flavours are simple, but every thing in the dessert is delicious. The strawberry sauce is served on the side so you can pour over the amount that suites your taste.
    ▼TSURU CAFE (ツルカフェ)
    Address: 5-2-8 Miyanomori 2 Jo, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: [Mon-Sat] 10:00-20:00 / [Sun & Holidays] 10:00-19:00
    Closed: Wednesdays

    COCOBON in Shin-Sapporo

    COCOBON is a super popular fruit and ice cream shop that opened in Shin-Sapporo just last year. The ice cream and fruits are mixed together as soon as you put your order in.

    Walnut Chocolate – ¥400
    I ordered the Belgian chocolate ice cream with walnuts and chocolate cereal. The Belgian chocolate is sweet and its texture is amazing together with the walnuts. If you love chocolate, you’ll love the rich flavour of this ice cream.
    The shop actually closes when all the stock is sold out, so if you’re planning a trip here, be sure to arrive nice and early so as to not miss out.
    COCOBON (ココボン)
    Address: 8-7-30 Aobacho, Atsubetsu Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00
    Closed: Mondays & Tuesdays
    Enquiries: 011-887-8984
    Did you enjoy these ice cream scoops? We hope you get to try some of them, and if you want even more dessert recommendations from Hokkaido, be sure to follow Kei on Instagram.

     

    Photos & Original Text: Kei / 敬 (@607keih)

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

    *Information written in this article is correct at the time of publishing. For more details on each shop, please visit their official websites and social media pages.

    *Food names are translated from Japanese into English where appropriate.

  • 9 Must Try Desserts and Sweets in Hokkaido & at New Chitose Airport – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    06.February.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    We at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON know our readers love desserts and sweets as much as we do, and that’s why we make sure to never go too long without writing about the latest must-try treats in Japan, like our recent article on matcha desserts in Sapporo.
    We return to you once more with the 9 must-try delectable delights at New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido, and at various locations across Hokkaido. If you’re heading to Japan’s northernmost prefecture, and are using this airport, or are travelling throughout Hokkaido, then you can’t miss out on these irresistible picks.
    Today, we are joined by Kei, a Japanese Instagrammer who posts enticing pictures of the delicious desserts and drinks he has tried at cafes around Hokkaido. He has kindly provided us with his incredible pictures along with a descriptions, which we have translated into English. Enjoy!

    GINRYU・BonBon BERRY | New Chitose Airport

    GINRYU・BonBon BERRY is a revamp of the original shop, GINRYU. Located on the second floor of New Chitose Airport Terminal, the new shop has teamed up with BonBonBERRY, another store right next to Atami Station in Shizuoka Prefecture.

     

    The shop specialises in Tokachi Ginryu strawberries, a variety of strawberry produced in the town of Otofuke. They have a distinct appearance and taste, with their beautiful white inside, low acidity, and high sugar content.

    Omocchiizu Strawberry Skewer – ¥432
    This skewered dessert is made up of strawberries, cheese-filled sticky rice cake, and strawberry baumkuchen. This is the ultimate strawberry indulgence!
    Strawberry Bavarois – ¥740
    Bon Bon Soft – ¥500
    The Strawberry Bavarois and soft serve ice cream look super cute too. The high sugar content of the Ginryu strawberry makes them perfect for any kind of dessert.
    The shop is stocked full of other great sweet treats too, so be sure to check out their strawberry range.
    ▼GINRYU・BonBon BERRY
    Address: New Chitose Airport Terminal – Floor 2F
    Opening Hours: 8:00-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0123-29-4480

    Chocolatier Masale | New Chitose Airport

    Chocolatier Masale is a standout name in Hokkaido. This leading chocolate company have multiple branches – in addition to the Sapporo shops, they have sites in both the lobby and gate lounge of New Chitose Airport.

    Mousse Glacee White Chocolate & Hokkaido Milk – ¥410
    Exclusive to the departure lobby branch of Chocolatier Malase, this chocolatey dessert is an ensemble of ice cream made from mousse-packed Hokkaido milk and covered in chocolate. It’s finished with cracked freeze-dried strawberries which give a fruity kick to the smooth taste of the ice cream and delightful chocolate.
    ▼Chocolatier Masale – New Chitose Airport Departure Lobby (ショコラティエマサール 新千歳空港出発ロビー店)
    Address: New Chitose Airport Terminal – Floor 2F
    Opening Hours: 8:00-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0123-29-4115
    Official Website: https://www.masale.jp/

    siretoco sky sweets | New Chitose Airport

    siretoco doughnuts were created in the town of Nakashibetsu in Hokkaido. The New Chitose Airport Terminal branch is immensely popular for its cute mini animal doughnuts which are steamed instead of being dropped into hot oil, making them a healthier doughnut option.
    Happy New Year Lucky Rat – ¥420 / Rich★Cream Cheese – ¥390
    The doughnut on the left celebrates 2020 and the Year of the Rat in the Chinese Zodiac. It’s white chocolate and strawberry chocolate flavoured. It’s also not too sweet and has a soft and fluffy texture. The cheese doughnut has a very cheesy flavour indeed. All the animal faces are also made by hand, so each and every one is unique. Both are really cute looking.
    ▼siretoco sky sweets (シレトコ スカイ スイーツ)
    Address: New Chitose Airport Terminal – Floor 2F
    Opening Hours: 8:00-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0123-46-2109

    Cafe Owl | Lake Shikotsu

    Handmade Baked Purin – ¥500
    Cafe Owl is situated in Shikotsuko Onsen, a popular tourist spot about a 55-minute transit bus ride from New Chitose Airport. It has a warm atmosphere to it with its log house-like appearance. Their food menu has just two things on it: pizza and purin (Japanese custard pudding). I ordered a purin and cup of coffee as a set.
    The photo doesn’t show how big the purin actually is – it’s like a cake slice. It has a refreshing taste and isn’t overly-sweet so can be chowed down easily.
    ▼Cafe Owl (カフェアウル)
    Address: Shikotsuko Onsen, Chitose, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
    Closed: Wednesdays
    Enquiries: 0123-25-2590

    Pennennolde | Lake Shikotsu

    Atsuma Honeysuckle Rare Cheese & Cocoa – ¥380 / Walnut Chocolate Ganache – ¥380
    This cafe is also located in Shikotsuko Onsen. Their main meal is muffins, which are served warm inside their very relaxed space. The honeysuckle cheese muffin is thick and sticky, and doesn’t have an unpleasant smell from the cheese. It’s simply delicious. The chocolate ganache too is melted which only adds to the nice texture of the walnuts.
    The muffins can be ordered for takeout too, so you can take them with you to enjoy the local sights.
    ▼Pennennolde (ペンネンノルデ)
    Address: Bangaichi, Shikotsuko Onsen, Chitose, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0123-25-4115

    Kita no Umaimonten Hekisui | Lake Shikotsu

    Raspberry Chocolate Soft Cream – ¥500
    This cafe is close to Lake Shikotsu. They sell soft serve ice cream from the famous Iwase Farm located in the city of Sunagawa. This flavour is made with rich chocolate ice cream and is topped with freeze-dried raspberries, creating a great balance between the two.
    This small place has its own eat-in area too, so you can kick back and relax while you enjoy the taste of some Hokkaido soft serve ice cream.
    ▼Kita no Umaimonten Hekisui (北のうまいもん店碧水)
    Address: Shikotsuko Onsen, Chitose, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: Not known
    Closed Days: Not known
    Enquiries: 0123-25-4115
    Official Website: Not known

    Doremo LeTAO | Chitose

    Chocolate Noisette Berry – ¥1,540
    Doremo LeTAO is just a 15-minute walk from Chitose Station. Their “Chocolate Noisette Berry” is packed fully of rich chocolate, nuts, and berries.
    Berry Mascarpone – ¥1,650
    The “Berry Mascarpone” comes with four pancakes drizzled in berry sauce, mascarpone, custard, strawberries, and vanilla ice cream. The pancakes have soft meringue inside them, but are still light to eat, so you can rest assured you won’t have a heavy stomach afterwards.
    ▼Doremo LeTAO (ドレモルタオ)
    Address: 6-1-1 Asahinochi, Chitose, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 11:00-18:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 050-5570-2975

    Mirtillo | Osatsu

    Mirtillo is a gelato shop on the outskirts of Osatsu in Chitose. It’s a tricky place to reach without a car, but it still stands as an incredibly popular gelato store. They have 16 flavours of gelato including several limited-time options.

    Waffle Parfait – ¥1,000
    I tried their “Waffle Parfait,” which lets you pick from two gelato of your choice along with toppings. The combination of the crunchy waffles with the gelato is delicious. Added together with the blueberry sauce and fruits, you get a variety of tastes and textures.
    The blueberries are actually all grown on site.
    ▼Mirtillo (ミルティーロ)
    Address: 2 Osatsu, Chitose, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 11:00-18:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0123-23-5323
    Official Website: http://mirtillo.tank.jp/

    Donut Chaya Honwaka | Eniwa

    Honwaka Cocoa – ¥140 / Autumn Chestnut – ¥220
    Honwaka is a doughnut shop about 1.5km from Eniwa Station. I got to try some of their seasonal autumn flavours: the fluffy and flavourful “Honwaka Cocoa,” and the chestnut and chestnut cream-loaded “Autumn Chestnut.” The chestnut cream is just the right amount of sweetness and has a really delightful chestnut flavour.
    The store offers limited-time seasonal flavours with each passing season, so be sure to check out my Instagram to see more.
    ▼Donut Chaya Honwaka (ドーナツ茶屋 ほんわか)
    Address: 7-18-4 Koganeminami, Eniwa, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0123-25-5346
    Did you enjoy these dessert picks? We hope you get to try some of them, and if you want even more dessert recommendations from Hokkaido, be sure to follow Kei on Instagram.

     

    Photos & Original Text: Kei / 敬 (@607keih)

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

    *Information written in this article is correct at the time of publishing. For more details on each shop, please visit their official websites and social media pages.

    *Food names are translated from Japanese into English where appropriate.

  • Kyoto Brighton Hotel Offers 5 New Hotel Plans For Springtime, Cherry Blossom & Temple Experiences

    26.January.2020 | SPOT

    Kyoto Brighton Hotel is now selling reservations for its new “Haru no Asobi Plan” (Springtime Fun Plan) which is taking place between March and May this year and offers guests the opportunity to enjoy Kyoto in the spring and its cherry blossoms.

     

    Spring in Kyoto is the most popular season for tourists and travellers who flock from not only across Japan but from around the world. The Haru no Asobi Plan is made up of 5 exciting plans to see the ancient capital’s breathtaking cherry blossoms, vibrant green maples, and other offerings.

     

    “Asakatsu” – An early morning temple visit and stroll

    Get away from the crowded streets and enjoy the rare opportunity to experience incredible early morning sights you don’t normally get to see. Spend a quiet morning in a gorgeous environment in this plan. Several temples and gardens are in place for the experience: Kōdaiji Temple, Bishamon-do Temple, Taizō-in, Haradanien, and Tenryū-ji.

     

    Kiyomizu-dera Temple special night viewing

    One of the must-visit spots when travelling to Kyoto is Kiyomizu-dera, officially a World Heritage Site. This plan rents out the temple for you to experience it at nighttime. The main building is currently undergoing large-scale renovation to secure the roof as well as the inner construction of the temple. Seeing the temple is truly a sight to behold.

    You are guaranteed a view of the famous “Stage of Kiyomizu,” an enormous veranda attached to the main hall. The surrounding trees will be lit with enchanting lights, and you’ll be able to gaze at the distant city nightscape. Experience Kyoto like never before as the warm lights illuminate the Niōmon (Deva Gate), 3-storey pagoda, and purified water which runs from the Otowa Waterfall.

     

    Discover the world of Kyoto embroidery

    The traditional practice of Kyounui, or Kyoto-style embroidery, has continued since the Heian Period and is even garnering attention overseas. It’s a delicate and refined style of embroidery unique to Kyoto.

    After your embroidery session which will take place in a Kyoto town house nearby the cherry blossom-filled Hirano Shrine, you’ll look at kimono and yukata so beautiful they’ll look like they should be in an art museum, before heading to eat together with the creator.

     

    See the green maple trees of Hōgon-in on a private train

    Board the private 1-2 carriage Randen train on the Keifuku Electric Railroad, which runs from Shijō-Ōmiya to Arashiyama. This cute retro train will take you Arashiyama where the green maples are breathtakingly beautiful.

    You’ll also get to stroll through the quaint gardens of Hōgon-in Temple, view artwork painted by Noriko Tamura, and more.

     

    Sky Bus

    Enjoy a panoramic view on a private ride of the Sky Bus, a double-decker bus which is gaining huge popularity right now. You will ride through the city of Kyoto and see the rows of pink cherry blossoms. In April, they will also do an evening tour of the cherry blossoms so you can see them at night, and in May they’ll do a green maple tree tour.

     

    Discover the beauty of Kyoto in this very special hotel plan at Kyoto Brighton Hotel.

  • With The Rise of Skywalker concluding the Skywalker saga of the Star Wars film franchise, fans are left craving more from the galaxy far far away.

     

    If you’re one of those people, and need a fix before season two of The Mandalorian, which is coming in late 2020, then you’ll want to hit up the all-new Star Wars-themed cafes now open for a limited time at branches of OH MY CAFE across Japan in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido, and Fukuoka.

     

    We visited the Tokyo branch of the cafe which is located inside Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku. Here’s our report of this must-see cafe for Star Wars fans, a museum-like space chock-full of concept art.

    Ready to greet you as you walk into the cafe is none other than Darth Vader. This life-size recreation of the Sith Lord is really striking, but don’t worryーthough he is realistic, he won’t use his Force choke on you, he only wishes for you to have a nice meal.

    Plastered across the cafe walls are pieces of concept art used during the production of the Star Wars film series.

    Here’s a galactic showcasing of the cafe’s menu. There are 7 food items and 5 drinks to choose from, all inspired by the franchise and its characters.

    <STAR WARS> Far Far Away Galaxy Black Curry – ¥1,590

    A signature dish of the cafe, this black curry features the Star Wars logo which is actually an edible wafer. The space design is bamboo charcoal-cooked rice which is mixed with spicy sauce and topped with peanuts for stars.

    <BB-8> Seafood BB-8 Gratin – ¥1,690

    Fans of BB-8 won’t be able to resist this delicious gratin, served with salad and French bread for a full belly.

    <Yoda> Root Leaf Stew – ¥1,590

    This stew is inspired by Yoda living his final years in his little shack in Dagobah during Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. It’s packed full of vegetables and will no doubt be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike.

    <R2-D2 & C-3PO> Buddy Burger Plate – ¥1,990

    This set of two chicken burgers comes with an R2-D2 seasoned with béchamel sauce and a C-3PO burger seasoned with meat sauce. You can take the flags home with you too. We recommend sharing this between two people.

    Portion Bread – ¥500

    This is the one I was most interested in personally, because I was curious to know from its appearance how it would taste. It’s the portion bread that Rey tries eating in the film. At first glance it looks crunchy, but to my surprise it was soft with a subtle sweet flavour.

    Lightsaber Drinks – ¥600 Each (w/ Coaster ¥1,300)

    From the left, the flavours are Darth Vader blood orange, Luke Skywalker ramune, and Yoda melon. When you draw your straw from the paper wrapping, it turns into a lightsaber!

    <STAR WARS > Jet Black Coffee – ¥600 (w/Bottle ¥1,750)

    These limited edition bottles of black coffee feature the famous Star Wars opening crawl credits. Which one you get is randomーa must-have for all fans!

    After enjoying some Star Wars food and drink, it’s time to check out the cafe’s exclusive merchandise. There are 13 types of merch in total all bearing artwork from across the film series.

    Folder – ¥350

    I recommend picking up one of these folders made in collaboration with the cafe. It has illustrations of the food and drinks being sold there.

    Tote Bag – ¥3,500

    This tote bag has illustrations of characters from Star Wars and how they are all connected.

    There’s plenty of other must-grab merch too, from music to stationery and more.

    Customers who spend over ¥1,000 (excluding tax) on any of these exclusive items will receive the above-pictured limited edition bag. These are limited in stock so are available while supplies last.

    There’s plenty of places inside for fans to take great photos, so make sure you snap lots.

    Also, if you book a table in advance and order something from the menu, you’ll receive one of these 25 possible A5 folders, so be sure to book before you go!

     

     

    © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

    *All listed prices are pre-tax. Photos are for illustrative purposes only.

  • 3 Breathtaking New Rooms to Open at Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa

    25.January.2020 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa, a branch of Hoshino Resorts’ hotels for tourists and travellers, has announced that it is opening three new room types to guests from April 1 to make their stay and travels that much better. They are the “Double Room,” “Superior Room,” and “Family Room.”

     

    OMO7 Asahikawa opened in Hokkaido April 2018 as the first branch of Hoshino Resorts’s “OMO” brand of city tourism hotels. The hotel offers not only a great sleep, but enjoys the benefit of its location with must-see sights surrounding it, and all of this to make guests’ stay the best it can be.


    The hotel’s Studio Rooms, formerly named the DANRAN Room before the renovation, have received praise from guests that have stayed there for offering everything they needed while being compact, as well as it being easy to kick back and relax in them. It was revealed that in 2019, the average number of people staying in a single room at Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa was higher than the average of that in other city hotels in Asahikawa, as well as the hotel being popular for catering to tourist and sightseers’ needs.

     

    The hotel has now renovated 111 of its rooms in response to it being used by a lot of people because of its catering towards tourists’ needs. It has also added the three new types of roomsーDouble, Superior, and Familyーwhich incorporate the well-received functionality of the Studio Rooms. That’s 226 room renovations out of the hotel’s 237 rooms.

    All beds have storage space underneath them. Those travelling in big groups like families will especially benefit from this if they have a lot of luggage as they can save on plenty of space in rooms.

     

    New rooms are furnished with new sofas and tables for maximum comfort amongst friends and family where they can talk about their trip while enjoying local drinks and snacks.

    Also, in the Superior Rooms and Family Rooms, where there is a small amount of guests, beds can be folded and turned into spacious sofas.

    The OMO brand promises “a reasonable price for your travels,” and this rings true: the new Family Rooms start at ¥5,500, allowing an affordable stay so you can spend more on the local sights.

     

    Room bookings will open on February 3, 2020, so if you’re visiting Hokkaido, be sure to check out Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa.

RANKING

  • DAILY
  • MONTHLY

FOLLOW US