Experience Kyoto at Night: 5 Must-See Spots – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

05.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

The ancient city of Kyoto enjoys waves of tourists and sightseers from around the world throughout the year. It is particularly hot during the summertime because it’s situated in a valley. If you’ve never walked around Kyoto’s towns at night then we invite you to add it onto your list of sightseeing experiences.

 

We have compiled a list of 5 must-visit locations to best enjoy Kyoto’s nightscape. We are joined by Taka, a Japanese Instagrammer who conveys the beauty of Kyoto through his picturesque photographs which has has provided us today.

 

Kyoto Station & Kyoto Tower

The modern architecture of Kyoto Station is a juxtaposition against the traditional image of Kyoto. There are lots of great places inside the station where you can get up high and gaze down at Kyoto’s streets, but the absolutely unmissable nighttime spot are the mirrored windows. When evening sets in, you can see Kyoto Tower―which is opposite the station―reflected on the outside. Of course, you can enjoy the tower during the day too, but at night they light it up, making for a truly magical sight.

 

▼Kyoto Station

Address: Higashishiokoji Kamadonocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

Kyoto Station Building Official Website: https://www.kyoto-station-building.co.jp/

 

▼Kyoto Tower

Address: 721-1 Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

Opening Hours: 9:00-21:00 (Last Entries 20:40)

*Opening hours subject to change without notice

Official Website: https://www.keihanhotels-resorts.co.jp/kyoto-tower/

 

 

Yasaka Shrine

Yasaka Shrine is an easy sightseeing spot to reach being just a 5-minute stroll from Gion-Shijo Station. The shrine is a power spot said to provide good luck when it comes to marriage ties. It bustles with visits from people from around the world and is in fact open 24-hours a day.

Paying a visit at night provides you with an entirely different look at Yasaka Shrine. Why not dine out along Shijō Street and take a walk to the shrine when the sky turns dark?

 

▼Yasaka Shrine

Address: 625 Gionmachi Kitagawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

Official Website: http://www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp/

 

 

Kyoto Minamiza Theatre

Minamiza is the oldest theatre in Japan and is officially registered as a Japanese Tangible Cultural Property. Like Yasaka Shrine, the closest station to the theatre is Gion-Shijo Station. Leave through Exit 6 and it’s right outside.

 

Minamiza has a long history spanning back to 1610 when it was founded. In May this year, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu performed a special concert there entitled Kyary Kabuki Kabuki which made use of projection mapping, fusing history and tradition with the latest cutting-edge technology to provide a concert like no other. The theatre is becoming a new sightseeing spot as it is lit up at nighttime. All of the lights are turned on until 10pm after which just the roof lights are kept on.

 

▼Kyoto Minamiza Theatre

Address: 198 Nakanocho, Higashiyama, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

Official Website: https://www.shochiku.co.jp/play/theater/minamiza/

 

 

Ninenzaka

Ninenzaka is a long winding road that leads up to Kiyomizu-dera temple and is also a very famous tourist spot. It is registered under the Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings. In the daytime, the street bustles with locals and tourists dipping in and out of the souvenir shops, but the dark evenings of Ninenzaka are another kind of wonderful. The number of tourists drops significantly at night meaning you can have the street all to yourself and take plenty of photos, warm lanterns lighting your way.

 

▼Ninenzaka

Address: 2 Kiyomizu, Masuyacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

Official Website: http://www.2nenzaka.ne.jp/

 

 

Kiyomizu-dera

Kiyomizu-dera is a 25-minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojō Station which is reached via the Keihan Main Line. Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ancient Buddhist temple is a very popular tourist destination. What we want those of you to see when visiting in the evening is the beautiful sunset which can be seen from the temple, colouring the streets of Kyoto a gorgeous orange.

 

▼Kiyomizu-dera

Address: 1-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

Opening Hours: https://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/access.php

Official Website: https://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/

 

Taka has visited so many incredible locations in Kyoto, so if you’re planning a trip there and need some recommendations be sure to follow him on Instagram.

 

Photos: Taka

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  • Kyoto’s Famous Buddhist Temple With Heart Window Holds Wind Chime Festival

    27.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The ancient city of Kyoto enjoys flurries of tourists and sightseers from around the world throughout the year. It is particularly hot during the summertime because it’s located in a valley.

     

    Shojuin is a Buddhist Temple located in a summer retreat that was erected nearly 800 years ago. Hidden at the temple is the 11-faced Buddha statue of Kannon Bosatsu which is open to the public only once every 50 years.

     

    The temple has a long history, and today it is used as a site for yoga, copying the sutras, and other activities when booked in advance. It’s enjoyed by people of all ages.

     

    Today, we are joined by Macchan, an Instagrammer who tours the many sightseeing spots of Kyoto. They have provided photographs of the must-see parts of this ancient temple.

    Shojuin is famous for its beautiful heart-shaped window located in the reception hall as well as its 160 pieces of ceiling art. The decorative window has been around for nearly 1,400 years and has survived disasters. It stands as a symbol of happiness.

    From outside the heart window visitors can enjoy the different flowers through the four seasons. Right now during summer the view is a green spectacle. At nighttime the outdoor garden is lit up beautifully as shown in the photo.

     

    Shojuin is famous for its summer Wind Chime Festival which is currently running until September 18.

    2,000 colourful wind chimes gently sway around the temple with the summer breeze. The chimes are there for their sound and appearance and to elicit that sense of refreshing coolness.

    Even the wind chimes are illuminated in the evenings. They are lit up on weekends only (except August 1 to 18) from 18:00-20:00.

     

    The hypnotic ring of the wind chimes sounds they are calling the wind. If you’re travelling to Kyoto this hot summer, why not plan a trip to Shojuin?

     

    Macchan has lots of other photos on their Instagram where you can feel the vibe of Kyoto. Use it as reference when you’re planning your Kyoto sightseeing.

  • This Summer, Try These Luxurious Kyoto-Limited Uji Matcha Pancakes

    25.July.2019 | FOOD

    Eggs ’n Things, Shijo Street, Kyoto will be selling luxurious Uji matcha pancakes from August 1, 2019. 

     

    Eggs ‘n Things Shijo Street first launched their delicious uji matcha pancakes back in February 2017. The pancakes quickly became a big hit among the locals as well as the tourists, appealing to visitors who wanted to discover more about Kyoto. This summer, Eggs ‘n Things is packing their Kyoto-limited pancakes with even more Kyoto goodness.

     

    These pancakes are luxuriously covered with rich matcha custard cream and garnished with rice flour dumplings, adzuki bean paste, chestnuts and a mini monaka wafer cake. Matcha is even kneaded into the pancake dough, maximising its mellow flavour. If you visit Kyoto, be sure to fully immerse yourself in the wonders of matcha ordering these matcha pancakes at Eggs ‘n Things Shijo Street, Kyoto.

  • 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!

  • 4 Shaved Ice Desserts You Have to Line Up For in Kyoto This Summer

    18.July.2019 | FOOD

    Kyoto, also known as the “old capital,” is renowned for its historical architecture and richness in traditional Japanese culture, bring in tourists every year both Japanese and foreign. The city has an especially popular food culture, serving everything from traditional Japanese cuisine to twists of contemporary cuisine.

     

    Today we take a look at 4 different shaved ice desserts you must try in Kyoto this summer all of which are equally worth lining up for.

     

    Hatagoya Rihei – Espuma Matcha Shaved Ice

    Kyoto is the home of Uji matcha, and its city of Joyo is home to Hatagoya Rihei, a Japanese confectionery shop which specialises in dorayaki, a traditional dessert in Japan which consists of two pancakes filled with sweet adzuki bean paste.

     

    The absolute must-try contender on their menu is the Espuma Matcha Shaved Ice which is lavishly packed full of matcha. Available for a limited-time only, this shaved ice is made with espuma, which is Spanish for “foam.” It’s a mix of fluffy shaved ice and a rich matcha sauce which takes on a thick mousse-like texture. The ice and sauce melts the moment it hits your tongue, creating a new kind of texture that makes for light eating. It comes with a side of toppings including matcha honey, red bean paste, rice flour dumplings, and matcha jelly. The dessert can be enjoyed from start to finish as you mix and match all the different flavours to your taste.

     

    ▼Hatagoya Rihei

    Address: Higashinokuchi-44-54 Terada, Joyo, Kyoto

    Business Hours: 10:00-18:00

    Closed: Tuesdays

    Access: Joyo Station via JR Nara Line / Terada Station via Nara Line

    Official Website: http://rihe.jp/

     

     

    Senba Miyabi – Mix Juicy Shaved Ice

    Senba Miyabi is another shop in Joyo which specialises in fruit sandwiches and confections. It is managed by the fruit shop Fruit Shop Senba which are known for their high quality fruit selection.

     

    Their Mix Juicy Shaved Ice is drizzled in a cute pink sauce which is a juiced mix of strawberry, banana, kiwi, pineapple and other fresh fruits. The shaved ice is topped with even more assorted fruits for colour and flavour, and even more fruits are hidden inside. If you like sweet things, we recommend making the flavour even richer by topping with condensed milk or ice cream.

     

    ▼Senba Miyabi

    Address: Fukurojiri-19-1 Terada, Joyo, Kyoto

    Business Hours: 10:00-19:00

    Closed: Mondays

    Access: 420m from Joyo Station via JR Nara Line

    Official Website: http://www.senba2018.com/

     

     

    Amami no Ie Takegushi – Berry Berry Custard

    Amami no Ie Takegushi is a cafe located in Kyoto Prefecture’s city of Kizugawa where you can enjoy handmade Japanese confections and pastries as well as indulge in some great coffee.

     

    Their bright-red Berry Berry Custard shaved ice is like powdered snow, topped with an strawberry and assorted berry sauce and velvety fresh cream. Hiding inside the ice is custard made with specially made condensed milk by Clover Farm in Kizugawa. It also contains condensed milk honey and frozen berries for a refreshing sweet and sour combination.

     

    ▼Amami no Ie Takegushi

    Address: 2-6-9 Umemidai, Kizugawa, Kyoto

    Business Hours: [Tues] 14:30-17:30 / [Wed-Fri] 11:00-17:30 / [Sat] 11:00-17:30

    Closed: Mondays & Sundays

    Access: 26-minutes on foot from Kizu Station via JR Kansai Main Line

    Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kyoto.kizugawa.kushitake

     

     

    Gion Tokuya – Bancha Shaved Ice

    Gion Tokuya takes the utmost pride and care in its use of high quality ingredients. Their Bancha Shaved Ice is lined with fresh lemon slices and covered in a syrup made from bancha tea and sugar. The way you eat this shaved ice is to slowly drizzle the syrup over the dessert right before eating. A spoonful will cover your taste buds with fragrant Kyoto-style bancha tea and a gentle sweetness. Eating it together with the lemon slices makes it taste like lemon tea. If you’re looking to enjoy something refreshing or to cool you down then we recommend this one!

     

    ▼Gion Tokuya

    Address: 570-127 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefectur

    Business Hours: 12:00-18:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Access:

    6-minutes on foot from Gion-Shijō Station via the Keihan Main Line
    8-minutes on foot from Kawaramachi Station via the Hankyu Kyoto Main Line

    Official Website: http://gion-tokuya.jp/index.html

     

     

    If you’re visiting Kyoto for summer then what better way to cool yourself down than with some refreshing shaved ice? Be sure to try out one of these 4 cute and unique shaved ice desserts this summer.

     

     

    Photos/Information: KYOTO SIDE

  • Delicious Matcha Desserts Released at Itohkyuemon Gion Shijo in Kyoto

    11.July.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Kyoto-based green tea company Itohkyuemon has been around since the end of the Edo period, its longevity having established itself has a hugely popular store. The company have just announced that they will open their first ever tea house extension in Kyoto called Itohkyuemon Gion Shijo on August 7.

    The cafe will serve up its own exclusive menu items from desserts to meals.

    (Left) Gion Parfait – ¥1,480 / (Right) Sweets Plate – ¥1,680

    The Gion Parfait is made with high-quality Uji matcha, something Itohkyumon is renowned for. It’s served in a large parfait class bigger than their usual matcha parfait and is stacked sumptuously with chestnuts, tamba black beans, chocolate, a slice of Uji matcha roll cake, and more.

     

    If you love Japanese tea then you’ll adore the Sweets Plate which is filled with an assortment of matcha and houjicha sweets.

    Matcha Curry Udon: ¥980

    The Matcha Curry Udon, which was previously sold only at the JR Uji Station branch of Itohkyuemon, will now be served at the new establishment. This Itohkyuemon-original dish is a combination of chewy matcha udon noodles and white broth matcha curry. The curry is also served as a souvenir; when it was first released in 2014 it sold out its stock of 2,000 in just two days. Experience matcha like never before when visiting Kyoto at Itohkyuemon Gion Shijo.

  • 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

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  • You Can Take Your Pets to These Hotels and Accommodations in Japan

    20.January.2020 | SPOT

    Online travel booking website Rakuten Travel has released this year’s list for the most popular hotels and accommodations you can stay at with pets in Japan. The list is based off travellers’ reviews taken from the website. This list has been updated and published every year since 2014, making this its 6th run.

    Placing number one on the list for the first time is Yutsura, a ryokan Japanese-style inn which opened in Shizuoka in April 2018 and can be rented by one person or group for one night. Up to six people in a single group can stay there along with up to 5 small dogs weighing 5kg or less. It’s highly favoured amongst travellers who want to take their dogs on the road due to the extent the inn caters for pets. Guests can enjoy having the dogs in their rooms as well as feed their pets there, all without being a bother to other guests.

    Nipponia Sawara Merchant Town Hotel in Chiba Prefecture came in second place. You can feel the history of this hotel accommodation which is renovated from a traditional storehouse and townhouse. It allows up to three pets in a room which collectively weigh 25kg. There are three types of rooms to choose from, including one with a dog park. It also offers various services, including a free night for one dog, snacks and amenities for dogs, and more.

    In third place is Dog Pension R65 in Shizuoka Prefecture which allows not only big and small dogs, but cats and other pets too. It offers large footbaths for dogs to use, dog parks, and many other services that cater to pets. The hotel also offers cottage-type accommodation rooms separate from the main building too if you’re looking to spend some peaceful time away with your beloved companion.

     

    If you’re looking to travel around Japan with your pet, be sure to check if a hotel allows animals. Check the link below for the full Top 10 list.

  • Bunjee Jump From the Top of Kyoto Tower With Their New VR Experience

    17.January.2020 | SPOT

    Have you ever wondered what the thrill of bungee jumping would be like, but are too afraid of heights to even consider putting it on your bucket list? Have no fear, because Kyoto Tower is bringing a new VR bungee jumping experience to the top of the building which will be available to experience from February 1 for a limited time.

    This VR experience was first brought to the tower in the fall of 2018, and this year it is making its grand return. After the event originally ended, there was huge demand for it to be held again.

    Those brave enough to have a go at this VR bungee jump (or bungy, depending where you are from), will go above and beyond the 100 meter observation deck to the highest accessible point of Kyoto Towerーup 120.9 metersーwhich is normally closed off to the public, to the special VR deck which has been prepared.

    The experience will offer you not only the thrill of jumping from Kyoto’s tallest structure, but the chance to gaze upon a panoramic view of the beautiful city too.

  • Matcha Desserts in Sapporo You Just Have To Try

    06.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    We’ve previously covered the best spots to try delicious matcha desserts in Kyoto. Now, with the help of expert dessert Instagrammer Kei, we are going to introduce you to some of the most delicious spots to try matcha desserts in Sapporo, Hokkaido.

     

    If you want to discover more delicious cafés, desserts and drinks in Hokkaido, make sure to check out Kei’s Instagram (@607keih).

     

    KotoniSand, Nishi Ward

    Macchan French Toast: ¥1200

     From dinners to desserts, this café serves up lots of meals based on their delicious thick-sliced bread. Bread flavours include plain, matcha and even coffee. You can order to go or enjoy the eat-in-limited menu. This fluffy french toast is soaked in matcha liqueur and is full of flavour even before trying it with the toppings. Take a bite of it with the red bean paste for a flavour adventure. A limited number of these are sold per day so if you want to try it, make sure to get there early. 

     

    ▼KotoniSand

    Address: 1-1-1 Yamanote 5 Jō, Nishi-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido

    Opening Hours: 11:00-18:00
    Closed: Tuesdays
    Official Website: https://kotonisand.business.site

     

    Ame no hi to yuki no hi, Minami Ward

    Gelato Futatsu: ¥450

    Located before Jozankei’s onsen hotspot is a café called Ame no hi yuki no hi. It serves delicious pizzas and a variety of gelato flavours depending on the season. Their matcha ice cream is delicious. They even allow you to order two or three flavours at once so you can enjoy a mix and match of combinations. 

    ▼Ame no hi to yuki no hi

    Address: 2-4-1, Jozankeionsennishi, Minami Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 

    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:30
    Closed: Thursdays
    Official Website: https://www.amenohitoyukinohi.com

     

    KANON pancakes, Shiroishi Ward

    Matcha Tiramisu Pancake: ¥1500

    This is a famous pancake shop in Kikusui. Tuck into a stack of fluffy pancakes inside the relaxing and soothing restaurant. The Matcha Tiramisu Pancakes are soaked with liqueur, creating a texture that is softer and moister than their standard pancakes. In addition to the matcha liqueur, the pancake is also dusted with matcha powder for a richer matcha flavour. Finally, they are drizzled with delicious brown sugar syrup and topped with walnuts.

     

    ▼KANON pancakes

    Address: 5-5-18 Kikusui 3 Jo, Shiroishi Ward, Sapporo,

    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (Last Orders: 16:00)
    No Regular Holidays
    Official Website: https://kanon-pancakes.com

     

    Any cafe, Kita Ward

    Matcha Kintoki: ¥1350

    This shop uses gluten-free ingredients in their food. This pancake dish is made using unpolished rice powder, three pieces of Turkish delight, red bean paste, rice flour dumplings, and cream made from Hokkaido-produced mascarpone and fresh cream. The cream is full of the bitter and delicious flavour of matcha, making the pancake sweet and very delicious. 

     

    ▼Any cafe

    Address: 3-2-24 Kita 18 Jonishi, Kita Ward

    Opening Hours: 11:00-18:30 (Last Orders: 18:00)
    Closed: Tuesdays

    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/any_cafe_sapporo/

     

    If you are looking for delicious matcha desserts in Sapporo, let this article help you decide where to go. When your food cravings kick in, make sure to visit Kei‘s Instagram which is full of the most delicious meals, drinks and desserts in Hokkaido. 

     

    Original Article Contents and Photos by: Kei (@607keih )

  • Tour Tokyo, Pick Strawberries and Enjoy Afternoon Tea On The ichigosan bus

    04.January.2020 | FOOD

    From their popular AWAPA Foam Party event where you can dance in a club filled with foam to their BATHTUB CINEMA event where you can watch a movie with your friends in a bathtub, Afro&Co. never fails to bring us new and creative ways to have fun. They are now collaborating with Saga prefecture to run the ‘ichigosan bus’: a sightseeing bus which will introduce you to wonderful spots in Tokyo with an unexpected strawberry twist to celebrate the first anniversary of Saga prefecture’s strawberry farm ‘ichigosan’. Enjoy strawberry picking inside the bus and then tuck into a strawberry-tastic afternoon tea set and much more. The bus will be running for a five day period from January 1 to 19, 2020.

    ichigosan Afternoon Tea

    ichigosan Panna Cotta

    The ichigosan bus commemorates one-year since Saga Prefecture launched their new brand of delicious succulent strawberries called ‘ichigosan’. The collaboration hopes to spread the delicious flavour of ichigosan strawberries to as many people as possible with the five-day-limited strawberry-tastic bus tour. Hop on the red double-decker bus, which looks just like a London tour bus, to enjoy strawberry picking on floor one and an original strawberry afternoon tea set prepared by a chef from Royal Garden Cafe Aoyama on floor two.

    ichigosan Crêpe

    ichigosan Tart

    This three-experience-in-one tour bus introduces you to the newest famous spots in the city, offers you a fun strawberry picking experience and even comes with a delicious strawberry afternoon tea set. You can book tickets in advance online and there are two kinds of tickets available for on-the-day purchases. As this is the best season to enjoy ichigosan strawberries in Japan, make the most of it on this tour and you will be berry pleased.

  • Beautiful and Delicious Lunches You Have to Try in Fukuoka

    04.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    With the help of moe, we’ve covered the best food spots in Fukuoka to enjoy a beautiful scenery, for desserts and much more. Today, we’re joined by food Instagrammer moe again to introduce you to the top lunch spots in Fukuoka. 

    cafe mii, Asakura

    Curry Plate

    cafe mii is one of those places that very few people know but is very delicious. The curry plate is full of spices and is accompanied by fried vegetables and many other side dishes. As Asakura is known for its delicious vegetables, this is the perfect opportunity to get your fill. The café is relaxing and the perfect spot to enjoy a quiet lunch.

     

    ▼cafe mii

    Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00 (Last Orders: 14:30)

    Closed: Wednesdays
    Address: Floor 2, 531-2 Tonta, Asakura, Fukuoka
    Website: https://www.instagram.com/cafe_mii/

     

    Cosses, Chihaya

    Plate Lunch

    Cosses is a bakery shop full of pastries and desserts. The Plate Lunch includes a hamburger steak, soup, salad, yoghurt and much more. The thick bread that comes with the set perfectly completes it. The wide shop is full of delicious bread and pastries that would be perfect to bring back to your family.

     

    ▼Cosses

    Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00 (Last Orders: 19:30)
    No Regular Holidays

    Address: Namiki Square Floor 1, 4-21-45, Chihaya, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka

    Official Websitehttp://cosses.orto-cafe.com/

     

    Chocolate Bar, Hirao

    Chicken Curry Risotto

    Whether you’re looking for lunch, dinner or a casual snack, this is the place to go. When you order the Chicken Curry Risotto, you can choose how spicy you want it. Risotto and curry is quite a rare combination, but it is very tasty. After your lunch, you can choose to have a gâteau au chocolat from the main menu. 

     

    ▼Chocolate Bar

    Opening Hours: 

    Lunch Menu:  11:30-15:00 (Last Orders: 15:00)

    Café Menu: 14:00-17:00 (Closed from 17:00 to 18:00)

    Dinner Menu: 18:00-22:00 (Closed from 22:00)
    Closed: Sundays
    Address: 1-11-22 Takamiya, Minami-ku, Fukuoka

    Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/CHOCOLATE-BAR-726314500885075/

     

    Filipepe, Kego

    Dry-Cured Ham and Creamy Lemon Spaghetti

    Filipepe is a hidden Italian restaurant. The Dry-Cured Ham and Creamy Lemon Spaghetti is covered in a refreshing lemon cream sauce. The thinly-sliced cured ham and creamy pasta make the perfect combination. The tongue-tantalizing menu also includes fish, meat and much more.

     

    ▼Filipepe

    Opening Hours:

    Lunch: 11:30-14:00 (Last Orders: 14:00)

    Dinner: 18:00-21:00 (Last Orders: 21:00)
    No Regular Holidays
    Address: Floor 3, 3-1-28 Kego, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka,
    Website: https://www.facebook.com/Filipepe-フィリペペ-699810910145678/

     

    Good up coffee, Hairo

    Homemade Red Bean Paste on Toast

    Good up coffee’s homemade red bean paste on toast is often greeted by a long queue of customers. The fluffy bread is like a giant cushion and is filled with a generous serving of red bean paste. The butter melts, creating a moderate salty touch to the meal. This is a very popular shop and often sells out so if you want to try it, make sure to get there early.

     

    ▼Good up coffee

    Opening Hours:

    Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday: 12:00-20:00

    Wednesday and Sunday: 12:00-18:30
    Closed: Thursdays
    Address: 1-chōme-15-18 Takasago, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
    Official Website: https://www.instagram.com/good_up_coffee/

     

    KURASUKOTO, Hairo

    Lunch Plate

    Fukuoka’s famous and popular café KURASUKOTO serves parfaits, doughnuts, puddings and other famous desserts as well as delicious lunches. Choose to have meat or fish for your lunch plate and it will be served with lots of healthy vegetables. The café also sells small miscellaneous goods too.

     

    ▼KURASUKOTO

    Opening Hours:11:30-18:00
    Closed: Mondays and Sundays
    Address: Floor 2, 1-11-21 Hirao, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka
    Official Website: https://www.kurasukoto.com/shop-hirao/

     

    Eureka, Sakurazaka

    Duck and Lotus Root Ragout Pasta

    Bistro and café Eureka is an isolated restaurant located out of the way in a residential area. The Duck and Lotus Root Ragout Pasta is available in the lunchtime menu and is served with tasty relishes made from pomegranate and Japanese persimmon. Duck and lotus root is cooked in a delicious ragout sauce with tagliatelle. The meal comes with relishes so your stomach will be left completely satisfied.

     

    ▼Eureka

    Opening Hours:Monday-Thursday: 12:00-20:00 (Last Orders: 19:00)

    Friday and Saturday: 12:00-22:00(Last Orders: 21:00)
    Closed: Sundays
    Address: 1-4-19 Sakurazaka, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

    Official Website:https://www.instagram.com/eureka.sakurazaka

     

    Yamamoto no Hamburg, Ropponmatsu

    Hamburger

    The Kanto region’s popular hamburger restaurant Yamamoto no Hamburg has opened in Fukuoka. Here, you can enjoy a burger served in a large curry bowl fit for a curry soup. The hamburger is surrounded by a hearty serving of sauce and is even topped with a mince cutlet. There is a bottle of Chinese red chile oil on the table for a satisfying meal. 

     

    ▼Yamamoto no Hamburg

    Opening Hours:

    Lunch: 11:30-15:30 (Last Orders: 14:30)

    Dinner: 17:30-22:30 (Last Orders: 21:30)
    No Regular Holidays
    Address: Ropponmatsu Kobo Floor 1, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka

    Official Website:  http://www.yamahan.tokyo/news/

     

     If you’re stuck on where to get lunch in Fukuoka, or love looking at gorgeous food, let moe’s Instagram be your guide. 

    Original article contents and photos by: moe

  • Sanrio Puroland to Run “Sweets Puro very berry sweets Party” Next Year

    02.January.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Sanrio Puroland (Puroland) will be running its popular dessert-themed event “Sweets Puro very berry sweets Party” from January 10 to March 10, 2020. 

    Puroland’s restaurants will be selling Sweets Puro-limited desserts full of a variety of berries. Restaurant Yakata on floor 4 will be serving a berry and chocolate-themed dessert buffet on select days.

    As the first dessert buffet to be held since Puroland’s renovation, there will be a photo session allowing customers to take photos of the food and characters too. 

    The event will also see the return of the evening main show “Miracle Illusion☆Happiness”, which was last performed in September 2019 and ended with guests longing for more. Hello Kitty and her beloved boyfriend Dear Daniel will also appear in adorable angel costumes. This is a wonderful chance to enjoy delicious desserts, fantastic illumination and beautiful projection mapping.

    The “My Melody Strawberry Illuminations Ichigo Ichie” is another Sweets Puro-limited event to be returning this year following its popularity. This event will run from January 10 to February 14, 2020. From February 15 to March 10, 2020, Hello Kitty’s cute singing voice will echo throughout Puroland as she performs at the illumination show “SPARKLE!! Sweet Lights”.

    After the illumination show, Puro Village will be illuminated entirely in sweet pink illumination. 

    Meet the characters dressed in berry-themed costumes at the “Very Berry Character Hug Time” event and enjoy the Valentine’s Day and White Day-themed event “Special Sweets Greeting” (fee applies). 

    You also can’t miss the dessert house photo spot and dessert-themed character merchandise, which will be available for a limited time only. 

     

    Puroland will be bursting with sweet goodness that you just can’t miss next year.

     

    ©1976, 2009 SANRIO CO., LTD.©1976, 1990, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2010, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD.

  • 7 Ways to Start Your Morning with Delicious Food in Fukuoka

    02.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Our website has loads of information on delicious desserts and food to try in Fukuoka. Today we’ll be looking at the best places to try a traditional “Morning” according to expert Instagrammer moe“Morning” is a typical breakfast enjoyed by the Japanese and is a great way to start the day. moe has been travelling from head to toe of Fukuoka, taste-testing different breakfasts and photographing them. Here are the findings. 

     

    Full Full Kaze no Mori, Kashii-Kaenmae

    Croque Madame Set and French Toast Set

    Full Full recently opened at Kashii-Kaenmae. The Croque Madame Set or the French Toast Set is the perfect way to start your day. For the croque madame, their delicious bread made from special whole wheat flour is topped with tomatoes, bacon, white sauce and a sunny-side-up egg. The french toast is made from the same round bread used to make their popular Mentai France which is a baguette topped with creamy fish roe. The fluffy bread is topped with a crispy sweet sugar coating that is scorched like a crème brûlée.

     

    ▼Full Full Kaze no Mori

    Opening Hours: 8:00-18:00 (Café Last Orders)
    Closed: Tuesdays
    Address: 7 Chome-4-2 Kasumigaoka, Higashi Ward, Fukuoka

    Official Website: https://www.full-full.jp/

     

    BAKERY TATSUYA, Minami

    Simple yet stylish, BAKERY TATSUYA is white on the interior and exterior. There is space to eat-in so it is possible to enjoy your freshly baked goods upon purchase. There is so much variety that you will be spoilt for choice.

     

    ▼BAKERY TATSUYA

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
    Closed: Mondays, every first and third Tuesday of the month.

    Address: 2 Chome-45-29 Hanahata, Minami Ward, Fukuoka

    Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/BakeryTatsuya

     

    amam dacotan, Ropponmatsu

    Fig Fruit Sandwich and Salted Milk Gelato Croissant 

    amam dacotan’s crusty bread is so delicious that it appeared on TV. The shop is packed with different varieties of bread. Alongside the takeout menu there is also an eat-in-limited menu. The Salted Milk Gelato Croissant is an exquisite balance of sweetness and saltiness that you just have to try.

     

    ▼amam dacotan

    Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00 (Sales end once stock is depleted)

    Closed: Wednesdays
    Address: 3-chōme-7-6 RopponmatsuChūō-ku, Fukuoka

    Website: https://www.instagram.com/amam_dacotan/

     

    Siro coffee, Josei

    Red Bean Jam and Butter Sandwich with a Japanese Tea Latte

    The simple and stylish interior of Siro Coffee has earned its Instagram fame. Treat yourself to a warm red bean paste and butter sandwich to enjoy the sweetness of the paste as it fuses with the saltiness of the butter. Everything is packed into a neat and beautiful small bun. The rich Japanese tea latte is the perfect way to finish off a refreshing meal. 

     

    ▼Siro coffee

    Opening Hours: 12:00-19:00
    Closed: Wednesdays and the first and third Tuesday of the month.
    Address: 2-12-16 Josei, Sawara Ward, Fukuoka
    Official Website: https://www.instagram.com/siro_coffee/

     

    Shirogane Sabo, Hirao

    Platinum Salad Morning

    Shirogane Sabo’s classic pancakes can be simply enjoyed as they are for a buttery flavour or enhanced as you please by adding maple syrup or honey. The Platinum Salad Morning comes with juice, the platinum salad, classic pancakes and coffee. Shirogane Sabo can get quite crowded so it is best to reserve a time slot if you are set on going.

     

    ▼Shirogane Sabo
    Opening Hours:

    Weekdays: 10:00-22:00(Last Orders: 21:00)

    Weekends and National Holidays: 8:00-22:00(Last Orders 21:00)
    Address: 1 Chome-11-7 Shirogane, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka

    No closing days.
    Website: http://s-sabo.com/

     

    Bread, Espresso & Hakata &, Fukuoka Ekimae

    Teppan French Toast

    Mu-Mentai

    A Bread, Espresso & Hakata & opened in Hakata. This branch serves the Fukuoka-limited Mu-Mentai where you can enjoy a heap of creamy fish roe covered in butter and cream. The bread and sandwiches start to sell out past lunchtime so make sure you get there early if you are interested. 

     

    ▼Bread, Espresso & Hakata &

    Opening Hours:8:00-20:00
    No Regular Holidays
    Address: 2-8-12 Hakataekimae, 1F, Hakata, Fukuoka
    Website: https://www.instagram.com/bread.espresso.and.hakata/

     

    Blue Jam, Sawara

    Croissant d’Amande Choco Banana 

    Blue Jam uses carefully-selected natural ingredients in their bread and pastries. The luxurious Croissant d’Amande Choco Banana is a three-in-one almond, banana and chocolate croissant. The melon pan here is also delicious.

     

    ▼Blue Jam

    Opening Hours:8:00-18:00 (Last Orders: 17:30)
    Closed: Sundays
    Address: 3-1-41 Tamura, Sawara Ward, Fukuoka
    Official Website: http://www.bluejam-fukuoka.com/

     

     So, what do you think? moe’s Instagram is full of the most delicious lunches you have ever seen. If you’re struggling on where to go for breakfast in Fukuoka, let moe’s Instagram be your guide. 

    Original Article Information and Photos by:  moe

  • Top Matcha Desserts in Kyoto Perfect for Your Next Instagram Post

    01.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

     When you think of Kyoto, matcha immediately comes to mind. Today with the help of the Kansai region’s expert dessert Instagrammer Tiara, we’ll be introducing you to the top matcha dessert shops of the Kansai region. 

     

    Kawatomo, Fushimi 

    Matcha Ganache Cake

    This matcha ganache cake looks just as good as it tastes. The beautiful smooth matcha coating is delicious and rich. The cake is best enjoyed with a cup of coffee and is the perfect sophisticated treat. 

     

    Kawatomo

    Address: 792 Nishishujakuchō, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto,

    Opening Hours: 11:30-18:00

    Closed: Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays

    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chika_ara/

    Chasho Shimizu Ippoen Kyoto
    Matcha Tiramisu Parfait

    A delicious spun sugar decoration rests on top of the melt-in-the-mouth matcha tiramisu parfait. The mascarpone and matcha ice cream is made completely from Hokkaido milk. The balance of flavours and moderate sweetness makes this parfait irresistible. 

    Chasho Shimizu Ippoen 

    Address: 665 Honkawaracho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto

    Entry:11:00-16:00

    Closed: Mondays*

    *Open on National Holiday Mondays but closed the following day. Closed during the New Year Period.

    Official Website: https://ippoen.co.jp

    MATCHA REPUBLIC, Shimogyō Ward

    Rock Salt Cheese Bubble Matcha Latte/ Bubble Matcha Latte
    This unique drink belongs on Instagram. A cute ink bottle is filled with a mildly sweet matcha drink accented with a hint of salt. You’ve never tried anything quite like this before.

    ▼MATCHA REPUBLIC

    Address: Floor 1, 721-1 Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto

    Opening Hours: 9:00-21:00

    Official Website: https://www.matcha-republic.com

    JTRRD cafe KYOTO, Nakagyō 

    Uji Matcha Smoothie (Kyoto-Limited)

    Pink, red, orange, yellow, purple, green – this Uji matcha smoothie is a rainbow of colours. There are four different designs and you can choose from three varieties of fruit to decorate the inside of your cup. Each smoothie is made of fruit and vegetables, making this a healthy way to indulge in matcha. It is so beautiful you won’t want to drink it.

    ▼JTRRD cafe KYOTO

    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00

    Closed: The third Monday of every month. No regular holidays.

    Address: 135-1 Doyucho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto

    https://tabelog.com/kyoto/A2601/A260202/26032793/dtlmap/

     

    If you’re looking for a shop to satisfy your matcha cravings, you can’t go wrong with Tiara’s recommendations.

     

    Tiara’s Instagram never fails to keep us updated on the most delicious and beautiful desserts in the Kansai region so check it out.  

     

    Article Contents and Photos by @happy_pinkrose_tiara

  • 5 Must-Eat Succulent Strawberry Desserts in Kyoto That Are Simply Kawaii

    31.December.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Winter is here, which means that the season of strawberries has finally fallen upon Japan. Today we are joined by Instagrammer Tiara, who enjoys posting their adventures around Japan’s Kansai region to try out all of the sweets and desserts. We are taking a look at must-visit locations in Kyoto for a taste of their tempting strawberry delights.

     

    LITT UP.KYOTO in Gion-Shijō

    At LITT UP.KYOTO, their “ichigoame” lets you enjoy strawberries in their original cute form.

    They are coated in sweet strawberry candy and served on sticks in cups reminiscent of something from a Japanese festival. Part of their allure is how perfect they are as a tasty treat for walking around with. There’s even popping candy attached to the strawberries for an even sweeter textural treat.

     

    ▼LITT UP.KYOTO Gion

    Address: 533 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto

    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00

    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/litt_up_kyoto/

     

    Kissa Zou in Imadegawa

    The “Kisetsu no Babaroa” (Seasonal Baravois) at Kissa Zou has an springy texture and sits in a sweet and sour strawberry sauce.

    I recommend ordering one of the separate elephant cookies to place on top too to make this an even cuter dessert.

     

    ▼Kissa Zou

    Address: 440-3 Santeicho, Kamigyo, Kyoto

    Opening Hours: 9:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:00)

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kissa_zou/

     

    Chounohane in Fushimi

    At Chounohane they are serving strawberry barquettes as well as mini versions of them. The dessert itself is of course beautiful, but is made even more so by the antique plate♡

     

    ▼Chounohane

    Address: 791 Nishishujakucho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: [Tues/Sat/Sun] Shop & Cafe 11:00-17:00 / [Fri] Shop Only 11:00-17:00

    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chounohane/

     

    Utanekodo in Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae

    Utanekodo was renovated from a 100+ year old building and has its own cat cafe. The cafe space is located on the first floor.

    Their “Nyanko Strawberry Milk” speaks for itself, topped with adorable kitty ice cream and delicious with its subtly sweet taste.

     

    ▼Utanekodo

    Address: 155-4 Tachibanayanagicho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 13:00-20:00 (Last Orders 19:00)

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website: http://utanekodo.com/

     

    MASHOLA in Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae

    Finally we have the “Strawberry Tiramisu Cube Cake” served at MASHOLA, a Korean-style cafe. This cake is made with refreshing homemade tiramisu cream, delightful sponge, and is packed full of sweet and sour strawberries which complement the entire thing.

     

    ▼MASHOLA

    Address: 1-A MOVIX, 406 Sakuranocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00

    Official Website: https://mashola.business.site/

     

    All of these cafes are wonderful, so if you’re in Kyoto for the strawberry season, be sure to visit as many as you can.

     

    Tiara has plenty of other recommendations over on their Instagram page, so if you’re a sweet tooth looking for something sweet to indulge in around the Kansai area, be sure to give them a follow.

     

    Text & Photos: @happy_pinkrose_tiara

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Winter is Coming: Warm Up With Hot Pot at Hot Spring Hotel Hoshino Resorts KAI

    29.December.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    The cold weather is here, and it’s only set to get colder. When winter falls in Japan, one of the best things people like to do is cook hot pot. Hoshino Resorts is offering the same service for guests this winter at 14 branches of their ‘KAI’ onsen ryokan (hot spring Japanese inn) brand hotels up and down Japan, with each hot pot filled with the taste of local cuisine.

     

    Winter is truly the best time to eat hot pot for Japanese people, as they huddle around the table nice and toasty and tuck into their piping hot dinner. We’re showcasing 9 of the hot pots you can enjoy at Hoshino Resorts KAI this winter season.

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru: “Gyu Shabu” – Dashi made delicious with plentiful dried tuna

    KAI Tsugaru is situated in Aomori, and this hot pot is made one with one of the prefecture’s most famous ingredients: tuna, which is caught during the autumn and winter seasons. The main player of this beef shabu hot pot is its dashi which is made from the sweet juices of tuna which go deliciously well with the beef. If you’re looking for a hot pot that’s a little different from the usual options, you’ll love this one.

     

    Running: September 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Except December 29-January 1)
    Plan Name: Ooma no Gaguro Zukushi Kaiseki (大間のまぐろづくし会席)
    Price: From ¥24,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/tsugaru.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Kaga: “Kani Sukinabe” – Zuwai-gani snow crab

    At KAI Kaga, which is located in Yamashiroonsen, Ishikawa, this hot pot they have cooked up is made in a kombu dashi and is filled with legs of zuwai-gani snow crab and a variety of winter vegetables like bok choy and edible chrysanthemums.

    The dish makes full use of the delicious flavour of the crab. It’s also served in kunitani-ware made by a young craftsman and Yamanaka lacquer ware, adding to the originality of this hot pot.

     

    Running: November 7, 2019 – March 10, 2020 (Except December 29-January 6)
    Plan Name: Katsu Kani Zukushi no Tagu Zuki Kani Kaiseki (活蟹づくしのタグ付き蟹会席)
    Price: From ¥47,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/kaga.html

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps: “Yuki Nabe” – Thawing of spring

    The hot pot at KAI Alps in Nagano includes fluffy cotton candy which is based on the snowy mountains of the alps. When you pour the soup over, the cotton candy melts, symbolising the thawing of spring, to reveal the beef and vegetables. The cotton candy adds a light sweetness to the soup as well as fun visual effect.

     

    Running: December 1, 2019 – May 31, 2020 (Except December 31-January 3)
    Plan Name: Yuki Nabe Kaiseki (雪鍋会席)
    Price: From ¥25,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/alps.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Kinugawa: “Ise Ebi & Roast Beef Ryujin Nabe” – The dragon god’s hot pot

    KAI Kinugawa in Tochigi has created a hot pot based around the legend of the Ryuokyo dragon god, capturing its malevolence. It’s cooked over stones heated to almost 800℃.The soup bubbles as the pot begins to boil and cooks the seafood and other local ingredients from Tochigi, making sure to draw every last delicious drop of flavour from them.

     

    Running: December 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Except December 28-January 4)
    Plan Name: Ise Uni to Gyuu Roosu no Ryuujin Nabe Kaiseki (伊勢海老と牛ロースの龍神鍋会席)
    Price: From ¥31,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/kinugawa.html

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara: “Uni & Beef Sukinabe” – Satisfying spices from the mountains and seas

    KAI Sengokuhara in Kanagawa has created a hot pot that’s made with lots of ingredients from the mountains and the seas. By using a bounty of uni, which goes incredibly well with beef, it adds a rich sweetness to the overall flavour. There is also a secret flavour hidden under it all: syrup made from the ao mikan citrus which grows in the city of Odawara. This not only adds an exquisite sourness to the hot pot, but also serves to elevate the sweetness of the uni.

     

    Running: June 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020
    Plan Name: Uni to Gyuu no Sukinabe Kaiseki (雲丹と牛のすき鍋会席)
    Price: From ¥46,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/sengokuhara.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Ito: “Sankai Nabe” – Soaking up the mountains and seas of Ito

    Shizuoka is home to KAI Ito, where guests can enjoy yet another hot pot lavish with ingredients from the mountains and the seas, like splendid alfonsino―which Ito enjoys an abundance of―as well as seasonal vegetables and beef. There are two soups to combine these ingredients with: a bouillabaisse which contains a dashi made from fish from Ito filled with splendid alfonsino and vegetables, and a beef soup.

     

    Running: October 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Except December 31-January 3)
    Plan Name: Sankai Nabe (山海鍋)
    Price: From ¥25,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/ito.html

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Enshu: “Tecchiri” – A taste of the Torafugu tiger pufferfish

    KAI Enshu is another hot spring inn, located in Hamamatsu in Shizuoka. Their “Tecchiri” is made with Torafugu tiger pufferfish. None of the flavour of the fugu is wasted in this hot pot, and that is proven as the entire thing is made right in front of customers’ eyes. The zōsui is made with a KAI Enshu-original blend of sencha green tea called souka (爽華), which ensures that element of locality is included in the dish as Shizuoka is famous for its tea.

     

    Running: October 5, 2019 – March 31, 2020 (Except December 29-January 3)
    Plan Name: Fugu Zukushi Kaiseki (ふぐづくし会席)
    Price: From ¥31,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/enshu.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Izumo: “Kani Sukinabe” – Collaboration between Katsu Matsubagani & Shijimi

    KAI Izumo is situated in Tamatsukuri Onsen, an onsen hot spring in Tamayu, Shimane. Their “Kani Sukinabe” is made with rich snow crab crab which has an exquisite sweetness and is soft in texture. From beginning to end, this hot pot is a crab party in your mouth.

     

    Running: November 7, 2019 – March 10, 2020 (Except December 31-January 4)
    Plan Name: Tagu Zuki Katsu Matsubagani Zukushi Kaiseki (タグ付き活松葉蟹づくし会席)
    Price: From ¥45,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/izumo.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso: “Netakuri Nabe” – Rich miso and cheese

    The base of the soup in KAI Aso, located in Kumamoto, is a mix of milk from Jersey cattle and miso. It contains wagyu Japanese beef and seasonal vegetables. Its appearance is based on the Aso Caldera region of Kumamoto Prefecture and its incredibly vast grasslands.

     

    Running: September 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Except December 29-January 3)
    Plan Name: Wagyuu to Caciocavallo o Tanoshimu Netakuri Nabe (和牛とカチョカヴァロを楽しむねたくり鍋)
    Price: From ¥46,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/aso.html

     

     

    Below is a video which showcases each of these local hot pot dishes, so be sure to check it out if you’re not already watering at the mouth

     

    All of these hot pots are made with only the best local ingredients as expected of KAI, and all are available for the rest of winter only. Guests can experience the local regions not only through the food, but in the tableware each hotel uses. If you’re in Japan this winter, be sure to book with one of the many Hoshino Resorts KAI branches and stay warm with a delicious serving of hot pot.

  • Rakuten Travel Reveals Japan’s Top Hot Spring Locations For Women Travelling Solo

    22.December.2019 | SPOT

    Travel booking website Rakuten Travel has revealed the 2019 ranking for Japan’s most popular onsen, or “hot spring” sites for women travelling alone. Taking the crown at No. 1 is Hakodate Yunokawa Onsen in Hokkaido.

    Night view of Hakodate

    The Le Havre lounge in Hakodate Kokusai Hotel

    Hakodate Yunokawa Onsen placed at No. 3 in last year’s ranking. It rated highly amongst women for it being so close to Hakodate Airport, as well as it being easy to access local tourist and sightseeing spots by train from there like the Hakodate Morning Market (Hakodate Asaichi) and Mount Hakodate, which is listed as one of Japan’s Three Night Views. The area also offers a variety of accommodation options, from long-standing traditional ryokan inns to business hotels.

    Dogo Onsen

    In second place is Dogo Onsen, a hugely popular hot spring location with Dogo Yamanote Hotel having ranked number one in Rakuten Travel’s list for the most leisurely accommodations for women travelling solo.

    Rose Bath at Dogo Yamanote Hotel

    In recent years, the number of plans for women travelling solo as well as services for renting open air baths for one person have been on the increase. Dogo Onsen is a 25-minute train journey from Matsuyama Station via the JR line and a 40-minute bus ride from Matsuyama Airport.

    Hakone Tozan Railway

    Hakone Yumoto Onsen ranks at No. 3. Despite the effects of the earthquake, the hot spring has enjoyed solid popularity, with Rakuen Travel having given travel coupons and offering special plans to help raise money and support the area. It’s only about an hour and a half’s train ride from Shinjuku Station, it offers plans to stay at local hotels, and it’s easy to set up a travel plan to visit there, which is what has led to its popularity.

     

    Yugawara Onsen in Kanagawa came in 4th place, while Yufuin Onsen in Oita came in 5th. Use this list as reference when planning which hot springs to visit in Japan.

  • Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo: Kyoto’s Dessert House Releases Matcha Tiramisu and New Cheese Products

    20.December.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo opened in Kiyomizu Gojozaka, Kyoto in July this year as the first place in Kyoto to specialise in “bottled cheesecakes.” This month, they are releasing four new products to continue the cheese craze right to the end of 2019.

    The first is a revamp of their number one most popular soft serve cheese ice cream: the “Chocolate Mont Blanc Cheese Soft.” The soft serve ice cream is a mix of refreshingly sweet milk and rich cheese topped with a full-bodied mont blanc-style chocolate—a welcome addition during the winter months when you want to stay in and indulge in some chocolate. The ice cream is finished with crushed chocolate pieces and a crowning raspberry to create a chocolate cake in a cone. You’re sure to become a frequent customer after a bite of this.

    And for the Christmas season only, between December 18th-25th the shop is also selling another special soft serve that’s made to look like a Christmas tree. The cheese soft serve is covered with a sprinkling of Uji matcha powder and adorned with chocolate pearls and stars.

    Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo is also releasing hot versions of its “Kiyomizu Cheese Drink” and “Matcha Cheese Tea,” the iced versions of which were greatly enjoyed in summer. The Matcha Cheese Tea can also now be ordered with tapioca topping, creating a delicious combination between the expertly crafted rich matcha cheese tea and the chewy and sugary tapioca pearls.

    Also released this month is the “Homemade Matcha Tiramisu” when is served in a traditional masu box and served only on the second floor eat-in section. This irresistible delight is made with flavourful mascarpone cheese and bitter Uji matcha from Kyoto to create a dessert that’s perfect during a trip or day out in Kyoto. Because of the hard labour that goes into creating this dessert, only 5-10 are served per day, so be sure to arrive early to not miss the opportunity.

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