Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo Offers Luxurious Accommodation Plan & Tea Ceremony Experience For Families

05.August.2019 | SPOT

Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo, a highly prestigious and magnificent 4-star hotel located in Shinjuku, is now serving an all-new “luxurious” family package which includes a tea ceremony experience and much more. It is currently running from July 20 to September 1.

The rooms offered in the accommodation plan are the hotel’s popular Wide Twin Rooms located on the Premier Grand club floor. Use of the Club Lounge is included in the package. The Wide Twin Rooms include two roomy queen-size beds which span 1.53 meters wide which allow parents to sleep comfortably with their children. Rooms also feature their own bathroom facilities.

 

The package also includes a check-in simulation for children aged 6-12 years where they can get a feel for what it’s like to check-in. They will fill in their own check-in cards with parents and receive a ticket for the tea ceremony experience. They will be able to take their card home with them and take a commemorative photo.

The tea ceremony experience will be held on the hotel’s 10th floor in the “Shofuan,” an authentic tearoom that has been in the hotel since it opened in 1971. Parents and children will receive proper instruction from the tea ceremony teacher before pouring their own tea, allowing them to learn about traditional Japanese culture and etiquette. They will receive a special certificate of completion at the end.

 

If you’re travelling to Japan as a family this summer then enjoy it in luxury at Hotel Keio Plaza Tokyo.

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Stay in a Traditional Japanese Hotel in Kosuge Village Where the Population is Just 700

    04.August.2019 | BUSINESS / SPOT

    NIPPONIA Kosuge Genryū no Mura is a new hotel opening in the village of Kosuge in Kitatsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture on August 17. The hotel is renovated from an old Japanese-style house that was originally used for local personages and was constructed over 150 years ago.

    Kosuge is about two-hours from Tokyo and is completely enveloped in the natural environment with 95% of the land occupied by trees and nature. Its population is around 700 which is a mere third of its peak population. It is currently faced with a serious depopulation problem due to its ageing population.

    The hotel will open in an effort to pass on the beautiful landscapes and culture of the village to the next generation. It hopes to aid in solving the problem of its declining population and empty houses while acting as a means to bring in tourism and sightseeing.

    The hotel serves as just the first part of this village revitalisation project. It features 4 guest rooms called OHYA as a restaurant that seats 22.

    There are three rooms in the main building and one in the basement. Each is designed with privacy in mind and each has its own concept.

    OHYA 1

    From the rooms guests can enjoy the view of the gorgeous Japanese-style gardens surrounding the hotel.

    The restaurant menu concept is titled 24 Sekki, which denotes the twenty four seasonal turning points of the old Japanese calendar, and is made using carefully local ingredients so that guests can enjoy an authentic Kosuge experience.

    All the staff at the hotel are local villagers. The majority of the ingredients used in there are grown and produced by the farmers of Kosuge. The hotel also offers other services for guests to  get to know the area better such as nature walks and bike rides through the village. You are made to feel like one of the locals.

     

    A second building will be renovated in May 2020 to accommodate two more rooms. There are 70-100 vacant buildings in Kosuge, so there are plans in place to receive permission from landlords to make further repairs, improvements and renovations.

     

    If you’re travelling to Japan and are looking for a truly remote experience then why not visit the quaint little village of Kosuge in Yamanashi Prefecture?

  • Snoopy Themed PEANUTS HOTEL Celebrates 1st Anniversary

    03.August.2019 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    To celebrate the 1st anniversary of the PEANUTS HOTEL, which opened on August 1, 2018, the hotel has released a collection of original commemorative merchandise.

    The PEANUTS hotel is home to 18 rooms each with its own unique design. The merchandise collection is themed on each of these rooms.

    PEANUTS HOTEL “Happiness is a warm puppy..” (Room 64) – ¥3,500

    The theme of Room 64 is “Happiness is a warm puppy,” so the PEANUTS HOTEL has made that a reality by creating a huggable Snoopy plush toy which is so cute and soft you’ll never want to let him go. He is a smaller version of the big Snoopy you can hug in Room 64, meaning you can take him anywhere with you!

    PEANUTS HOTEL 1ST ANNIVERSARY Postcards (5 Designs / 2 Included With Each) – ¥2,200

    The hotel’s postcard sets are popular with guests, and to celebrate the 1st anniversary, it is selling limited edition designs. Using special manufacturing methods, the hotel has released sets themed on Rooms 44, 57, 61 and 62. They are packaged in a beautiful box that looks like the outside of the hotel and its windows. They are great for both sending to someone with a message or for simply using them as decoration in your own room.

    PEANUTS HOTEL x tegoto “solarsystem” (Room 42) – ¥49,000 (Only 30 Available)

    PEANUTS HOTEL has teamed up with the internationally popular product brand tegoto to release mobiles inspired by Astronaut Snoopy which is the theme of Room 42. Each mobile is handcrafted individually and features Snoopy, Woodstock and the planetary system. Perfect for both kids and adults alike!

    *Only 30 available. Each comes with its own unique handwritten serial number.

     

    PEANUTS Cafe Nakameguro and PEANUTS DINER Yokohama are also joining in the celebration with their own pop-up corner which will run for the whole month of August. For this limited time only, they will sell items which are usually exclusive to the PEANUTS HOTEL.

    “Lila” Aroma Essential Oils – ¥2,300 / Aroma Air Mist – ¥2,200 / Aroma Stone Diffuser – ¥2,200 / PEANUTS HOTEL Bath Towel – ¥3,200, Face Towel – ¥1,800, Amenity Set – ¥3,400 / Compression Bag (Contains 5) – ¥1,500

    These items are also available over on the PEANUTS Cafe Online Shop. Join Snoopy and his friends in celebrating the 1st anniversary of the PEANUTS HOTEL by picking up some cute merch!

     

    *All listed prices are pre-tax.

    © 2019 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

  • Live the Disney Princess Dream With Tokyo Disneyland Hotel’s Luxurious Afternoon Tea

    25.July.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    If you’ve had the chance to visit Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea you will have tried the many delicious dishes and drinks on offer at its variety of restaurants. But did you ever know that Tokyo Disney Resort also offers afternoon tea?

     

    Tokyo Disneyland Hotel serves the only afternoon tea set across the entire resort on occasion in line with certain events.

    We had the pleasure of joining Disney mega fan Kanako as she went to visit the hotel to try this very special afternoon tea.

    Tokyo Disneyland Hotel is the closest hotel to the entrance of Tokyo Disneyland. The first thing you will notice upon stepping inside is its use of Victorian decor. The ceiling also stands tall, opening the entire hotel up to give it a sense of space.

    The afternoon tea is sold at the Dreamers Lounge in the lobby. In line with the Donald’s Hot Jungle Summer event currently taking place at Tokyo Disneyland until September 1, the tea set is also “hot jungle summer” themed.

    The first thing to note about the three-stack set is how refreshing and summery it looks – a perfect selection for the hot season. It comes with sandwiches, hors d’oeuvre, scones, desserts, and a choice of tea or coffee.

    Kanako started with the very top plate. The plate itself is decorated with what is supposed to look like Donald’s footprints and splashes of water.

    The dessert on the left is haupia, a traditional Hawaiian dessert made with macadamia paste and roasted coconuts. It’s crunchy and has an incredible flavour.

    Sitting temptingly next to it is the panna cotta and melon coulis. It contains a single sage leaf which adds flavourful herb notes. The entire dessert itself has a satisfyingly refreshing taste which covers your taste buds with a single mouthful.

    The middle plate features two types of scones: plain and pineapple. They come with separate servings of clotted cream and honey to lather the scones in. The latter scone is cute in that it’s actually shaped like a pineapple. It’s crunchy and delicious and goes exquisitely with the accompanying tea.

    The tea menu has many options. Kanako went for the “Darjeeling Summer” from the premium tea selection. When you order from the premium menu your tea is prepared in a sleeping pot that is both cute and extravagant as you would expect with an afternoon tea set.

    The bottom plate contains a bunch of different appetisers including tuna and okra tartar, mango and mascarpone canapé, tomato and fish capellini, keema curry quiche, and an ethnic pork sandwich.

    Kanako was very happy with her hors d’oeuvre, saying: “Everything is delicious, but I really like the combination of the pork and the slightly chewy bread for the pork sandwich!”

    The chilled cone cream scoop was very refreshing and a perfect palate cleanser.

    Finally, the cute hot jungle summer dessert plate which caught our attention from the very start. It comes with a tropical cream cheese and passion fruit mousse, white grape and shiikuwasha jelly, and Peach Melba which looks like flowing magma.

     

    You might be surprised to find out that the jungle leaves on the plate aren’t actually part of the plate’s design but in fact green chocolate carefully sprayed on.

    Even the Goofy, Mickey and event logo on the plate are delicately made from chocolate. Once you know that you’ll definitely be reaching for the camera straight away!

     

    The Peach Melba is a lovely combination of peach compote and vanilla ice cream topped with raspberry sauce and almonds. Its mix sweet and sour flavours remind one of summertime.

    It’s not everyday you see a cream cheese mousse, is it? The one that Donald is sat on. Kanako especially enjoyed its passion fruit scent and velvety texture. It’s made even more delicious when eaten together with the jelly surrounding it.

    So, which was your favourite, Kanako-chan?

     

    “Everything tasted amazing, but my favourite was the haupia♡ It’s moderately sweet, and I really liked the flavour of the coconut! Everything in the afternoon tea set is cute down to the tiniest details, so it’s perfect for taking photos for social media. I definitely wanna go again!”

     

    The Donald’s Hot Jungle Summer themed afternoon tea set is being served from 11:30-17:00 until September 1, 2019. Places are limited so I recommend making a reservation in advance.

     

    Enjoy your summer to the fullest with this tropical afternoon tea set!

     

    ©️Disney

  • Witness Beautiful Japanese Art at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo’s 100 Step Staircase

    24.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Those interested in Japanese art should most definitely visit the hotel and museum Hotel Gajoen Tokyo which is now holding the 5th Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan art exhibition until September 1.

    It is taking place at its Hyakudan Kaidan, or ‘100 Steps Staircase’―which was registered by Tokyo Prefecture as a Tangible Cultural Property in 2009 for its exceptional architecture and artistic beauty. This year’s event has been made bigger and better with brand new exhibits.

    Visitors will ride the exquisitely decorated elevator and first come to an Aomori Nebuta Festival-style float as pictured above with its bright colours and angry gaze. This piece was created specially for the event. It also gives off an original summery smell too.

    As you follow the path deeper into the exhibition―having first taken off your shoes―you will come a line of cloth crafts. You can switch on the lights inside to light up each piece which radiate the natural colours of the material. There are many cloth work pieces on display to enjoy.

    This is what it looks like when looking up the 100 Step Staircase from the bottom. You will come to several rooms when ascending the stairs with light displays in them.

    This is the first room inside which is a display created by bamboo lighting artist NITTAKE from Nichinan, Miyazaki. The bamboo is beautiful on its own but even more so when the lights are turned on in a dark room as the entire room is turned into artwork itself.

    Continuing on you come to the “Nagasaki Lantern Festival.” You can see the lights before you even enter the room and they plunge you into that Japanese festival atmosphere. It’s truly spectacular inside. It’s different from the previous room which was dark with lights hanging from it. It’s even more bright and colourful. It made me want to visit the real Nagasaki Lantern Festival which boasts 1 million visitors every year.

    This room contains umbrella art using Japanese umbrellas from Yamaga, Kumamoto. The colours of the umbrellas turn the room into something magical. The room has a relaxing, soothing vibe to it that makes you want to gaze in silence.

    Dangling further up the stairs are wind chimes which continue the summer vibes.

    There are many unique art pieces too such as these goldfish from Yanai, Yamaguchi. There is artwork from around 40 individuals and groups so there is lots to be discovered. Take your time to admire each and every thing in there.

    The stairs actually go up to 99. Once you have seen the final exhibition on the top floor it’s time to return to the bottom where you take your shoes off.

    Whether you’re interested in art or Japanese culture, this exciting event is one not to be missed this summer.

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

    28.June.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The area surrounding Tokyo Station is home to many different types of hotels. One standout location is Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo. This hotel, which featured in Michelin Guide Tokyo 2017, renovated 30% of its guest rooms as part of its 10th anniversary. Its concept is a modern-style ryokan (a traditional Japanese in) and it stands just so as the closest to Tokyo Station. Today, we will take a look at the hotel’s design rooms.

    Of its 38 rooms, 33 of them take on a ryokan style design. The rooms are fitted with small tatami flooring spaces where guests must take their shoes off on which sits a small chabudai, a short-legged table, on a raised floor. These elements have a nostalgic quality to them with Japanese guests and an inherently Japanese feel to them for foreign guests.

    The carpet is decorated with a chrysanthemum design in a traditional Japanese dusky purple colour.

    There are also kendama toys, books on Japanese confections and more to elevate that feeling of Japanese culture. There is plenty of space for tired bodies to relax after a long day trip.

    The other 5 rooms are “Office Rooms” made with business workers in mind. They come with a big sofa and whiteboards to create a lounge-type space.

     

    All of the bed mattresses are the highest quality models provided by long-standing bed makers Nishikawa. They aren’t excessively soft which I really liked and ensure a long, deep and natural sleep.

     

    Rooms come with three types of original tea blended by the staff so you can pick whichever caters to your mood that day.

    The feature you must absolutely try however is the hotel’s breakfast. It’s served in a buffet style so there is plenty to choose from with everything from Japanese-style food to Western-style. The buffet is packed with vegetables too so you can get your daily intake nice and early.

     

    All of the new rooms are double rooms and are priced from ¥27,000 per night. The price changes depending on the season to be sure to check the official website for more details.

     

    If you’re looking for a taste of Japan with that ryokan feel then be sure to check out Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Experience Art and the Japanese Tea Ceremony Come Together at hotel koe tokyo’s Private Lounge

    14.October.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    “hotel koe tokyo” isn’t your everyday normal hotel. Developed and produced by “koe,” the hotel brings together fashion, music, cuisine, and a luxury accommodation experience. In line with DESIGNART TOKYO 2019, the hotel has announced it will hold a reservation-only event entitled “DESIGNART TOKYO 2019: Tea ceremony by artless+asahiyaki” at its third-floor private lounge on October 19 and 20.

    Asahi ware is a type of Japanese pottery originating in Uji, Kyoto almost 400 years ago. Hosai Matsubayashi is the 16th generation master of this long-running workshop, known as Asahiyaki, and he’s set to collaborate with Shun Kawakami, an artist and art director of global branding agency artless Inc. The collaboration is being held to promote Japanese culture not only to the people of Japan but those overseas too, and “hotel koe tokyo” is the perfect place to do it due to the huge number of foreign visitors that stay at the hotel.

    The two of them have taken the traditional Japanese tearoom and have put a modern spin on it. Normally, this private lounge of the hotel is only usable by guests staying there, but this reservation-only event will grant exclusive access to all. It brings together Japanese tea and art in the form of a special tea-making course. Attendees will follow Hosai Matsubayashi’s instructions and prepare their own tea. During the session, both Matsubayashi and Kawakami will give talks on their work while you enjoy your tea.

    Take advantage of this special occasion to learn about the beauty of Japanese tea.

  • Suiran Ranks as Japan’s Best Hotel in Condé Nast Traveler For Second Year in a Row

    14.October.2019 | SPOT

    “Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto” has ranked as the number one hotel in Japan for the second year in a row in the Japan’s Top Hotels category of Readers’ Choice Awards 2019 in Condé Nast Traveler.

    The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards lists the world’s best travel experiences as ranked by international travellers. Over 600,000 people voted Suiran as Japan’s best hotel for the second time.

    Suiran is located in Arashiyama, Kyoto and first opened in March 2015 under a brand of luxury hotels known as The Luxury Collection®. The hotel’s concept is to make full use of Arashiyama’s appeal, lauded for its deep culture and history, while paving the way to the future. It houses guests from around the world who can enjoy a view of Arashiyama’s lush natural landscape which changes beautifully with the seasons, and who can experience a fusion of the traditional and the modern while being served classic Kyoto hospitality.

    Speaking about the award, the hotel’s general manager Hiroyuki Hatori said the following: “I am greatly honoured that we have been given the number one spot two years in a row in this internationally-recognised poll. To all the people in the region who continue to support Suiran, and to all our guests who use the hotel, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. These results are an incentive to further work hard with our associates to ensure this is a hotel that people will love even more.”

     

    If you are travelling to Kyoto and looking for a place to stay, why not consider the city’s best: Suiran, a hotel which continues to pass down tradition while embracing the modern?

  • Izu Shaboten Zoo Opens New Hotel Izushaboten Village

    12.October.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Izu Shaboten Zoo in Ito, Shizuoka has opened its very own hotel Izushaboten Village Petit Hotel which is less than a minutes’ walk from the zoo itself, making it an ideal location for those looking to see the animals so they can take their time at their own leisure.

    The hotel offers various different rooms, from modern and chic to the Izu Shaboten Zoo Room, Pirate Room and more. Each room has its own unique touch you won’t find anywhere else. The hotel also offers an accommodation plan that comes with entry tickets to the zoo.

    For food, guests can enjoy dining at La Chic, a new restaurant that opened in spring this year that makes use of homegrown vegetables and produce sourced from contracted farmers. Food is served in a semi-buffet style in mornings and evenings so you can make up your own dish. Non-guests can eat here too if they make a reservation*.

    *Reservations for non-guests are dependent on free tables and other conditions. The menu style and ingredients and subject to change without notice.

    If you’re looking to visit Izu Shaboten Zoo, consider booking a room at their official hotel.

  • Royal Park Hotel Tokyo Transforms For Halloween 2019

    11.October.2019 | FOOD

    Royal Park Hotel Tokyo in Nihonbashi has begun its Halloween festivities for 2019, including a bone-chilling black and orange food and dessert menu, spooky decorations, a photo spot in the first floor main lobby, and more.

    Check out their mouth-watering sweets assortment! Their Halloween Afternoon Tea set is packed full of autumntime flavours, from the glass desserts, to the apple chiboust, chocolate pocket watches with bats on them, adorable monster burgers, and more.

    The hotel is also offering a Halloween Dinner Buffet on weekends and holidays decorated in Halloween colours. Pile your tray with figs and blackcurrants, chestnut mousse, pumpkin tarts, and plenty of other tasty treats, all prepared fresh in the kitchen.

    This is just a peek into the hair-raising fun happening right now at Royal Park Hotel Tokyo. There’s also the Halloween Cocktail Fair, Halloween Sweets & Bread event, and much more.

     

    Spend your Halloween here, or even use it as an opportunity to try wearing your Halloween costume out so you’re ready for October 31!

  • 10 Things You Can Do at the MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Hotel in Harajuku | Girls’ Night In Edition

    11.October.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS is a hotel accommodation service run by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON located in Harajuku and bookable via Airbnb. Our hotel isn’t just popular for sleep, however: it has become a hot spot with stylish girls who get together and use it as a party space.

     

    This is our Top 10 list of things you can do in SAKURAーone of the hotel roomsーso you can discover the best way to enjoy your stay in Harajuku.

     

    ①Take advantage of the room decor and decorations to snap all the photos you can!

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS opened its first room SAKURA in December last year, and more recently ORIGAMI in August. From the walls to the furnishing, SAKURA is cherry blossom pink throughout, decked out with countless gorgeous Instagram-worthy spots popular with our female guests.

     

    You can always get a beautiful photo together with the cherry blossom flower monument in the background, located behind the bed and bloomed right up to the ceiling.

    The enormous and comfy pink bed is piled full of lots of fluffy cushions. You can take some pretty romantic pictures too when snuggled on top or in the bed.

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    Don’t forget about the neon sign either, a symbol of the room and the Japanese kanji character for cherry blossom (桜 sakura). Sit on the sofa in front of it and make use of the sign’s lighting to get a more dreamy and fantastical shot.

     

    ②Popular Harajuku takeout food perfect for a night at MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS SAKURA

     

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS is located in Tokyo’s fashion and culture hub of Harajuku, and that means it’s within walking distance of some quintessential kawaii and Instagrammable food shops. We’ve picked out three we think are perfect for ordering takeout to enjoy back in your room at SAKURA.

     

    GOOD TOWN DOUGHNUTS

    Smile Mango ¥420 / Raspberry Pistachio ¥400 / Sea Salt Caramel ¥390 (All Tax Inclusive)

    GOOD TOWN DOUGHNUTS is a really popular doughnut shop in Harajuku. Their big size doughnuts not only look cute, they’re the real deal taste-wise, and are also made with natural yeast, wheat flour from Hokkaido, sea salt sourced in Okinawa, sugar from Tanegashima, and organic oils. They are high-quality doughnuts full of flavour and plenty filling.

     

    GOOD TOWN DOUGHNUTS

    Address: J-cube B1F, 6-12-6 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo)

    TEL: 03-5485-8827

    Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website: http://good-town.com/

     

     

    AND THE FRIET

    Box (2 Friet Types) w/ Dip – From ¥800 (Before Tax)

    This French fry shop makes their fries from a variety of carefully selected in-season potatoes, including potatoes from Belgium. They are crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the centre. They’re also delicious even when eaten cold, making them a great takeout option. You can pick two types from six varieties for one box, plus a dip of your choice. A perfect party accompaniment.

     

    AND THE FRIET Laforet Harajuku

    Address: Laforet Harajuku 2F, 1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
    TEL: 03-6434-7568

    Opening Hours: 11:00-21:00

    No Fixed Holidays (Except when Laforet Harajuku is closed)

    Official Website: http://andthefriet.com/

     

     

    TOAST LUCK

    <Macarons> From Left: Soybean Flour / Crunky / Cheese – ¥371 Each (Before Tax)

    At TOAST LUCK, you can enjoy a whole range of different South Korean foods, including toast which is their main menu item. They also sell these marble-coloured macarons which are a little bigger than Japanese macarons. There’s lots of flavours to choose from, all of which give you a different take on your regular macaron!

     

    TOAST LUCK

    Address: 3-27-15 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    TEL: 03-6812-9499

    Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website: https://www.toast-luck.com/

     

     

    ③Line up all your food in your hotel room for a girls’ night in

    Gather all of your takeout goodies from around Harajuku for a girls’ night in at MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS SAKURA! The room has its own kitchen equipped with utensils, a microwave and refrigerator, so you can even prep your own food too.

    The living room is nice and spacious so you can really let your hair down and relax. There’s a limited number of beds but there’s no limit to the amount of people that can stay over, so invite all of your friends along!

     

     

    ④Watch movies on the projector

    The room is equipped with an Android TV mobile projector which has Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and other services on it as well as games. There’s endless amounts of fun to be had, so grab your snacks and put on a movie or compete together in a game. The screen projects onto the white walls, so you can pick the best spot for viewing.

    Projecting it on the wall beside the bed means you can relax while watching films or music videos together.

     

    The cherry blossom pink MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS SAKURA offers a memorable accommodation experience like no other. We will continue the Top 10 list in the next article entitled Birthday Edition.

     

    Remember, if you’re looking to stay in Harajuku, be sure to book with MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS.

     

     

    Models: AikoRingo
    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
    Writer: Sayoko Ishii

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • BEAMS fennica to Release Gorgeous Collection in Collaboration With Ainu Crafts

    06.October.2019 | FASHION

    fennica is a fashion label associated with BEAMS that combines traditional Japanese handicraft with new and old designs collected from Northern Europe. The label has announced that it will collaborate with the Akan Tourism Association (法人阿寒観光協会まちづくり推進機構) non-profit organisation to release an all-new collection that incorporates traditional Ainu crafts.

    Terry Ellisーthe London-based director of fennicaーand Keiko Kitamura observed Ainu culture in the Lake Akan area in Kushiro, Hokkaido, and have used the creative beauty of young craftsmen and craftswomen who are in charge of next-generation Ainu culture. Overtime they have worked together with the artisans to create an original collection entitled “Ainu Crafts from Lake Akan: Tradition and Innovation” which will be sold on the fifth floor of the Shinjuku branch of BEAMS Japan in the fennica studio and B Gallery from October 12.

    The collection incorporates silver jewellery with Ainu patterns, wood-carved cutlery, hamper bags made with traditional materials, and many other lifestyle items familiar to Ainu culture. During the showcasing, there will be other exhibitions related to Ainu in the gallery, as well as talks, live performances, and more.

     

    A special webpage went live on October 1 talking about this collaboration.

    The collection’s director Terry Ellis commented: “When I was walking around Takiguchi’s store Ichigen No Mise, my attention focused on this cutlery. I felt the folklore in its simplicity. Though it’s an item to be used, the craftsmanship is incredible. You can’t just stop at one, you want to collect more and decorate with them.” *Translated from Japanese

     

    Keiko Kitamura, also a director for the collection, commented: “Akan is a rare kind of place, with mountains, rivers, lakes and forests. It has its own shapes and colours because of the light, colours and sounds which change intensely with time and soak into your body. And Ainu art is distinct from the traditional craftsmanship of other countries and regions because in almost all categories you can still produce it even today. There are [Ainu] people who are still continuing to make art for their family to this day. Their still being here is something valuable.”

     

    She continues: “Japan’s handiwork is in danger of vanishing across all areas of the country. Even if there are no successors, there are people who have been beside them watching, and people who were once involved in the past. So we may barely just make it. Because if this handiwork comes to a stop, it will be no more. We feel a sense of duty to protect this wonderful work.”

  • New York-Style Cafe & Restaurant Sarabeth’s Celebrates 7 Years in Japan With Special Event in Shinjuku

    04.October.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    It has been seven years since Sarabeth Levine took her New York-based cafe and restaurant Sarabeth’s to Japan back in 2012. To celebrate, the establishment will hold a special one-night event with a commemorative menu.

    “Fermented Foods” is the theme of the event, which will see an incredible line-up of premium dishes. There will also be a talk by Sarabeth Levine herself who will be in attendance.

    The menu line-up features a range of healthy fermented foods, like pancakes and Eggs Benedict, while drinks options include lemonade with fermented syrup, goishicha tea from Aichi Prefecture, and more. There will also be Sarabeth cookies which you can take home with you.

  • Stroll the Edo Streets as an Elegant Samurai and Make Tea in the Feudal Lord’s Residence

    04.October.2019 | SPOT

    Sakura, Chiba is home to important cultural heritage and even what is also known as the “Samurai Town”. Now you can stroll around the beautiful old streets of Sakura dressed as a Samurai, attend a relaxing zen session and even take part in a tea ceremony as part of a limited period tourist plan. The Samurai tour is mainly aimed at foreigners, however Japanese people who are curious about samurai culture are also more than welcome to join. 

     

    Sakura Castle Samurai Stroll

    In 2016, Sakura became one of the four cities of the Hokuso region to be designated as a Heritage site under the title “An Edo Travelogue through Four Hokuso Cities” for its preservation of the old Edo culture. Old buildings full of secrets can be spotted all over the town, creating the old atmosphere of the Edo period. Embrace the elegant remnants of the Edo period with a relaxing stroll in Samurai clothing. Who knows what you might discover.

    Your relaxing stroll will be led by a tour guide who knows a lot about the history of Sakura. This is a wonderful opportunity to take beautiful pictures of the historical Samurai house (Bukeyashiki). Your tour guide will also show you Hiyodorizaka, which is a natural path lined with a dense forest of tall bamboo trees where Samurai are said to have often pass by. Every year, the bamboo and wooden sword martial arts sessions in the program are also very popular. 

     

    ◇ Running:

    October 26

     November 9, 23

     December 14, 21

    January 11, 25

    February 8, 22

    March 12, 28

    April 9, 25

    May 9, 16

     

    ◇ Times: 9:30 ー 12:30

     *The program will still run in bad weather excluding stormy or severe weather.

    ◇ Prices:

    ¥6,500 per person (Includes lunch voucher and entry to the samurai house)

    * ¥6,000 per person when you purchase tickets as a group of 3 or more.

    ◇ Tickets

    Reservation Website: https://www.govoyagin.com/ja

    Apply Directly to Sakura City Tourism Association

    TEL: 043-486-6000

    Email: sakurashi-kankou@catv296.ne.jp

    * Phone calls will be answered in Japanese only.

     

    Zen Meditation and Tea Ceremony in the House of a Feudal Lord

    There are also guided zen meditation and tea ceremony sessions which are available for a limited period only. These guided zen meditation and tea ceremonies will take place in the Kyuhottatei ー one of Japan’s most preserved traditional-style feudal lord residences. This luxurious Edo-style mansion was built 130 years ago and is classified as an Important Cultural Property.  

     

    ◇ Running:

    October 16,

    November 7, 19

    December 6, 18

     

    ◇ Times: 9:00 ー 12:30

     *The program will still run in bad weather excluding stormy or severe weather.

     

    ◇ Prices:

    ¥10,000 per person (Includes lunch voucher, entry to the Kyuhottatei and tea ceremony participation fee.)

     

    ◇ Tickets

    Please enquire directly to the Sakura City Tourism Association

    TEL:  043-486-6000

    Email Address: sakurashi-kankou@catv296.ne.jp

    * Phone calls will be answered in Japanese only.

     

    If you are curious about Edo Samurai culture, you won’t be disappointed by this program.

  • Taste Different Japanese Teas in Wine Glasses in Fukuoka

    27.September.2019 | FOOD

    Neworld has teamed up with Asakura, Fukuoka-based tea manufacturing company Seichajo Yamashina to offer an all-new tea-tasting course. Reservations opened on September 25 and can be made via telephone call.

    Yamashina Tea Stall first opened its doors to the public back in 1947 in the city of Asakura, Fukuoka. This long-standing tea shop oversees every aspect of their original blends, from the tea leaf selection to the roasting.

    The shop’s representative, Koya Yamashina, is a tea professional, having worked as an instructor on Japanese tea as well as an established Japanese tea critic. He has travelled up and down Kyushu―one of the five main islands of Japan where Fukuoka sits―which has enabled him to select only the best tea for the shop, considering the taste, smell, season, place of production, and growers themselves.

    Yamashina Tea Stall promises a fun and authentic experience when it comes to Japanese tea, for the very fact that it has had its hands on so many different types. That’s where their new program comes in to play, where they will pair different Japanese teas into different wine glasses―provided by Tokyo glass makers Kimura Glass―for tasters to get the best out of the tea, including the flavours and fragrance.

    Let’s take a look at the course.

    Piccolo 6oz Flute & Yama no Asatsume

    This brand of tea is called Chiran Yama no Asatsume and it comes from Kagoshima Prefecture. It’s grown in Ushirodake, an area in Kagoshima with a high altitude, the only place it can be grown. It has a distinct fresh and sweet fragrance. The tea is served in a 6oz Piccolo glass which is a popular glass for champagne. Its delicate rim and form makes it the perfect shape to enjoy the full taste of the tea.

    Garson 3oz Grappa & Yame Gyokuro

    Yame Gyokuro is known as one of the most luxury teas in Japan. Served in a Garson glass, it has a thin, long shape, making it ideal for smelling the gentle aromas of the gyokuro tea and for enjoying its smooth, sweet taste.

    Pivo Orthodox 63224-210 & Sun Rouge

    Sun Rouge is an extremely rare variety of tea grown on the distant island of Tokunoshima which is south of Kagoshima. It is served in a classic champagne glass, much different from the flute-type champagne glasses. The liquid is allowed to spread over a wider surface, letting you take in the distinct beautiful purple colour of the tea while enabling the fragrance to dance around the elegant glass.

     

    This is just a snapshot of the many drinks this course has to offer. If you’re looking to experience Japanese tea in style, then why not try out this course? They even sell sets of glasses and tea so you can take them home with you!

  • Disney Ambassador®️ Hotel Now Serving Adorable Cake & Drink For Halloween

    26.September.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Disney Halloween 2019 is in full force at both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea where “ghosts” are this year’s theme. The spooky festivities are set to continue until October 31.

     

    Disney Ambassador®️ Hotel is also getting in on the Halloween action, with a bone-chilling food and drinks line-up at the Hyperion Lounge.

    Disney Halloween Cake Set – ¥1,700 (Available until October 31, 2019)

    The eye-catching blueberry mont blanc is served with either tea or coffee. The sweet and sourness of the blueberry combined with the cream cheese is spot on.

    It’s also filled with blueberry jam for even more of a blueberry kick. Mix together with the powdered mango for extra flavour.

     

    This cake set is serve from 12:00-22:00, but there is a limited number of servings per day so be sure to get in there quick!

    Disney Halloween Special Drink – ¥1,300 (Available until October 31, 2019)

    The Instagram-worthy drink is serving autumn vibes with its chestnut syrup and orange colour. It’s also topped with whipped cream and a cute chocolate bat. The drink has a refreshing mix of range juice and grape juice which balance deliciously with the purple sweet potato whipped cream and sweet syrup. There’s also grape jelly hidden underneath the cream.

    This is also served from 12:00-22:00, and gets you an original coaster. These are limited in availability.

     

    ©️Disney

  • Miyako Hotel Hakata Opens With Instagram-Worthy Pool, Michelin-Led Restaurant Menu & More

    24.September.2019 | SPOT

    Miyako Hotel Hakata will have its grand opening on September 22, 2019. To help spread word of the luxurious secrets behind its doors, an official report was released detailing everything there is for guests to look forward to.

     

    Its metropolitan exterior is inspired by the spectacular natural landscapes of Kyushu

    Miyako Hotel Hakata can be found by taking the Tsukushi Exit of Hakata Station where it stands directly in front, towering above the surrounding buildings. The basement floor of the hotel is directly connected to the station for ease of access. This floor is also home to a convenience store, restaurants and more and can be used by non-guests too.

    The building is a gorgeous eye-catching glass cube which offers an abundance of natural light during the day. At night, the hotel exterior is illuminated with 168 LED lights, giving it an metropolitan appearance. The building rooftop has a running ‘waterfall’ which is inspired by the majestic rural environments of Kyushu. Its iconic design makes it instantly-recognisable, with hopes in mind that this will make it a new landmark of Hakata.

    The lobby houses a gorgeous cafe lounge serving food and drink

    Up on the 3rd floor is the clean, bright and spacious front lobby where staff are waiting to greet guests warmly. In addition to the reception desk, there is CAFÉ EMPATHY, a cafe and lounge which can be used by both guests and non-guests. The cafe is produced by Transit General Offiice which is known for having produced the The Rail Kitchen Chikugo―a restaurant train―amongst a host of shared offices, hotels and more.

    The spectacular menu line-up includes an array of delicious drinks from herbal teas to flavoured lattes, as well as an assortment of light meals made using ingredients from around Kyushu. They also serve an original afternoon tea that’s served from 14:30. Everything on the menu is nothing short of Instagrammable and perfect for those who love to wine and dine on drinks and food that is both cute and fancy.

     

    The colourful flavoured lattes come in four flavours and can also be ordered for takeout. One of them is the Beets Latte which is a pink colour which comes from the beetroot used to make it. It has a subtle sweetness and smooth flavour.

     

    The stocked teas include those made by Paris-based tea company KUSMI TEA, such as the Anastasia which is a mix of standard black tea and citrus, as well as an array of decaffeinated fruit teas.

    Spend your time in luxury in your room

    Floors 5 through 12 are all lined with guest rooms. There are four types of rooms, all large, including Twin and Double. Each and every room has been given the same level of care and attention to create the most comfortable experience for guests.

    The Deluxe room is the perfect package if you’re looking to indulge in a little extravagance, whether as a treat to yourself or together with that special someone. The room design is stylish and simple, allowing for optimal relaxation. The bed is roomy and is ideal for watching the television or chatting.

     

    All guest rooms are also equipped with tablets from which you can control the air con, lights and so on. The TV can even tell you whether the restaurant is full or not which is a super convenient feature.

    A restaurant and bar menu created by a Michelin-starred chef & dreamy terrace pool

    On floor 13―the top floor―you will find Miyako Hotel Hakata’s must-see feature: the SOMEWHERE RESTAURANT & BAR. This all-dining restaurant’s concept is “A Beautiful Place Somewhere.” Its dinner menu was conceived by Michihoro Haruta, the chef at Crony, a Michelin 1-starred restaurant in Nishi-Azabu, Tokyo. The innovative menu is made with local ingredients from Fukuoka and across Kyushu. The wine menu was created by Kazutaka Ozawa, a sommelier at Crony. The restaurant enjoys a laid-back atmosphere that isn’t overly formal or strict, with a glass exterior including the roof, allowing diners to enjoy the romantic evening atmosphere.

     

    Breakfast is served to both guests and non-guests and is served as a western-style buffet packed full of assorted foods such as freshly-baked bread, omelette, Eggs Benedict, and more. They serve an original Japanese-style breakfast too for those who fancy Japanese food. The tall windows allow natural light to pour into the restaurant.

    Right next to the restaurant is the hotel’s very own spa, offering a natural hot spring pool, jet bath, footbath and more. As part of the hotel’s grand opening, the spa is free for all guest until March 31, 2020. The hotel offers rental swimsuits too so you can freely and easily enjoy a nighttime dip. And when night truly sets in, you can gaze an unbroken view of Hakata from the roof, and the ‘waterfall’ next to the pool will also be lit up.

     

    There’s even a special poolside menu so you can order cocktails and light food from the terrace. With everything illuminate in beautiful lighting, your cocktail in hand, you can certainly snap some Instagram-worthy shots. And if you’re looking for a warm bath, there is a large public bath and even a sauna indoors.

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

    21.September.2019 | FOOD

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

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