Haneda Airport Releases First Bubble Tea Which Passengers Can Enjoy as They Fly

13.August.2019 | FOOD

XFLAG STORE + HANEDA is a small branch of XFLAG STORE and is located in Terminal 1 of Haneda Airport. On August 13th, they released three energising bubble tea flavours served in a bottle that you can take on board with you when travelling along domestic air routes. The three bubble tea flavours are; MILK TEA, HOJICHA (a type of green tea) and MATCHA. 

 

These bubble tea flavours are limited to XFLAG STORE + HANEDA and were created with the intention of providing a splash of energizing fun to tiresome travels. 

As long as you screw the lid on properly, you can store your delicious drink in your bag and even carry it onto your flight so you can enjoy it whilst soaring through the clouds. This is the first time a shop at Haneda airport has ever sold a bubble tea drink with the intention of flight passengers taking it on board with them.

 

*Drinks and liquids are usually permitted on domestic flights in Japan. Please check the specific rules of your flight by referring to the official website of your airline. 

 

To commemorate the release of the new bubble teas, XFLAG STORE + HANEDA has launched an Instagram campaign with the chance to win an Amazon gift card worth ¥10,000 (approx. 80GBP/95USD). 

 

To take part in the Instagram campaign for the chance to win a ¥10,000 Amazon gift card, be sure to take a photo with your XFLAG STORE + HANEDA bubble tea drink and then post the picture on Instagram with the following three hashtags:

#旅タピ #タピオカ #空の上で飲めるタピオカドリンク

Four winners will be selected.

 

Get your summer holidays off to a soaring start with a beautiful bottle of bubble tea. 

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Vegan Bubble Tea Arrives at Harajuku’s BOTANIST Tokyo Tea Stand

    30.July.2019 | FOOD

    For the whole month of August, the BOTANIST Tokyo tea stand in Harajuku is serving two different tapioca bubble tea beverages. Just 100 of each will be sold each day.

    The two delicious drink flavours include “Butterfly Pea Soy Milk Tea” and “Matcha Milk Tea.” Both beverages are made with high quality tapioca pearls from bubble tea store Bull Pulu who serve up Taiwanese pop culture with their tasty menu.

     

    Vegans shopping in Tokyo’s Harajuku and Omotesando areas will be excited to try the vegan-friendly Butterfly Pea Soy Milk Tea. Both of the drinks are also sold in eco cups and come with paper straws.

    Tapioca Butterfly Pea Soy Milk Tea – ¥600 (Tax Included)

    The vegan-friendly option is a combination of bright and colourful butterfly pea tea and soy milk. It’s laced with a tropical coconut syrup for enhanced flavour.

    Tapioca Matcha Milk Tea – ¥600 (Tax Included)

    The matcha milk tea is a combination of rich and smooth matcha foam and milk. It’s mixed with a fragrant hazelnut syrup.

    Both drinks are takeout only and are available to buy on the first floor. If you fancy a little refreshing drink while strolling through Harajuku then be sure to visit BOTANIST Tokyo.

  • Food Review: Seahorse Bubble Tea at Sin an ju in Front of Harajuku Station

    22.February.2019 | FOOD

    Hey, everyone. Midori here again from the MMN Editorial Team.

     

    The bubble tea boom in Japan is still rife. Harajuku in particular has become a war zone with new bubble tea shops opening all the time. Si an ju is one of them and it has become popular for its delicious drink selection so I went to try it out myself!

    Si an ju is located just in front of Harajuku Station. Bubble tea shops in Harajuku tend to open along Cat Street or in Ura-Harajuku. Surprisingly there was even one in front of the station so it’s safe to say bubble tea life is making progress.

    To get there, exit from Harajuku Station’s Takeshita Exit, cross at the traffic lights. Turn left and you’ll be able to see the outdoor shop sign.

    Also beyond that is Cafe Yolum, a South Korean cafe.

     

    Related Article: Cafe Yolum: The Popular & Pretty Pink South Korean Cafe in Harajuku

    At the storefront is a huge and airy bubble tea monument. Now I’m getting excited!

    There are several tables inside for customers to sit down, relax and enjoy their beverages, but not many.

    The menu is fairly big and they even have options without tapioca balls. The Blue Lagoon drink sounds interesting, it has a mysterious colour.

    On my visit thought I ordered the shop’s recommended Brown Sugar Bubble Milk.

     

    The sauce in the cup is a brown sugar sauce which together with the decorative seahorse makes it look like a coral reef. Very beautiful!

    The sauce is collected at the bottom and sinking around the sides so be sure to give the drink a good mix before drinking. Compared to other bubble teas the tapioca look pretty big. They might be almost as big as the thickness of the straw.

     

    Time to drink!

     

    It’s pretty sweet-tasting. It’s sweet even for me who orders their bubble tea with the maximum sugar option. But it’s not an overpowering sweetness – the brown sugar has a refreshing sweet flavour. The tapioca balls are large and so are filling

    The brown sugar sauce will fall and mix into the drink as you sip so it’s best to take a photo right away.

     

    I visited the shop at the same time as they opened so I was able to buy my drink without waiting, but if you go on the weekend in the afternoon the lines can get pretty long, so it might be an idea to go earlier.

     

    A lot of bubble tea shops open at 11:00am but Sin an ju opens at 10:00am so I recommend going there if you’re in Harajuku early in the morning when no others are open!

     

    I also highly recommend it for people who like chewy tapioca balls. Be sure to pay them a visit.

  • 7 Must-Visit Bubble Tea Shops in Harajuku

    03.May.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Hello, everybody! It’s Midori from MMN’s editorial team.

     

    Harajuku is a bubble tea battleground! A new bubble tea shop opens every month, and all of them enjoy huge lines of customers. I’ve tried most of the bubble tea in Harajuku, and so I’ve compiled the perfect list for those of you who don’t want to take a gamble and choose the wrong place, or those of you not planning to do a bubble tea crawl to taste test.

     

    Gong cha – The standard bubble tea shop


    Gong cha has multiple stores here and there, but the one in Harajuku is extremely busy on weekends, so much so that it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it’s the one people line up for the most.

     

    In spite of the many subtle customisations you can have with your drink, whether it’s the ice and sweetness levels  or the toppings, the staff here are extremely skilled in what they do. This might explain the long lines of people.

     

    You can’t go wrong with this place, so I recommend it to newcomers of bubble tea.

     

    ■Information
    Gong cha Harajuku Omotesando
    Address: Harajuku Bell Pier 1F, 6-6-2 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
    TEL: 03-6427-7543
    Access: 3-minutes on foot from Exit 7 of Tokyo Metro Meiji-Jingumae Station
    Seats: None
    Business Hours:
    [Mon-Thur] 11:00-21:30
    [Fri] 11:00-22:00
    [Wknds & Hols] 10:00-22:00

     

    THE ALLEY – Where they have chic cups!

    Chic cup server THE ALLEY is close to Gong cha. Its location can be difficult for people to explain, and yet this place too is bustling on weekends!

     

    In addition to the standard bubble tea options, this shop also sells unique drinks, like its “Bonsai Tapioca.” Personally, I prefer ordering this drink “mild hot” rather than the normal cool or hot. I’ve burnt myself drinking hot tapioca through a straw before, so mild hot is great for me.

    The tapioca balls are relatively small so I think those people who’ve never had tapioca before will find it delicious. I recommend it on a chilly day!

     

    Review: Trying the New Cheese Tea at The Alley in Omotesando

     

    ■Information
    The Alley
    Address: 6-6-6 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
    Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00
    No Fixed Holidays.
    TEL: 03-6712-5185
    Website: http://www.the-alley.jp/

     

    KOI Thé – For those of you who want to try something a little different


    KOI Thé serves golden tapioca balls instead of black!

     

    The shop has a simple interior design and enjoys more male and adult and adult customers compared to other places. When compared to Gong cha and THE ALLEY it may seem as if not many people line up for this one, but their flavours are great, and the small golden tapioca balls can be sipped smoothly.

     

    I recommend going to KOI Thé if you’re a little embarrassed about going into an overly ‘kawaii’ looking shop or if you don’t want to line up for long.

     

    Visiting Harajuku’s Newest Tapioca Drink Store KOI Thé

     

    ■Information
    KOI Thé
    Address: 4-27-1 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
    Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00
    No Fixed Holidays.
    TEL: 03-6434-5753
    Website: https://koithe.jp/

     

    NONARA PEARL – Their pink kitty is so cute!


    NONARA PEARL is located on the second floor of Laforet Harajuku. As of now this is the only branch, so if you’re looking to try Harajuku-exclusive bubble tea then look no further. Since it’s located indoors, you don’t have to worry about the heat, cold or rain when lining up. It’s nice to have a leisurely chat with friends when lining up.


    The shop also has this big piece of wall art which is perfect for an Instagram steal. In any case, I recommend visiting if you want to drink some Harajuku-style cute bubble tea.

     

    ■Information
    NONARA PEARL
    Address: Laforet Harajuku 2F, 1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
    TEL: 03-6432-9627
    Access:
    1-minute (54m) on foot from Exit 5 of Meiji-Jingumae Station via the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line
    4-minutes (310m) on foot from the Omotesando Exit of Harajuku Station via the JR Yamanote Line
    9-minutes (700m) on foot from Exit A1 of Omotesando Station via the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line

     

    FORTUNER tea box – A little-known good place where you can drink cheese tea!


    FORTUNER tea box sells cheese tea topped with cheese foam that’s like a bubbly cheese cake. Though their beverages are rich and delicious the shop is a little far from the station. But that means you don’t have to line up to get your drink.

     

    Their bubble tea is addictive, so I recommend it to anyone who has already tried regular bubble tea and those who don’t want to stand in line.

     

    Drink Tea in Style With FORTUNER tea-box’s Cheese Tea Tapioca in Harajuku

     

    The building it’s in also has a shop that sells really cute bottled drinks. Check it out via the link below.

     

    Anyone Can Become an Instagrammer With Drinks Sold at Harajuku’s Popular ‘cafe no.’

     

    ■Information
    FORTUNE tea-boxAddress: 3-27-15 Jingumae, Shibuya, TokyoOpening Hours: 11:30am-11:00pm (No Fixed Holidays)

    TEL: 03-5755-5708

    Website: http://fortuner.co.jp/index.html

     

    Si an ju – Seahorse tapioca!


    Si an ju opened just recently, you’ll know it by their seahorse logo!

     

    Their brown sugar tapioca has a coral-like design as pictured above. The tapioca here is chewy and very filling. It’s also conveniently close to Harajuku Station.

     

    Their large-grained tapioca are freshly-made and you don’t have to line up as much as Gong cha or THE ALLEY. I recommend this shop to those who want to try out the newest tapioca in Harajuku.

     

    Food Review: Seahorse Bubble Tea at Sin an ju in Front of Harajuku Station

     

    ■Information
    Sin an juAddress: 1-19-14 Jingumae, Shibuya, TokyoTEL: 03-5843-0229

    Official Website: https://sin-an-ju.

     

    Chakasho – Famous flavours on Takeshita Street


    The last entry to this list is Chakasho which also just opened recently!

     

    It being along Takeshita Street means you can also get some shopping in too. Their drinks may be less “Instagrammable” than other shops, but their tapioca are chewy and large-grained, and the drinks are rich but easy to drink, delicious, and very satisfying.

     

    If you’ve made the effort to go to Harajuku and want some extraordinarily tasty tapioca then I recommend Chakasho. They have lots of staff working there so the lines move quickly.

     

    Harajuku’s New Bubble Tea Shop Chakasho―Review

     

    ■Information

    Chakasho – Harajuku Takeshita Street

    Address: 175 Honkan Bldg. Floor B1F, 1-7-3 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Website: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/ja/

     

    Many shops are crowded on the weekends, some where you can be waiting over half an hour! But all of the drinks sold at these shops are tasty so you’ll soon come to realise why the lines are so long. Since you’ve made the effort to visit Harajuku, why not try lining up at one of them?

     

    The shops are very busy at noon on weekends so I recommend heading to a shop around opening time to avoid that.

     

    I hope this article is helpful to both those making their bubble tea debut as well as local bubble tea masters!

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  • Osaka’s Hirakata Park Announces After-Hours Horror Event

    09.July.2020 | SPOT

    Hirakata Park has announced the horror-themed event “Yamibiraki no Yoru” which will be held at the Osaka amusement park during the night from August 26 to September 13.

     

    Two Japanese horror entertainment companies are coming together to set up spooky spots around the park for the event. For the event, visitors will need to clear a mission to reach the goal which will involve the use of a smartphone or tablet.

     

    Yamibiraki no Yoru – Synopsis

    “There is a rumour that once a year, Hirakata Park opens up during the middle of the night. And though it’s open in the middle of the night, the only staff that can be spotted around are those with vacant looks in their eyes. What’s more is that there aren’t any visitors around. At some point, this rumour came to be called Yamibiraki no Yoru, ‘Open in Darkness.’ And this summer, an event is being held, on the same day that rumour was named, and with the same name…”

     

    Scary School Stories VR x Real Scary Experience

    Hirakata Park is also holding a haunted house event during the daytime from July 17, 2020. Themed on Kokkuri-san, a Japanese supernatural game, the event will combine the use of VR technology and real interactive scares.

  • RELAX FUJINO: The New Glamping Guest House Opening in Kanagawa

    09.July.2020 | SPOT

    Hibiya-Kandan is set to open a new glamping guest house by the name of “RELAX FUJINO” on August 21, 2020.

    Just an hour and a half’s journey from the city, RELAX FUJINO is opening in Kanagawa Prefecture’s town of Fujino, a place known for its abundant nature and traditional arts. It aims to be a place where both “the heart and body can be happy.”

    The guest house promises to serve guests the ultimate relaxation experience, have them feeling positive about themselves, and opening their eyes to new discoveries. They will be able to enjoy the region’s culture and nature while indulging in the kind of luxurious experience that Hibiya-Kandan is known for offering.

    The glamping site is home to two separate sites: the Japanese-style “RURI” and the Western-style “ECRU,” both of which have decks offering a panoramic view of the mountain range. Each site also has its own dome-shaped tent which span 28 square meters in length. There are counter tables which offer a panoramic view of the sights, garden tables, and even BBQ spaces. This mix of indoors and outdoors makes guests feel like part of Fujino’s gorgeous natural environment. There are communal showers and toilets inside too, as well as a nearby hot spring facility.

    The food served is made with plenty of organic vegetables grown in Fujino. A stay at the site means you get a free dinner and breakfast too.

    There are plenty of both indoor and outdoors activities to get involved in, like yoga, coffee roasting, crafts, blueberry picking, and more.

     

    Bookings open on August 1, 2020. If you’re in Japan this summer, then why not get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy a relaxing time out in nature?

  • 4 Refreshing Matcha Shaved Ice Flavours Released at Itohkyuemon in Kyoto

    30.June.2020 | FOOD

    Kyoto’s famous tea shop Itohkyuemon began serving four new Uji matcha and shaved ice mixed desserts on its menu yesterday (June 29). Itohkyuemon was founded in 1832 in the latter period of Edo. Ujitawara, the place in Kyoto where the shop is located, is famous for the tea served by Itohkyuemon which has been harvested by the Ito family for years.

    Uji Matcha Parfait Ice: ¥1,490 (Tax Included) | Serving: Until Late September 2020 | Avaialble: Itohkyuemon JR Uji Station/Itohkyuemon Gionshijo

    The Uji Matcha Parfait Ice uses a blend of matcha and milk-infused ice as its base. It’s then topped with sweet treats like rice flour dumplings, red bean paste, ice cream, matcha jelly, and more to turn it into a parfait.

    Uji Matcha Daifuku Ice: ¥1,290 (Tax Included) | Serving: Until Late September 2020 | Avaialble: Itohkyuemon JR Uji Station/Itohkyuemon Gionshijo

    This Uji Matcha Daifuku Ice is an upgrade of the one Itohkyuemon served last year. It has a creamy custard base with matcha daifuku hidden in the shaved ice.

    Fluffy Uji Kindokei Vanilla Ice Cream: ¥990, Matcha Ice Cream ¥1,090 (Tax Included) | Serving: Until Late September 2020 | Avaialble: Itohkyuemon JR Uji Station/Itohkyuemon Gionshijo


    Fluffy Uji Kindokei Rice Flour Dumpling: ¥850, Rice Flour Dumpling & Vanilla Ice Cream ¥970, Rice Flour Dumpling Matcha Ice Cream ¥1,090 Serving: Until Late September 2020 | Avaialble: Itohkyuemon Uji Main Branch

    These two “Kindokei” (Gold Watch) servings use more ice. At the main branch of Itohkyuemon they’re more crunchy, while at the JR Uji Station and Gionshijo branches they’re more fluffy.

  • Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku: The New Hot Spring Resort Hotel in Mie Prefecture

    28.June.2020 | SPOT

    Yukai Resort, a company in Japan which manages lots of famous hot spring resorts across the country, opened Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku in Toba, Mie on June 5, 2020.

     

    Yukai Resort manages 29 well-established hot spring resort hotels and ryokan throughout Japan, including hotels where you can get one night with dinner and breakfast from just ¥7,500 (before tax) to ryokan where you can enjoy kaiseki meal courses, and more. All their luxury establishments feature hot springs surrounded in lush environments.

     

    Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku opened on June 5, 2020 and is taking all of the necessary precautions against COVID-19 to protect guests and so that guests can enjoy a comfortable stay.

     

    Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku is 10 minutes by car from Toba Aquarium and 30 minutes from Ise Grand Shrine, making it a great location to enjoy the sightseeing spots of Ise and Shima. The hotel’s concept is centred on being an “active resort” where you can get the full Toba experience with history, the sea, and activities.

    The large open-air communal baths look out onto Toba Bay. The baths are designed like infinity pools, giving the effect that they are connected to the sea. Guests can enjoy a dip in the day or evening so they can enjoy both a blue sky or starry sky. There are also saunas.

    There is also an indoor swimming pool with warm water, as well as foot baths, a kids play park, karaoke room, and many more fun features.

    Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku also houses Yukai Resort’s first ever indoor glamping guest rooms with large tents decked with beds, sofa, carpet, cushions, and other amenities for a glamorous camping experience. There are glamping rooms with their own open-air baths that look out onto Toba Bay too, as well as both Japanese-style and Western-style rooms.

    As a precaution against COVID-19, the restaurant is serving its food for takeout only until August 31, 2020. Guests can enjoy their meal in their rooms or in one of the many communal spaces. There’s plenty of health Japanese food to enjoy including sushi, Matsuzaka roast beef, eel, tuna, and more.

  • Local Shaved Ice Recipes Whipped Up at Hoshino Resorts KAI This Summer

    28.June.2020 | FOOD

    Hoshino Resorts has brought back its annual local shaved ice festival for the summer which will be served at branches of Hoshino Resorts KAI, a hot spring ryokan brand. It has been held every year since 2017 and gives people the chance to enjoy shaved ice with a variety of syrups and toppings inspired by local regions in which branches of KAI are dotted around.

     

    Strawberry Shaved Ice | Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko (Chuzenji Onsen, Tochigi Prefecture)

    Tochigi Prefecture has enjoy est the largest harvest of strawberries in Japan for the last 50 years. This shaved ice is doused in a sweet strawberry syrup and a bitter matcha sauce. It can be enjoyed while gazing out to Nikko’s beautiful scenery where you can see Chuzenji Lake and Mount Nantai from 1,300 meters above sea level in Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko.

     

    Hydrangea Shaved Ice | Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone (Hakone Yumoto Onsen, Kanagawa Prefecture)

    The Hakone area enjoys long blooming periods of hydrangeas. During their full bloom, the Hakone Tozan Line mountain railway gets nicknamed the “Hydrangea Line” and becomes a popular route for sightseeing. This refreshing shaved ice has hydrangea flavoured jelly and syrup.

     

    Art Shaved Ice | Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara (Sengokuhara Onsen, Kanagawa Prefecture)

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara is surrounded by many art museums, so what better way to keep with the them than with an art-inspired shaved ice dessert? Show your art skills by using strawberry red, orange-flavoured orange, and other colourful syrups to create your own unique design on your fluffy white canvas of shaved ice.

    Apple Shaved Ice | Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps (Omachi Onsen, Nagano Prefecture)

    Nagano Prefecture is famous in Japan for its apples. There are two types of syrup poured over this shaved ice, including one that tastes like mashed apples, and another made from Bramley apples.

     

    Ginger Shaved Ice | Hoshino Resorts KAI Izumo (Tamatsukuri Onsen, Shimane Prefecture)

    The ginger adds a sharp bite to the sweetness of this refreshing shaved ice and is perfect for overcoming the summer heat.

     

    Tomato Shaved Ice | Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso (Sen no Moto Onsen, Oita Prefecture)

    Made from tomatoes harvested in summertime, this sweet and sour shaved ice takes on a gorgeous red colour. Tomatoes are low in calories and have many nutritional ingredients, and are a good source of vitamin C and D, making this a healthier option.

     

    And there are lots of other flavours to come from Hoshino Resorts KAI this summer too.

  • A Cafe With a View: Okinawa’s New Seaside Cafe ‘Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe’ Opens This July

    27.June.2020 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts’s new cafe Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe will open in the village of Yomitan in Okinawa on July 1, 2020, offering a spectacular view.

     

    The cafe is split into four distinct areas which overlook the the beach from atop a cliff. Customers are invited to take in the breathtaking scenery with a delicious dessert made from ingredients like mangoes, pineapple, and sugar—or a tasty meal.

     

    An incredible beach cafe overlooking the sea

    Banta Cafe runs along the western coast of Yomitan, a village in central Okinawa which is about an hour’s drive from Naha Airport. The cafe gets its name from iyumibanta which in Okinawan dialect refers to the cliffs you climb to spot the shadows of fish in the water, and is also the name they give to enormous rocks. The cafe is located atop one of these iyumibanta, or cliffs, making Banta Cafe a fitting name. From the cliff, customers can enjoy a panoramic view of the horizon which stretches across infinity. According to Hoshino Resorts, Banta Cafe sits as the largest beach cafe in Japan, spanning 1600㎡.

     

    4 Unique Areas to Pick From

    Having four distinct areas to choose from means you can select where you want to go depending on your mood on the day. Let’s take a look at each of them.

     

    Rooftop Deck: A panoramic view welcomes you

    Beyond the entrance is the Rooftop Deck which offers an unbroken view of the horizon. With the comfortable shadow cast by the eaves of the roof, and the sound of the rolling waves and wind, it feels like you’re sitting on the deck of a boat.

     

    Beach Terrace: Kick back and enjoy the sea breeze

    The Beach Terrace is located along a footpath that leads from the top of the cliff down to the beach. This spacious area sits nice and close to the sea. The Okinawan Ryukyu-tatami flooring has cushions for you to sit on as well as cabanas, so you can sit and chat with people while enjoying the view of the ocean, offering the real Okinawan experience.

     

    Rocky Terrace: Lose yourself in the green wild of nature

    The Rocky Terrace is enveloped in plants and vegetation that has grown naturally—it’s like a hideaway created by nature. The area has a wooden deck and rocking chairs for people to kick back and relax in, and there are tables with towering rocks that offer shade too.

     

    Goro Goro Lounge: Lay down on a sofa and look out to the sea

    The final area is the Goro Goro Lounge where an entire wall is made up of open windows. Here, you can relax and lay down nice and comfy on the sofas. There are long tables by the sofas too, perfect for pulling out a map or guidebook and planning the rest of your trip.

     

    A true Okinawan cafe experience


    Bubbly Jelly Soda

    The cafe’s “Bully Jelly Soda” is inspired from a traditional bubbly Okinawan tea called bukubuku cha. It’s flavoured with lemongrass and mint and contains different jellies like mango and hibiscus.

    Chulato

    This gelato ice cream gets its name from the Okinawan word for delicious which is chura. Choose from a variety of classic Okinawan flavours like pineapple and guava and top your ice cream with purple yam and bitter melon chips, chinsuko, and more.

     

    Food Menu


    The food lineup is to die for, with tasty bites like pizza toast topped with bitter melon, pork and egg rice ball which is a soul food of Okinawa, hot dogs filled with juicy sausages, shrimp fritters served with mango sauce, fried chicken, and plenty of other finger food.

     

    Witness the magnificent sunset during business hours


    Banta Cafe is home to a gorgeous beach with coral. The sea is cobalt blue as far as the eyes can see, there are strangely shaped rocks worn by the waves, and in the evenings is an incredible view of the sunset which can be enjoyed with a cocktail in hand.

     

    Hoshino Resorts Olu Grill


    Banta Cafe will also have its own separate grilled food restaurant called Olu Grill. Olu is another Okinawan word which means “blue,” in this case referring to the blue ocean. From fried steak served with an original sauce made from Okinawan awamori liquor and kurozu black vinegar to seafood and juicy burgers, there’s plenty to fill you up.

  • Kyoto’s New Hotel Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji Fuses With a Temple

    23.June.2020 | SPOT

    Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji, a new hotel by major real estate developer Mitsui Fudosan and Mitsui Fudosan Hotel Management, opened bookings for the new hotel last Friday. The hotel is set to officially open on September 28, 2020.

    The hotel was developed to integrate into Jokyoji, a temple in Kyoto with a history spanning over 500 years. Even in Japan, where it is common for temples to undergo reconstruction, this is a rare project. The hotel aims to be a model case for breathing new life into temples.

     

    The hotel is just a 1-minute walk from Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station and within walking distance from the bustling retail area of Shijō Kawaramachi, the Hanamachi district Ponto-chō, and Kyoto’s geisha district Gion. Guests are wrapped in the serene atmosphere of Jokyoji Temple where they can enjoy its historically maintained art, get involved in morning activities, and more.

     

    Entrance Lobby

    Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji’s design concept is “Hotel Temple.” Nikken Space Design crafted the hotel’s interior design, which makes use of Jokyoji Temple’s preserved wood, gold leaf-covered folding screens and other features, while adding a modern white and black colour scheme throughout, giving a sense of comfort and high quality. From the lobby, guests can glimpse the main area of the temple and feel one with it.

     

    Spacious rooms and baths

      

    Guest rooms, even the standard room types, are a spacious 24m². All rooms can accommodate 2+ people, and there are even triple rooms which can house 3 people. Every room also comes with separate toilets and showers. Up on the second floor are the baths where guests can wind down after a day of travelling and sightseeing.

     

    Restaurant

    The 2nd floor restaurant, Sanga Ono Kyoto Jokyoji, was developed by ONO GROUP which has built many restaurants in Fukuoka Prefecture. This is the company’s first restaurant to be built outside Fukuoka. Guests can enjoy delicious Japanese rice, Kyoto vegetables, tai-chazuke (green tea poured over sea bream), Kyoto-style grilled fish, and more. The restaurant will also serve Japanese buckwheat noodles overseen by Akamachaya Asago, a restaurant listed in the Michelin Guide.

     

    Experience Jokyoji Temple

    Jokyoji Temple was founded in 1171 by Taira no Shigemori. In 1591, the temple was moved to Teramachi-dori where it has stayed to this day. When the hotel opens its doors, it will offer various activities to guests. Those who take part in the morning activity will receive a goshuin stamp from the chief priest.

     

    Experience a hotel and a temple like never before as both are fused together at Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji.

  • Houjicha Milk Tea and Genmaicha Milk Tea Made With Japanese Tea Leaves Serving at Gong cha

    22.June.2020 | FOOD

    Gong cha’s limited-time “Houjicha Milk Tea” and “Genmaicha Milk Tea” beverages are popular each year, and they returned once again on June 17.

     

    Japanese Tea

    Gong cha’s menu item “Japanese Tea” was released in 2018 exclusively for Japan, and is enjoyed every year during its annual limited-time run. Made using tea leaves from Japan, its authentic taste and aroma has people begging for more when the year’s run is up.

     

    2 Flavours This Year

    Houjicha Milk Tea (Regular Size: ¥470) / Recommended Topping: Milk Foam (+¥70) | Serving: From June 17, 2020 for a limited time

    The Houjicha Milk Tea is the iconic drink of Gong cha’s “Japanese Tea” series. It’s a blend the best high quality houjicha and kukicha tea leaves, both of which are grown in Shizuoka Prefecture. Roasting and using them together gives a sweet and deeply rich aroma. Add milk foam as a topping and you’ve got yourself a rich milk tea.

    Genmaicha Milk Tea (Regular Size: ¥470) / Recommended Tapioca (+¥70) | Serving: From June 17, 2020 for a limited time

    The Genmaicha Milk Tea is an original blend of Japanese genmai rice and tea leaves from Shizuoka Prefecture. This milk tea keeps the original delicious flavour of the tea and wafts a fragrant rice aroma.

  • Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki: A Luxury Ryokan Renovated From a Traditional Townhouse Alleyway

    18.June.2020 | SPOT

    Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki St. is a new inn that recently opened in Kyoto which is made up of 23 machiya (townhouses) and two restaurants. It was co-developed by Nazuna and Kiraku and offers an accommodation experience like no other.

    Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki St. is renovated from an entire 110-year-old L-shaped alleyway of machiya spanning 1,400 square meters. The reception building sits on an unassuming streetand  serves as both an entrance to welcome guests, as well as a passage from the outside world into Tsubaki St. On the other side, guests are greeted by a world reminiscent of the historical geisha districts of Kyoto known as Hanamachi. In the evening, guests can experience the luster of Tsubaki St. as the Japanese paper lanterns and paper lamps illuminate the stone-cobbled path.

     

    All guest rooms enjoy private semi open-air baths

    All 23 guest rooms are named and decorated based on the elements of nature that have long been enjoyed in the ancient city of Kyoto: TAKE (bamboo), MIZU (water), IWA (stone), HANA (flower), and HA (leaf). And since each guest room is its own building, guests can enjoy the entire space to themselves. There is also a large open area between the reception and guest rooms to reduce the chance of running into other guests, offering a more private experience.

     

    Chisao Shigemori’s modern rock garden greets guests at the reception

    The first floor of the reception building features a rock garden created by landscape architect Chisao Shigemori which fuses the traditional and the modern. His grandfather was Mirei Shigemori, a famous Japanese landscape architect who is known for having designed the Tofukuji Hojo Temple gardens in Kyoto, amongst other projects. Chisao himself has produced numerous works both inside and outside Japan, such as at Matsuo-Taisha Shrine.

     

    The reception building’s second floor is a lounge space where guests can enjoy tea and confections made by d:matcha after checking in. It’s a chance to try Kyoto’s famous Uji matcha. At nighttime, this are is free for people to use where they can enjoy friendly soft drinks and alcohol.

     

    Unforgettable food at two different restaurants

    Behind a secret door located somewhere inside Tsubaki is “q,” a six-seated chef’s table produced by Hiroshi Sasaki, who is the owner of the Michelin three-star restaurant Gion Sasaki, and TOROMO PRODUCE. A roster of chefs will rotate for service, with Hiroshi Sasaki in the line-up. The restaurant will open officially on July 2, 2020 and is now taking enquiries via mail@toromi.co.jp. Group and family bookings are available. The restaurant will serve special courses the likes of which cannot be experienced anywhere else.

    The other restaurant, “Wagyu Ryotei bungo” will serve courses made with specially-selected high quality Japanese wagyu beef. There are counter seats as well as 7 private and semi-private rooms which house 2-8 people.

  • Help Fukuoka’s Hotels During COVID-19 With Crowdfunding Project

    17.June.2020 | SPOT

    Fukuoka’s tourism industry is suffering greatly as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and so the city has launched a crowdfunding project to ask for people’s help and support.

     

    By donating, you can receive a special ticket which can be used when travel returns to normal which can be used at hotels you have donated towards. The tiers are priced at ¥3,000 and ¥5,000, which will get you tickets priced at ¥3,300 and ¥5,500 respectively to be used in the future. If you’re thinking of travelling to Fukuoka, or already had plans booked to go there, then consider donating towards the city.

    Fukuoka is a city loved by Japanese people and foreigners alike. It has a rich food culture, incredible festivals, a rich history, and an amalgamation of urban and rural scenery.

  • Japan’s Anime Theme Park Nijigen no Mori Has Naruto, Boruto & Other Exciting Events This June

    16.June.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Nijigen no Mori is an anime theme park located on Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture. Here’s a list of the latest events running at the park in June.

     

    NARUTO & BORUTO SHINOBIZATO

    NARUTO & BORUTO SHINOBIZATO is an area of Nijigen no Mori with attractions and more based on Naruto and his son Boruto. The area celebrated its 1st anniversary on April 20, 2020. The park is currently selling anniversary merchandise as well as other exclusive items. Guests who buy a ticket to the park online will receive a free 1st anniversary postcard.

     

    Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00 (Reception Closes 20:00)

    Price: Adults ¥1,800 / High & Junior High School Students ¥1,800 / Children (Elementary School Students & Younger) ¥500
    *Free entry for those aged 3 and below

     

    Price: ¥1,280 Each (Before Tax) *6 flavours

    There are also beverages inspired by characters from the series.

    Price: ¥1,050 (Before Tax)

    There is also a special ramen dish you can order inspired by the Akatsuki, the biggest threat to the Hidden Leaf Village.

    GRAND CHARIOT Hokutoshichisei 135°, a hotel and glamping facility located in the area, also opened its new Naruto-themed room on June 1, 2020.

     

    The room, called “Hokage no Bessou” (Hokage’s Villa), is renovated from one of the resort’s buildings, and aims to plunge guests into the world of ninjas. The room takes inspiration from the Hidden Leaf Village and its characters, with references to the series and recreated scenes littered throughout. It also offers exclusive amenities for guests to enjoy.

     

    Guests who stay in the Naruto room receive a free ticket to NARUTO & BORUTO SHINOBIZATO at Nijigen no Mori.

     

    ⒸMasashi Kishimoto Scott / Shuiehsa・TV Tokyo・Pierrot

     

    Crayon Shin-chan Adventure Park

    Over at the Crayon Shin-chan shop in Nijigen no Mori, they’re selling limited quantities of a “Happy Bag” full of Shin-chan merchandise, from picnic cushions to towels and more for a total of six items.


    And for the summer season, the last entries to all attractions at Crayon Shin-chan Adventure Park have been extended. It’s a chance to work your body while enjoying the green outdoors.

     

    Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Last Entries 19:30)
    Price: Adults ¥4,480 / High & Junior High School Students ¥2,880 / Children (Elementary School Students & Younger) ¥1,180 / Seniors ¥1,440
    *Free entry for those aged 4 and below. Please check the official website for weekend and national holiday prices.

     

    Phoenix Night Walk

    June 21 is Father’s Day, and to celebrate Nijigen no Mori is holding an event on the day based on Osamu Tezuka’s manga Phoenix. Dads can attend the event for free. The park is holding a birthday campaign for June for those whose birthdays were in March, April, and May since they were unable to go out due to isolation, as well as for those whose birthdays are in June.

     

    Date: June 21, 2020

    Time: 19:30-20:30

    Price: General ¥3,300 (Junior High School Students & Older) / Children ¥1,200 (Aged 5-12)2020年6月21日(日)
    営業時間:19:30~20:30(季節により異なる)
    *Free entry for those aged 3 and below.

  • Tateshina Bamboo Grass Garden Opens 20,000m² Sasarikyu Garden For Free

    11.June.2020 | SPOT

    Tateshina Bamboo Grass Garden has is opening the Sasarikyu area of its gardens for free from June 5 to October 31 this year. The area spans almost 20,000m² and is home to an arbour and over 120 varieties of bamboo grass.

    Opening the gardens in June means that visitors will get to see the bamboo grass at its most beautiful. Tateshina Bamboo Grass Garden wants more people to enjoy the gorgeous scenery, and so decided to make it a free experience for visitors.

     

    It’s an opportunity to see the vivid green leaves of the bamboo free which, on a clear day, glistens brightly at the shine of the early summer sun. On a rainy day during the rainy season, it offers a completely different spectacle: the twinkle of the leaves as a result of the dew. In addition to the bamboo grass, rows of hydrangeas also blossom in the garden at the start of summer, and in autumn, the area takes on gorgeous red and yellow hues.

    Another charm of Sasarikyu is the tea ceremony arbour that sits amongst the verdure. This arbour, which was designed by Japanese architect Kiyoshi Yasui, continues the tradition of sukiya style of building known as sukiya-zukuri which was first established in Kyoto.

     

    Sasarikyu

    The Tateshina Plateau sits enveloped by the Yatsugatake, a collection of towering inactive volcanoes. In this expanse lies Sasarikyu, a botanical garden of kuma bamboo grass with over 120 varieties from both Japan and overseas. It is the only bamboo grass garden of its kind in the world and aims to contribute to the region’s culture by drawing out the unknown when it comes to bamboo grass.

    Bamboo grass area (13,200m²)

    Sasarikyu is not just a botanical garden. It is also home to the world’s largest tsukubai basin called Zuigetsusen, as well as an azekura-zukuri style statue of the god of wealth, Hashiri Daigoku. It also has Jōmonka, a style of building from the middle of the Jōmon period in Japanese history which has bamboo grass-thatched roofs.

     

    Sukiya Arbour Garden Area (6,600m²)

    The sukiya arbour was designed by Kiyoshi Yasui who helped carry out major renovations to the Katsura Imperial Villa, as well as helped dismantle and reconstruct two national treasures of Japan: the Joan and Taian tea houses.

     

    Another highlight of the gardens is an area where medicinal herbs area grown. The herbs there are ones mostly seen in Nagano Prefecture. It not only serves as an area with specimens of such herbs, but also offers gorgeous scenery too when the flowers bloom through the seasons.

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