Travel Japan: Turtle Rock, Oshinkoshin Waterfall & Other Must-Visit Sites in Hokkaido’s Shiretoko Peninsula

18.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

Shiretoko Peninsula was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005 and is the northernmost location in Japan to have been so. Even in a place such as Hokkaido, which strikes all with its marvellous natural landscape, Shiretoko is said to be home to many secluded locations. Many of these have not been touched by the hands of man―they have been left as they are―and so one can discover sights, animals and much more that they cannot anywhere else.

 

We are joined by Mirina, an Instagrammer who posts her experiences travelling to Hokkaido’s many sightseeing spots located in pockets of nature. She has provided us with photos of her trip to the Shiretoko Peninsula and its must-see spots.

 

The Shiretoko Five Lakes

The Shiretoko Five Lakes are situated inside an old-growth forest from which you can admire the grand Shiretoko mountain range in the back. Many wild animals live here such as the brown bear and black woodpecker. The view is one would expect from a World Heritage Site, with gorgeous scenery to soak up in every direction.

 

▶︎The Shiretoko Five Lakes

Address: Onnebetsumura, Shari, Shari District, Hokkaido

Shiretoko Shari Machi Sightseeing Website: https://www.goko.go.jp/multilingual_eng/index.html

 

Turtle Rock (Cape Chashikotsu)

Cape Chashikotsu, located on the Utoronishi side, can be seen from Shari and looks just like a giant turtle which is where it gets its nickname “Turtle Rock” from.

 

▶︎Turtle Rock (Cape Chashikotsu)

Address: Utoronishi, Shari, Shari District, Hokkaido

 

Oshinkoshin Waterfall

Oshinkoshin Waterfall is listed as one of Shiretoko’s “8 Sights.” This towering waterfall rolls down the rocks and splits into two separate waterfalls halfway down which has given it the nickname “Two Beautiful Falls.” The are stairs that enable you to walk beside the waterfall halfway up, letting you get nice and close to the water. There is also an observation deck atop the waterfall from which you can see many sights such as the Sea of Okhotsk and Shiretoko mountain range. The waterfall is also listed as one of Japan’s top 100 waterfalls.

 

▶︎Oshinkoshin Waterfall

Address: Utoronishi, Shari, Shari District, Hokkaido

Shiretoko Shari Machi Sightseeing Website: https://www.goko.go.jp/multilingual_eng/index.html

 

The Road To Heaven

This long stretch of road spans 18km and has been dubbed the “Road To Heaven” as when observed from uphill looks like it disappears into the clouds. Situated on one side of the farmlands, one can enjoy a quiet and breathtaking view of the road. It’s also a popular road with bikers and travellers riding bicycles. It’s also a must-see from the observation deck close by.

 

▶︎The Road To Heaven (Japanese Name: 天に続く道)

Address: Minehama, Shari, Shari District, Hokkaido

Shiretoko Shari Machi Sightseeing Website: https://www.goko.go.jp/multilingual_eng/index.html

 

 

Did you enjoy this list? There are countless places to visit in Japan, and some of the best are the quiet, secluded ones. If you get the opportunity to visit Hokkaido, put the Shiretoko Peninsula on your list of must-visit places.

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

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

    16.July.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

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

     

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

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

     

     

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

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


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

     

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

     

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

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

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

    Closed: Thursdays & Fridays

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

     

     

    Café ZIKKA (Kiyota, Sapporo)

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


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

     

    ▼Café ZIKKA

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

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

    Closed: Wednesdays (Open on national holidays)

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

     

     

    Kaze o Kanjite (Motomachi, Sapporo)

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

     

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


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

     

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

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

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

    Closed: Mondays & Tuesdays

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

     

     

    ROJIURA CAFÉ (Susukino, Sapporo)

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

     

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

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

     

    ▼ROJIURA CAFÉ

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

    Business Hours:

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

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

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

    No Fixed Holidays

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

     

     

    OJ Coffee (Kotoni, Sapporo)

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

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

     

    ▼OJ Coffee

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

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

    No Fixed Holidays

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

     

     

    Café Blue (Ishiyama-dori, Sapporo)

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

     

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


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

     

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

     

    ▼Café Blue

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

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

    No Fixed Holidays

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

     

     

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

     

    Photo & Text: Kei (@607keih)

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Hokkaido is a popular tourist destination for Japanese people as well as foreigners. During the winter, it is the perfect place to go skiing and during the summer, you will not suffer under sweltering heat like the rest of Japan. Hokkaido not only flourishes with wonderful tourist locations and delicious gourmet seafood, but also beautiful and stylish cafés.

     

    Instagrammer Kei @607keih) uses his account to introduce the world to delicious desserts and meals. Today, he will be introducing you to the delicious strawberry-flavoured desserts that Hokkaido’s capital Sapporo has to offer.

     

    holidays pancake/ Susukino

    Strawberry Pancake with Raspberry Sauce: ¥1200

    holidays pancake is only open on Sundays. It is located inside a beer bar called es CRAFT. I ordered the strawberry pancake with raspberry sauce. The plate was stacked with three pancakes which were deliciously covered in fresh cream, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, strawberries and raspberry sauce. The pancakes were soft and spongy. The flavour of the ricotta cheese really came through. Overall, this pancake is a very unique pancake to Hokkaido. 

     

    The sweetness of the raspberry sauce and sourness of the lemon juice balanced out for a slightly sour tinge. The fresh cream and vanilla ice cream toppings can be obtained for free by simply following the café on Instagram. The variety of toppings add a whole new range of flavours and colours for you to mix and match, so there is no getting bored. You can reserve your spot simply by sending them a direct message on Instagram, or by referring to their story! These pancakes are a rare find in Hokkaido, so you must try them.

     

    ▼holidays pancake

    Address: 1st floor N-place Building, 3-2-1, 4 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo

    Access: 3-minute walk from Susuki Station/Hosui-Susukino Station  

    Opening Hours: 11:00 ー 16:00(Last orders: 5:30)

    Closed: Mondays ー Saturdays

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

     

    BerryBerryCrazy/ Susukino

    Berry Berry Crazy is located on the 2nd floor of the building between 5-chome and 6 chome of Tanuki-Koji. The desserts here are made using strawberries sourced from Urakawa Sugano Orchard in Hokkaido. The species of strawberry used in the desserts is completely dependent on what is received upon the delivery of the ingredients that are received on the day. The parfait I ordered was made using a species of strawberry called Kaorino.

    The parfait contained fresh strawberries and strawberry compote, whipped cream, strawberry granita, pie crust, chiffon cake, and milk ice cream. You can tell that this parfait is full of strawberry goodness just by looking at it. Not only are the strawberries delicious, but the strawberry granita and strawberry compote were also to die for. This combined with the delicious whipped cream enhances the rich flavour even more. 

     

    ▼Berry Berry Crazy

    Address: 2nd floor, 5-20-2, Minami 3 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo

    Access: Approx. 5-minute walk from Odori Subway Station/Susuki Station

    Opening Hours: 18:00 ー 24:00 (Last orders: 23:30)

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

     

    Café Blue/ Chuo Ward


    Condensed Milk Strawberry Pancake: ¥1380 ※ Can change pancakes to waffles

    A mountain of whipped cream sits on the pancakes served at this popular café. The condensed milk strawberry pancake intrigued me for quite while so I decided to order it. 

    The plate is stacked with three pancakes, fresh cream and condensed milk. This is then drizzled with strawberry sauce and topped with vanilla ice cream. The pancakes were fluffy and the cream balanced the overall flavour, making it moderately sweet. The sweetness of the condensed milk and the sourness of the strawberry sauce were so delicious that there was no way I could get bored. 

     

    ▼ Café Blue

    Address: 16-9-12, Minami 3 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo

    Access: 5-minute walk from Ropeway iriguchi Station

    Opening Hours: 9:00 ー 19:00, (last orders: 18:00) 

    Breakfast: 9:00 ー 11:00, lunch/dinner: 10:00 ー 19:00, desserts: 10:00 ー 19:00,

    Open all year round.

    Official Website: https://cafeblue.exblog.jp/

     

    SHIRAYUKI/Tanuki-Koji 

    Fruit Squash: ¥500 each

    Shirayuki is located in Tanuki-Koji. The fruit squash here comes in four flavours and each contains popping boba. Today I ordered the Strawberry Squash. Strawberry sauce is drizzled into a cup of carbonated water. Popping boba is then added. The drink is topped with strawberries. 

    The bubbles of the carbonated water makes it the perfect way to cool down in the summer. This drink is only available until August 15, so if you want to try it, get there soon.

     

    ▼SHIRAYUKI

    Address: Shirayuki Sapporo Aiseikan Building, 5 Chome, Minami 1-jo nishi 5, Chuo Ward, Sapporo

    Access: Approx. 5-min walk from Odori Subway Station

    Opening Hours: 12:30 ー 19:00

    No regular holidays

    Official Instagram: https://www.facebook.com/shirayuki.hokkaido

     

    So how about it? Kei’s Instagram account is full of desserts and meals that you absolutely must try. If you are going to visit Hokkaido, make sure to check out Kei’s Instagram so you know exactly which restaurant or café you want to visit!

     

    Original article information and photographer: Kei (@607keih)

     

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

    24.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

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

     

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

     

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

     

    Patchwork Road

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

     

    ▼Patchwork Road

    Address: Hokuei, Kamikawa District, Biei, Hokkaido

    Time: Sunrise to sunset

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

     

     

    Shirogane Blue Pond

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

     

    ▼Shirogane Blue Pond

    Address: Shirogane, Biei, Kamikawa District, Hokkaido

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

     

     

    Seven Stars Tree

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

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

     

    ▼Seven Stars Tree

    Address: Hokuei, Kamikawa District, Biei, Hokkaido

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

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

     

     

    Shikisai No Oka

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

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

     

    ▼Shikisai No Oka

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

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

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

     

     

    Rubeshibe no Oka

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

     

    ▼Rubeshibe no Oka

    Address: Rubeshibe, Biei, Kamikawa District, Hokkaido

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

     

     

    The Sunsets of Biei

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

     

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

     

    Photos: Mirina Nishio

RELATED ENTRIES

  • 5 Temples in Kyoto Announce Exclusive Viewings For Their Secret Cultural Assets

    05.September.2019 | SPOT

    The history of Yamashina dates back over 1,400 years when Kyoto, then known as “Heian-kyō,” was the official capital of Japan. Located in the southeastern part of Kyoto, Yamashina is rich in history, abound with nature, and has maintained a traditional industry that has gone unbroken since ancient times.

     

    This year, with the arrival of Japan’s new emperor and the opening of a brand new era, five of Yamashina’s great temples are set to unveil several cultural assets, which until now have never been shown to the public.

     

    They are as follows.

    Anshoji Temple’s Wooden Jūichimen Kannon Statue (Important National Treasure)

    Kajū-ji Temple’s Sliding Door Panel Artwork  – “Eight Views of Ōmi” & “Tatsuta River Autumn Leaves” (Important National Treasures)

    Zuishinin Temple’s Gold Lacquered Fan Inkstone Case & 4-Panel Folding Screen

    Bishamon-do Temple’s Imperial Prince Flag & Tortoise Shell Doors

    Honkokuji Temple’s Kyōzō (Important National Treasure)

     

    Get away from the hustle and bustle of central Kyoto and steep yourself in its history with this very special once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

  • Kobe Readies For Rugby World Cup With Hospitable Events

    03.September.2019 | SPOT

    The 2019 Rugby World Cup is set to take place in Japan from September 20 to November 2. Many stadiums are hosting the games across Japan this year, one of which is Kobe Misaki Stadium. It is predicted that there will be many people visiting the city of Kobe for the World Cup.

    The competing teams at Kobe Misaki Stadium, also known as Noevir Stadium Kobe, are as follows: England vs USA on September 30, Ireland vs Russia on October 3, and South Africa vs Canada on October 8. An estimated 120,000 spectators will be present across the four matches, around 30,000 of which arriving from overseas.

     

    In response to the many fans set to appear in Japan’s sixth-largest city, venues are shops across Kobe are set to serve up a classic plate of Japanese omotenashi―or “hospitality―with a line-up of events and tours. Let’s take a look at just some of the exciting things the city has planned for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

     

    1. Meriken Park Fanzone in Kobe

    Rugby fans can enjoy the thrilling atmosphere of the World Cup at one of the many Fanzones set to open across Japan for the games. Entry to all of the Fanzones is free. In Kobe, look forward to live screenings of the matches, food stalls serving local food, promotional booths and more. The fun doesn’t have to end at the matches: fans can continue to enjoy the excitement before and after too at a Fanzone.

     

    2. Hospitable Events

    The Kobe Tourism Bureau has teamed up with local business around the city to prepare what they are calling “Hospitable Events For Fans.” Taking place from late September to early October, these events will offer exclusive and unique Kobe experiences. There are 6 in total, but we will take a look at just 2.

    MUSIC&DANCE@KOBE PORTOPIA Night 2019

    From big disco hits to rock tunes, EDM beats and groove, enjoy a feel-good late-night dance and music party at the fancy Kobe Portopia Hotel. Soak up the warm summer evening while freestyle boogieing.

    YORU-BAR ~Night Food Festival~

    People of all ages are invited to the popular YORU-BAR at Sannomiya Center Gai which will run from late September to early October. They will serve up a tasty selection of Japanese seafood to Kobe cuisine.

     

    3. KOBE Experience Guided Tour

    Aimed at foreign tourists attending the Rugby World Cup in Kobe, the Experience Guided Tour is comprised of 25 unique programs for people to experience Japanese culture, Kobe’s local food culture, and more. The tours will not only be limited to Kobe either―some will also spread to neighbouring cities. Let’s take a look at some of them.

    *All programs available in English only

    Premium Kobe beef at the almost 150-year-old restaurant Oi Nikuten

    Kobe beef is one of the three top brands of high-quality Japanese Wagyu beef. It’s the most well-known and popular type of Wagyu in Japan. With this program, you will learn various ways to enjoy Kobe beef at Oi Nikuten, a long-standing restaurant that first opened back in 1871.

     

    ▼Bookings

    https://www.viator.com/tours/Kobe/Various-ways-to-enjoy-Kobe-beef-Long-established-store/d27432-165105P24

    Experience Zen Meditation at Tenjoji Temple in Kobe City

    Immerse yourself in traditional Japanese culture with Zen meditation session at Tenjoji Temple. Learn all about the rich history of the temple with an incredible guided walk before sinking deep into meditation.

     

    ▼Bookings

    https://www.govoyagin.com/ja/activities/japan-kobe-experience-zen-meditation-tenjo-ji-kobe-city/11290

     

    There is lots to be discovered in Kobe, and the doors to its culture are open and ready to embrace all for the Rugby World Cup. Look forward to everything here and much, much more when the matches begin on September 20.

  • Adventure World Wildlife Theme Park in Wakayama Adopts SmaLingual Multilingual App

    03.September.2019 | SPOT

    Adventure World has announced that it has adopted SmaLingual to the park, a multilingual app designed for foreign tourists and travellers in Japan to help them get around.

     

    SmaLingual is a simultaneous multilingual interpretation service which uses a multilingual speech translation engine. Available in 10 languages including English and Brazilian Portuguese on both phones and browsers, the service translates and interprets both text and speech simultaneously, enabling people to have conversations with each other in different languages. The app’s functions also have a language level over TOEIC800, ensuring that you convey the right information correctly.

    Using this app means you will be able to read and understand descriptions and explanations written around the park, cautious on interacting with the animals, and so on.

     

    Now guests can enjoy Adventure World with friends and family to the fullest without making a mistake.

  • Himeji Castle Places Number 1 On Japan’s Top 20 Castles For 4th Year in a Row

    03.September.2019 | SPOT

    TripAdvisor® has just released its list of the top 20 castles in Japan from 2019 as reviewed by travellers and tourists.

    Himeiji Castle

    This is the 7th time the website has run this list. Coming in at No. 1 for the fourth year in a row is none other than Himeiji Castle, located in the city of Himeiji in Hyogo Prefecture.

    Matsumoro Castle

    Kumamoto Castle

    Moving up from 4th place to 2nd place this year is Matsumoto Castle in Nagano Prefecture, and from not ranking at all last year to 3rd place this year Kumamoto Castle. These top three castles comes as a package as they are considered Japan’s three premier castles.

     

    Kumamoto Castle is set to re-open this autumn after reconstruction work is complete. The castle suffered damages after the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes. Although time is required for the full restoration, you can still see the majestic tower keep surrounded by paling. Japanese users on TripAdvisor have commended it as a symbol of restoration and their joy with the repairs being done.

    Hirosaki Castle

    For the first time in four years, Hirosaki Castle ranks on the list in 12th place. Situated in central Hirosaki in Aomori Prefecture, the castle is a known living symbol of the Edo Period (1603-1868). Construction work has been taking place since 2015 to repair the base of the castle structure on the east side due to deterioration. In summer 2015, the castle tower was moved 70 meters without taking the castle apart to allow for work to be carried out. A moving castle is certainly a rare sight to see in Japan-and something you only imagine from a Studio Ghibli movie!

     

    The castle has been praised on TripAdvisor for how beautiful its surrounding nature is, from the cherry blossoms in spring to the red and yellow leaves in autumn. The castle can be enjoyed throughout all the seasons.

    Tsuyama Castle

    Making the list for the first time ever is Tsuyama Castle which can be found in the beautiful Kakuzan Park in Okayama. When you ascend the magnificent stone steps of the castle and turn around you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city of Tsuyama. In spring, the castle’s white watchtowers look picturesque next to the pink cherry blossom trees.

     

    From castles that have been maintained since they were first built to others that have been rebuilt from their former forms, there are countless sites to behold while in Japan. Be sure to use the Top 20 list as reference when travelling there!

  • Delicious and Instagrammable: 7 Bubble Tea Drinks Unique to Sapporo, Hokkaido

    02.September.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Bubble tea is a national sensation in Japan. Until now, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON has been introducing quite a lot of bubble tea shops in Harajuku, however today, we are going to introduce you to some special bubble teas that you can only get in Sapporo, Hokkaido.

     

    When it comes to cafés, desserts and drinks in Sapporo, you can always count on Instagrammer Kei to pick out the most unique and cute places.  Check out his Instagram (@607keih) which is home to a precious collection of mouthwatering and delicious pictures.

     

    And with that let’s get started:

     

    Club China/Tanukikoji 

    Almond Jelly Coconut Milk and Bubble Tea ¥600 (strawberry sauce topping: +¥50)

    (Chinese almond jelly is sometimes made with apricot kernels.)

    Club China is a Chinese restaurant where you can enjoy authentic Chinese food in a classy atmosphere. This rare bubble tea is the perfect way to discover authentic Chinese flavours. You can change the sweetness of your drink by adding gomme syrup, brown sugar sauce or strawberry sauce.

     

    ▶︎ Club China (クラブチャイナ)

    Address: SYOKUSAN 35 Building 3rd Floor

    3-chōme-5 Minami 3 Jōnishi, Chūō-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido

    Opening Hours

    ・Lunch: 11:00 ー 15:00(Last orders: 14:30)

    ・Tea 14:30 ー 17:00

    ・Dinner: 17:00 ー 22:00(Last orders: 21:00)

    Closed: Wednesdays (Open on national holidays)

    Website: http://www.clubchina.jp/index.html

     

     

    Oukacha (Located inside Izakaya Chorotto)/Higashi Ward

    Strawberry Milk Cream: ¥580

    There is a famous Izakaya (Japanese-style pub) in the Higashi-ku area. However, during the daytime, it is sometimes taken over by a bubble tea shop called Oukacha. The drink to look out for is their homemade brown sugar syrup bubble tea, which you can order with topping of whipped cream. This is the way to treat anyone with a sweet tooth! 

     

    ▶︎ Oukacha (Located inside Izakaya Chorotto 桜華茶)

    Address: 7-1-24, Kita 15 Johigashi, Higashi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido

    As the opening and closing days/times are irregular, please check them on the shop’s official Instagram or Twitter

     

    o.cha.bar/Tanukikoji

    Ritz Cream Cheese Churros: ¥550, Okinawa Brown Sugar Bubble Milk: ¥650

    MESSE Building is a mall full of interesting restaurants including a Bikkuri Donkey. Head to the 5th floor to discover a Taiwanese and Korean restaurant called o.cha.bar. This is where you will come across the Okinawa Bubble Milk. This is a bubble tea which is topped with a generous serving of cream made using salt sourced from Okinawa. The tapioca is imported directly from Taiwan and has a very springy texture. Maximise your experience by dipping the churros in the cream cheese. 

     

    ▶︎ o.cha.bar(オチャバー)

    Address: N.MESSE Building 5th floor, Minami 3-jo Nishi 3, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido 

    Opening Hours: 11:30 ー 21:00

    Closed: No regular holidays 

    Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/ochabar1

     

     

    cafe & kitchen unique/Higashi Ward

    Strawberry Milk: ¥480 , Matcha: ¥480, Served in a bottle: +¥80

    cafe&kitchen unique is famous for their delicious fluffy pancakes that are made in a deep pot and topped with beautiful toppings. However, their bubble teas which are sold in cute bottles are also something you do not want to miss. The Strawberry Milk contains fruity pieces which perfectly compliment the milk. The Matcha Milk has a gentle sweet flavour that adults would love.  

     

    ▶︎ cafe&kitchen unique (cafe&kitchen ユニック)

    Address: 3 Chome-2-6 Kita 10 Johigashi, Higashi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 

    Opening Hours

    Lunch : 11:00 ー 14:00

    Coffee Time: 14:00 ー 17:00

    Dinner: 17:00 ー 22:00

    Closed: The 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month. 

    Official Website: https://cafekitchen-unique.com/

     

     

    MY TAPIOCA KOUTA/Higashi Ward

    Brown Sugar Bubble Tea Latte 

    Ramen restaurant Ore no Ramen Kouta also runs the bubble tea shop MY TAPIOCA KOUTA, where it is possible to order just a bubble tea. The brown sugar adds a strong accent to the flavour. The tapioca pearls are large and although this is filling drink, it is also cheap which makes it a good deal. The shop is open late into the night which is perfect for those late night cravings. 

     

    ▶︎ MY TAPIOCA KOUTA

    Address: 4-5-26, Honcho 1 jo, Higashi Ward, Sapporo

    Opening Hours: 11:00 ー 23:30

    Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/tapiocamy

     

    Milk san Asabu Branch/Asabu

    Strawberry Milk: ¥650, Brown Sugar Milk: ¥570, Tapioca Topping: ¥70 (served in a bottle) 

    Milk san serves delicious drinks made using milk which is specially produced by dairy farmers, contributing to the delicious Hokkaido goodness of the drink. The small tapioca pearls and the rich milky flavour are the perfect combination. The brown sugar flavour is only available at the Asabu branch, so we recommend you try it. As these drinks are served in cute bottles, you just have to post a picture on Instagram. 

     

    ▶︎ Milk san Asabu

    みるくsan麻生店

    Address: Karumu Asabu 1st floor, 5-2-8, Kita 39 Jonishi, Kita Ward, Sapporo 

    Opening Hours: 10:00 ー 19:30

    Official Website: https://www.milk-san.com/

     

    Iced Biscuit Shop SHONPY/Susukino

    Chocolate Mint Frappé: ¥690, Strawberry Milk Bubble Tea with a Tapioca Float: ¥690 

    One by one, this shop makes iced biscuits that are original down to their shape. SHONPY also delivers countrywide. The Strawberry Milk Bubble Tea comes with a tapioca float that is too cute to consume. It is filled with fruit such as strawberries and bananas that are a perfect match with the tapioca. The Chocolate Mint Frappé comes in a very cute bottle. This shop opened in Harajuku too.

     

    ▶︎SHONPY

    Address: SUSUKINO LAFILER 2nd floor, 4 Chome, Minami 4 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 

    Opening Hours: 10:00 ー 21:00

    No fixed holidays

    Official Website: http://shon-py.jp/

     

    So, how about it? If you ever find yourself in Hokkaido, Kei’s recommended Hokkaido-limited bubble teas are bound to make your trip special. 

     

    Kei’s Instagram is full of delicious desserts and mouthwatering meals. When in doubt of where to eat out, Kei’s Instagram is bound to save your day so please check it out.

     

    Photos & Text: Kei(@607keih

  • A Magical Ice Village is Forming This Winter at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu in Hokkaido

    01.September.2019 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts Tomamu―one of Hokkaido’s leading snow resorts―is set to open a new area called the Ice Village this winter. It will run for a limited time from December 10 to March 14.

    The Ice Village spans coolly across 3.2 hectares of land and is home to 11 domes made entirely of ice. This winter-only experience has been running every year since 1998. Made to look like a real village, some of its iconic sights include the Ice Church and Ice Hotel which can be found at the very back. Everything from the towering ceilings to the walls are formed solely of ice.

     

    The main street, named fittingly the “Ice Street,” includes a cafe, gallery, shops and more, all enveloped in a chilly white world.

     

    Ice Crystal Park: A New Addition to the Ice Village to Gaze at the Sights and Scenery

    The Ice Crystal Park is frozen over with tables and chairs made of ice and has snowflakes dotted here and there, creating a true winter wonderland. Order a hot drink from the Ice Bakery & Cafe or munch on a tasty treat from the Ice Sweets Shop as you sit and gaze at the snow-covered landscape of the Ice Village while surrounded by towering white birch trees. And everyday at 19:30, a 5-minute firework show will warm up the winter sky which is best enjoyed while sitting in the park.

     

    Time: 17:00-22:00

    Price: Free

     

    Bite Down Frosty Treats at the Ice Sweets Shop

     

    It wouldn’t be a complete Ice Village without its own glacial cuisine. At the Ice Sweets Shop you can order ice cream which is made from liquid milk on an ice block. The temperature of the air coupled with the frozen coolness of the ice block causes the milk to freeze into a yummy dessert. There’s also chocolate ice bars made from hot chocolate, colourful macarons, toasted marshmallows, and more.

     

    Time: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:00)

    Price: Milk Gelato – from ¥1,100 / Macarons ¥550 / Ice Bar ¥550 / Marshmallows ¥550 (*All prices include tax)

     

    Grab a Drink From the Ice Bar

    The village even has its own Ice Bar, complete with an ice counter and ice cellar for serving sake. This year, the bar will serve an all-new original gin drink made using snowmelt from Tomamu. There are over 50 drinks to pick from, including original cocktails, whisky, and more.

     

    Time: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:45)

    Price: Original Gin – ¥1,650 / Drinks With Ice Glass – from ¥1,100 (*All prices include tax)

     

    There are many other exciting things to find at the ice village, including the Ice Hotel which you can sleep in, the Ice Atelier, and more. Have a reason to go out this winter by visiting the Ice Village in Hokkaido.

  • Transvaal Daisies & Wind Chimes Cool Down You This Summer at Kasuga Shrine in Fukuoka

    31.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Situated on the northern shore of Kyushu is Fukuoka Prefecture, a hot spot for tourists and travellers both Japanese and foreign, particularly those visiting from parts of Asia such as China, Taiwan and South Korea.

     

    When it comes to delicious Japanese food, Fukuoka is high on the list, home to a bounty of incredible restaurants. It’s the same with shopping too―there are countless stores to rummage through with shelves lined with innumerable things you’ll want to buy.

     

    But your Fukuoka experience will not be complete without a trip to one of the prefecture’s breathtaking tourist spots. Today, we are visiting Kasuga Shrine (not to be confused with Kasuga Grand Shrine in Nara), and we are joined by Japanese Instagram user Rie, who posts about her trips around Kyushu, and who has provided us with her experience visiting the shrine along with photos. You’ll find out how to get there and the must-see aspects.

    Kasuga Shrine is located in the city of Kasuga, Fukuoka. It’s about a 30-minute drive from Fukuoka city. But if you’re looking to catch the public transport, you’ll want to hop on the JR Line to Kasuga Station, or you can board the Nishitetsu Bus and get off at Kasuga (春日). The shrine is about a 7-minute walk from either of these stops.

     

    The shrine has a long history. Its origins are said to lie in Emperor Tenji enshrining the male deity Ame-no-Koyane-no-mikoto there.

     

    In the shrine grounds there is a camphor tree called “Kasuga no Mori” (The Grove of Kasuga) which is registered as a natural monument. The shrine is also home to a festival called “Kasuga no Muko Oshi” which has also been designated as an significant intangible folk cultural asset.

    But what’s been catching people’s attention recently is the flower-filled chōzuya. A chōzuya, also known as a temizuya, is a water basin placed at shrines and temples in Japan which visitors use to cleanse themselves before entering the shrine or temple.

     

    It’s more common in May and June to see hydrangeas placed in the basins, but at Kasuga Shrine they flutter in transvaal daisies♡

    The flowers were placed in there on August 19 and will remain there until September 1. During the same period, there are lots of beautiful wind chimes being strung up around the shrine ground. Their tranquil sound as the breeze blows, together with the watery flowers, are enough to make you feel cool this summer.

    If you’re looking to find more beautiful places to visit around Kyushu, Rie has plenty of recommendations on her Instagam page so be sure to give her a follow.

     

    Photos by Rie

  • Shibuya’s New Tourist Information Center is Open For Business at Night & Offers Airport Bus Service

    31.August.2019 | SPOT

    Tokyu Land Corporation has announced that Shibuya’s all-new tourist information center will be named “shibuya-san.” Located on the first floor of Shibuya FUKURAS, the tourist information and are center is set to open its doors to the public this December.

     

    Tourist Information: Where you can become a Shibuya local

    The tourist information section of the center is staffed by people from countries around the world, from Europe to Asia, most of which are non-Japanese students studying abroad. They are able to offer detailed tourist and sightseeing information for Shibuya from the perspective of a “foreigner in Japan.”

     

    The center also does away with the ordinary set-up of most tourist information centers in which you speak to someone over the counter. Instead, tourists entering shibuya-san will be greeted directly by staff and talk to them side by side.

     

    They also offer English guide books with a map produced by Time Out Tokyo. Time Out is a city guide service published in 108 countries around the world in 39 languages.

     

    Art Center: Where art brings Shibuya and the world together

    shibuya-san will be the first tourist information center in Japan to have its own art gallery. Being located right in front of Shibuya Station means that people visiting from around the world will be exposed to Shibuya’s culture through art. Focused on “Travel, City & People,” the art gallery will offer not only exhibitions and performances, but also events in which tourists can participate, as well as opportunities to talk directly with artists.

     

    Open Late: Shibuya’s nightlife propelled with the center’s night hours

    Almost all tourist information centers close in the late afternoon/early evening, but not shibuya-san. Shibuya’s nightlife is a huge part of the city’s culture, and so to make it more accessible to tourists, shibuya-san will be open until 11:00pm, offering helpful information and suggestions for getting around and enjoying yourself after-hours.

     

    shibuya-san even has its own drinks counter where alcohol is served in the evenings. Events will be held there periodically where you can meet and talk with people.

     

    Limousine Buses: Haneda Airport and Narita Airport

    The bus terminal in front of the tourist center offers regular buses and will soon offer airport limousine buses from Haneda and Narita Airport. They will serve to create a new doorstep to Shibuya at Shibuya Station’s west exit for tourists visiting Shibuya. They will begin running in early December.

     

    Whether you’re visiting Shibuya for the first time or are a returning guest, find out all there is to know about the area when shibuya-san opens this December.

  • teamLab Now Holding Digital Art Exhibition at World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto

    31.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    With the increase in number of collaborations between contemporary digital art and traditional and historical Kyoto sites, teamLab is getting in on the action with its new digital art exhibition “Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine.”

     

    We are joined by Instagrammer Macchan who recently attended the exhibition and who has provided photos for us.

     

    Shimogamo Shrine is a shrine located between the Kamo River and Mount Kōya. It was registered it as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The shrine is associated good luck in marriage and welcomes sightseers from Japan and around the world. It can be reached by the 205 Bus from Kyoto Station and getting off at either Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社) or Tadasu Forest (糺ノ森前). It’s also about a 20-minute taxi ride from Kyoto Station.

     

    This marks the third run of teamLab’s “Digitized Forest” exhibition at Shimogamo Shrine, and this year’s exhibition has been made even bigger. It is running until September 2, 2019.

    Floating by the Rōmon Gate of the shrine are spheres of light which change colour and emit various musical tones unique to the colour when touched by a person. They also react to the other spheres around them, changing to the same colour and letting out the same tone, creating a chain reaction.

    Egg-shaped orbs of light can be found dotted around the Tadasu Forest by the shrine which illuminate the trees. Like the light spheres, when the eggs are pushed they change colour and play a musical noise specific to that colour, the sound and tone spreading through the forest.

    These objects of light can also be found at Mitarashi Pond where they float on the water. The orbs shine brightly and then fade slowly as if breathing. If pushed by people or blown by the wind they will change colour and emit sound.

     

    The best part about teamLab’s art exhibitions is how visitors become part of the exhibition itself by interacting with the installations, offering a much more engaging experience than simply looking. Visit Shimogamo Shrine before the exhibition ends to see digital art meet a traditional Japanese shrine at night.

     

     

    If you’re looking for more sightseeing recommendations for Kyoto then be sure to follow Macchan on Instagram!

     

    Photos by まっちゃん

  • Kagoshima’s Sengan-en Gardens Nominated For Best Attraction in Travel & Tourism Awards

    29.August.2019 | SPOT

    Both Sengan-en, Shoko Shuseikan Museum and Satsuma Kiriko Glassworks have been nominated for “Best Attraction” in the 2019 Travel & Tourism Awards, which are held in London every year as part of World Travel Market London (WTM).

    This year marks the 40th run of WTM London, which brings together over 50,000 travel and tourism professionals from 186 countries to spread the latest tourism trends and must-visit locations around the world. The Travel & Tourism Awards is a universally recognised stamp of approval, held in front of over 500 seniors in the travel industry.

    Sengan-en, Shoko Shuseikan Museum, and Satsuma Kiriko Glassworks have been recognised and nominated for their renovation efforts which have increased tourism. They are up against six other facilities in the same category, including Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter by Warner Bros Studios.

     

    With only one entry from Japan, which location will take home the award? Japan will be watching intently for the reveal on November 5.

  • Japan’s Keio Line Releases ‘Goshuin’ Stamp Book For Tourists

    29.August.2019 | SPOT

    In response to the rapidly increasing number of foreign tourists to Japan in recent years, Keio Corporation has designed an original Keio Line goshuin stamp book which will be released at the “Central Honshu Information Plaza in Keio Shinjuku” at Shinjuku Station on September 1.

     

    A Goshuincho is a book for collecting goshuin, which are stamps or seals given at shrines and temples across Japan. Every shrine and temple has its own unique goshuin which are stamped alongside calligraphy handwritten by the staff there and then who write the date and the name of the temple or shrine.

     

    When purchasing Keio’s book, you are given a pamphlet―available in English only―featuring lots of different sites you can receive goshuin up and down the train line.

    Sites include the Buddhist temple Yakuou-in (Hachioji, Tokyo), Takahata Fudoson Kongo-ji Temple (Hino, Tokyo), Ōkunitama Shrine (Chofu, Tokyo), Jindaiji Temple (Chofu, Tokyo), and Ohmiya-Hachimangu (Suginami, Tokyo). The pamphlet also explains how to obtain a stamp as well as the correct way to worship at these locations. It also details information about train ticket discounts on the Keio Line for foreign travellers which were introduced in February this year.

    The book will also be available to purchase at Keio Rail-Land from October 14.

  • Kyoto’s Kurodani Temple Autumntime Illuminations Begin on November 4

    23.August.2019 | SPOT

    Konkaikōmyō-ji, also known as Kurodani Temple, is set to open its doors to the public from November 4 for its autumn illuminations.

    Kurodani Temple has a long history, best known as serving as the Kyoto Shugoshoku―the office of the Tokugawa shogunate―during the Bakumatsu period. It has relations to the Shinseigumi, a military force which was active during this time which was dedicated to suppressing anti-shogunate activities. It is also the first place that Hōnen, the founder of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism, spread his teachings.

     

    For the special opening, you will be able to see the famous chicken painting Tori-zu Oshiebari Byobu by Itō Jakuchū as well as treasures associated with Hōnen and more.

    The number of tigers on the famous tiger doors of the temple changes as you slide them.

    From the temple grounds you can enjoy a breathtaking scene of the gardens where the autumnal colours of the trees reflect from the surface of the pond.

    Kurodani Temple is also home to the Gokōshiyui Amidabutu Statue, which became the talk of the town in the media when it was dubbed the “Afro Buddha,” and looks deep in contemplation.

    There will also be performances three times a day in the evening using traditional Japanese instruments like the koto and shinobue.

    If you pay for the premium entry plan you can enter 30 minutes earlier and will be guided by one of the official gardeners or expert of the gardens.

RANKING

  • DAILY
  • MONTHLY

FOLLOW US