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.
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.
Running: December 10, 2019 – March 14, 2019
Location: Hoshino Resorts Tomamu area
Time: 17:00-22:00 (Last Entries 21:30)
Entry Price: Elementary School Children & Older – ¥500 (Tax Included) *Free for guests staying at Tomamu The Tower or RISONARE Tomamu
Available: To both guests and visitors
Notes: Times, prices etc may vary depending on each service or activity. Select services and activities are subject to changes depending on weather conditions. Certain services and activities scheduled to start at later dates.
Hoshino Resorts Tomamu / Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Tomamu
Address: Nakatomamu, Shimukappu, Yufutsu District, Hokkaido
Official Website (English): https://www.snowtomamu.jp/winter/en/
Every Single Spot in Hokkaido’s Green Town of Biei is a Sight to Behold
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.
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.
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
Travel Japan: Turtle Rock, Oshinkoshin Waterfall & Other Must-Visit Sites in Hokkaido’s Shiretoko Peninsula
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 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.
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.
7 Best Peach Desserts to Enjoy This Season in Hokkaido – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON
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.
In this feature, we are joined by Instagrammer Kei whose page is centred around cafes in Sapporo, Hokkaido. They have provided us with photos of desserts made with peaches which can be enjoyed right now before summertime ends.
Initial Sapporo in Susukino
Parfait Pêche – ¥1,700
Sapporo cafe Initial was ahead of the parfait game before the boom in Japan. Right now they are selling two new parfaits: one made with melon and the other with peach. They are being served until the end of August.
The parfait is topped with sweet sliced peaches underneath which sits refreshing milk flavoured soft serve ice cream for a heavenly combination. The yogurt mousse elevates the sweetness of the peaches and goes well with the sprinkle of black pepper. There’s even Parmesan cheese which tastes gorgeous with everything. No matter where you stick your spoon in this parfait your taste buds will be treated with delight.
Address: DRESS 2F, 5-Chome-36 Minami 3 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Opening Hours: [Weekdays] 17:00-Midnight / [Weekends & Public Holidays] 14:00-Midnight (Last Orders 23:30)
No Fixed Holidays
Access: 5-minutes on foot from Susukino Station and Ōdōri Station
Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/INITIAL.sapporo/
Gohanya Cafe Miyabi in Kita 24 Jo
Whole Peach & Royal Milk Tea – ¥1,380
The seasonal parfait at Gohanya Cafe Miyabi right now is the Whole Peach & Royal Milk Tea. It’s served with an entire plump peach on top which is best enjoyed by cutting and eating bit by bit until it drops into the glass. The peaches they use are refreshing and really delicious♡
Tea is the main component of this parfait and that too was super refreshing. It also includes a framboise sorbet which add satisfying sour notes, and the cookies and other hidden treats add a multitude of tasty textures.
▼Gohanya Cafe Miyabi
Address: E-COUR24 1F, 3-Chome-1-1 Kita 24 Jonishi, Kita Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:00-15:00 / Cafe Time 15:00-17:30 / Dinner 17:30-21:00 (Last Orders 20:00)
Access: 150 meters from Kita-Nijūyo-Jō Station
Official Website: https://miyabi-sapporo.shopinfo.jp/
TSURU CAFE in Miyanomori
Flavour Soft Peach – ¥830
TSURU CAFE is a stylish and popular little cafe that is selling its new Flavour Soft Peach for a limited time. The syrup is this parfait is in fact made from red shiso leaf. Inside you will find a tower of peach compote, soft serve ice cream, meringue, and the syrup.
The milky ice cream is a a magical mix together with the peach compote. The crunchy meringue is simply melt-in-your-mouth too♡
The syrup has that distinct red shiso fragrance but it tastes sweet and so makes an amazing flavour. The shiso will no longer be served once sales of this dessert finish, so you’ll want to get in there ASAP!
Address: 5-Chome-2-8 Miyanomori 2 Jo, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Opening Hours: [Mon-Sat] 10:00-20:00 / [Sun & Holidays] 10:00-19:00
Access: 500 meters from Nishi-Nijūhatchōme Station
Official Blog: http://tsurucafe.jugem.jp/
KAJITSU_CLUB in Tanukikoji Shopping Street
Peach & Hokkaido Soft Cream – ¥600
KAJITSU_CLUB is located in the Beats Eats are on the basement floor of PARCO. You can order the ice cream of this peachy parfait as vanilla, yogurt or mixed. I went with mixed.
The fresh peaches are so good! The soft serve ice cream is nice and sweet and there’s also a sour yogurt flavour. The flavours might be simple but the quality is high.
Address: PARCO B2F, 3-Chome-3 Minami 1 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
No Fixed Holidays
Access: Directly connected to the Ōdōri Station subway
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kajitsu_club/
SHIRAYUKI in Tanukikoji Shopping Street
Momomo – ¥600
Available this August only, SHIRAYUKI’s new bottled drink is made of half frozen peach smoothie and half jelly and Hokkaido milk. This combination is match made in heaven! They come with a bag if you want to order for takeout too.
Address: Sapporo Aiseikan Bldg., 5-Chome Minami 1 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Opening Hours: 12:30-19:00
No Fixed Holidays
Access: 5-minutes on foot from Ōdōri Station
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shirayuki.hokkaido/
Pâtisserie LEEMO in Shinkotonicho
Whole Peach Parfait – ¥1,350 (*Only 20 available per day)
Pâtisserie LEEMO is known for its cute cakes and baked sweets, but right now they are selling this Whole Peach Parfait until the end of August.
You only need to feast your eyes on this dessert to know how refreshing the flavour is going to be. It even contains a jelly made from rosé wine, but the alcohol taste isn’t strong so can be enjoyed by anyone.
Depending on the stock of the bakery’s peaches sales of this dessert may end earlier. You can also make a reservation for one which I recommend, so don’t miss out!
Address: 6-Chome-2-21 Shinkotoni 2 Jo, Kita Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00 (Parfait served at 12:00-18:00)
No Fixed Holidays
Access: Approximately 1km from Shinkawa Station
Official Website: http://patisserieleemo.jp/
Cake and bake HACHI CAFE in Hachiken
Whole Peach – ¥720
This luxurious-looking dessert is a whole peach filled with framboise jelly and custard making for an irresistible sour and sweet combination. The tart underneath is incredible too! Due to limited stock and the time it takes for the peaches to ripen there are days when the dessert isn’t serve. You can check the cafe’s official Instagram to find out if it’s on the menu that day or not.
▼Cake and bake HACHI CAFE
Address: Hachiken 3 Johigashi, Nishi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00
Closed: Wednesdays & Thursdays
Access: 550m from Hachiken Station
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hachicafe8/
Did you enjoy this list? Make sure to wolf down all of the tempting peach desserts you can in Japan before summer ends.
Kei’s Instagram page is a wealth of recommendations for meals and desserts in Hokkaido, so be sure to check out their page if you’re planning to travel there.
Photo & Text: Kei (@607keih)
Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
Hoshinoya Tokyo Ranks Number One On ‘World’s Best Awards 2020 Top Hotels in Tokyo’
11.July.2020 | SPOT
Travel + Leisure published their “World’s Best Awards 2020 Top Hotels in Tokyo” list on July 8, 2020 on which Hoshinoya Tokyo, managed by Hoshino Resorts, placed No. 1.
“World’s Best Awards” is a list of the top hotels as ranked by travel magazine Travel + Leisure’s user ratings. The hotel category takes into account the facilities, location, service, food, and more offered at each hotel.
Established in Otemachi, Tokyo in July 2016, Hoshinoya Tokyo is a ryokan-style hotel which has two basement floors and 17 upper floors. It has a traditional Japanese ryokan vibe to it with its tatami mats, sliding doors, bamboo materials, and more, plus guests must take their shoes off at the entrance. And while it has traditional elements, it caters to the modern lifestyle, combining the best of both worlds. It offers guests a chance to easily experience Japanese culture and what it’s like to stay in a ryokan.
Address: 1-9-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Check In @ 15:00 / Check Out @ 12:00
Access: 10-minutes on foot from Tokyo Station’s Marunouchi North Exit / 2-minutes on foot from Otemachi Station’s A1 and C2 exits (via Tokyo Metro)
Official Website: https://hoshinoya.com/en/
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.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Local Shaved Ice 2020 (Japanese Name: 界のご当地かき氷 2020)
Running: July 11, 2020 – August 31, 2020
Available: At 15 Hoshino Resorts KAI branches
Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/features/kakigori/
Notes: Reservations not required
Hoshino Resorts KAI Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/
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.
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.
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.
Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe / Olu Grill
Grand Opening: July 1, 2020
Address: 560 Gima, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa Prefecture
Access: 60-minutes by car from Naha Airport / 90-minutes by limousine bus from Naha Airport
Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe
Opening Hours: 10:00 until sunset
Official Website: https://banta-cafe.com/
*Breakfast service available from mid-July 2020. Serving hours will be 7:00-9:30
Hoshino ResortsOlu Grill
Opening Hours: [Dinner] 17:00-21:00 (Last Orders 20:30)
Official Website: https://banta-cafe.com/olu-grill/
*Reservations required. Lunch service available from mid-July 2020. Serving hours will be 11:00-15:00.
MAXPLAN AZABU10: The New Landmark of Tokyo’s Azabu Juban District
31.May.2020 | SPOT
MAXPLAN Co. is set to open MAXPLAN AZABU10 on October 22, 2020 which is set to become the new symbol and a landmark of Tokyo’s Azabu Juban District. The building will offer many unique and extraordinary experiences.
Nakamura Suzuko (CEO, MAXPLAN Co.) | Comment
“This project borrows the strength of internationally-active architect Kengo Kuma. I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to be a driving force together with him once again. This building, which is the ‘Azabu Juban Development Project,’ will be a place that creates and discovers new collective value between companies and individuals. A place of creative symbiosis. It aims to offer well being for companies that brings about a sense of cultural values. It will be a creative space for companies and individuals to resonate, bounce ideas off, and flow with one another. I pray from the bottom of my heart that these things will serve as a connection to how we want to live in the future.”
Kengo Kuma (Architect) | Comment
“Azabu Juban is Tokyo’s intersection between tradition and the future. I wanted to create a symbol for this district of ‘fluctuations’ around its crossroads. Combining panels of varying sizes with different heights, thicknesses, and textures expresses the district’s diversity and energy. I wanted the building to blend in as part of the ‘fluctuations,’ as well as create a small 3D city which itself has ‘fluctuations’ […]”
We look forward to seeing how this new landmark and symbol of Azabu Juban brings together the traditional and the futuristic.
Building Site: 4-1-1 Azabu Juban, Minato Ward, Tokyo
Access: 1-minute on foot from Azabu Juban Station (via Tokyo Metro Namboku Line and Toei Oedo Line)
Grand Opening: October 2020 (subject to change)
HOSHINOYA Guguan Listed in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2020 Hot List
25.May.2020 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Guguan in Taiwan was listed in the 2020 Hot List of Condé Nast Traveler on May 5, 2020.
Condé Nast Traveler is a travel magazine which showcases the latest information for travel, hotels, restaurants, and shopping around the world. HOSHINOYA Guguan was chosen as “The Best New Wellness Resorts in the World” in their 2020 Hot List which featured new hotels that opened in 34 countries and regions worldwide last year.
HOSHINOYA Guguan opened on June 30, 2019 as the first Taiwan-based luxury hot spring resort produced by Hoshino Resorts, which manages 42 branches outside Japan. It is also the second overseas branch of the company’s “HOSHINOYA” brand, whose concept is “taking a break from the modern world.” It’s located on the outskirts of Taichung in Guguan which is home to natural hot springs. There, it co-exists and blends in naturally with the landscape. All guest rooms have open-air baths, so guests can enjoy the warm water together with the breeze in a spacious environment. They also offer various programs for guests to enjoy Guguan’s culture and natural environment.
HOSHINOYA Guguan was also picked as one of Travel + Leisure’s “The Best New Hotels in the World (The It List)” on February 20.
If you’re planning a trip to Taiwan in the future, be sure to check out HOSHINOYA Guguan.
Address: No.16, Wenquan Lane, Section 1, Dongguan Road, Heping District, Taichung City 424, Taiwan
Rooms: 49 (All with open-air baths)
Check In: 15:00 / Check Out 12:00
Price: From NT$18,000 per night (1 room, doesn’t include tax or service charge, meals charged separately)
Official Website: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/hoshinoya/guguan.html
Experience Kyoto Culture in Arashiyama With HOSHINOYA Kyoto’s New Hotel Plan
19.May.2020 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Kyoto has introduced a new hotel plan in an attempt to bring a little luxury into people’s lives and lift their spirit during this stressful time. The plan will have people going to Arashiyama to experience a bit of Kyoto culture and hospitality to lift their mood.
You will board a small boat located at the port near the hotel entrance and be taken to your private room. During your sail, you will be able to soak in the gorgeous sights of nature all around. Check-in is being carried out in guest rooms, meaning you won’t have to come into contact with other guests.
You have arrived at your room. HOSHINOYA Kyoto is located in Arashiyama which was formerly a holiday home destination for the Heian aristocrats. There are 25 rooms inside the garden, all of which look out onto the Ōi River. When you slide the window open, you can feel the gentle wind sweep through the valleys. Guest room walls are plastered with beautiful traditional kyokarakami wallpaper and fitted with HOSHINOYA Kyoto-original tatami sofas. Each and every part of the rooms are imbued with Kyoto culture. The rooms are not only comfortable and provide you with everything you need, but also offer a luxurious stay.
Inside your room, there are sutras which can be used for sutra copying, known as sakyou in Japanese, as well as equipment for making matcha to enjoy your own private tea ceremony without having to worry about the tradition’s strict rooms. It’s your very own private Kyoto cultural experience without having to worry about other people.
Dinner can be enjoyed in the main dining hall or in your room. The dining hall is fitted with semi-private booths where you can enjoy a seasonal Arashiyama 9 course kaiseki-ryori dinner with rice, vegetables, a special bento assortment, and more. For breakfast you can enjoy a morning hot pot which uses a special dashi stock packed full of seasonal veggies.
There are also activities to enjoy Kyoto’s breathtaking green outdoors. Mosquito nets made from Japanese red cedar are provided under which you can take part in a stretch routine which uses breathing techniques and meditation.
Outdoor activities are severely restricted right now as a result of COVID-19, but HOSHINOYA Kyoto has made it so you don’t have to do much moving around at all while still enjoying the fruits of nature.
Kyoto Culture in Arashiyama (Japanese Hotel Plan Name: 奥嵐山で京文化に触れる久しぶりの優雅な一日)
From ¥50,100 per night (Includes dinner/2 people 1 room/service charge and tax not included)
From ¥50,100 per night (Includes dinner and breakfast in dining hall/2 people 1 room/service charge and tax not included)
HOSHINOYA Kyoto Introduces New Rainy Season Themed Kaiseki Dinner Course
16.May.2020 | FOOD
HOSHINOYA Kyotoーthe Arashiyama-based hotel where every room offers a river viewーis launching a new kaiseki multi-course dinner this summer which offers the chance to enjoy the early summer breeze together with the spectacular views of the rainy season. Served with nine dishes, the kaiseki meal will be available between June 1 to July 31 this year.
The days of June in Japan are hot that the month itself also goes by the name minazuki which translates to “the month without water.” However, the evenings are enjoyed for their cool and refreshing air, and so June is also known as suzukurezuki, or “the month of cool dusk.” Not only will guests be able to enjoy the refreshing feeling of the season, but their kaiseki meal will be inspired by the sights of the rainy season, as well as the verdant smells of early summer, too, adding an extra level of freshness.
HOSHINOYA Kyoto’s dining concept goes by the name Gomi Jizai, which has people enjoying all five different tastes: sweet, salty, spicy, sour, and bitter. Ichiro Kubota, the Executive Chef at HOSHINOYA Kyoto, has truly honed his cooking abilities over the course of his career. His father was the head chef at one of the most famous restaurants in Kyoto’s Gion district. It was there that Kubota really began to learn his craft, and he went on to work at first-class and Michelin star restaurants in both Japan and abroad. He has set the standard for Japanese cuisine for the next generation.
Suzukurezuki Appetisers: See and taste early summer with a Hassun dish
A hassun is a kind of dish or tray often used in kaiseki course meals to serve numerous different foods. This hassun is inspired by Nagoshi no Harae, an ancient and traditional summer purification ritual that takes place at temples and shrines in Kyoto in June. It includes goma-dofu, a food similar to tofu made with crushed sesame seeds that’s eaten as a confection during Nagoshi no Harae to cool yourself down during the hot month of June.
It also comes with sweetfish dashi and watershield for that added feeling of coolness, as well as hotarukan which looks like fireflies gathered in the bamboo grass, and a texture-laden bamboo shoot and smoked salmon wrap.
Cool Kamo-nasu Eggplant Assortment: Sweet early summer vegetable appetisers
For appetisers, guests can look forward to some refreshing early summer vegetables, including kamo-nasu eggplant that’s been mixed in lots of dashi, fried, and seasoned with eggplant to elevate the sweetness and combined with ice cream. There’s also red sea urchin which is rich in sweetness, ginger foam, and new lotus root for bite. The bowl it’s all served is made by Nobuyoshi Sasaki and features a lace design. The use of glass serves to enhance that level of freshness from the food.
Conger Eel Hanami: Recreating a hydrangea Hanami in a bowl
The bowl includes fatty conger eel which is topped with more conger eel that has been minced as well as arrowroot daffodils to make it look like blossoming hydrangeas. It is said that conger eels that drink the water at the end of the rainy season become more delicious. Gion Matsuri, a festival held in Kyoto in July, is also called Hamo (conger eel) Matsuri. The dish also includes bonito, tuna, and kombu.
Young Fried & Salted Sweetfish: Smell the verdant fragrances with fried food
Sweetfish is a popular ingredients during early summer in Japan, and this one has been salted and fried. Sweetfish (ayu in Japanese) is also known as kougyo in Japan which means “fragrant fish.” It’s known for its fresh smell which is likened to that of greenery. It’s fried on a charcoal fire for some time which makes the head and tail smell incredible.焼
Cherry Mille-Feuille: A dessert gift from the early summertime
The crowning cherry of this dessert is smothered in acacia honey and then roasted, locking in all of that sweetness. The dessert is made with fresh cream, almond biscuit, and custard cream, all of which is layered to create a multi-textured pie. It’s served with a tonka bean ice cream. Tonka beans come from the same rose family as cherries, meaning they work wonders together.
Gomi Jizai Kaiseki
Running: June 1, 2020 – July 31, 2020
Price: ¥20,000 per person (does not include tax or service charge – hotel fee charged separately)
Available: To both guests and non-guests
5 Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Hokkaido | 2020 Edition – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON
Sapporo, Asahikawa, Abashiriーthe list goes on when it comes to incredible places to see the cherry blossoms in Hokkaido. And the best time to see them in Japan’s northernmost main island is May.
Today, we are joined by Mirina, an Instagrammer who posts photos of tourist and sightseeing spots in Hokkaido that are rich in nature. She has shared her photos with us along with details of 5 must-visit famous cherry blossom sites in Hokkaido. Let’s take a look.
Tokiwa Park is located in the city of Asahikawa, and is home to around 200 individual cherry trees of various kinds including the Yoshino cherry and ezo yamazakura. Weeping cherries also dangle their graceful branches around the lake, which you can sail through on a boat for an even more memorable cherry blossom experience. Tokiwa Park is also listed as one of Japan’s “100 City Parks,” so it’s one that needs to go on your list of sightseeing spots if you’re travelling to Hokkaido.
Address: Tokiwakoen, Asahikawa, Hokkaido
Access: 25-minutes on foot from Asahikawa Station (via JR Line). Alternatively, board the Tohoku Bus and get off at Tokiwa Park (常磐公園).
Official Website: http://www.asahikawa-park.or.jp/
Twin Harp Bridge
This spot is also located in Asahikawa. It gets its name from how the bridge looks like two harps lined up next to each other. Twin Harp Bridge is also a popular place with the locals for celebrating Hanami in the spring season as cherry blossoms bloom in the vicinity of the bridge.
Twin Harp Bridge
Address: 4 Chome Toko 18 Jo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido to 5 Chome Kyokushin 1 Jo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido
Access: 20-minutes by car from Asahikawa Airport / 15-minutes by car from Asahikawa Station
Official Website: http://www.city.asahikawa.hokkaido.jp/files/tosi_kei/index.htm
Kitoushi Forest Park – Family Village
Located southeast of Asahikawa, Kitoushi Forest Park – Family Village offers views of ezo yamazakura as well as shibazakura moss phlox. Visitors can also have barbeques at the facility for an even better outdoor experience combining great food with cherry blossom viewing.
Kitoushi Forest Park – Family Village (Kitoushi Shinrin Koen Kazokuryokomura)
Address: 5 Gokita-44 Nishi, Higashikawa, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido
Access: 40-minutes by car from Asahikawa Station
Official Website: http://www.kazokuryokoumura.jp/
More Information (English): http://www.asahikawa-tourism.com/asahikawa/asahikawa_sites/higashikawa/higashikawa_en.html
Maruyama Park is another famous cherry blossom site where Yoshino cherry trees and ezo yamazakura bloom. Compared to Asahikawa, the cherry blossoms here bloom a little earlier during spring. You’ll catch them from late April to early May. During the cherry blossom season, there is a place where fires can be lit, so you’ll catch people cooking up jingisukan, a type of Japanese mutton dish.
Address: Miyagaoka, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Access: 5-minutes on foot from Maruyama-Kōen Station
Official Website: http://www.sapporo.travel/find/nature-and-parks/maruyama_park/
Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park
Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park’s rolling hills offer a breathtaking view of shibazakura moss phlox cherry blossoms. The hills themselves aren’t steep, so the spectacle can be enjoyed from both the top and bottom of them. The Shibazakura Festival is also held between May and June.
Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park
Address: 393 Higashimokotosuehiro, Ozora, Abashiri-gun, Hokkaido
Access: 30-minutes by cat from Abashiri Station. Alternatively, board the transit bus from Abashiri Station, get off at Higashimokotocho (東藻琴町). The park is a 5-mintue drive from here.
Official Website: http://www.shibazakura.net/
Photo：Mirina has visited many sightseeing spots in Hokkaido, so if you’re looking for more places to visit be sure to follow her on Instagram.
Photos: Mirina Nishio
Feel Like You’re Living On Okinawa’s Taketomi Island With HOSHINOYA’s New ‘Workation’ Hotel Plan
27.March.2020 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island in Okinawa rolled out a new hotel plan on March 18 that’s set to run until June 30 this year.
Taketomi Island can be said to be home to landscape of what Okinawa used to be, with the Ryukyuan red roof tiles of its buildings, stone walls, and alleys spread with coral sand. Someone plucks away at a three-stringed sanshinーthe Okinawan precursor to the mainland shamisenーas time flows with gentle ease on the island. Taketomi Island is rich in traditional culture which can be felt throughout.
The guest rooms at HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island emulate the island’s traditional architecture. All guest rooms have south-facing windows that can be opened to let in the southern winds, which the local islanders say are lucky. HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island developed its new workation plan in response to the current situation when more people are having to do remote work and work from home. It enables people a private abode where they can work and relax simultaneously. And all the necessary amenities have been prepared for a workation.
The guest rooms at HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island are known as guest pavilions, which allow for you feel like you’re living like a real islander. They are equipped with Wi-Fi, printers, pand photocopiers too, making it the perfect work environment. And you don’t have to worry about hay fever as there are no Japanese cedar or cypress trees around.
The pavilions offer a beautiful view of the bright blue sky and sea. The beaches are also open from March, so you can take a dip in the springtime sea too while basking in the warm climate.
Running: March 18, 2020 – June 30, 2020
Price: From ¥278,460 (Before tax/service charge)
People: Up to 2 people per room
*70% off from the normal price. The above-listed price is calculated for 30 days of stay.
HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island
Address: Taketomi, Yaeyama District, Okinawa 907-1101
Official Website: https://hoshinoya.com/taketomijima/en/
*You must select the meal option if you require food
Witness Mount Fuji and Fully Bloomed Cherry Blossoms at HOSHINOYA Fuji
HOSHINOYA Fuji is offering a very special Hanami flower-viewing experience for guests from April 7 to 21 this year where they can observe the springtime cherry blossoms against the backdrop of Mount Fuji. Offers include cherry blossom desserts, a glamping experience inside a cabin eating curry while enjoying the scenery of the outdoors, a private outdoor dining dinner, and more.
HOSHINOYA Fuji hails as Japan’s first luxury camping resort. Located on the hill overlooking Lake Kawaguchi near Mount Fuji. It offers the ultimate glamping experience, with a large outdoor terrace surrounded by nature, cabins that can be enjoyed throughout the year, and more. It’s difficult to go out and enjoy the cherry blossoms on the streets right now, but if you’d still like to enjoy spring safely with your special someone, then HOSHINOYA Fuji has created a special springtime experience.
Sakura Apéro: Witness the cherry blossoms during sunset with desserts in hand
“Sakura Apéro” is a chance to take a breather and enjoy all the beauties nature has to offer. It is held in the cabin area of HOSHINOYA Fuji under the towering cherry blossom trees. Sit back, relax, and enjoy an evening treat of cherry blossom flavoured bean paste rice cake, a cup of matcha milk or a matcha cocktail, and a front row seat of the cherry blossoms as the sun sets.
Hanami on the terrace
HOSHINOYA Fuji’s cabina area is built in such a way so that guests can enjoy an outdoor experience. One third of the cabin has a terrace area with an enormous window that looks out into the natural landscape. A fireplace and kotatsu is available so you can still enjoy the outdoors even inside while relaxing with a comfortable stay into the late nights. Some of the cabins offer a view of the surrounding cherry blossom trees, inviting spring into your room.
Curry made on one of Mount Fuji’s lava plates
At HOSHINOYA Fuji, guests can enjoy outdoor cooking in luxury be it in one of the cabins or the dining restaurant in the forest. Those who want to relax in a cabin are recommended the “Glamping Curry” at the terrace. You grill beef and vegetables yourself on a Mount Fuji lava plate and can combine five spices of your choice to create your own original flavour. In the outdoor dining area, which is exclusive to groups of guests, game meat is also served, such as boar and deer, as well as seasonal vegetables prepared in a dutch oven. For dessert, there’s cherry blossom flavoured ice cream. You can also make your own strawberry sauce using fresh strawberries over a fire to pour over your ice cream before topping it with matcha crumbles.
Due to the ongoing situation surrounding the coronavirus, all guest rooms and public areas at all HOSHINOYA facilities are being thoroughly cleaned in line with the recommended guidelines to ensure the health and safety of guests and staff. Alcohol gel is available at all HOSHINOYA facilities, and staff’s health and hygiene are being consistently examined.
Address: 1408 Ōishi, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi
Official Website: https://www.hoshinoya.com/
Hoshino Resorts to Open New KAI Poroto Ryokan in Hokkaido in Winter 2021
20.March.2020 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts, which manages 42 ryokan inside and outside Japan serving Japanese tradition and culture, signed a partnership agreement with the town of Shiraoi in Hokkaido on June 28, 2018, which would have them open a hot spring ryokan there. It has been revealed that the new facility will be named Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto. Built by Japanese architect Hiroshi Nakamura, the site will open its doors in winter 2021 as the 19th branch of Hoshino Resorts’s hot spring ryokan brand KAI, of which it operates 16 in Japan. It will be the third branch of KAI in Hokkaido, following from Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Tomamu in Shimukappu village and Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa.
Hot springs in Shiraoi, Hokkaido include moor springs, a type of organic spring water that is rare globally. KAI Poroto faces Poroto Lake, which is enveloped in nature and home to creatures such as wild birds. All rooms at the ryokan enjoy a view of the lake, as well as a chance to see the trees and flowers bloom and change in different colours throughout the seasons.
KAI’s aim is to offer Japanese hospitality that can only be experienced in that town or city, and during that season, as well as to give guests a comfortable experience in a Japanese-style accommodation. At KAI Poroto, they are set to offer a completely new experience tied to Ainu culture in collaboration with the Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park currently in development in Shiraoi.
Upopoy is scheduled to open at Lake Poroto on April 24, 2020. “Upopoy” is a word in the Ainu language that means “singing in a large group.” The museum is the first national museum in Japan to be dedicated to the indigenous Ainu people. It will serve as the national center for the revival and development of Ainu culture, something which is on the verge of extinction, and it will do this by showcasing Ainu culture and history through exhibitions, hands-on programmes, performances, and more.
Hiroshi Nakamura is the architects that designed Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto. “Poroto” is also a word in Ainu to mean “large lake.” The ryokan’s lobby, which is decorated with Japanese white birch, offers a view of the lake and Mount Tarumae. There are also small bath houses called kashi which have been made using Ainu architectural methods, as well as open-air baths that have you feeling like you’re taking a dip in the lake.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto
Address: 1-1018-1 Wakakusacho, Shiraoi, Shiraoi District, Hokkaido
Construction Work Start: Mid-May 2020 (subject to change)
Grand Opening: Winter 2021 (subject to change)
Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/
Goldfish Bar to Open at HOSHINOYA Kyoto For a Limited Time This Summer
07.March.2020 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Kyoto’s Salon & Bar KURA is being transformed into the new Kingyo Bar (“Goldfish Bar”) for a limited time from July 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020. HOSHINOYA is a chain of luxury ryokan managed by Hoshino Resorts with the Kyoto branch located in Arashiyama, Kyoto.
The gorgeous new Kingyo Bar submerges guests amongst schools of fish, and takes on the Japanese custom of “cooling off,” with goldfish bowls hanging gracefully from the ceiling. Customers will be able to feel cooled off as they observe the goldfish during the summer evenings deep in Arashiyama.
Enjoy the cool evenings of Arashiyama
HOSHINOYA Kyoto’s goal is for people to fully enjoy the ancient capital’s summertime, hence the revamp of Salon & Bar KURA into Kingyo Bar. Fish bowls will dangle from the ceiling, which will swim elegantly, their forms illuminated by the warm light of the lamps. Customers can enjoy watching the goldfish dance while sipping on one of the bar’s original cocktails.
Arashiyama is known for its history as a summer resort for the Imperial Household during the Heian Period. Since ancient times, watching goldfish has long been a creative way of cooling down from the heat of summer amongst the people of Kyoto, and you’ll get to do just that at Kingyo Bar.
See traditional crafts come to life as you admire the fish
The goldfish suspended on long string in their fishbowls are strung in such a way to meet your gaze. Enjoy the twinkling light reflecting from the bowls while the goldfish, with their cute round bodies and long fins, swim around in their cool water.
Sip on cocktails
Two original cocktails will be served: the Ukikusa (“Floating Weed”) and the Kyo-kago (“Kyoto Fawn”). The Ukikusa includes a crushed jelly made from Japanese pepper tree buds and mint and is topped off with a lemon liqueur and sparkling wine. The flavour and fragrance of the wine comes through after the refreshing notes of citrus fruits and herbs. The Kyo-kago includes a yoghurt granita and a strawberry and red shiso liqueur. This is combined with Bikkuri Gyoten, a foamed junmaishu.
Catch shadow goldfish to take home
Try your hand at catching goldfish with this fun game. Japanese paper is layered over the top of a fish tank to create a shadow effect. Goldfish scooping is a staple of Japanese summer festivals, and this version puts a spin on the game.
Running: July 1, 2020 – August 31, 2020
Price: Free Entry / Drinks from ¥1,000 (tax and service charge charged separately)
Reservations: Not required
Location: Salon & Bar KURA (HOSHINOYA Kyoto)
Opening Hours: 21:00-23:30
For: Guests of HOSHINOYA Kyoto only
Official Website (English): https://hoshinoya.com/en/