Mitama Hot Spring in Yamanashi Ranks in Japan’s Top 100 Night Views & Registers as Night View Heritage
07.September.2019 | SPOT
Located in the beautiful little town of Ichikawamisato in Yamanashi Prefecture is Mitama Hot Spring, a “day-trip” type hot spring, which has just received a double award: it has been listed as one of Japan’s Top 100 night views for the first time, and as a Night View Heritage of Japan.
Mitama Hot Spring is built on the southern tip of the Kōfu Basin―Kōfu being Yamanashi’s capital city－which can be viewed in a breathtaking 180 degree panoramic view from the northern side of the open-air baths. The majority of the hot spring also faces the south which means a breathtaking nighttime view of the city, picturesque against a resplendent sky, as you soak in the warm embrace of the hot spring.
During the day, one’s eyes can roll their gaze across the Yatsugatake Mountains at the front, and in the direction of west is Mount Kita, the second tallest mountain in Japan after Mount Fuji.
Mitama Hot Spring should absolutely be on your bucket list of things to do when visiting Yamanashi Prefecture.
Mitama Hot Spring
Address: 2608 Ōtsuka, Ichikawamisato, Nishiyatsushiro District, Yamanashi Prefecture
Opening Hours: 10:00-23:00 (Last Entries 22:00)
*Closed around 5 days a year for inspection and maintenance
Price: General ¥700 / Elementary School Children ¥500 / Toddlers – Free
*General price set to increase to ¥780 this October
Official Website: http://www.mitamanoyu.jp/
Kansai Yamamoto’s Nippon Genki Project 2021’s Mount Fuji Runway to be Featured On YouTube
28.July.2021 | FASHION
The Nippon Genki Project will be held again this year and it will be available to watch on the event’s official website and on YouTube. The event was created by the late Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto as a way to get people energised and motivated to realise their dreams.
Past Nippon Genki Project events
Nippon Genki Project 2015 Super Energy!! at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Nippon Genki Project 2016 Super Energy!! at Yoyogi National Stadium
Nippon Genki Project 2017 Super Energy!! at Roppongi Hills Arena
Nippon Genki Project 2018 Super Energy!! at Roppongi Hills Arena
Nippon Genki Project 2019 Super Energy!! at Roppongi Hills Arena
Nippon Genki Project 2020 Super Energy!! Online
The theme of this year’s event is ‘World Heritage Runway.’ The event will be recorded in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, at the foot of the World Heritage Site of Mt. Fuji. The footage will be released as a fashion film on August 21. Designers from across Japan have created a variety of looks for the event, and pieces by fashion schools, fashion universities both in Japan and overseas, and more will also be showcased.
Nippon Genki Project 2021 World Heritage Runway at Mt. Fuji
Online Release Dates
Fashion Movie: August 21, 2021 @ 20:00 (JST)
Documentary: August 28, 2021 @ 20:00 (JST)
Available: Nippon Genki Project Website / YouTube
Official Website: www.kansai-inc.co.jp/ngp2021/
*More details to be released in mid-August
Satoyama Jujo THE HOUSE IZUMI: Rent Out a Renovated Japanese House in Niigata
15.July.2021 | SPOT
Japanese design company Jiyujin launched its new Satoyama Jujo THE HOUSE chain of accommodations this month which offer a single group of guests a one-night stay in an entire house.
The first branch to open is IZUMI which features a fully-renovated Japanese-style house located in the city of Uonuma in Niigata. A gorgeous outlook is offered from the house with an unbroken view of lush forests, rice fields, and Mt. Makihata, which is listed as one of the ‘100 Famous Japanese Mountains.’
A breathtaking view awaits guests from the open-air bath
The spacious living room
Fully renovated from a 150-year-old private house, the building is supported by beautiful wooden beams and columns, and in the middle the oe, a sunken hearth. This, along with the beams and sashigamoi joints, are made from keyaki Japanese zelkova which is an elm-like tree. This species of tree is rare even in a tree-covered region such as Uonuma. The lumber used for this house was cut, preserved, and dried out for a number of decades before being processed into building material for the house. The heart in the middle of the living room is reminiscent of a time when large families would gather around one and serves to recreate that lifestyle.
The Nishiyama region is known for is production of delicious rice. IZUMI in fact looks out over Kabanosawa, a special and important place of rice production in Nishiyama. This vantage point also gives guests an opportunity to appreciate the hot and cold temperatures of the daytime and evening, the rivers, the shape of the land, and the earth the city sits on. The drastic change in temperatures in the day and night are especially noteworthy as this, along with the basin between the mountains, gives rise to a sea of clouds.
IZUMI sits on a hill that overlooks the rice paddies, making it a perfect location for spotting the sea of clouds. Minamiuonuma’s sea of clouds has over a 70% chances of appearing in the autumn and spring seasons.
The number one reason why Japan’s old, long-standing, and precious private houses are demolished is due to the cold getting in and it being too dark inside. Even those who want to see them preserved for tradition, including those who live in them already, would rather live in a modern home. That’s why Jiyujin has begun a renovation project instead of a demolition one. By refurbishing the houses, the ancient framework can be fixed up and preserved while a range of contemporary amenities are incorporate to fit with modern lifestyles. The Satoyama Jujo accommodations are built so they can be used for over 100 years.
For dinner, there are three options for guests. The first is a dinner at SANABURI which earned itself a Michelin star in Michelin Guide Niigata 2020. The second is a meal at a restaurant that earned the status of Bib Gourmand in the same guide. The third is to prepare your own meal in the house. There are plenty of shops around the station nearby where you can buy local ingredients.
After a delicious meal, guests can take a soak in the open-air tub and enjoy gazing out across the fields and the beautiful mountains which stand almost 2,000 meters high.
Satoyama Jujo THE HOUSE IZUMI
Japanese Name: 里山十帖 THE HOUSE IZUMI
Address: 671-1, Amanosawa, Minamiuonuma, Niigata, 〒949-6433, Japan
Official Website: Opening early July 2021
Access: 7-minutes by car from Jōetsu International Skiing Ground Station (JR Joetsu Line) / 16-minutes by car from Shiozawa-Ishiuchi IC
Celebrate Sasuke Uchiha’s Birthday at Fuji-Q Highland’s Naruto x Boruto Summer Event
Fuji-Q Highland began its ‘NARUTO x BORUTO Fuji Hidden Leaf Village’ event on Wednesday which is set to run throughout summer until August 29. The event is taking place to celebrate the birthday of the popular character Sasuke Uchiha from the Naruto franchise.
During the event, a keyword rally will take place, and a special menu will be served up.
Guests must play and ride six Naruto-themed attractions at the park where they will be able to collect keywords related to the Uchiha family. Those who manage to answer all the questions correctly will receive one of two free exclusive pins. The Sasuke & Itachi design will be available from June 9 to July 22 and the Uchiha Family design from July 23 to August 29. Check out the designs below, both of which are must-grabs for fans of Sasuke and the Uchihas.
Pin Design 1: Sasuke & Itachi (Uchiha Brothers) | Available: June 9, 2021 – July 22, 2021
Pin Design 2: Sasuke & Sakura & Sarada (Uchiha Family) | Available: July 23, 2021 – August 29, 2021
Guests will also be able to enjoy a special menu line-up including a ramen dish served at Ichiraku, the ramen bar at Fuji-Q Highland which is themed on the same eatery of the same name in Naruto, and two cakes at Fuji-Q Highland’s official hotel resort and spa.
Uchiha Brother’s Spicy Ramen | ¥1,500 (Tax Included)
Uchiha Brother’s Print Cake
Uchiha Family’s Print Cake
Running: June 9, 2021 – August 29, 2021
Where: Fuji-Q Highland
Official Website: https://www.fujiq.jp/
Be Surrounded by Glowing Fireflies With Kissho Yamanaka’s New Hotel Plan
07.June.2021 | SPOT
Kissho Yamanaka, a hot spring hotel in Kaga, Ishikawa, is now offering a firefly-viewing experience as part of a new guest plan until June 15. This gorgeous resort, situated by the Daishoji River in the Kakusenkei Gorges, was awarded three Michelin stars in the Ryokan category of Michelin Guide Hokuriku 2021 Special Issue.
The firefly tour arrives as early summer is soon to begin. As part of the hotel plan, guests can also enjoy a dazzling Firefly Cocktail too.
Feel the rays of early summertime at Kissho Yamanaka.
Firefly & Sunset Hotel Plan
Address: Kissho Yamanaka, 1 Chome-14−3 Yamanakaonsen Higashimachi, Kaga, Ishikawa 922-0114, Japan
Official Website: https://kissho-yamanaka.com/
Bathe With Real Ducks at Tamagawa Onsen in Saitama
01.June.2021 | SPOT
As part of their 10th anniversary event, Tamagawa Onsen, a Showa retro-style bathhouse in Saitama, opened their ‘Real Duck Baths’ on May 29 which lets people bathe with real ducks. The experience is available on weekends and public holidays only.
Forget bathing with bright yellow toy ducks – now you can have the real thing. These ducks were hatched and raise from ducklings by the bathhouse manager Arai at their home. The ducks are still small so the hours when they will be out are not set in stone, but the bathhouse hopes that guests will watch their and support their growth as they mature over time.
Real Duck Bath
Running: Weekends and public holidays from May 29, 2021
*Subject to cancellation on any day depending on the condition of the ducks
Where: Tamagawa Onsen
Address: 3700 Tamagawa, Tokigawa, Hiki District, Saitama 355-0342, Japan
Official Website: https://tamagawa-onsen.com/
Hokkaido’s New Hotel Boasts a Famous Hot Spring and Overlooks the Tsugaru Straits
16.May.2021 | SPOT
Core Global Management is set to open the all-new Yunokawa Onsen Umi to Akari Hewitt Resort on July 1, 2021. In line with its opening, Japanese calligrapher Shoko Kanazawa has been put in charge of designing the hotel’s name logo.
The sea and sky meet in the Infinity Onsen
Tsukifune: the buffet restaurant
Enjoy Japanese-style food at Kumonami
Fires prepared by the staff everyday
A look inside the guest rooms
A look inside the guest rooms
Yunokawa Onsen is one of the three major hot spring resorts in Hokkaido. During the Edo period, Matsumae Chikatsumaru, who later became the lord of the Matsumae domain, and Enomoto Takeharu, the president of the former Tokugawa shogunate, are said to have bathed in this very hot spring. Yunokawa Onsen Umi to Akari Hewitt Resort is a chance to enjoy the good old days of Hakodate Yunokawa.
The rooftop offers an unbroken view of the incredible Tsugaru Straits. Guests can also enjoy a tranquil moment at the historic hot spring with a cup of Hakodate’s local sake and dango in hand underneath a moonlit sky while surrounded by the lights of fishing fires. There’s also a chance for both kids and adults to take a dip in a tatami bath – something you don’t really see in Japan.
Yunokawa Onsen Umi to Akari Hewitt Resort
Address: 3-9-20 Yunokawacho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 042-0932, Japan
Access: 5-minutes by car from Hakodate Airport
Official Website: http://hewitt-resort.com/hakodate-yunokawa/
Keith Haring: 360° Exhibition in Yamanashi to Explore Pop Artist’s Lifework
The Nakamura Keith Haring Museum in Yamanashi is set to welcome the Keith Haring: 360° exhibition which will explore the diverse works of American pop artist Keith Haring. The exhibition will run from May 15, 2021 to May 8, 2022.
Keith Haring was an American pop artist whose work began in the 1980’s when he would create spontaneous drawings in the subways of New York City. Haring participated not only in solo exhibitions, but national and international shows too, such as documenta 7 in 1982 and Venice Biennale in 1984. His later works took on more political and societal themes such as drugs, racism, sexuality, and AIDS. Haring died of AIDS-related complications in 1990 at the young age of 31.
Photo by ©︎Makoto Murata
Untitled (Figure Balancing on Dog), 1989
Untitled (KH.200), 1982, The Museum of Art, Kochi
My Town, Peace I–IV, 1987, Tama City Cultural Foundation
Nakamura Keith Haring Collection
One of the most noteworthy appearances at the exhibition is Haring’s Figure Balancing on Dog (1989), a rare sculpture made of raw aluminium. As the title suggests, the piece features a person riding atop a dog, which may be a depiction of balance. It brings to mind the relationship between humans and animals and the anxiety towards a strange society that cannot be measured. Other works will also Untitled (KH.200) (1982), My Town which was drawn by 500 children from Tama, Tokyo, My Town, Peace I–IV (1987), and a series of six drawings entitled Bad Boys (1986) which Haring produced in Amsterdam.
For the first time ever, visitors will be able to see photos taken by Japanese art journalist Makoto Murata who interviewed Haring when visiting New York from December 1982 to January the following year.
The exhibition will look at Keith Haring, his diverse work, and deep messages of society from all angles – a 360° view.
Keith Haring: 360°
Running: May 15, 2021 – May 8, 2022
No Fixed Holidays
Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00
Official Website: https://www.nakamura-haring.com/
Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse Reopens With New Sauna Area
08.May.2021 | SPOT
Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse reopened on April 29 after refurbishments to install a new sauna. The hotel, located in Yamagata Prefecture, is known for being situated atop rice paddies. Along with the sauna, it has also introduced a new spa program and healthy new menu made using organic vegetables grown by the hotel company itself.
An authentic Finnish-style sauna
The sauna is based on the Finnish-style löyly sauna, fully equipped with an authentic kiuas sauna stove inside which sauna stones are placed to heat up the room. Hinoki scented water is also used in the sauna.
The Sauna Features
The male sauna features hexagonal designs on the seats, ceiling windows, and bath. The seats can be moved around freely so guests can decide how high they wish to sit for optimal heat customisation. The sauna rooms overlook the rice paddies outside, and there’s open-air baths outdoors too so guests can feel at one with nature.
The women’s sauna is also a löyly type but uses raised benches instead of chairs. After sweating it out, guests can head to one of the outdoor baths and enjoy the view and sky.
There’s also a bar where guests can order local beers, sake, and wine, as well as fruit juice and ice cream. While relaxing, they can pick out from one of the 1,000 books available.
As well as fitness and massage services, morning yoga will begin this June. The MOON TERRASSE restaurant is also introducing new healthy dishes and drinks made with organic local ingredients.
SHONAI HOTEL SUIDEN TERRASSE
Address: Shimotorinosu-23-1 Kitakyōden, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0053, Japan
Official Website: https://www.suiden-terrasse.yamagata-design.com/
Get Wet at This Rain Themed Event at Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Yatsugatake
06.May.2021 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Yatsugatake is calling for the rain this summer with the announcement of its Yatsugatake Fure Fure Sky event. The event will see over 1,000 fure fure bozu strung up—small handmade dolls to pray for the rain—along the 150-meter main street Green Pepper Avenue. The dolls act as the opposite of the more well known teru teru bozu dolls which are used to prevent rainy days.
Rain is something that’s always on the mind of travellers who hope for a dry trip when they reach their destination. This event however takes advantage of the rainy days to turn it into something to be enjoyed.
Yatsugatake Fure Fure Sky: 3 Things to Enjoy
The grand spectacle of the rain and over 1,000 dolls
Colourful fure fure bozu will line Green Pepper Avenue which serve as gorgeous decorations. There are eight colours to be spotted which represent the Yatsu in Yatsugatake meaning “eight” in Japanese.
Enjoy the sight and sound of the rainfall in the Rainy Domes
Sit inside your very own dome along Green Pepper Avenue and enjoy the sounds of the tapping rain. This is an experience that is best enjoyed when it rains, meaning praying for the rain is a must. It’s a chance to enjoy the rain without getting wet while sipping on wine and tucking into some light food.
Location: Green Pepper Avenue
Snap some photos in the rain wearing a Fure Fure Poncho
Inside the activity centre, visitors can rent their very own Fure Fure Poncho. This means they can head out in the rain and enjoy the sounds of the rain hitting their poncho, which is available in three different colours and all sizes for the family.
Location: Activity centre
Notes: Exclusive to Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Yatsugatake guests
Yatsugatake Fure Fure Sky
Running: June 1, 2021 – July 11, 2021
Location: Green Pepper Avenue (Japanese Name: ピーマン通り)
Official Website: https://risonare.com/yatsugatake/
Peter Rabbit English Garden to Open at Mount Fuji in Spring 2022
23.April.2021 | SPOT
Fujimoto Lake Biwa Resort is set to welcome the new Peter Rabbit™ English Garden in Spring 2022 which will be themed entirely around English writer Beatrix Potter’s fictional animal character Peter Rabbit.
The garden will open as the biggest English-style garden in Japan. Fujimoto Lake Biwa Resort is located right beside Mount Fuji and is known for the Fuji Shibazakura Festival, an annual springtime cherry blossom event. This means the garden will be opening during the perfect season at the site. It will bring to life a magical recreation of the Lake District where the Peter Rabbit stories are set. There will be lots of photo opportunities, a menu themed on the characters, a museum, a shop selling original merchandise, and more. British garden designer Mark Chapman is helping to create this English-style garden.
Not only can visitors enjoy the spring and summer flowers when the garden opens, but the gorgeous hues of autumn too, and all with Mount Fuji in the background.
Peter Rabbit™ English Garden
Opening: Spring 2022
Where: Fujimoto Lake Biwa Resort
Address: 212 Motosu, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi 401-0337, Japan
Fuji Shibazakura Festival Official Website: https://www.shibazakura.jp/
Surround Yourself in Atami’s Natural Environment and Relax With a Special Hot Spring Plan
22.April.2021 | SPOT
Onsen ryokan hot spring inn SOKI ATAMI is collaborating with Shiseido’s skin and mind brand BAUM to offer a special new accommodation plan for the spring season. SOKI ATAMI x BAUM -Fresh Verdure & Healthcare- will run from May 1, but pre-bookings are already open on SOKI ATAMI’s website.
Free gift bag to the first 100 people who make a reservation
Enjoy deep relaxation with sachets filled with natural smells like wood
A candle-lit night under the starry sky
Fresh verdure and caring for one’s health is the theme of this event which takes place deep within Atami. The plan includes the Forest Twin bedroom which is fitted with a half open-air hinoki area that faces the mountains and lets guests feel like they are surrounded by the new green leaves of spring. Rooms are also kitted out with amenities such as BAUM’s Hydro Essence Lotion which captures the essence of fresh trees and shrubs. Guests are invited to experience Atami’s hot spring culture and cuisine as they allow their mind and body to relax, ultimately benefitting their health. This season is known for its bounteous verdure and refreshing breeze, but it’s also said to help alleviate the May blues which many Japanese people experience after starting school or work again, the negative feelings of the rainy season, and more, all of which can put one’s spiritual state out of kilter. The scent of trees will rid guests of stress, nerves, and tension, and bring about relaxation, peaceful sleep, and a good detoxing.
BAUM is a skin and mind brand that helps support the strength of one’s skin by focusing attention on the water storage, growth, and environmental protection of trees and forests while showing the importance of looking after your mind and body. The brand is giving free gift bags to the first 100 people that make a reservation to show how anyone can enjoy a sustainable life using an everyday item.
On the top floor of the inn is a tearoom where guests can make their own sachets using hinoki cypress. Guests can also enjoy the Aroamtic Room Spray and Aromatic Candles provided by BAUM, all to further aid in relaxation and restoration. In the evenings, the lights will be switched off at the cafe and be replaced with candlelight which will serve as a romantic replacement to shine against the overhead backdrop of the starry night sky.
Fuji-Q Highland’s Gaspard and Lisa Town Begins Spring Season Strawberry Festival
Strawberry lovers, listen up. If you’re looking to indulge in strawberry-flavoured desserts all day long, then this fruity festival will have your mouth watering. The Gaspard and Lisa themed town at Fuji-Q Highland in Yamanashi is now holding its annual Strawberry Festa event which is running until May 5.
There are so many tasty treats to enjoy at this year’s event, from cakes and pastries, desserts and drinks—all made with plump and fresh strawberries—that you can enjoy eating while walking around the themed town. One must-try is the Strawberry Pavlova which is made with a meringue that’s crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle and is adorned with fresh cream and, of course, strawberries. It’s a hearty serving but is actually a light and refreshing eat.
Strawberry Afternoon Tea Set at Les Rêves Salon de thé
Strawberry Festa exclusive face masks
Guests at the park who spend over ¥3,000 in a single transaction at any shop in the town will receive a free original face mask.
Hotel guest rooms
Meet Gaspard and Lisa in-person
Les Rêves Salon de thé
Strawberry Crepe recipe showcase
For those unable to travel due to restrictions, the town has also posted an online video showing how you can makes a strawberry crepe at home.
Chocolate bananas at LA BANANE
A variety of new shops have also opened at Fuji-Q Highland, including Strawberry Fetish which is Japan’s first shop specialising in strawberry hard candy, as well as LA BANANE where you can enjoy chocolate bananas and other treats.
Colourful bagels at BONBON BAGLE
Gaspard and Lisa Town original merchandise
Fuji-Q Highland Gaspard & Lisa Town Strawberry Festa
Running: March 23, 2021 – May 5, 2021
Where: Fuji-Q Highland
Event Details: https://www.fujiq.jp/special/lisagasevent/