Tokyo’s Revolutionary Buena Àrte Hostel to Open in Ryōgoku Area On September 14
Buena Àrte Hostel is a revolutionary new hostel set to open in the Ryōgoku area of Tokyo on September 14, 2019.
In response to the increase in the number of foreigners staying in Tokyo, and especially in anticipation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics－when numbers are expected to skyrocket－Japan’s capital is well underway in developing more accessible accommodation options for foreign travellers, from hotels to hostels.
Hostels in particular are a huge focus for the city, and so more and more of them are opening. Catered to younger people and travellers, hostels are a much cheaper accommodation option when compared to hotels, and thus are likely to increase the number of days in which people will stay.
However, what is considered much more valuable for foreign travellers is the level of comfort, cleanliness, and safety. Buena Àrte Hostel is all of these and more, meaning even somebody travelling on their own can feel safe and secure. With over 200 pieces of art adorning its walls, it is the world’s first art-centred capsule hotel, focusing on “fun, comfort, and encounters.”
The hostel has collaborated with globally-active artists and up-and-coming illustrators to bring their art to the walls of the communal spaces, restaurant, and even bedrooms. A lot of the pieces you can buy too.
Found in over 160 of the bedrooms are illustrations drawn by artists who want to convey the fun and excitement of travel. These illustrations are exclusive as they were drawn for the hostel and so there is only one of each in the world. There are around 60 rooms without illustrations yet, so the hostel is asking for submissions. If your illustration is picked, the hostel will offer you a free night with breakfast and dinner as thanks. You can find more details on the official website.
Buena Àrte Hostel has its own cafe and restaurant on the first floor, the Buena Cafe & Dining Bar, where guests including foreign tourists can enjoy authentic Japanese cuisine. The “Washoku Plate” is a meal set aimed at those arriving from overseas so they can enjoy a filling portion of Japanese-style cuisine. It includes everything from sukiyaki to tempura, kushikutsu, and more. It also includes Japanese sake. The bar sells other drinks too including wine, whisky and highball.
The closest station to Buena Àrte Hostel is Ryōgoku Station. Ryōgoku is a district of Tokyo filled with Japanese tradition. It is home to Ryōgoku Kokugikan, which is considered the holy ground of sumo wrestling, as well as the Sumida Hokusai Museum which houses works by the famous ukiyo-e painter Hokusai, the Japanese Sword Museum, the traditional Japanese garden Former Yasuda Garden, the Edo-Tokyo Museum－the list goes on. And all of these places and more are within 10-minutes’ walking distance from Buena Àrte Hostel.
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Buena Àrte Hostel
Address: 2-9-11 Yokoami, Sumida, Tokyo
Grand Opening: Buena Arte Hostel – September 14, 2019 / Buena Cafe & Dining Bar – September 20, 2019
Opening Hours: Breakfast 7:00-10:00 / Lunch 11:00-15:00 / Afternoon Tea 15:00-17:00 / Dinner 17:00-23:00
Access: 6-minutes on foot from Ryōgoku Station’s JR Line Building West Exit / 5-minutes on foot from Ryōgoku Station’s Toei Ōedo Line Building A1 Exit
Official Website: http://buenaarte.com/
*No car park
*Children aged 6 years and under not permitted; those aged 6+ must share a room with parents or guardians and are charged the same price as adults
Tokyo’s Anime & Game Concept Hotel Announces Collaboration With Granblue Fantasy
Sunshine City Prince Hotel is currently collaborating with the anime and game media franchise King of Prism and the video game DREAM!ing to rave reviews on the hotel’s IKEPRI25 floor.
The hotel has just announced that its third collaboration will be with the popular RPG video game Granblue Fantasy which will arrive in early November.
IKEPRI25 is located on the hotel’s 25th floor and operates as a “concept floor.” Decked out with 20 rooms and 4 lounges, the floor is every anime, manga and game fan’s paradise as it themes its room on many different titles. The floor is produced in co-operation with Tokyo Otaku Mode Inc.
Granblue Fantasy is a fantasy role-playing game for Android, iOS, and web browser. It launched in 2014 and is available to play in both English and Japanese. The game features music by legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu who is known worldwide for his work on the Final Fantasy series. A new title, Granblue Fantasy Versus, developed by Arc System Works (Guilty Gear series; BlazBlue series).
Further details on the concept room will be announced in the near future, so stay tuned.
IKEPRI25 Concept Floor 3rd Collaboration
Title: Granblue Fantasy
Running: Early November 2019 – January 2020 (subject to change)
Bookings: Available Early October 2019
Granblue Fantasy Official Website: https://granbluefantasy.jp/
IKEPRI25 Official Website: https://www.ikepri25.com/
Tokyo Otaku Mode Corporate Website: https://corporate.otakumode.com/
Sanrio’s Kuromi Takes Over Harmonyland This Halloween For Devilish Events
08.September.2019 | SPOT
Sanrio character theme park Harmonyland in Oita has announced this year’s Halloween event, Kuromi’s Happy Halloween, which will begin on September 13. The devilish and mischievous Kuromi, whose birthday is on October 31－Halloween day－is taking over the park this year to deliver a very cute and just a tiny bit spooky Halloween to kids and adults this year.
Harmonyland’s Halloween Night Party, a huge hit every year, will also return on October 26. In addition to Kuromi’s birthday event, Wish me mell, another one of Sanrio’s cute characters, will also celebrate her birthday on September 20.
The event also has its own story. While Hello Kitty was having fun preparing for Halloween with everyone, Kuromi looked at the calendar and noticed that the park was scheduled to be closed on October 31, her birthday. Angry by this decision, the scheming Kuromi began Halloween preparations of her own.
Pashakawa SWEET HALLOWEEN
This event is a chance to meet your favourite characters, who will be dressed up in their Halloween costumes, and take a photo with them. Be sure to say the secret password to them, “trick or treat,” to get some free candy! The fun doesn’t stop there though, as there’ll be a chance to dance with the characters too.
Omotenashi Hello Kitty Cafe
Hello Kitty will serve as owner of the Hello Kitty Cafe, while Kuromi will be your maid along with the cafe staff, and Meister Cinnamon will learn your name and teach teach it to the rest of the character staff. At the end of the show, the cafe staff will change into their Halloween costumes.
Halloween Photo Spots
Special Halloween photos spots will be dotted around for Halloween where you can snap some cute pictures. From pumpkin heads of Hello Kitty, My Melody and Kuromi to flower beds decorated with Kuromi, there will be no shortage of Instagrammable spots for photos. And when you get close to the two flower beds, you might just run into a trick set up by Kuromi herself… Also, the background music playing at the park was all chosen by Kuromi.
Halloween Merch & Menu
Of course, there will be lots of exclusive character merchandise to grab, as well as a cute themed menu designed just for Halloween.
Halloween Night Party ~Pink or Black~
The popular Halloween Night Party returns again this year, a one-night-only spectacle of lights, music and dance. The theme this year is “pink or black.” Clad yourself in one or both of these colours and have a fun Halloween night!
・Date: October 26, 2019 (18:00-21:00)
・Price: ¥1,000 (Everyone aged 4+) *Price is reduced to ¥500 to those who hold an annual ticke
・A shuttle bus will be operating for free (limited spaces)
Celebrate Halloween this year together with Kuromi.
ⓒ ’76, ’91, ’96, ’99, ’01, ’05, ’09, ’17, ’19 SANRIO
Kuromi’s Happy Halloween
Running: September 13, 2019 – October 30, 2019
Location: Harmonyland (5933 Fujiwara, Hiji, Hayami District, Oita Prefecture)
Warm The Cockles Of Your Heart This Christmas at HOSHINO Karuizawa Area
This holiday season, Hoshino Resorts is set to hold a Christmas event at HOSHINO Karuizawa Area, a place managed by the company which brings together people who love culture and nature. It will run from November 16 to December 25.
The event’s theme is “A Town Where Happiness Shines.” From mistletoe illuminations to xmas desserts and more, you’re sure to have the cockles of your heart warmed this year at this happiness-filled festival.
At Harunire Terrace, where 16 shops line the cosy wooden terrace, the columns and overhangs will be adorned in Christmas garlands, and mistletoe-shaped illuminations will dangle from tree branches.
You can spot a lot of mistletoe in Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary. Even in wintertime the plant does not wither, instead keeping its green leaves, which in folklore has led it to be viewed as a symbol of immortality.
Mistletoe is known in many cultures as a symbol of happiness. In the Western world, lovers who stand under mistletoe are expected to kiss. The warm illuminations are set to light a warm and romantic atmosphere to all those who attend.
As well as the illuminations, there will also be mistletoe lanterns hiding in the trees to celebrate romantic love this Christmas. Get ready to count down with everybody at the event as when you reach zero, all of the lanterns will turn on at the same time. There will even be mini live performances where you can sing along to Christmas songs.
Christmas Sweets at Hoshino Resorts Karuizawa Hotel Bleston Court
Order the “Episode de Noel” at Hoshino Resorts Karuizawa Hotel Bleston Court for a delicious Christmas sweets dessert course of 4 treats.
This is just a peek inside the stocking of what’s to come at the festival. There will be a hot chocolate bar, fresh s’mores, kids events, photo spots, a Christmas market, and more. Ride your sleigh into HOSHINO Karuizawa Area this winter.
HOSHINO Karuizawa Area Christmas 2019
Running: November 16, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Time: 16:00-23:00 (Times differ for certain events)
Location: HOSHINO Karuizawa Area
Location: Harunire Terrace
Running: November 16, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Location: Harunire Terrace, Woods
Running: December 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st-25th
Running: December 13, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Price: ¥3,500 (pre-tax and service charge)
HOSHINO Karuizawa Area
Address: Hoshino Nagakura, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
Access: 15-minutes by car from Karuizawa Station (via JR Hokuriku Shinkansen)
Official Website (English): http://www.hoshino-area.jp/en
3 New Limited-Edition Botanical Drinks to Arrive This Summer at BOTANIST Tokyo
27.May.2020 | FOOD
BOTANIST Tokyo, the flagship shop of BOTANIST in Omotesando, has announced a new collection of limited-edition drinks will be served on the second floor BOTANIST Cafe from July 12, 2020. BOTANIST Tokyo is currently closed but it scheduled to reopen on June 1.
There are three new refreshing drinks to choose from, all of which can be ordered for takeout. From apple mint to grapefruit, each beverage us the perfect accompaniment for cooling you down in Japan this summer.
Refresh Soda: ¥600 (Tax Included)
A combination of grapefruit jelly and fizzy soda water make this one of those drinks that you go “Ahh!” afterwards on a hot summer’s day. There’s also a hint of sweet green apple.
Botanical Melon Soda: ¥800 (Tax Included)
This is a smoothie which blends together two types of melon soda and adds melon jelly and a dollop of ice cream. It’s like a dessert in a cup!
Banana & Avocado Refresh Smoothie: ¥720 (Tax Included)
Enjoy the sweetness of banana and sugar beet together with the smoothness texture of the avocado in this smoothie which has apple and mint mixed into it for that refreshing summertime kick.
The cafe’s regular menu has also been revised to add three new desserts.
Vegan Waffles w/Drink: ¥800 (Tax Included)
These vegan waffles are healthier for the body if you’re looking for some guilt-free indulgence. It’s topped with soy whipped cream, maple syrup, and fruits of your choice.
Lemon Cheesecake w/Drink: ¥1,000 (Tax Included)
A crunchy cookie base, a creamy cheese top, and a lemon to top it all off. The combination of the salty flavour with the sour hit is a match made in heaven.
Homemade Rich Pudding: ¥500 (Tax Included)
An in-house made purin, which is a type of Japanese custard pudding. It’s a delightful mix of rich egg and subtly sweet soy whipped cream.
Customers who spend over ¥4,000 (tax included) on items in the Refresh Series will also be entered in for a chance to win a “Refresh Soda.” The soda is available while supplies last.
Serving: June 1, 2020 – July 12, 2020
Serving: From June 1, 2020
Address: 6-29-2 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo (1st Floor – Shop / 2nd Floor – Cafe)
TEL: 1st Floor: 03-5766-3777 / 2nd Floor: 03-5766-3778
Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00
Official Website: https://shop.botanistofficial.com/
Enter Virtual Shibuya: The New Ghost in the Shell Digital Platform
Shibuya 5G Entertainment Project launched its new digital platform “Virtual Shibuya” with an opening event on May 19. The event Virtual Shibuya helped promote release of Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 with talks and performances from SEKAI NO OWARI’s DJ LOVE, virtual YouTuber and member of Nijisanji Ange Katrina, Chinatsu Wakatsuki of Future Design Shibuya, and Naohiro Ukawa of S/U/P/E/R DOMMUNE—all of whom are fans of Ghost in the Shell.
Officially recognised by Shibuya City, Virtual Shibuya comes in response to the effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) which has brought tight restrictions to the economy and people’s way of life. It will enable people to continue enjoying entertainment from the comfort of their homes by participating in a whole host of virtual events and activities. The project aims to deliver content from Shibuya with live performances from artists, art exhibitions, talks, and more. The use of 5G and the latest cutting edge technology will connect the real Shibuya to a virtual space, combining the realms of the digital and real world.
The guests joined over 50,000 users for the first event which went down a storm. Chinatsu Wakatsuki said: “I was amazed how much it looked like Shibuya! I can’t go to Shibuya right now, so it felt like I got to visit home again after so long.”
Shibuya was fully recreated a virtual space for people to visit
Lots of Ghost in the Shell fans gathered in the city
Everybody in this virtual world jumped into their avatar skins, including the diverse range of guests who probably would never have come together had it not been for the Ghost in the Shell theme, as well as DJ LOVE, Katrina, Chinatsu Wakatsuki, and Naohiro Ukawa.
The real world and the world of Ghost in the Shell collide
The four performers, who were coming face to face with each other for the first time, talked to guests about what they love about Ghost in the Shell while strolling around Virtual Shibuya and having fun with fans on equal terms.
Comments from the performers
・Chinatsu Wakatsuki (Future Design Shibuya)
“I was amazed how much it looked like Shibuya! Shibuya is a place I hold near and dear to my heart. There were a lot of ‘firsts’ for me, like my first time using an avatar, and meeting new people for the first time, so I thought it was going to be difficult at first, but I found myself not nervous at all and had fun with everyone in there using this futuristic entertainment. Looking forward, au 5G will grow and the number of things we can do will as well. I hope to challenge myself as a tarento and a mum in many different things and have fun with this Virtual Shibuya!”
・“DJ LOVE” (SEKAI NO OWARI)
“It felt like I had dived right into the world of Ghost in the Shell, my favourite series. It was a wonderfully fun event which expanded on my dreams. I’m looking forward to seeing it evolve and I hope to perform live there at some point. I want to make stuff that people who haven’t been physically able to go to venues up to now can enjoy. I think it would be fun to communicate with people who participated.”
“The streets of Shibuya I know were completely transformed into the world of Ghost in the Shell, and my favourite Tachikoma made an appearance too. For a Ghost in the Shell fan like myself it was a whale of a time! Right now we have to battle with staying indoors. Me having disappeared has caused a bit of trouble, but the thrill of this virtual event has lifted my nerves. I had a lot of fun.”
You can check out footage from the event in the video below which was posted on Shibuya 5G Entertainment Project’s official YouTube channel.
The world of Ghost in the ShellVirtual Shibuya in can be experienced until May 31, 2020, so sign up while you still can.
Ghost in the Shell x Virtual Shibuya
Virtual Shibuya: https://shibuya5g.org/article/virtual-shibuya/
Shibuya 5G Entertainment Project Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/shibuya5g
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)
Shibuya 5G Entertainment Project to Launch Virtual Shibuya Platform
17.May.2020 | SPOT
Shibuya 5G Entertainment Project is set to launch its new digital platform “Virtual Shibuya” on May 19, 2020. The platform is officially recognised by Shibuya City.
Virtual Shibuya comes in response to the effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) which has brought tight restrictions to the economy and people’s way of life. It will enable people to continue enjoying entertainment from the comfort of their homes by participating in a whole host of virtual events and activities.
The project aims to deliver content from Shibuya with live performances from artists, art exhibitions, talks, and more. The use of 5G and the latest cutting edge technology will connect the real Shibuya to a virtual space, combining the realms of the digital and real world.
1: Online Events
A variety of online events will be held inside the virtual event space. People tune into Virtual Shibuya while at home by connecting with their smartphones, PCs or VR devices. They will have their own avatar and be able to traverse the area together with other people who are connected while participating in different interactive online events. The events will also be streamed on video streaming services.
2: XR Art
Experience XR (cross reality) content which will connect both Virtual Shibuya to the real Shibuya. Those in either Shibuya will be able to experience the same content and entertainment.
The opening event for the grand opening of Virtual Shibuya will promote the release of Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 with talks and performances from SEKAI NO OWARI’s DJ LOVE, who is a fan of Ghost in the Shell, as well as virtual YouTuber and member of Nijisanji Ange Katrina, Chinatsu Wakatsuki of Future Design Shibuya, and Naohiro Ukawa of S/U/P/E/R DOMMUNE.
Ghost in the Shell Night by au 5G
Date: May 19, 2020
How to Participate
Virtual Shibuya can be accessed using a VR device, smartphone, or PC/Mac. To participate, you must create a (free) Cluster account and install the Cluster app on your device. This event will also be streamed live on YouTube Live and the official Twitter page of Shibuya 5G Entertainment Project.
Shibuya 5G Entertainment Project Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/shibuya5g
Tokyo’s New Sake Ice Cream Shop Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Ship Ice Cream Around Japan
SAKEICE is an ice cream shop that offers a new kind of ice cream experience, combining Japanese sake and alcohol together with the frozen treat. The shop opened in Akusaka, Tokyo in March this year.
However, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the store has had to close temporarily. SAKEICE wants to cheer people up during these turbulent times with their ice cream, and has therefore announced the launch of a crowdfunding campaign so they can set up a website where people can order ice cream in Japan and have it delivered to them.
I tried out their ice cream
Otokoyama / Nihonshu Ice
SAKEICE’s ice cream is laced with lots of Japanese alcohol. I tried the Otokoyama and the Nihonshu Ice, the latter of which is an original ice cream flavour exclusive to SAKEICE. They both contains around 4% alcohol. I were curious exactly how they would taste.
I started with the Nihonshu Ice. The moment the ice cream hits your tongue, your taste buds are met with its smooth texture, and your nose is filled with the full bodied flavour of nihonshu. The velvety texture on your tongue as it melts is to die for. The Otokoyama has a refreshing kick to it when compared to the Nihonshu Ice. It’s creamy, but the aftertaste is refreshing, so we recommend it for people who aren’t a fan of sweet treats. Both are sure to leave you feeling satisfied, and maybe a little flushed afterwards.
These ice creams contain alcohol, so keep that in mind when coming here with minors, kids, pregnant women, or if you’re driving.
They have non-alcoholic flavours too!
Matcha / Cherry Blossom
Of course, they have non-alcoholic options too. I tried out the matcha and cherry blossom flavours.
The matcha one has an irresistible bitterness layered inside the sweetness. You get that real rich matcha taste too. The cherry blossom ice cream is a cute light pink colour and has a subtle sweetness to it. If you don’t like alcohol then you’ll definitely want to try one of delights.
Japan Coronavirus: Room for Rescue Project Provides Free Accommodation to Foreigners Who Can’t Get Home
01.May.2020 | SPOT
With flights cancelled around the world, it is becoming increasingly harder for foreigners to return home from Japan, resulting in them being forced to change their plans, extend their stay, and live every day in stress and uncertainty. To lend a helping hand to foreign travellers in this stressful time, three accommodation companies Slacktide Co., Ltd, Shared Value Co.,Ltd. and Life Bonds, LLC, who manage Kaname Inn Tatemachi, Sakura Cross Hotel and BONDS HOUSE respectively, have launched a joint accommodation project called “Room for Rescue” which provides free accommodation to international visitors who cannot return home as a result of the current travel restrictions.
This collaborative project was launched to ensure that foreign travellers don’t feel like their trip to Japan was a bad experience, which could be a reason to avoid visiting Japan again in the future and heavily impact the tourism industry.
Tokyo:Sakura Cross Hotel
Kanazawa: KANAME INN
Currently, three accommodations in Tokyo and one in Kanazawa have opened their doors to stranded foreigners.
Room for Rescue: Request a Room
To apply for a room, you need a valid visa and a cancelled flight ticket which meets Room for Rescue’s criteria. For more information, please refer to the application page. The Room for Rescue project is also looking for more accommodations to join the fight against coronavirus and open their doors to stranded foreigners. If you own an accommodation in Japan and want to help foreign travellers, please apply using the link below.
Become Part of Room for Rescue (for accommodation owners)
If you are an individual who wants to support this project, please consider donating via their crowdfunding page mentioned in the information section below.
Kanucha Resort in Okinawa Announces Spring and Summer Activity Program for 2020
06.April.2020 | SPOT
Located in the city of Nago in Okinawa lies Kanucha Resort, a hotel resort which boasts 2.6 million square meters of land. The resort has revealed its spring and summer program which invites guests to enjoy everything Okinawa has to offerーnot just its breathtaking oceans.
What is Kanucha Resort?
Kanucha Resort sits on the east coast of Nago on the northern part of the Okinawa mainland. It’s surrounded by the vast rolling sea and mother nature, and also faces Oura Bay, which is known for its coral reefs, which includes blue coral. Guest rooms come in nine styles, all of which incorporate gorgeous wooden decor. The resort has a bounty of restaurants, its own golf course, the beach, and over 70 activities to choose from, all of which makes Kanucha Resort a little town of its own. In the past winter months just gone, it also celebrate the 20th anniversary of Okinawa’s largest illumination event, Stardust Fantasia.
Buggy Ride Tours & Buggy Adventure Tours
Experience a different side of Okinawa away from the beaches with an off-road ride through Yanbaru no Mori Forest on a quad bike.
Running: All Year
Meeting Locations: Buggy Ride Tour @ Dokidoki Yambarunture / Buggy Adventure Tour @ Matayoshi Coffee Farm
Ages: 4 years and older
Coral Snorkeling Tour in Banana Boats
Witness the tropical fish swimming around you, and gaze upon the gorgeous coral reefs, as you explore the waters below when you climb off the banana boat.
Running: July 23, 2020 – August 31, 2020
Time: 60 minutes
Ages: 5 to 65 years
Mangrove Kayak Tour Along the Kesaji River
The Okinawan mainland is home to many mangroves. See them together with the expand of Yanbaru’s nature with a kayak ride along the Kesaji River.
Running: All Year
Time: Subject to change each day depending on how busy it is – please enquire directly
Courses: 150 Minutes (5 years and older) / 90 Minutes (3 years and older)
Star Sommelier to Space Walk
Hear about the moon and space with talks from Hoshi no Somurie® (“Star Sommeliers”) and use a telescope to observe the stars at the planetarium.
Meeting Point: Leisure Counter
Oura Mangrove Kayak
Enjoy a round trip kayak ride around the Oura Mangrove which has been designated as an Important Cultural Property of Nago.
Running: All Year Round
Time: Please enquire directly
Ages: 3 years old and above (*For guests only)
Meeting Point: Wansaka Oura Park
For more details on the activities available at Kanucha Resort, visit their website here.
Address: 156-2 AbuNago, Okinawa
Reservations: 0980-55-8484 (9:00-18:00)
Access: 1 and a half hours by car from Naha Airport
Official Website: https://www.kanucha.jp/en/
Ornament-Like Cake Parfaits Now Being Baked Up at Pascal Le Gac Tokyo in Akasaka
05.April.2020 | FOOD
Pascal Le Gac Tokyo is the first overseas branch of internationally-recognised French-based chocolate company Pascal Le Gac which released some breathtaking new desserts to its menu on Wednesday.
Chocolate Parfait Flurry / Phrase Parfait Flurry
The original Parfait Flurry desserts are made in the image of a bloomed flower. When they were released back in April 2019, they instantly garnered attention across social media and news websites for their gorgeous design. Pascal Le Gac Tokyo has brought them back to the menu, this time in the form of cakes.
Cakes that are like parfaits
The new desserts take the same concept of the original parfaits, but instead turns them into cakes. But that doesn’t simply mean taking the parfait ingredients as they are and turning them into a cake. Rather, the cakes recreate the taste of the parfaits, so it’s like eating the real thing. The wine glass that the parfaits were served in have been recreated using icing to give that shiny effect, and the chocolate flowers have been cut thin so they are easy to eat.
Chocolate Flurry – ¥864 (Tax Included)
Starting from the bottom upwards, the Chocolate Flurry is layered with chocolate cookie pieces, chocolate flavoured almond sponge, chocolate cream, chocolate mousse, cacao flavoured vanilla cream, more chocolate cream, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and chocolate glaçage. Every part of this art piece is made with cacao.
Phrase Flurry (Tax Included)
Starting from the bottom upwards, the Phrase Flurry is layered with pistachio cookie pieces, almond sponge, pistachio mousse, strawberry mousse, lychee jelly, strawberry compote, raspberry flavoured fresh cream, strawberry chocolate, and red glaçage. The marriage of strawberry, lychee, and pistachio flavours is nothing short of heavenly.
*Please note that opening hours and closures are subject to change depending on the situation of the coronavirus outbreak. Check the cafe’s official website for the latest details.
Pascal Le Gac Tokyo
Address: 2-12-13 Akasaka, Minato Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: [Weekdays] 10:00-20:00 (Last Orders 19:30) / [Weekends] 10:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:30)
Access: 5-minutes on foot from Exit 2 of Akasaka Station (via Chiyoda Line) / 1-minute on foot from Exit 11 of Tameike-Sannō Station (via Ginza and Namboku Lines)
Official Website: http://www.legac-chocolatier.jp/
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi: Rent An Entire Kyoto Townhouse to Yourself
01.April.2020 | SPOT
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi is set to open in the Goshominami area of Kyoto on April 25, 2020. The single-accommodation hotel is a complete renovation of a traditional Kyoto-style townhouse.
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi comes as the 7th branch of hotels from Kyo no Ondokoro. It’s a single building to rent for up to 4 people, who can enjoy taking a soak in the man-made carbonated spring bath which is kind to the skin and hair, using the soft water shower, and getting ready in the spacious makeup corner. It’s the perfect getaway for girl groups travelling together.
The hotel is in a convenient location for sightseeing in the ancient capital of Kyoto. The building has been completely renovated to adapt to modern lifestyle while still retaining those traditional elements of a Kyoto townhouse that was built during the Meiji Periodーand in an area that’s rich in traditional scenery.
The lounge space sofa seats are inspired by Japanese rock gardens
The lounge space, which connects the second-floor bedrooms and the washitsu Japanese-style room, are furnished with unique round sofas. All the rooms open up to each other so guests can enjoy the company of each other during their travel stay.
Hinoki cypress artificial carbonated spring bath
The round bath is made from hinoki cypress, and the carbonated water lets you stay glowing and nice and warm after you step out of it. The bathroom is also stocked full of amenities like shampoo courtesy of popular brand THREE.
Up to four people can apply their makeup together in the makeup corner
The makeup corner is big enough to sit four people so they can get ready for their day or night out together while chatting.
Colourful art pieces also adorn the walls of the makeup room, Japanese-style room and elsewhere to add a touch of beauty to them.
If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto with the girls then why not book at Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi when it opens on April 25?
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi
Address: 341-2 Shōshōiotabichō, Nakagyō-ku, Kyoto, 604-0873
Grand Opening: April 25, 2020
Price: ¥30,000 per night
Bookings: Opened on March 27, 2020
Offcial Website: https://www.kyo-ondokoro.kyoto/en/
See 3,000 Rhododendrons in Full Bloom at the Tsutsuji Garden by Lake Ashi in Hakone
29.March.2020 | SPOT
May is the most colourful time of the year at Hotel de Yama near Lake Ashi in Hakone, when a total of 3,000 rhododendronsーcomprised of 30 different typesーbloom their beautiful flowers in the large Tsutsuji Garden, where one can enjoy a great view of Mount Fuji and Lake Ashi.
Tsutsuji Garden at Hotel de Yama
“Tsutsuji” is the Japanese word for rhododendron. The Tsutsuji Garden at Hotel de Yama was once the villa of Koyata Iwasaki, “the fourth and last president of a unified Mitsubishi.” During that time, numerous varieties of rhododendrons were planted in the garden, which have since been maintained. There are plants amongst them that are over 100-years-old, ones that tower over the human stature, and more; with petals that bloom pink, red, purple, and white.
A combined view of the kaleidoscopic rhododendrons and Mount Fuji
The staff who are experts on the garden have set up two photo frame stands in two of the best spots in the garden for taking picturesque photos. Snap some Instagrammable and memories with the colourful rhododendrons and Mount Fuji together.
Rhododendron Desserts: Saison a colorier – ¥1,634 / Tea Set – ¥2,360 (Before Tax)
Salon de thé Rosage, the dessert restaurant that sits in front of the hotel, is serving up a new special dessert called “Saison a colorier” in line with the full bloom of the rhododendrons. It captures the colourful pink, red, white, and purple appearance of the flowers, and looks like a mini version of the hotel’s garden on your plate. The main part of the dessert is the tea mousse, which has a bright red colour as it is coated beautifully in a strawberry puree nappage. The tea used in the mouse is an original rhododendron blend exclusive to the restaurant.
The white rhododendron dessert is a macaron that’s filled with raspberry sorbet. The red which contrasts with the white is a rhododendron milk tea cream and fresh raspberries. The rest of the plate is adorned with pink jelly and edible flowers. The perfect afternoon tea to finish off your time at Tsutsuji Garden.
Hotel de Yama / Salon de thé Rosage
Address: 80 Motohakone, Hakone, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa
Official Website: https://www.hakone-hoteldeyama.jp/en/
Coronavirus in Japan: Kaname Inn Tatemachi in Kanazawa Offers Free Accommodation to Foreigners Who Can’t Get Home
29.March.2020 | SPOT
Kaname Inn Tatemachi, a hotel in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, has announced a project named “Room for rescue” which will offer free accommodation to foreigners unable to travel back to their home countries from Japan due to lockdowns and restrictions from going outside as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
With flights cancelled around the world, there is no way for foreigners to return home from Japan, resulting in them being forced to change their plans and extend their stay. They are living their days in constant worry, both financially and mentally. To ensure that foreign travellers don’t feel like their trip to Japan was a bad experience, free accommodation is becoming available to those who meet certain prescribed conditions.
In response to the decreasing number of tourists, Kaname Inn Tatemachi opened its doors to Japanese citizens through Facebook for free accommodation to help support businesses like local restaurants that could no longer make a living. They received a lot of guests, as well as a request from a friend who asked if someone from the Netherlands could stay there because they couldn’t get back to their country. This sparked the “Room for rescue” project for stranded foreign tourists to stay at Kaname Inn Tatemachi for free too.
Kaname Inn Tatemachi is using its own funds to pay for the project and allow free stay. However, doing this long term will put strain on the business, so to help pay for hotel use and staff’s wages, the hotel has opened up a crowd funding page which you can find here.
Room for rescue
Aimed at: Foreign travellers who cannot return home
How to Apply
Send the following details to the e-mail address email@example.com
①Write “Room 4 Rescue” as the subject of your e-mail
②Include which country you are from
③Write the names of all the people who wish to stay at the hotel
④Write the number of adults
⑤Write the number of children
⑥Write your check-in time and date
⑦Write your check-out time and date
⑧Attach a screenshot or photo of your cancelled flight details
Application Deadline: March 28, 2020 at 23:59 (JST)
Free Accommodation Stay Time: Until April 15, 2020
Harajuku’s Rilakkuma Fruits Cafe Entertains Customers With Projection Mapping
“HARAJUKU AR BOX -table projection mapping cafe-,” a cafe in Harajuku whose name speaks for itself, has announced its second collaboration with Rilakkuma to bring the new Rilakkuma Fruits Cafe which will open for a limited time from April 3, 2020 to June 28, 2020.
The cafe’s first collaboration with Rilakkuma was in December last year. It was called “Korilakkuma Cafe: another me in the mirror” and earned itself many fans for its cute food and decor, but especially for its interactive tables which used projection mapping technology to have Rilakkuma and friends running around people’s tables.
Harajuku’s Korilakkuma Cafe: another me in the mirror | Food Review: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/284456
Fruit is the theme of the new Rilakkuma Fruits Cafe, which follows that Chairoikoguma and the other characters have gathered lots of nutritious fruit to fill up the belly of hungry Rilakkuma.
Rilakkuma’s Fruit Salad – ¥1,590
Get your fill of refreshing fruit from this fruit salad plate which has Rilakkuma poking his cute face out from behind it all. When you order this dish, you’ll need to touch the fruits that appear on the table to give them to Rilakkuma.
Korilakkuma’s Apple Cheese Gratin – ¥1,690
A combination of hot apple and melted cheese, you’ll find yourself addicted to the sweet and sour mix of flavours. Pick lots of apples with Rilakkuma and company with the projection mapping game. (*Serving April 3, 2020 – May 17, 2020 only)
Chairoikoguma’s Orange Burger – ¥1,690
The bun of this hearty burger is branded with Chairokoguma’s cute bear face. But what happens when you squeeze Rilakkuma’s orange? (*Serving May 20, 2020 – June 28, 2020 only)
Rilakkuma’s Maku Maku Fruit Tree Parfait – ¥1,590
Korilakkuma’s Maku Maku Strawberry Tree Parfait – ¥1,590 (Serving April 3, 2020 – May 17, 2020 only)
Kiiroitori’s Maku Maku Peach Tree Parfait – ¥1,590 (Serving May 20, 2020 – June 28, 2020 only)
For dessert, you have a selection of fruit-topped parfaits to choose from featuring Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, and Kiiroitori.
Rilakkuma & Friends Maku Maku Drinks – ¥790 / With Glass – ¥1,990
Warm & Fluffy With Everyone Cafe Latte – ¥890
Pick between one of the cold beverages, or if it’s a cold day, warm up with a hot drink. Feel warm and fluffy like Rilakkuma and his friends with a warm beverage after your parfait.
Exclusive Merchandise & Bonus Items
Pin Badges (9 Designs/Chosen Randomly) – ¥400
Acrylic Key Rings (8 Designs/Chosen Randomly) – ¥500
Get your hands on a selection of original merchandise too, including pin badges, acrylic key rings, and more.
Stickers (4 Designs/Chosen Randomly)
Coasters (4 Designs/Chosen Randomly)
Book a table online in advance and receive one of four possible stickers. Order a drink at the cafe and get one of the four coasters!
You’re sure to get your five-a-day when you dine at the Rilakkuma Fruits Cafe, opening for spring on April 3, 2020 in Harajuku.
©2020San-X Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Rilakkuma Fruits Cafe
Running: April 3, 2020 – June 28, 2020
Location: HARAJUKU AR BOX-table projection mapping cafe- (Lucessimo Bldg. Floor 2F, 4-28-28 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo)
Table Bookings: Now Open
*Table Projection Mapping seats for two people are ¥2,960 (before Tax)
Official Website: https://rilakkuma-fruits-cafe.jp/