Scarlett’s Kawaii Kyushu Part 1: Beppu

18.January.2017 | FEATURES / SPOT

I started off my Kyushu journey in Japan’s renowned onsen hotspot, Beppu. Onsens are pools filled with hot
spring water. Beppu is the very city where this viral video picturing an Onsen theme park came from, which is soon to become a reality! The plans for the theme park are going swimmingly, with the opening ceremony
scheduled for April.
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One of Beppu’s most famous attractions are the 8 Hells – a collection of extremely hot pools (100 degrees kind of hot! Not for bathing!) that are designated nationally as spots of scenic beauty. Each of them have their own unique names, colours and myths. For example, the Oniishi Bozu pool, literally meaning Buddhist monk, is named as such because the bubbles look like bald heads!
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Adjacent to Oniishi Bozu is the beautiful bright blue Umi Jigoku. Don’t for get to stop by the stall with tiny manjuu, they are very cute and very delicious! A little bit further away but worth the trip is the Chinoike Jigoku, the ‘blood pond hell’, named after its red colour.
Don’t worry – there are plenty of onsen you can go in too! Aqua Garden is one of the
most famous spots, where you can enter a traditional style onsen or a large outdoor
family onsen. Not only can you relax with an amazing view of Beppu, but you can also enjoy exciting light shows at night from the warmth and comfort of the onsen.
You can view the onsens, go in the onsens… you can also cook on them! Jigoku Mushi, steam cloud cooking, involves boiling vegetables and seafood on the very hot steam.
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If you’re more of a night owl, Beppu has plenty to offer on that front too. Izakayas are bars in
Japan which serve beer and small snacks, and Beppu has a wide range. I went to one where you could get anything fried on a stick – which included a variety of meat and fish, lotus root and even apple! Another recommendation of mine is Anime bar Ani Tama. Head to toe of the place is covered in anime posters and figures. It’s the perfect night out for any anime fan! There are themed cocktails, anime song karaoke and even cosplays you can wear for the evening! The Ani Tama atmosphere is so popular they have even had famous singers visit, such as the likes of Momoi Haruko. Did you know that the creator of Attack on Titan is from Oita?
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Beppu’s landscape is quite spectacular, as it’s sandwiched right between the sea and the mountains. The yukemuri (steam clouds) rise up from the drains everywhere, giving it a very magical atmosphere. Most of you might know each city or prefecture in Japan has its own mascot. Beppu is no different – boasting the
adorable Beppyon, who wears onsen gear and has ears shaped like the steam clouds. If you
like Beppyon as much as I do, you can buy lots of merchandise at Beppu’s omiyage (souvenir) shops, and you can follow Beppyon’s Twitter updates here.
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The surrounding area also has a lot to offer for a day out. Umi Tamago, literally meaning ‘egg of the sea’, is an aquarium situated by the sea and has a range of creatures to see. Some of the fish even have their own kawaii-style tanks! The dolphin show mustn’t be missed, where they do all sorts of tricks like catchin
g balls, jumping in unison, even head banging… and all to popular tracks like
BABYMETAL.
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Just a short train and bus ride away is every kawaii enthusiasts dream – Sanrio Harmonyland.
You can take a train from Beppu to Kitsuki, a small castle town, and then take a bus.Puroland in Tokyo is an indoor experience, while Harmonyland is all outdoors. The highlight of the visit had to be the parade, where Hello Kitty, Little Twin Stars, My Melody and Cinnamoroll all danced on colourful floats in the centre of the park. The shops also had awide range of goods available, including all the recently released characters. There are also a range of outdoor rides like a Ferris wheel and Hello Kitty’s Angel Carousel.
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Oita city, only around 15 minutes away by train, has many tempting treats for a pop-culture enthusiast. Sanrio, in partnership with Oita Bank, have opened up a My Melody cafe. You can eat themed omurice, pancakes, parfaits… and even sit opposite My Melody herself! Oita city also has its own Animate store (
which, in case you were wondering, I found to have ample Yuri! On Ice merchandise!) The next article in this two part series will be Kawaii Kumamoto, where I take a bus through the mountains, meet Kumamon, and participate in traditional New Year’s Hatsumode! Thanks for reading!

RELATED ENTRIES

  • 6 Best Spots to Visit in Japan’s Oita Prefecture During Autumn – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    10.September.2020 | SPOT

    Oita in Kyushu has been nicknamed “Hot Spring Prefecture Oita” due to having the largest number of hot spring water sources and outputs in Japan. Oita welcomes many visitors every year who flock to the prefecture’s many famous hot spring locations like Beppu and Yufuincho Kawakami.

     

    But the charm of Oita doesn’t lie solely in its hot springs. It’s also a location that offers breathtaking scenery during autumn. We’ve picked 6 spots around Oita Prefecture that are must-visits during autumn.

     

    Keiseki-en

    The gorge of Yabakei is designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty in Japan. Keiseki-en is a beautiful Japanese garden that was built to commemorate the completion of the Yabakei dam. It’s home to over 31,000 individual trees of around 100 species as well as a lake, waterfalls, and crags. It’s a place that boasts natural beauty throughout all four seasons.

     

    Address: 2286-1 Yabakeimachi Ōaza Ōshima, Nakatsu, Oita

     

    Kinrin Lake

    Kinrin Lake is one of Yufu’s most famous sightseeing spots for the mysterious torii gate that sits within the lake. Spring water and hot spring water flows through the lake, and because the temperature of the water is warm throughout the year, you can see steam rising from the surface in the early hours of winter days. Tenso Shrine also sits on the bank of the lake which is home to a sacred tree that’s designated as a natural monument.

     

    Address: 1561 Yufuinchō Kawakami, Yufu, Oita
    Access: 20 minutes on foot from Yufuin Station (JR Line)

     

    Kyusuikei

    Kyusuikei’s scenery spans through the prefectural road that connects the Kokonoe IC to Yamanami Highway. Its 2km expanse is made up of sheer cliffs which create the valley that is known for its autumn colours. Visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the maple and ginkgo trees from the observation deck that runs along the cliff. There are other nearby sightseeing spots too like Kokonoe Yume Otsurihasi Bridge and Kyusuikei Onsen hot springs.

     

    Address: Tano, Kokonoe, Kusu District, Oita
    Access: 20-minutes by car from Kokonoe IC

     

    Hakubakei

    The valley of Hakubaki was designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty of the city of Usuki. In autumn, surrounding trees are dyed in reds and yellows, bringing people from all over to witness the spectacle. And because the valley it at a high altitude, the gradation of the colourful trees changes as you go further in.

     

    Address: Badai, Usuki, Oita
    Access: 5-minutes by car from Usuki IC

     

    Fukiji Temple

    Fukiji Temple was built in the Heian Period for the high priest of Usa Jingu. The temple is a national treasure, and the Amida-Nyōrai contained inside is designated by the Japanese government as an Important Cultural Property.

     

    Address: 2395 Tashibufuki, Bungotakada, Oita
    Access: 30-minutes by car from Usa Station

     

    Mount Kuju

    Mount Kuju stands as the highest mountain in Kyushu Island at nearly 1,800-meters tall, which has also led to to be nicknamed the “Rooftop of Kyushu.” Its has many peaks, the highest being Mount Nakadake at 1,791-meters. One peak in particular draws mountain climbers, and that’s Mount Taisen. At its apex one can enjoy the breathtaking autumn colours together with the sight of the rolling mountains.

     

    Address: Tano, Kokonoe, Kusu District, Oita
    Access: 40-minutes by car from Kokonoe IC.

  • Sanrio Harmonyland Announces ‘Happy Halloween’ Event For October 2020

    06.September.2020 | SPOT

    Harmonyland, a theme park centred on Sanrio’s cast of characters, has announced that this year it is holding a Halloween themed event titled “Happy Halloween” which will run from October 11 to 31.

    Meet the characters

    A greeting event will take place twice a day where guests can have photos taken next to the Sanrio characters who will be dressed in their best Halloween outfits. For the afternoon greeting, the characters will dance too.

     

    Photo opportunities

    There will be many photo opportunities around the park at a variety of Hello Kitty, My Melody, Kuromi, and other character decorations. Shops inside the park will also be decorated in all things spooky.

     

    Hello Kitty’s Castle transforms into Halloween mode

    Hello Kitty Castle will feature Halloween themed decor to greet guests who enter. Hello Kitty will also change into a spooky ghost costume at 10:00, 12:00, and 14:30 each day of the event.

     

    Halloween character merchandise

    Sanrio fans can get their hands on a selection of Halloween themed character merch.

     

    Limited-time character events

    Sanrio character ‘Wish Me Mell’ will also have her own birthday party between September 20 and 23 where she will be out to greet guests. After each greeting, 100 people will be given a special free thank you card on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Pin Badge Set ¥990 / Acrylic Key Ring Set ¥1,540 / Strawberry Milk Pudding ¥500 / Pancakes ¥600 / Smile Set ¥1,200

    This year marks the 15th anniversary of Kuromi, as well as My Melody’s 45th anniversary, and so both will be performing mini live concerts between September 25 to October 31. After each show 100 people will be given a Kuromi anniversary card on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Pin Badge Set / Kuromi Black Curry ¥1,380

     

    ©’76,’79,’88,’89,’91,’93,’96,’98,’99,’01,’05,’10,’12,’13,’17,’20 SANRIO  S/D・G
    *The information in this article is correct as of September 2, 2020. Please note that information related to the event is subject to change.

  • Japan’s Pixar Bullet Train Project ‘GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE with Pixar’ Details Announced

    28.August.2020 | SPOT

    JR Kyushu has signed a promotional license agreement with Walt Disney Japan to launch the “GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE with PIXAR” project, which will see the shinkansen bullet trains decorated in characters from the Pixar animated filmography starting on September 12, 2020.

     

    The project comes at a time when Pixar celebrates the 25th anniversary of the original Toy Story film, which released back in 1995 as the first entirely computer-animated feature film.

     

    New details have been released for the upcoming project, including the unveiling of the key visual, the content of the collaboration, campaigns that will be held, and limited-edition merchandise which will be sold.

    Key Visual

    The key visual is a colourful Pixar creation which is shaped to look like the seven prefectures that make up Kyushu—Japan’s south-westernmost island where the JR Kyushu WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Shinkanen bullet train will run.

     

    Character Visuals

    Poster Design

    All major stations along the JR Kyushu Line display the key visual along with the above-pictured poster featuring various Pixar characters. Each of Kyushu’s seven major prefectural train stations listed below will also have additional posters for different Pixar films.

     

    Hakata Station: Toy Story
    Saga Station: Up
    Nagasaki Station: Finding Nemo
    Oita Station: The Incredibles
    Kumamoto Station: Cars
    Kagoshima-Chūō Station: Monsters, Inc.
    Miyazaki Station: Wall-E

     

    Tabloid Distribution

    For illustrative purposes only. Distribution from September 12, 2020.

    At all major stations running the JR Kyushu Line, commuters can get their hands on a free tabloid inspired by the “My Adventure Book” from the Pixar film Up. The content of the tabloid features information related to the collaboration and where you can find Pixar characters at stations throughout Kyushu, so you too can have your own adventure.

     

    Photo Spots

    Cars photo spot

    The seven JR Kyushu prefectural stations will also have their own photo spots where you can snap a picture. You’ll also spot Woody and Buzz dolls and Hakata Station and Sully and Mike ones at Kagoshima-Chūō Station.

     

    Participating Stations: Hakata Station, Saga Station, Nagasaki Station, Oita Station, Kumamoto Station, Kagoshima-Chūō Station, Miyazaki Station

     

    Special Site & Official Instagram

    A special site opened which features the departure schedule for the JR Kyushu WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Shinkansen, details on campaigns, the latest details on the collaboration, and more. Waku Waku ADVENTURE now also has its own Instagram page which includes reports on event, pictures of merchandise, and other details.

     

    Special Movie

    A special collaborative movie will be released in September centred on the themes of Pixar’s movies such as bonds between people, family, friends, and adventure. It will be shown at JR Kyushu stations and the special site.

     

    Campaign: Find the Pixar Ball

    Original sticker designs

    If you spot a station staff member at any of the JR Kyushu prefectural stations wearing a Pixar ball badge, call out to them and they’ll give you one of seven possible Pixar stickers as pictured above. All seven can be put into your “My Adventure Book,” so try collecting them all!

     

    Participating Stations: Hakata Station, Saga Station, Nagasaki Station, Oita Station, Kumamoto Station, Kagoshima-Chūō Station, Miyazaki Station

    *Depending on the time, platform staff may not be wearing the badges

    *Stickers are available while supplies last

     

    GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Digital Stamp Rally

    A digital stamp rally will be held on the official JR Kyushu app. Board the JR Kyushu WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Shinkansen, visit JR Kyushu Stations, and get some original stamps.

     

    1st Stamp Rally: September 12, 2020 – January 31, 2021

     

    Limited Edition Merchandise

    Merchandise lineup

    A special collection of merchandise has been created featuring designs of Kyushu and the Pixar characters. The items will be sold at shops around JR Kyushu stations and online in Japan.

     

    Release Date: September 12, 20202
    Merchandise List: https://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/train/wakuwaku-adventure/goods/

     

    Those who ride the very first departing train will receive an original Pixar design train ticket. The Tsubame 363 train bound for Kagoshima-Chūō Station will depart from Hakata Station at 12:19 on September 12, 2020.

     

    ©Disney/Pixar

  • Pixar Themed Shinkansen Bullet Trains Speed Through Kyushu This September

    18.August.2020 | SPOT

    JR Kyushu has signed a promotional license agreement with Walt Disney Japan to launch the “GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE with PIXAR” project, which will see the shinkansen bullet trains decorated in characters from the Pixar animated filmography starting on September 12, 2020.

     

    The project comes at a time when Pixar celebrates the 25th anniversary of the original Toy Story film, which released back in 1995 as the first entirely computer-animated feature film.

     

    The “GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE with PIXAR” project’s story

    The concept behind the project is for passengers using the bullet trains to go off on a new adventure with their favourite Pixar characters to find new and exciting places around Kyushu. The trains are set to run from September 12, 2020 to mid-May 2021.

     

    Completely unique and original Pixar character designs

    The colourful designs that decorate both the inside and outside of the Kyushu shinkansen bullet trains combine Pixar characters with motifs that are a nod towards places around Kyushu.

    The exterior design of the trains feature many familiar faces from Pixar movies—even the iconic Luxo Lamp Jr, or ‘Pixar lamp.’ The inside has colourful head covers with different Pixar characters on them.

     

    Ride the first train

    Those who ride the very first departing train will receive an original Pixar design train ticket. The Tsubame 363 train bound for Kagoshima-Chūō Station will depart from Hakata Station at 12:19 on September 12, 2020. A collection of themed merchandise is also in the works.

  • Enter the World Of My Neighbor Totoro in Japan’s Oita and Miyazaki Prefectures

    14.August.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    My Neighbor Totoro is one of Studio Ghibi’s most celebrated animated feature films, adored by people around the world. If you’ve visited Japan, you’re bound to have run into something Totoro-related, but did you know there’s actually several locations in Kyushu which takes it to the next level, bringing the world of the film to life?

     

    Today, we are joined by Rie who posts her Kyushu travels on her Instagram page. She has provided us with photos of these amazing spots, which are must-visits for Totoro fans, along with her thoughts.

     

    Tataragi Bus Stop | Hita, Oita Prefecture

    When you roll up to Tataragi Bus Stop (多々良木バス停) in Oita’s city of Hita, you are welcomed by a giant piece of wall art made into the moss that grows on the wall. This bus stop is actually a stop used exclusively by school buses, so ordinary people can’t actually catch a bus here. And unfortunately, you won’t see any cat buses running down the street if you wait long enough in the rain, but it’s still a must-visit for fans.

    Address: Amagasemachi Gota, Hita, Oita, Japan (In Japanese: 大分県日田市天瀬町合田)

     

    Totoro’s Forest | Saiki, Oita Prefecture

    This area is visited by many tourists and sightseers throughout the year because of how similar it looks to something from My Neighbor Totoro. There is a small park near the bus stop which is known as Totoro no Mori (Totoro’s Forest).

    Being surrounded by nature, enveloped by the green trees and foliage, makes you feel like Mei and Satsuki from the movie. It’s like being transported back to my childhood. It’s a strange place that makes you feel nostalgic even if it’s your first time visiting.

    Address: 1368 Ume Oaza Minamitabaru, Saiki-shi, Oita Prefecture (In Japanese: 大分県佐伯市宇目大字南田原轟1368)

     

    Takahara, Miyazaki Prefecture

    The next spot I want to show you is where an ordinary person made their very own Totoro statue. If you hold up an umbrella in the rain you can take a photo that recreates that one scene from te movie. There is a sign nearby the statue with a caution written on it as the Totoro is actually inside a family garden. When visiting to take a photo, please make sure to follow the caution and not cause any trouble for people in the neighbouring area.

    Address: 7538-6 Kamamuta, Takaharu, Nishimorokata-gun, Miyazaki Prefecture (In Japanese: 宮崎県西諸島県群高原町大字蒲牟田7538-6)

     

    Rie posts photos of all her visits around Kyushu on Instagram, so if you’re thinking of ever visiting there, be sure to follow her for ideas on where to go.

     

    Photos by Rie

    *The information listed in this article is correct at the time of publishing

  • Starbucks Coffee Beppu Park: Japan’s Newest Branch Flowing With Art and Tradition

    07.December.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Starbucks Coffee Japan is set to open a new branch in Beppu Park on December 12, 2019. It will be the first park branch to open in Oita Prefecture.

     

    Located in the heart of Beppu, a city well-known for its hot springs, Starbucks Coffee Beppu Park will open at the east car park where it will enjoy all the natural offerings that Beppu Park has to give, from its abundant foliage to its rows of towering trees. There is a bright and fresh green lawn in front of the shop where you can sit and enjoy your coffee while taking in the environment. The coffee branch also caters to the lifestyles of drivers, as many people commute by car in this region, with a drive-through service.

     

    The concept of the building is “Layered Aroma.” The designers wanted to capture the idea of the steam coming from the city’s hot springs and couple it with the wafting aroma of coffee. Inside, customers will find unique decor and lighting made in cooperation with local artists and artisans from Oita.

     

    In the centre of the cafe there is an original lighting structure made from bamboo by local craftsmen. This carefully-crafted piece of work expresses the rising aroma of coffee. There’s also artwork on display created by young artists from Oita as well as works made by three Beppu-based artists that were curated by ‘Get in touch.’

  • Miyako Hotel Hakata Opens With Instagram-Worthy Pool, Michelin-Led Restaurant Menu & More

    24.September.2019 | SPOT

    Miyako Hotel Hakata will have its grand opening on September 22, 2019. To help spread word of the luxurious secrets behind its doors, an official report was released detailing everything there is for guests to look forward to.

     

    Its metropolitan exterior is inspired by the spectacular natural landscapes of Kyushu

    Miyako Hotel Hakata can be found by taking the Tsukushi Exit of Hakata Station where it stands directly in front, towering above the surrounding buildings. The basement floor of the hotel is directly connected to the station for ease of access. This floor is also home to a convenience store, restaurants and more and can be used by non-guests too.

    The building is a gorgeous eye-catching glass cube which offers an abundance of natural light during the day. At night, the hotel exterior is illuminated with 168 LED lights, giving it an metropolitan appearance. The building rooftop has a running ‘waterfall’ which is inspired by the majestic rural environments of Kyushu. Its iconic design makes it instantly-recognisable, with hopes in mind that this will make it a new landmark of Hakata.

    The lobby houses a gorgeous cafe lounge serving food and drink

    Up on the 3rd floor is the clean, bright and spacious front lobby where staff are waiting to greet guests warmly. In addition to the reception desk, there is CAFÉ EMPATHY, a cafe and lounge which can be used by both guests and non-guests. The cafe is produced by Transit General Offiice which is known for having produced the The Rail Kitchen Chikugo―a restaurant train―amongst a host of shared offices, hotels and more.

    The spectacular menu line-up includes an array of delicious drinks from herbal teas to flavoured lattes, as well as an assortment of light meals made using ingredients from around Kyushu. They also serve an original afternoon tea that’s served from 14:30. Everything on the menu is nothing short of Instagrammable and perfect for those who love to wine and dine on drinks and food that is both cute and fancy.

     

    The colourful flavoured lattes come in four flavours and can also be ordered for takeout. One of them is the Beets Latte which is a pink colour which comes from the beetroot used to make it. It has a subtle sweetness and smooth flavour.

     

    The stocked teas include those made by Paris-based tea company KUSMI TEA, such as the Anastasia which is a mix of standard black tea and citrus, as well as an array of decaffeinated fruit teas.

    Spend your time in luxury in your room

    Floors 5 through 12 are all lined with guest rooms. There are four types of rooms, all large, including Twin and Double. Each and every room has been given the same level of care and attention to create the most comfortable experience for guests.

    The Deluxe room is the perfect package if you’re looking to indulge in a little extravagance, whether as a treat to yourself or together with that special someone. The room design is stylish and simple, allowing for optimal relaxation. The bed is roomy and is ideal for watching the television or chatting.

     

    All guest rooms are also equipped with tablets from which you can control the air con, lights and so on. The TV can even tell you whether the restaurant is full or not which is a super convenient feature.

    A restaurant and bar menu created by a Michelin-starred chef & dreamy terrace pool

    On floor 13―the top floor―you will find Miyako Hotel Hakata’s must-see feature: the SOMEWHERE RESTAURANT & BAR. This all-dining restaurant’s concept is “A Beautiful Place Somewhere.” Its dinner menu was conceived by Michihoro Haruta, the chef at Crony, a Michelin 1-starred restaurant in Nishi-Azabu, Tokyo. The innovative menu is made with local ingredients from Fukuoka and across Kyushu. The wine menu was created by Kazutaka Ozawa, a sommelier at Crony. The restaurant enjoys a laid-back atmosphere that isn’t overly formal or strict, with a glass exterior including the roof, allowing diners to enjoy the romantic evening atmosphere.

     

    Breakfast is served to both guests and non-guests and is served as a western-style buffet packed full of assorted foods such as freshly-baked bread, omelette, Eggs Benedict, and more. They serve an original Japanese-style breakfast too for those who fancy Japanese food. The tall windows allow natural light to pour into the restaurant.

    Right next to the restaurant is the hotel’s very own spa, offering a natural hot spring pool, jet bath, footbath and more. As part of the hotel’s grand opening, the spa is free for all guest until March 31, 2020. The hotel offers rental swimsuits too so you can freely and easily enjoy a nighttime dip. And when night truly sets in, you can gaze an unbroken view of Hakata from the roof, and the ‘waterfall’ next to the pool will also be lit up.

     

    There’s even a special poolside menu so you can order cocktails and light food from the terrace. With everything illuminate in beautiful lighting, your cocktail in hand, you can certainly snap some Instagram-worthy shots. And if you’re looking for a warm bath, there is a large public bath and even a sauna indoors.

  • 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

  • Popular Tokyo Café Bakery BREAD, ESPRESSO & to Open in Fukuoka

    09.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Bakery café BREAD, ESPRESSO & has made quite a reputation in Omotesando, Tokyo for its stylish interior and delicious coffee and bread. The bakery café is now opening a new branch in Fukuoka called BREAD, ESPRESSO & HAKATA & on September 25th, 2019.

     

    To commemorate 10 years in business, BREAD, ESPRESSO & will be opening their first ever branch in Hakata, Kyushu. The café bakery will be nestled between Hakata Station and CANAL CITY HAKATA. Whether you are a busy commuter looking for a heartwarming cup of coffee or a traveling tourist, the location is ideal for anyone looking for a quick rest stop. 

    The new café bakery is approximately 165 m² in size, making it the largest branch. The shop is decorated with a pure white base theme and has the perfect comfortable environment to enjoy a coffee. 

    Mu: ¥330 (after tax)

    French Toast: ¥750 (after tax)

    BREAD, ESPRESSO &’s popular Mu and French Toast will be on the menu along with Hakata-limited goods. If you are searching for some delicious bread in Hakata, please make your way to BREAD, ESPRESSO &.

  • From Wine to Hydrangeas Taste the Regional Shaved Ice Flavours of Japan at Hoshino Resorts KAI

    10.July.2019 | FOOD

    Hoshino Resorts hot spring ryokan brand KAI is offering guests the opportunity to explore different regional shaved ice desserts that are served with delicious regional syrups and toppings. Shaved ice is a traditional summer dessert that was even mentioned in the famous work The Pillow Book, which was written by Sei Shonagon during her time as Empress Consort Teishi’s court lady during the 990s and early 1000s of the Heian period.

    The concept of KAI expresses both originality and the thirst for experimenting to make something new. The event offers a range of original flavours, embracing the Japanese tradition of eating flavoured shaved ice to battle the heat of summer. From wine-flavoured shaved ice in Nagano, to Hydrangea shaved ice at Hakone, this is the perfect opportunity to try a range of shaved ice desserts that are full of vibrant colours. These regional flavours are sure to spark your curiosity for discovery in that region. 

    Wine Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Matsumoto (Asama Onsen, Nagano)

    The cone-shaped region of Kikyogahara, which is located next to Matsumoto city, is well known for its wine production. This area produces around 50 different kinds of Kikyogahara wine. The flavoured syrup for this shaved ice comes from concord grape wine sourced from Kikyogahara. Each porcelain bowl for the dessert is handmade. Customers can enjoy the smooth, rounded feel of the grape pattern on the bowl as they dig into their dessert. As the alcohol is burned out of the dish, even those who do not like alcohol can enjoy this mature dessert. From the carefully prepared wine syrup to the handmade bowl, you will be able to feel all the hard work put into the making of these luxurious desserts. This is the perfect way to cool off after a hot day.

    Hydrangea Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone

    Due to the altitude differences at Hakone, you can enjoy the beautiful hydrangeas for an even longer time than other areas of Japan. There is a Hydrangea train (Ajisai Densha) that runs up the mountains providing passengers with the beautiful view of blooming flowers, creating the perfect summer memories. Observing the large groups of flowers in full bloom fills you with such a refreshing feeling. Their beautiful colours are expressed in the colour of this hydrangea shaved ice.  

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

    Tochigi prefecture has been Japan’s no.1 producer of strawberries for 50 years straight. This shaved ice is served in a strawberry-shaped bowl and is served with sweet yet slightly sour strawberry syrup and a topping of bittersweet matcha sauce. Here, you can enjoy a cool evening up 1,300 metres high overlooking beautiful scenery from inside the establishment whose spectacular interior that boasts Tochigi’s traditional art of Kanuma Kanoko craft. 

    Tomato Flavoured Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso (Sonomoto, Oita)

    As tomatoes thrive during the summer, this tomato shaved ice is the perfect way to cool down. This shaved ice is sweet and slightly sour and the vibrant red colour is enough to refresh you. Tomatoes are low in calories and contain an abundant range of healthy nutrients. They are also high in vitamin C which is good for your skin and is known for helping prevent illness. Tomatoes are also a good supply of vitamin E, which is good at slowing the effects of aging. Take a seat on the terrace and enjoy your shaved ice as a refreshing breeze rolls by. This is the perfect way to enjoy a cool summer with a healthy and delicious dessert. 

    Neputa Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru (Owani Onsen, Aomori)

    The Neputa Shaved Ice represents the Hirosaki Neputa Festival that takes place in the summer at the old castle town of Hirosaki. To represent Tsugaru Vidro coloured glass, which is an important part of Tsugaru culture, red, blue and green coloured jelly pieces decorate the top of the shaved ice. These colours also represent the vibrant colours of Neputa festival. This Instagram-worthy dessert shows off the best of the fresh colours of Tsugaru. 

  • Oita Prefecture News Letter June 2019

    22.June.2019 | Uncategorized

    Oita Prefecture is Kyushu is known as having the most hot spring sources and yield in Japan. Places in Oita such as the city of Beppu and town of Yufuin are highlighted as some of the most famous hot spring sites in Japan and enjoy an influx of tourists every year, but their appeal doesn’t stop at hot springs. Oita will host this year’s Rugby World Cup, and because of that, the prefectural government is putting more efforts into dining, speciality products and spreading tourist and sightseeing information.

     

    Let’s take a look at some of the must-see sites, art and culture of the prefecture.

     

    InterContinental ANA Beppu Resort & Spa

    InterContinental ANA Beppu Resort & Spa is Oita’s first foreign-owned luxury brand hotel set to open this year on August 1. This resort-style hotel will combine Beppu’s status as Japan’s spearhead of hot springs with the concept of an intercontinental brand hotel to offer the ultimate relaxation and healing.

     

    There are 89 rooms at the hotel which incorporate the strenuous craft and expertise of local artists and artisans such as bamboo work. The rooms span 62-212mand are decked out with interiors made with natural materials and enjoy presentations perfect for those seeking peace and tranquillity. 21 of the rooms are suites and club rooms each with terraces equipped with private open-air baths. And if you make use of the Club Intercontinental Lounge you can enjoy top class service.

     

    Guests can enjoy the rich spring water of Beppu in both the open-air baths and public baths. Not only is there a spa there’s even an infinity pool from which guests can enjoy a gorgeous view.

     

    Official Website: https://anaicbeppu.com/en/

     

    Ryumon Falls (Kokonoe)

    Ryumon Falls is a 26-meter waterfall spanning 40-meters wide. The waterfall itself runs down the rocks below it, almost creating a second waterfall. In summer, kids and adults alike both enjoy the thrill of using it as a water slide. During the summer season, the camp sites, diners and souvenir shops bustle with tourists. You can pick up a mat and other items required to slide down the rocky slope in the surrounding area.

     

    Address: Matsugi, Kokonoe-machi, Kusu-gun 879-4632, Oita Prefecture

     

    Traditional Crafts at Nakatsu Castle Shitamachi – Shuka’s Japanese Umbrellas

    During Japan’s economic crisis at the turn of the 19th century, policies were enacted that encouraged areas to create their own speciality products. This sparked the manufacturing and selling of umbrellas which were made from bamboo, Japanese paper, oil, astringent and other materials all sourced locally. The early Showa period was the golden age for Japanese umbrella production, but it later declined and production eventually stopped in 2003 due to the ageing of the craftsmen who made them. However, production restarted in 2005 by Shuka to help revitalise the traditional Japanese craft of creating umbrellas. Since then, the same production methods that were used back in the day have been adhered to, and new designs have come to life. They are now back in fashion and growing in popularity.

     

    Official Website: http://shu-ka.jp/

     

    Michi no Eki Innai

    Michi no Eki Innai is located in the centre of Innaimachi Kushino, a town home to the only village in Japan built on a stone bridge. They sell a variety of food products including speciality food items, including a range of loach dishes such as fried loach and loach hot pot. They also have information on the stone bridge itself, and visitors can see a Japanese giant salamander up close. Their Usa Karaage is a favourable dish amongst visitors.

     

    Official Website: https://www.michinoeki-innai.net/

     

    Oita Prefecture is home to many fun and exciting spots and events, so be sure to explore if you’re planning a visit.

  • Beams Japan to Hold Collaborative Event in the City of Beppu

    09.November.2018 | FASHION / SPOT

    The Shinjuku branch of Japanese clothing brand Beams is holding an event titled BEAMS EYE on BEPPU in collaboration with the city of Beppu in Oita Prefecture.

     

    A range of item are set to be sold including souvenirs co-developed by 10 different businesses as well as products from the Beppu New Standard project which started at the first run of this event held back in February.

    Products include beverages made using the source water of hot springs in Beppu and skin care items which were developed by two buyers of Beams Japan and other businesses after sessions of exchanging ideas and tests. New and improved versions of popular local cakes developed during the event’s firs run will also be sold in addition to a line-up of items made with the local region in mind.

     

    Select products at the event will be available to buy at the Beams store, on their official website and via ZOZOTOWN.

     

    Additionally, businesses that participated in last year’s BEAMS EYE on BEPPU will set up a corner to sell Beppu New Standard products which have been locally. This is in an effort to show the many charms of the city of Beppu and that it is more than just a place to visit for the hot springs.

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