2019 Kobe Luminarie Winter Illuminations to Light Up Kobe This December
09.October.2019 | SPOT
The 25th Kobe Luminarie light festival will take place from December 6 to 15. The theme of this year’s festival is “25 Years, Guided by the Light of Hope” (Original Italian title: Da 25 anni, guidati dalle luci della speranza).
Kobe Luminarie is an illumination festival that has been held annually since 1995 in commemoration of the Great Hanshin earthquake which hit Kobe that year on January 17. The event has continued as a symbol of hope for Kobe and has also become a festival associated with the winter season. Last year’s festival saw around 3.43 million people in attendance.
The “Light Bulbs” make a comeback radiating their warm light
Formerly the doorstep to foreign culture, Nakamachi-dori, lined with countless tasteful stores, will be lined with around 270 meters’ worth of decorations. The entrance decoration, named Frontone, stands almost 22 meters tall with three towering gates each connected to each other. The Sparri Ara is a wide wall of lights which runs 50 meters from Frontone all the way to Kyomachisuji Crossing. And as a special instalment to the 25th run of the festival, the light bulbs used at the first festival will be strung up to create another wall illumination from Itomachi to the East block which will be dubbed the “Memorial Zone.”
The event’s largest light dome
In the eastern amusement park plaza, Cassa Armonica―an illuminated church structure set up every year―will be enveloped in a large 21 meter high dome featuring an arch for the first time standing 4 meters tall in the memorial area
Over in the floral clock area, the Sparri Ara wall lights twinkle beside the wisteria trees. The lights will change and transform to the sound of the music. Attendees will also be able to pick up small gifts too as well as take pictures at the various photo spots.
Earthquake Talk Booth
Talks will be held discussing the origins of Kobe Luminarie and why it started. Earthquake survivors will also talk about their real experiences.
International Creative Director and Executive Producer Daniel Monteverde, who has been working with Luminaire for 20 years, made the following comment: “The city of Kobe will bustle once again this year, which will mark 25 years. People will fill the streets and look to the sky while they wait for the chime of the bell to signal the illuminations. We hold the memories of the people we lost 25 years ago close to our hearts. I hope we can convey our hopes and dreams and our story to our children and the young people who will bear the next generation. I hope people will be proud of Kobe which has recovered from the earthquake.”
He continues: “The Kobe Luminarie lights will shine once more for Hyogo, for Japan, and for the world. These lights are a symbol of each and every person’s devotion, their efforts, and their love. I pray that the Luminarie lights will send a message of hope to the world and continue shining in our hearts for the rest of time.” * Full comment translated from Japanese
25th Kobe Luminarie
Running: December 6, 2019 – December 15, 2019
Location: Kyu Gaikokujin Kyoryuchi and Kobe East Park (Higashi Yuenchi) (Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo)
*Times may be extended depending on the number of people. Event may be postponed in the case of bad weather.
Kobe Luminarie Official Website: http://kobe-luminarie.jp/
Enjoy Contemporary Art in Nature with the ‘Rokko Meets Art -Art Walk 2021-‘
14.September.2021 | SPOT
The Kobe Tourism Bureau will be opening the limited time ‘Rokko Meets Art -Art Walk 2021-‘ tour on Kobe City’s Rokko Sanjo between September 11 and November 24 2021.
Rokko Mountain was developed as a leisure spot by foreign residents during the Meiji Era, and is still beloved to this day for its magnificent views and abundant nature.
The ‘Rokko Meets Art -Art Walk-‘ tour opened in 2010 in order to convey the charms of Mt. Rokko to as many people as possible while introducing them to contemporary art. Over 400 artist groups have exhibited since its opening, with visitors being able to enjoy the innovative works and scenery which changes with the art.
The ‘Rokko Meets Art -Art Walk-‘ is not only for art fans but also for those who wish to visit Mt. Rokko for sightseeing and leisure, allowing each visitor to experience art with their five senses as the seasons change.
Some pieces are modified by the artist throughout the exhibition period, allowing you to feel the changes of the works each time you visit. Due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions, opportunities to come into contact with nature and art have greatly decreased. In response, the ‘Rokko Meets Art -Art Walk-‘ has started a variety of projects, including online exhibitions and workshops.
Experience this fun combination of nature and contemporary art for yourself at the ‘Rokko Meets Art -Art Walk 2021-!’
Rokko Meets Art -Art Walk 2021-
Duration: September 11 ~ November 23 2021
Opening Hours: 10:00 ~ 17:00
Location: 12 spots throughout Rokko Sanjo
Satellite Venue: Arima Onsen Area
JR Sannomiya Station Square Special Exhibition: ‘Rokko Meets Art -Art Walk-‘ Selection
Tickets・Official Site: https://www.rokkosan.com/art2021/
‘átoa,’ Part Art Museum and Part Aquarium, Opening in Kobe
12.August.2021 | SPOT
Blending living creatures with art, átoa, a new urban aquarium, will open in Kobe’s Shinkocho on October 29, 2021. New images have just been revealed, and we now have an idea of what the interior will look like!
‘átoa’ comes from a combination of the words ‘aquarium’ and ‘art,’ and as the name suggests, the space will blend over 100 pieces of digital and performance art with 3,000 ocean creatures to provide a never-before-seen experience.
The exterior of the Kobe Port Museum looks like a contemporary art gallery
The stairway leads guests to a cave entrance, making the visit feel more like an adventure
‘MARIN NOTE – The Movement of Life’ embodies underwater life
‘ELEMENTS – The Forest of Spirits’ welcomes you to a foggy sea of trees
Light cutout show by famed cutout artist Atsumi Sakai
A mysterious walk through a traditional Japanese garden
‘PLANETS,’ a journey through the darkness of outer space and the deep sea
Food & drink offerings worthy of posting on social media
A spectacular view of the Kobe Bay area
átoa original products on sale
Rokko, the land on which Kobe City sits, is said to have been formed over one million years ago by the upheaval of the Earth and consistent water erosion. The Kobe Port Museum (KPM), where átoa is located, has long attracted visitors with its unique exterior, embodying the ancient origins of the surrounding lands.
átoa will be divided into eight different zones, each with its own theme and distinctive presentation. Visitors will first enter the ‘Cave of Beginnings,’ where fish-shaped lights reflected on the walls and floor lead you deeper into the space, as if through a kaleidoscope.
After emerging, ‘MARIN NOTE – The Movement of Life,’ a visual embodiment of underwater life, will greet you. The sound and scents of the sea will surround guests, with a cylindrical water tank at the center of the room filled with zebra sharks, spotted garden eels, and many more underwater creatures.
On the second floor, enter ‘ELEMENTS – The Forest of Spirits,’ a foggy sea of trees straight out of a fairy tale. This is where you can find freshwater fish, amphibians, and adorable tree-dwelling animals not typically found in aquariums, like woodchucks! This is another highlight of átoa: you might find more animals you wouldn’t expect!
The third floor houses both ‘MIYABI’ and ‘PLANETS,’ where guests can enjoy a ‘theatrical aquarium experience.’ Discover Atsumi Sakai’s famed cutout art in the ‘MIYABI’ area, meant to simulate a Japanese garden. Enjoy the magical experience of fish swimming just beneath your feet as you stroll along a glass-covered floor.
The ‘PLANETS’ area houses AQUA TERRA, one of Japan’s largest spherical water tanks, with a diameter of 3 meters. Guests are welcome to ponder the vastness of both outer space and the deepest stretches of the sea. The area is bathed in the light of countless stars thanks to optical fibers embedded in the floor, while mist will continuously pour from above.
Housed on the fourth floor, an outdoor exhibit, the ‘SKYSHORE Sky Garden,’ will soothe your soul as you play with only the most adorable marine life, from penguins to otters. This is also where visitors can enjoy the átoa cafe, offering a lineup of Instagram-worthy food and drink.
The observation deck ‘ROOF TOP’ also provides a breathtaking view of Kobe. Whether you visit during day or night, take in the views of Kobe Harborland and Meriken Park to your heart’s content. A full museum shop will be stocked with adorable plushies and other original products.
Address: 7-2, Shinkocho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo
Open Date: October 29, 2021
Hours: 10:00-21:00 (Open Every Day)
Official Site: https://atoa-kobe.jp
Pâtissier-Inspired Shaved Ice Flavors Available at Kobe Minato Onsen Ren for Limited Time
There’s no better way to combat a heat wave than enjoying a cool bowl of shaved ice! Natural hot spring resort Kobe Minato Onsen Ren, overlooking Kobe Port, is releasing a gorgeous new style of this popular summer treat. Called Fluffed Ice, it offers a slightly more sophisticated flavor, and serves as the perfect way to cool off for adults escaping the hustle and bustle of the sweltering city.
Fluffed Ice, uniquely designed by a pastry chef: ¥900 each (Tax Included)
Fukuju (Nada’s Famous Sake)
Uji Green Tea and Hokkaido Azuki
By filtering the water and freezing it at a slower rate, the shaved ice is completely pure and free of any and all impurities. Visitors can enjoy four different flavors: Setouchi Lemon, a refreshing blend of acidity and white chocolate; Fujuku, which contains locally-sourced sake and sweet syrup; Strawberry, offering a mix of sweet and sour; and, finally, Uji Matcha and Hokkaido Azuki, elegantly mixing flavors from both northern and southern Japan. The syrup used is made from scratch, and was developed by the pâtissier of Le Pan Kobe Kitano, a bakery and sweets shop nearby.
During this incredibly hot summer, give this new Fluffed Ice a try!
Location: Ocean Spa ‘Poolside Bar,’ Restaurant Suiren
Available Until: September 30, 2021
Official Site: https://ren-onsen.jp/event/fuwakoori/
Naruto and Boruto Summer Event Begins at Nijigen no Mori
Nijigen no Mori, an amusement park located on Awaji Island in Hyogo, began a summer event at its Naruto and Boruto-themed zone on July 22 which is set to run until September 30.
The event includes a huge water gun event where 25 litres of water will be sprayed to cool down guests during the hot summer event. With themed character panels displayed around the park, join Naruto and the gang, including Zabuza and Haku, for some summer fun. All guests receive a free original sticker too.
© 岸本斉史 スコット／集英社・テレビ東京・ぴえろ
Running: July 22, 2021 – September 30, 2021
Location: Nijigen no Mori
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00
Price: Free (But park entry payment required)
Official Website: https://nijigennomori.com/naruto_shinobizato/
BanG Dream! Girls Band Party x Fuji-Q Highland Summer Event Announced
Fuji-Q Highland is set to host a summer event in collaboration with the mobile rhythm game BanG Dream! Girls Band Party from August 7 to September 12.
This marks the amusement park’s 4th collaboration with the game which will see newly-illustrated artwork of the characters decorating the attractions, a special talk show hosted by the voice actresses, limited-time announcements on the attractions recorded by the voice actresses, a themed food menu, original merch, and more.
A digital stamp rally will also take place which will have guests locating life-sized panels of seven characters which they need to scan with their smartphone. This will give them a special voiced story. Those who obtain all the digital stamps by scanning all the panels will receive a free novelty as well as an original voiced guide for boarding the amusement park train. The train too will be decorated in BanG Dream! artwork.
©BanG Dream! Project ©Craft Egg Inc. ©bushiroad All Rights Reserved.
BanG Dream! Girls Band Party x Fuji-Q Highland
Running: August 7, 2021 – September 12, 2021
Event Details: https://www.fujiq.jp/special/2021_bangdream/index.html
Fuji-Q Highland Official Website: https://www.fujiq.jp/
MIDTOWN ART PALETTE Brings Dreamy Digital Artwork to Tokyo Midtown For Summer
17.July.2021 | SPOT
Tokyo Midtown’s annual MIDTOWN ART PALETTE has returned again for the summer, opening on July 16 and running until September 5. This year, the event delivers a Digital Art Garden with gorgeous dream-like digital artwork.
Digital Art Garden
Last year’s event
Experience a distinctively Japanese way to stay cool and refreshed on a wooden veranda with light and mist dancing through the outdoor space inspired by traditional Japanese rock gardens. Find yourself bewitched by an enchanting summer evening as the digital art transforms throughout the day.
This year’s event is being held with all proper social distancing measures in place.
Take digital art home with you with AR fireworks
Locate five QR codes dotted around Tokyo Midtown which when accessed via your smartphone will award you with artistic AR fireworks, allowing you to enjoy fireworks with you wherever you point the camera on your screen, including at home.
MIDTOWN ART PALETTE
Running: July 16, 2021 – September 5, 2021
Opening Hours: 15:00-22:00 / Digital Fireworks: 18:00-22:00
Sanrio’s Harmonyland Theme Park Announces 30th Anniversary Event For Summer
16.July.2021 | SPOT
Continuing the character park’s 30th anniversary celebrations, Sanrio Harmonyland opened its 30th Anniversary ~Special Summer~ event on July 16 which is running until August 31. There’s a whole bunch of events and shows for Sanrio fans to look forward to this summer.
30th Special Greeting
For the entire duration of the event, lots of characters will come out to greet park guests twice a day. This includes Hangyodon and Tuxedosam, both of who haven’t visited Harmonyland in almost 10 years. Pochacco will be there too in a brand-new costume.
Obake Ondo! DoRoRoNRoN!
The characters will be out dressed in cute summery yukata where they will invite guests to dance Bon Odori with them.
Parade Parallel ~30th Memories~
A special 30th anniversary rendition of the park’s Parade Parallel will take place, taking songs and performances from past runs of this event which has been held since the park first opened.
30th Anniversary Night Party
Hello Kitty, Dear Daniel, Cinnamoroll, Kuromi, and 10 dancers will host a special anniversary night show to give thanks to guests for the past 30 years.
Running: July 17th-18th, 22nd-24th / August 7th-8th, 13th-15th, 21st-22nd, 28th-29th
Character Menu: Hello Kitty’s Cheese in Hamburger Curry – Cinnamoroll’s Beef Stew Rice – Smiling Pompompurin’s Pork Cutlet Curry | ¥1,380 Each
Wish Me Mell’s Heart Korokke White Sauce Omurice | ¥1,400
Acrylic Stand Keyrings | ¥748 Each
Guests can get their hands on exclusive anniversary merchandise and enjoy some limited-time dishes too.
ⓒ 2021 SANRIO CO., LTD. S/D･G
30th Anniversary ~Special Summer~
Running: July 16, 2021 – August 31, 2021
Event Page: https://www.harmonyland.jp/sp/summer/index.html
Event Report: Sanrio’s Little Twin Stars and Their Dreamy World at Tokyo Tower
16.July.2021 | SPOT
Sanrio’s popular character duo Kiki & Lala, also known as the Little Twin Stars, are have brought their dreamy, pastel-coloured world to Tokyo Tower with a special summer event titled “Little Twin Stars Summer Night Fantasy Meets Kiki & Lala Exhibition produced by LIDDELL” which began on July 10.
At the event entrance, guests are given a special ‘passport’ notebook which is stamped before entering, allowing access to Kiki & Lala’s world in the clouds above.
Guests are guided by Kiki & Lala’s voice through the rose-coloured “Star & Rose-Coloured Cloud Fantasy Gate” were they are met with five different booths.
At Kiki’s Star Catching booth, visitors can experience one of Kiki’s favourite past times by ‘catching’ stars. The stars that are caught can be taken home as a fun memory.
There’s also the Starry Sky Light Shower booth which is decorated with mirror balls that reflect the light as well as a wall featuring words and phrases said by the twins, the pink and light blue-coloured Kiki & Lala’s Playroom where you can snap cute photos, the Glittering Moviegenic booth which uses your smartphone to watch an animation of Kiki & Lala, and more.
Fans of the twins can enjoy an exhibit of various artworks too, including the 8-meter tall Fantasy Wall which depicts the world above the clouds.
The day before the exhibition began, on July 9, Tokyo Tower was lit up in blue and pink Kiki & Lala colours from 19:30 to midnight. It was a special one-night experience.
If you’re in Tokyo this summer, soar up high into Kiki & Lala’s world at Tokyo Tower.
©‘21 SANRIO 著作（株）サンリオ
LittleTwinStars Summer Night Fantasy Meets Kiki & Lala Exhibition produced by LIDDELL
Running: July 10, 2021 – July 25, 2021
Event Site: https://sanrio.site/qY0AN
Art and Illuminations Fuse at Chiba Park For Nighttime Entertainment
07.July.2021 | SPOT
YohaS is set to collide the real and digital worlds at Chiba Park with an event titled YohaS 2021 Night Park Gallery which will run from July 6 to 10.
Lightning artwork (*For illustrative purposes only, art will be different for the event)
The event held back in 2019
YohaS is a collaborative project between Chiba City and Tsubakimori Komuna. It was launched to boost and develop the nighttime economy of Chiba, with its first event having taken place as the evening portion of the Ooga Hasu Flower Festival held in Chiba back in 2018. YohaS was unable to be held last year due to the pandemic and so an event was held online. This year sees its return with an event taking on the theme of “Silent Lips” which refers to the current situation with COVID-19 and how we cannot see peoples’ smiles or lips due to them wearing face masks.
The title of the YohaS 2021 event is “Night Park Gallery” which will turn Chiba Park into an art gallery and fuse it with breathtaking lighting and illuminations by Sun Effects. There will be six stages produced by Hiroaki Kumagai, a former member of Cirque du Soleil, each of which will offer equally incredible performances with their own stories from July 6-9. Visitors can also purchase YohaS wristbands, t-shirts, anti-bacterial sprays, and more.
For those still unable to attend in person, YohaS will also open an online version of the event called Virtual YohaS in Chiba Park which can be accessed via a PC or smart device.
YohaS 2021 Night Park Gallery
Running: July 6, 2021 – July 10, 2021
Opening Hours: 17:00-21:00
Location: Chiba Park
Address: 3 Chome-1-1 Benten, Chuo Ward, Chiba, 260-0045, Japan
YohaS Official Website: https://www.yohas.fun/
Heidi, Girl of the Alps Anime Fair to Open at Rokko Garden Terrace in Kobe
Rokko Garden Terrace has announced an event set to take place this summer. Titled “Mount Rokkō Swiss Fair ~Surrounded by Heidi, Girl of the Alps~,” is set to run from July 16 to August 31.
Heidi, Girl of the Alps Decorations / Themed Stamp Rally / Merchandise
Heidi, Girl of the Alps themed food
Swiss-Style Cordon Bleu Alpen Macaroni | ¥2,200 (Tax Included)
Zuger Kirschtorte Gateau | ¥900 (Tax Included)
Roast Beef Lunch With Alpen Macaroni | ¥1,600 (Tax Included)
Yōichi Kotabe Art Exhibits / Cheese Plate / Illustrations
Mount Rokkō and Switzerland have a lot in common, especially when it comes to both locations being home to towering mountains with cable cars that run up them. At the top of Mount Rokkō, visitors can get a real feel for Switzerland. Rokko Garden Terrace sits up the mountains and has its own observation deck which offers a panoramic view of the Rokkō mountains. It’s here that the event themed on the anime series Heidi, Girl of the Alps will take place, with decorations, art exhibits, photo spots, themed food, merchandise, and more. Fans can also win a plush toy of Josef of the anime series. There will also be an art exhibition of works from the series character designer Yōichi Kotabe and more.
Mount Rokkō Swiss Fair ~Surrounded by Heidi, Girl of the Alps~
Running: July 16, 2021 – August 31, 2021
Location: Rokko Garden Terrace
Opening Hours: 9:30-21:00
*Opening hours subject to change depending on weather
*Subject to closure depending on COVID-19
Heidi, Girl of the Alps Official Website: http://www.heidi.ne.jp
Studio Chizu Animation Studio Celebrates 10th Anniversary at Yomiuri Land
Tokyo-based amusement park Yomiuri Land and flower park HANA・BIYORI are celebrating 10 years of Studio Chizu, the animation studio spearheaded by director Mamoru Hosoda, as well as the upcoming release of their new film Belle with a special event that is running from July 17 to September 5.
Studio Chizu 10th Cross Park in Yomiuri Land
Flowers collide with digital art at HANA・BIYORI
Solve puzzles in an AR rally
The events will celebrate Mamoru Hosoda and Studio Chizu’s entire filmography including The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, Wolf Children, The Boy and the Beast, Mirai, and their upcoming film Belle which will be released in Japan on July 16. This includes themed attraction, food, merchandise, and more. There will also be a special AR rally where guests will need to locate hidden characters around the park. A digital art show will also take place at HANA・BIYORI which is connected to Yomiuri Land.
More details about the attractions and food will roll out in early July.
Studio Chizu 10th Cross Park in Yomiuri Land
Running: July 17, 2021 – September 5, 2021
Yomiuri Land/HANA・BIYORI Address: 4015-1 Yanokuchi, Inagi, Tokyo 206-0812, Japan
Yomiuri Land Official Website: https://www.yomiuriland.com/
HANA・BIYORI Official Website: https://www.yomiuriland.com/hanabiyori/
Cute Little Bird Themed Event Opens at Odakyu Department Store in Shinjuku
02.July.2021 | SPOT
The Shinjuku Bird Festival opened on the 11th floor of Odakyu Department Store in Shinjuku, Tokyo on June 30 where it’s running until July 6.
Some of the cute bird products to get your beaks on
Piyo Piyo Gao Poncho-chan: ¥8,250 / Piyo Piyo Gao Goggle-chan: ¥5,500
Ikimono Cookie kurimaro collection Cookies: ¥432 Each
Kisuke Paper: Large ¥3,850 / Small ¥2,750 (Available July 3-4 only)
Hoholala Kobo Oven Glove | ¥2,200
m-pool Glass Necklace | ¥4,950
Wild Bird Paintings | ¥1,980 Each
Hoholala Kobo x Oiue-dou Pouches: ¥2,200
Free fan for buyers
Free postcard for buyers
Bird lovers will be able to get their talons on everything from accessories to desserts and more. Many of the items are exclusive to the event, and there’s also some freebies: the first 100 people to spend over ¥3,000 each day will receive an original fan, and the first 300 people to arrive at the festival each day will get a postcard.
Shinjuku Bird Festival
Running: June 30, 2021 – July 6, 2021
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
Location: Odakyu Department Store Shinjuku (Floor 11F)
Address: 1-1-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Access: Outside Shinjuku Station’s west exit
Official Website: http://www.odakyu-dept.co.jp/