Hirosaki Castle Chrysanthemum and Autumn Foliage Festival Begins on October 18

13.October.2019 | SPOT

This year’s Hirosaki Castle Chrysanthemum and Autumn Foliage Festival is set to take place in Hirosaki, Aomori from October 18 to November 10.

 

The festival is held annually every autumn and has been since 1962. It has become a festival deeply tied to autumntime Hirosaki, with 1,000 vivid chrysanthemum trees set to bloom at Hirosaki Park this year in addition to 2,600 cherry blossom trees, which in springtime were pink and will now turn red and yellow for the autumn season.

After the sun sets during the event, the castle, park and surrounding areas will be lit up with enchanting illuminations, reflecting off the trees and surface of the moat, lending even more beauty to the area.

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  • Cosy Up in the Snow Huts This Winter at Hoshino Resorts KAI

    17.November.2019 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts is once again bringing its kamakura snow huts to two of its KAI hotelsーa brand of hot spring hotels. You’ll catch them at Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru and Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps from February 1 to 29 next year.

     

    KAI Tsugaru: Beautiful Koginzashi Stitched Lanterns Light Your Way

    Koginzashi is a type of sashiko stitch work famous in the Tsugaru region. Japanese kogin designer Iemasa Yamahata has designed 50 beautiful Kogin lanterns for Hoshino Resorts’ KAI Tsugaru hot spring hotel, which is hidden away in the town of Owani in southern Tsugaru, Aomori.

     

    When you arrive at KAI Tsugaru, follow the lanterns along the snow and you’ll arrive at the kamakuraーa type of Japanese igloo built in northern Japan for winter festivals. Multiple objects, big and small, have been designed with koginzashi, so guests can enjoy this beautiful art form.

    Cosy up inside your secret snow hut and enjoy some tasty chocolate with cute koginzashi designs made by a local Japanese confectionery shop. Order a hot cocktail too made using apples grown in Aomoriーa prefecture famous across the country for its apples. There’s a non-alcoholic cocktail option too.

     

    You’ll also find an original card game inside the huts created by the KAI Tsugaru staff. It’s called “Kogin Awase” and works like the card game Pairs. What could be better than sat warm inside an igloo, eating sweets and drinking while playing a card game?

     

    KAI Alps: Enjoy Life as a Yukinko Snow Child

    Turn back into a child and experience young life in the snow country of the Shinano Province (now Nagano Prefecture) with the Shinshū Kamakura Yukinko Experience.

     

    In the harsh cold and knee-deep snow environment of Shinano, people would take anti-snow measures by wearing things like the straw raincoat known as a mino, a traditional winter coat called a hanten, and other things. Guests can do the same and dress up to become a child of the snow, known as a Yukinko. You’ll forget about the snow before you even realise it.

    In old Japanese houses, friends and family would gather around an iroriーa sunken fireplace. You’ll find these dotted around the public space at KAI Alps too, where you can sit around and enjoy the crackling and warmth of the fire. There will also be hand warmers and shiruko sweet porridge too so you can rest assured you won’t go cold.

     

    Experience life in the snow at Hoshino Resorts KAI this winter.

  • See the Breathtaking Autumn Foliage of the Former Shizutani School in Okayama

    14.November.2019 | SPOT

    The Former Shizutani School, recognised as the oldest school existing for commoners in Japan, has reached its peak season for autumn foliage. Speficially, for the Chinese pistache tree, which is a symbol of the school.

    Shizutani School first opened in 1670 during the Kambun era. In 2015, it was registered as an Educational Heritage Site from Early-Modern Japan. The majority of the site is listed as an Important Cultural Property, including the temple, Shizutani Shrine, as well as the auditorium which is considered a national treasure.

     

    The school’s surrounding natural landscape enjoys the blooming of many different flowers throughout the entire year which people flock to see. It’s especially famous for autumn, a season during which the enchanting red and yellow hues boas their beautiful blossom.

    The three colours reflect from the lacquered flooring of the auditorium, rippling like ocean waves.

    The beautiful contrast between the reds and yellows of the pistaches can be enjoyed during autumn-time only. The best time to see them is from now until November 20, so if you’re travelling to Okayama, be sure to pay the Former Shizutani School a visit.

  • Kyoto Sightseeing | 4 Spots to Visit Before Autumn 2019 Ends

    03.November.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Autumn is a popular season in Japan, especially amongst tourists and travellers. While in spring you have the bright pink cherry blossoms, when autumntime rolls around, the trees turn into enchanting reds and yellows. People from around the world flock to see this incredible sight, with Kyoto being a very popular location.

     

    Of course, viewing the beautiful colours of the trees and their leaves is a must during the daytime, but seeing them in the evening has become popular in recent years too. It offers you an entirely different experience and atmosphere. So if you’re in the ancient capital for autumn this year, why not experience the season in an entirely new lightーat night?

     

    Jitokuin Temple

    Jitokuin Temple is located in the town of Yosano in Yosa District. Maple trees were planted almost 11 years ago with the help of locals and the chief priest to create local ties. Every autumn, the trees behind the mountain bloom in vivid hues, leading the temple to be nicknamed “Koyo-ji,” or “Temple of Autumn.” The locals work hard in the surrounding gardens day by day, so the sights change a little bit every year.

    The maple trees are planted in a way that it looks like they take an entire side of the mountain. They are a sight to be hold during the day, but for one week in November there will be illuminations in the evenings, creating a magical scene under the night sky.

     

    ▼Jitokuin Temple

    Light-Up Period: November 9, 2019 – November 16, 2019

    Light-Up Time: 17:00-20:00 (Temple is open 09:00-20:00)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Mid November

    Address: 2250 Akeshi, Yosano, Yoza-gun, Kyoto

    Support Fund: ¥300

    Official Website: http://jitokuin.com

     

     

    Nariaiji Temple

    Nariaiji Temple, located in Kyoto Prefecture’s city of Miyazu, is an ancient temple betwixt mountains overlooking Amanohashidate, one of Japan’s “Three Scenic Views.” It’s home to a grand 5-storey pagoda which is surrounded by hundreds of maple trees, offering an incredible, quintessentially Japanese view during autumn.

    During the day, you can snap some gorgeous photos with the Sea of Japan and Amanohashidate in the back. For two nights only, on Saturday November 9 and Sunday November 10, the entire area will be beautifully lit up with warm illuminations.

     

    ▼Nariaiji Temple

    Light-Up Period: November 9, 2019 – November 10, 2019

    Light-Up Time: Sunset – 21:00 (Temple is open 08:00-16:30)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Late November

    Address: 339 Nariaiji, Miyazu, Kyoto

    Price: ¥500

    Official Website: http://www.nariaiji.jp/

     

     

    Kasagiyama Prefectural Natural Park

    Kasagiyama Prefectural Natural Park: is located atop Mt. Kasagi and is also home to Kasagi-dera, a temple with a 1,300-year history. During autumn, one entire side of the park is dyed in autumnal colours.

    This November, the area will be lit up for a limited period, offering a gorgeous view from the mountain peak of the trees below as well as the flowing Kizugawa river.

     

    ▼Kasagiyama Prefectural Natural Park

    Light-Up Period: November 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019

    Light-Up Time: 17:00-21:00 (Temple is open 09:00-16:00)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Mid November

    Address: Mt. Kasagi, Kasagi, Soraku District, Kyoto

    Price: Illuminations – Free / Temple – Adults ¥300, Children ¥100

    Official Website: https://www.kasagidera.or.jp

     

     

    Yokokuji Temple

    Normally, the Joshoin at Yokokuji Templeーalso known as Yanagidani Kannonーonly opens on the 17th of every month. But for a special autumn event, it is now open every day up until December 1. The beauty of its autumn colours have come to be enjoyed by VIPs, dating back to the pre-war period when it was designated as a place of scenic beauty. For more details on this event, click here.

     

    Yanagidani Kannon Autumn Colours Week

    Running: November 2, 2019 – December 1, 2019

    Time: 9:00-16:00 (Joshoin open 10:00-15:00)

    Location: Yanagidani Kannon, Yokokuji Temple (Dōnotani-2 Jōdodani, Nagaokakyo, Kyoto)

    Entry Price: ¥300

    Full Ticket: ¥1,100→¥1,100 (Includes entry to multiple areas)

    Official Website: http://yanagidani.jp/

     

     

    Take the time to enjoy an autumnal Kyoto this year at one of the city’s seasonal events.

  • Kyoto Sightseeing | Yokokuji Temple’s Autumn Event Schedule Announced

    30.October.2019 | SPOT

    Yanagidani Kannon, also known as Yokokuji Temple, is located in Kyoto Prefecture’s city of Nagaokakyo and has been used as a place of prayer for many people with eye disease since the Heian Period. It is believed that praying at the temple will cure eye disease.

     

    For autumn-time this year, the temple is set to hold an event titled “Yanagidani Kannon Autumn Colours Week” from November 2 to December 1. With a seasonal schedule that includes illuminations in the gardens to a flower display at the temple water basin, if you’re looking for the must-visit locations in Kyoto this autumn, then you’ll want to add Yokokuji Temple to your list.

     

    Jodoen Garden Illuminations

    Last year’s popular light-up event is making a return for 2019, with gorgeous illuminations developed by light designer Yuuki Kogawa which will brighten the area with an enchanting and mystifying aura different from a usual visit to the garden.

     

    Dates: November 8th, 15th, 22nd-23rd

    Time: 17:30-18:30  (Reception open from 17:00)

    Price: ¥2,500 (Includes limited edition goshuin stamp)

    No. of People: 20 (Bookings Only)

    Bookings: https://yanagidani.jp/contact/

     

    Special Opening of the Joshoin

    Normally, the Joshoin only opens on the 17th of every month, but for this autumn week event, it will be open every day. It’s an area normally limited to officials and those in the imperial family. The beauty of its autumn colours have come to be enjoyed by VIPs, dating back to the pre-war period when it was designated as a place of scenic beauty.

     

    Hanachomizu Flower Water Basin

    At every temple and shrine in Japan there is a water basin which you are to use to cleanse yourself before entering. The Hanachomizu has become hugely popular on social media since the name first appeared 3 years ago, where leaves and flowers are placed into the basin. It has become adopted at temples across the country, with the one at Yokokuji Temple starting the trend. When it was first posted onto social media, it received reactions from over 80,000 people both in Japan and overseas. The flowers used change with the seasons, from hydrangeas to maple leaves.

     

    Limited Edition Goshuin Stamp Book Designs – Garasha Matsuri & More

    Visitors will be able to pick up limited-edition goshuin stamp books which never fail to sell out whenever they are released. Goshuin are collectable stamps/seals at temples around Japan. They are ¥500 each and limited in stock.

    This is just a small peek into what’s to come during Yanagidani Kannon Autumn Colours Week. If you’re in Kyoto, make sure you pay a visit to Yokokuji Temple.

  • Indulge in the Best of Japan’s Nature this Autumn at Hoshino Resorts

    03.October.2019 | SPOT

    KAI is a hot spring ryokan brand of Hoshino Resorts which provides the perfect Japanese accommodation experience to enhance your stay. This autumn, KAI is providing guests with an enhanced seasonal experience to fully embrace the beautiful golden and amber autumn atmosphere. Spend some time soaking in the hot springs, taste the finest ingredients of the autumn season and even explore the unique features of the area through art. Hoshino Resorts is offering you a completely unique trip this autumn.

     

    KAI Autumn Plans are being implemented at the following resorts: KAI Hakone, KAI Sengokuhara, KAI Aso, Kai Alps, KAI Kinugawa River, KAI Tsugaru and KAI Kawaji.

     

    Hoshino KAI Japanese Autumn Onsen Ryokan Plans 2019

    Hoshino Resorts released a video to show how their different accommodation features allow for guests to maximise their Japanese autumn experience. Today, we will be introducing just one autumn activity that you can experience at each of the resorts.

     

    Autumn Leaf Illumination at KAI Hakone Miyanoshita, Kanagawa

    Estimated best time to visit: Late November to early December

     

    From September 6 to December 7, 2019, there will be a beautiful autumn leaf illumination display taking place around the open air baths, which is the perfect opportunity to relax under the auburn atmosphere of autumn. The autumn leaves fall at different times all over the Hakone region due to the mountainous and hilly terrain. This prolonged autumn season provides plenty of opportunities to watch the beautiful illumination display as you enjoy a moment of serenity, soaking in the soothing springs surrounded by the stunning scenery. 

     

    Illumination Times: 16:00 – 01:00

     

    Paint the Picturesque Autumntime at KAI Sengokuhara, Kanagawa

    Estimated best time to visit: Mid November- End November

     

    Enjoying a relaxing soak at KAI Sengokuhara Hot Springs is the perfect way to appreciate the picturesque view of any season. On September 1, 2019, they introduced the perfect accommodation plan to fully relax their guests. 

    The guest rooms are equipped with traveller’s art supplies. From the gorgeous terrace view to the outdoor hot spring view, guests are provided with the opportunity to capture the beauty of the surrounding nature in their own way wherever they feel like it. The autumn view outside every single guest room is breathtaking ― the perfect opportunity for the guests to refresh and relax their minds with a beautiful painting. 

     

    Autumn Leaf Artwork

    Available to customers who check in between September 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019 

    Price: From ¥43,400 

    *Price based on the price per guest per night for a two-person room. Tax and service charge not included. 

    Includes: Room fee, dinner, breakfast, rental art set and art museum tickets

    Reservations: https://kai-ryokan.jp/sengokuhara/

     

    Your Own Private Outdoor Natural View at Okomori Koyo Onsen KAI Aso (Senomoto Hot Springs, Oita Prefecture)

    Estimated best time to visit: Mid October – early November 

     

    KAI Aso is located in Kuju National Park. Each guest room is surrounded by a lush forest, creating the perfect opportunity to soak in the hot springs and take in the beautiful view of the autumn leaves with lots of privacy. 

     

    In the outdoor hot spring, guests can enjoy the beautiful faint yellow Mongolian oak and the natural red leaves. Guests can also get a Japanese citrus bathing set which is scented using a range of Japanese citrus fruits to further enhance your natural autumn colour experience. The guest rooms are equipped with coffee sets which you can enjoy whilst bathing. 

    Available to customers who check in between October 1 and 31.

     

    Price: From ¥46,480

    *Based on the price per person per night in a 2-person room. Tax and service charge not included. 

    Includes: Room fee, dinner, breakfast, bathing set (1 set per room), coffee beans, Aso spring water pet bottle and a range of hot spring rental items: (Pillow for hot spring use, waterproof book cover, coffee mill and coffee dripper)

    KAI Reservations Telephone Number: 0570-073-011

     

     

    Please check KAI’s official website to find out more about the wide range of autumn plans on offer.

  • Autumn 2019: Maple Trees and Roses Adorn Karuizawa Lake Garden in Full Bloom

    18.September.2019 | SPOT

    Karuizawa Lake Garden is a natural garden that displays creative harmony between humans and nature, where one can enjoy its bountiful selection of plants throughout all four seasons along with the lake across a 33,000m² area.

     

    This year’s autumn season at the garden is scheduled from October 12 to November 4 where you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the red and yellow leaves simultaneously alongside colourful roses.

    Beautiful Japanese maple trees aren’t the only thing you can enjoy during the fall season at Karuizawa Lake Garden. Soak in the sight of an abundance of autumnal plants and inhale the floral scent of the many roses. They will open across eight areas, including the main Rose Garden, by the waterside.

    Welcome the autumntime this year at the incredible Karuizawa Lake Garden.

  • Starbucks Celebrates an Artful Autumn with Green and Pink Frappuccinos

    29.August.2019 | FOOD

    From August 30, 2019, Starbucks Coffee Japan is celebrating the coming of autumn with their scheme Artful Autumn @ Starbucks®.

     

    The concept of this year is “Be colourful” and sees the release of new drinks that burst into colour for a beautiful moment. Through art and colour, Starbucks is creating an opportunity for many to experience the unique colourfulness of autumn. 

     

    The two new drinks to make it to Starbucks’ menu are the colourful and cute Green Apple Jelly Frappuccino® and Baked Apple Pink Frappuccino®, which are both made using autumn apples. From the species of apple to the way it is prepared and arranged, two completely new apple frappuccinos have been invented. 

    Left: Green Apple Jelly Frappuccino® /Right: Baked Apple Pink Frappuccino®: ¥580 (price before tax, tall size only)

    The Green Apple Jelly Frappuccino® consists of wobbly green apple jelly and crunchy fruit, creating a fun texture in your mouth. Overall, there is a sweet and tangy yet creamy flavour. As the heat of summer still lingers during early autumn, this frappuccino is bound to be just what you need for a quick refresh. The whipped cream on top of the frappuccino is topped with thin shavings of green apple and vivid green candy pieces, adding a wonderful crunchy texture to the soft and fluffy cream. 

     

    The Baked Apple Pink Frappuccino® is based on a pink baked apple. The sweetness and crunchiness of the crumble is a fun texture to enjoy. You will be able to taste baked apple with a faint taste of cinnamon. As it is still rather hot but not unbearable, this frappuccino is the perfect way to satisfy your sugar craving. This frappuccino is topped with bright pink and crunchy apple candy and crumble pieces, creating a wonderful texture adventure.

     

    Make sure to also look out for the Apple Jelly Iced Tea and Baked Apple Iced Tea which will also be making an appearance at Starbucks.  

     

    The colourful appearance, delicious flavour and texture of these two frappuccinos will enlighten you to a whole new world of unique colors, textures and flavors so please come try them for yourself. 

  • 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. 

  • Indulge In The Best Melon Experience At Japan’s First Melon Factory Antenna Shop

    24.June.2019 | FOOD

    Tsugaru, Aomori is known for its delicious melons. On July 7, Japan’s first melon factory called Melon to Roman will open its first ever antenna shop in Kagurazaka, Tokyo. Here, a range of delicious melon-themed desserts and drinks will be developed for customers to try out Aomori melon treats.

     

    Recently, melons are becoming less and less popular in Japan. As a result, Melon to Roman was established to spread the love of melons countrywide.

     

    The melon factory uses 10,400 tonnes of melons each year, meaning that Tsugaru alone creates 70% of Aomori’s melon produce. The melon desserts at the antenna shop are made from Tsugaru’s special melons. The aim of the antenna shop is to make Tsugaru more famous.

    Melon Fruit Sandwich

    A melon fruit sandwich is definitely a rare sight. The Melon Fruit Sandwich is made by filling raisin bread with melon pieces. Adults are bound to love its rich flavour. 

    Melon Shaved Ice with Fluffy Mousse

    The Melon Shaved Ice with Fluffy Mousse consists of fluffy shaved ice made from the juice of the melon. This is topped with a generous serving of foam made out of 100% melon juice.

    Luxury Melon Parfait

    The melon parfait is the masterpiece of the menu. It is made of three luxurious layers of fresh melon.

    The antenna shop provides a number of ways to experience Aomori’s melons with all your senses. Witness calligraphy written by original melon ink, listen to the stories of the journey of these melons, touch the drinks coasters that will make you feel like you are touching a melon, and sample different flavours of melon from the food and drinks tasting menus to immerse your sense of taste and smell in the world of melons. There has never been an antenna shop quite like this before. There will also be a video called “The Girl And The Melon” that will be shown at the antenna shop. Some adults might find this video quite emotional.

     

    Immerse yourself fully in the miraculous world of melons and learn about a whole new perspective on melons.

  • The Premium Bread of Ginza Nishikawa Arrives in Japan’s Tohoku Region

    11.June.2019 | FOOD

    Ginza Nishikawa is a popular bread shop that opened its doors in Ginza last autumn. The store has announced that on June 27, it will open its 10th branch in Hirosaki, Aomori―the first to open in the Tohoku region.

    The shop sells one product: a high-quality premium loaf whose water content Ginza Nishikawa are very particular about. The bread’s chewy and slightly sweet taste is best enjoyed as it is―and on the first day. If left after the first day, you can enjoy a completely different tasting experience. This is because the water content decreases after day one. If toasted from the second day onward, the bread has a deliciously particular aroma which you don’t get when the bread is soft.

     

    This bread goes extremely well with Japanese ingredients and condiments, such as kinpira gobo (braised burdock root), nasu miso, narazuke pickles, pollock roe, shuto (pickled bonito entrails mixed with honey, mirin and sake), and so on.

     

    Ginza Nishikawa also recommends eating the bread with alcohol, such as a light and slightly sour red or rosé, or a strong white. It also goes well with sparkling wine, especially brands from Japan. With cocktails, they recommend drinking fruity ones like peach, loquat, or yuzu. Bread is normally seen as a breakfast food, but this bread is also one to be enjoyed in the evening too.

    Ginza Nishikawa’s bread is handcrafted into delicious loafs that anyone can enjoy at anytime by their skilled bakers. The staff check the temperature of the weather and level of humidity to carefully calculate the rate of water absorption and fermentation time to ensure high quality results every time. And to make sure that the flavour and texture of the bread is exactly the same at every branch, the company created their own evaluation system.

    The water in the bread is made with an alkaline ionizer which is what makes it so unique, giving it a smooth texture like silk.

    The stores also sell four different cloths that wrap around a single loaf (¥1,296 tax included).

     

    Be sure to stop by Ginza Nishikawa if you’re passing through Aomori Prefecture.

  • See 2,600 Cherry Blossom Trees at the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival

    02.April.2019 | SPOT

    Taking place in the city of Hirosaki in western Aomori Prefecture, this year’s Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival will run from April 20 to  May 6.

     

    This annual festival is the biggest in Hirosaki bringing in over 2 million people every year. Visitors will once again to be treated to a visual spectacle of 2,600 cherry blossom trees of 52 different species blooming their beautiful pink flowers in Hirosaki Park.

    Various events and activities will take place throughout the festival such as boat rides, a tour carried out by the one of the gardeners, and more.

     

    Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Celebratory Lantern Parade

    The festival will hold a parade on May 3―the date on which the first flower-viewing party event in Hirosaki was first carried out. It will ring in the start of Japan’s new era following Emperor Akihito’s abdication with a lantern parade

    Running: May 3 from 10:00am

    Where: From Hirosaki Park Otemon Gate to Inner East Gate

     

    Flower-Viewing Party in Traditional Japanese Dress

    This flower-viewing party was so popular last year that it is making a return in 2019. Dress up in traditional Japanese clothing and receive a special ticket to enter the Hirosaki Castle botanical gardens for free.

    Running: April 20, 2019 – May 6, 2019

    Ticket Location: Ninomaru / Shinomaru Information Centre

    Hirosaki Park Boat Ride

    Enjoy the cherry blossoms from a different angle with a boat ride along the moat.

    Running: April 20, 2019 – May 6, 2019

    Time: 9:00-17:00 (Last rides at 16:30) *Subject to change depending on weather and number of boarders

     

    Special Cherry Blossom Tour

    The park’s gardeners will carry out a tour of the cherry blossoms and provide interesting explanations.

    Running: April 30, 2019 & May 2, 2019

    Time: From 13:30 (90 minute tour)

    No. of People: 40 people per tour (first-come, first-served)

    Price: Free

    Flower Carpet

    During the cherry blossom’s full bloom season thousands of petals will fall into the moat, creating a gorgeous pink carpet on the water surface. This will make for some great photographs.

  • Sakura Miku Appointed Official Character of Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival

    09.March.2019 | SPOT

    It has been announced that Sakura Miku―an alternative design of Hatsune Miku―has been appointed as the official mascot character for this year’s Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival which will take place from April 20 to May 6.

    Hirosaki Park is one of Japan’s most prominent cherry blossom sites. The park blooms cherry blossoms from its 2,600 or so cherry trees, of which there are 52 varieties, which bring in over 2 million tourists every year for the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival. Next year’s festival 2020 will be the event’s memorial year when it celebrates its 100th run.

    The event’s main visual features a bright pink Sakura Miku with the cherry trees of Hirosaki Park behind her. This picture will be pasted around the park during the festival.

     

    A stamp rally will take place during the event from April 20 for tourists who can get their hands on an original postcard by taking part.

     

    Take part in this year’s festivals for which lots is being planned.

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