Indulge in a Strawberry Heaven at Hoshino Resorts KAI in Tochigi Prefecture
A new hotel plan has arrived at three branches of Hoshino Resort’s hot spring hotel brand KAI in Tochigi Prefecture where guests can enjoy the luxury of strawberries together with their stay. Tochigi is famous for growing strawberries, and so all three hotels will serve up their own unique succulent strawberry experiences. The branches in question are KAI Kawaji, KAI Kinugawa, and KAI Nikko.
For roughly the past 50 years, Tochigi has enjoyed the largest cultivation of strawberries in the whole of Japan. Hoshino Resorts KAI is taking advantage of this milestone by presenting guests with a strawberry experience they won’t forget, with the delicious fruit comprising the whole of their stay from checking in to checking out. Each hotel branch will have different varieties of strawberries in stock, and guests will discover new ways to enjoy them. They will also be presented a map highlighting different locations to indulge in strawberry desserts, so they can carry on their fruitful after checking out on the road home too.
KAI Kawaji: Strawberry Picking at a Japanese-Style Hot Spring Inn
KAI Kawaji’s “Satoyama Ichigo Taizai” (Satoyama Strawberry Stay) plan offers a one-night stay with a strawberry picking session by the watermill in the hotel grounds. The strawberries there are juicy and sweet and ripen on the stalks. During your stay, you can go and pick them at your leisure. The strawberries grown there are a variety called tochiotome which have a full-bodied aroma are sweet with the perfect amount of sourness. In the evenings, a sunken hearth will be lit at the watermill so you can stay warm in the fresh winter outdoors while you pick your strawberries. Guests can also enjoy a strawberry sweet red-bean soup made with rare white strawberries which came out as a new variety of Tochigi Prefecture strawberry in 2018. They have less sourness and are super sweet with a smooth texture.
Running: January 15, 2020 – February 29, 2020 (Check In)
Price: From ¥25,000 (1 room for up to 2 people / Service charge included / Tax not included)
Reservations/Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/kawaji/
KAI Kinugawa: Taste and compare seasonal strawberries
KAI Kinugawa’s “Mingei Ichigo Taizai” (Folk Craft Strawberry Stay) plan will see the appearance of the tochihime strawberry which has been dubbed the “phantom strawberry.” This sweet variety is large and has a soft flesh and is exclusive to Tochigi. Guests will be able to taste and compare this and a handful of other types, as well as tuck into various strawberry confections. They will pick from 300 cute different bowls from the bowl gallery and pile inside them strawberries and assorted confections. In the evenings, strawberries will also be served boiled in white wine. A two-day and one-night experience you’d expect from the place that boasts the biggest strawberry haul in Japan.
Running: December 10, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Check In)
Price: From ¥29,000 (1 room for up to 2 people / Service charge included / Tax not included)
Reservations/Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/kinugawa/
Note: Limited to 5 separate bookings per day
KAI Nikko: Revel in wintertime Okunikko
KAI Nikko is located beside the grand Lake Chūzenji. Their “Zekkei Ichigo Taizai” (Spectacular View Strawberry Stay) plan will see their lobby, which offers a panoramic view of Mount Nantai, turn into a tearoom inspired by the rest stops of Nikkomou, an event that took place during the Edo Period when the Tokugawa Shogunate made their pilgrimage to Nikko. Guests can enjoy the contrast between the setting sun and the snow, as well as the pink-coloured sky when morning breaks. Taking place between sunset and sunrise, guests can tuck into rare white strawberries and warm confections made with yōkan―a Japanese jellied dessert made from red bean paste, agar, and sugar―which is a local specialty of Nikko.
Running: December 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Check In)
Price: From ¥28,000 (1 room for up to 2 people / Service charge included / Tax not included)
Reservations/Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/nikko/
Note: Limited to 2 separate bookings per day
Enjoy you’re a seasonal strawberry fill like never before at Hoshino Resorts KAI.
Hoshino Resorts KAI
Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/en/
10 Things You Can Do at the MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Hotel in Harajuku | Girls’ Night In Edition
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS is a hotel accommodation service run by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON located in Harajuku and bookable via Airbnb. Our hotel isn’t just popular for sleep, however: it has become a hot spot with stylish girls who get together and use it as a party space.
This is our Top 10 list of things you can do in SAKURAーone of the hotel roomsーso you can discover the best way to enjoy your stay in Harajuku.
①Take advantage of the room decor and decorations to snap all the photos you can!
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS opened its first room SAKURA in December last year, and more recently ORIGAMI in August. From the walls to the furnishing, SAKURA is cherry blossom pink throughout, decked out with countless gorgeous Instagram-worthy spots popular with our female guests.
You can always get a beautiful photo together with the cherry blossom flower monument in the background, located behind the bed and bloomed right up to the ceiling.
The enormous and comfy pink bed is piled full of lots of fluffy cushions. You can take some pretty romantic pictures too when snuggled on top or in the bed.
Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi
Don’t forget about the neon sign either, a symbol of the room and the Japanese kanji character for cherry blossom (桜 sakura). Sit on the sofa in front of it and make use of the sign’s lighting to get a more dreamy and fantastical shot.
②Popular Harajuku takeout food perfect for a night at MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS SAKURA
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS is located in Tokyo’s fashion and culture hub of Harajuku, and that means it’s within walking distance of some quintessential kawaii and Instagrammable food shops. We’ve picked out three we think are perfect for ordering takeout to enjoy back in your room at SAKURA.
GOOD TOWN DOUGHNUTS
Smile Mango ¥420 / Raspberry Pistachio ¥400 / Sea Salt Caramel ¥390 (All Tax Inclusive)
GOOD TOWN DOUGHNUTS is a really popular doughnut shop in Harajuku. Their big size doughnuts not only look cute, they’re the real deal taste-wise, and are also made with natural yeast, wheat flour from Hokkaido, sea salt sourced in Okinawa, sugar from Tanegashima, and organic oils. They are high-quality doughnuts full of flavour and plenty filling.
GOOD TOWN DOUGHNUTS
Address: J-cube B1F, 6-12-6 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo)
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
No Fixed Holidays
Official Website: http://good-town.com/
AND THE FRIET
Box (2 Friet Types) w/ Dip – From ¥800 (Before Tax)
This French fry shop makes their fries from a variety of carefully selected in-season potatoes, including potatoes from Belgium. They are crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the centre. They’re also delicious even when eaten cold, making them a great takeout option. You can pick two types from six varieties for one box, plus a dip of your choice. A perfect party accompaniment.
AND THE FRIET Laforet Harajuku
Address: Laforet Harajuku 2F, 1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-21:00
No Fixed Holidays (Except when Laforet Harajuku is closed)
Official Website: http://andthefriet.com/
<Macarons> From Left: Soybean Flour / Crunky / Cheese – ¥371 Each (Before Tax)
At TOAST LUCK, you can enjoy a whole range of different South Korean foods, including toast which is their main menu item. They also sell these marble-coloured macarons which are a little bigger than Japanese macarons. There’s lots of flavours to choose from, all of which give you a different take on your regular macaron!
Address: 3-27-15 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00
No Fixed Holidays
Official Website: https://www.toast-luck.com/
③Line up all your food in your hotel room for a girls’ night in
Gather all of your takeout goodies from around Harajuku for a girls’ night in at MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS SAKURA! The room has its own kitchen equipped with utensils, a microwave and refrigerator, so you can even prep your own food too.
The living room is nice and spacious so you can really let your hair down and relax. There’s a limited number of beds but there’s no limit to the amount of people that can stay over, so invite all of your friends along!
④Watch movies on the projector
The room is equipped with an Android TV mobile projector which has Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and other services on it as well as games. There’s endless amounts of fun to be had, so grab your snacks and put on a movie or compete together in a game. The screen projects onto the white walls, so you can pick the best spot for viewing.
Projecting it on the wall beside the bed means you can relax while watching films or music videos together.
The cherry blossom pink MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS SAKURA offers a memorable accommodation experience like no other. We will continue the Top 10 list in the next article entitled Birthday Edition.
Remember, if you’re looking to stay in Harajuku, be sure to book with MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS.
Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS
Address: 2-18-7 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Access: 8-minutes on foot from Meiji-Jingumae (Harajuku) Station via the Chiyoda and Fukutoshin lines
Official Website: https://rooms.moshimoshi-nippon.jp
ORIGAMI Bookings: https://bit.ly/2Ug3nVv
SAKURA Bookings: https://bit.ly/2NwrA8x
Suiran Ranks as Japan’s Best Hotel in Condé Nast Traveler For Second Year in a Row
14.October.2019 | SPOT
“Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto” has ranked as the number one hotel in Japan for the second year in a row in the Japan’s Top Hotels category of Readers’ Choice Awards 2019 in Condé Nast Traveler.
The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards lists the world’s best travel experiences as ranked by international travellers. Over 600,000 people voted Suiran as Japan’s best hotel for the second time.
Suiran is located in Arashiyama, Kyoto and first opened in March 2015 under a brand of luxury hotels known as The Luxury Collection®. The hotel’s concept is to make full use of Arashiyama’s appeal, lauded for its deep culture and history, while paving the way to the future. It houses guests from around the world who can enjoy a view of Arashiyama’s lush natural landscape which changes beautifully with the seasons, and who can experience a fusion of the traditional and the modern while being served classic Kyoto hospitality.
Speaking about the award, the hotel’s general manager Hiroyuki Hatori said the following: “I am greatly honoured that we have been given the number one spot two years in a row in this internationally-recognised poll. To all the people in the region who continue to support Suiran, and to all our guests who use the hotel, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. These results are an incentive to further work hard with our associates to ensure this is a hotel that people will love even more.”
If you are travelling to Kyoto and looking for a place to stay, why not consider the city’s best: Suiran, a hotel which continues to pass down tradition while embracing the modern?
Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto
Address: 12 Sagatenryūji Susukinobabachō, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
Access: 15-minutes on foot from Saga-Arashiyama Station / 6-minutes on foot from Arashiyama Station via Keifuku Electric Railroad / 15-minutes on foot from Arashiyama Station via the Hankyu Arashiyama Line
Gaze Over a Sea of Clouds at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu’s New Cloud Bar in HokkaidoThis year’s winter season program at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu―Hokkaido’s leading snow resort hotel―is set to begin on December 1. As part of the program, the Muhyou Terrace will open on the same day and run until April 5, 2020. The terrace offers a snow-covered picturesque view from atop the mountain where you can see a sea of clouds and the snow-tipped trees at the bottom.Muhyou Terrace sits on Mount Tomamu up 1,088 meters high. When you picture snowy mountains, especially those in Hokkaido, you imagine people skiing and snowboarding. But for Hoshino Resorts Tomamu, this is only part of their goal. They also want guests to enjoy the beauty of the mountain’s natural landscape including the breathtaking view of the scenery below. That’s why they decided to open Muhyou Terrace. As well as the daytime scenery, the terrace has also been turning on illuminations every winter night since 2017, offering a new perspective on the surrounding splendour.The Cloud Bar which opened just up the slope of the Muhyou Terrace this summer features a 13 meter-long counter with chairs from which customers can soak up an incredible view. The bar has options of one or two-seat areas and can seat up to 7 people at once. There is a ladder attached to the chairs. Once you’ve climbed up and plopped yourself down you get a front row seat to the sights below. And since the bar is attached to the slope of the mountain and there’s nothing to obstruct your view, it will feel like you’re floating on the clouds as your feet kick the emptiness below.Snow Cocktail – ¥1,200Muhyou Terrace will offer its own original cocktail called the Snow Cocktail which is inspired by the snowy landscapes at Tomamu. This drink is a margarita made with lime juice and cointreau. Inside is a sprig of rosemary made to look like the Ezo spruce trees at the site. The snowman is in fact made of chocolate. Enjoy the best of both worlds when it comes to flavour and finesse!Frosted Coffee – ¥500 / Frosted Fondant Chocolate – ¥600They also have specially-made chocolate fondant and coffee to warm you up. The chocolate fondant is a warm cake topped with a white chocolate snowflake and is coupled with snow-frosted chocolate branches. The coffee is covered with pure white frosty amezaiku candy. The coffee sweetens as the candy melts into your cup.The terrace’s observation points, including the Cloud Walk and Cloud Bar, will be lit up with sparkling illuminations in the cool evenings.Illumination Dates: December 15, 2019 – December 25, 2019Times: Please check the official website
Running: December 1, 2019 – April 5, 2020Time: 8:00-15:00*Last entries to the gondola from the foot of the mountain at 15:00*Last entries to the gondola from the top of the mountain at 15:3Price: Gondola Return Ticket – General ¥2,200 / Elementary School Children ¥1,300 (Tax Included)*Free for guests at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu The Tower and Hoshino Resorts RISONARE TomamuEntry: Available to guests and non-guestsOfficial Website: https://www.snowtomamu.jp/summer/en/*Select services and programs subject to change*Site may close in the case of bad weather
Japan’s First Icefall Open-Air Bath to Open at Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel in Aomori
26.November.2020 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel has announced the limited-time opening of its new Hyobaku open-air icefall bath which guests can enjoy this winter from December 18, 2020 to March 22, 2021. The bath overlooks a gorgeous mountain stream, offering an exclusive wintertime view.
Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel
Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel stands alone near the the picturesque Oirase Keiryu mountain stream which lets guests immerse themselves in the undisturbed serenity of nature. The hotel lobby features a grand fireplace created by Japanese artist Taro Okamoto.
The Icefall Bath
Icefalls are created when glaciers flow over a steep drop. The 14km Oirase Keiryu mountain stream is made up of 14 waterfalls which give rise to icecalls of various shapes and sizes. When light shines through them they turn a striking ice blue, something only visible during winter. The hotel has been offering the icefall bath service since 2017 to allow guests to see the icefall themselves, in the comfort of a warm bath, when the waterfalls freeze.
The Icefall Created Over Time
The waterfalls begin to freeze in early December which gradually gives rise to the icefall. The harsh cold allows the water to freeze and layer bit by bit overtime which. By mid January, the frozen waterfalls stand 3.5m high and 16cm accross. The icefall is ever-changing as its shape changes depending on the temperature, wind, and light shining through.
Experience an outdoor hot spring experience like never before in Japan during winter at Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel.
Running: December 18, 2020 – March 22, 2021
Times: 6:00-11:30 / 14:30-24:00
Location: Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel
Address: Tochikubo-231 Okuse, Towada, Aomori
Official Website: https://www.oirase-keiryuu.jp
Hoshino Resorts Tomamu’s Ice Village Will Be Open For Winter 2020-2021
18.November.2020 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts Tomamu, Hokkaido’s top snow resort where you can stay, has announced that this year’s Ice Village will open from December 10, 2020 to March 14, 2021.
Ice Village opens up at Tomamu in wintertime only and has done so every year since 1998. It boasts 3.2 hectares of land and houses 10 enormous igloos to create a little village of ice. At its lowest, the temperature there can drop to -30°C which is what works the magic behind the Ice Village.
Many events around Hokkaido have been cancelled this year as a result of the pandemic, and so Tomamu has decided to remain open to both guests and non-guests while operating under strict countermeasures against COVID-19. This way, people can still enjoy the wonderful winter season of Hokkaido. This year sees the opening of the Ice Milk Cafe and Ice Fruit shop in the Ice Village where they can order a variety of food and drink to take out onto the Ice Terrace. There’s even the Ice Hotel and Ice Chapel.
Draw fresh milk from the Ice Milk Cafe
The one-meter tall Ice Milk Bottle lets visitors who order a glass of Ice Milk at the Milk Cafe draw fresh Tomamu Milk which has a distinctly deep flavour during winter. You can also mix the milk on an ice sheet to create gelato.
Ice Milk Cafe
Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:30)
Enjoy chilled fruits at the Ice Fruit Shop
Visitors can enjoy a range of whole frozen fruits that have been shaved into smaller pieces as well as frozen fruit beverages. They also serve fruits on skewers you can pick which fruit combinations you like to enjoy out on the Ice Terrace.
Ice Fruit Shop
Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:30)
Enter a magical frozen world at the Ice Terrace
Once you’ve ordered your takeout drink or dessert, you can go out onto the terrace to sit at the tables and chairs, which are also made of ice, and enjoy the frozen world around you, like the giant snowflakes.
Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00
Order a crisp drink at the Ice Bar
The ice bar serves over 50 different alcoholic beverages at the ice counter, with drinks like colourful cocktails served chilled in ice cubes.
Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:45)
Dogs are allowed at the Ice Hotel
Everything at the Ice Hotel, from the ceiling to the walls, is made from ice. It’s available to one group per day and has its own ice bath and hot springs. Dogs are also allowed and get their own pup igloo.
Running: January 18, 2021 – February 28, 2020
*Reservations required 7 days in advance
The Ice Chapel made entirely of ice
A chapel made entirely of ice which represents “the unbreakable love between two pure souls which shall last forever.” From the altar and crucifix, to the wedding aisle and benches, everything is made of ice and snow. Firework displays will take place to congratulate newly-wed couples.
Running: January 18, 2020 – February 14, 2020
Visiting Times: 17:45 / 19:45 / 21:45 (10 minutes each)
Ceremony Times: 14:00 / 17:00 / 19:00 / 21:00
Crafts at the Ice Atelier and shopping at the Ice General Store
Visitors can craft things made from ice at the Ice Atelier as well as buy a selection of ice and snow-themed items like crafts, accessories, mugs, and more at the shop.
Ice Atelier / Ice General Shop
Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00
Kids and adults can have fun at the Ice Slide and Ice Rink
The Ice Slide is the most popular part of the Ice Village where kids and adults alike can slide down and overlook the bustling village. Right next to the slide is the Ice Rink, another bustling spot popular with visitors.
Ice Slide Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00
Ice Rink Opening Hours: 17:00-21:45 (Last Entries 21:30)
Hoshino Resorts Tomamu Ice Village
Running: December 10, 2020 – March 14, 2021
Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00 (Last Entries 21:30)
Official Website: https://www.snowtomamu.jp/special/icevillage/en/
*Dates and content subject to change depending on the weather
Polar Bear Themed Hotel Rooms Paw Their Way to Hokkaido’s Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa
31.October.2020 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa recently finished decorating their new polar bear themed hotel rooms which opened to guests today (November 1).
Polar bears here, polar bears there, polar bears everywhere
Everything from the bed covers to the walls are covered in cute polar bears, even the room keys, toothbrushes, and smartphone stands. The rooms even come with a special polar bear manga book for guests to read. If you love polar bears, this place will be a dream come true for you.
Asahiyama Zoo’s signboards
The official Asahiyama Zoo signboards which are all hand-drawn by the zoo staff every spring will be displayed in the rooms. The hotel worked together with the zoo to be able to produce more for Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa.
The boards feature stories and information about the various animals housed at the zoo in Japanese. Perfect for if you’re staying at the hotel and are planning to visit the zoo.
Just how many polar bars are there? Try counting them all yourself!
There are many polar bears to be found in the guest rooms. Try counting them all and then telling your number to the front staff when you check out – they may just have something special prepared!
Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa – Polar Bear Rooms
Bookings: Now available
Price: ¥7,500 per night (for two people & doesn’t include tax or food)
Book Here: https://omo-hotels.com/asahikawa/
Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto to Open in Hokkaido in January 2022
21.October.2020 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts, Japan’s premiere hotel management company boasting over 40 properties both inside and outside Japan is set to its new onsen ryokan (hot spring Japanese style inn) Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto in January 2022 following the completion of a partnership agreement with Shiraoi, Hokkaido on June 28, 2018.
KAI Poroto comes as the 19th property for the KAI brand, following KAI Nagato (opened in March 2020), KAI Kirishima (scheduled to open in January 2021), and KAI Beppu (scheduled to open in summer 2021). It will also be the third KAI property to open in Hokkaido, following RISONARE Tomamu in Shimukappu and OMO7 Asahikawa in Asahikawa. The new property will be designed by Japanese architect Hiroshi Nakamura.
(Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP)
Guests will be able to enjoy Shiraoi onsen water at KAI Poroto. The water comes from a “moor spring” which contains organic minerals derived from plants. This type of water is rare throughout the world. KAI Poroto faces the shores of Lake Poroto and is surrounded by the natural forests of Hokkaido where many species of wild bird live. All guest rooms boast a lake view where changes in scenery throughout the seasons can be enjoyed.
KAI Poroto will is cooperating with both the town of Shiraoi as well as “Upopoy”, the National Ainu Museum and Park, which has the aim of becoming a “symbolic space for ethnic harmony”. The facility will respect Ainu culture and provide a place of accommodation for guests to experience it.
Upopoy: A symbolic space for ethnic harmony
A symbolic space for ethnic harmony by the name of “Upopoy opened in Shiraoi, Hokkaido on July 12, 2020. This national centre serves as a base for the reconstruction and development of Ainu culture, which is in danger of survival. The main facilities are the National Ainu Museum and the National Ainu Park. The National Ainu Museum is the first national museum in Japan centred around indigenous Ainu people and the history and culture of the people as expressed through their perspective. This is expressed in a variety of different exhibits. The National Ainu Park is a field museum, where Ainu culture can be taught through a number of programs. Experiences on-site include the Ainu traditional dance, which is registered as UNESCO intangible cultural heritage, wood carving, and embroidery workshops, as well as food and traditional performing arts experiences. “Upopoy” means “to sing (in large numbers)” in the language of Ainu.
Designed by Hiroshi Nakamura
Japanese architect Hiroshi Nakamura is behind the design of KAI Poroto. “Poroto” means a large lake in the Ainu language and KAI Poroto boldly draws this lake into its premise. In the lobby of the birch forest, guests will be greeted by a magnificent view of the lake, which leads to Mount Tarumae. Guests can also relax in the lounge while watching the flames in the fireplace, something which was at the centre of Ainu people’s lives. On the surface of the lake, a bathhouse called Kashi, which is built using traditional Ainu construction methods, stands like a village. The open-air bath makes one feel as if you are immersed in the lake. The design has been created in a way that is modern, inspired by the lifestyles, nature, and family of Ainu people.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto
Address: 1-1018-1 Wakakusa, Shiraoi, Hokkaido
Grand Opening: January 2022
Official Website: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/brand/kai/
Gaze at the Starry Sky in a Hot Swimming Pool This Winter at HOSHINOYA Okinawa
17.October.2020 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Okinawa has announced its new “Hoshizora Hot Pool” experience where guests will be able to stay warm in the hotel’s warmed-up swimming pool while gazing up at the winter night sky. It will run from December 1, 2020 to February 28, 2020.
Okinawa enjoys a mild winter each year; it’s uncommon for the temperature to dip below 15℃. Winter is a time where all of us enjoy being in the warmth of indoors, but in Okinawa you can enjoy being outside even during the cold season. And that’s where Hoshizora Hot Pool comes in as the end of the year approaches, a time when there are many events and celebrations to be had.
The outdoor pool at HOSHINOYA Okinawa can be heated and so is perfect during the winter season. Guests are invited to soak in the infinity pool, where you can hear the sounds of the waves, and where it looks like the sea and sky become one. Almost all 88 of the constellations can be seen in Okinawa, and since the sky is clear during the winter nights, it’s the opportune time to be turning your gaze skyward.
Glowing lanterns make for a romantic atmosphere
When the sun sets, lanterns are lit by the poolside and breathe a warmth light to the cool evenings. The lights sway back and forth, reflecting off the water to create a magical atmosphere.
Hot cocktails by the pool
Guests will also be able to order from the bar once the lanterns are lit from the evening with a selection of refreshing drinks made with fresh fruits to hot cocktails to warm the body.
Float beneath the starry sky to the sounds of the waves
Guests can enjoy floating in the pool as an endless tapestry of stars unravels itself overhead. The Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe will be open for business in the evening too. Guests can order some fruity desserts, rent lanterns, and more.
Hoshizora Hot Pool
Address: 474 Gima, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa
Running: December 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021
Price: Free (Drinks from the bar however must be paid for)
Time: Open 24 hours (But only adults can use the pool after sunset)
Bar Opening Hours: Sunset until 22:00
*Available to HOSHINOYA Okinawa guests only
Opening Hours: 19:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:00
Price: Dessert Set for Two = ¥2,728 (Before Tax)
*Available to guests and non-guests
Official Website: https://hoshinoya.com
Ashikaga Flower Park Turns On the Lights For ‘The Garden of Illuminated Flowers’
13.October.2020 | SPOT
Ashikaga Flower Park in Ashikaga, Tochigi, has announced an illumination event for the autumn and winter seasons called “The Garden of Illuminated Flowers ~Flower Fantasy 2020~” which will run from October 17, 2020 to February 7, 2021.
The annual event is being held a week later than usual in order to implement the necessary precautions against COVID-19 and to ensure visitors are divided from one another so that they can enjoy the event as always safely. Masks will need to be worn and visitors must sanitise their hands as well as have their temperature checked with the on-site thermal camera before entering the park.
Held for the 19th time this year, the event was ranked among the Top 3 biggest light-up events in Japan in 2017 alongside Sapporo White Illuminations and Huis Ten Bosch Illuminations. It was also ranked top by night view critics in Japan as best the illumination event for four consecutive years.
So, why is this event adored so much?
The Miraculous Great Wisteria
Due to COVID-19, people were unable to enjoy the blossoming wisteria during this year’s spring season, but now they can be enjoyed in autumn and winter in the form of illuminations.
Illuminated Water Lilies
Water lilies are enjoyed from summer through autumn. These water lily lights by the waterside are like little individual flower spirits.
Illuminated Rose Garden
A panoramic spectacle of vivid red rose lights. A special blue light-up will also take place to give gratitude to frontline workers who will be busy this season.
A Flower Story of Illuminated Wisteria
The multicoloured wisteria that bloom from mid-April to mid-May at the park are also being represented as dazzling illuminations which will reflect off the water surface to create a magical atmosphere.
Santa Claus will be at the park from late November to late December to hand out presents to children.
Enter a romantic world of Japanese illuminations at Ashikaga Flower Park.
The Garden of Illuminated Flowers ~Flower Fantasy 2020~
Address: 607 Hasamacho, Ashikaga, Tochigi
Running: October 17, 2020 – February 7, 2021
Official Website: https://www.ashikaga.co.jp/flowerfantasy_special2020/en/index.html
FUFU NIKKO: The New Hot Spring Hotel in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture
15.September.2020 | SPOT
Kato Pleasure Group is set to open its 4th branch of FUFU NIKKO hotels in Nikko, Tochigi on October 2, 2020 following their Atami, Lake Kawaguchi, and Nara branches.
A resort steeped in Japanese history and culture
The site in which the hotel is located has a sacred air to it. It dates back to the Meiji Period and has continued into modern times. Upon entering the hotel, your ears are treated to the sound of classical music. Overhead you will spot high ceilings made from wood which give it a warm and welcoming atmosphere.The shadows of the outside walls, the warmth of the inviting lights, and the metallic decorations which catch the light present a calm and quiet mood.
Classy and sophisticated cuisine
Both the food and plates it is served on capture the essence and beauty of the Japanese way. Meals are prepared using seasonal ingredients from Tochigi as well as high quality foods like foie gras, truffles, and caviar. Each dish expresses elegance and refinement and combines both Japanese and Western flavours.
Hot spring water sourced from Tamozawa
All rooms at the hotel are fitted with hot springs or large baths which natural light from the outdoors shining through. In the open-air baths, guests get to experience the surrounding sights of nature coupled with the sound of the flowing stream and chirping birds.
FUFU NIKKO JAPAN
Grand Opening: October 2, 2020
Address: 1573-8 Honcho, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.kpg.gr.jp/
Enjoy Tokyo: Hoshinoya Tokyo Rolls Out Activities For Guests to Experience Japan’s Capital
21.August.2020 | SPOT
Hoshinoya Tokyo began rolling out a new series of activities on August 6, 2020, for people to enjoy Tokyo from a different perspective. Let’s take a look at some of the upcoming activities on offer.
Oedo Master: Experience traditional Edo in modern Tokyo | From August 20
“Oedo Master” is a chance for guests to learn more about Nihonbashi, Kanda, and Ningyocho—three areas in Tokyo which still have a traditional Edo vibe to them, a unique juxtaposition against modern day Tokyo. As an example, guests can have the opportunity to use Japanese washi paper provided by Ozu Shoten to make small paper items. They can also enjoy a private tour of Nihombashi Mitsukoshi which first opened as a dry-goods store in 1673, learn the proper etiquette and manners of praying at Kanda Shrine, and more.
Night Bus Cruise: Travel through nighttime Tokyo on an open-top bus | From August 20
The Night Bus Cruise is a one-hour ride through Tokyo at night on a double decker bus, which is a chance to see Tokyo from a completely different perspective. To ensure social distancing measures, the bus will accommodate up to 20 people at a time. Guests will depart at sunset from Otemachi and they’ll get to see the Imperial Palace, the Kasumigaseki district where the National Diet Building is located, Toranomon, and Tokyo Tower. The bus still stop for about 10 minutes at Tokyo Tower so guests can get up close to the illuminated tower.
Deep Breathing Exercises: Control your breathing while gazing out across Tokyo | From August 6
In the early hours of the morning, guests will be able to stand atop a 160 meter tall building in Otemachi—located in central Tokyo—and look out over Tokyo’s cityscape while engaging in some deep breath exercises. Being so close to the blue sky while in the skyscraper-tall city of Tokyo is a refreshing experience, and all the while guests will be able to spot plenty of the capital’s iconic buildings like Tokyo Skytree. This too will be limited to 6 people a day to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Oedo Pleasure Boat: Witness Tokyo’s night view aboard a boat | From August 20
Guests will depart from Nihonbashi Tourist Pier and travel from Nihonbashi River by way of Sumida River on a 90-minute night cruise. They will tuck into a bento meal prepared by Nihonbashi Benmatsu Souhonten in Nihonbashi, sip on sake from Toshimaya in Kanda, and enjoy some sweet treats from famous shops in Ningyocho—ningyo-yaki by SHIGEMORI EISHINDO and dorayaki by Hikokurou. Partway along the trip, the boat will stop by Hamarikyu Gardens where guests can enjoy their food and drinks. 2-4 people of the same group are allowed on the boat at once.
The list of things to do in Tokyo is endless, but if you’re staying there this summer, why not take a look at Hoshinoya Tokyo’s options?
Address: 1-9-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Check In 15:00 / Check Out 12:00
Price: From ¥84,000 per night (doesn’t include tax, service charge, or meals)
Official Website: https://hoshinoya.com/
Experience a Crisp Japanese Autumn While Ice Skating in Karuizawa
15.August.2020 | SPOT
This autumn, Karuizawa Hoshino Area is opening up the Kera-Ike Skate Rink for a limited time from October 16 where visitors can skate around the ice while soaking up the reds and yellows of the surrounding forest.
Karuizawa Hoshino Area is a resort managed by Hoshino Resorts. The middle of October is when Karuizawa’s red maple trees blossom, while the beginning of November marks the incoming yellow karamatsu Japanese larches.
An ice skating rink enveloped in a forest
Kera-Ike Skate Rink is a frozen lake in the middle of a forest in Karuizawa. It’s located ride by Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary, so Hoshino Resorts had the idea to turn it into an ice rink so that people can enjoy the local wildlife while skating. For this year’s opening of the ice rink, Hoshino Resorts has a range of art content related to Japanese autumn for people to enjoy too.
Reds, Yellows, and White
Karuizawa sits 1,000 meters above sea level, and so the autumn leaves begin showing from the middle of October. This is when the urushi Japanese lacquer trees and momiji maples dye the forest a bright-red. Following shortly after are the karamatsu Japanese larches which add a bright yellow to the red hues. Visitors can soak up the kaleidoscope of colours while skating across the pure white ice rink.
Beautiful autumn leaf themed content
The ice skating chairs are a popular item at Kera-Ike Skate Rink and are a great way for beginners and children to enjoy being on the ice. This year, the chairs have been pained in the same colours at the autumnal leaves.
Autumn leaf decorations on the windows
The rink-side cafe has six giant glass windows spanning 2.5 meters across. Each window has its own unique autumn leaf design on it.
Autumn Leaf Latte
The cafe will serve the perfect autumn-time beverage, a latte topped with momiji and kaede maple leaves designs made from pumpkin powder—a fitting flavour for the season.
Kera-Ike Skate Rink
Running: October 16, 2020 – November 10, 2020
*Run period subject to change depending on the autumn leaves.
*The 2020-21 skate rink opening period runs until March 7, 2021. Closed November 26, 2020 and January 19-21, 2021.
Opening Hours: 10:00-16:00
Official Website: http://www.hoshino-area.jp/archives/area/skate
Fall Into Autumn With an Enchanting Boat Ride Through Arashiyama in Kyoto
08.August.2020 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Kyoto has announced a special new serving for one group a day that lets them bask in the autumn colours of Arashiyama. The service, entitled “Asa no Momiji Bune” (Morning Autumn Colours Boat), will run from November 20 to December 6 this year.
A cosy autumn morning boat ride all to yourself
Sail down the tranquil Oi River, which runs right beside HOSHINOYA Kyoto, and bask in the surrounding sights of Arashiyama and Ogurayama as they burn aflame with autumnal colours. Wrapped in reds and yellows in every direction, this morning experience is a rare opportunity witness Japan’s fall season like never before as you gaze at the crisp leaves of the trees and their reflection from the water’s surface.
Sweet wagashi treats just for you
While on the boat, guests are treated to a cup of matcha and some seasonal Japanese wagashi confections, like hard candies shaped like HOSHINOYA Kyoto’s logo and other colourful sweets made to look like maple leaves, ginkgo leaves, and more. These confections are made exclusively for the boat ride by Kameya Yoshinaga, a Japanese sweets shop that has been around since 1803, while the matcha is provided by Rishouen Chasho, a tea shop in Uji, Kyoto who have picked out specially selected leaves just for HOSHINOYA Kyoto.
The roofed Kingfisher boat
The boat guests will ride is owned by HOSHINOYA Kyoto and is called “Hisui” (Kingfisher). A switch can change the rooftop colour from white to transparent so you can look up and see the gorgeous blue sky.
If you’re in Japan this autumn, and still need to find a hotel, why not treat yourself to a luxurious morning boat ride at HOSHINOYA Kyoto?
Asa no Momiji Bune / 朝のもみじ舟 (Morning Autumn Colours Boat)
Running: November 20, 2020 – December 5, 2020
Boarding/Return: HOSHINOYA Kyoto
Price: ¥31,000 per group (tax, service charge, and hotel fee not included in price)
Includes: Boat ride, Japanese confections, matcha
Participation: Exclusive to HOSHINOYA Kyoto guests
Capacity: 1 group of 1-4 people per day
Reservations Required: Book at https://hoshinoya.com/kyoto/
Note: The boat ride will be cancelled during stormy weather
Take a Summer Trip to Karuizawa in Style at Hoshino Resorts BEB Karuizawa
12.July.2020 | SPOT
“BEB” is a brand of hotel established by Hoshino Resorts which aims to support young people travelling by being cost-effective as well as make travelling more fun for the younger generation. This year, BEB5 Karuizawa is promoting a spending a fun and stylish summertime.
Enjoy the outdoors in a wide, open space
The indoor “Yagura Room” is fitted with spacious sofas and bed spaces where people can chat together, read a book, and enjoy their free time. There’s also “TAMARIBA,” a 24-hour public space with a garden, lounge, cafe, and library. A cool breeze sweeps through the tall windows, letting in cool air on a hot summer’s day. Guests can kick back and enjoy some relaxation. The cafe even sells wine so guests can treat themselves to an evening drink or have a little drinking get-together with friends.
Summer resort rental items
Guests can experience the true thrill of summertime in Karuizawa with a selection of rental items including straw hats, a bug catching net, portable speakers, electric fans, and more. These can be rented from July 13, 2020 to August 31, 2020.
The lush green outdoors surrounds the hotel
BEB5 Karuizawa is located in one corner of the Karuizawa Hoshino Area which is home to a bright green forest. Located laong the bath is Harunire Terrace which is home to 16 unique shops, and there’s even a hot spring which flows directly from the water source.
Hoshino Onsen Tonbo no Yu
There are plenty of things for guests to do outside, including participating in a nature tour hosted by wild flora and fauna specialists Picchio, having a picnic at the benches by the flowing water, and more.
Karuizawa is one of Japan’s best places for a summer retreat. Just a one hour bullet train ride from Tokyo, it’s an easy place to access from the country’s capital.
Hoshino Resorts BEB5 Karuizawa
Address: Hoshino, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano
TEL: 0570-073-022 (Hoshino Resorts Booking Centre)
Rooms: 73 (Check In 15:00 / Check Out 11:00)
Price: From ¥9,000 per night (1 room for 2 people, service charge and meal charged separately)
Official Website: https://hoshinoresorts.com/ja/hotels/beb5karuizawa/
Hoshinoya Tokyo Ranks Number One On ‘World’s Best Awards 2020 Top Hotels in Tokyo’
11.July.2020 | SPOT
Travel + Leisure published their “World’s Best Awards 2020 Top Hotels in Tokyo” list on July 8, 2020 on which Hoshinoya Tokyo, managed by Hoshino Resorts, placed No. 1.
“World’s Best Awards” is a list of the top hotels as ranked by travel magazine Travel + Leisure’s user ratings. The hotel category takes into account the facilities, location, service, food, and more offered at each hotel.
Established in Otemachi, Tokyo in July 2016, Hoshinoya Tokyo is a ryokan-style hotel which has two basement floors and 17 upper floors. It has a traditional Japanese ryokan vibe to it with its tatami mats, sliding doors, bamboo materials, and more, plus guests must take their shoes off at the entrance. And while it has traditional elements, it caters to the modern lifestyle, combining the best of both worlds. It offers guests a chance to easily experience Japanese culture and what it’s like to stay in a ryokan.
Address: 1-9-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Check In @ 15:00 / Check Out @ 12:00
Access: 10-minutes on foot from Tokyo Station’s Marunouchi North Exit / 2-minutes on foot from Otemachi Station’s A1 and C2 exits (via Tokyo Metro)
Official Website: https://hoshinoya.com/en/