THE MACHIYA SHINSEN-EN: Kyoto’s New Traditional & Modern Fused Hotel

17.October.2019 | SPOT

THE MACHIYA SHINSEN-EN is a new hotel that just opened on Tuesday (October 15) located just a five-minute walk from Kyoto’s world heritage site Nijō Castle. Renovated from an old Kyoto-esque townhouse, this 21-room hotel fuses traditional Japanese architecture with the modern, complete with a lounge on the first floor decked with an open space where guests can enjoy a gorgeous breakfast if they choose the option. The friendly staff will be waiting to welcome guests to the hotel like friends.

 

The hotel’s name derives from Shinsenen, a Japanese Buddhist temple and Kyoto sightseeing  spot located just a one-minute walk from the site. The temple is home to Japan’s only “ehomaki shrine” where Toshitokujin, the goddess of auspicious directions for the current year, is enshrined. The temple is also home to an enormous and beautiful lake, and is said to provide good luck with marriage ties, something which is known to everyone in Kyoto. The “machiya” part of the hotel’s name means “townhouse” in Japanese.

The hotel combines the traditional with the modern effortlessly, with four types of suite rooms available including the spacious corner suite rooms, as well as suite rooms that focus more on traditional Japanese architecture, namely that of the old-fashioned townhouse. All suite rooms have a kitchen, washer/dryer, and other convenient amenities for those looking for a longer stay, as well as for families and larger groups.

THE SHINSEN-EN Deluxe Suite

Located on the top floor, this corner suite room offers a spacious environment and enjoys plenty of natural lighting for the window which takes up an entire wall. There are both beds as well as a tatami area with futons so you can pick how you want to sleep. There’s also a roomy washroom as well as a dining space with a fully-equipped kitchen and washer dryer. The room also has a sofa, TV, refrigerator, free WiFi, and more for your convenience.

THE MACHIYA Deluxe Suite (Dragon)

This suite room has a Japanese aesthetic with its paper sliding doors and hanging scrolls. Natural light seeps in from the ceiling window fitted to the high ceiling. As well as the Japanese-style bedroom, it also has a western-style bedroom and living room, as well as both beds and futons, so you can pick if you want a Japanese sleep or a western sleep. There is a fully-equipped kitchen and washer dryer. The room also has a sofa, TV, refrigerator, free WiFi, and more for your convenience.

THE SHINSEN-EN Suite

The entrance to this suite room has lattice doors and stone paving, welcoming you with that traditional Japanese aesthetic. The spacious room basks in natural lighting from the enormous windows. There is a fully-equipped kitchen and washer dryer. The room also has a sofa, TV, refrigerator, free WiFi, and more for your convenience.

In addition to suite rooms there are four other types including Deluxe Twin, Superior Hollywood Twin, Hollywood Twin, and Classic Hollywood Twin. The rooms enjoy indigo blue and orange colouring for a relaxed and modern feel. Each have their own washrooms, toilets, sofas and desks. Additionally, all first floor rooms can be connected, so you can turn them into full 2-3 or 4-5 people spaces.

Guests can use the first floor lounge space freely and at their own leisure. And if they choose so they can also enjoy breakfast there.

The front desk staff can speak both English and Japanese so can support foreign travelers. The hotel is situated in a great place for sightseeing, so be sure to consider booking at the all-new THE MACHIYA SHINSEN-EN if travelling to Tokyo.

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  • 10 Things You Can Do at the MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Hotel in Harajuku | Girls’ Night In Edition

    11.October.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    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)

    TEL: 03-5485-8827

    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
    TEL: 03-6434-7568

    Opening Hours: 11:00-21:00

    No Fixed Holidays (Except when Laforet Harajuku is closed)

    Official Website: http://andthefriet.com/

     

     

    TOAST LUCK

    <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!

     

    TOAST LUCK

    Address: 3-27-15 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    TEL: 03-6812-9499

    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.

     

     

    Models: AikoRingo
    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
    Writer: Sayoko Ishii

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Indulge in a Strawberry Heaven at Hoshino Resorts KAI in Tochigi Prefecture

    15.October.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    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.

  • Izu Shaboten Zoo Opens New Hotel Izushaboten Village

    12.October.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Izu Shaboten Zoo in Ito, Shizuoka has opened its very own hotel Izushaboten Village Petit Hotel which is less than a minutes’ walk from the zoo itself, making it an ideal location for those looking to see the animals so they can take their time at their own leisure.

    The hotel offers various different rooms, from modern and chic to the Izu Shaboten Zoo Room, Pirate Room and more. Each room has its own unique touch you won’t find anywhere else. The hotel also offers an accommodation plan that comes with entry tickets to the zoo.

    For food, guests can enjoy dining at La Chic, a new restaurant that opened in spring this year that makes use of homegrown vegetables and produce sourced from contracted farmers. Food is served in a semi-buffet style in mornings and evenings so you can make up your own dish. Non-guests can eat here too if they make a reservation*.

    *Reservations for non-guests are dependent on free tables and other conditions. The menu style and ingredients and subject to change without notice.

    If you’re looking to visit Izu Shaboten Zoo, consider booking a room at their official hotel.

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  • Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi: Rent An Entire Kyoto Townhouse to Yourself

    01.April.2020 | SPOT

    Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi is set to open in the Goshominami area of Kyoto on April 25, 2020. The single-accommodation hotel is a complete renovation of a traditional Kyoto-style townhouse.

    Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi comes as the 7th branch of hotels from Kyo no Ondokoro. It’s a single building to rent for up to 4 people, who can enjoy taking a soak in the man-made carbonated spring bath which is kind to the skin and hair, using the soft water shower, and getting ready in the spacious makeup corner. It’s the perfect getaway for girl groups travelling together.

    The hotel is in a convenient location for sightseeing in the ancient capital of Kyoto. The building has been completely renovated to adapt to modern lifestyle while still retaining those traditional elements of a Kyoto townhouse that was built during the Meiji Periodーand in an area that’s rich in traditional scenery.

    The lounge space sofa seats are inspired by Japanese rock gardens

    The lounge space, which connects the second-floor bedrooms and the washitsu Japanese-style room, are furnished with unique round sofas. All the rooms open up to each other so guests can enjoy the company of each other during their travel stay.

    Hinoki cypress artificial carbonated spring bath

    Amenities

    The round bath is made from hinoki cypress, and the carbonated water lets you stay glowing and nice and warm after you step out of it. The bathroom is also stocked full of amenities like shampoo courtesy of popular brand THREE.

    Up to four people can apply their makeup together in the makeup corner

    The makeup corner is big enough to sit four people so they can get ready for their day or night out together while chatting.

    Colourful art pieces also adorn the walls of the makeup room, Japanese-style room and elsewhere to add a touch of beauty to them.

     

    If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto with the girls then why not book at Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi when it opens on April 25?

  • See 3,000 Rhododendrons in Full Bloom at the Tsutsuji Garden by Lake Ashi in Hakone

    29.March.2020 | SPOT

    May is the most colourful time of the year at Hotel de Yama near Lake Ashi in Hakone, when a total of 3,000 rhododendronsーcomprised of 30 different typesーbloom their beautiful flowers in the large Tsutsuji Garden, where one can enjoy a great view of Mount Fuji and Lake Ashi.

     

    Tsutsuji Garden at Hotel de Yama

    “Tsutsuji” is the Japanese word for rhododendron. The Tsutsuji Garden at Hotel de Yama was once the villa of Koyata Iwasaki, “the fourth and last president of a unified Mitsubishi.” During that time, numerous varieties of rhododendrons were planted in the garden, which have since been maintained. There are plants amongst them that are over 100-years-old, ones that tower over the human stature, and more; with petals that bloom pink, red, purple, and white.

     

    A combined view of the kaleidoscopic rhododendrons and Mount Fuji

    The staff who are experts on the garden have set up two photo frame stands in two of the best spots in the garden for taking picturesque photos. Snap some Instagrammable and memories with the colourful rhododendrons and Mount Fuji together.

    Rhododendron Desserts: Saison a colorier – ¥1,634 / Tea Set – ¥2,360 (Before Tax)

    Salon de thé Rosage, the dessert restaurant that sits in front of the hotel, is serving up a new special dessert called “Saison a colorier” in line with the full bloom of the rhododendrons. It captures the colourful pink, red, white, and purple appearance of the flowers, and looks like a mini version of the hotel’s garden on your plate. The main part of the dessert is the tea mousse, which has a bright red colour as it is coated beautifully in a strawberry puree nappage. The tea used in the mouse is an original rhododendron blend exclusive to the restaurant.


    The white rhododendron dessert is a macaron that’s filled with raspberry sorbet. The red which contrasts with the white is a rhododendron milk tea cream and fresh raspberries. The rest of the plate is adorned with pink jelly and edible flowers. The perfect afternoon tea to finish off your time at Tsutsuji Garden.

  • Coronavirus in Japan: Kaname Inn Tatemachi in Kanazawa Offers Free Accommodation to Foreigners Who Can’t Get Home

    29.March.2020 | SPOT

    Kaname Inn Tatemachi, a hotel in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, has announced a project named “Room for rescue” which will offer free accommodation to foreigners unable to travel back to their home countries from Japan due to lockdowns and restrictions from going outside as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

    With flights cancelled around the world, there is no way for foreigners to return home from Japan, resulting in them being forced to change their plans and extend their stay. They are living their days in constant worry, both financially and mentally. To ensure that foreign travellers don’t feel like their trip to Japan was a bad experience, free accommodation is becoming available to those who meet certain prescribed conditions.

     

    In response to the decreasing number of tourists, Kaname Inn Tatemachi opened its doors to Japanese citizens through Facebook for free accommodation to help support businesses like local restaurants that could no longer make a living. They received a lot of guests, as well as a request from a friend who asked if someone from the Netherlands could stay there because they couldn’t get back to their country. This sparked the “Room for rescue” project for stranded foreign tourists to stay at Kaname Inn Tatemachi for free too.

     

    Kaname Inn Tatemachi is using its own funds to pay for the project and allow free stay. However, doing this long term will put strain on the business, so to help pay for hotel use and staff’s wages, the hotel has opened up a crowd funding page which you can find here.

  • Feel Like You’re Living On Okinawa’s Taketomi Island With HOSHINOYA’s New ‘Workation’ Hotel Plan

    27.March.2020 | SPOT

    HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island in Okinawa rolled out a new hotel plan on March 18 that’s set to run until June 30 this year.

    Taketomi Island can be said to be home to landscape of what Okinawa used to be, with the Ryukyuan red roof tiles of its buildings, stone walls, and alleys spread with coral sand. Someone plucks away at a three-stringed sanshinーthe Okinawan precursor to the mainland shamisenーas time flows with gentle ease on the island. Taketomi Island is rich in traditional culture which can be felt throughout.

     

    The guest rooms at HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island emulate the island’s traditional architecture. All guest rooms have south-facing windows that can be opened to let in the southern winds, which the local islanders say are lucky. HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island developed its new workation plan in response to the current situation when more people are having to do remote work and work from home. It enables people a private abode where they can work and relax simultaneously. And all the necessary amenities have been prepared for a workation.

    The guest rooms at HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island are known as guest pavilions, which allow for you feel like you’re living like a real islander. They are equipped with Wi-Fi, printers, pand photocopiers too, making it the perfect work environment. And you don’t have to worry about hay fever as there are no Japanese cedar or cypress trees around.

    The pavilions offer a beautiful view of the bright blue sky and sea. The beaches are also open from March, so you can take a dip in the springtime sea too while basking in the warm climate.

  • Dine in Luxury With Truffle Toast at Patisserie SATSUKI in Hotel New Otani Osaka

    22.March.2020 | FOOD

    If you’re looking to indulge yourself during your trip to Japan, and happen to be staying in Osaka, then Hotel New Otani Osaka’s pastry shop Patisserie SATSUKI has you covered with their new “Spring Truffle Toast” which is made with Bianchetto truffles. Only 5 servings are served per dayーand 10 on weekends and public holidays.

     

    The arrival of Japan’s unprecedented bread boom

    In recent years, Japan as a country has seen a boom in the baking and serving of bread. NOGAMI, a bread shop in Osaka, is credited with lighting the fire of the “shokupan” boom, a type of fluffy bread in Japan. This has resulted in many more shops opening selling shokupan. In spring 2017, Hotel New Otani Osaka decided it wanted the people of Kansai to buzz about high quality shokupan too, so it developed its French-inspired “Spring Truffle Toast.” Since releasing, the bread has continued to sell out, and if you don’t place an order for one you won’t be able to get your hands on it. Their tasty truffle toast has returned again this year.

     

    Premium toast with loaded truffle

    Spring Truffle Toast With Bianchetto Truffles – ¥1,500 Per Loaf (Before Tax)

    The ambrosial Spring Truffle Toast lacks nothing when it comes to taste, texture, and smell. The ingredients used to make ordinary bread like eggs, milk, and butter aren’t used for the shop’s Spring Truffle Toast. Instead, strong flour, yeast, water, and finely chopped spring truffles are used. To bring out even more flavour, truffle butter, pure olive oil, and shortening is used.


    The same goes for the crustーeggs and milk aren’t used like in ordinary bread. And to prevent the bread from drying out, more time and labour is put into kneading the dough. A lava pot is used to bake the dough. By using far infrared to heat it, it makes the finished bread nice and chewy.


    The shop’s head chef wanted to ensure that the bread’s fragrant smell is preserved when you take the lid off, and so the entire loaf is lathered in truffle oil, which also gives it a moist taste.

     

    The bread can be toasted and enjoyed on its own, and you’re guaranteed great flavour and smell, but you can take it to the next level by topping it with a fried egg or scrambled egg to create an extraordinary and filling meal.

     

    These truffles can only be harvested in spring

    Truffles are a delicacy in kitchens around the world. The types used for the Spring Truffle Toast are Bianchetto. They are a very popular traditional truffle of Italy and can only be harvested from mid-March to April. As a result, they are extremely rare in Japan, making the toast that much more special.

  • Experience Hanami and Cherry Blossoms With Digital Art at FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020 – Sakura –

    18.March.2020 | SPOT

    FLOWERS BY NAKED is an annual flower-themed digital art event held by NAKED Inc. As part of this year’s event, FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020 – Sakura –, a special addendum event entitled “Nijo Castle Sakura Matsuri” will take place during the evenings at the World Heritage Site Nijo Castle From March 20 to April 12 this year.

    FLOWERS BY NAKED is an interactive digital art experience. It has been held at Nijo Castle during the autumns of 2018 and 2019, but this will be the event’s first time being held in Kyoto during the spring season. 2020’s theme is cherry blossoms, and this will be showcased in a number of wonderful ways.

     

    Prologue | NAKED BIG BOOK

    “NAKED BIG BOOK, a monument of the beginning of this exhibition, will show collaboration works by an artist Ryotaro Muramatsu and a photographer LESLIE KEE. LESLIE KEE contained energy into photographs as the quiet expression, and Ryotaro Muramatsu reinterprets his works to dynamic photography art.​”

     

    Arrival of Spring | Kara-mon Gate (Important Cultural Property)

    “Projection mapping expresses the coming of Spring on Karamon-Gate as an important cultural property.”

     

    Flowers Wall ~ SAKURA ~ | Inner Moat

    “Projection mapping of impressive sakura on the moats in Nijo-jo Castle. The landscape will transition following sakura.”

     

    Sakura Droplets | Seiryu-en Garden

    “A mystical space surrounded by real sakura where bubbles confined spring fragrance float as the sakura droplet.​ ​”

     

    The event is working on countermeasures against the coronavirus, such as installing disinfectants and having staff wear masks. It requests that visitors take normal measures against the infection such as cough etiquette and washing your hands. Click here for more information.

  • Popular Yakiniku Restaurant Futago to Open New Branch at THE JUNEI HOTEL in Kyoto

    14.March.2020 | FOOD

    FTG Company, which operates 74 restaurants inside and outside Japan, is set to open its new restaurant Nikukappou Futago at THE JUNEI HOTEL Kyoto in Higashiyama, Kyoto on March 27, 2020 where it will serve authentic Japanese wagyu beef and full courses.

     

    THE JUNEI HOTEL Kyoto is a small luxury tourist hotel housing eleven rooms in total, including its Bamboo Suite. Bamboo can be found throughout all the rooms as part of the hotel’s concept: “A sojourn embraced by bamboo in a moonlit space.” The rooms, as well as the hotel interior overall, showcases beautiful traditional handiwork using bamboo.

    Inside Nikukappou Futago

    Nikukappou Futago fuses traditional Japanese elements with modern ones. It features half-size eating areas as well as private areas. Customers can expect their private dining experience to include freshly-cooked full courses with high quality Japanese wagyu and seasonal ingredients.

    Menu in Japanese *Menu will change monthly

    Nikukappou Futago’s concept is “A relaxed adult’s Iki.” The word iki here refers to a range of different meanings in Japanese, like “sophistication,” “breath,” “spirit,” and “life.” The restaurant will work to serve a hospitable service that enables each and every person to enjoy that iki that lives inside them.

    Foie Gras & Wagyu Filet Mouthful Bowl

    Wagyu Loin & Kyoto Vegetable Shabu-shabu

    The course is made with seasonal ingredients and vegetables. Plus, in using a range of cooking methods, the original flavour meat of the meat is intensified.

    Wagyu Sirloin Sumiyaki

    Enjoy a selection of high-quality rare wagyu cuts like sirloin, filet, loin, and more. You can also enjoy a selection of classic Japanese dishes like yakiniku, shabu-shabu, and sukiyaki, all in one course.

    Like the changing seasons in Kyoto, the menu will be altered every month to bring something new. Discover your iki and enjoy a great meal at Nikukappou Futago.

  • Only Kyoto’s Locals Know About This Beautiful Hidden Firefly Spot

    13.March.2020 | SPOT

    Last year, The GrandWest Arashiyamaーa hotel in Arashiyama, Kyotoーhosted a special firefly tour to huge success. It was so well received that the hotel is bringing the tour back again this year. It will be held for three days, from May 29 to 31, with bookings available starting this month.

     

    The tour was particularly well-received with foreign guests who were staying at the hotel, and who had never seen a firefly before. It takes place after sunset, where hotel staff take guests on a mini tour to a little-known-good-spot that only the locals know about where you can see fireflies in Kyoto.

     

    The idea behind the tour was conceived by a hotel staff member who lives in Kyoto and spotted the fireflies at a nearby temple. That staff member had never seen fireflies before, and it was the first time since moving to Kyoto that they’d seen them in the wild like that. The number of wild fireflies is actually decreasing each year in Japan, and converselyーdespite them being a symbol of summertime in Japanーthe number of people who have never actually seen them is on the rise. The tour was created to tackle this fact by having hotel guests experiencing a part of Japanese summer.

     

    The target audience for the 2019 tour was parents with small children, which was to be held for three days, but the number of bookings shot up for the entire duration, with 80% of them being from hotel guests from foreign countries. Numerous guests from China said that they had seen fireflies in anime and games before, and that kids and adults knew about them, but that there aren’t many places in China where you can see them for real so many of them had never seen them.

     

    Fireflies can only inhabit places where the water is clean. Because of this, it’s becoming harder to see them not just in Japan, but around the world. This includes Kyoto, where the number decreases year by year. If you’re travelling to Kyoto at the end of May, then don’t miss out on this rare and exciting opportunity.

  • Winston in Bloom: Afternoon Tea Collaboration by Harry Winston and Park Hyatt Tokyo Releasing in April

    13.March.2020 | FOOD

    Harry Winston and Park Hyatt Tokyo are joining hands to release a special afternoon tea set titled “Winston in Bloom.” It will be served at Peak Lounge on the 41st floor of Park Hyatt Tokyo from April 1 to 30 and be inspired by Harry Winston’s floral jewellery.

    Known as the “King of Diamonds” and “Jeweler to the Stars,” Harry Winston founded his brand in New York in 1932. He was captivated by the beauty of flowers and how they produce themselves naturally, a beauty which is represented in his jewellery.

     

    The collaborative “Winston in Bloom” afternoon tea is made in the image of a high-class flower garden adorned with diamonds and coloured stones.

    This is the Harry Winston brand’s first afternoon tea collaboration in Japan, and offers an elegant taste experience for anyone who wishes to munch through this garden.

    Special gifts are also prepared for anyone that orders this afternoon tea. These are available while supplies last.

  • O Park OGOSE: Saitama’s Hotel Resort Opens New Sauna Suite Cabin

    11.March.2020 | SPOT

    BIO RESORT HOTEL & SPA O Park OGOSE, a hotel resort in Iruma, Saitama, is opening a new accommodation facility on March 12, 2020 called the “Sauna Suite Cabin.”

    This single-building cabin brings to mind a sauna cabin of Northern Europe. The entire interior is decked out in beautiful warm wood. It’s roomy and fully equipped with furniture, a Finnish-style private sauna, jaccuzi, stove, and other bits.

     

    Guests can enjoy a contrast bath experience with the sauna and open-air bath, as well as entertain themselves with a glamping-style dinner in the spacious outdoor dining area.

    To make the Sauna Suite Cabin’s atmosphere even more enjoyable, O Park OGOSE teamed up with Finland’s oldest textile brand, Finlayson, which turned 200-years-old this year, to bring in some of their elephant design furniture and products, including bed linen, towels, and more. Their “ELEFANTTI” line-up is popular even in Japan.



    In the bedroom drawers, their are even ELEFANTTI notebooks and letter sets which guests are free to take and use.

     

    If you’re looking for a private sauna experience away from the busy city while in Japan, then be sure to check out the new Sauna Suite Cabin at BIO-RESORT HOTEL & SPA O Park OGOSE.

  • 7 Must-Visit Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyoto For Hanami | 2020 Edition – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    10.March.2020 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The warmer weather is growing ever closer as we start to approach spring, and in Japan, that means the cherry blossom season is right around the corner. Today, we are joined by Instagram user Macchan-san who has provided us with some picturesque photos of places Kyoto for this Top 7 list of must-visit locations in the ancient capital to see the cherry blossoms this year.

     

    Gion Shirakawa

    Gion Shirakawa is a place that delivers on expectations when visiting Kyoto, with its rows of traditional houses, stone pavements, and maiko whom you’re sure to meet. This area is also lit up with illuminations during the cherry blossom season, which is perfect when you’re listening to the sound of the flowing Shirakawa River while gazing to your heart’s content at the cherry blossoms.

     

    ▶ Gion Shirakawa

    Address: Shirakawa River, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto (Between Kawabata Shopping Arcade and Gion Tatsumi Bridge)

    Closest Stations: 5-minutes on foot from Gion-Shijō Station (via Keihan Electric Railway) / 10-minutes on foot from Sanjō Station (via Keihan Electric Railway) / 10-minutes on foot from Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station (via Hankyu Railway)

    Official Website: http://gion-yoisakura.com/

     

    Former Main Building of the Kyoto Prefectural Office

    The Former Main Building of the Kyoto Prefectural Office is listed under Japan’s list of Important Cultural Properties. It is the oldest building among existing government buildings in Japan. The courtyard is home to towering shidare-zakura cherry blossom trees, which captivate those who visit the building. The view of the buildingーwhose exterior is like that of a western mansionーtogether with the cherry blossoms is a sight to behold.

     

    ▶ Former Main Building of the Kyoto Prefectural Office

    Address: Yabunouchicho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto

    Open: Tuesdays-Fridays (and every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Saturday)

    Closed: Public Holidays and New Year Holidays

    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00

    Closest Station: 10-minutes on foot from Marutamachi Station

    Official Website (Japanese): https://www.pref.kyoto.jp/qhonkan/

     

    Shojuin

    Shojuin is famous for its beautiful heart-shaped window located in the reception hall. During the cherry blossom season, the window is dyed a pink colour. It is also lit up in the evenings, but you need to book a place in advance to see it. Places are allocated randomly. You can book on the official website.

     

    ▶ Shojuin

    Address: Kawakami-149 Okuyamada, Ujitawara, Tsuzuk District, Kyoto

    Opening Hours:  9:00-16:30 (April-September)

    Price: ¥500 (Includes tea and confection)

    Official Website: http://shoujuin.boo.jp/

     

    Access:

    ①Reachable by Keihan Uji Bus (Numbers 180, 182 or 184) from Uji Station and Shin-Tanabe Station. Get off at Ichumae Bus Stop (維中前)

    ②10 minutes by the Okayamada Community Bus or taxi

     

    Sewaritei

    Sewaritei is a very popular spot for celebrating Hanami in Japan with its rows of cherry trees that span 1.4km along the park. From the Sakura Deai Kan observation building, you can soak up the breathtaking view of 220 individual cherry blossom trees. When they are in full bloom, it’s like walking through a tunnel of them, providing a romantic atmosphere.

     

    ▶ Sewaritei

    Address: Yawata Zaioji, Yawata 614-8307, Kyoto Prefecture

    Closest Station: 10-minutes on foot from Iwashimizu-Hachimangu Station (via Keihan Main Line)

    Official Website: https://www.city.yawata.kyoto.jp/0000000479.html

     

    Fushimi Jikkokubune Boats

    Fushimi Jikkokubune is an opportunity to board an Edo Period-style boat. It departs from Bentenbashi, and takes passengers on a relaxing journey to observe Kyoto’s nature as well as the cherry blossoms. The departing times are fixed and limited, so be sure to check the official website in advance.

     

    ▶ Fushimi Jikkokubune Boats

    Address: 247 Minamihamacho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto

    Times: Check the official website

    Closest Station: 5-minutes on foot from Chushojima Station (via the Keihan Main Line)

     

    Official Website: https://kyoto-fushimi.or.jp/ship/

     

    Fushimi Port Park

    There is a walking course offered at Fushimi Port Park which lets you take in all of its sights. I recommend going for a Hanami walk when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

     

    ▶ Fushimi Port Park

    Address: Yoshijima Kanaidocho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto

    Closest Station: 3-minutes on foot from Chushojima Station (via the Keihan Main Line)

    Official Website: http://kyoto-park.or.jp/fushimi/

     

    Fushimi Deai Bridge

    This bridge appeared in the anime film I Want to Eat Your Pancreas. It’s a very beautiful spot where the cherry trees reflect off the surface of the water below the bridge. The location’s sights are the same as they were in the past too.

     

    ▶ Fushimi Deai Bridge (in Japanese: 伏見出会い橋)

    Address: 911 Kitahamacho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto

    Closest Station: 9-minutes on foot from Chushojima Station (via the Keihan Main Line)

     


    Did you enjoy this list? If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto this spring, be sure to use these picks as reference for your Hanami and cherry blossom destinations. And if you’re looking for more places to visit in Kyoto, then follow Macchan on Instagram

     

    Photos: Macchan

  • MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Opens Sentō Bathhouse and Sumō-Themed Fusion Accommodation Called ‘DOSUKOI’

    09.March.2020 | SPOT

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS is located in the heart of Harajuku’s tourism welcomes travellers from all over the world to immerse in Japanese culture in a way they’ve never experienced before. The cherry blossom-themed accommodation SAKURA is a blooming success throughout the year and ORIGAMI’s mesmerizing and clever designs never fail to make tourists crease their necks in amusement. 

     

    The third Japanese culture accommodation has stomped into MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS as a fusion of sumō wrestling and sentō bathhouse culture called ‘DOSUKOI’. The word dosukoi is phrase that sumo wrestlers shout out to get hyped up – perfectly summing up your excitement as you explore this spectacular fusion world from corner to corner. From a giant sumō hand to a historical sentō bathtub with a magnificent mural artwork scenery, the entrance, living room and sentō-style bathing area is overflowing with originality.

     

    Living Room

    The entrance to the living room is themed around a sentō bath. The tiled roof and traditional entranceway noren fabric dividers will be the first thing to welcome tired travellers. 

    A giant sumō hand overshadows the light on the ceiling, representing the tsuppari striking technique used by sumō wrestlers. The furniture, including the soft sofa, rug and chairs, is white and beige to represent the colour of the sumō ring. 

    The relaxing room is punctuated with powerful illustrations of sumō wrestlers that cover the wallpaper. 

     

    Bathroom

    The round bathtub is made from Japanese cypress wood and is large enough to fit 3-4 people – perfect to soak off your tiredness with friends and family. A large wall painting (mural)  of a grand ocean view dominated by Mount. Fuji stretches across the wall. A purple curtain is suspended above the circular bath, representing the mizuhikimaku curtain which hangs above a sumō ring. 

    The dressing area is equipped with a fridge and chair like a traditional bathhouse. DOSUKOI guests will also find complimentary bath salts which are a gift.

    The grand mural is an original piece by Kiyoto Maruyama – one of Japan’s three remaining sentō mural artists. This graceful painting was created using a large and smaller brush. As you admire the bold colours and fine details of this rare art, which is fading away as society progresses, you will be sent on a journey back through time. 

     

    Bedroom

    The spacious sleeping area consists of two levels, each of which has enough room for two people to sleep. The room also has another bed in storage, meaning that up to five guests can stay. 

     

    Sink and Toilet

    The separate sink area is equipped with a hair dryer. There is also a Japanese Washlet toilet with multiple functions. 

     

    Amenities and Extras

    The kitchen is fully equipped with cooking utensils, a microwave, refrigerator and all the daily essentials. 

    After a long, relaxing hot soak, put on a light yokozuna yukata robe and you’ll feel just like a sumō champion. There are also many amenities and items that fit with the DOSUKOI theme. 

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS isn’t just a hotel but is also the perfect party space for you and your friends to get together. As the cold days are still with us, how about warming up in a toasty sentō-style bathtub with your friends?

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