Sleep With the Orca Whales With Kamogawa Sea World’s Night Stay Program

22.October.2019 | SPOT

Kamogawa Sea World is offering a different kind of aquatic experience later this year with its new “Adult Night Stay” program which will run for 5 set days between December 7, 2019 and January 18, 2020 for those aged 18+.

The program offers a chance to take a photo with the beluga whales as well as watch a special performance from the orcas, which is available to those participating in the night stay as well as guests staying at Kamogawa Sea World Hotel. The aquarium also has some other night-time plans in store which you can’t experience during daytime hours.

During dinner, you’ll get to watch the orcas swim from the window while dining and chatting with the feeder and trainer of the orcas. The semi-course dinner was conceived by head chef Yamamoto and is made with seasonal ingredient.

After food, enjoy gazing at the giant “Endless Ocean” tank.

 

Below is the schedule for the two days.

 

Day 1

・Tropical island behind-the-scenes study

・Pet the beluga whales (includes photo)

・Special orca performance

・Semi-course dinner with feeder and trainer

・Night adventure

・Bathe (At Kumogawa Sea World Hotel or neighbouring facility)

・Stay in front of endless ocean tank

 

Day 2

・Watch the dolphins

・Breakfast at the Ocean restaurant

・Free roam of the aquarium

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Hello Kitty Cafe to Open in Narita Airport’s Anime Deck This July

    02.July.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    KADOKAWA is set to open a Hello Kitty themed cafe on the Narita Anime Deck—which is located on the Main Building second floor of Narita International Airport Terminal 2—for a limited time from July 3, 2020 to October 2, 2020.

     

    The Narita Anime Deck

    The Narita Anime Deck opened inside Narita International Airport Terminal 2 in November 2019. It’s an entertainment facility where travellers from around the world can experience and enjoy Japanese anime culture in various forms such as with character merchandise, food, events, and a variety of photo spots.

     

    Hello Kitty Cafe

    The facility has collaborated with numerous anime series to open up limited-time cafes since it opened. This time around it is joining paws with Hello Kitty, a face known to all across the globe. As well as themed food, drinks and merchandise, customers can take a Hello Kitty quiz, learn the history behind Hello Kitty, and more.

     

    An Original Food Menu


    Hello Kitty’s Lovely♡ Pink Curry: ¥1,500


    Hello Kitty’s Gurakoro Burger: ¥1,500


    Hello Kitty’s Strawberry Pancake: ¥1,400


    Hello Kitty’s Strawberry Parfait: ¥1,200

     

    An Original Drinks Menu

    The incredible drinks menu is diverse, including lattes where you can get 46 different latte art designs of Hello Kitty from 1974-2019. It could be fun to pick your birth year, or a year where you have fond memories.

    Hello Kitty’s Colourful Tapioca Drinks (Matcha Milk/Strawberry Milk/Milk Tea): ¥720 Each

     
    Hello Kitty’s Marshmallow Coffee: ¥800


    Hello Kitty’s Latte (46 Designs): ¥720 Each

     

    Novelties

    For every item you order from the collaboration menu, you can also receive one of 46 possible original coasters once again featuring a different design of Hello Kitty between the years 1974-2019.

     

    1st Line-Up: July 3, 2020 – August 2, 2020


    2nd Line-Up: August 3, 2020 – September 2, 2020


    3rd Line-Up: September 3, 2020 – October 2, 2020

    If you’re travelling through Narita Airport anytime this year up to October, then be sure to head on up to the Narita Anime Deck to dine at the Hello Kitty Cafe.

     

    © 1976, 2020 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L611439

  • Ikebukuro’s Sunshine Aquarium to Open Magical New Jellyfish Area

    01.July.2020 | SPOT

    Sunshine Aquarium in Ikebukuro, Tokyo is set to open its brand new jellyfish area as part of the aquarium’s third major renovation on July 9, 2020.

     

    Jellyfish Panorama Tank

    Two tanks will grace this area: the magnificent moon jellyfish will dance across the 14-meter wide “Jellyfish Panorama” tank, while sea nettle jellyfish, which are known for their long tentacles, will swim in the “Jellyfish Screen.”


    The jellyfish exhibit already in Sunshine Aquarium is also being renovated, with gorgeous new flooring and walls being put in place. Six tanks will be housed here, including the 360° “Jellyfish Tunnel,” “Jellyfish Loop,” “Jellyfish Drop,” and “Jellyfish Dream.”

     

    A Spectacular Performance of Music, Smells, and Lighting

    The new jellyfish area will feature original sounds newly recorded to capture the vibe of the jellyfish’s movements. There will also be special fragrances you can smell, as well as beautiful lighting that twinkles like the swaying of the water. All of this serves to make visitors feel calm and relaxed.

     

    Exclusive Tully’s Coffee Beverage

    T’s Splash Nata de Coco in Oasis: Have-In ¥649 / Takeout ¥637

    This refreshing carbonated drink is inspired by jellyfish filled with lemon flavoured nata de coco coconut jelly. Exclusive to Sunshine Aquarium, the drink comes with one of four possible special jellyfish straw flags.

     

    Grand Opening Commemoration Products

    High Grade Jellyfish Confection: ¥400

    Limited in stock, this confection was made in collaboration with Ikebukuro’s long-stand confectionery shop Ikebukuro Miharado and also under the guidance of the aquarium’s jellyfish staff.

    Jellyfish Konjac: ¥972

    Konjac shaped just like real jellyfish.

     

    Grand Opening Commemoration Menu

    Jellyfish Cold Greens: ¥1,100 / CHUKA SHUNSAI RYOURI・HINABE SHU (Alpa Floor 3F)


    Blue Hawaii Tiny Aquarium & Jellyfish Jelly: ¥495 AGIO (Alpa Floor 3F) *15 served per day

    Select restaurants in Sunshine City Alpa will also serve up some limited-time jellyfish-inspired dishes and drinks from July 9 to celebrate the opening of Sunshine Aquarium.

  • Kawasaki Aquarium to Open Inside Kawasaki Le FRONT This Summer

    29.June.2020 | SPOT

    Aqua Live Investment is set to open Kawasaki Aquarium, which will also be known as Kawa Sui for short, on floors 9F and 10F of Kawasaki Le FRONT, a shopping centre in front of Kawasaki Station, on July 17, 2020.


    In the lead up to its grand opening, Kawasaki Aquarium launched its own official app, as well as opened purchases of Annual Passports to the aquarium, on June 17.

     

    What is Kawasaki Aquarium all about?

    The theme of Kawasaki Aquarium is “The World’s Beautiful Waters.” It will showcase creatures and living things from around the world—from the waters of Tama River which flows through Kawasaki to Asia, Africa, and the Amazon in South America—using the latest technology combining lighting, sound, and visuals.

     

    Annaul Passports

    There are three kinds of Annual Passports to choose from which let you access Kawasaki Aquarium as many times as you want throughout the year. They are valid for an entire year and let you bypass the ticket counter so you don’t have to line up. These passports can be bought via the aquarium’s official app before its grand opening. After that they can be bought either on the app or directly at the aquarium at the Passport counter.

    Those who purchase an Annual Passport between June 17, 2020 and July 16, 2020 will receive an extra free two months on top of their guaranteed 12 months.

     

    3 Annual Passport Types

    Dual Passport: Daytime & Nighttime
    Allowed Entry Times: [Day] 10:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:00) / [Night] 18:00-22:00 (Last Entries 21:00)
    Prices (Tax Included): Adults ¥6,000 / High School Students ¥4,500 / Elementary & Junior High School Students ¥3,600 / Children (4+ Years) ¥1,800

     

    Daytime Passport: Daytime Only
    Allowed Entry Times: [Day] 10:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:00)
    Prices (Tax Included): Adults ¥4,000 / High School Students ¥3,000 / Elementary & Junior High School Students ¥2,400 / Children (4+ Years) ¥1,200

     

    Nighttime Passport: Nighttime Only
    Allowed Entry Times: [Night] 18:00-22:00 (Last Entries 21:00)
    Prices (Tax Included): Adults ¥4,000 / High School Students ¥3,000 / Elementary & Junior High School Students ¥2,400 / Children (4+ Years) ¥1,200

     

    Experience the aquarium at night

    Kawasaki Aquarium is open everyday until 22:00. Visiting the aquarium at this time offers a completely different experience as warm lights set the mood and different sounds play from daytime hours. It’s also a chance to see nocturnal creatures that only come out at night. Plus, the aquarium serves alcohol and bar food in the evenings.

     

    Download the app

    The Kawasaki Aquarium app is free to download and lets guests enjoy coupons with their Annual Passport, gives them the latest news about upcoming events, lets them access the online shop, and more.

  • Help Rescue Sumida Aquarium’s Spotted Garden Eels by Showing Your Face Online

    29.April.2020 | SPOT

    Something unprecedented is happening over at Sumida Aquarium. The living creatures at the aquarium are starting to forget about humans as a result of the building’s closure in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, save for the aquarium staff who are looking after them. In the case of their spotted garden eels, the eels are now hiding in the sand, even when the aquarium staff check in on them.

     

    What exactly is happening with the spotted garden eels?

    Spotted garden eels by nature are extremely fragile and alert creatures, and so are prone to diving under the sand to hide themselves. Around 300 of these eels live in a single tank at Sumida Aquarium, and since they are used to people being in the aquarium all the time, they rarely bury themselves even when people get close. However, since the closure of Sumida Aquarium on March 1, 2020, a change has been seen in the spotted garden eels.


    Humans not being around is the new norm for the eels. It’s as if they have forgotten about the existence of humans, and now hide themselves away when the staff come through. With the eels no longer showing themselves to the staff, it has becoming difficult to run daily checks to see if the eels are unwell, famished, and so on. The change of environment may even lead to stress of the eels fighting. It has become a serious problem for the staff to ensure they are living an adequate quality of life.

     

    That is where Sumida Aquarium’s “Spotted Garden Eel Face Reveal Festival” comes into play. The aquarium has called for emergency measures for people to video call in to show their faces to the eels so they don’t forget about humans and so they no longer feel afraid of people being around.

     

    Spotted Garden Eel Face Reveal Festival

    The festival is a chance for people to meet the spotted garden eels from their own home by using an iPhone, iPad or computer to call in using video chat. As long as you can video call, anyone is free to join. Two sessions will be held per day where people can see the eels pop their heads out of the sand, feed, and so on.

     

    This is the first time Sumida Aquarium has held such a project, and it may or may not work, but they won’t know unless they try. Check the dates below and see if you can get involved.

     

    Scheduke
    May 3rd @ 10:30-14:00 (JST)
    May 4th @ 10:30-14:00 (JST)
    May 5th @ 10:30-14:00 (JST)

     

    How to Participate
    Use an iPhone or an iPad to FaceTime any of the Gmail addresses below.i
    helpchin001@gmail.com
    helpchin002@gmail.com
    helpchin003@gmail.com
    helpchin004@gmail.com
    helpchin005@gmail.com

     

    1)Open the FaceTime app and enter any of the Gmail addresses. Select video call.

    2)Screens will be placed in front of the water tanks with the spotted garden eels live. Once the call starts, show your face, wave your hand, and call out to them. Please note that talking loudly is strictly prohibited.

    3)5 screens was the limit of what could be set up. They ask for you to call for only 5 minutes so that many different people can show their face so it feels like lots of people at a festival.

     

    *The aquarium apologies if the eels don’t show themselves

    *The aquarium apologies in the case that anything goes wrong with the call

    *Only iOS can be used at this time and not Android OS

  • Beautiful Jellyfish Umbrellas Designed by Kamo Aquarium Will Keep You Dry

    26.April.2020 | FASHION

    YOU+MORE!, a brand of humorous merchandise and accessories developed by Felissimo, has teamed up with the famous Kamo Aquarium to release a series of jellyfish umbrellas.

    The intricate umbrella designs were developed in cooperation with the staff at Kamo Aquarium’s Jellyfish Dream House. Three different kinds of jellyfish were used as inspiration for the umbrellas.

     

    Moon Jelly Umbrella

    YOU+MORE! Moon Jelly Umbrella – ¥1,600

    Moon jellyfish are perhaps one of the most popular kinds of jellyfish out there. What may be the most striking part of this umbrella is the colour gradation which gives it a transparent effect. The edges of the umbrella are also curved, giving it a delicate silhouette and making it look even more like the real things.

    The umbrella’s frames are built strong, and the material of the umbrella itself is a white glass fibre which serves not only to mimic the colour of a moon jelly, but so that you can still see through it too. (As a side note, all three of the umbrella designs are made from glass fibre.)

     

    Northern Sea Nettle Umbrella

    YOU+MORE! Northern Sea Nettle Umbrella – ¥1,600

    Like the northern sea nettle itself, this umbrella features a dome shape and incorporates a stripe design. A northern sea nettle has 16 stripes, and so that many were added to the umbrella. The jellyfish staff at the aquarium praised this one as the most realistic.

     

    Spotted Jelly

    YOU+MORE! Spotted Jelly Umbrella – ¥1,600

    Like the northern sea nettle, the spotted jelly too as a cute dome-shaped body. If someone who has never seen one of these jellyfish umbrellas before sees this design, they’ll think of it as just having cute spotted design. However, a jellyfish enthusiast is sure to get excited as the sight of this one with its details like its orange colour and the dots around the edges.

     

    Kamo Aquarium will begin selling limited edition versions from the end of June this year which come with an ephyra charmーthat’s the name for a baby jellyfish. The aquarium is currently closed until May 6 due to the coronavirus. The latest updates can be found on their official website.

  • Must-Visit Spots in Kagawa Prefecture in 2020: Cherry Blossoms, Dolphins, Bonsai & More

    15.March.2020 | SPOT

    Appreciation for the Seto Inland Sea in Japan is on the rise: American company Discovery named Shikoku one of its Top 10 must-visit rising locations around the world for 2020, and the city of Setouchi in Okayama has featured as a recommended travel destination in Western media. One particular location, Kagawa Prefecture, has been featured on many international travel sites as a must-visit place, including on Booking.com, Skyscanner, and REMOTE LANDS, with places such as Takamatsu, Teshima, and Shōdo Island being picked up.

     

    Takamatsu is known as the doorstep that brings together the many islands of Seto Inland Sea. It’s a port city with great fresh food, highly convenient for travellers wanting to visit lots of different islands, and a popular region that brings together elements of Japanese culture.

     

    Today, we take a look at some must-visit locations around Takamatsu, including a new facility opening, must-visit spots for spring to early summer, food, and more.

     

    Shikoku Aquarium – The largest aquarium in Shikoku

    Shikoku Aquarium is set to be the largest across Shikoku when it opens its doors to the public on March 20, 2020. It’s located inside Utazu Seaside Park in the town of Utazu where it will exhibit the creatures that live in Shikoku and feature the many different seaside landscapes located there. But the aquarium won’t just stop at showcasing animals, it will also be a cultural facility where you can learn about the history, culture, and natural environment of Shikoku, and there’ll be artwork perfect for the Setouchi Triennale contemporary art festival which is held around Seto Inland Sea every three years.

     

    Shikoku Aquarium

    Address: Utazu Rinkaikoen, 4-1 Utazu, Ayauta District, Kagawa

    Opening Hours:

    [March 20, 2020 – September 30, 2020] 9:00-18:00

    [October 1, 2020 – March 19, 2021] 10:00-18:00

    [Golden Week/Summer Break] 9:00-21:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Price: General (16+ Years & High School Students) ¥2,200 / Children (Elementary School Students) ¥1,200 / Toddlers (3+ Years) ¥60

    Official Website: http://shikoku-aquarium.jp/

     

    Well-Known & Little-Known-Good Cherry Blossom Spots

    Kagawa Prefecture is home to many spots that offer beautiful sounds and sights throughout the four seasons. Cherry blossom season is right around the corner in Japan, so let’s take a look at some must-visit spots, both popular and little-known good ones.

     

    ■Well-Known Spots

    Ritsurin Garden (Takamatsu)

    One of the most famous historical gardens in Japan, Ritsurin Garden is home to around 320 Yoshino cherry trees, whose pink colour reflects beautifully off the lake together with the 1,000 green pine trees.

     

    Marugame Castle (Marugame)

    Marugame Castle is one of only 12 castle in Japan to have an original wooden tenshu, or castle tower, built. From the great height of the castle’s stone wall, which is the tallest in Japan, one can gaze down at 1,000 cherry blossom trees in bloom.

    ■Little-Known-Good Spots

    Megijima (Takamatsu)

    Around 3,000 cherry trees bloom on t he island, including Yoshino cherries, yama-zakura, and yae-zakura, which roll from the port to the lighthouse.

     

    Asahiyama Forest Park (Mitoyo)

    Asahiyama Forest Park is located on the peak of Mt. Asahi, up 238 meters high. There, you can witness 2,000 vibrant cherry blossom trees bloom in spring, including Yoshino cherries. The park’s observation deck is popular too, offering a 360° panoramic view.

     

    Experience the world of bonsai in Kagawa, the only place in Japan which produces pine bonsai trees

    Interest in bonsai trees continues to grow every year not just in Japan but overseas too. The number of people incorporating them into their lives as interior decoration is on the rise. Kagawa Prefecture is the only place in Japan which produces pine bonsai trees, the largest places being Kinashi and Kokubunji in Takamatsu. There are around 60 bonsai makers in both of these towns, so you are sure to spot some if you walk through them.

     

    Official Website: https://takamatsu-bonsai.com/en/

     

    The new Takamatsu Bonsai no Sato is also set to open on April 17, which will include an information centre providing information on bonsai culture in Takamatsu, and there will be workshops too. Whether you’re new to bonsai or a pro, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

     

    Takamatsu Bonsai no Sato

    Grand Opening: April 17, 2020

    Address: 353-1 Kokubunjichō Kokubu, Takamatsu, Kagawa

     

     

    Travel to Kagawa this spring to enjoy the cherry blossoms and pay a visit to the new Shikoku Aquarium.

  • Kyoto Aquarium to House 20 Types of Jellyfish With New ‘Jellyfish Wonder’ Area

    29.February.2020 | SPOT

    Kyoto Aquarium is currently undergoing a large-scale renovation and is set to reopen on April 29, 2020.

    When it reopens, visitors will be able to visit the new jellyfish area, called “Kurage Wonder” (Jellyfish Wonder), which will span 350㎡ in width and 40 meters in length. It will house the largest number of different species in western Japanーup to 20ーwith around 5,000 individual jellyfish to see, like the northern sea nettle and pacific sea nettle.

    The area begins at 10 individual water tanks where you can see how moon jellyfish change and grow. It then moves onto the 6.5 meter circumference “GURURI” panorama tank which offers a 360° view of 1,500 moon jellyfish.

    This tank is entered through an arch, which once you pass through leads you under the tank where your vision is filled with the sight of countless moon jellyfish.

    The new “Kyoto Jellyfish Research Lab” has also been built where guests can observe the staff breeding and researching jellyfish on a day-to-day basis. Enjoy hearing how the jellyfish are cared for behind the scenes while chatting together with the staff. Various other activities you can participate in will be introduced in the future too.

     

    Discover the wonderful world of jellyfish at the newly-renovated Kyoto Aquarium.

  • NAKED SAKURA AQUARIUM: Cherry Blossoms and the Sea Come Together at Tokyo’s Maxell Aqua Park

    23.February.2020 | SPOT

    Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa has announced the holding of a new exhibition entitled “NAKED SAKURA AQUARIUM” which will run at the Tokyo-based aquarium from March 1, 2020 to April 19, 2020.

     

    Offering “cutting-edge Tokyo entertainment,” the exhibition is combined music, lighting, and visuals with living beings. Using the latest in leading edge tech, visitors will be treated to a visual treat of animals living harmoniously with the season. The exhibition promises you will notice something new with each visit. Enter a world of spring like never before as cherry blossoms and the ocean come together through digital art.

    Cherry Blossom Tayori

    The entrance to the aquarium will be in full bloom with cherry blossoms. The water tanks in the centre will be perfectly pink and house madai snapper, a type of fish also nicknamed “sakura-dai” around this season.

     

    Spilling Cherry Blossoms

    This area will be like an atrium, with water tanks and showcases lined up beautifully next to each other and decorated with cherry blossom art flowers. The water tanks, which bring to mind the image of a “banquet,” will house sakura-dai, sea goldie, and other fishes.

     

    Dancing Cherry Blossom Garden

    In the immersive Patterns area, you can see the “possibilities” of the four seasons as digital art works to combine a seasonal landscape with the sea creatures on display.

     

    Also in the Dancing Cherry Blossom Garden will be Cape penguins who will put on a performance using their physical abilities. The performance, which is split into two parts, will make use of projection mapping. The first part will see the bloom of yaezakura cherry trees, while the second part will have jacaranda, also called the “purple cherry blossom,” a flower that blooms in South Africa where Cape penguins originate.

    Dolphin Performance Day Version – Cherry Blossom Dance

    The daytime dolphin performance sees visitors gathering in the amphitheatre. This interactive performance is inspired by springtime banquets and Hanami flower-viewing. Enjoy seeing the dolphins dance high-speed to the rhythm of Japanese rock music.

     

    Dolphin Performance Night Version – Cherry Blossom Story

    The nighttime dolphin performance uses the water, lighting, visuals, and music to celebrate cherry blossoms in the evening. Enjoy a more delicate, but powerful performance from the dolphins, and see the flowers in all their beauty.

     

    Jewellery Fish Rumble

    The ceiling and walls of the spacious Jewellery Fish Rumble area all have reflective mirror surfaces. Countless pink and blue illuminations light up this evening cherry blossom-themed area, where you can enjoy a digital Hanami experience together with the jellyfish.

     

    Katou Flower Lantern

    The NAKED SAKURA AQUARIUM cafe and bar is adorned with a cylindrical water tank with illuminated coral. The cafe/bar is inspired by Katou, which is when the evening light feels like it is being lit up by fully bloomed cherry blossom flowers. The menu includes a selection of cherry blossom and matcha drinks, as well as a selection of sweet treats perfect for the Hanami season.

    3 Dango & Mini Taiyaki – ¥500 (Red Bean Paste/Cream)

    Sakura Mizu-warabi Rice Cake – ¥500

    Enjoy a completely different kind of Hanami experience at Maxwell Aqua Park.

     

    *Photos are for illustrative purposes only

  • Spring’s Arrived Early in Chiba as the Strawberry Picking Season Begins

    18.February.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Chiba Prefecture is one of the leading places in Japan for growing strawberries. Thanks to its warm climate, the prefecture enjoys hearty a strawberry harvest, which it celebrates with strawberry-picking events and markets across the prefecture. The true fun in strawberry picking in Chiba is that you get to taste a variety of different types, all ripe, there and then, so you can compare flavours.

     

    To further promote the wonderful world of its succulent strawberries, Chiba Prefecture has set up a special website, and is also hosting a photo campaign entitled “Chiba Strawberry Fair 2020.” This is also the season to try an original type of strawberry grown in Chiba Prefecture called the “Chi-Ba Berry.”

     

    Check out Strawberry Fields Chiba’s special website

    The Strawberry Fields Chiba website has a wealth of information on strawberry varietiesーincluding the “Chi-Ba Berry”ーas well as places to pick strawberries in the prefecture, places selling strawberries, and more. If you’re interested in finding out more about strawberries in Chiba, then check out their website below.

     

    Strawberry Fields Chiba Official Website: https://chiba-ichigo.jp

     

    Chiba Strawberry Fair 2020

    People who post a photo on Instagram of their time in Chiba enjoying the strawberries with the hashtag #ちばいちごフェア2020 (“Chiba Strawberry Fair 2020”) have the chance to win the above-pictured Chi-Ba Berry-kun plush toy. The campaign is running until February 29, 2020.

     

    Strawberry picking season in Chiba runs until May, so if you’re planning a trip there this year, make sure you don’t leave without trying the prefecture’s famous strawberries.

  • 5 Must-Visit Beautiful and Romantic Lantern Festivals in Japan | 2020 Edition

    02.February.2020 | SPOT

    The season for Japan’s enchanting and romantic lantern events has finally arrived, and the line-up this year is diverse, from events where lanterns are the main attraction to lantern-lined festivals and Japanese matsuri festivals.

     

    Hankyu Travel International compiled a list of these events , and we’ve pulled out some of the best ones for you.

     

    Hanamaki Hoshi Meguri no Yoru | Iwate Prefecture

    This year marks the third run of “Hanamaki Hoshi Meguri no Yoru,” an event held during winter for guests staying at Hanamaki Onsen. The event is comprised of many elements, including fireworks, folk entertainment, and more. People will also write wishes and messages or draw pictures on their lanterns before sending them up into the winter night sky. Afterwards, they can enjoy a dip in the hot springs at Hanamaki Onsen to warm themselves up and unwind from the day.

     

    Running: January 26, 2020/February 22, 2020/February 11, 2020/February 16, 2020/February 24, 2020

    Location: Namari Ski Center
    Address: Nakadaira-36-1 Namari, Hanamaki, Iwate

     

    ▼Hanamaki Hoshi Meguri no Yoru Tour
    https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/keyword/%E3%81%AF%E3%81%AA%E3%81%BE%E3%81%8D%E6%98%9F%E3%82%81%E3%81%90%E3%82%8A%E3%81%AE%E5%A4%9C/?p_baitai=9599

     

     

    China Lantern Festival | Chiba Prefecture

    Tokyo German Village is hosting its second China Lantern Festival, inspired by the typical traditional festivals held in China during spring. A selection of 30 lantern installations of varying sizes made by the world’s biggest lantern maker Lantern Group have been set up in the 50,000 square meter area. Pieces include lanterns over 10 meters long and high, lanterns floating on the water, moving lanterns, and more.

     

    Running: November 23, 2019 – April 5, 2020

    Location: Tokyo German Village

    Address: 419 Nagayoshi, Sodegaura, Chiba

     

    ▼Tokyo German Village Tour
    https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/keyword/%E6%9D%B1%E4%BA%AC%E3%83%89%E3%82%A4%E3%83%84%E6%9D%91/?p_baitai=9599

     

     

    Tsunan Yuki Matsuri | Niigata Prefecture

    Since 2012, the people of Tsunan in Niigata have raised sky lanterns into the sky to pray for the revival from the disaster that the Tohoku earthquake brought in 2011. It is a two-day festival, with the first day of the event taking place at night, and the second being the main day of the festival. The festival is so popular that tickets never fail to sell out quickly every year. It brings with it a host of events, from the lanterns to the snowboard straight jumping tournament, the hanging of snow lanterns, snowmobile rides, and more.

     

    Running: March 14, 2020 (There will also be a lantern event the night before on March 13, 2020)

    Location: New Greenpia Tsunan

    Address: 12300 Akinari, Tsunan, Nakauonuma-gun, Niigata

     

    ▼Niigata Tsunan Sky Lantern Festival Tour
    https://www.hankyu-travel.com/chubu-hokuriku/niigata/lantern/?p_baitai=9599

     

     

    Nagasaki Lantern Festival | Nagasaki Prefecture

    This festival was originally held during the Chinese New year by the people of Nagasaki Chinatown, but in 1994 it was given the name “Nagasaki Lantern Festival.” To date, it has been attended by over 1 million people. This year, around 15,000 lanterns of varying sizes are set to light the streets. Taking place across several areas, some standout pieces include the peach-coloured lanterns at Nagasaki Chinatown, the ceiling lanterns at Hamanomachi Arcade, the water lanterns at Nagashimagawa Park, and more. On weekends, there are also parades, traditional Chinese performance, and other exciting events. And if you head to Nagasaki Confucian Shrine (also known as Koshi-byo), you can offer a love lantern to pray for happiness in your relationship.

     

    Running: January 24, 2020 – February 9, 2020
    Locations: Nagasaki Chinatown/Central Park/Tojin Yashiki/and elsewhere
    Address: Various places throughout the city of Nagasaki

     

    ▼Nagasaki Lantern Festival

    Hankyu Travel International Tour: Hankyu Travel International

    Nagasaki Tourism Page: https://travel.at-nagasaki.jp/en/what-to-see/62/

     

    Ryukyu Lantern Festival 2019-2020 | Okinawa Prefecture

    Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park is known for having originally been used as the set for several historical drama series, and was subsequently turned into a theme park after filming was finished. The Ryukyu Lantern Festival welcomes a variety of different lanterns, including Chinese lanterns, paper lanterns, various Asian lanterns, and more, each of which bring a completely different atmosphere depending on the area you are in. This year sees the welcome return of the annual lantern contest where 45 individual lantern pieces are exhibited. There are also different street performances every day on the Night Lantern Stage, as well as projection mapping displays, the Night Lantern Cafe, and more.

     

    Running: December 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020

    Location: Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park

    Address: 1020-1 Takashiho, Yomitan, Nakagami-gun, Okinawa

    Murasaki Mura Official Website: https://murasakimura.com/

     

     

    Be part of one of Japan’s many beautiful lantern festivals this year and witness some seriously breathtaking night scenes.

  • The World’s First Living Siren Displayed at Ikebukuro’s Sunshine Aquarium to Spook Visitors

    31.December.2019 | SPOT

    From January 23 to March 8, 2020, the family-friendly Sunshine Aquarium is getting a horror makeover by haunted house producer Hirofumi Gomi. From sight to sound, the aquarium’s unique characteristics have been transformed to trigger your senses. The aquarium will even display a legendary siren.

     

    The horror aquarium debuted in 2016 as the Noroi no Mizugushi (Curse of the water comb). Following its great response, it returned in 2017 as Ayakashi no Ningyo (Ghost Mermaid) and again in 2018 as Shichinin Misaki (Themed on the legendary seven ghosts spotted in lakes and oceans). The horror aquarium has raked in a total of 65,000 visitors. This year’s Siren is bound to bring as much of a scare as its predecessors.

    A siren is a creature that takes on the appearance of a beautiful woman. Known to lurk in the depths of the sea, they lure in sailors with their beautiful singing to sink their ships. Stories of sirens have been told throughout the years in countries all over the world. The seductive and simultaneously deadly creature has aroused our curiosity for decades, leading to Sunshine Aquarium actually capturing one to display to the public. This one is particularly terrifying. Nobody knows what it is capable of.

    Note: Sirens are not real creatures and the displayed siren is not real either.

     

    What was once a relaxing and soothing atmosphere has taken a complete turn. Goosebumps will raise on your skin as you delve deeper into the unknown depths of the aquarium with family and friends.

  • Stroll the Edo Streets as an Elegant Samurai and Make Tea in the Feudal Lord’s Residence

    04.October.2019 | SPOT

    Sakura, Chiba is home to important cultural heritage and even what is also known as the “Samurai Town”. Now you can stroll around the beautiful old streets of Sakura dressed as a Samurai, attend a relaxing zen session and even take part in a tea ceremony as part of a limited period tourist plan. The Samurai tour is mainly aimed at foreigners, however Japanese people who are curious about samurai culture are also more than welcome to join. 

     

    Sakura Castle Samurai Stroll

    In 2016, Sakura became one of the four cities of the Hokuso region to be designated as a Heritage site under the title “An Edo Travelogue through Four Hokuso Cities” for its preservation of the old Edo culture. Old buildings full of secrets can be spotted all over the town, creating the old atmosphere of the Edo period. Embrace the elegant remnants of the Edo period with a relaxing stroll in Samurai clothing. Who knows what you might discover.

    Your relaxing stroll will be led by a tour guide who knows a lot about the history of Sakura. This is a wonderful opportunity to take beautiful pictures of the historical Samurai house (Bukeyashiki). Your tour guide will also show you Hiyodorizaka, which is a natural path lined with a dense forest of tall bamboo trees where Samurai are said to have often pass by. Every year, the bamboo and wooden sword martial arts sessions in the program are also very popular. 

     

    ◇ Running:

    October 26

     November 9, 23

     December 14, 21

    January 11, 25

    February 8, 22

    March 12, 28

    April 9, 25

    May 9, 16

     

    ◇ Times: 9:30 ー 12:30

     *The program will still run in bad weather excluding stormy or severe weather.

    ◇ Prices:

    ¥6,500 per person (Includes lunch voucher and entry to the samurai house)

    * ¥6,000 per person when you purchase tickets as a group of 3 or more.

    ◇ Tickets

    Reservation Website: https://www.govoyagin.com/ja

    Apply Directly to Sakura City Tourism Association

    TEL: 043-486-6000

    Email: sakurashi-kankou@catv296.ne.jp

    * Phone calls will be answered in Japanese only.

     

    Zen Meditation and Tea Ceremony in the House of a Feudal Lord

    There are also guided zen meditation and tea ceremony sessions which are available for a limited period only. These guided zen meditation and tea ceremonies will take place in the Kyuhottatei ー one of Japan’s most preserved traditional-style feudal lord residences. This luxurious Edo-style mansion was built 130 years ago and is classified as an Important Cultural Property.  

     

    ◇ Running:

    October 16,

    November 7, 19

    December 6, 18

     

    ◇ Times: 9:00 ー 12:30

     *The program will still run in bad weather excluding stormy or severe weather.

     

    ◇ Prices:

    ¥10,000 per person (Includes lunch voucher, entry to the Kyuhottatei and tea ceremony participation fee.)

     

    ◇ Tickets

    Please enquire directly to the Sakura City Tourism Association

    TEL:  043-486-6000

    Email Address: sakurashi-kankou@catv296.ne.jp

    * Phone calls will be answered in Japanese only.

     

    If you are curious about Edo Samurai culture, you won’t be disappointed by this program.

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