Hoshino Resorts to Open New Facilities in Okinawa, Hawaii & 3 More Places
28.October.2019 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts opened HOSHINOYA Guguan in Taiwan in June and Iriomotejima Hotel in Okinawa in October this year. It will also open Risonare Nasu in November. The hotel chain has now just announced that it will open 5 more new facilities in 2020, pushing the number of locations they manage up to 45 next year.
Hoshino Resorts prides itself on offering a hotel experience that makes use of local regions as well as offering unique experiences. With their catalogue of facilities now set to increase, the company has a released a video detailing the five new hotels.
The five new hotels will open in Hawaii, Nagato in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Tsuchira in Ibaraki Prefecture, Kohama Island in Okinawa Prefecture, and mainland Okinawa.
The Hawaii hotel, named Hoshino Resorts Surf Jack Hawaii, describes itself as an “ohana-friendly retro boutique hotel with a satisfying Waikiki experience.”
Nagato, Yamaguchi will give rise to the 16th hotel in Hoshino Resorts’ brand of KAI hotels, named KAI Nagato. It will open in the Yumoto Hot Spring area and be inspired by Yamaguchi’s traditional tea houses as well as buke samurai culture. Look forward to bathing in the hot springs of this traditional Japanese inn, steeped in history and culture.
Over in Ibaraki Prefecture, Hoshino Resorts will open Japan’s biggest cycling resort, named Hoshino Resort BEB5 Tsuchiura, which we covered earlier this month. It will act as a “base camp” to enjoy cycling, with its core concept being “more an izakaya and less travel-focused where you can enjoy a laid-back time with friends.” It hopes to put a new spin on travel by combining the worlds of cycling and accommodation.
Okinawa is getting three new hotels. Hoshino Resorts Risonare Kohama will feature 60 rooms each their own private villas. Its concept is “a private beach resort on a remote island swimming with the manta rays” and will offer a beach and resort-like experience to guests with views of the white sand and blue ocean.
HOSHINOYA Okinawa will be inspired by gusuku which refers to castles in the Ryukyu Islands that feature stone walls, with the hotel itself being enveloped in one. The hotel will be surrounded by the gorgeous ocean and coast, offering that quintessential Okinawan resort experience.
The tables at Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe will offer a breathtaking view of Okinawa’s grand seas, with a menu serving food and drink made with Okinawan ingredients.
2020 is looking to be a big year for Hoshino Resorts as it begins expansion. If you’re travelling to Japan, why not check if one of their hotels is near where you’re looking to stay?
Hoshino Resorts Official Website: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/
Natural Ice Area to Open at KERA-IKE Ice Rink in Karuizawa Hoshino Forest Area
23.October.2019 | SPOT
The “Natural Ice” area is set to return to KERA-IKE Ice Rink, an outdoor ice skating area managed by Hoshino Resorts, again this winter, something made possible only by the cold winter weather and without cooling devices.
KERA-IKE Ice Rink is connected to the Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary where countless wild birds and animals roam free. The ice rink opened for the winter season last Friday (October 18) and will run until March 8 next year.
The rink is formed of two areas: the “Man-made Area” which is made together with the cold air and the help of cooling devices, and the “Natural Area,” which appears only during the coldest time of winter and sees the water freeze up naturally, allowing people to skate across 1,080 square meters of land. This Natural Area will open on December 20 and run until February 20, 2020.
Stroll across the forest’s icy landscape
The freedom of skating across the natural ice is like taking a stroll through the forest. Enjoy skating around the little islands in the middle of the lake and finding the fallen leaves from the forest trees locked inside the ice.
Enjoy hot drinks with the sound of the wild birds as your soundtrack
Enjoy a coffee or hot chocolate at the neighbouring cafe. We recommend getting the Wild Bird Cafe Latte which comes with four different latte art designs of the wild birds you’ll often spot around the ice rink. The drink can be enjoyed in the cafe or can be taken out so you can enjoy sipping it on the benches on top of the ice.
Wild Bird Cafe Latte – ¥600 (Tax Included)
Coffee/Hot Chocolate – ¥500 (Tax Included)
Couples can enjoy the “Starry Sky Nighter Skate” Valentine’s event
For Valentine’s season, the ice rink has a special event in store for couples: the first ever “Starry Sky Nighter Skate.” Not only do they get the luxury of skating after-hours, they can also bask under the radiance of Karuizawa’s incredible star-filled sky. There will also be a guide providing commentary on the stars. After the event, all lights will be turned off to allow everyone to enjoy the pure light of the stars.
There will also be hot chocolate with heart-shaped marshmallows for the Valentine’s event.
Starry Sky Nighter Skate
Running: February 10, 2020 – February 16, 2020
Time: 17:30-19:00 (Reception open 17:00)
Price: ¥3,500 per person (Includes skating fee, skate rental fee, drink, binoculars, and consumption tax)
Age: 18+ years
Reservations: By 17:00 the same day by telephone or online. Reservations are mandatory.
Capacity: 20 per day (Must book for at least 2 people)
Kera-Ike Ice Rink Natural Area
Running: December 20, 2019 – February 20, 2020
*Man-made area running October 18, 2019 – March 8, 2020 (Except November 20, 2019, and January 7-9, 2020)
Price: General (Junior High Schol students and older) – ¥1,900 / Elementary School Students and younger – ¥1,300
Official Website: http://www.hoshino-area.jp/archives/area/skate
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
Tokyo Skytree Announces Dream Christmas 2019 Event Schedule
20.October.2019 | SPOT
Tokyo Skytree is starting Christmas early this year as it announces a new event titled Dream Christmas 2019 which will take place in Tokyo Skytree Town® from November 7 to December 25.
Christmas Lighting & Solami Zaka ©TOKYO-SKYTREETOWN
Skytree Town will be adorned in 500,000 individual illuminations, inspired by the people we treasure spending time with during Christmas.
The Sky Arena, too, will be decorated in Christmas lighting, and will house its first ever real fir Christmas tree.
Christmas Market 2019
Christmas Market (Picture from 2018 market) ©TOKYO-SKYTREETOWN
There will also be huts inside the Sky Arena draped with warm lighting and selling various Christmas food and desserts, as well as beer and other beverages.
Tokyo Skytree Christmas Lighting
Left: Candle Tree / Right: Champagne Tree ©TOKYO-SKYTREE
Tokyo Skytree will light up in two different designs: the Champagne Tree which is made to look like the world’s biggest Christmas tree, and the Candle Tree.
SKYTREE ROUND THEATER®
SKYTREE ROUND THEATER©TOKYO-SKYTREE
Tokyo Skytree’s Tembo Deck, which is located on the 350th floor, is known for its 110-meter long, 2-meter tall “Round Theater” which projects digital images and videos onto the windows so they look like a giant screen. All-new special Christmas visuals have been prepared for the holiday season.
Merry Christmas Stickers
Merry Christmas Stickers ©TOKYO-SKYTREE
If you say “Merry Christmas” to one of the Santa hat-wearing staff members in Tokyo Skytree you’ll get an original sticker as a present.
This is just a small peek at some of the exciting things happening at Tokyo Skytree Town® this year. If you’re spending Christmas in Japan’s capital this year, be sure to pay a visit.
Running: November 7, 2019 – December 25, 2019
*Select illuminations running until March 8, 2020. Illuminations subject to alterations depending on certain events and other circumstances.
Location: Around Tokyo Skytree Town
Christmas Market 2019
Running: November 7, 2019 – December 25, 2019
*Menus and other services set to change on November 29, 2019
Location: Sky Arena (Tokyo Skytree Town Floor 4F)
Tokyo Skytree Christmas Lighting
Running: November 7, 2019 – December 25, 2019 (Except November 12, 2019)
Time: [Nov 7-11] 17:00-22:00 / [Nov 13-Dec 25] 17:30-22:00
SKYTREE ROUND THEATER®
Running: November 7, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Time: 17:30/19:00/20:30/21:00 (*4 times a day approx. 3 mins each)
*Times will change to three sessions at 18:15/20:30/21:00 during Christmas Love Song live shows
Location: Tokyo Skytree Tembo Deck (Floor 350F)
Merry Christmas Sticker Present
Running: November 7, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Location: Tokyo Skytree Tembo Deck and elsewhere (1 per person while supplies last)
Tokyo Skytree Town® Official Website: http://www.tokyo-skytreetown.jp/english/
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.
Hotel de Yama / Salon de thé Rosage
Address: 80 Motohakone, Hakone, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa
Official Website: https://www.hakone-hoteldeyama.jp/en/
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.
Room for rescue
Aimed at: Foreign travellers who cannot return home
How to Apply
Send the following details to the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org
①Write “Room 4 Rescue” as the subject of your e-mail
②Include which country you are from
③Write the names of all the people who wish to stay at the hotel
④Write the number of adults
⑤Write the number of children
⑥Write your check-in time and date
⑦Write your check-out time and date
⑧Attach a screenshot or photo of your cancelled flight details
Application Deadline: March 28, 2020 at 23:59 (JST)
Free Accommodation Stay Time: Until April 15, 2020
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.
Running: March 18, 2020 – June 30, 2020
Price: From ¥278,460 (Before tax/service charge)
People: Up to 2 people per room
*70% off from the normal price. The above-listed price is calculated for 30 days of stay.
HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island
Address: Taketomi, Yaeyama District, Okinawa 907-1101
Official Website: https://hoshinoya.com/taketomijima/en/
*You must select the meal option if you require food
Witness Mount Fuji and Fully Bloomed Cherry Blossoms at HOSHINOYA Fuji
HOSHINOYA Fuji is offering a very special Hanami flower-viewing experience for guests from April 7 to 21 this year where they can observe the springtime cherry blossoms against the backdrop of Mount Fuji. Offers include cherry blossom desserts, a glamping experience inside a cabin eating curry while enjoying the scenery of the outdoors, a private outdoor dining dinner, and more.
HOSHINOYA Fuji hails as Japan’s first luxury camping resort. Located on the hill overlooking Lake Kawaguchi near Mount Fuji. It offers the ultimate glamping experience, with a large outdoor terrace surrounded by nature, cabins that can be enjoyed throughout the year, and more. It’s difficult to go out and enjoy the cherry blossoms on the streets right now, but if you’d still like to enjoy spring safely with your special someone, then HOSHINOYA Fuji has created a special springtime experience.
Sakura Apéro: Witness the cherry blossoms during sunset with desserts in hand
“Sakura Apéro” is a chance to take a breather and enjoy all the beauties nature has to offer. It is held in the cabin area of HOSHINOYA Fuji under the towering cherry blossom trees. Sit back, relax, and enjoy an evening treat of cherry blossom flavoured bean paste rice cake, a cup of matcha milk or a matcha cocktail, and a front row seat of the cherry blossoms as the sun sets.
Hanami on the terrace
HOSHINOYA Fuji’s cabina area is built in such a way so that guests can enjoy an outdoor experience. One third of the cabin has a terrace area with an enormous window that looks out into the natural landscape. A fireplace and kotatsu is available so you can still enjoy the outdoors even inside while relaxing with a comfortable stay into the late nights. Some of the cabins offer a view of the surrounding cherry blossom trees, inviting spring into your room.
Curry made on one of Mount Fuji’s lava plates
At HOSHINOYA Fuji, guests can enjoy outdoor cooking in luxury be it in one of the cabins or the dining restaurant in the forest. Those who want to relax in a cabin are recommended the “Glamping Curry” at the terrace. You grill beef and vegetables yourself on a Mount Fuji lava plate and can combine five spices of your choice to create your own original flavour. In the outdoor dining area, which is exclusive to groups of guests, game meat is also served, such as boar and deer, as well as seasonal vegetables prepared in a dutch oven. For dessert, there’s cherry blossom flavoured ice cream. You can also make your own strawberry sauce using fresh strawberries over a fire to pour over your ice cream before topping it with matcha crumbles.
Due to the ongoing situation surrounding the coronavirus, all guest rooms and public areas at all HOSHINOYA facilities are being thoroughly cleaned in line with the recommended guidelines to ensure the health and safety of guests and staff. Alcohol gel is available at all HOSHINOYA facilities, and staff’s health and hygiene are being consistently examined.
Address: 1408 Ōishi, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi
Official Website: https://www.hoshinoya.com/
Pan Am to Release Travel Inspired Clothing Collection in Collaboration with MIZUNO
22.March.2020 | FASHION
Japanese sportswear brand Mizuno is collaborating with Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) to release a clothing collection called “52 Collaboration with PAN AM” in their “Go to by mizuno” series of lifestyle attire for active adults at the end of March. It will be available in Mizuno stores, Mizuno’s official online shop, and pop-up shops in Japan.
Travel is the theme of the collection, and is the first co-developed line-up from “Go to by mizuno.” It incorporates the functionality of sportswear while promoting the fun and excitement of travel.
What is Pan Am?
Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was at the forefront of the airline industry during its 64-year run. It was the first company to adopt the Boeing 707 when it ordered 20 of them for commercial use in 1955. It became the world leading airline in both name and reality in the 1960s. In 1972, Idlewild Airport (now John F. Kennedy International Airport) became a hub for Pan Am, and they also set up a company building in Manhattan. The airline is still fondly remembered today, and is sure to be a name mentioned by those who have travelled around the world.
The clothing line-up of 38 itemsーspanning T-shirts, caps, socks, travel bags, and moreーfeatures the Pan Am logo and is made from waterproof and stretchy sports clothing that can be used for everyday wear.
52 Collaboration with PAN AM
17 Mizuno stores (including MIZUNO TOKYO and MIZUNO OSAKA CHAYAMACHI)
Mizuno online shop
Department Stores (Kawanishi Hankyu, Nishinomiya Hankyu, Kintetsu Department Store, Nara, Kashihara, Moriguchi Keihan Department Store, Kobe Hankyu, Kawagoe, Fukudaya Department Store, Utsunomiya)
*Pop-up shops from late March to early May (check official website for shop list)
*Shonan Tsutaya pop-up exhibition (March 20-April 27)
Official Website: https://www.mizuno.jp/52goto/
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.
Spring Truffle Toast With Bianchetto Truffles
Location: Patisserie SATSUKI – Hotel New Otani Osaka Floor 1F)
Available: Until Mid-April 2020
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
Price: ¥1,500 (Before Tax)
Sales: Limited to 5 servings per day (10 on weekends and public holidays)
Reservations: 06-6949-3298 (Patisserie SATSUKI)
Hoshino Resorts to Open New KAI Poroto Ryokan in Hokkaido in Winter 2021
20.March.2020 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts, which manages 42 ryokan inside and outside Japan serving Japanese tradition and culture, signed a partnership agreement with the town of Shiraoi in Hokkaido on June 28, 2018, which would have them open a hot spring ryokan there. It has been revealed that the new facility will be named Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto. Built by Japanese architect Hiroshi Nakamura, the site will open its doors in winter 2021 as the 19th branch of Hoshino Resorts’s hot spring ryokan brand KAI, of which it operates 16 in Japan. It will be the third branch of KAI in Hokkaido, following from Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Tomamu in Shimukappu village and Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa.
Hot springs in Shiraoi, Hokkaido include moor springs, a type of organic spring water that is rare globally. KAI Poroto faces Poroto Lake, which is enveloped in nature and home to creatures such as wild birds. All rooms at the ryokan enjoy a view of the lake, as well as a chance to see the trees and flowers bloom and change in different colours throughout the seasons.
KAI’s aim is to offer Japanese hospitality that can only be experienced in that town or city, and during that season, as well as to give guests a comfortable experience in a Japanese-style accommodation. At KAI Poroto, they are set to offer a completely new experience tied to Ainu culture in collaboration with the Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park currently in development in Shiraoi.
Upopoy is scheduled to open at Lake Poroto on April 24, 2020. “Upopoy” is a word in the Ainu language that means “singing in a large group.” The museum is the first national museum in Japan to be dedicated to the indigenous Ainu people. It will serve as the national center for the revival and development of Ainu culture, something which is on the verge of extinction, and it will do this by showcasing Ainu culture and history through exhibitions, hands-on programmes, performances, and more.
Hiroshi Nakamura is the architects that designed Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto. “Poroto” is also a word in Ainu to mean “large lake.” The ryokan’s lobby, which is decorated with Japanese white birch, offers a view of the lake and Mount Tarumae. There are also small bath houses called kashi which have been made using Ainu architectural methods, as well as open-air baths that have you feeling like you’re taking a dip in the lake.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto
Address: 1-1018-1 Wakakusacho, Shiraoi, Shiraoi District, Hokkaido
Construction Work Start: Mid-May 2020 (subject to change)
Grand Opening: Winter 2021 (subject to change)
Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/
World’s Largest Athletic Tower Banpaku BEAST to Open at Expo ’70 Commemorative Park in Osaka
14.March.2020 | SPOT
Banpaku BEAST is set to open as the largest athletic tower in the world at Expo ’70 Commemorative Park on March 15, 2020, standing 24 meters tall.
The hexagonal tower was created by German-based amusement park attraction developers KristallTurm. It has four floors, each of which is its own “athletic area,” as well as an observation deck. It is a comprehensive workout tower, offering 120 different kinds of athletic activities such as climbing and slacklining, meaning the fun will never end in a single day, and will have you wanting to go back for more.
The tower makes use of its full height; expect to use your entire body during your ascension, ride barrels, bikes, and more. Safety is guaranteed while still offering a heart-racing experience for those thrill-seekers. The facility can be used by both kids and adults alike who want to test themselves and feel refreshed after a good workout.
See Banpaku BEAST in action in the official video above.
Location: Expo ’70 Commemorative Park, Suita, Osaka
Time: Reception 9:30-15:00 / Open 10:00-16:30
Price: General ¥3,500 / Elementary school children and below ¥3,000
*Separate fee charged for entry to Expo ’70 Commemorative Park’s Natural and Cultural Gardens (General ¥260/ Elementary school children and below ¥80)
Access: 5-minutes from Expo Memorial Park Station via Osaka Monorail
Official Website: https://www.se-amuse.jp/bampakubeast/
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.
Winston in Bloom Afternoon Tea
Running: April 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020
Time: Weekdays 14:00-17:00 / Weekends & Holidays 12:00-17:00)
Price: ¥5,000 per person (Service charge and tax not included)
Location: Peak Lounge (Park Hyatt Tokyo Floor 41F)
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.
Sauna Suite Cabin
Location: BIO-RESORT HOTEL & SPA O Park OGOSE (3083-1 Ueno, Ogose, Iruma-gun, Saitama Prefecture)
Date: March 12, 2020
Official Website: https://opark.jp/
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.
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.
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.
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?
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS -DOSUKOI-
Address: MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Floor 2, 2-18-7, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Access: 8-minute walk from Meiji Jingumae (Harajuku) Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line/ Fukutoshin Line)
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Official Website: https://rooms.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/
THE HIRAMATSU Kyoto is a New Luxury Hotel On Muromachi Street Renovated From a Traditional Townhouse
09.March.2020 | SPOT
The new luxury hotel THE HIRAMATSU Kyoto is set to open along Muromachi Street in Kyoto on March 18, 2020.
“Explore and indulge your curiosity” is the hotel’s concept
The hotel aims to create a place that encourages guests to explore and indulge their curiosities, and one that welcomes and treasures its guests in a way that only THE HIRAMATSU Kyoto can.
Built from a traditional Edo Period Kyoto-style townhouse
THE HIRAMATSU Kyoto sits pretty much in the heart of Kyoto, and is just a three-minute stroll from Karasuma Oike Station. It faces Muromachi Streetーa street that has long thrived when it comes to trade. The hotel is renovated from an old townhouse that has been around since the Edo Period, and it has been made sure that it hasn’t lost that traditional design.
Nakamura Sotoni Komu: A contemporary craftsman
To progress with the renovation work, THE HIRAMATSU KYOTO called on board the executive building director of Kyoto’s famous craftsman company Nakamura Sotoni Komu, who lent their skill to effect the effort.
THE HIRAMATSU Kyoto
Grand Opening: March 18, 2020
Address: 361 Sanjo Agaru Ennogyojacho, Muromachi-dori, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto
Access: 15-minutes by taxi from Kyoto Station / 3-minutes on foot from Karasuma Oike Station (via Kyoto Municipal Subway)
Official Website: https://www.hiramatsuhotels.com/eng/kyoto/