Starbucks to Release Two Anniversary Drinks in Kyoto and Hyogo for Only 10 Days
06.November.2019 | FOOD
Starbucks Coffee Japan is commemorating 20-years since opening their Kyoto and Hyogo Prefecture branches with a 10-day-limited anniversary project which will run from November 12 to November 21. The barristers of both prefectures rose to the challenge to come up with three anniversary drinks and a vote took place to decide on a winning drink for each prefecture. The winners were announced as the Kyoto Erai Matcha Matcha Frappuccino® and the Hyogo Bari Choco Haittou Frappuccino®.
* Update: Starbucks Coffee Japan has just announced that the 20-year commemoration drink sales period has been postponed. The new drink launch date and limited period is yet to be announced. For more information, please follow this link (Japanese only) : https://www.starbucks.co.jp/press_release/pr2020-3224.php
One sip of the Kyoto anniversary drink will send your taste buds on a journey to Kyoto. The ideas for the drink originated from the Kyoto Porta West branch. The barristers of Kyoto took it in their hands to interpret the culture of Kyoto in the form of a Starbucks drink by infusing the essence of Kyoto’s historical temples and elegant flavours. The taste of Starbucks’ popular Matcha Cream Frappuccino® can be tasted in the drink. Just seeing the green colour is enough to trigger memories of the Zen Buddhist temple Saiho-ji, which is famous for its moss garden to the extent that it is even called “Koke-dera”, meaning “moss temple”.
The whipped cream creates a contrast with the green matcha which will definitely spark memories of Ryoan-ji Zen temple in some keen Kyoto travellers. The drink is dusted with matcha and dark mocha powder, creating the image of green and brown leaves. The milk base fully enhances the matcha flavour. A creamy cloud of whipped cream and dusting of bitter matcha are layered to create a wonderful flavour adventure which is bound to take your taste buds on a journey off the beaten track.
Stretching from the north to the south of the Japan, Hyogo Prefecture is the largest prefecture in the Kinki region and is home to many towns which are bursting with originality. Hyogo’s barristers created their drink based on the concept of increasing love for Hyogo Prefecture’s unique towns. The idea for the Hyogo Bari Choco Haittou Frappuccino® came from the barristers of the Himeji Minami branch.
The Port of Kobe opened in 1868 and has since flourished as the gateway to the world. Foreign culture including western confectionary has since spread across Japan with Kobe as its starting point. Considering Kobe’s history with western culture and the cold winter days that lie ahead, chocolate was chosen as the main flavour. Chocolate chips, chocolate sauce and chocolate whipped cream decorate the drink in diversity. The drink is even topped with chocolate sauce and dark mocha powder, making the perfect luxury Frappuccino® to tempt all chocoholics. After just one sip, you will immediately fall in love with the top-class chocolatey flavour.
If you’re in Kyoto or Hyogo, make sure to stop by a Starbucks to get your fill of cultural flavours.
Kyoto Erai Matcha Matcha Frappuccino®
Price:¥590 (Tall, Before Tax)
Available at 33 Starbucks Cafes across Kyoto Prefecture
*Sales will end once stock has been fully depleted.
Hyogo Bari Choco Haittou Frappuccino®
Price:¥590 (Tall, Before Tax)
Available at 54 Starbucks Cafes across Hyogo Prefecture
*Please be aware that not all Starbucks Cafes sell the Hyogo Bari Choco Haittou Frappuccino®. Sales will end once stock has been fully depleted.
Release: Please follow this link for updates on the new sales period and start date (Japanese only):https://www.starbucks.co.jp/press_release/pr2020-3224.php
Starbucks Japan Official Website: https://www.starbucks.co.jp/en/
Warm Up With Tokyo Disney Resort’s New Hot DrinksーRuby Chocolate, Matcha & More
04.November.2019 | FOOD
Are you feeling the cold yet? Don’t worry if you’re in Tokyo this year, because Tokyo Disney Resort has you covered with its new batch of hot drinks which they began serving on November 1.
Left: Ruby Chocolate & Raspberry Milk – ¥500 / Right: Cheese Caramel Milk Tea
The Ruby Chocolate & Raspberry Milk drink is sold at Squeezer’s Tropical Juice Bar and Ice Cream Cones at Tokyo Disneyland. It is made with the elusive ruby chocolate and retains its characteristic sour taste which melds temptingly with the sweet and sour raspberry syrup to create a luxurious hot beverage. Enjoy the gentle sweet notes of the chocolate and fruitiness of the cacao tickle your nose.
You’ll find the Cheese Caramel Milk Tea at either Cafe Orleans or Rackety’s Raccoon Saloon at Tokyo Disneyland, or Sultan’s Oasis at Tokyo DisneySea®. The drink is a caramel-lined milk tea topped with a rich cream cheese. The subtle sweetness of the caramel milk tea coupled with the salty cream cheese is a flavour you’re sure to become addicted to.
Hot Matcha Milk (Tapioca & Strawberry) – ¥450
Roll up to Hudson River Harvest in Tokyo DisneySea for a cup of this Hot Matcha Milk which has been filled with chewy matcha flavoured tapioca pearls, a texture that’s deliciously enjoyable when fused with the faint fragrance of the strawberry.
Hazelnut Milk Hot Cocktail – ¥760
And if you head to Ristorante di Canaletto, also at Tokyo DisneySea, you can enjoy this cocktail served hot with a hazelnut liqueur and foamy milk. The added chocolate only makes the milk more delicious.
The drinks are a part of the Sweets & Sips campaign now running around Tokyo Disney Resort.
There are plenty of other drinks as well as churros, doughnuts, crepes and more to enjoy too, so be sure to check out the official websiteーor better yet, head to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea!
Special Website: https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/treasure/sweets_sips/menu/
Tokyo Disney Resort (English): https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/index.html
Omotesando Hills Christmas 2019: Christmas Chocolate Parfait & Other Delicious Desserts
The Omotesando Hills shopping complex recently began rolling out information for its Christmas celebrations for 2019. Omotesando Hills Christmas 2019 is set to run from November 13 to December 25.
Enchanting illuminations will adorn the main building and its atrium, taking on the theme “Christmastime seduced by water magic.” Restaurants and eateries will also serve up some limited-time goodies for “CHRISTMAS SWEETS with CHOCOLATE.” Christmas shoppers can also look forward to getting their hands on a range of festive items amongst other things.
CHRISTMAS SWEETS with CHOCOLATE
10 restaurants throughout Omotesando Hills will serve up chocolatey Christmas-themed desserts from November 13 to December 25. There’s a lot to look out for, including the strawberry-packed parfait, a parfait made with noble rot wine jelly, a vegan tiramisu and more. Let’s take a look at a select few of these mouth-watering delights.
Parfait do Noel – ¥1,870 (Tax Included) @ HUGO & VICTOR (Main Building Floor 1F)
This Christmas parfait is lavish with fresh strawberries and adorned with tempting dark chocolate ice cream and chocolate flavoured macaron. It’s also layered with a spicy crumble, caramel sauce, and smooth chantilly cream. Your taste buds will be treated to each distinct flavour and texture as you spoon your way through the dessert.
Serving: 11:00-20:30 (Until 19:30 on Sundays)
Noble Rot Wine Parfait – ¥1,980 @ Wine Shop Enoteco & Bar (Main Building Floor 3F) *15 served per day
Noble rot wine has a distinct rich sweetness like that of honey. This jelly used in this parfait is made with noble rot wine from intenrnationally revered winery Baron Philippe de Rothschild and topped with chocolate ice cream and orange. Pour over the rest of the wine to complete this sophisticated dessert.
Serving: 11:00-21:30 (Until 20:30 on Sundays)
Vegan Tiramisu Chocolate Parfait – ¥1,518 (Tax Included) @ Cosme Kitchen Adaptation (Main Building Floor B2F)
Vegan food has not entered the mainstream in Japan yet but more and more places are catching on. This mascarpone-flavoured vegan tiramisu is made with tofu and nuts. It has a refreshing taste and is sure to fill you up with its mix of tofu gateau chocolate, organic and domestic blueberries, cacao nibs, and organic coffee.
Serving: 11:00-22:00 (Until 21:00 on Sundays)
*Contains alcohol but can be ordered without alcohol
Raw Chocolate & Wine Marriage – ¥1,100 (Tax Included) @ bar à vin PARTAGER (Main Building Floor 3F) *15 served per day
Another one for the adults is this sweet made with rich raw chocolate and red wine, served together with with a fruity wine in a glass. Enjoy the bitterness of the chocolate together with the full-bodied notes of the wine.
Serving: 11:00-22:00 (Until 21:00 on Sundays)
Omotesando Hills Limited-Edition Items
20 stores throughout Omotesando Hills will sell holiday season-inspired items between November 13 and December 25, from bags and purses in Christmas colours to cosmetics and fragrances. Here’s a small peek at what’s to come. Everything will be limited-edition and available while supplies last.
Bag – ¥53,900 (Tax Included), Wallets – ¥31,900 Each (Tax Included) @ EPOCA UOMO PRIMA (Main Building Floor 2F)
Adorned in Christmas colours are this bag made from soft sheep leather from Turkey and three fold purse. The inside of the bag is made with synthetic leather, and the bag itself is both light and holds plenty.
Millefiori Christmas Gift – ¥12,650 (Tax Included) @ Millefiori (Main Building Floor B2F)
This gorgeous kit is decorated with bright-red preserved flowers and contains high-quality room fragrances from ZONA. The scents include the refreshing “Oxygen” with citrus notes and the “Musk Flower” with elegant floral notes. These are limited in stock with only 5 available for each.
There are countless other sweets and items to get your hands on at Omotesando Hills this Christmas season, so if you’re in Tokyo, don’t miss out.
Address: 4-12-10 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Official Website: https://www.omotesandohills.com/en/
New South Korean Cafe ‘Cafe de paris’ Opens in Laforet Harajuku
30.October.2019 | FOOD
In South Korea, which has been dubbed “a cafe battleground,” one particular cafe called Cafe de paris has stood out from the rest for their visually impacting fruity desserts. This immensely popular chain is now heading to Laforet Harajuku with a new branch opening on November 1.
Cafe de paris first appeared in Japan back in February this year, with its eye-popping “Bon Bon” parfait series attraction a great deal of attention for its Instagram-worthy appearance. In just six months, it exceeded 100,000 customer visits. The cafe, however, was only open for a limited time. But that’s about to change, as Laforet Harajuku welcomes the country’s first permanent branch.
The cafe interior takes on a light blue and white colour scheme, with table and counter seats lining the room and gorgeous chandeliers adorned overhead.
Kumo Smoothie – ¥594 (Tax Included)
To commemorate its opening, the new shop has developed a new item exclusive to the Laforet Harajuku branch: the “Kumo Smoothie.” Inspired by fluffy clouds, this fruit-packed smoothie comes in a pink strawberry milk flavour and blue sky-coloured soda flavour.
And of course, Cafe de paris’s famous fruit-topped Bon Bon parfaits will be sold too, with the upper part of the parfait towering 20m high. There are 5 seasonal fruits to choose from, such as strawberry, mango and grape.
Cafe de paris has plenty of cute must-buy goodies for customers to enjoy, so if you’re in Japan, why not take the opportunity to try out something popular in South Korea too while strolling around Harajuku?
Cafe de paris
Address: Laforet Harajuku Floor B1F, 1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Grand Opening: November 1, 2019
Opening Hours: 11:00-21:00
No Fixed Holidays (Except when Laforet Harajuku is closed)
Official Website: http://www.cafedeparis.jp/
New Open Fruit Sandwich Shop ‘Fruits Panda by bekkaku’ Opens at Kyoto Tower
04.June.2020 | FOOD
Kyoto-based confectionery company Bijuu opened its new shop “Fruits Panda by bekkaku” inside Kyoto Tower on June 4, 2020.
Premium sandwiches made with high quality bread
Fruits Panda by bekkaku serves colourful and Instagrammable open sandwiches made from bread baked by Kyoto-based luxury bread company bekkaku which is topped with a variety of fresh fruits and one of the shop’s rich creams. The in-house made creams, whether it be the caramel cream, condensed milk cream, or another, all bring out the delicious taste of both the fruit and bread.
Strawberry Panda (Strawberries/Red Bean Paste/Condensed Milk Cream): ¥350 (Tax Included)
Topped with fresh strawberries and sweet red bean paste, this open sandwich is served with a side of velvety condensed milk cream for a harmony of flavours.
Kiwi Panda (Kiwi/Honey Cream): ¥350 (Tax Included)
Sweet and sour kiwis coupled with sweet honey is a match made in heaven that creates a refreshing aftertaste.
Banana Panda (Banana/Chocolate Cream): ¥350 (Tax Included)
Subtly sweet fried bananas and rich chocolate cream are a classic combination which create a full-bodied aroma and delicious aftertaste.
The shop will also be selling bekku’s “Tanabiki” bread, so if you visit the shop, use this opportunity to try out their luxurious loaves.
Fruits Panda by bekkaku plans to serve seasonal combinations too so customers can enjoy their open fruit sandwiches all year round.
Fruits Panda by bekkaku
Location: Kyoto Tower (Floor 1F), 721-1 Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8216
Stunning Hydrangea Parfait Now Being Served at Itohkyuemon’s Cafe in Kyoto
02.June.2020 | FOOD
Kyoto-based tea company Itohkyuemon is now serving its gorgeous new “Hydrangea Parfait” at each of its cafes.
Hydrangea Parfait: ¥1,290 (Tax Included) / With Drink ¥1,690 (Tax Included)
In Kyoto’s city of Uji, where Itohkyuemon’s cafes are based, lies Mimuroto Temple which is famous for its hydrangeas. The temple bustles with tourists and sightseers during Japan’s rainy season who flock to see the gorgeous gardens. During this season, wait times for the cafe can last up to three hours.
The Hydrangea Parfait is made with mashed sweet matcha hydrangea, hydrangea-coloured crushed jelly, tea leaf-shaped matcha cookies, blueberries, and more.
Itohkyuemon will also be serving a special “Hydrangea Chakai” tea set for ¥1,900 (tax included) which sees the parfait topped with warabimochi. You also get a drink of your choice.
Serving: From May 19, 2020 until stock sells out
Available: Itohkyuemon Uji Honten / Itohkyuemon JR Uji Station / Itohkyuemon Gion-Shijo
Official Website: https://www.itohkyuemon.co.jp/corporate/
Kyoto Neko Neko: Cat Shaped Desserts and Pastries Served at Kyoto’s New Bakery
02.June.2020 | FOOD
ALL HEARTS COMPANY, a Japanese company that develops bakeries and patisseries across Japan, opened its new bakery and confectionery shop Kyoto Neko Neko in Shijo, Kyoto on June 1, 2020. There, they are serving cat-shaped pastries and desserts including Kyoto-exclusive products from their Neko Neko Bread brand and Neko Neko Cheesecake shop.
Kyoto Neko Neko Danish Bread: ¥1,200 (Before Tax)
This butter-loaded Danish pastry is folded into a braid shape and baked which keeps the pastry moist. It’s topped with a sprinkling of sugar, leaving it glistening. It’s recommended that you first try the pastry as it is—soft and moist. You can then try lighting toasting it which gives it a crispy texture and brings out the delicious aroma of the butter.
Products are packaged in a cute box making them a great gift idea.
Kyoto Neko Neko Cheesecake (On sale from mid-June 2020)
This cheesecake is made with Brie de Meaux cheese and is laced with black cocoa. The luxurious cheese combined with black soy beans and brown sugar syrup jelly makes for a marriage between Japanese and Western flavours. You get an extra layer of deliciousness too with a dusting of soy flour.
Kyoto Neko Neko Bread (Plain): ¥550 (Before Tax)
This Kyoto version of the Neko Neko Bread is still made without water, but rather than using only milk, Kyoto Neko Neko has added soy milk made using soy beans from a tofu shop in Kyoto, lending a smooth and rich flavour to the bread. And instead of mascarpone cheese, Kyoto Neko Neko uses soybean cream, and instead of dairy butter a soy cream butter.
Kyoto Neko Neko Bread (Houjicha): ¥680 (Before Tax)
Kyoto Neko Neko Bread (Matcha): ¥680 (Before Tax)
There’s also a houjicha flavour made with houjicha tea and white chocolate, as well as a matcha flacvour combined with black soybean.
Kyoto Neko Neko Shioji
Address: 578 Obiyamachi, Tachiuri Nakanocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
Grand Opening: June 1, 2020
Opening Hours: 10:30-18:00
No Fixed Holidays (Closed: New Year’s Holidays)
Official Website: https://nekoshoku.jp/
Matcha and Fruit Shaved Ice & Other Desserts Arriving to Saryo FUKUCHA in Kyoto This Summer
28.May.2020 | FOOD
Saryo FUKUCHA is a cafe that was opened by FUKUJUEN in Kyoto Station in April 2019. A new batch of seasonal summertime menu items are set to arrive this June, including shaved ice drizzled in Uji tea and fruit sauce, a refreshing Uji matcha soda made with fresh fruit and jelly, and floats. These items will be served from June 1 to September 30 with a takeout option available.
Uji Matcha & Fruit Shaved Ice
Matcha Berry Shaved Ice: ¥950 / Strong Matcha Berry Shaved Ice: ¥1,100 / Houjicha Banana Shaved Ice: ¥950 (All Before Tax)
The “Matcha Berry” shaved ice is paired with rich Uji matcha ice cream and berry sauce. It’s also topped with a wafer cake shaped like a flower and filled with white bean paste, rice flour dumplings, and fruit.
Uji Tea White Peach Soda / Uji Tea Lemon Soda: ¥650 Each (Before Tax)
Full-bodied kabusecha tea from Uji made into a soda with fresh fruit pieces and jelly for a refreshing combination. Pick from super refreshing lemon or subtly sweet white peach.
Uji Matcha Float / Houjicha Float: ¥700 Each (Before Tax)
These floats are made using the best tea leaves selected by FUKUJUEN which are used to make a rich and frothy tea latte. Added to that is a dollop of soft serve ice cream topped with red bean paste and dried wheat gluten. Choose between authentic Uji matcha or aromatic houjicha.
Strawberry Flower Wafer Cake / Chestnut Houjicha Wafer Cake: ¥350 Each (Before Tax)
Fruit wafer cakes are a popular dessert at Saryo FUKUCHA, and for the first time ever they are making them available for takeout so customers can enjoy them at home too. Pick from the strawberry flower flavour made with white bean paste or the chestnut and houjicha with chocolate cream.
Cream Anmitsu (Matcha/Houjicha): ¥700 (Before Tax)
FUKUCHAs specially-made anmitsu, or syrup-covered anko bean jam, is the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer’s day. It’s mixed with Uji tea honey and topped with various toppings like milk agar-agar, black soybeans, rice flour dumplings, white peach, raspberry, and mizu manju.
Address: 901 Higashi Shiokojicho, Karasumadori Shiokoji Sagaru,, Shimogyo-Ku Kyoto Station Bldg. 2F, Kyoto 600-8216 Kyoto Prefecture
Opening Hours: 8:30-21:00 (Last Orders 20:30)
*The cafe is currently running on reduced opening hours as of May 26, 2020. Hours are now 10:00-19:00 (Last Orders 18:30). Times are subject to change.
Official Website: https://fukucha-fukujuen.com/
Ginza’s Legendary Strawberry Mille-Feuille Dessert Arrives to Japan’s Kansai Region
28.May.2020 | FOOD
VMG HOTELS & UNIQUE VENUES is now serving a certain strawberry mille-feuille at several locations across Japan’s Kansai region. Available from May 26 to 31, t’s a recreation of the legendary dessert “Napoleon Pie” from Ginza in Tokyo.
In 1966, Sony co-founder Akio Morita opened a restaurant called Maxim’s de Paris with the idea in mind to create a place for adults to meet and socialise over food. Since opening, it has tickled the taste buds of customers with its authentic French cuisine and dazzled them with its deep crimson decor. The “Napoleon Pie” is an especially popular dessert that has gained a legendary status. The custard is laced with fragrant cointreau, and the thick pastry is stuffed with strawberries. The dessert gets its name from how it looks like Napoleon’s hat.
This strawberry mille-feuille is now being sold at select locations in Kyoto and Hyogo for just six days. It’s the first time for the dessert to be served in Kansai.
The dessert is available for takeout so customers can enjoy an at-home cafe experience.
Kyoto: LE UN FUNATSURU Kyoto Kamogawa Resort (TEL: 075-351-8541)
Kobe: LE UN Kobe Geihinkan (TEL: 078-739-7600)
Half Size (8cm x 11cm x 12cm): ¥3,240 (Tax Included)
Full Size (16cm x 11cm x 12cm): ¥6,480 (Tax Included)
Kyoto (FUNATSURU Kyoto Kamogawa Resort, 180 Minoyachō, Shimogyō, Kyoto) [Serving: May 26, 30, 31]
Hyogo (Kobe Kitano Ijinkan-Gai, 2-9-3 Kitanochō, Chūō Ward, Kobe, Hyogo) [Serving: May 27-29]
*Available for takeout at THE GRAND GINZA following the Kansai sales
*Delivery available in the city until June 20, 2020
Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art Opens New ART LAB KYOTO Shop
Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art opened its new museum shop ART LAB KYOTO on May 26 where it is set to promote the centre of Japanese culture—Kyoto, a place which reveals in tradition and history while constantly evolving and innovating.
The museum shop opens in line with the recent revamp the museum underwent, with design work co-created by Japanese architects Jun Aoki and Tezzo Nishizawa.
ART LAB KYOTO is a spacious shop were guests can get their hands on goods related to exhibitions held at the museum as well as books and items on everything from traditional Kyoto culture to the city’s contemporary art, items made in collaboration with artists, exclusive sweets, and more.
Let’s take a select look at just some of the items you can pick up at ART LAB KYOTO.
Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art x BEAMS
Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art has teamed up with BEAMS to release a line of original merchandise bearing the museum’s logo—a new logo which represents both the design of the revamped museum carried conceived by the museum’s newly-appointed museum director Jun Aoki, and contemporary art. The merchandise’s design is minimal, combining white and grey.
The line-up aims to function not just as souvenirs, but as items that can be used in everyday life, from bags to notebooks and more.
Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art Collection x Miyawaki Baisen-an
Miyawaki Baisen-an is a preserver of traditional Japanese folding fans which has been around since 1923. The company has joined hands with Kyocera to release an exclusive line of fans that represents the art museum.
Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art Collection x Juko Confections
“Juko” is a confectionery from Kyoto which changes flavours with the season. Twice a month, they will be sold in limited quantities at the shop.
ART LAB KYOTO
Address: Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art Floor B1F (124 Okazaki Enshojicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto)
Opening Hours: 10:30-18:30
ART LAB KYOTO Official Website (English): https://kyotocity-kyocera.museum/en/shop
Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art Official Website (English): https://kyotocity-kyocera.museum/en/
Experience Kyoto Culture in Arashiyama With HOSHINOYA Kyoto’s New Hotel Plan
19.May.2020 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Kyoto has introduced a new hotel plan in an attempt to bring a little luxury into people’s lives and lift their spirit during this stressful time. The plan will have people going to Arashiyama to experience a bit of Kyoto culture and hospitality to lift their mood.
You will board a small boat located at the port near the hotel entrance and be taken to your private room. During your sail, you will be able to soak in the gorgeous sights of nature all around. Check-in is being carried out in guest rooms, meaning you won’t have to come into contact with other guests.
You have arrived at your room. HOSHINOYA Kyoto is located in Arashiyama which was formerly a holiday home destination for the Heian aristocrats. There are 25 rooms inside the garden, all of which look out onto the Ōi River. When you slide the window open, you can feel the gentle wind sweep through the valleys. Guest room walls are plastered with beautiful traditional kyokarakami wallpaper and fitted with HOSHINOYA Kyoto-original tatami sofas. Each and every part of the rooms are imbued with Kyoto culture. The rooms are not only comfortable and provide you with everything you need, but also offer a luxurious stay.
Inside your room, there are sutras which can be used for sutra copying, known as sakyou in Japanese, as well as equipment for making matcha to enjoy your own private tea ceremony without having to worry about the tradition’s strict rooms. It’s your very own private Kyoto cultural experience without having to worry about other people.
Dinner can be enjoyed in the main dining hall or in your room. The dining hall is fitted with semi-private booths where you can enjoy a seasonal Arashiyama 9 course kaiseki-ryori dinner with rice, vegetables, a special bento assortment, and more. For breakfast you can enjoy a morning hot pot which uses a special dashi stock packed full of seasonal veggies.
There are also activities to enjoy Kyoto’s breathtaking green outdoors. Mosquito nets made from Japanese red cedar are provided under which you can take part in a stretch routine which uses breathing techniques and meditation.
Outdoor activities are severely restricted right now as a result of COVID-19, but HOSHINOYA Kyoto has made it so you don’t have to do much moving around at all while still enjoying the fruits of nature.
Kyoto Culture in Arashiyama (Japanese Hotel Plan Name: 奥嵐山で京文化に触れる久しぶりの優雅な一日)
From ¥50,100 per night (Includes dinner/2 people 1 room/service charge and tax not included)
From ¥50,100 per night (Includes dinner and breakfast in dining hall/2 people 1 room/service charge and tax not included)
HOSHINOYA Kyoto Introduces New Rainy Season Themed Kaiseki Dinner Course
16.May.2020 | FOOD
HOSHINOYA Kyotoーthe Arashiyama-based hotel where every room offers a river viewーis launching a new kaiseki multi-course dinner this summer which offers the chance to enjoy the early summer breeze together with the spectacular views of the rainy season. Served with nine dishes, the kaiseki meal will be available between June 1 to July 31 this year.
The days of June in Japan are hot that the month itself also goes by the name minazuki which translates to “the month without water.” However, the evenings are enjoyed for their cool and refreshing air, and so June is also known as suzukurezuki, or “the month of cool dusk.” Not only will guests be able to enjoy the refreshing feeling of the season, but their kaiseki meal will be inspired by the sights of the rainy season, as well as the verdant smells of early summer, too, adding an extra level of freshness.
HOSHINOYA Kyoto’s dining concept goes by the name Gomi Jizai, which has people enjoying all five different tastes: sweet, salty, spicy, sour, and bitter. Ichiro Kubota, the Executive Chef at HOSHINOYA Kyoto, has truly honed his cooking abilities over the course of his career. His father was the head chef at one of the most famous restaurants in Kyoto’s Gion district. It was there that Kubota really began to learn his craft, and he went on to work at first-class and Michelin star restaurants in both Japan and abroad. He has set the standard for Japanese cuisine for the next generation.
Suzukurezuki Appetisers: See and taste early summer with a Hassun dish
A hassun is a kind of dish or tray often used in kaiseki course meals to serve numerous different foods. This hassun is inspired by Nagoshi no Harae, an ancient and traditional summer purification ritual that takes place at temples and shrines in Kyoto in June. It includes goma-dofu, a food similar to tofu made with crushed sesame seeds that’s eaten as a confection during Nagoshi no Harae to cool yourself down during the hot month of June.
It also comes with sweetfish dashi and watershield for that added feeling of coolness, as well as hotarukan which looks like fireflies gathered in the bamboo grass, and a texture-laden bamboo shoot and smoked salmon wrap.
Cool Kamo-nasu Eggplant Assortment: Sweet early summer vegetable appetisers
For appetisers, guests can look forward to some refreshing early summer vegetables, including kamo-nasu eggplant that’s been mixed in lots of dashi, fried, and seasoned with eggplant to elevate the sweetness and combined with ice cream. There’s also red sea urchin which is rich in sweetness, ginger foam, and new lotus root for bite. The bowl it’s all served is made by Nobuyoshi Sasaki and features a lace design. The use of glass serves to enhance that level of freshness from the food.
Conger Eel Hanami: Recreating a hydrangea Hanami in a bowl
The bowl includes fatty conger eel which is topped with more conger eel that has been minced as well as arrowroot daffodils to make it look like blossoming hydrangeas. It is said that conger eels that drink the water at the end of the rainy season become more delicious. Gion Matsuri, a festival held in Kyoto in July, is also called Hamo (conger eel) Matsuri. The dish also includes bonito, tuna, and kombu.
Young Fried & Salted Sweetfish: Smell the verdant fragrances with fried food
Sweetfish is a popular ingredients during early summer in Japan, and this one has been salted and fried. Sweetfish (ayu in Japanese) is also known as kougyo in Japan which means “fragrant fish.” It’s known for its fresh smell which is likened to that of greenery. It’s fried on a charcoal fire for some time which makes the head and tail smell incredible.焼
Cherry Mille-Feuille: A dessert gift from the early summertime
The crowning cherry of this dessert is smothered in acacia honey and then roasted, locking in all of that sweetness. The dessert is made with fresh cream, almond biscuit, and custard cream, all of which is layered to create a multi-textured pie. It’s served with a tonka bean ice cream. Tonka beans come from the same rose family as cherries, meaning they work wonders together.
Gomi Jizai Kaiseki
Running: June 1, 2020 – July 31, 2020
Price: ¥20,000 per person (does not include tax or service charge – hotel fee charged separately)
Available: To both guests and non-guests
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
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?
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi
Address: 341-2 Shōshōiotabichō, Nakagyō-ku, Kyoto, 604-0873
Grand Opening: April 25, 2020
Price: ¥30,000 per night
Bookings: Opened on March 27, 2020
Offcial Website: https://www.kyo-ondokoro.kyoto/en/
Starbucks to Open New Branch Along Nakamise Street in Nagano Near Zenkoji Temple
20.March.2020 | FOOD
Starbucks Coffee Japan is set to open a new branch in Japan on March 26, 2020. It will open along Nakamise-dori, a street that leads to Nagano’s famous Zenkoji Temple.
It will open as the Kōshin’etsu region’s first Starbucks Regional Landmark Storeーa Starbucks branch unique to Japan that’s built as a symbol of that area which promotes that region’s culture to customers. They enable coffee-loving visitors to discover or rediscover the wonder of a region’s history, culture, craftsmanship, and industry, while building a connection with the region through those discoveries. The branches incorporate various local design elements into them.
The new branch, called Starbucks Coffee Shinshu Zenkoji Nakamise-dori, neighbours the Niou Gate of Zenkoji Temple. It’s a place where you can sit down with a delicious cup of coffee and relax while feeling the history of the place. The coffee shop’s design and decor also takes inspiration from local history and culture, their concept behind “Busy and Quiet, Light and Dark.” It’s situated a little away from the hustle and bustle of Nakamise-dori, and houses two spacious floors.
The sliding doors and skylight let in a soft light which also casts shadows in places, mimicking the beauty of shade found in a Japanese-style house. The ceiling and walls at the entrance are made from Japanese red pine, while the bar uses five different types of wood from Nagano Prefecture like hornbeam and katsura. The stone lanterns which were in the original building have been put at the entrance, and the great beams on the second floor have been left as they are. All of this preserves the feeling of the local region while small Starbucks touches are added here and there, resulting in a unique Starbucks experience.
Starbucks Coffee Shinshu Zenkoji Nakamise-dori
Grand Opening: March 26, 2020
Address: 483 Motoyoshicho, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture
Opening Hours: 7:00-21:00
No Fixed Holidays
Starbucks Japan Official Website: https://www.starbucks.co.jp/
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.
FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020 −Sakura− World Heritage Nijo-jo Castle
Running: March 20, 2020 – April 12, 2020
Opening Hours: 18:00-21:00 (Closed at 22:00)
Location: Nijo-jo Castle
Early Bird Tickets (Available until March 19, 2020) / Junior High School and Older ¥1,000, Elementary School Students ¥800
General Tickets (March 20, 2020 – April 12, 2020) / Junior High School and Older ¥1,400, Elementary School Students ¥800
*All prices above include tax. Free for preschoolers. Disability discount available.
Official Website: https://flowers.naked.works/2020nijojo-sakura/
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.
Nikukappou Futago THE JUNEI HOTEL KYOTO
Address: THE JUNEI HOTEL KYOTO Floor 1F, 4-139 Honmachi, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto
Grand Opening: March 27, 2020
Opening Hours: 17:00-23:00 (Last Orders 22:00)
No Fixed Holidays
Seats: 32 (6 Half-Size Rooms / 2 Private Rooms
Course Price: ¥11,000 (Tax and service charge not included) *Course menu to change each month
Official Website: https://nikutei25.com/