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.

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • 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!

  • Omotesando Hills Christmas 2019: Christmas Chocolate Parfait & Other Delicious Desserts

    30.October.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    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)

    *Contains alcohol

    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)

    *Contains alcohol

     

     

    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.

  • 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?

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  • Starbucks Japan’s Second Holiday Season Drinks Shine Like Christmas Lights

    16.November.2019 | FASHION / FOOD

    Follow on from Merry Strawberry Cake Frappuccino®, Starbucks Coffee Japan has announced its second release in its series of holiday season beverages: the Nutty White Chocolate Frappuccino® and the Nutty White Mocha will hit most branches across Japan from November 22.

     

    These two delicious drinks are the perfect holiday season treats, both capturing the moment when Christmas lights and illuminations twinkle. The coffee chain is also releasing its second batch of merchandise too.

    The Nutty White Chocolate Frappuccino® is a combination of milky white chocolate and nutty hazelnuts with a sprinkling of roasted walnuts and crunchy shortbread for tantalising texture. It’s finished with a squirt of whipped cream which has been topped with chocolates of three different colours and silver dragees to create that Christmas light sparkle. You’re sure to feel the Christmas spirit with this order.

     

    If it’s a hot drink you desire for warming up during the chilly weather, then you won’t be able to resist the Nutty White Mocha, a rich cup of coffee made with white chocolate and hazelnut syrup and a strong shot of espresso. The instant you take a sip from your cup, your taste buds will be treated to the nuttiness of the hazelnuts, and the subsequent milkiness of the white chocolate and full-bodied flavour of the espresso. The whipped cream represents a Christmas tree while the sauce is the ribbons and the dragees are the lights. A true capturing of Christmastime.

    *This product uses chocolate that with less than 0.5% cocoa.

    “Brilliant Season” is the theme of Starbucks’ second batch of Christmas goods this holiday season. We see the return of the snow dome cup from last year as well as a snow dome tumbler, a cutlery set with teaspoons and forks, a journal, clear pouch, and moreーlots that can be used as gifts. There’s plenty to plunge you into that Christmas mood as you stroll through the winter-kissed town amongst the warm Christmas lights. There’s also a special stainless steel tumbler which changes colour depending on which angle the light touches it, as well as a sparkly holographic mug.

     

    Warm yourself up this winter in Japan by stopping by your nearest Starbucks branch.

  • Starbucks Japan Releases Merry Strawberry Cake Frappuccino

    12.November.2019 | FOOD

    The holiday season has finally hit Starbucks in Japan, and for the first drink in their series of Christmas beverages, they are serving the new Merry Strawberry Cake Frappuccino which is made to look and taste like a strawberry cake. Customers can even customise their drinks with as much free strawberry sauce as they like.

    Merry Strawberry Cake Frappuccino – Tall ¥590 w/ Free Strawberry Sauce (*Sauce not available with other drinks)

    The drink is built on sponge cake flavoured base, on top of which sits ascending layers of bright-red strawberry sauce, whipped cream, and a sprinkling of freeze-dried strawberries, effectively creating a dessert that you can drink. One sip of this pink delight fills your mouth with the sweet and refreshing taste of fresh fruity strawberries.

     

    We recommend customising yours with non-fat milk or soy milk. If you want to hold back on some of the sweetness, go for the non-fat milk option, and if you want something smoother, get the soy milk. Drizzle over additional strawberry sauce to your liking, and you’ve got yourself a festive treat for the season!

  • Chat and Eat Japanese Sweets With a Real Maiko at Hoshinoya Kyoto

    07.November.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Hoshinoya Kyotoーa Japanese inn in Arashiyama where all rooms offer a river viewーhas announced a new event titled “Maiko Salon” which will run next year from February 4 to March 4 which offers female guests the chance to chat with a maiko (an apprentice geisha).

    Maiko Salon is a women-only get-together that offers female guests to chat casually with a real maiko. The clothes that a maiko wears, including the kanzashi ornate hairpin, kimono, obi sash, obidome sash clip, okobo footwearーeverything, from head to toeーis carefully crafted by an expert artisan. This is why maiko have been called “walking pieces of traditional craftsmanship.” At the Maiko Salon, you have the opportunity to wear such craft made in Kyoto and enjoy a sophisticated womanly party.

    For example, the table runners are made with Nishijin-ori, a type of fabric made in Kyoto’s district of Nishijin that has a history spanning over 1,000 years. The walls will also be decorated with obi cloth art panels with Maiko motifs.

    Learn all about the Hanamachi geisha district through womanly conversation

    Being entertained by geisha, known in Japanese as Ozashiki Asobi, is associated with maiko and geisha serving and entertaining men, and as being very private and inaccessible without being introduced by someone else. But since 2018, Hoshinoya Kyoto has been holding this women-only occasion for women to learn more about the culture in a casual environment. It’s a chance to learn more about maiko and their lifestyle through womanly topics like skincare, makeup and so on. There will also be a dance performance, after which attendees can ask about the practises of a maiko, what they think of their work, and so on.

    Edible Kanzashi Ornate Hairpins

    An original Japanese confection made to look like kanzashi ornate hairpins has been whipped up in 5 flavours by Kameya Yoshinaga, a long-standing Japanese confectionery maker which first opened almost 200 years ago. Enjoy together with sparkling wine during your time with the maiko.

  • Starbucks® Releases Stylish Stainless Steel Bottle Produced By fragment design

    07.November.2019 | FOOD

    Starbucks Coffee Japan will sell a stainless bottle set produced by fragment design – a design project produced by Hiroshi Fujiwara – from December 18, 2019. The set will consist of the Starbucks Ware® Stainless Steel Bottle fragment (500ml), fragment Coffee Essence Colombia coffee sticks and special design paper cups.

     

    To purchase, enter the online lottery draw which starts on November 5. Those who are successfully chosen will have the opportunity to purchase the set from specified Starbucks cafes or from the online store. 

     

    fragment design started collaborating with Starbucks back in 2012. The November 2019 collaboration will see the release of the first ever stainless steel vessel which comes with cups. The fragment design and Starbucks logos decorate a matte black-themed background, making for an artistic design that you will never get tired of seeing. The vacuum insulation of the bottle makes it highly effective at reducing heat transfer, retaining the original temperature of your hot or cold drink for longer. The material is highly durable and the bottle’s capacity is equal to that of a Starbucks grande. The set comes with three Colombia coffee sticks and three original paper cups so you can enjoy the classic flavours of Starbucks just by pouring hot water. 

     

    Starbucks Ware® is made using an original manufacturing method. The coffee in the set boasts Starbucks’ high-quality and delicious flavour. The coffee sticks allow you to easily prepare a cup of your favourite coffee at any time and even when on the go. Just add hot water and milk to your liking to enjoy a cup of irresistible flavours. The cups feature the same black theme as the fragment design Stainless Steel Bottle. 

     

    This is a great chance to enjoy the flavours of Starbucks anywhere and anytime in a stylish bottle.

  • Krispy Kreme Releases Winter-Limited Doughnuts in Nagoya

    07.November.2019 | FOOD

    Krispy Kreme Japan released two new doughnuts for a limited period only starting from November 1, 2019. The two new doughnuts are part of the Krispy Kreme Premium series and are only available to purchase from the JR Nagoya Takashiyama branch. The two new flavours are the Holiday Gorilla and Brûlée Glazed Fruity Sangria.

     

    The Krispy Kreme Premium series is only available at the Nagoya Takashiyama branch. These doughnuts have a cake-like texture and are filled with a luxurious serving of whipped cream. Each doughnut is carefully made with the utmost care and decorated in the shop. These are sold fresh every day and enjoyed by customers as they are made. 

    The Krispy Kreme Premium Holiday Gorilla consists of a yellow purin-flavoured chocolate wreath. A ferocious bear made of fluffy whipped chocolate can be seen peeking through the doughnut hole. After a sprinkling of sparkling silver balls and a strawberry chocolate ribbon, the doughnut is complete. The gorilla’s face is made of caramel chocolate and bitter chocolate. The ears are made of chocolate coffee beans and the doughnut hole is filled with marshmallow cream. The fusion of chocolate and marshmallows makes for the perfect winter treat. 

    The Krispy Kreme Premium Brûlée Glazed Fruity Sangria is an enhanced version of KKDJ’s most popular doughnut series: the Original Glazed®. The surface of the doughnut is covered in a crunchy brûlée layer which is full of flavour. Red wine paste is combined with a sweet and tangy marmalade to make the luxurious filling for the doughnut, creating the flavour of sangria which is perfect for adults. 

     

    Don’t miss the opportunity to grab a delicious winter doughnut from Krispy Kreme!

  • Kyoto Sightseeing | 4 Spots to Visit Before Autumn 2019 Ends

    03.November.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Autumn is a popular season in Japan, especially amongst tourists and travellers. While in spring you have the bright pink cherry blossoms, when autumntime rolls around, the trees turn into enchanting reds and yellows. People from around the world flock to see this incredible sight, with Kyoto being a very popular location.

     

    Of course, viewing the beautiful colours of the trees and their leaves is a must during the daytime, but seeing them in the evening has become popular in recent years too. It offers you an entirely different experience and atmosphere. So if you’re in the ancient capital for autumn this year, why not experience the season in an entirely new lightーat night?

     

    Jitokuin Temple

    Jitokuin Temple is located in the town of Yosano in Yosa District. Maple trees were planted almost 11 years ago with the help of locals and the chief priest to create local ties. Every autumn, the trees behind the mountain bloom in vivid hues, leading the temple to be nicknamed “Koyo-ji,” or “Temple of Autumn.” The locals work hard in the surrounding gardens day by day, so the sights change a little bit every year.

    The maple trees are planted in a way that it looks like they take an entire side of the mountain. They are a sight to be hold during the day, but for one week in November there will be illuminations in the evenings, creating a magical scene under the night sky.

     

    ▼Jitokuin Temple

    Light-Up Period: November 9, 2019 – November 16, 2019

    Light-Up Time: 17:00-20:00 (Temple is open 09:00-20:00)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Mid November

    Address: 2250 Akeshi, Yosano, Yoza-gun, Kyoto

    Support Fund: ¥300

    Official Website: http://jitokuin.com

     

     

    Nariaiji Temple

    Nariaiji Temple, located in Kyoto Prefecture’s city of Miyazu, is an ancient temple betwixt mountains overlooking Amanohashidate, one of Japan’s “Three Scenic Views.” It’s home to a grand 5-storey pagoda which is surrounded by hundreds of maple trees, offering an incredible, quintessentially Japanese view during autumn.

    During the day, you can snap some gorgeous photos with the Sea of Japan and Amanohashidate in the back. For two nights only, on Saturday November 9 and Sunday November 10, the entire area will be beautifully lit up with warm illuminations.

     

    ▼Nariaiji Temple

    Light-Up Period: November 9, 2019 – November 10, 2019

    Light-Up Time: Sunset – 21:00 (Temple is open 08:00-16:30)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Late November

    Address: 339 Nariaiji, Miyazu, Kyoto

    Price: ¥500

    Official Website: http://www.nariaiji.jp/

     

     

    Kasagiyama Prefectural Natural Park

    Kasagiyama Prefectural Natural Park: is located atop Mt. Kasagi and is also home to Kasagi-dera, a temple with a 1,300-year history. During autumn, one entire side of the park is dyed in autumnal colours.

    This November, the area will be lit up for a limited period, offering a gorgeous view from the mountain peak of the trees below as well as the flowing Kizugawa river.

     

    ▼Kasagiyama Prefectural Natural Park

    Light-Up Period: November 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019

    Light-Up Time: 17:00-21:00 (Temple is open 09:00-16:00)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Mid November

    Address: Mt. Kasagi, Kasagi, Soraku District, Kyoto

    Price: Illuminations – Free / Temple – Adults ¥300, Children ¥100

    Official Website: https://www.kasagidera.or.jp

     

     

    Yokokuji Temple

    Normally, the Joshoin at Yokokuji Templeーalso known as Yanagidani Kannonーonly opens on the 17th of every month. But for a special autumn event, it is now open every day up until December 1. The beauty of its autumn colours have come to be enjoyed by VIPs, dating back to the pre-war period when it was designated as a place of scenic beauty. For more details on this event, click here.

     

    Yanagidani Kannon Autumn Colours Week

    Running: November 2, 2019 – December 1, 2019

    Time: 9:00-16:00 (Joshoin open 10:00-15:00)

    Location: Yanagidani Kannon, Yokokuji Temple (Dōnotani-2 Jōdodani, Nagaokakyo, Kyoto)

    Entry Price: ¥300

    Full Ticket: ¥1,100→¥1,100 (Includes entry to multiple areas)

    Official Website: http://yanagidani.jp/

     

     

    Take the time to enjoy an autumnal Kyoto this year at one of the city’s seasonal events.

  • Kyoto Sightseeing | Yokokuji Temple’s Autumn Event Schedule Announced

    30.October.2019 | SPOT

    Yanagidani Kannon, also known as Yokokuji Temple, is located in Kyoto Prefecture’s city of Nagaokakyo and has been used as a place of prayer for many people with eye disease since the Heian Period. It is believed that praying at the temple will cure eye disease.

     

    For autumn-time this year, the temple is set to hold an event titled “Yanagidani Kannon Autumn Colours Week” from November 2 to December 1. With a seasonal schedule that includes illuminations in the gardens to a flower display at the temple water basin, if you’re looking for the must-visit locations in Kyoto this autumn, then you’ll want to add Yokokuji Temple to your list.

     

    Jodoen Garden Illuminations

    Last year’s popular light-up event is making a return for 2019, with gorgeous illuminations developed by light designer Yuuki Kogawa which will brighten the area with an enchanting and mystifying aura different from a usual visit to the garden.

     

    Dates: November 8th, 15th, 22nd-23rd

    Time: 17:30-18:30  (Reception open from 17:00)

    Price: ¥2,500 (Includes limited edition goshuin stamp)

    No. of People: 20 (Bookings Only)

    Bookings: https://yanagidani.jp/contact/

     

    Special Opening of the Joshoin

    Normally, the Joshoin only opens on the 17th of every month, but for this autumn week event, it will be open every day. It’s an area normally limited to officials and those in the imperial family. The beauty of its autumn colours have come to be enjoyed by VIPs, dating back to the pre-war period when it was designated as a place of scenic beauty.

     

    Hanachomizu Flower Water Basin

    At every temple and shrine in Japan there is a water basin which you are to use to cleanse yourself before entering. The Hanachomizu has become hugely popular on social media since the name first appeared 3 years ago, where leaves and flowers are placed into the basin. It has become adopted at temples across the country, with the one at Yokokuji Temple starting the trend. When it was first posted onto social media, it received reactions from over 80,000 people both in Japan and overseas. The flowers used change with the seasons, from hydrangeas to maple leaves.

     

    Limited Edition Goshuin Stamp Book Designs – Garasha Matsuri & More

    Visitors will be able to pick up limited-edition goshuin stamp books which never fail to sell out whenever they are released. Goshuin are collectable stamps/seals at temples around Japan. They are ¥500 each and limited in stock.

    This is just a small peek into what’s to come during Yanagidani Kannon Autumn Colours Week. If you’re in Kyoto, make sure you pay a visit to Yokokuji Temple.

  • Starbucks Japan Reveals Christmas Strawberry Cake Frappuccino

    28.October.2019 | FOOD

    The holiday season at Starbucks in Japan is set to begin on November 1 when it will begin rolling out new drinks and products celebrating those special moments during Christmas, such as when making a toast at a party, or switching on the Christmas lights.

    Merry Strawberry Cake Frappuccino – Tall ¥590 (Tall size only)

    The first of the Starbucks holiday season beverages is the Merry Strawberry Cake Frappuccino. This drink is layered beautifully and temptingly like a cake in a cup, containing a strawberry sauce made from fresh strawberry pieces, a sponge cake crumble made with thinly crushed shortbread and sponge cake, and topped with whipped cream and freeze-dried strawberries.

    Merry Strawberry Cake Milk – Short ¥450/Tall ¥490/Grande ¥530/Venti® ¥570

    There’s also a hot version, filled the same sweet and sour strawberry sauce and delicious sponge cake that melt together deliciously with the milk. This one’s a no-coffee beverage made with lots of steamed milk. One sip will make your eyes widen at how fruity the strawberries are, as well as the richness of the fluffy whipped cream. It’s like Christmas cake and hot milk in your mouth at the same time.

     

    These two beverages are just the first release of drinks to come in Starbucks Japan’s holiday season beverage line. Feel the Christmas spirit and warm yourself up this autumn and winter by stopping by Starbucks.

  • 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)

  • Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea Release Winter Clothing Collection

    19.October.2019 | FASHION

    Tokyo Disney Resort dropped its new “White x White” collection of warm and fluffy clothing for the winter season yesterday (October 18). The 16 item line-up incorporates different materials perfect for the cold weather, like sheep boa, corduroy, knitwear, and more.

    Mittens – ¥2,500

    These cute mittens are fitted with bonbons inspired by Mickey Mouse’s ears.

    Since these are mittens, you can take your fingers out if you need them to check your phone!

    Hat – ¥2,900

    The hat is made from sheep boa and corduroy and the ear parts can be worn up or down. When worn up, both sides reveal a Mickey Mouse hand design.

    Earmuffs – ¥2,400

    The collection also includes earmuffs and a tote bag made from fur, a corduroy Minnie Mouse headband, and other snow-white items fitting for wintertime.

    Women’s Coat – ¥11,800 (Medium/Large)

    Women’s Jacket – ¥9,800 (Medium/Large)

    Both the coat and jacket will go on sale on November 1. They are both made from sheep boa and have cute Mickey Mouse quilting on the front.

    Stay warm this winter with Tokyo Disney Resort’s White x White collection.

     

    *Product designs and prices subject to change without notice

    *Available while supplies last

    ©️Disney

  • 3 Must-Visit Locations to See Kyoto’s Autumn Colours at Night in 2019

    17.October.2019 | SPOT

    Kyoto is known as the ancient capital of Japan. It is said to be the place where quintessential Japanese culture started, and has charmed the world over with its incredibly rich 1,200-year history.

     

    Autumn is a popular season in Japan, especially amongst tourists and travellers. While in spring you have the bright pink cherry blossoms, when autumntime rolls around, the trees turn into enchanting reds and yellows. People from around the world flock to see this incredible sight, with Kyoto being a very popular location.

     

    KYOTO SIDE, a regional information website run by Kyoto Prefecture, has listed a number of must-visit places around the city for seeing the autumn foliage, which is known as koyo in Japanese. Of course, viewing the beautiful colours of the trees and their leaves is a must during the daytime, but seeing them in the evening has become popular in recent years too. It offers you an entirely different experience and atmosphere. Here’s three places you should jot down for your Kyoto trip this autumn.

     

    Jitokuin Temple: A place of rest created by the chief priest and locals

    Jitokuin Temple is located in the town of Yosano in Yosa District. Maple trees were planted almost 11 years ago with the help of locals and the chief priest to create local ties. Every autumn, the trees behind the mountain bloom in vivid hues, leading the temple to be nicknamed “Koyo-ji,” or “Temple of Autumn.” The locals work hard in the surrounding gardens day by day, so the sights change a little bit every year.

    The maple trees are planted in a way that it looks like they take an entire side of the mountain. They are a sight to be hold during the day, but for one week in November there will be illuminations in the evenings, creating a magical scene under the night sky.

     

    Light-Up Period: November 9, 2019 – November 16, 2019

    Light-Up Time: 17:00-20:00 (Temple is open 09:00-20:00)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Mid November

    Address: 2250 Akeshi, Yosano, Yoza-gun, Kyoto

    Support Fund: ¥300

    Official Website: http://jitokuin.com

     

    Nariaiji Temple: The 5-storey pagoda comes together with the autumn colours

    Nariaiji Temple, located in Kyoto Prefecture’s city of Miyazu, is an ancient temple betwixt mountains overlooking Amanohashidate, one of Japan’s “Three Scenic Views.” It’s home to a grand 5-storey pagoda which is surrounded by hundreds of maple trees, offering an incredible, quintessentially Japanese view during autumn.

    During the day, you can snap some gorgeous photos with the Sea of Japan and Amanohashidate in the back. For two nights only, on Saturday November 9 and Sunday November 10, the entire area will be beautifully lit up with warm illuminations.

     

    Light-Up Period: November 9, 2019 – November 10, 2019

    Light-Up Time: Sunset – 21:00 (Temple is open 08:00-16:30)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Late November

    Address: 339 Nariaiji, Miyazu, Kyoto

    Price: ¥500

    Official Website: http://www.nariaiji.jp/

     

    Kasagiyama Prefectural Natural Park: A bright-red landscape from the mountain peak

    Kasagiyama Prefectural Natural Park: is located atop Mt. Kasagi and is also home to Kasagi-dera, a temple with a 1,300-year history. During autumn, one entire side of the park is dyed in autumnal colours.

    This November, the area will be lit up for a limited period, offering a gorgeous view from the mountain peak of the trees below as well as the flowing Kizugawa river.

     

    Light-Up Period: November 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019

    Light-Up Time: 17:00-21:00 (Temple is open 09:00-16:00)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Mid November

    Address: Mt. Kasagi, Kasagi, Soraku District, Kyoto

    Price: Illuminations – Free / Temple – Adults ¥300, Children ¥100

    Official Website: https://www.kasagidera.or.jp

     

     

    See Japan’s autumn colours in an entirely new way this year at one of Kyoto’s many autumn-time illumination events.

  • Starbucks Japan Unveils Halloween Dark Night Frappuccino®

    17.October.2019 | FOOD

    Starbucks Coffee Japan has announced a new beverage called the Halloween Dark Night Frappuccino® which will be released at Starbucks branches (*1) across Japan from 17:22 (*2)―the time of sunset when night begins―on October 18, 2019. The coffee chain is also releasing its new “Halloween Masquerade” filter on Instagram (*3).

     

    *1. Select branches not participating.
    *2. Roll out time may differ at select branches.
    *3. Instagram is a service owned by Facebook, Inc. The above-mentioned filter is not backed or managed by Instagram in any way nor is it affiliated with the service.

    The Halloween Dark Night Frappuccino® is themed on an evening masquerade party. It will go on sale when the sun sets at 17:22 on October 18. As the name suggests, the drink itself is black and mysterious like the night, blending together black cocoa powder with white chocolate brownie.

     

    The jet black beverage also has a red hue to it which comes from a sweet and sour red berry sauce made from raspberries, cranberries and strawberries. It’s topped with a squirt of fluffy whipped cream, sprinkled with black cocoa powder, and drizzled with more of that red berry sauce to create that Halloween aesthetic. The black cocoa adds a delicious bitterness to the sweetness of the brownie and the sweet and sour mixed berries, creating a mouth-watering flavour combination.

     

    The Halloween Masquerade filter was developed by Starbucks for people’s Instagram stories this Halloween. There are four masks to choose from which can be changed by just tapping on the screen. There are other cool Halloween effects on the filter to find too. Something might even pop out of your mouth if you open wide…

    Starbucks Japan will also sell the above-pictured Halloween cup stands when the drinks go on sale. Limited in stock, the stands come in black and white, titled Halloween Red Night Frappuccino® or the Halloween Dark Night Frappuccino® respectively. You can buy them separately or as a set.

     

    Experience a spooky masquerade party at Starbucks this Halloween.

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