Autumn in Aichi: Cherry Blossoms and Maples at Obara Shikizakura Matsuri & Korankei Maple Festival

15.November.2019 | SPOT

Early November marks the opening of the autumn cherry blossoms in Obaracho, Toyota. By the time mid-November rolls around, close to 10,000 shikizakura cherry blossoms bloom a pale pink until the end of the month.

The Yoshino cherry bears its pink petals in springtime, but the shikizakura blossoms twice a year: first in spring, then in autumn. They are considered one of the most beautiful flowers of autumn, especially when they bloom against the gorgeous and vibrant red maple leaves. The Obara Shikizakura Matsuri began on November 1, and right now, you can witness this spectacle for yourself.

The shikizakura trees planted in Obara have been there since Kansei era (1789-1801). With the helping hand of locals, the trees have become one of Japan’s most famous shikizakura spots. They were designated as Chiku (District) Trees in 1978 and can be seen throughout the entire district. Some of the trees are over 100 years old and as such registered as Natural Monuments of Aichi prefecture.

 

This is a spot we highly recommend visiting when travelling to Aichi.

 

▼Obara Shikizakura Cherry Blossoms

Peak Blossom Time: From Mid-November

Locations:

441-1 Johei, Obaracho, Toyota, Aichi (Obara Fureai Park)

Senmichi, Toyota, Aichi (Senmi Shikizakura no Sato)

Access: Take the Toyota Oiden Bus bound for Kaminigi (上仁木行き) and get off at Obaraokusa (小原大草) or Kaminigi (上仁木)

Details:  http://www.kankou-obara.toyota.aichi.jp/

 

▼Obara Shikizakura Matsuri

Running: November 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019

Locations: Senmi Shikizakura no Sato, Obara Fureai Park, and elsewhere in the region

Notes: The Kururin Bus can be boarded for free on weekends and public holidays while the festival is on

Official Website: https://www.aichi-now.jp/spots/detail/132/

 

The Korankei Maple Festival is also taking place this month where you can witness around 40,000 maple trees bearing their gorgeous autumn foliage.

The trees are being lit up every night for the month of November. Watch the sun set before the illuminations are turned on, creating an enchanting atmosphere with the warm, radiating lights against the night sky.

 

▼Maple Trees

Peak Blossom Time: From Mid-November

Location:  Iimori Asukecho, Toyota, Aichi

Access: Ride the Meitetsu Mikawa Line to Toyotashi Station, change onto Meitetsu Bus, and alight at Korankei (香嵐渓)

Official Website:  http://asuke.info/korankei/

 

▼64th Korankei Maple Festival

Running: November 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019

Location: Around Iimori Asukecho, Toyota, Aichi

Light-Up: Sunset to 21:00

Access: 20 minutes from Sarugata Green Road Interchange / 20 minutes from Toyota-Kanpachi Interchange

Official Website: http://asuke.info/event/nov/entry-705.html

 

Witness two of Japan’s most celebrates treesーthe cherry blossom and the mapleーflower together in one place in Aichi.

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • See the Breathtaking Autumn Foliage of the Former Shizutani School in Okayama

    14.November.2019 | SPOT

    The Former Shizutani School, recognised as the oldest school existing for commoners in Japan, has reached its peak season for autumn foliage. Speficially, for the Chinese pistache tree, which is a symbol of the school.

    Shizutani School first opened in 1670 during the Kambun era. In 2015, it was registered as an Educational Heritage Site from Early-Modern Japan. The majority of the site is listed as an Important Cultural Property, including the temple, Shizutani Shrine, as well as the auditorium which is considered a national treasure.

     

    The school’s surrounding natural landscape enjoys the blooming of many different flowers throughout the entire year which people flock to see. It’s especially famous for autumn, a season during which the enchanting red and yellow hues boas their beautiful blossom.

    The three colours reflect from the lacquered flooring of the auditorium, rippling like ocean waves.

    The beautiful contrast between the reds and yellows of the pistaches can be enjoyed during autumn-time only. The best time to see them is from now until November 20, so if you’re travelling to Okayama, be sure to pay the Former Shizutani School a visit.

  • 5 Must-Visit Spots in Kyoto For Autumn Scenery: Floor Reflections to Flowery Temple Water Basins

    10.November.2019 | SPOT

    Kyoto’s autumn hues have enchanted travellers, tourists and locals alike for untold years. Today, we are joined by Macchan, an Instagrammer who has provided us with their incredible photographs of Kyoto’s breathtaking autumnal scenery. Take note of these locations for your next trip!

     

    Wachu-an, Notre Dame Jogakuin Junior and Senior High School

    Wachu-an is a merchant and heritage home with a long history dating back to the early days of the Showa Period (1926–1989). It’s normally off-limits to the public, but opens during autumntime for everyone to visit. This year, it will be open from November 22 to December 1.

    Trickling away in the large gardens is a small river, and enveloped in the gorgeous greenery connected to a passage on the slant of the foothill is the reception hall and a western-style house. When autumn rolls around, visitors enjoy the beautifully polished veranda of the Japanese-style room together with the floor of the western-style building which reflects the surrounding sights beautifully.

     

    Wachu-an, Notre Dame Jogakuin Junior and Senior High School

    Autumn Opening: November 22, 2019 – December 1, 2019

    Time: 10:00-16:00

    Address: 110 Shishigatani Sakuradanicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto

    Price: ¥600 (Discount for groups of 15+) / Free for junior high school students and younger

    Access:

    ① 9 minutes on foot from the “Shinnyodomae” or “Kinrin Shako Mae” bus stops via the Kyoto City Bus 5 from Kyoto Station

    ② 7 minutes on foot from “Miyanomaecho” bus stop via the Kyoto City Bus 100 from Kyoto Station

    ③ 9 minutes on foot from the “Shinnyodomae” or “Kinrin Shako Mae” bus stops via the Kyoto City Bus 93 or 204 from Jingū-Marutamachi Station (Keihan Electric Railway)

    ④ 5 minutes on foot from the “Kami Miyanomaecho” bus stop via the Kyoto City Bus 32 from Kyoto-kawaramachi Station (Hankyu Railway)

    ⑤ 9 minutes on foot from the “Shinnyodomae” or “Kinrin Shako Mae” bus stops via the Kyoto City Bus 203 from Kyoto-kawaramachi Station (Hankyu Railway)

     

    Yokokuji Temple

    Yanagidani Kannon, also known as Yokokuji Temple, is holding the event “Yanagidani Kannon Autumn Colours Week” from November 2 to December 1. It includes special access to the Joshoin which is normally closed to the public, workshops, flower decorations at the temple’s purifying water basin, and more.

    Enjoy the beautiful natural landscape surrounding the temple, dyed in the red and yellow hues of autumn. 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)

    Access: 15 minutes by taxi from Nagaokakyo Station (JR Line) / 10 minutes by taxi from Nishiyama Tennozan Station

    Official Website: http://yanagidani.jp/

     

    Shinnyo-dō Temple (Shinshōgokuraku-ji)

    Shinnyo-dō Temple is a famous sightseeing spot during autumn as tourists and locals flock to see autumn fall around the ancient structure. From mid-November, the maple and ginkgo trees blossom from their beautiful buds along the stone path leading up to the temple.

    The three-storied pagoda is a sight to behold during this time of the year, as is the carpet of fallen leaves behind the main temple which symbolises the curtain call of autumn. On average, the autumn foliage can be observed until early December here every year.

     

    Shinnyo-dō Temple (Shinshōgokuraku-ji)

    Address: 82 Jōdoji Shinnyochō, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 9:00-16:00 (Reception open until 15:45)

    *Restricted access to the garden and Shoin on November 10 and December  8

    Price: ¥1,000 (¥900 for elementary school children, free for those younger)

    Access:

    ①Take the Kyoto City Bus 5, 17 or 100 bound for Ginkaku-ji (銀閣寺行き) from Kyoto Station and alight at Kinrin Shako Mae from which it is an 8 minute walk

    Official Website: https://shin-nyo-do.jp/

     

    Konzoji Temple

    This quiet little mountain temple sits tucked away halfway up the mountain known as Koshioyama. The temple as it is today was restored in the Edo Period. It’s a popular hiking spot amongst travellers as it offers a panoramic view of the Kyoto Basin (京都盆地), but it also attracts a lot of visitors during the autumn season.

    The reflection of the autumn foliage from the water is nothing short of breathtaking. The hike up is tiring, but worth it, so if you’ve the stamina we highly recommend putting this one on your list. You won’t be disappointed.

     

    Konzoji Temple

    Address: 1639 Ōharano Ishizukurichō, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Donation Fee: ¥200

    Access:

    ①Take the Hankyu Bus 65 from Mukōmachi Station (JR Tōkaidō Main Line) or Higashi-Mukō Station (Hankyu Railway) and get off at the last stop, Minamikasugacho (南春日町), after about 25 minutes. It’s then a 60-70 minute walk from there.

    ②Board the Keihan Kyoto Bus at the East Exit of Katsura Station that is bound for Oharano & Nagamine (大原野・長峰). Get off at the last stop, Nagamine, and it’s a 50-60 minute walk.

     

    Byodoin Temple

    Byodoin Temple, listed as a World Heritage Site, is also a popular spot in the fall. You can take some spectacular photos of the temple from across the lake. The height of the autumn foliage this year is late November to early December.

    There is more information on the foliage dates on the official website, so be sure to check it out before visiting at the link below.

     

    Byodoin Temple

    Address: Renge-116 Uji, Kyoto

    Price: General ¥600 / Junior High School Students ¥400 / Elementary School Students ¥300 (*Includes garden and Byodoin Museum access)

    Access:

    ①10 minutes on foot from Uji Station via the JR Nara Line from Kyoto Station

    ②10 minutes on foot from Uji Station via the Keihan Main Line from Gion-Shijo Station

    Foliage Info: https://www.byodoin.or.jp/flower/

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

     

    If you want more information about Kyoto on the best spots to visit, be sure to follow Macchan on Instagram.

     

    Photos: Macchan

  • Witness the Breathtaking Illuminations and Tokyo City Night Lights at Shinagawa Season Terrace Illumination 2019

    10.November.2019 | SPOT

    Shinagawa Season Terrace Illumination 2019 is set to run from December 1 to 25.

    The event will take place at Shinagawa Season Terrace, a towering office building in Tokyo, where the rolling grass lawn will be lit up beautifully with enchanting blue lights. They offer a breathtaking view against the city nightscape of Tokyo’s skyscrapers. Last year’s event saw nearly 17,000 people in attendance.

    2019 marks the 4th run of the event, and this year, the long staircase leading up to the lawn will also be lit up, welcoming visitors to see the illuminations from their first step upon arrival. The lights will flicker in 10 different patterns from the first floor (ground floor) up to the second.

     

    Entry is free, and visitors will be able enjoy an unbroken view of the structural spectacle that is Tokyo Tower too. If you’re in Tokyo this December, be sure to mark Shinagawa Season Terrace Illumination 2019 in your calendar for the holiday season.

     

    *Pictured photos are for illustrative purposes only

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop Opens in Haneda Airport

    27.February.2020 | SPOT

    Tokyo Toyko, a website that provides information on things to do in Japan’s capital, opened its own souvenir shop, called Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop, in EDO KOJI on February 22, 2020, which is located on the fourth floor of Haneda Airport International Passenger Terminal.

    As part of an effort to promote the appeals of Tokyo to the world, Tokyo Metropolis is carrying our PR work and branding with the catchphrase “Tokyo Tokyo Old meets New.”

    Happy Daruma / Mamehapi

    Edo Kimekomi Waving Cat

    The “Tokyo Omiyage Seisaku Project” aims to develop products in collaboration with Tokyo Metropolis and local businesses with the “Tokyo Tokyo” brand. To date, 50 products (excluding colour variations) have been produced, from traditional crafts to stationery, food, and moreーall embodying the spirit of Tokyo.

    The shop design features illustrations of Asakusa and Shibuya, two a symbols of Tokyo that have been around since the Edo Period and are and hub of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture respectively. The shop is also planning to hold workshops, where you can learn to make your own daruma and origami.

     

    If you’re travelling to or from Haneda Airport, then be sure to pay a visit to Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop where you can pick up souvenirs that combine traditional and contemporary culture.

  • Raise Your Own Sky Lantern at New Greenpia Tsunan in Niigata

    25.February.2020 | SPOT

    New Greenpia Tsunan, a resort facility in Tsunan, Niigata, is holding an exciting sky lantern event every day until March 31, 2020.

     

    The sky lantern event is held every winter at New Greenpia Tsunan, and has returned again for 2020. It began in 2012 as a means of showing respect for and praying for the revival of disaster-stricken areas, such as the areas affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, the Nagano and Niigata earthquake, and so on. Every year, couples and families come together to put their prayers and wishes into the lanterns before letting them go into the night sky. The countless lanterns raised at once soar up high and light up the black cloak of the night like burning stars.

    For 2020, the event will also sell lantern t-shirts, handkerchiefs, hand towels, cookies, and other themed items.

     

    If you’re travelling in or around Niigata in Japan this year, then don’t miss New Greenpia Tsunan’s very special winter event.

  • Japanese Hanami 2020: Soak Up the Pink Springtime Cherry Blossoms at Hoshino Resorts KAI

    24.February.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    KAI, a hot spring ryokan brand managed by Hoshino Resorts, has announced an exciting new experience at 14 of its branches called “Otsu na Hanami Tabi” (A Chic Flower-Viewing Trip) which will run from March 15, 2020 to May 31, 2020.

     

    The service offers a new kind of Hanami, or flower-viewing, experience for guests that doesn’t stop at just admiring the cherry blossoms, but enables them to enjoy both local history and customs too. Guests will be provided with a wicker basket of delicious Hanami goodies to enjoy, just like they did in the past.

     

    We’ve picked five of the Hoshino Resorts KAI hot spring inns that we think our readers will be most interested in. Let’s take a look!

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru | Aomori

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru is located in the town of Owani, which sits in southern Tsugaru in Aomori Prefecture. They are offering an exciting experience this May: “Shidare-zakura Hitorijime Taizai,” which lets a single group have exclusive access to an area of seven shidare-zakura weeping cherry trees blooming in the inn’s spacious garden, which sit far away from guest rooms. Those lucky enough to experience this service can sip on cider and tuck into some delicious apple pie while listening to a Tsugaru-style shamisen performance, known as tsugaru-jamisen.

     

    Shidare-zakura Hitorijime Taizai

    Running: May 1, 2020 – May 7, 2020

    Price: ¥5,000 per person

    No. of People: 1 group per day (2-4 people per group)

    Booking: 0570-073-011 (KAI Reservation Centre)

    Note: The tsugaru-jamisen performance will take place 15:30-16:30

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji | Tochigi


    Feel what it’s like to live the life of someone living in a satoyamaーa village centred around an agricultural lifestyleーby waking up with the sunrise to start work early. Your morning job will be making tea at the watermill. You will use traditional and ancient tools like the suribachi mortar and the houroku pan to make tea grown from tea leaves in the area which you can enjoy a cup of to start your Hanami. As well as making tea, you’ll be able to enjoy a quiet breakfast while gazing at the Yoshino cherry trees, so you can get that real satoyama spring experience.

     

    Running: April 18, 2020 – April 25, 2020

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Izumo | Shimane

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Izumo is located in Tamatsukuri Onsen in Shimane Prefecture, where all guest rooms have their own open-air bath. The hot spring ryokan’s “Sakura Koraku” experience gives you a chance to try wariko sobaーa style of soba noodles originating in Shimane’s city of Matsueーunder the cherry blossom trees.

     

    Sakura Koraku

    Running: April 1, 2020 – April 20, 2020

    Time: 15:00-19:00

    Price: ¥500 for one Hanami picnic set for two people (5 sets prepared per day)

    Booking: Hoshino Resorts KAI Izumo front reception

    Notes: Rickshaw will run from April 1, 2020 to April 7, 2020 costing ¥1,300 per person. 30 minute ride. 5 groups per day (2 people per group).

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Kaga | Ishikawa

    Head to one of Kaga’s famous weeping cherry blossom tree spots to enjoy a cup of Japanese tea prepared yourself. This plan offers the chance to experience Ishikawa culture in a spot that has been loved by locals for decades.

     

    Running: April 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso | Kumamoto

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso stands in Aso-Kuju National Park. Gaze at the five peaks of Mount Asoーthe largest active volcano in Japanーwhile sipping on water drawn from one of Japan’s 100 famous water sources. Change up the water of the water to your liking: carbonate it, add syrup, and so on. You’ll also get some refreshing fruits that have sat in carbonated water. Sit amongst the colourful flowers, like tulips and baby blue eyes, while soaking up the beautiful sights of Aso.

     

    Tansan Ohanami

    Running: April 20, 2020 – May 31, 2020

    Price: ¥3,000 per person

    No. of People: 3 groups per day (two people per group)

    Booking: 0570-073-011 (KAI Booking Centre)

    Note: In the case of rain, Tansan Ohanami will not run on that day

     

     

    This is just 5 of the 14 Hoshino Resorts KAI branches offering a chic Hanami experience. If you’re travelling to Japan this spring, be sure to check out what they’re offering.

  • GODIVA’s Irresistible Chocolixir Sakura Drink Available This Spring

    23.February.2020 | FOOD

    GODIVA Japan Inc. is releasing a new chocolate drink as part of their Chocolixir series. The new drink flavour “Chocolixir Sakura” will be sold from February 16 to April 9, 2020 at GODIVA shops only. 

    Chocolixir Sakura: ¥630 (Before Tax)

    Cherry blossom jelly and pink chocolate curls rest on top of a white cloud of whipped cream to create the appearance of cherry blossom petals. The drink creates the image of beautiful sakura petals as they reflect off the water’s surface, creating the warm image of the rays of the spring sun. The sweet aroma and creamy melt-in-the-mouth white chocolate is divine. This chilled drink also contains small pieces of smashed white chocolate, creating a fun texture in your mouth. 

     

    It looks just as wonderful as it tastes. One sip will fill your heart with the refreshing vibes of spring. GODIVA’s velvety smooth chocolate drinks are always to die for. You just have to try it. 

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

    23.February.2020 | SPOT

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

     

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

    Cherry Blossom Tayori

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

     

    Spilling Cherry Blossoms

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

     

    Dancing Cherry Blossom Garden

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

     

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

    Dolphin Performance Day Version – Cherry Blossom Dance

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

     

    Dolphin Performance Night Version – Cherry Blossom Story

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

     

    Jewellery Fish Rumble

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

     

    Katou Flower Lantern

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

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

    Sakura Mizu-warabi Rice Cake – ¥500

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

     

    *Photos are for illustrative purposes only

  • Kate Spade New York Reveals Japanese Cherry Blossom Inspired Collection

    22.February.2020 | FASHION

    Optimistic femininity is at the core of Kate Spade New York’s brand, and that is upheld with the revealing of their new “Cherry Blossom” collection which is set to drop this spring.

    Nicola Glass, the Creative Director at Kate Spade, was inspired to design the Cherry Blossom collection after her many times seeing her favourite flower, the Japanese cherry blossom, when visiting Japan. The colourful line-up features a variety of pink shades and flower prints.

    from left: molly cherry blossom large satchel in black ¥53,000, molly cherry blossom medium satchel in tutu pink ¥45,000, spencer cherry blossom zip around continental wallet in soft pink multi ¥31,000

    from left: spencer cherry blossom small dome cosmetic ¥11,000, spencer cherry blossom wrislet in soft pink multi ¥14,000, iphone case cherry blossom liquid glitter in clear multi ¥6,000


    Nine items adorn the floral collection, including two sachel bags, two wallets, two fragment card cases, a cosmetic pouch, key ring, and iPhone case. The collection will be released at Kate Spade New York stores in Japan (select branches not participating) on February 26, 2020. Japan will also get some exclusive colours not available anywhere else.

  • Starbucks Japan Reveals Cherry Frappuccino®ーThe Second Drink of Starbucks Sakura Season

    20.February.2020 | FOOD

    Starbucks Japan has announced that the second drink in its Sakura Season series of springtime cherry blossom drinks will be released on February 26, 2020. Named the “Sakura Sakuranbo Frappuccino®” (Cherry Blossom Cherry Frappuccino®), this tasty-looking drink is exclusive to Japan.

     

    Sakura Sakuranbo Frappuccino®—Savour the sweet and tangy fresh cherry pieces

    Sakura Sakuranbo Frappuccino® – Tall ¥590 (Before Tax) / Available: February 26, 2020 – March 12, 2020

    The new drink contains fresh and sweet cherry pieces. It uses a cherry blossom flavoured base together with strawberry milk, which adds a subtle flavour, and a sauce made from fresh cherries. Cherries in Japan also go by the name outou (桜桃), which has the Japanese kanji for sakura (cherry blossom) in it. This is because its roots come from the same family of roses.

     

    The drink has a unique sweet and sour punch to it, and one sip is enough to make you feel like spring is here. Topped with pink, white, or blue Japanese sugar candies known as konpeitō, this drink truly offers a toast to a kawaii Japanese spring.

     

    Customise your drink for free with “Sakura Toppings”

    Free Sakura Toppings / Available: February 26, 2020 – March 12, 2020

    For Sakura Season at Starbucks, customers can customise all drinks with two different colours of mochi pieces and dried raspberries shaped like cherry blossom petals. The coffee company highly recommend topping cappuccinos, white mochas, and matcha cream frappuccinos® with them. Make your drink your own!

     

     

    Starbucks is also releasing a new range of merchandise, such as mugs and tumblers, with theme “Spring Misty-Rain,” on February 26. These gorgeous designs are inspired by the light rainfall in spring which falls onto the cherry blossoms and grass and makes them glisten with the light. A new cherry blossom Starbucks Card will also be available to pick up for a limited time.

     

    Sakura Season at Starbucks is always a popular time in Japan, so if you’re planning a trip here for spring and are in need of a coffee top-up, then you’re in for a real treat.

  • ‘SAKURA Romantic Tea Party’ is Q-pot CAFE. Omotesando’s Newest Afternoon Tea Experience

    20.February.2020 | FOOD

    Q-pot. has revealed its new “SAKURA Romantic Tea Party” line-up which is set to be served at Q-pot CAFE. in Omotesando, Tokyo from March 1, 2020 for a limited time.

    The cherry blossom pink coloured and flavoured line-up includes a glamorous afternoon tea set, limited-edition parfaits, plated goodies, drinks, and more. “Romantic” is the key word for this beautiful Japanese springtime assortment.

    Romantic SAKURA Parfait w/ Drink – ¥1,850 (Tax Included)

    The tall Romantic SAKURA Parfait is layered with a mix of both Japanese and Wesrern flavours, built up delicious with cherry blossom cream cherry blossom petal-laced jelly, houjicha tea sauce and more, all of which is topped off with cherry blossom cookies and meringue.

    Romantic SAKURA Mont Blanc Plate w/ Drink – ¥2,060 (Tax Included)

    This plate of delight features a soft mont blanc made with cherry blossom bean paste cream, rich matcha chocolate, Japanese waguri chestnut, and chestnut cream. Q-pot. CAFE offers a selection of original macarons too which you can pick from including strawberry, chocolate, lemon, and melon. Feel the call of Japanese spring with this romantic cherry blossom mont blanc.

    Romantic SAKURA Afternoon Tea Set w/ Drink – ¥2,400 (Serves 1) (Tax Included) *Photo shows tea set for two

    Simply put: a colourful pink and romantic afternoon tea set.

    The top tier is decorated with cherry blossom St. Honoré cakes made with gorgeous cherry blossom cream, peach bavarois, strawberry cookies, and rich cream ganache-filled biscuits.

    The bottom tier includes fat croissants filled with duck pastrami and cucumber that has been dressed with white wine vinegar. They’re served together with a white asparagus cream potage soup and skewered olives, mini tomatoes and pickles, creating a truly gourmet addition to your afternoon tea experience.

    Romantic SAKURA Berry Blossom Tea (Hot/Iced) – ¥750 Each (Tax Included)

    There’s also a cute pink cherry blossom tea that can be served hot or iced. It’s made using Q-pot CAFE.’s popular “Flower Garden” flavour which has a refreshing after taste as well as a floral and fruity sweet scent. Added to it is cherry blossom and raspberry flavouring which mixes deliciously with the milk.

    Hanami Party Plan – ¥3,000 Per Person (Tax Included) *Reservation-only

    You can also book a special hanami party plan which adds a sparkling beverage to the afternoon tea set together with a a cherry blossom card and a crunchy meringue. You must reserve for 2+ people, making it perfect for enjoying together with a friend or special someone.

     

    It’s not long until March now, meaning springtime, cherry blossoms, and Hanami flower-viewing is just around the corner in Japan. Why not celebrate romantically at Q-pot CAFE.?

  • Starbucks Reserve®︎ Roastery Tokyo to Release Cherry Blossom Spring Drinks and Merchandise

    15.February.2020 | FOOD

    Starbucks Reserve®︎ Roastery Tokyo boasts the most incredible location, sitting by the side of Nakameguro, one of Tokyo’s most famous spots for seeing the cherry blossoms in spring.

     

    This year, the coffee roastery’s “Sakura Season” is set to begin on February 15, when its cherry blossom-inspired merchandise collection is released, along with a line-up of pink beverages and food.

    The official Starbucks sakura merchandise ranges from tumblers and mugs to a key ring, handkerchief, and more, for a total of 10 items.

    Strawberry Chia Oolong – ¥900

    Poppun Sakura Jasmine Tea – ¥950

    Floating Blossom – ¥900

    Six beautiful beverages from last year’s Sakura Season at Starbucks are also making a return from the Teavana™️ brand, made with delicate and soft cherries, hibiscus, and tea leaves as refreshing as green grass.

    Clockwise From Left: Gianchetti & Sakura – ¥880 / Mini Panettone Sakura – ¥680 / Cornetti Sakura – ¥380 / Maritozzo Sakura – ¥540

    Italian bakery Princi®︎ is also heading to Japan for the first time to serve up Italian food culture to people at Starbucks Reserve®︎ Roastery Tokyo. Enjoy the floral taste of cherry blossoms done in a Princi®︎ way.

     

    Heading to Tokyo for Hanami and the cherry blossoms? Then make a stop at Starbucks Reserve®︎ Roastery Tokyo for this year’s Sakura Season.

  • 5 Must-Eat Cherry Blossom Foods & Desserts at Hotels in Tokyo

    15.February.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    We’re keeping the cherry blossom theme running here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON as we approach spring. Today, we’re showcasing something for those planning a trip to Tokyo for the cherry blossom and Hanami season: 5 must-try cherry blossom foods and desserts served at hotels across Tokyo.

     

    Sakura Strawberry Afternoon Tea at InterContinental Tokyo Strings


    Sakura Strawberry Afternoon Tea – ¥4,800

    The fraisier is a strawberry cake said to represent the coming of spring in France. At Rhythmos, a cafe and bar at InterContinental Tokyo Strings, it’s served in a glass so you can see all the delicious insides, from the round-sliced strawberries to the beautiful green pistachio mousseline cream. The pure white crémet d’Anjou has a fluffy texture and is mixed with refreshing and sour strawberry and raspberry sauce which elevates the flavour of the fromage blanc.

     

    Other treats to pick from include the cherry blossom ganache tart which has a faint cherry blossom fragrance, cherry blossom and strawberry cream-stuffed macarons, strawberry daifuku, and more―all with spring flavours and colours.

     

    The savoury line-up too offers some elegant and unique items. There’s the sandwich wraps which include cherry blossom leaf-topped grilled chicken with a lining of shredded dried plum, strawberry ceviche with grilled scallops, and much more.

     

    ▶︎Sakura Strawberry Afternoon Tea

    Running: March 1, 2020 to April 30, 2020

    Location: Rhythmos Café and Bar (InterContinental Tokyo Strings)

    Time: 14:00-18:00 (Last Orders 16:30)

    Price: ¥4,800 per person

    Official Website: https://intercontinental-strings.jp/?updatelang=yes

     

    InterContinental Tokyo Strings

    Address: 2-16-1 Konan, Minato Ward, Tokyo

    Official Website: https://intercontinental-strings.jp/?updatelang=yes

     

    For more details, check out our previous article here: Cherry Blossom Themed Menu to be Served at InterContinental Tokyo Strings in Spring 2020

     

     

    Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea at Hotel Chinzaso Tokyo


    Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea

    On the top plate is a collection of four pink and white desserts. This includes some tempting macarons which are filled with a cherry blossom ganache. The macarons themselves are vanilla flavoured, packed with cherry blossom cream, and have prints of delicate cherry blossom flowers on them.

    On the lower tier are crunchy pie sandwiches filled with a cream cheese that is laced with cherry blossom leaves, while the bottom tier is an assortment that includes refreshing shrimp, grapefruit and asparagus sandwiches, and more.

     

    Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea

    Running: February 17, 2020 – April 12, 2020
    Time: 12:00-18:00
    *On weekdays between January 6, 2020 to February 28, 2020, the afternoon tea will be served from 14:30-18:00 due to the holding of the sweets buffet
    Location: Le Jardin at Hotel Chinzaso Tokyo
    Prices: Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea ¥4,000 / With Welcome Drink ¥4,500

     

    Hotel Chinzaso Tokyo

    Address: 2-10-8 Sekiguchi, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo

    Official Website (English): https://www.hotel-chinzanso-tokyo.com/

     

    For more details, check out our previous article here: Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea in Japan: Hotel Chinzaso Tokyo’s Beautiful Floral Menu

     

     

    Sakura Picnic Basket at Grand Hyatt Tokyo’s Steak House “The Oak Door”


    Sakura Picnic Basket – ¥5,500

    The Oak Door is noted for its use of high quality ingredients prepared in a dynamic way. This spring, they have the perfect pick to give you that feeling that the Japanese Hanami season is here with a cherry blossom picnic basket. This stylish selection has the lot: food, dessert, glasses, and cutlery. The burgers bear pink buns which are stuffed with prime beef patties, pastrami beef, and veg. They also have skewered vegetables too like radishes. Seeking that springtime sensation? Then order your very own Sakura Picnic Basket!

     

    ▼Sakura Picnic Basket at Grand Hyatt Tokyo’s Steak House “The Oak Door”

    Running: March 1, 2020 – Mid April 2020
    Time: 9:00〜22:00

    Price: ¥5,500

    Location: The Oak Door (Grand Hyatt Tokyo Floor 6F)

     

    Grand Hyatt Tokyo

    Address: 6-10-3 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo

    Official Website (English): https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/japan/grand-hyatt-tokyo/tyogh/offers

     

    Gorgeous Springtime Cherry Blossom Set at Keio Plaza Hotel

    At eight of Keio Plaza Hotel’s restaurantsーwhose menus span traditional Japanese dishes, French food, Chinese cuisineーthey are cooking up their own unique cherry blossom servings.


    “Kadode” Lunch & Dinner – ¥15,500 @ Soujuan

    A traditional kaiseki-style Japanese course consisting of a bounty of luxury ingredients like Japanese Black wagyu beef, caviar, and more.


    “contente” French Lunch – ¥9,000 @ Duo Fourchettes

    You need only look at the dishes served at Duo Fourchettes to understand the level of quality and beauty that goes into their dishes. This French lunch line-up is packed with plenty of seasonal spring ingredients, and there’s even a succulent strawberry-packed dessert to indulge in.

     

    ▼Gorgeous Springtime Cherry Blossom Set at Keio Plaza Hotel

    Running: March 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020
    Prices:
    “Kadode” Lunch & Dinner – ¥15,500 @ Soujuan
    “contente” French Lunch – ¥9,000 @ Duo Fourchettes

     

    Keio Plaza Hotel
    Address: 2-2-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo

    Official Website (English): https://www.keioplaza.com/

     

     

    Spring Sakura Sweets & Pastries at Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba

    At the “Bakery & Pastry Shop,” which is managed directly by the hotel, they have a beautiful choice of desserts perfect for Hanami flower-viewing.


    Sakura Opera – ¥610

    This three-layered cake is made up of matcha joconde biscuit, adzuki and cherry blossom butter cream, and strawberry jelly. It’s also topped with white chocolate by French premium chocolate company Valrhona.


    Spring Milk Cream – ¥320

    The pastry of these eclairs are made with plenty of milk and are filled with a homemade cherry blossom milk cream. The cherry blossom petals on top are pickled in salt to give a slight salty bite, contrasting deliciously with the sweetness of the cream.

     

    ▼Spring Sakura Sweets & Pastries at Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba

    Running: March 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020
    Time: 10:00-20:00
    Location: Bakery & Pastry Shop at Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba
    Prices:
    Sakura Opera – ¥610
    Spring Milk Cream – ¥320

     

    Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba
    Address: 2-6-1 Daiba, Minato Ward, Tokyo
    Official Website (English): https://www.tokyo.grandnikko.com/eng/

     

     

    Which of these picks has your mouth watering the most? If you’re travelling to Tokyo for the springtime cherry blossoms, why not book at one of these hotels and start your trip with a delicious sakura treat?

  • ART LAB KYOTO: The New Shop Opening at Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art

    14.February.2020 | SPOT

    ART LAB KYOTO is the new museum shop set to open at Kyocera Museum of Art on March 21, 2020 in line with the revamp currently undergoing at the museum, with design work being co-created by Japanese architects Jun Aoki and Tezzo Nishizawa.

    Kyoto is known as a hub of Japanese culture, managing to maintain traditions while constantly evolving. ART LAB KYOTO will embody everything about this idea when it opens after the museum’s revamp. The spacious shop will not only sell merchandise related to the exhibitions, but books and goods related to art from Kyoto both traditional and contemporary, items in collaboration with external artists, original and exclusive sweets, and more. ART LAB KYOTO will also host events promoting the diversity of art and culture in Kyoto.

  • Garrett Popcorn Reveals Cherry Blossom Pink Strawberry & White Chocolate Popcorn Flavour

    14.February.2020 | FOOD

    American gourmet popcorn brand Garrett Popcorn Shops® has revealed its new cherry blossom pink coloured, strawberry and white chocolate flavoured popcorn “Very Berry White Chocolate,” along with the new “Garrett Sakura Tin”ーboth of which will be released tomorrow on February 15 in limited quantities.

    Very Berry White Chocolate: Small ¥580/Medium ¥1,030/Large ¥1,670/Jumbo ¥3,300/Quarter Tin ¥1,700/1 Gallon Tin ¥4,300/2 Gallon Tin ¥8,250

    Also released for spring last year to overwhelming popularity, the “Very Berry White Chocolate” popcorn takes Garrett Popcorn’s fruity, sweet and sour “Strawberry Caramel Crisp™” flavour, coats it in sweet white chocolate, and sprinkles it with strawberry flakes to create a truly succulent strawberry treat, which is made even more delicious with the milk white chocolate. Its pink colour also brings to mind images of Japan’s cherry blossoms.

    Garrett Sakura Tin/Quarter Tin: From ¥1,130

    The Garrett Sakura Tin has been sold every spring since 2014, and makes a return once again for 2020, covered in beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom.

     

    The pink-on-pink combination is a great Valentine’s Day present, for a springtime movie nightーwhatever takes your fancy!

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