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

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  • Naruto Themed Hotel Room Opens at GRAND CHARIOT Hokutoshichisei 135° in Japan

    02.June.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    GRAND CHARIOT Hokutoshichisei 135°, a hotel and glamping facility located in Awaji, Hyogo, opened its new Naruto-themed room on June 1, 2020.

    The room, called “Hokage no Bessou” (Hokage’s Villa), is renovated from one of the resort’s buildings, and aims to plunge guests into the world of ninjas.

    The room takes inspiration from the Hidden Leaf Village and its characters, with references to the series and recreated scenes littered throughout. It also offers exclusive amenities for guests to enjoy.

    Guests who stay in the Naruto room will receive a free ticket to the popular “Naruto & Boruto Shinobi Zato” attraction at the anime theme park Nijigen no Mori on Awaji Island where the hotel is located.

     

    ⒸMasashi Kishimoto Scott / Shuiehsa・TV Tokyo・Pierrot

  • Japan Coronavirus: Room for Rescue Project Provides Free Accommodation to Foreigners Who Can’t Get Home

    01.May.2020 | SPOT

    With flights cancelled around the world, it is becoming increasingly harder for foreigners to return home from Japan, resulting in them being forced to change their plans, extend their stay, and live every day in stress and uncertainty. To lend a helping hand to foreign travellers in this stressful time, three accommodation companies Slacktide Co., Ltd, Shared Value Co.,Ltd. and Life Bonds, LLC, who manage Kaname Inn Tatemachi, Sakura Cross Hotel and BONDS HOUSE respectively, have launched a joint accommodation project called “Room for Rescue” which provides free accommodation to international visitors who cannot return home as a result of the current travel restrictions.

    This collaborative project was launched to ensure that foreign travellers don’t feel like their trip to Japan was a bad experience, which could be a reason to avoid visiting Japan again in the future and heavily impact the tourism industry.

    Tokyo:BONDS HOUSE

    Tokyo:Sakura Cross Hotel

    Kanazawa: KANAME INN

    Currently, three accommodations in Tokyo and one in Kanazawa have opened their doors to stranded foreigners.

     

    Room for Rescue: Request a Room

    https://kaname-inn.com/room-for-rescue/

     

    To apply for a room, you need a valid visa and a cancelled flight ticket which meets Room for Rescue’s criteria. For more information, please refer to the application page. The Room for Rescue project is also looking for more accommodations to join the fight against coronavirus and open their doors to stranded foreigners. If you own an accommodation in Japan and want to help foreign travellers, please apply using the link below.

     

    Become Part of Room for Rescue (for accommodation owners)
    https://kaname-inn.com/room-for-rescue/contact/

     

    If you are an individual who wants to support this project, please consider donating via their crowdfunding page mentioned in the information section below.

  • Tokyo’s National Museum of Nature and Science Launches YouTube Video Exhibition On Japanese Cherry Blossoms

    18.April.2020 | SPOT

    National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo has posted a new series on its YouTube channel entitled “Japanese Cherry Blossoms Illustrated by Ohta Yoai, a Pioneer of the Botanical Art in Japan.”

    In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Ueno-based museum was forced to close its doors to the public on February 29, 2020. The museum was originally scheduled to hold the “Japanese Cherry Blossoms Illustrated by Ohta Yoai, a Pioneer of the Botanical Art in Japan” exhibition at the museum itself from March 14 to April 12, but due to the closure it was not run.

     

    However, the exhibition planners still wanted people to see the content of the exhibition, and so they have posted three videos on YouTube to take viewers on a tour of it. The three videos, themed on “Botanical Art,” “Japanese Cherry Blossoms,” and “Ohta Yoai” are presented by Japanese botanist Masanobu Higuchi.

    In the first video, we are introduced to the exhibition’s theme of Japanese cherry blossoms. We get to see examples of cherry blossom collected by Tomitaro Makino, the father of Japanese botany.


    In the second video, we realm about what kind of person illustrator Ohta Yoai was, as well as botanist Jisaburo Ohwi. Both of them co-wrote the 1973 work Nihonzakura Shu (“A Collection of Japanese Cherry Blossoms”).


    In the third and final video, we get to see some of Ohta Yoai’s best pieces, along with explanations of what kinds of cherry blossoms they are.

  • 5 Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Hokkaido | 2020 Edition – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    04.April.2020 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Sapporo, Asahikawa, Abashiriーthe list goes on when it comes to incredible places to see the cherry blossoms in Hokkaido. And the best time to see them in Japan’s northernmost main island is May.

     

    Today, we are joined by Mirina, an Instagrammer who posts photos of tourist and sightseeing spots in Hokkaido that are rich in nature. She has shared her photos with us along with details of 5 must-visit famous cherry blossom sites in Hokkaido. Let’s take a look.

     

    Tokiwa Park

    Tokiwa Park is located in the city of Asahikawa, and is home to around 200 individual cherry trees of various kinds including the Yoshino cherry and ezo yamazakura. Weeping cherries also dangle their graceful branches around the lake, which you can sail through on a boat for an even more memorable cherry blossom experience. Tokiwa Park is also listed as one of Japan’s “100 City Parks,” so it’s one that needs to go on your list of sightseeing spots if you’re travelling to Hokkaido.

     

    Tokiwa Park

    Address: Tokiwakoen, Asahikawa, Hokkaido

    Access: 25-minutes on foot from Asahikawa Station (via JR Line). Alternatively, board the Tohoku Bus and get off at Tokiwa Park (常磐公園).

    Official Website: http://www.asahikawa-park.or.jp/

     

    Twin Harp Bridge

    This spot is also located in Asahikawa. It gets its name from how the bridge looks like two harps lined up next to each other. Twin Harp Bridge is also a popular place with the locals for celebrating Hanami in the spring season as cherry blossoms bloom in the vicinity of the bridge.

     

    Twin Harp Bridge

    Address: 4 Chome Toko 18 Jo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido to 5 Chome Kyokushin 1 Jo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido

    Access: 20-minutes by car from Asahikawa Airport / 15-minutes by car from Asahikawa Station

    Official Website: http://www.city.asahikawa.hokkaido.jp/files/tosi_kei/index.htm

     

    Kitoushi Forest Park – Family Village

    Located southeast of Asahikawa, Kitoushi Forest Park – Family Village offers views of ezo yamazakura as well as shibazakura moss phlox. Visitors can also have barbeques at the facility for an even better outdoor experience combining great food with cherry blossom viewing.

     

    Kitoushi Forest Park – Family Village (Kitoushi Shinrin Koen Kazokuryokomura)

    Address: 5 Gokita-44 Nishi, Higashikawa, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido

    Access: 40-minutes by car from Asahikawa Station

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

    More Information (English): http://www.asahikawa-tourism.com/asahikawa/asahikawa_sites/higashikawa/higashikawa_en.html

     

    Maruyama Park

    Maruyama Park is another famous cherry blossom site where Yoshino cherry trees and ezo yamazakura bloom. Compared to Asahikawa, the cherry blossoms here bloom a little earlier during spring. You’ll catch them from late April to early May. During the cherry blossom season, there is a place where fires can be lit, so you’ll catch people cooking up jingisukan, a type of Japanese mutton dish.

     

    Maruyama Park

    Address: Miyagaoka, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido

    Access: 5-minutes on foot from Maruyama-Kōen Station

    Official Website: http://www.sapporo.travel/find/nature-and-parks/maruyama_park/

     

    Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park

    Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park’s rolling hills offer a breathtaking view of shibazakura moss phlox cherry blossoms. The hills themselves aren’t steep, so the spectacle can be enjoyed from both the top and bottom of them. The Shibazakura Festival is also held between May and June.

     

    Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park

    Address: 393 Higashimokotosuehiro, Ozora, Abashiri-gun, Hokkaido

    Access: 30-minutes by cat from Abashiri Station. Alternatively, board the transit bus from Abashiri Station, get off at Higashimokotocho (東藻琴町). The park is a 5-mintue drive from here.

    Official Website: http://www.shibazakura.net/

     

    Photo:Mirina has visited many sightseeing spots in Hokkaido, so if you’re looking for more places to visit be sure to follow her on Instagram.

     

    Photos: Mirina Nishio

     

  • Travel Virtually to Japan’s City of Komoro in Nagano to See Cherry Blossoms, Soak in the Onsen & More

    02.April.2020 | SPOT

    Komoro Tourism Bureau has developed the new “Komoro Tourism Channel” using Voicy, a news and media site which reports spoken information online. The channel focuses on the latest information with regards to tourism in Komoro, and focuses on the city’s many different hot springs.

     

    About Komoro

    Komoro is a city in Nagano Prefecture. Komoro Castle is home to Kaikoen Park, which was chosen as the 100 best cherry blossom spots in Japan. The city also boasts a wide variety of onsen (hot springs) which offer amazing views and numerous different bathing experiences. Komoro Tourism Channel covers all of this and more.

     

    Komoro is about 2-hours by car via the Nerima Interchange on Kan-etsu Expressway. It’s also accessible from Tokyo via car. You can also reach it in around 24 minutes from Karuizawa Station via Shinano Railway.

     

    Delivering the sounds of the relaxing onsen from Komoro

    Komoro has eight water sources which provide water to its hot springs. The city sits 1,400 meters above sea level, from which each of its hot springs offer breathtaking views. The podcast on the hot springs, which is in Japanese, lets you feel like you’re experiencing them from your very own home. More podcasts on Komoro are planned to be released in the future, and QR codes will be implemented are various hotels and tourist facilities in Komoro which when scanned will offer voice guides to those places.

     

    Komoro Tourism Channel: https://voicy.jp/channel/1074

     

    The Komoro Tourism Bureau is coming up with measures to continue promoting the city during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As well as Komoro Tourism Channel, it is also releasing information on its website, Twitter page, and elsewhere.

     

    Kaikoen Park at Komoro Castle

    Kaikoen Park at Komoro Castle is a tourist hot spot in Komoro. The castle itself was chosen as one of Japan’s 100 most famous castle sites. It is also famous for the castle itself being situated lower than the town around the castle. Kaikoen Park was selected as one of Japan’s 100 best cherry blossom spots, where around 500 trees bloom Yoshino cherries, shidare-zakura, higan-zakura, and more through April every year. The “Komoro-yae-beni-share” tree is an endemic species of cherry tree to Komoro and has a deep pink colour. The park also has towering stone walls and is home to the the front castle gate.

     

    Komoro Castle Official Website (Japanese): https://www.komoro-tour.jp/castle/

    Komoro Castle Official Website (English): https://www.komoro-tour.jp/lg_en/

  • 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

    Amenities

    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?

  • See 3,000 Rhododendrons in Full Bloom at the Tsutsuji Garden by Lake Ashi in Hakone

    29.March.2020 | SPOT

    May is the most colourful time of the year at Hotel de Yama near Lake Ashi in Hakone, when a total of 3,000 rhododendronsーcomprised of 30 different typesーbloom their beautiful flowers in the large Tsutsuji Garden, where one can enjoy a great view of Mount Fuji and Lake Ashi.

     

    Tsutsuji Garden at Hotel de Yama

    “Tsutsuji” is the Japanese word for rhododendron. The Tsutsuji Garden at Hotel de Yama was once the villa of Koyata Iwasaki, “the fourth and last president of a unified Mitsubishi.” During that time, numerous varieties of rhododendrons were planted in the garden, which have since been maintained. There are plants amongst them that are over 100-years-old, ones that tower over the human stature, and more; with petals that bloom pink, red, purple, and white.

     

    A combined view of the kaleidoscopic rhododendrons and Mount Fuji

    The staff who are experts on the garden have set up two photo frame stands in two of the best spots in the garden for taking picturesque photos. Snap some Instagrammable and memories with the colourful rhododendrons and Mount Fuji together.

    Rhododendron Desserts: Saison a colorier – ¥1,634 / Tea Set – ¥2,360 (Before Tax)

    Salon de thé Rosage, the dessert restaurant that sits in front of the hotel, is serving up a new special dessert called “Saison a colorier” in line with the full bloom of the rhododendrons. It captures the colourful pink, red, white, and purple appearance of the flowers, and looks like a mini version of the hotel’s garden on your plate. The main part of the dessert is the tea mousse, which has a bright red colour as it is coated beautifully in a strawberry puree nappage. The tea used in the mouse is an original rhododendron blend exclusive to the restaurant.


    The white rhododendron dessert is a macaron that’s filled with raspberry sorbet. The red which contrasts with the white is a rhododendron milk tea cream and fresh raspberries. The rest of the plate is adorned with pink jelly and edible flowers. The perfect afternoon tea to finish off your time at Tsutsuji Garden.

  • 3 Must-Visit Cherry Blossoms Spots in Nagasaki Prefecture’s Hirado City | Spring 2020

    27.March.2020 | SPOT

    Spring has arrived in the city of Hirado, Nagasaki, which has been dyed a cherry blossom pink colour from the blossoming of the cherry trees. A simple glance at the signs of spring there is enough to have one feeling elated. It has also made the news that the budding of the cherry blossoms in Hirado has arrived earlier than usual.

     

    We’ve made a list of 3 popular spots to enjoy Hanami in Hirado this spring.

     

    Jigenzakura

    Jigenzakura is a single sakura tree that stands proud and majestic. Aged 140 years old, the tree is listed as a National Treasure of Hirado. It’s close to the Oshima variety of cherry tree, and was planted by Catholics who migrated to Japan at the beginning of the Meiji Period. A visit to Jigenzakura offers a splendid sight to behold as it blossoms in the ravine. The best time to see it in full bloom last year was March 31.

     

    Address: Kigatsucho, Hirado, Nagasaki (35-minutes from Hirado Bridge)

    Nagasaki Tabi Net: https://www.nagasaki-tabinet.com/guide/51690/

     

    Kameoka Shrine / Kameoka Park

    Kameoka Park is a famous cherry blossom site that’s adjacent to Hirado Castle. It’s home to around 1,000 sakura trees, which are best seen from the end of March to early April. It also has a very rare type of cherry blossom called the nidozaki-zakura which blooms twice. You can see these around mid-April at Kameoka Park.

     

    Address: 1458 Iwanouechō, Hirado, Nagasaki (7-minutes from Hirado Bridge)

    Nagasaki Tabi Net: https://www.nagasaki-tabinet.com/guide/370/

     

    Tabira Park

    Tabira Park is just over Hirado Bridge, and is a place where you can look out at both Hirado Bridge and Hirado Seto while gazing at the rows of cherry trees.

     

    Address: 823-1 Tabirachō Kotedamen, Hirado, Nagasaki (Next to Hirado Bridge)

    Official Website: http://nagasaki-park.or.jp/free/tabira

     

     

    Hirado is easy to get to, and is a must-visit not just for Hanami, but for the food and its rich history too.

  • Witness Mount Fuji and Fully Bloomed Cherry Blossoms at HOSHINOYA Fuji

    24.March.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    HOSHINOYA Fuji is offering a very special Hanami flower-viewing experience for guests from April 7 to 21 this year where they can observe the springtime cherry blossoms against the backdrop of Mount Fuji. Offers include cherry blossom desserts, a glamping experience inside a cabin eating curry while enjoying the scenery of the outdoors, a private outdoor dining dinner, and more.

     

    HOSHINOYA Fuji hails as Japan’s first luxury camping resort. Located on the hill overlooking Lake Kawaguchi near Mount Fuji. It offers the ultimate glamping experience, with a large outdoor terrace surrounded by nature, cabins that can be enjoyed throughout the year, and more. It’s difficult to go out and enjoy the cherry blossoms on the streets right now, but if you’d still like to enjoy spring safely with your special someone, then HOSHINOYA Fuji has created a special springtime experience.

     

    Sakura Apéro: Witness the cherry blossoms during sunset with desserts in hand

    “Sakura Apéro” is a chance to take a breather and enjoy all the beauties nature has to offer. It is held in the cabin area of HOSHINOYA Fuji under the towering cherry blossom trees. Sit back, relax, and enjoy an evening treat of cherry blossom flavoured bean paste rice cake, a cup of matcha milk or a matcha cocktail, and a front row seat of the cherry blossoms as the sun sets.

     

    Hanami on the terrace

    HOSHINOYA Fuji’s cabina area is built in such a way so that guests can enjoy an outdoor experience. One third of the cabin has a terrace area with an enormous window that looks out into the natural landscape. A fireplace and kotatsu is available so you can still enjoy the outdoors even inside while relaxing with a comfortable stay into the late nights. Some of the cabins offer a view of the surrounding cherry blossom trees, inviting spring into your room.

     

    Curry made on one of Mount Fuji’s lava plates

    At HOSHINOYA Fuji, guests can enjoy outdoor cooking in luxury be it in one of the cabins or the dining restaurant in the forest. Those who want to relax in a cabin are recommended the “Glamping Curry” at the terrace. You grill beef and vegetables yourself on a Mount Fuji lava plate and can combine five spices of your choice to create your own original flavour. In the outdoor dining area, which is exclusive to groups of guests, game meat is also served, such as boar and deer, as well as seasonal vegetables prepared in a dutch oven. For dessert, there’s cherry blossom flavoured ice cream. You can also make your own strawberry sauce using fresh strawberries over a fire to pour over your ice cream before topping it with matcha crumbles.

     

    Due to the ongoing situation surrounding the coronavirus, all guest rooms and public areas at all HOSHINOYA facilities are being thoroughly cleaned in line with the recommended guidelines to ensure the health and safety of guests and staff. Alcohol gel is available at all HOSHINOYA facilities, and staff’s health and hygiene are being consistently examined.

  • Pan Am to Release Travel Inspired Clothing Collection in Collaboration with MIZUNO

    22.March.2020 | FASHION

    Japanese sportswear brand Mizuno is collaborating with Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) to release a clothing collection called “52 Collaboration with PAN AM” in their “Go to by mizuno” series of lifestyle attire for active adults at the end of March. It will be available in Mizuno stores, Mizuno’s official online shop, and pop-up shops in Japan.

    Travel is the theme of the collection, and is the first co-developed line-up from “Go to by mizuno.” It incorporates the functionality of sportswear while promoting the fun and excitement of travel.

     

    What is Pan Am?

    Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was at the forefront of the airline industry during its 64-year run. It was the first company to adopt the Boeing 707 when it ordered 20 of them for commercial use in 1955. It became the world leading airline in both name and reality in the 1960s. In 1972, Idlewild Airport (now John F. Kennedy International Airport) became a hub for Pan Am, and they also set up a company building in Manhattan. The airline is still fondly remembered today, and is sure to be a name mentioned by those who have travelled around the world.

     

    Collaboration Items

    The clothing line-up of 38 itemsーspanning T-shirts, caps, socks, travel bags, and moreーfeatures the Pan Am logo and is made from waterproof and stretchy sports clothing that can be used for everyday wear.

  • 5 Must-Visit Cherry Blossom Spots in Toyota City in Aichi Prefecture For Hanami 2020

    21.March.2020 | SPOT

    Toyota in Aichi Prefecture is a city abundant with nature and one home to countless famous flower spots. Tourism Toyota has outlined a list of the perfect places to visit there this spring to enjoy viewing the cherry blossoms for this year’s Hanami.

     

    Asian Fawnlily | Korankei

    Korankei is a valley created by the Yodo River in Toyota, Aichi, and is said to be one of the best places in Japan to enjoy the autumn colours. In spring, an area covering 5,000m² blooms with beautiful Asian fawnlilies, dyeing the grass as a light purple carpet.

     

    Best Time To See: Mid March – Late March

    Location: Korankei, Iimori Asukecho, Toyota, Aichi

    Access: Board the Meitetsu Bus bound for Yamani (矢並線) at Toyotashi Station’s East Exit, get off at Korankei (香嵐渓), and walk for 10-minutes

    Official Website: https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/272/

     

    Cherry Blossoms & Spiraea Thunbergii | Aichi Greenery Center

     

    Every year at Aichi Greenery Center from late March to early April, the Spiraea Thunbergii, also known as Thunberg’s meadowsweet, blossom their white flowers in full along a path stretching 200 meters, which makes it look like the area is covered in snow. When the cherry blossoms bloom, their light pink flowers offer a beautiful contrast with the snowbound meadowsweet.

     

    Best Time To See: Late March – Early April

    Address: Saruta-21-1 Nishinakayamachō, Toyota, Aichi

    Access: Board the Oiden Bus bound for Fujioka/Toyota Via Nishinakayama (藤岡・豊田線(西中山経由)) and get off at the Greenery Center (緑化センター)

    Official Website: https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/277/

     

    Weeping Cherry Blossoms | Kaminaka

    Kaminaka is home to some incredible weeping cherry sights. Around 3,000 weeping cherry trees stretch 1km from the car park, dyeing the mountainous landscape white, red, and pink.

     

    Best Time To See: Early to Mid April

    Address: Makigahora Kaminakacho, Toyota, Aichi

    Access: 27km from Shidare Interchange (枝下IC) via Sarugata Green Road (猿投グリーンロード)

    Official Website: https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/225/

     

    Weeping Cherry Blossoms | Zuiryuji Temple & Daian-ji Temple

    Zuiryuji Temple is home to a weeping cherry tree that is said to be 400 years old. It is officially listed as a Natural Treasure of Aichi Prefecture. Its flowers are best enjoyed in early April when it offers a spectacular sight next to the temple gate.

     

    Daian-ji Temple also has an ancient weeping cherry tree that is 260 years old and listed as a National Treasure of Toyota. Another row of cherry trees are located next to it, wrapping the area in gorgeous pink hues. Both of these temple trees are also lit up in the evenings, offering a different kind of beautiful atmosphere from a daytime viewing.

     

    Best Time To See: Early April

    Address: Terayama-3 Inabuchō, Toyota, Aichi

    Access: Board the Oiden Bus [Kaisoku Inabu] at Toyotashi Station’s East Exit, get off at Dongurinoyu Mae (どんぐりの湯前), and walk for 10-minutes

    Official Websites:

    https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/39/ (Zuiryuji Temple)

    https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/697/ (Daian-ji Temple)

     

    Wisterias | Fuji no Kairo

    This 370-meter long path is known as Fuji no Kairo, or “Wisteria Corridor,” which is home to four different species of wisteria that bloom fully in the spring to the delight of those passing under it.

     

    Best Time To See: Late April – Early May

    Address: Mitsukuricho, Toyota, Aichi

    Access: Board the Oiden Bus bound for Fujioka/Toyota Via Kanocho (藤岡・豊田線(加納経由)) and get off at Toyota City Hall (藤岡支所). Change onto the Fuji Bus bound for Kawaguchi/Ino (川口・飯野線), then get off at Fuji no Kairo (ふじの回廊口).

    Official Website: https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/191/

  • Shirasagi Coffee: Ehime Prefecture’s Cafe Releases Springtime Cherry Blossom Menu

    21.March.2020 | FOOD

    Shirasagi Coffee, a cafe in Ehime Prefecture, has released a new seasonal menu full of strawberries and cherry blossoms to commemorate the spring season.

     

    Shirasagi Coffee’s logo features a heron, a reference to a legend that says the locals of Matsuyama in Ehime noticed that a white heron healed its injured leg by bathing in the hot springs of Dōgo Onsen, one of the oldest hot springs in  Japan. The cafe was renovated using furniture made from scrap wood from when Dōgo Onsen was built. It’s an artistic cafe that has garnered much attention from both locals and tourists.

    Thick-Cut Natural Yeast Toast

    This thick-sliced bread is provided by Panya Uzu, a bread shop also in Matsuyama, Ehime. Perfect for breakfast or lunch, it’s topped with a cherry blossom jam and mascarpone cheese cream.

    Top: Cream Soda / Right: Cherry Blossom Tea Latte / Left: Cherry Blossom & Strawberry Mint Sour

    This line-up of three drinks are made using seasonal strawberries grown in Ehime Prefecture.

    Sweet Bavarois

    Bavarois is a classic dessert at Shirasagi Coffee, and this one is made using matcha grown in the village of Shingu in Ehime and is coated in a cherry blossom cream.

    Spring Madonna Parfait

    This limited-time parfait is stacked with 12 different ingredients of varying textures and flavours, including cherry blossom, as well as Ehime strawberries, chestnuts, and matcha. It’s the culmination of Ehime’s springtime ingredients.

    Takeout Drinks

    Mini Parfait

    The cafe also serves mini parfaits, drinks and other items for takeout. Pick something out and go and observe the cherry blossoms for Hanami at Dōgo Park.

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