Cosy Up in the Snow Huts This Winter at Hoshino Resorts KAI
17.November.2019 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts is once again bringing its kamakura snow huts to two of its KAI hotelsーa brand of hot spring hotels. You’ll catch them at Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru and Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps from February 1 to 29 next year.
KAI Tsugaru: Beautiful Koginzashi Stitched Lanterns Light Your Way
Koginzashi is a type of sashiko stitch work famous in the Tsugaru region. Japanese kogin designer Iemasa Yamahata has designed 50 beautiful Kogin lanterns for Hoshino Resorts’ KAI Tsugaru hot spring hotel, which is hidden away in the town of Owani in southern Tsugaru, Aomori.
When you arrive at KAI Tsugaru, follow the lanterns along the snow and you’ll arrive at the kamakuraーa type of Japanese igloo built in northern Japan for winter festivals. Multiple objects, big and small, have been designed with koginzashi, so guests can enjoy this beautiful art form.
Cosy up inside your secret snow hut and enjoy some tasty chocolate with cute koginzashi designs made by a local Japanese confectionery shop. Order a hot cocktail too made using apples grown in Aomoriーa prefecture famous across the country for its apples. There’s a non-alcoholic cocktail option too.
You’ll also find an original card game inside the huts created by the KAI Tsugaru staff. It’s called “Kogin Awase” and works like the card game Pairs. What could be better than sat warm inside an igloo, eating sweets and drinking while playing a card game?
KAI Alps: Enjoy Life as a Yukinko Snow Child
Turn back into a child and experience young life in the snow country of the Shinano Province (now Nagano Prefecture) with the Shinshū Kamakura Yukinko Experience.
In the harsh cold and knee-deep snow environment of Shinano, people would take anti-snow measures by wearing things like the straw raincoat known as a mino, a traditional winter coat called a hanten, and other things. Guests can do the same and dress up to become a child of the snow, known as a Yukinko. You’ll forget about the snow before you even realise it.
In old Japanese houses, friends and family would gather around an iroriーa sunken fireplace. You’ll find these dotted around the public space at KAI Alps too, where you can sit around and enjoy the crackling and warmth of the fire. There will also be hand warmers and shiruko sweet porridge too so you can rest assured you won’t go cold.
Experience life in the snow at Hoshino Resorts KAI this winter.
KAI Tsugaru – “Kogin Kamakura”
Running: February 1, 2020 – February 29, 2020 (Subject to change depending on snowfall)
Price: ¥1,500 per person (includes snow hut entry, confections, and 1 drink)
*Alcoholic/non-alcoholic cocktail options available
Reservations: Available from the front desk on the day
Address: Kamibotanmori-36-1 Ōwani, Ōwani-machi, Minamitsugaru District, Aomori Prefecture
KAI Alps – “Shinshū Kamakura Yukinko Experience”
Running: February 1, 2020 – February 29, 2020 (Subject to change depending on snowfall)
Time: Kamakura Light-Up 17:00-21:00 / Yukinko Dress-Up 15:00-21:00 / Winter Stroll Preparations 20:00-21:00
No. of People: 4
Reservations: Not required
Address: 2884-26 Taira, Ōmachi-shi, Nagano Prefecture
Hoshino Resorts KAI Official Website: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/brand/kai/
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
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)
▼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.
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.
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.
Former Shizutani School
Address: 784 Shizutani, Bizen, Okayama
Official Website: http://shizutani.jp/english/
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
Shinagawa Season Terrace Illumination 2019
Running: December 1, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Location: Shinagawa Season Terrace (1-2-70 Konan, Minato Ward, Tokyo)
Access: 6 minutes on foot from Shinagawa Station’s Konan Exit (JR Line side)
Event Website: https://sst-am.com/
*The event will take place if there is light rainfall but will be suspended in the case of stormy weather
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!
Krispy Kreme Premium Holiday Gorilla
Selling: November 1 – December 25, 2019
Price: ¥300 (Before Tax)
Krispy Kreme Premium Brûlée Glazed Fruity Sangria
Selling: November 1 – December 25, 2019 (Subject to change)
Price: ¥270 (Before Tax)
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts JR Nagoya Takashiyama, Nagoya
Address: JR Nagoya Takashiyama Kita Block 1st Floor, 1-1-4, Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 20:00
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Official Website: https://krispykreme.jp/
Starbucks to Release Two Anniversary Drinks in Kyoto and Hyogo for Only 10 Days
06.November.2019 | FOOD
Starbucks Coffee Japan is commemorating 20-years since opening their Kyoto and Hyogo Prefecture branches with a 10-day-limited anniversary project which will run from November 12 to November 21. The barristers of both prefectures rose to the challenge to come up with three anniversary drinks and a vote took place to decide on a winning drink for each prefecture. The winners were announced as the Kyoto Erai Matcha Matcha Frappuccino® and the Hyogo Bari Choco Haittou Frappuccino®.
* Update: Starbucks Coffee Japan has just announced that the 20-year commemoration drink sales period has been postponed. The new drink launch date and limited period is yet to be announced. For more information, please follow this link (Japanese only) : https://www.starbucks.co.jp/press_release/pr2020-3224.php
One sip of the Kyoto anniversary drink will send your taste buds on a journey to Kyoto. The ideas for the drink originated from the Kyoto Porta West branch. The barristers of Kyoto took it in their hands to interpret the culture of Kyoto in the form of a Starbucks drink by infusing the essence of Kyoto’s historical temples and elegant flavours. The taste of Starbucks’ popular Matcha Cream Frappuccino® can be tasted in the drink. Just seeing the green colour is enough to trigger memories of the Zen Buddhist temple Saiho-ji, which is famous for its moss garden to the extent that it is even called “Koke-dera”, meaning “moss temple”.
The whipped cream creates a contrast with the green matcha which will definitely spark memories of Ryoan-ji Zen temple in some keen Kyoto travellers. The drink is dusted with matcha and dark mocha powder, creating the image of green and brown leaves. The milk base fully enhances the matcha flavour. A creamy cloud of whipped cream and dusting of bitter matcha are layered to create a wonderful flavour adventure which is bound to take your taste buds on a journey off the beaten track.
Stretching from the north to the south of the Japan, Hyogo Prefecture is the largest prefecture in the Kinki region and is home to many towns which are bursting with originality. Hyogo’s barristers created their drink based on the concept of increasing love for Hyogo Prefecture’s unique towns. The idea for the Hyogo Bari Choco Haittou Frappuccino® came from the barristers of the Himeji Minami branch.
The Port of Kobe opened in 1868 and has since flourished as the gateway to the world. Foreign culture including western confectionary has since spread across Japan with Kobe as its starting point. Considering Kobe’s history with western culture and the cold winter days that lie ahead, chocolate was chosen as the main flavour. Chocolate chips, chocolate sauce and chocolate whipped cream decorate the drink in diversity. The drink is even topped with chocolate sauce and dark mocha powder, making the perfect luxury Frappuccino® to tempt all chocoholics. After just one sip, you will immediately fall in love with the top-class chocolatey flavour.
If you’re in Kyoto or Hyogo, make sure to stop by a Starbucks to get your fill of cultural flavours.
Kyoto Erai Matcha Matcha Frappuccino®
Price:¥590 (Tall, Before Tax)
Available at 33 Starbucks Cafes across Kyoto Prefecture
*Sales will end once stock has been fully depleted.
Hyogo Bari Choco Haittou Frappuccino®
Price:¥590 (Tall, Before Tax)
Available at 54 Starbucks Cafes across Hyogo Prefecture
*Please be aware that not all Starbucks Cafes sell the Hyogo Bari Choco Haittou Frappuccino®. Sales will end once stock has been fully depleted.
Release: Please follow this link for updates on the new sales period and start date (Japanese only):https://www.starbucks.co.jp/press_release/pr2020-3224.php
Starbucks Japan Official Website: https://www.starbucks.co.jp/en/
Hoshino Resorts to Open New Facilities in Okinawa, Hawaii & 3 More Places
28.October.2019 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts opened HOSHINOYA Guguan in Taiwan in June and Iriomotejima Hotel in Okinawa in October this year. It will also open Risonare Nasu in November. The hotel chain has now just announced that it will open 5 more new facilities in 2020, pushing the number of locations they manage up to 45 next year.
Hoshino Resorts prides itself on offering a hotel experience that makes use of local regions as well as offering unique experiences. With their catalogue of facilities now set to increase, the company has a released a video detailing the five new hotels.
The five new hotels will open in Hawaii, Nagato in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Tsuchira in Ibaraki Prefecture, Kohama Island in Okinawa Prefecture, and mainland Okinawa.
The Hawaii hotel, named Hoshino Resorts Surf Jack Hawaii, describes itself as an “ohana-friendly retro boutique hotel with a satisfying Waikiki experience.”
Nagato, Yamaguchi will give rise to the 16th hotel in Hoshino Resorts’ brand of KAI hotels, named KAI Nagato. It will open in the Yumoto Hot Spring area and be inspired by Yamaguchi’s traditional tea houses as well as buke samurai culture. Look forward to bathing in the hot springs of this traditional Japanese inn, steeped in history and culture.
Over in Ibaraki Prefecture, Hoshino Resorts will open Japan’s biggest cycling resort, named Hoshino Resort BEB5 Tsuchiura, which we covered earlier this month. It will act as a “base camp” to enjoy cycling, with its core concept being “more an izakaya and less travel-focused where you can enjoy a laid-back time with friends.” It hopes to put a new spin on travel by combining the worlds of cycling and accommodation.
Okinawa is getting three new hotels. Hoshino Resorts Risonare Kohama will feature 60 rooms each their own private villas. Its concept is “a private beach resort on a remote island swimming with the manta rays” and will offer a beach and resort-like experience to guests with views of the white sand and blue ocean.
HOSHINOYA Okinawa will be inspired by gusuku which refers to castles in the Ryukyu Islands that feature stone walls, with the hotel itself being enveloped in one. The hotel will be surrounded by the gorgeous ocean and coast, offering that quintessential Okinawan resort experience.
The tables at Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe will offer a breathtaking view of Okinawa’s grand seas, with a menu serving food and drink made with Okinawan ingredients.
2020 is looking to be a big year for Hoshino Resorts as it begins expansion. If you’re travelling to Japan, why not check if one of their hotels is near where you’re looking to stay?
Hoshino Resorts Official Website: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/
Natural Ice Area to Open at KERA-IKE Ice Rink in Karuizawa Hoshino Forest Area
23.October.2019 | SPOT
The “Natural Ice” area is set to return to KERA-IKE Ice Rink, an outdoor ice skating area managed by Hoshino Resorts, again this winter, something made possible only by the cold winter weather and without cooling devices.
KERA-IKE Ice Rink is connected to the Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary where countless wild birds and animals roam free. The ice rink opened for the winter season last Friday (October 18) and will run until March 8 next year.
The rink is formed of two areas: the “Man-made Area” which is made together with the cold air and the help of cooling devices, and the “Natural Area,” which appears only during the coldest time of winter and sees the water freeze up naturally, allowing people to skate across 1,080 square meters of land. This Natural Area will open on December 20 and run until February 20, 2020.
Stroll across the forest’s icy landscape
The freedom of skating across the natural ice is like taking a stroll through the forest. Enjoy skating around the little islands in the middle of the lake and finding the fallen leaves from the forest trees locked inside the ice.
Enjoy hot drinks with the sound of the wild birds as your soundtrack
Enjoy a coffee or hot chocolate at the neighbouring cafe. We recommend getting the Wild Bird Cafe Latte which comes with four different latte art designs of the wild birds you’ll often spot around the ice rink. The drink can be enjoyed in the cafe or can be taken out so you can enjoy sipping it on the benches on top of the ice.
Wild Bird Cafe Latte – ¥600 (Tax Included)
Coffee/Hot Chocolate – ¥500 (Tax Included)
Couples can enjoy the “Starry Sky Nighter Skate” Valentine’s event
For Valentine’s season, the ice rink has a special event in store for couples: the first ever “Starry Sky Nighter Skate.” Not only do they get the luxury of skating after-hours, they can also bask under the radiance of Karuizawa’s incredible star-filled sky. There will also be a guide providing commentary on the stars. After the event, all lights will be turned off to allow everyone to enjoy the pure light of the stars.
There will also be hot chocolate with heart-shaped marshmallows for the Valentine’s event.
Starry Sky Nighter Skate
Running: February 10, 2020 – February 16, 2020
Time: 17:30-19:00 (Reception open 17:00)
Price: ¥3,500 per person (Includes skating fee, skate rental fee, drink, binoculars, and consumption tax)
Age: 18+ years
Reservations: By 17:00 the same day by telephone or online. Reservations are mandatory.
Capacity: 20 per day (Must book for at least 2 people)
Kera-Ike Ice Rink Natural Area
Running: December 20, 2019 – February 20, 2020
*Man-made area running October 18, 2019 – March 8, 2020 (Except November 20, 2019, and January 7-9, 2020)
Price: General (Junior High Schol students and older) – ¥1,900 / Elementary School Students and younger – ¥1,300
Official Website: http://www.hoshino-area.jp/archives/area/skate
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
Available: Town Center Fashions at Tokyo Disneyland® / Figaro’s Clothiers at Tokyo DisneySea®
Indulge in a Strawberry Heaven at Hoshino Resorts KAI in Tochigi Prefecture
A new hotel plan has arrived at three branches of Hoshino Resort’s hot spring hotel brand KAI in Tochigi Prefecture where guests can enjoy the luxury of strawberries together with their stay. Tochigi is famous for growing strawberries, and so all three hotels will serve up their own unique succulent strawberry experiences. The branches in question are KAI Kawaji, KAI Kinugawa, and KAI Nikko.
For roughly the past 50 years, Tochigi has enjoyed the largest cultivation of strawberries in the whole of Japan. Hoshino Resorts KAI is taking advantage of this milestone by presenting guests with a strawberry experience they won’t forget, with the delicious fruit comprising the whole of their stay from checking in to checking out. Each hotel branch will have different varieties of strawberries in stock, and guests will discover new ways to enjoy them. They will also be presented a map highlighting different locations to indulge in strawberry desserts, so they can carry on their fruitful after checking out on the road home too.
KAI Kawaji: Strawberry Picking at a Japanese-Style Hot Spring Inn
KAI Kawaji’s “Satoyama Ichigo Taizai” (Satoyama Strawberry Stay) plan offers a one-night stay with a strawberry picking session by the watermill in the hotel grounds. The strawberries there are juicy and sweet and ripen on the stalks. During your stay, you can go and pick them at your leisure. The strawberries grown there are a variety called tochiotome which have a full-bodied aroma are sweet with the perfect amount of sourness. In the evenings, a sunken hearth will be lit at the watermill so you can stay warm in the fresh winter outdoors while you pick your strawberries. Guests can also enjoy a strawberry sweet red-bean soup made with rare white strawberries which came out as a new variety of Tochigi Prefecture strawberry in 2018. They have less sourness and are super sweet with a smooth texture.
Running: January 15, 2020 – February 29, 2020 (Check In)
Price: From ¥25,000 (1 room for up to 2 people / Service charge included / Tax not included)
Reservations/Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/kawaji/
KAI Kinugawa: Taste and compare seasonal strawberries
KAI Kinugawa’s “Mingei Ichigo Taizai” (Folk Craft Strawberry Stay) plan will see the appearance of the tochihime strawberry which has been dubbed the “phantom strawberry.” This sweet variety is large and has a soft flesh and is exclusive to Tochigi. Guests will be able to taste and compare this and a handful of other types, as well as tuck into various strawberry confections. They will pick from 300 cute different bowls from the bowl gallery and pile inside them strawberries and assorted confections. In the evenings, strawberries will also be served boiled in white wine. A two-day and one-night experience you’d expect from the place that boasts the biggest strawberry haul in Japan.
Running: December 10, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Check In)
Price: From ¥29,000 (1 room for up to 2 people / Service charge included / Tax not included)
Reservations/Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/kinugawa/
Note: Limited to 5 separate bookings per day
KAI Nikko: Revel in wintertime Okunikko
KAI Nikko is located beside the grand Lake Chūzenji. Their “Zekkei Ichigo Taizai” (Spectacular View Strawberry Stay) plan will see their lobby, which offers a panoramic view of Mount Nantai, turn into a tearoom inspired by the rest stops of Nikkomou, an event that took place during the Edo Period when the Tokugawa Shogunate made their pilgrimage to Nikko. Guests can enjoy the contrast between the setting sun and the snow, as well as the pink-coloured sky when morning breaks. Taking place between sunset and sunrise, guests can tuck into rare white strawberries and warm confections made with yōkan―a Japanese jellied dessert made from red bean paste, agar, and sugar―which is a local specialty of Nikko.
Running: December 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Check In)
Price: From ¥28,000 (1 room for up to 2 people / Service charge included / Tax not included)
Reservations/Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/nikko/
Note: Limited to 2 separate bookings per day
Enjoy you’re a seasonal strawberry fill like never before at Hoshino Resorts KAI.
Hoshino Resorts KAI
Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/en/
Hirosaki Castle Chrysanthemum and Autumn Foliage Festival Begins on October 18
13.October.2019 | SPOT
This year’s Hirosaki Castle Chrysanthemum and Autumn Foliage Festival is set to take place in Hirosaki, Aomori from October 18 to November 10.
The festival is held annually every autumn and has been since 1962. It has become a festival deeply tied to autumntime Hirosaki, with 1,000 vivid chrysanthemum trees set to bloom at Hirosaki Park this year in addition to 2,600 cherry blossom trees, which in springtime were pink and will now turn red and yellow for the autumn season.
After the sun sets during the event, the castle, park and surrounding areas will be lit up with enchanting illuminations, reflecting off the trees and surface of the moat, lending even more beauty to the area.
Hirosaki Castle Chrysanthemum and Autumn Foliage Festival
Running: October 18, 2019 – November 10, 2019
Location: Hirosaki Castle Botanical Garden in Hirosaki Park
General (High School Students and older) – ¥320
Children (Junior High School students and younger) – ¥100
*The illuminations will run from sunset to 21:00
Gaze Over a Sea of Clouds at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu’s New Cloud Bar in HokkaidoThis year’s winter season program at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu―Hokkaido’s leading snow resort hotel―is set to begin on December 1. As part of the program, the Muhyou Terrace will open on the same day and run until April 5, 2020. The terrace offers a snow-covered picturesque view from atop the mountain where you can see a sea of clouds and the snow-tipped trees at the bottom.Muhyou Terrace sits on Mount Tomamu up 1,088 meters high. When you picture snowy mountains, especially those in Hokkaido, you imagine people skiing and snowboarding. But for Hoshino Resorts Tomamu, this is only part of their goal. They also want guests to enjoy the beauty of the mountain’s natural landscape including the breathtaking view of the scenery below. That’s why they decided to open Muhyou Terrace. As well as the daytime scenery, the terrace has also been turning on illuminations every winter night since 2017, offering a new perspective on the surrounding splendour.The Cloud Bar which opened just up the slope of the Muhyou Terrace this summer features a 13 meter-long counter with chairs from which customers can soak up an incredible view. The bar has options of one or two-seat areas and can seat up to 7 people at once. There is a ladder attached to the chairs. Once you’ve climbed up and plopped yourself down you get a front row seat to the sights below. And since the bar is attached to the slope of the mountain and there’s nothing to obstruct your view, it will feel like you’re floating on the clouds as your feet kick the emptiness below.Snow Cocktail – ¥1,200Muhyou Terrace will offer its own original cocktail called the Snow Cocktail which is inspired by the snowy landscapes at Tomamu. This drink is a margarita made with lime juice and cointreau. Inside is a sprig of rosemary made to look like the Ezo spruce trees at the site. The snowman is in fact made of chocolate. Enjoy the best of both worlds when it comes to flavour and finesse!Frosted Coffee – ¥500 / Frosted Fondant Chocolate – ¥600They also have specially-made chocolate fondant and coffee to warm you up. The chocolate fondant is a warm cake topped with a white chocolate snowflake and is coupled with snow-frosted chocolate branches. The coffee is covered with pure white frosty amezaiku candy. The coffee sweetens as the candy melts into your cup.The terrace’s observation points, including the Cloud Walk and Cloud Bar, will be lit up with sparkling illuminations in the cool evenings.Illumination Dates: December 15, 2019 – December 25, 2019Times: Please check the official website
Running: December 1, 2019 – April 5, 2020Time: 8:00-15:00*Last entries to the gondola from the foot of the mountain at 15:00*Last entries to the gondola from the top of the mountain at 15:3Price: Gondola Return Ticket – General ¥2,200 / Elementary School Children ¥1,300 (Tax Included)*Free for guests at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu The Tower and Hoshino Resorts RISONARE TomamuEntry: Available to guests and non-guestsOfficial Website: https://www.snowtomamu.jp/summer/en/*Select services and programs subject to change*Site may close in the case of bad weather
Soak in the Hot Springs and Enjoy the Luxurious Local Cuisine at Hoshino Resorts in Yamaguchi Prefecture
On March 12, 2020, Hoshino Resorts will open a brand new resort around Yumoto Hot Spring (Nagato, Yamaguchi prefecture). Following plans for a new hot spring district in Nagato that were created in January 2020, Hoshino’s hot spring resort brand KAI will be opening a resort in Nagato with numerous spa facilities. With the cooperation of the local government and community, this plan has been put into action.
As part of the masterplan, Hoshino KAI Nagato will include a cafe called Agebono Cafe. This will be the first KAI resort to extend their cafe services to non-guests. The cafe will sell sweet dorayaki pancakes that guests can enjoy while strolling the streets of the hot spring district.
KAI is a hot spring ryokan brand owned by Hoshino Resorts and can be found all over Japan. The theme of KAI resorts is traditional yet new. Although the room designs are inspired by nature and old and traditional Japanese culture, they cater to the needs of modern guests.
KAI Nagato is the 16th hot spring resort of Hoshino KAI. It is located in the north of Yamaguchi prefecture and is surrounded by grand mountains. The resort sits by the peaceful Otozure River which is the main source of hot spring water for Yumoto Hot Spring. KAI Nagato is located where Agebono bridge stretches across the river. The resort aims to provide guests with an enriching experience of Yamaguchi’s traditional old tea house residences (Ochaya Yashiki) as well as the opportunity to indulge in the regions finest traditional culture, food and experiences. From the lobby to the guest rooms, the resort is full of Yamaguchi’s samurai culture.
KAI Guest Room
The designs for the guest rooms were inspired by Yamaguchi’s samurai. Each room is fit for a Feudal Lord. The beds are located on flooring which is slightly higher than the rest of the room. The surrounding wooden pillars create a luxurious private atmosphere.
Patterned Wall Decoration
The wall behind the bed is decorated with Tokujihori washi paper which is a type of Japanese paper unique to Yamaguchi prefecture and has a history dating back to the Muromachi period over 800 years ago. This special paper has even been acknowledged as an Intangible Cultural Asset to Japan. The beautiful dainty paper has been dyed a variety of bright and elegant colours to create this beautiful masterpiece.
Hagi Ware *This is currently still in production so the appearance may vary.
The room even has a Tokonoma, which is a small alcove where artistic pieces are displayed. Old Hagi ware, which was traditionally used for tea-making, is displayed here.
Luxury Banquet for One
Enjoy a luxurious banquet for one made with locally sourced seasonal ingredients in a semi-private dining space. Each meal is served on a dainty dish. As Yamaguchi Prefecture is the second largest squid producer in the country, KAI Nagato serves the region’s highly-praised Yamaguchi squid as an appetizer and as sashimi. The sweet, soft and chunky squid will leave your mouth watering for more. The dinner set also includes a range of pickled vegetables and a luxurious plate of seasonal sushi and sashimi. All dishes are served in special Hagi ware.
KAI Nagato was created to fulfil the goal of creating a relaxing hot spring district where visitors can stroll for a relaxing break. KAI has taken one more step towards achieving this goal by creating the Agebono Cafe, which is the first ever KAI cafe to extend its services to non-guests .
The cafe serves Japanese dorayaki pancakes with sweet jam fillings made using Yamaguchi’s original citrus fruits such as Yamaguchi’s original Nagato Yuzukichi and the Natsu Mikan. The Natsu Mikan was introduced to Japan from overseas and is now cultivated in Yamaguchi prefecture. Enjoy the refreshing tangy citrus flavour of Yamaguchi prefecture as it perfectly balances with the sweet jam flavour. This is best enjoyed with a cafe latte.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Nagato is packed with the cultural wonders and flavours of the region. Take a moment to relax in the Yumoto Hot Spring and explore the culture of Japan.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Nagato
Address: 2229-1 Fukagawayumoto, Nagato, Yamaguchi 759-4103
Open: March 12, 2020
Reservations Open: November 12, 2019
Telephone Number: 0570-073-022 (Hoshino Resorts Reservations Centre)
Price: From ¥22,000 per night (Based on the price per person for one room with two guests. Includes service fee, dinner and breakfast. Tax not included.)
Access: 60-minute drive from JR Shinyamaguchi Station, 90-minute drive from Yamaguchi Ube Airport.
Japan’s Biggest Cycling Resort Hotel Hoshino Resort BEB5 Tsuchiura to Open in Ibaraki
03.October.2019 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts is set to open Japan’s biggest cycling resort, named Hoshino Resort BEB5 Tsuchiura, at PLAY atré TSUCHIURA on March 19, 2020. The establishment will open right when PLAY atré TSUCHIURA celebrates its 2nd anniversary―after having opened back in 2018―and will be the fourth cycling hotel by Hoshino Resorts to open. It will act as a “base camp” to enjoy cycling, and the start point to the 180km Tsukuba Lake Kasumigaura Ring Ring Road cycling course.
PLAY atré TSUCHIURA is a 49-minute train ride from Tokyo and is directly connected to the station, making access very easy. It is home to Tsukuba Kasumigaura Ring Ring Road, one of Japan’s prominent cycling courses that runs past many gorgeous natural landscapes, including Lake Kasumigaura and Mount Tsukuba. It is becoming one of Japan’s foremost cycling facilities, catering to the needs of all cyclists.
1F BIKE BASE / Ring Ring Square Tsuchiura
2F & 3F
This cosy and casual hotel is the perfect choice for travellers looking to cycle and go sightseeing in Japan.
Hoshino Resort BEB5 Tsuchiura
Grand Opening: March 19, 2020
Price: 1 night from ¥6,000 (up to 2 people per room/tax not included/food charged separately)
Bookings: Now Open
Official Website: https://hoshinoresorts.com/ja/hotels/beb5tsuchiura
Indulge in the Best of Japan’s Nature this Autumn at Hoshino Resorts
03.October.2019 | SPOT
KAI is a hot spring ryokan brand of Hoshino Resorts which provides the perfect Japanese accommodation experience to enhance your stay. This autumn, KAI is providing guests with an enhanced seasonal experience to fully embrace the beautiful golden and amber autumn atmosphere. Spend some time soaking in the hot springs, taste the finest ingredients of the autumn season and even explore the unique features of the area through art. Hoshino Resorts is offering you a completely unique trip this autumn.
KAI Autumn Plans are being implemented at the following resorts: KAI Hakone, KAI Sengokuhara, KAI Aso, Kai Alps, KAI Kinugawa River, KAI Tsugaru and KAI Kawaji.
Hoshino KAI Japanese Autumn Onsen Ryokan Plans 2019
Hoshino Resorts released a video to show how their different accommodation features allow for guests to maximise their Japanese autumn experience. Today, we will be introducing just one autumn activity that you can experience at each of the resorts.
Autumn Leaf Illumination at KAI Hakone Miyanoshita, Kanagawa
Estimated best time to visit: Late November to early December
From September 6 to December 7, 2019, there will be a beautiful autumn leaf illumination display taking place around the open air baths, which is the perfect opportunity to relax under the auburn atmosphere of autumn. The autumn leaves fall at different times all over the Hakone region due to the mountainous and hilly terrain. This prolonged autumn season provides plenty of opportunities to watch the beautiful illumination display as you enjoy a moment of serenity, soaking in the soothing springs surrounded by the stunning scenery.
Illumination Times: 16:00 – 01:00
Paint the Picturesque Autumntime at KAI Sengokuhara, Kanagawa
Estimated best time to visit: Mid November- End November
Enjoying a relaxing soak at KAI Sengokuhara Hot Springs is the perfect way to appreciate the picturesque view of any season. On September 1, 2019, they introduced the perfect accommodation plan to fully relax their guests.
The guest rooms are equipped with traveller’s art supplies. From the gorgeous terrace view to the outdoor hot spring view, guests are provided with the opportunity to capture the beauty of the surrounding nature in their own way wherever they feel like it. The autumn view outside every single guest room is breathtaking ― the perfect opportunity for the guests to refresh and relax their minds with a beautiful painting.
Autumn Leaf Artwork
Available to customers who check in between September 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019
Price: From ¥43,400
*Price based on the price per guest per night for a two-person room. Tax and service charge not included.
Includes: Room fee, dinner, breakfast, rental art set and art museum tickets
Your Own Private Outdoor Natural View at Okomori Koyo Onsen KAI Aso (Senomoto Hot Springs, Oita Prefecture)
Estimated best time to visit: Mid October – early November
KAI Aso is located in Kuju National Park. Each guest room is surrounded by a lush forest, creating the perfect opportunity to soak in the hot springs and take in the beautiful view of the autumn leaves with lots of privacy.
In the outdoor hot spring, guests can enjoy the beautiful faint yellow Mongolian oak and the natural red leaves. Guests can also get a Japanese citrus bathing set which is scented using a range of Japanese citrus fruits to further enhance your natural autumn colour experience. The guest rooms are equipped with coffee sets which you can enjoy whilst bathing.
Available to customers who check in between October 1 and 31.
Price: From ¥46,480
*Based on the price per person per night in a 2-person room. Tax and service charge not included.
Includes: Room fee, dinner, breakfast, bathing set (1 set per room), coffee beans, Aso spring water pet bottle and a range of hot spring rental items: (Pillow for hot spring use, waterproof book cover, coffee mill and coffee dripper)
KAI Reservations Telephone Number: 0570-073-011
Please check KAI’s official website to find out more about the wide range of autumn plans on offer.
Hoshino Resorts Kai
Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/
A Magical Ice Village is Forming This Winter at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu in Hokkaido
01.September.2019 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts Tomamu―one of Hokkaido’s leading snow resorts―is set to open a new area called the Ice Village this winter. It will run for a limited time from December 10 to March 14.
The Ice Village spans coolly across 3.2 hectares of land and is home to 11 domes made entirely of ice. This winter-only experience has been running every year since 1998. Made to look like a real village, some of its iconic sights include the Ice Church and Ice Hotel which can be found at the very back. Everything from the towering ceilings to the walls are formed solely of ice.
The main street, named fittingly the “Ice Street,” includes a cafe, gallery, shops and more, all enveloped in a chilly white world.
Ice Crystal Park: A New Addition to the Ice Village to Gaze at the Sights and Scenery
The Ice Crystal Park is frozen over with tables and chairs made of ice and has snowflakes dotted here and there, creating a true winter wonderland. Order a hot drink from the Ice Bakery & Cafe or munch on a tasty treat from the Ice Sweets Shop as you sit and gaze at the snow-covered landscape of the Ice Village while surrounded by towering white birch trees. And everyday at 19:30, a 5-minute firework show will warm up the winter sky which is best enjoyed while sitting in the park.
Bite Down Frosty Treats at the Ice Sweets Shop
It wouldn’t be a complete Ice Village without its own glacial cuisine. At the Ice Sweets Shop you can order ice cream which is made from liquid milk on an ice block. The temperature of the air coupled with the frozen coolness of the ice block causes the milk to freeze into a yummy dessert. There’s also chocolate ice bars made from hot chocolate, colourful macarons, toasted marshmallows, and more.
Time: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:00)
Price: Milk Gelato – from ¥1,100 / Macarons ¥550 / Ice Bar ¥550 / Marshmallows ¥550 (*All prices include tax)
Grab a Drink From the Ice Bar
The village even has its own Ice Bar, complete with an ice counter and ice cellar for serving sake. This year, the bar will serve an all-new original gin drink made using snowmelt from Tomamu. There are over 50 drinks to pick from, including original cocktails, whisky, and more.
Time: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:45)
Price: Original Gin – ¥1,650 / Drinks With Ice Glass – from ¥1,100 (*All prices include tax)
There are many other exciting things to find at the ice village, including the Ice Hotel which you can sleep in, the Ice Atelier, and more. Have a reason to go out this winter by visiting the Ice Village in Hokkaido.
Running: December 10, 2019 – March 14, 2019
Location: Hoshino Resorts Tomamu area
Time: 17:00-22:00 (Last Entries 21:30)
Entry Price: Elementary School Children & Older – ¥500 (Tax Included) *Free for guests staying at Tomamu The Tower or RISONARE Tomamu
Available: To both guests and visitors
Notes: Times, prices etc may vary depending on each service or activity. Select services and activities are subject to changes depending on weather conditions. Certain services and activities scheduled to start at later dates.
Hoshino Resorts Tomamu / Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Tomamu
Address: Nakatomamu, Shimukappu, Yufutsu District, Hokkaido
Official Website (English): https://www.snowtomamu.jp/winter/en/