Watch the Stars and Snow Glow at the Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up in Karuizawa
20.November.2019 | SPOT
Throughout the year, Japanese people escape their busy city life to Karuizawa: a popular resort town hidden in the mountains near Nagano. From December 21, 2019 – February 15, 2020, Shiraito Falls located in Jōshin’etsu-kōgen National Park, Karuizawa will be holding the Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up, providing the perfect excuse for a soothing getaway.
The 3-metre-tall and 70-metre-wide Shiraito Falls does not freeze below freezing temperature as the water flows from a subterranean river of Mount Asama. The winter lighting will make the water glisten and the falling snow and starry night sky glow with the charm of winter.
This light up event is a follow up from last year’s illumination event. The Midwinter Light Up aims to make Shiraito Falls a beautiful tourist spot which can be enjoyed even on a winter night.
The Midwinter Light Up is one step ahead of the summer light up event which previously took place. To emphasise the beauty of nature, the illumination this time round will allows visitors to appreciate the starry night sky on a fine day and reveal the stunning natural scenery which is not visible during the daytime.
As the Shiraito Falls light up event will take place in Jōshin’etsu-kōgen National Park, the event contents were created strictly abiding the guidelines and regulations from the Ministry of the Environment. The quantity of light produced, its hues and even the way it is produced has been carefully considered, creating a light display that does not disrupt the natural environment.
This breathtaking light display will give you an entirely new perspective on the breathtaking winter scenery of Shiraito Falls and would be the perfect experience to share with your family or friends.
Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up
Location: Shiraito Falls, Karuizawa
Running on 18 days between December 21, 2019 and February 15, 2020
The running period is split into the following sessions:
・Christmas Session December 21 – 24, 2019
・New Year Session January 4 – 5, 2020
・Spring Festival Session February 1 – 2, 2020, February 7 – 11, 2020, February 14 – 15, 2020
* There will be no light up event on days other than those stated above.
* The light up event on February 15 is a Valentine’s Day special. This includes the display of an ice sculpture and the chance to meet Ruiza: Kauizawa’s mascot. Visitors will also be given a gift.
・Christmas Session 17:00 – 19:00
・New Year Session 17:00 – 19:00
・Spring Festival Session 17:30 – 19:30
Price: There is no entry fee. However, there is a fee to cross the toll road. (The price is subject to change)
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.
Roppongi Hills Christmas Market 2019: Authentic German Food, Christmas Ornaments, Desserts & More
Christmastime has fallen on Roppongi Hills as it kicked off Roppongi Hills Christmas 2019 on Monday. The event sees the return of the gorgeous Keyakizaka illuminations from last year.
Keyakizaka-dori Street runs almost 400 meters, along which “Snow & Blue” LED lights glow and glisten like frost-covered trees, turning the street into a winter wonderland. For 2019, a very special photo spot has been designed by Japanese illustrator Yu Nagaba as pictured above amongst the ocean of illuminations. Over on the West Walk, passersby will spot a draped Christmas tree.
Starting this Friday (November 15), more illuminations will light up over at Mori Garden, which will reflect enchantingly from the garden lake, and 66 Plaza will be lit up too. All of these illuminations will glow until late in the night, making them a perfect spot for a little evening date.
A Christmas market will take place starting on November 30 which will feature German food and drinks, a shop where you can buy a real fir Christmas tree, and more. And on November 15, restaurants and cafes at Roppongi Hills will adorn their menus with Christmas cakes, sweets, and dinner plans.
Christmas Market 2019
2019 marks the 13th year of the Roppongi Hills Christmas Market, and this year, many of Japan’s leading shops are taking part. The market will recreate the atmosphere and decor of a German Christmas market, with gorgeous decorations lining the roof, as well as the 11 stalls which will sell German-made Christmas sundries, German mulled wine, frankfurter sausages, and more. There will be over 2,000 individual items to find.
Christmas Cakes & Merry Desserts
Top: Christmas Show Girl ¥3,672 / Bottom: Christmas Tree ¥10,800 @ LOLA’S Cupcakes Tokyo
Cafes and restaurants have cooked up various treats for the Christmas season which will be sold between November 15 to December 25, including Christmas cakes to complete your Christmas dinner, desserts so cute they almost seem a waste to eat, and little items perfect to give as gifts. There’s plenty on the menu to be enjoyed with friends, family and loved ones.
Have a very special and merry little Christmas this year at Roppongi Hills.
Roppongi Hills Christmas 2019
Running: November 11, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Locations: Roppongi Hills (Roppongi Keyakizaka-dori, 66 Plaza, West Walk, Roppongi Hills Arena, Rooftop Plaza, and elsewhere)
Official Event Page: https://www.roppongihills.com/en/sp/christmas/2019/
Christmas Market 2019
Running: November 30, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Time: 11:00-21:00 (Until 22:00 on Fridays, Saturdays & Christmas Eve)
Location: Rooftop Plaza
Running: November 11, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Location: Roppongi Keyakizaka-dori
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/
Kyoto’s Rokuo-in Temple to be Illuminated in the Autumn Evenings
25.September.2020 | SPOT
Keifuku Electric Railroad is lending its strength to Rokuo-in Temple in Kyoto this autumn to light up the ancient site in the evenings from November 14 to December 6.
Shari-den (Photo taken in 2019)
Temple path (Photo taken in 2019)
This year marks the 5th run of the autumn evening light-ups. The temple, just a four minute walk from Rokuoin Station, is known for its beautiful maple trees which blossom breathtaking autumnal colours during the fall season.
Temple reception hall with fusuma images
Fusuma image example
The temple is selling new goshuin temple stamp books this year for the light-up event. Visitors will also be able to see 56 fusuma images drawn by contemporary Japanese artist Takaya Fuji.
Rokuo-in Temple will close early next year for approximately 2 years and 9 months for repairs. The temple is also currently limiting the number of people allowed at once, making this year the best time to see the autumn leaves.
Rokuo-in Temple Evening Light-Up
Running: November 14, 2020 – December 6, 2020
Time: 17:30-19:30 (last Entries 19:00)
Price: ¥2,000 (Comes with matcha and Japanese confections)
Capacity: [Weekdays] 100 People / [Weekends] 150 People
Access: 4 minutes on foot from Rokuoin Station
Apply Here: 嵐電webサイト専用フォーム
Hikari no Sumika Winter Illuminations 2020-2021 to Take Place at Gotemba Kogen Toki no Sumika
15.September.2020 | SPOT
Toki no Sumika is set to host its 19th annual winter illumination event “Hikari no Sumika” from September 19, 2020 to March 21, 2021.
Forest of Trees Illuminations
The Forest of Trees was created together with locals and wraps visitors in a magical fantasy land of lights underneath the shimmer of stardust. This trail of trees leads visitors to the next area, the Royal Palace on the Hill.
Royal Palace on the Hill
The “Versailles Lights” water laser show entertains onlookers with a rhythmic show. A new spot has also been developed this year called “It’s a colorful world” where cuter balls of light change colour to the sounds that play. There’s also one of the world’s biggest “Bells of Love” clad in colours galore to radiate the dark night, “Slow House Twinkle,” and “Super Searchlight.”
Tunnel of Lights
Spanning 370m along, the “Tunnel of Lights” changes colours as time passes, enveloping people in a sparkling galaxy of illuminations. There’ll be plenty of photo opportunities.
Twin Trees & First Dream Bridgeツインツリーと初夢の橋
The colour of the 120-year-old fir tree at the site this year will be white. The 20 meter-tall tree will be decorated simply and gently, with more LED lights than ever before, to enhance its beauty. The “First Dream Bridge” will give rise to the “Stardust Road” of countless illuminations that run along it.
Underwater Paradise Aquarium
Around 4,500 goldfish of 200 species, including rare kinds, from all around Japan are collected here. It continues to grow as Japan’s only goldfish aquarium both in name and reality. Enjoy seeing them swim while gorgeous lights light up the room.
Hikari no Sumika 2020-2021
Running: September 18, 2020 – March 21, 2021
Address: Gotemba Kogen Toki no Sumika, 719 KōyamaGotemba, Shizuoka
Illumination Times: 17:30-22:00
Car Park Spaces: 2,000
Enquiries: 0550-87-3700 (9:00-20:00)
Official Website: http://www.tokinosumika.com/illuminations2017/renewal/
Kyukaruizawa Kikyo, Curio Collection by Hilton Ranks On Tripadvisor’s Best Hotels List
18.August.2020 | SPOT
Kyukaruizawa Kikyo, Curio Collection by Hilton, a hotel in Karuizawa, Nagano that is managed by Tokyu Resort Service Co., Ltd. made it onto Tripadvisor’s 2020 Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best and also ranked on the website’s Top 20 best hotels in Japan for high quality service.
Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best is Tripadvisor’s highest recognition, presented annually to the top 1% of businesses across select categories.
Kyukaruizawa Kikyo hails as Hilton’s first “Curio Collection by Hilton” in Japan. First open in 2018, the hotel’s name “Kiyko” is a reference to both the flower of the same name and the Japanese word kikyo which means “to return to one’s home” or “homecoming.” The hotel is active alongside the community in working towards the Sustainable Development Goals and is committed to the Hilton CleanStay initiative to ensure the cleanest possible stay for guests.
Hilton’s first Curio Collection hotel in Japan
Curio Collection by Hilton is an upscale hotel brand first established by Hilton in 2014. To date, the brand has around 70 establishments worldwide, supporting guests who are looking for unique and authentic hotel experiences.
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city
Karuizawa is a popular resort area that’s easily accessible from Tokyo. It’s loved by some of the biggest names in the political, financial, and celebrity worlds. Guests can enjoy a free rides in a Mercedes-Benz from Karuizawa Station to the hotel.
Enjoy the sights while shopping and soaking up nature
The hotel is just a 5-minute walk from Old Karuizawa Ginza Street with shops offering all things Karuizawa. It’s also the perfect spot to enjoy walking and cycling while taking in the sights of nature.
Kyukaruizawa Kikyo, Curio Collection by Hilton
Address: Kyūkaruizawa-491-5 KaruizawaKitasaku-gun, Nagano
Access: 1 hour by Shinkansen from Tokyo Station
Official Website: https://www.kyukaruizawa-kikyo.com/
Experience a Crisp Japanese Autumn While Ice Skating in Karuizawa
15.August.2020 | SPOT
This autumn, Karuizawa Hoshino Area is opening up the Kera-Ike Skate Rink for a limited time from October 16 where visitors can skate around the ice while soaking up the reds and yellows of the surrounding forest.
Karuizawa Hoshino Area is a resort managed by Hoshino Resorts. The middle of October is when Karuizawa’s red maple trees blossom, while the beginning of November marks the incoming yellow karamatsu Japanese larches.
An ice skating rink enveloped in a forest
Kera-Ike Skate Rink is a frozen lake in the middle of a forest in Karuizawa. It’s located ride by Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary, so Hoshino Resorts had the idea to turn it into an ice rink so that people can enjoy the local wildlife while skating. For this year’s opening of the ice rink, Hoshino Resorts has a range of art content related to Japanese autumn for people to enjoy too.
Reds, Yellows, and White
Karuizawa sits 1,000 meters above sea level, and so the autumn leaves begin showing from the middle of October. This is when the urushi Japanese lacquer trees and momiji maples dye the forest a bright-red. Following shortly after are the karamatsu Japanese larches which add a bright yellow to the red hues. Visitors can soak up the kaleidoscope of colours while skating across the pure white ice rink.
Beautiful autumn leaf themed content
The ice skating chairs are a popular item at Kera-Ike Skate Rink and are a great way for beginners and children to enjoy being on the ice. This year, the chairs have been pained in the same colours at the autumnal leaves.
Autumn leaf decorations on the windows
The rink-side cafe has six giant glass windows spanning 2.5 meters across. Each window has its own unique autumn leaf design on it.
Autumn Leaf Latte
The cafe will serve the perfect autumn-time beverage, a latte topped with momiji and kaede maple leaves designs made from pumpkin powder—a fitting flavour for the season.
Kera-Ike Skate Rink
Running: October 16, 2020 – November 10, 2020
*Run period subject to change depending on the autumn leaves.
*The 2020-21 skate rink opening period runs until March 7, 2021. Closed November 26, 2020 and January 19-21, 2021.
Opening Hours: 10:00-16:00
Official Website: http://www.hoshino-area.jp/archives/area/skate
Anime LED Manhole Covers Light Up Around Tokorozawa in Saitama Prefecture
Japanese manga and light novel publishing company KADOKAWA is promoting titles from its series catalogue in a unique way: by displaying illustrations of the series on manholes around Tokorozawa in Saitama Prefecture. The manholes were laid on August 1, 2020, and are the first manholes in Japan to feature LED lighting.
In 2003, Tokorozawa City Department of Waterworks and Sewerage became the first company in Japan to use manholes for advertising. The new LED manholes will run along the closest station to Tokorozawa Sakura Town, which was built by and is managed by KADOKAWA. That station is Higashi-Tokorozawa Station, and it will run from there past numerous facilities leading up to Tokorozawa Sakura Town.
Tokorozawa Sakura Town
Tokorozawa Sakura Town is part of the Cool Japan Forest Project, a joint project between KADOKAWA and the city of Tokorozawa. Set to have its grand opening on November 6, 2020, this large-scale facility includes an anime hotel, library museum and bookshelf theatre, restaurants, shops, and more.
LED Manhole Designs
Left: Daytime / Right: Nighttime
The LED manholes will take people right up to Tokorozawa Sakura Town, as well as function as crime prevention tools during nighttime for neighbouring facilities.
There are 28 designs in total from the following series and franchises:
A Certain Magical Index
Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World
Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin
The Five Star Stories
Anime Tourism Association Official Character “Junrei-chan”
Bungo Stray Dogs
Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!
The Melancholy of Harumi Suzumiya
Date A Live
Sword Art Online
Full Metal Panic!
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Record of Lodoss War
Spice and Wolf
Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious
Tokorozawa Sakura Town
Official Website: https://tokorozawa-sakuratown.jp/
Take a Summer Trip to Karuizawa in Style at Hoshino Resorts BEB Karuizawa
12.July.2020 | SPOT
“BEB” is a brand of hotel established by Hoshino Resorts which aims to support young people travelling by being cost-effective as well as make travelling more fun for the younger generation. This year, BEB5 Karuizawa is promoting a spending a fun and stylish summertime.
Enjoy the outdoors in a wide, open space
The indoor “Yagura Room” is fitted with spacious sofas and bed spaces where people can chat together, read a book, and enjoy their free time. There’s also “TAMARIBA,” a 24-hour public space with a garden, lounge, cafe, and library. A cool breeze sweeps through the tall windows, letting in cool air on a hot summer’s day. Guests can kick back and enjoy some relaxation. The cafe even sells wine so guests can treat themselves to an evening drink or have a little drinking get-together with friends.
Summer resort rental items
Guests can experience the true thrill of summertime in Karuizawa with a selection of rental items including straw hats, a bug catching net, portable speakers, electric fans, and more. These can be rented from July 13, 2020 to August 31, 2020.
The lush green outdoors surrounds the hotel
BEB5 Karuizawa is located in one corner of the Karuizawa Hoshino Area which is home to a bright green forest. Located laong the bath is Harunire Terrace which is home to 16 unique shops, and there’s even a hot spring which flows directly from the water source.
Hoshino Onsen Tonbo no Yu
There are plenty of things for guests to do outside, including participating in a nature tour hosted by wild flora and fauna specialists Picchio, having a picnic at the benches by the flowing water, and more.
Karuizawa is one of Japan’s best places for a summer retreat. Just a one hour bullet train ride from Tokyo, it’s an easy place to access from the country’s capital.
Hoshino Resorts BEB5 Karuizawa
Address: Hoshino, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano
TEL: 0570-073-022 (Hoshino Resorts Booking Centre)
Rooms: 73 (Check In 15:00 / Check Out 11:00)
Price: From ¥9,000 per night (1 room for 2 people, service charge and meal charged separately)
Official Website: https://hoshinoresorts.com/ja/hotels/beb5karuizawa/
Kyoto’s World Heritage Site Nijo Castle Announces Summer Evening Illumination Event
09.July.2020 | SPOT
NAKED, INC. has announced that it is holding a special summertime light-up event at Nijo Castle, a World Heritage Site in Kyoto, from August 8 to August 30. The company has also released its first ever 3DCG VR experience NAKED NINJA -Nijo-jo Castle- on the official NAKED, INC. online store.
Enjoy art entertainment in person or at home
NAKED, INC. has collaborated with many World Heritage Sites, Cultural Properties, tourism centres, leisure spots, and more over the years. Right now, the company is grappling with the question of what the shape of tourism, as well as art and entertainment, looks like during the COVID-19 outbreak—and what shape it will take post-pandemic. Nijo Castle is no exception, a place that enjoys tourism from both Japanese people and people overseas. In considering these issues, NAKED has conceived two different ways Nijo Castle can still entertain tourism now and in the near future.
The first is holding an event in person at Nijo Castle in the form of an outdoor light-up event that will have people wandering around as opposed to being stationary. In spring of 2017, NAKED held “Nijo Castle Cherry Blossom Festival 2017” where they hosted a variety of performances and events in line with the season. In fact, one such event was planned to take place at Nijo Castle this summer, but it had to be reconsidered as a result of COVID-19. Those involved still wanted to come up with a way that people who live close by could still enjoy some leisure time this summer, which is what led to this light-up event from NAKED.
Visitors will be able to enjoy the light-up safely by staying a set distance from one another while walking around Nijo Castle. The number of people inside at once will also be restricted. As well as this, people will need to wear masks, temperature will be regulated, and alcohol gel will be provided—all to ensure that visitors are kept safe.
The second way that NAKED has devised for people to still enjoy Nijo Castle is with the release of NAKED NINJA -Nijo-jo Castle-, the company’s first ever full 3DCG VR experience that lets people enjoy Nijo Castle online in a virtual space. This is so that people who cannot visit Nijo Castle can still enjoy its sights. NAKED plans to launch even more real and virtual, offline and online experiences in the future too in order to promote tourism in a new way during COVID-19.
Nijo Castle x NAKED Summer Special Light-Up 2020
Running: August 8, 2020 – August 30, 2020
Time: 19:00-22:00 (Last Entries 21:20)
Location: Nijo Castle
Address: 541 Nijojocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto場
NAKED NINJA-Nijo-jo Castle- VR
Price: ¥880 (Tax Included)
Official Website: https://event.naked.works/nijojo-summer2020/
1→10, Inc. Brings Magical Shores Interactive Land Art to Siloso Beach in Singapore
19.April.2020 | SPOT
Japanese creative studio 1→10, Inc. opened up Singapore’s first ever permanent interactive land art exhibition “Magical Shores” on January 23 this year together with Lighting Planners Associates (LPA), a lighting company based in both Tokyo and Singapore.
Magical Shores spans 400 meters of Sentosa’s Siloso Beach, turning it into an immersive, multi-sensory experience of AI-operated lights and sounds which elevate the beauty of the surrounding natural environment.
Guide To Magical Shores | Siloso Beach, Sentosa:
AI technology responds to visitors on the beach, giving them a breathtaking and unique performance. Sensors are dotted around the area which use sensing data to react based on people’s movement around the beach. The AI is constantly developing as it collects big data about the temperature and climate of Siloso Beach as well as that of people’s movements.
In two of the interactive areas, people can witness the “Circle of Life” beginning with the big bang. After that there is magma, followed by heavy rainfall and eventually flowing water which gives birth to life. Cells divide as plants begin to sprout, fish swim in the sea, and birds and insects sing in the mountains. At the end, life falls, and the process begins again.
Japanese musician Masakatsu Takagi was put in charge of the music and sound design of the exhibition. Takagi is known for having written the music for Wolf Children and The Boy and the Beast. He took inspiration from his music project “Marginalia,” a sound diary where he would record the sounds of birds, insects, the wind, rain, and so on from his studio window. Takagi did field recording on the beach to capture the sounds of nature to use for the art exhibition.
Kuniyuki Takahashi also offered his musicianship to the exhibition. Based in Sapporo, he is an internationally-recognised composer. He also recorded the sounds of Siloso Beach, and together with Takagi, created the perfect soundtrack for Magical Shores.
Magical Shores is currently temporarily closed as a result of the coronavirus but will resume once more as soon as the situation allows it.
Official Website: https://www.sentosa.com.sg/magical-shores
Osaka Hirakata Park’s ‘Time Travel Fantasy’ Illumination Event Extended to Spring
29.February.2020 | SPOT
Hirakata Park’s “Hikari no Yuenchi” illumination event, which has been running for the autumn and winter season and is set to finish on March 1, 2020, is being extended into the spring season due to its huge popularity. The spring period will run from March 20 to April 7.
The theme of this year’s Hikari no Yuenchi is “Time Travel Fantasy.” Dazzle your eyes with a bright selection of breathtaking illuminations inside the event’s four areas, such as the lights along Time Travel Fantasy Street where the symbol of the parkーa 10-meter tall treeーstands gloriously, or the Illumination Flower Garden. The blue and purple winter colours of the lights will change into springtime pinks, greens, and yellows.
Illumination Flower Garden
Flowering illuminations will twinkle atop the hill in spring pastel colours like cherry blossom pinks, fresh verdure green, and rape blossom yellows.
The dazzling delights of the winter season will continue into the spring period, like the 24 different night attractions, and the illumination food too like the “shining bubble tea.” We also recommend taking advantage of the “Night Fee,” which sees a special entry price open from 16:00.
Enjoy the cool spring breeze and gorgeous Japanese illuminations at Hirakata Park this March.
Hirakata Park Hikari no Yuenchi
Running: March 20, 2020 – April 7, 2020
Address: 1-1 Hirakatakoencho, Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture
Illumination Times: 17:30-20:30
Official Website (English): http://www.hirakatapark.co.jp/en/
Event Page (Japanese): http://www.hirakatapark.co.jp/illumination/
SHISHI-IWA HOUSE in Nagano Prefecture Makes Travel + Leisure Magazine’s “2020 It List”
28.February.2020 | SPOT
SHISHI-IWA HOUSE, a “boutique resort” located in Karuizawa, Nagano, has made it into the “2020 It List” of American travel magazine Travel + Leisure.
Travel + Leisure is a New York-based travel magazine. “The Best New Hotels in the World (The It List)” shines a light on hotels around the world that have newly-opened or have been renovated that year.
The “2020 It List” has placed 72 establishments around the world in its ranking. Ten of these are located in Asia, with two being in Japan: SHISHI-IWA HOUSE and Aman Kyoto.
SHISHI-IWA HOUSE opened in February 2019. Described as a boutique resort, this hotel was built by internationally-acclaimed Japanese architect Shigeru Ban who won the 34th Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2014ーthe most prestigious award in modern architecture. The unique hideaway blends together nature and architecture, and is built in such a way as to strengthen the bonds between people.
The resort accommodation has two floors, and a unique structure which makes it look curved. It has ten individual rooms and three terraces. All the rooms enjoy a breathtaking view of the gardens which enjoy gorgeous scenery all year around. It’s home to over 250 trees, including cherry blossoms, maples, and evergreens. You can also see Mount Asuma from all rooms.
Planning a trip to Nagano? Why not book to stay at this little hideaway?
Address: 2147-646 Nagakura, Karuizawa, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano
Official Website (English): http://www.shishiiwahouse.jp/index_en.html
Meguro River Winter Sakura to be Illuminated Using 100% Recycled Oil Until January
29.October.2019 | SPOT
This winter, MINNA no ILLUMI Executive Committee will be decorating Meguro River with an unmissable illumination display that will warm your heart. 100% of the energy for the illumination will be produced by recycled oil. The display will run from November 8, 2019 to January 5, 2020.
As Shinagawa Ward will also be lit up at the same time, visitors will be able to treat themselves to a glorious view of approximately 410 thousand sakura-coloured lights, creating a unique opportunity to witness Winter Sakura®. The beautiful illumination along the riverbanks of Meguro River will be the largest illumination project within Yamanote Line with a total length of 2.2km of riverbanks covered (counting both sides of the river). Enjoy the beautiful warm light reflecting off the river’s surface.
The megurogawa MINNA no ILLUMINATION project was launched in response to the locals’ desire, love and praise for riverside illumination displays. The project involves collecting waste oil from restaurants, cafés and households and recycling it as the sole energy source to power the illumination display. This project has become a symbol of winter and plays a significant role in strengthening bonds with the locals.
Last year, approximately 5,500 litres of oil was collected from 11 places including restaurants, cafés and apartment blocks. This was converted by a power generator which supplied all the electricity necessary to run all the lights. This year, unused oil from local restaurants and apartment blocks will be recycled into biodiesel once again to run another Winter Sakura® light display which tourists flock to see.
This year will also see the return of German Outdoor Dome Garden Igloos from last year. This creates the perfect spot to watch the Winter Sakura® without getting cold or being affected by rain or the wind. There will be three garden igloos at this year’s event and each will have a unique colour theme. Each igloo will be 3.6 metres in diameter, 2.2m high and contain a ground area of 10m², allowing for plenty of space to relax.
Igloo Availability: December 16 – 25, 2019 *Subject to change
Gotanda Fureai Mizube Hirobamade even made the news in overseas countries as a result of the illumination project. This is the perfect way warm your heart during the cold winter.
meguro MINNA no ILLUMINATION 2019
Locations: Gotanda Fureai Mizube Hiroba (2 Chome-9-11 Higashigotanda, Shinagawa City, Tokyo)
Gotanda Minami Park and Meguro Riverside (2 Chome-8-8 Higashigotanda, Shinagawa City, Tokyo)
Running Dates: November 8, 2019 – January 1, 2020
Running Times: 17:00 – 22:00
*The illumination project will still run in rainy weather but will be postponed in stormy weather.
Website Opens: 10:00 on October 29, 2019
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