Top Matcha Desserts in Kyoto Perfect for Your Next Instagram Post
When you think of Kyoto, matcha immediately comes to mind. Today with the help of the Kansai region’s expert dessert Instagrammer Tiara, we’ll be introducing you to the top matcha dessert shops of the Kansai region.
Matcha Ganache Cake
This matcha ganache cake looks just as good as it tastes. The beautiful smooth matcha coating is delicious and rich. The cake is best enjoyed with a cup of coffee and is the perfect sophisticated treat.
Address: 792 Nishishujakuchō, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto,
Opening Hours: 11:30-18:00
Closed: Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chika_ara/
A delicious spun sugar decoration rests on top of the melt-in-the-mouth matcha tiramisu parfait. The mascarpone and matcha ice cream is made completely from Hokkaido milk. The balance of flavours and moderate sweetness makes this parfait irresistible.
▼Chasho Shimizu Ippoen
Address: 665 Honkawaracho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto
*Open on National Holiday Mondays but closed the following day. Closed during the New Year Period.
Official Website: https://ippoen.co.jp
MATCHA REPUBLIC, Shimogyō Ward
Address: Floor 1, 721-1 Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 9:00-21:00
Official Website: https://www.matcha-republic.com
JTRRD cafe KYOTO, Nakagyō
Pink, red, orange, yellow, purple, green – this Uji matcha smoothie is a rainbow of colours. There are four different designs and you can choose from three varieties of fruit to decorate the inside of your cup. Each smoothie is made of fruit and vegetables, making this a healthy way to indulge in matcha. It is so beautiful you won’t want to drink it.
▼JTRRD cafe KYOTO
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00
Closed: The third Monday of every month. No regular holidays.
Address: 135-1 Doyucho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto
If you’re looking for a shop to satisfy your matcha cravings, you can’t go wrong with Tiara’s recommendations.
Tiara’s Instagram never fails to keep us updated on the most delicious and beautiful desserts in the Kansai region so check it out.
Article Contents and Photos by ＠happy_pinkrose_tiara
Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo Collaborates With Traditional Kyoto Dollmakers
05.December.2019 | FASHION
Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo released six new products on December 5 in collaboration with Shimada Koen Ningyo Kobo, a long-standing traditional maker of Japanese gosho-ningyo dolls.
Golden Cup, Shimada Koen Ningyo Kobo – ¥50,000 (Before Tax)
The relationship between Starbucks and Shimada Koen Ningyo Kobo began when Starbucks opened its branch at Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya in Kyoto, which is known for having tatami flooring, as the dollmaker’s studio is located near it. There is a waving cat wearing a green apron at that Starbucks which was designed by the 5th generation of Shimada Koen.
Waving Cat, Shimada Koen Ningyo Kobo – ¥30,000 (Before Tax)
Shimada Koen specialises in making gosho-ningyo, dolls with distinct features such as stout forms, pure white skin, tiny legs and hands, a big face, and an overall cute appearance reminiscent of a child. In the Edo Period they were developed as gifts associated with the Court.
Bell Rat, Shimada Koen Ningyo Kobo – ¥3,500 (Before Tax)
The line-up of six dolls feature Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo motifs and are made with considered thought in mind, including the bonds between people and enjoying happiness throughout the yearーdesires upheld by Starbucks.
Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo x Shimada Koen Ningyo Kobo Collaboration
Running: From December 5, 2019 until stock runs out
Sold At: Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo
Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo
Address: 2-19-2 Aobadai, Meguro, Tokyo
Business Hours: 7:00-23:00
No Fixed Holidays.
Access: 14-minutes on foot from Naka-Meguro Station / 14-minutes on foot from the East Exit of Ikejiri-Ōhashi Station
Official Website: https://www.starbucks.co.jp/roastery/
Top 4 Places to Visit in Kyoto This Winter: Snow, Gourmet Food, Hot Springs & More
26.November.2019 | SPOT
Kyoto is known as the ancient capital of Japan. It is said to be the place where quintessential Japanese culture started, and has charmed the world over with its incredibly rich 1,200-year history. Today, we take a look at some of the best places to visit in Kyoto this winter as covered by the November 2019 issue of Japanese magazine Mou Hitotsu no Kyoto (“The Other Kyoto”).
From gourmet food to sightseeing spots, the arts and moreーif you’re in Kyoto this year, you have plenty of reasons to leave your hotel room or house.
Yuki Tourou: See the snowy thatched-roof huts
Miyama Kayabuki no Sato is located in Miyamachokita, Nantan. It is home to 39 houses with thatched roofs and is a popular sightseeing spot due to its gorgeous natural scenery throughout the entire year. It was listed in Japan’s Groups of Traditional Buildings in 1993.
In the New Year, snow falls on the huts, which looks beautiful when they light up the “Yuki Tourou”ーor snow lanternsーin late January every year. There are stalls that serve hot food in this little town, and they also host an event where you can make your own snow lantern.
Running: January 25, 2020 – February 1, 2020
Official Website: http://www.yukitouro.jp/
Amanohashidate: One of Japan’s “Three Scenic Views”
Amanohashidate is a sandbank located in Miyazu Bay that separates the north and south inlet of the Asoumi Sea. It formed as a result of pebbles being carried by the ocean current for thousands of years. Its name comes from the way it looks like a bridge spanning across the sky. It is known as one of Japan’s “Three Scenic Views”
Amanohashidate is a sight to behold at any point throughout the year, but if you can travel there in the winter, you’re in for a surprise, as the entire sandbank is littered with pure white snow. On very cold days in the morning the snow even covers the tops of the pine trees, but when the sun rises and the temperature warms up the snow on the frost-tipped trees melts. This has led to it being called an “illusionary sight” due to its rarity. Make a point of getting up super early so you don’t miss it!
Address: Tango-Amanohashidate-Ōeyama Quasi-National Park, Miyazu, Kyoto
Official Website: https://www.amanohashidate.jp/lang/en/
Fukuchiyama Castle: The magnificent castle of snow
Fukuchiyama Castle sits atop a tall hill in the city of Fukuchiyama. The castle was established as the new Tanba province by Akechi Mitsuhide in 1579 following the province’s capture in 1576. The castle was demolished once during the Meiji Period but was restored again in 1986. It is now the only castle that remains today built by Mitsuhide.
The castle architecture has a lot of personality, and during the winter months takes on a gorgeous white as a result of the snow. Gazing across the castle land from the watchtower is an absolute must when visiting. Also, if you’re visiting next year, the new Fukuchiyama Mitsuhide Museum is set to open on January 11, so be sure to check that out too.
Address: 5 Chome Naiki, Fukuchiyama, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)
Closed: December 28-31, 2019 / January 4-6, 2020
Entry Price: General ¥330 / Elementary & Junior High School Students ¥110
Official Website: https://dokkoise.com/en/temple_shrine/index.html
Monjusou Shourotei: Feast on crab fondue while gazing at Amanohashidate
Monjusou Shourotei is a ryokanーa Japanese-style innーlocated along Amanohashidate, one of Japan’s Three Scenic Views which we mentioned earlier on this list. All guests staying at the inn are given a window view of Amanohashidate from their rooms.
The inn offers an original salted snow crab fondue. Snow crab is particularly enjoyed for its degree of freshness. It’s served with vegetables and the boiled crab itself, making for a delicious combination of flavours.
The hot springs at Amanohashidate are famous and praised as “the baths of the gods.” They are also said to leave your skin looking beautiful after a dip. The inn also offers open-air baths lined with stones from Shikoku and wild grass from the mountains, offering a truly indulging experience.
Address: Amanohashidate Monjudomisaki, Miyazu, Kyoto
Official Website: https://shourotei.com/
These are just some of the incredible places you can enjoy in wintertime Kyoto. You can find more information on Kyoto Side or from one of our many articles on Kyoto.
The Perfect Souvenir: Kyoto’s Famous OTABE Confections in Velvety Matcha Chocolate
17.November.2019 | FOOD
If you’re in Kyoto looking for a delicious elegant souvenir for your people back home then BijuuCo.,ltd. is your port of call. Their irresistible desserts vary from their well known sweet bean paste-filled Yatsuhashi to their Kyo-Baum. They will be releasing the mouthwatering Matcha Chocolate OTABE from November 20, 2019.
The rich aroma of the matcha chocolate will be the first thing to entice you. The matcha Yatsuhashi is made from specially selected water and Koshihikari rice, which is famed as Japan’s best rice. The soft and chewy texture of the Yatsuhashi dough gently embraces a velvety, melt-in-the-mouth matcha chocolate ganache filling. These OTABE confections are bursting with the flavours of Kyoto and are only available to purchase for a limited period.
OTABE combined with Kyoto’s famous matcha chocolate is matcha match made in heaven. If you’re ever in Kyoto, you must try it.
Matcha Chocolate OTABE
Selling: November 20, 2019 to the start of May, 2020
Price: Box of 10 (2 packs of 5): ¥660 Before Tax
Eat within 11 days of production.
Purchasable from souvenir shops in Kyoto and Kyoto Station.
Official Website: http://www.otabe.kyoto.jp/
Cute Pompompurin Puddings to be Released in Collaboration With Pastel
Desserts brand Pastel is collaborating with popular Sanrio character Pompompurin to release a selection of puddings at Pastel stores around Japan for the whole month of April.
Pastel prides itself on the smooth texture of its purinーa type of Japanese custard pudding. The company will celebrate Pompompurin’s birthday, which falls on April 16, with a line of 4 adorable Pompompurin desserts.
Pompompurin’s Mini Pudding – ¥380 (Before Tax)
The classic style of Japanese custard pudding, smooth and topped with whipped cream. It’s finished with a cute sprinkled design of Pompompurin.
Soft and Fluffy Pompompurin – ¥450 (Before Tax)
Pompompurin is looking cute in this one as he pokes his head out of the caramel-drizzled and marshmallow-topped pudding.
Pompompurin’s À La Mode – ¥600 (Before Tax)
Served in an original design cup branded with Pompompurin’s adorable face, this à la mode includes a pudding topped with an orange slice and cherry.
Pompompurin’s Chiffon – ¥2,200 (Before Tax)
This fluffy chiffon cake is about 15 meters across in size, and is made with pudding cream, glazed in caramel sauce, and topped with a Pompompurin who’s just taking a little rest. *Available on weekends only
Shopper Bag Design (Available while supplies last)
When you order any of these desserts, you’ll receive an exclusive Pastel x Pompompurin collaborative bag which makes for a great gift or souvenir to friends.
Don’t miss out on these tasty Pompompurin treats.
Pastel x Pompompurin Collaboration
Running: April 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020
Location: Pastel stores in Japan
Pastel Official Website: http://pastel-pudding.com
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.
Hotel de Yama / Salon de thé Rosage
Address: 80 Motohakone, Hakone, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa
Official Website: https://www.hakone-hoteldeyama.jp/en/
Kawaii Tama & Friends Double Walled Glasses Releases in 10 Varieties
R&K Japan, the overseas division of Aiwa, released a new line of 10 double walled glasses based on the popular character franchise Tama & Friends. The first ever double walled glasses to be made of the series, the line-up includes the characters Tama, Pochi, Tora, Beh, Momo, Koma, Nora, Gon, Kuro, and Buru.
Tama – ¥3,900 (Before Tax)
Pochi – ¥3,900 (Before Tax)
What is Tama & Friends?
Tama & Friends is an original character franchise that was created by Sony Creative Products in 1983. The world of Tama & Friends was first inspired from an actual missing cat poster with the phrase “Have You Seen My Tama?” Since then, it has grown into a full franchise with many popular characters. It spawned its first anime series in 1993 which helped its popularity grow in Japan. A new 11-episode series entitled Uchitama?! Have you seen my Tama? aired in January this year and ended just last Thursday.
Tora – ¥3,900 (Before Tax)
Beh – ¥3,900 (Before Tax)
Tama & Friends Double Walled Glasses
The glasses are designed by double walled glass pioneers GOODGLAS. Each one is handmade and can be used for hot and cold beverages.
Tama & Friends Double Walled Glasses
Sold at: Ikebukuro LOFT, Yokohama LOFT, Chiba LOFT, Umeda LOFT, Kobe LOFT, Tenjin LOFT
Tama & Friends Official Online Shop: http://www.tamafriends-shop.jp/
Japan’s 7-Eleven Stores Now Stocking Matcha Desserts by Uji Tea and Sweets Artisans Itohkyuemon
22.March.2020 | FOOD
Itohkyuemon, a shop founded in 1832 which specialises in Uji tea and sweets, began rolling out four Uji matcha desserts at 7-Eleven convenience stores across Japan on March 17 as part of their “Uji Matcha Sweets Fair.”
The tasty line-up includes “Uji Matcha Cream Puffs,” “Uji Matcha & Sakura Japanese Parfait,” “Sticky Uji Matcha Pudding,” and “Matcha Honey-Stuffed Uji Matcha Warabimochi.” Itohkyuemon has developed over 100 Uji matcha desserts, during which it has come up with a blend of matcha it specifically uses for its desserts which is not only rich in flavour but creates a harmonious flavour together with the particular dessert. This blend is used in all four of these convenience store desserts.
The Uji Matcha Sweets Fair is led by Takahito Yoshimoto, the head chef of Itohkyuemon’s Uji confectionery workshop.
Head to the closest 7-Eleven to you in Japan for a chance to taste some authentic matcha treats.
Uji Matcha Sweets Fair
①Uji Matcha Cream Puffs – ¥138 (Before Tax) / Uji Matcha & Sakura Japanese Parfait – ¥308 (Before Tax)
Release Date: Rolling out at most 7-Eleven convenience stores in Japan (except Okinawa) from March 17, 2020
②Sticky Uji Matcha Pudding – ¥230 (Before Tax) / Matcha Honey-Stuffed Uji Matcha Warabimochi – ¥168 (Before Tax)
Release Date: Rolling out at most 7-Eleven convenience stores in Japan (except Okinawa) from March 24, 2020
Official Website: https://www.sej.co.jp/products/sweets/matcha2003.html
MUUN SEOUL: Harajuku’s Korean Cafe Serving Instagrammable ‘Fatcaron’ Macarons
MUUN SEOUL is a cafe located along Tonchan-dori Street in Harajuku that serves Instagram-worthy South Korean food.
Photo by Nagisa Kobayashi @popo_318
Photo by Nagisa Kobayashi @popo_318
The cafe sells “fatcarons,” a South Korean-style macaron which have proven very popular with young women in Japan.
Photo by Taeco @taecostagram
Fatcarons are larger than the standard macaron. They are topped with things like strawberries, given marble textures, and more to give them a cute appearance. MOON SEOUL serves many different varieties, all of which are standout compared to normal macarons.
Photo by Sara @__sar310
But the fatcaron experience at MOON SEOUL isn’t complete without ordering the drink above. It’s strawberry milk flavoured, but the milk is whipped until it’s fluffy, giving it a taste like no other strawberry milk you’ve tried. It also has sliced strawberries inside and on top, so if you love strawberries, you’ll love this.
Photo by Yuina @popochan726
You can order your fatcarons for takeout too in a clear takeaway box so you can go have a dessert picnic with your friends, and get a great photo of them all together too.
Address: FLAG F1, 3-27-15, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Business Hours: 12:00 – 20:00
No Regular Holidays
Tea & Chocolate Brownie Released by Dandelion Chocolate and IYEMON SALON ATELIER
18.March.2020 | FOOD
Dandelion Chocolate and IYEMON SALON ATELIER have joined sticky fingers to bake up their new “Tea & Cocoa Brownie” which is now being served at IYEMON SALON ATELIER KYOTO and Dandelion Chocolate Kyoto Higashiyama Ichinenzaka.
This collaboration came about to celebrate 1 year since IYEMON SALON ATELIER KYOTO opened. The chocolates fuse IYEMON SALON’s tea with Dandelion Chocolate’s organic, single origin bean to bar chocolate.
Tea & Cocoa Brownie (Uji Matcha/Houjicha) – ¥1,800 (Before Tax) *Contains 2 of each flavour
The two different flavoured brownies, Uji matcha and houjicha, are filled with a ganache made from Japanese tea and carefully selected chocolate from the Dominican Republic. The chocolate has a strong, rich flavour like that of coffee and cherries, but is still easy to get without it tasting overwhelming. The brownies are also vegan-friendly and gluten-free, containing no eggs, dairy products, wheat, or white sugar. They are the perfect accompaniment to both tea and a mild-tasting sake.
The vegan lifestyle is slowly gaining recognition in Japan, so don’t miss this chance to treat yourself to some melt-in-the-mouth vegan delights.
©Dandelion Chocolate Japan
IYEMON SALON ATELIER KYOTO
Address: 481-1 Kiyoichō, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 8:00-23:00 (Course Last Orders 21:00 / Grand Menu & Drinks Last Orders 22:00)
Official Website: https://www.cafecompany.co.jp/brands/iyemonsalon/atelier-kyoto/
Dandelion Chocolate Kyoto Higashiyama Ichinenzaka
Address: 363-6 Masuyachō, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00 (Last Orders 18:30)
Official Website: https://dandelionchocolate.jp/pages/shop-kyoto
Experience Hanami and Cherry Blossoms With Digital Art at FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020 – Sakura –
18.March.2020 | SPOT
FLOWERS BY NAKED is an annual flower-themed digital art event held by NAKED Inc. As part of this year’s event, FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020 – Sakura –, a special addendum event entitled “Nijo Castle Sakura Matsuri” will take place during the evenings at the World Heritage Site Nijo Castle From March 20 to April 12 this year.
FLOWERS BY NAKED is an interactive digital art experience. It has been held at Nijo Castle during the autumns of 2018 and 2019, but this will be the event’s first time being held in Kyoto during the spring season. 2020’s theme is cherry blossoms, and this will be showcased in a number of wonderful ways.
Prologue | NAKED BIG BOOK
“NAKED BIG BOOK, a monument of the beginning of this exhibition, will show collaboration works by an artist Ryotaro Muramatsu and a photographer LESLIE KEE. LESLIE KEE contained energy into photographs as the quiet expression, and Ryotaro Muramatsu reinterprets his works to dynamic photography art.”
Arrival of Spring | Kara-mon Gate (Important Cultural Property)
“Projection mapping expresses the coming of Spring on Karamon-Gate as an important cultural property.”
Flowers Wall ~ SAKURA ~ | Inner Moat
“Projection mapping of impressive sakura on the moats in Nijo-jo Castle. The landscape will transition following sakura.”
Sakura Droplets | Seiryu-en Garden
“A mystical space surrounded by real sakura where bubbles confined spring fragrance float as the sakura droplet. ”
The event is working on countermeasures against the coronavirus, such as installing disinfectants and having staff wear masks. It requests that visitors take normal measures against the infection such as cough etiquette and washing your hands. Click here for more information.
FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020 −Sakura− World Heritage Nijo-jo Castle
Running: March 20, 2020 – April 12, 2020
Opening Hours: 18:00-21:00 (Closed at 22:00)
Location: Nijo-jo Castle
Early Bird Tickets (Available until March 19, 2020) / Junior High School and Older ¥1,000, Elementary School Students ¥800
General Tickets (March 20, 2020 – April 12, 2020) / Junior High School and Older ¥1,400, Elementary School Students ¥800
*All prices above include tax. Free for preschoolers. Disability discount available.
Official Website: https://flowers.naked.works/2020nijojo-sakura/
Popular Yakiniku Restaurant Futago to Open New Branch at THE JUNEI HOTEL in Kyoto
14.March.2020 | FOOD
FTG Company, which operates 74 restaurants inside and outside Japan, is set to open its new restaurant Nikukappou Futago at THE JUNEI HOTEL Kyoto in Higashiyama, Kyoto on March 27, 2020 where it will serve authentic Japanese wagyu beef and full courses.
THE JUNEI HOTEL Kyoto is a small luxury tourist hotel housing eleven rooms in total, including its Bamboo Suite. Bamboo can be found throughout all the rooms as part of the hotel’s concept: “A sojourn embraced by bamboo in a moonlit space.” The rooms, as well as the hotel interior overall, showcases beautiful traditional handiwork using bamboo.
Inside Nikukappou Futago
Nikukappou Futago fuses traditional Japanese elements with modern ones. It features half-size eating areas as well as private areas. Customers can expect their private dining experience to include freshly-cooked full courses with high quality Japanese wagyu and seasonal ingredients.
Menu in Japanese *Menu will change monthly
Nikukappou Futago’s concept is “A relaxed adult’s Iki.” The word iki here refers to a range of different meanings in Japanese, like “sophistication,” “breath,” “spirit,” and “life.” The restaurant will work to serve a hospitable service that enables each and every person to enjoy that iki that lives inside them.
Foie Gras & Wagyu Filet Mouthful Bowl
Wagyu Loin & Kyoto Vegetable Shabu-shabu
The course is made with seasonal ingredients and vegetables. Plus, in using a range of cooking methods, the original flavour meat of the meat is intensified.
Wagyu Sirloin Sumiyaki
Enjoy a selection of high-quality rare wagyu cuts like sirloin, filet, loin, and more. You can also enjoy a selection of classic Japanese dishes like yakiniku, shabu-shabu, and sukiyaki, all in one course.
Like the changing seasons in Kyoto, the menu will be altered every month to bring something new. Discover your iki and enjoy a great meal at Nikukappou Futago.
Nikukappou Futago THE JUNEI HOTEL KYOTO
Address: THE JUNEI HOTEL KYOTO Floor 1F, 4-139 Honmachi, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto
Grand Opening: March 27, 2020
Opening Hours: 17:00-23:00 (Last Orders 22:00)
No Fixed Holidays
Seats: 32 (6 Half-Size Rooms / 2 Private Rooms
Course Price: ¥11,000 (Tax and service charge not included) *Course menu to change each month
Official Website: https://nikutei25.com/
Only Kyoto’s Locals Know About This Beautiful Hidden Firefly Spot
13.March.2020 | SPOT
Last year, The GrandWest Arashiyamaーa hotel in Arashiyama, Kyotoーhosted a special firefly tour to huge success. It was so well received that the hotel is bringing the tour back again this year. It will be held for three days, from May 29 to 31, with bookings available starting this month.
The tour was particularly well-received with foreign guests who were staying at the hotel, and who had never seen a firefly before. It takes place after sunset, where hotel staff take guests on a mini tour to a little-known-good-spot that only the locals know about where you can see fireflies in Kyoto.
The idea behind the tour was conceived by a hotel staff member who lives in Kyoto and spotted the fireflies at a nearby temple. That staff member had never seen fireflies before, and it was the first time since moving to Kyoto that they’d seen them in the wild like that. The number of wild fireflies is actually decreasing each year in Japan, and converselyーdespite them being a symbol of summertime in Japanーthe number of people who have never actually seen them is on the rise. The tour was created to tackle this fact by having hotel guests experiencing a part of Japanese summer.
The target audience for the 2019 tour was parents with small children, which was to be held for three days, but the number of bookings shot up for the entire duration, with 80% of them being from hotel guests from foreign countries. Numerous guests from China said that they had seen fireflies in anime and games before, and that kids and adults knew about them, but that there aren’t many places in China where you can see them for real so many of them had never seen them.
Fireflies can only inhabit places where the water is clean. Because of this, it’s becoming harder to see them not just in Japan, but around the world. This includes Kyoto, where the number decreases year by year. If you’re travelling to Kyoto at the end of May, then don’t miss out on this rare and exciting opportunity.
Mini Firefly Tour
Running: May 29, 2020 – May 31, 2020
Time: Departing from the hotel at sunset (after 17:00)
No. of People: 5 per day (first-come, first-served bookings)
*In the case of rain, the tour will not go ahead
The GrandWest Arashiyama Official Website: https://www.grandwest.kyoto/en/
Winston in Bloom: Afternoon Tea Collaboration by Harry Winston and Park Hyatt Tokyo Releasing in April
13.March.2020 | FOOD
Harry Winston and Park Hyatt Tokyo are joining hands to release a special afternoon tea set titled “Winston in Bloom.” It will be served at Peak Lounge on the 41st floor of Park Hyatt Tokyo from April 1 to 30 and be inspired by Harry Winston’s floral jewellery.
Known as the “King of Diamonds” and “Jeweler to the Stars,” Harry Winston founded his brand in New York in 1932. He was captivated by the beauty of flowers and how they produce themselves naturally, a beauty which is represented in his jewellery.
The collaborative “Winston in Bloom” afternoon tea is made in the image of a high-class flower garden adorned with diamonds and coloured stones.
This is the Harry Winston brand’s first afternoon tea collaboration in Japan, and offers an elegant taste experience for anyone who wishes to munch through this garden.
Special gifts are also prepared for anyone that orders this afternoon tea. These are available while supplies last.
Winston in Bloom Afternoon Tea
Running: April 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020
Time: Weekdays 14:00-17:00 / Weekends & Holidays 12:00-17:00)
Price: ¥5,000 per person (Service charge and tax not included)
Location: Peak Lounge (Park Hyatt Tokyo Floor 41F)
Food Review: Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea at Q-pot CAFE. in Omotesando
The MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON editorial team took a trip to Q-pot CAFE. to try out their new afternoon tea experience, the “SAKURA Romantic Tea Party,” where we were treated to a pink kawaii tea party experience. This afternoon tea is available now until April 26, 2020.
The cherry blossom designed decor and decorations welcomed us to an early spring. We ate in the cafe’s “SAKURA Room” for this review, which takes the Q-pot’s springtime cherry blossom experience to the next level.
Romantic SAKURA Afternoon Tea Set w/ Drink – ¥2,400 (Serves 1) (Tax Included) *Photo shows tea set for two
The top plate is beautifully adorned with cherry blossom St. Honoré cakes which are filled with a sumptuous gorgeous cherry blossom cream. There is also peach bavarois, strawberry cookies, and Q-pot CAFE.-original rich, cream ganache-filled macarons. The fallen cherry blossom petals on the plate are also in fact chocolate.
Everything on the plate screams kawaii with the considerate attention that is given to all the little details.
The bottom plate is the savoury stuff. We have hearty croissants filled with duck pastrami and cucumber that has been dressed with white wine vinegar. They are served with a white asparagus cream potage soup and skewered olives, mini tomatoes and pickles.
The balance of flavours between the top and bottom plates is exquisite; the savoury food refreshes your palate after the sweet treats on top.
The set comes with a cup of pink cherry blossom tea. Floral and fruity fragrances fill your nose as you go to take a sip, after which your taste buds are treated to the notes of cherry blossom and raspberry. This subtly sweet and refreshing drink is the perfect accompaniment to your dessert and meal line-up. It even comes with a little chocolate petal.
Romantic SAKURA Mont Blanc Plate w/ Drink – ¥2,060 (Tax Included)
The pink mont blanc gives cherry tree vibes. It’s made with cherry blossom bean paste cream, rich matcha chocolate, Japanese waguri chestnut, and chestnut cream. When you fork the fluffy bean paste, you get plenty of chestnut cream and matcha chocolate with it. The sweetness of the cherry blossom bean paste and the subtle bitterness of the matcha go really well together. Q-pot. CAFE offers a selection of original macarons too which you can pick from including strawberry, chocolate, lemon, and melon. We wanted to go as pink as possible, so we went for the strawberry one!
Romantic SAKURA Parfait w/ Drink – ¥1,850 (Tax Included)
This strikingly gorgeous parfait is topped with cherry blossom cookies, cherry blossom meringue, and more. Its tall beautiful form is built up by a selection of ingredients, including Japanese flavours like cherry blossom cream and houjicha sauce.
But what we want to draw attention to is the transparent jelly in the middle of the glass. If you look really closely, it looks like dancing cherry blossom leaves.
Q-pot CAFE. also has a range of other limited-time menu items, as well as food that looks just like real accessoriesーsomething the cafe is famous for. They also have accessories that look like real desserts, like a sugar cookie or crunchy meringue. Perfect for coordinating a spring look this year.
Make sure to pay a visit to Q-pot CAFE. if you’re visiting Tokyo this spring!
SAKURA Romantic Tea Party
Running: March 1, 2020 – April 26, 2020
Online Reservations: Now Open
*Afternoon tea set and hanami plan to be served until March 29, 2020
Address: 3-4-8 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00 (Last Orders 19:30)
Closed: New Year’s Holidays
Official Website: https://www.q-pot.jp/eng/
7 Must-Visit Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyoto For Hanami | 2020 Edition – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON
The warmer weather is growing ever closer as we start to approach spring, and in Japan, that means the cherry blossom season is right around the corner. Today, we are joined by Instagram user Macchan-san who has provided us with some picturesque photos of places Kyoto for this Top 7 list of must-visit locations in the ancient capital to see the cherry blossoms this year.
Gion Shirakawa is a place that delivers on expectations when visiting Kyoto, with its rows of traditional houses, stone pavements, and maiko whom you’re sure to meet. This area is also lit up with illuminations during the cherry blossom season, which is perfect when you’re listening to the sound of the flowing Shirakawa River while gazing to your heart’s content at the cherry blossoms.
▶ Gion Shirakawa
Address: Shirakawa River, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto (Between Kawabata Shopping Arcade and Gion Tatsumi Bridge)
Closest Stations: 5-minutes on foot from Gion-Shijō Station (via Keihan Electric Railway) / 10-minutes on foot from Sanjō Station (via Keihan Electric Railway) / 10-minutes on foot from Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station (via Hankyu Railway)
Official Website: http://gion-yoisakura.com/
Former Main Building of the Kyoto Prefectural Office
The Former Main Building of the Kyoto Prefectural Office is listed under Japan’s list of Important Cultural Properties. It is the oldest building among existing government buildings in Japan. The courtyard is home to towering shidare-zakura cherry blossom trees, which captivate those who visit the building. The view of the buildingーwhose exterior is like that of a western mansionーtogether with the cherry blossoms is a sight to behold.
▶ Former Main Building of the Kyoto Prefectural Office
Address: Yabunouchicho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto
Open: Tuesdays-Fridays (and every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Saturday)
Closed: Public Holidays and New Year Holidays
Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00
Closest Station: 10-minutes on foot from Marutamachi Station
Official Website (Japanese): https://www.pref.kyoto.jp/qhonkan/
Shojuin is famous for its beautiful heart-shaped window located in the reception hall. During the cherry blossom season, the window is dyed a pink colour. It is also lit up in the evenings, but you need to book a place in advance to see it. Places are allocated randomly. You can book on the official website.
Address: Kawakami-149 Okuyamada, Ujitawara, Tsuzuk District, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 9:00-16:30 (April-September)
Price: ¥500 (Includes tea and confection)
Official Website: http://shoujuin.boo.jp/
①Reachable by Keihan Uji Bus (Numbers 180, 182 or 184) from Uji Station and Shin-Tanabe Station. Get off at Ichumae Bus Stop (維中前)
②10 minutes by the Okayamada Community Bus or taxi
Sewaritei is a very popular spot for celebrating Hanami in Japan with its rows of cherry trees that span 1.4km along the park. From the Sakura Deai Kan observation building, you can soak up the breathtaking view of 220 individual cherry blossom trees. When they are in full bloom, it’s like walking through a tunnel of them, providing a romantic atmosphere.
Address: Yawata Zaioji, Yawata 614-8307, Kyoto Prefecture
Closest Station: 10-minutes on foot from Iwashimizu-Hachimangu Station (via Keihan Main Line)
Official Website: https://www.city.yawata.kyoto.jp/0000000479.html
Fushimi Jikkokubune Boats
Fushimi Jikkokubune is an opportunity to board an Edo Period-style boat. It departs from Bentenbashi, and takes passengers on a relaxing journey to observe Kyoto’s nature as well as the cherry blossoms. The departing times are fixed and limited, so be sure to check the official website in advance.
▶ Fushimi Jikkokubune Boats
Address: 247 Minamihamacho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto
Times: Check the official website
Closest Station: 5-minutes on foot from Chushojima Station (via the Keihan Main Line)
Official Website: https://kyoto-fushimi.or.jp/ship/
Fushimi Port Park
There is a walking course offered at Fushimi Port Park which lets you take in all of its sights. I recommend going for a Hanami walk when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
▶ Fushimi Port Park
Address: Yoshijima Kanaidocho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto
Closest Station: 3-minutes on foot from Chushojima Station (via the Keihan Main Line)
Official Website: http://kyoto-park.or.jp/fushimi/
Fushimi Deai Bridge
This bridge appeared in the anime film I Want to Eat Your Pancreas. It’s a very beautiful spot where the cherry trees reflect off the surface of the water below the bridge. The location’s sights are the same as they were in the past too.
▶ Fushimi Deai Bridge (in Japanese: 伏見出会い橋)
Address: 911 Kitahamacho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto
Closest Station: 9-minutes on foot from Chushojima Station (via the Keihan Main Line)
Did you enjoy this list? If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto this spring, be sure to use these picks as reference for your Hanami and cherry blossom destinations. And if you’re looking for more places to visit in Kyoto, then follow Macchan on Instagram