Tour Tokyo, Pick Strawberries and Enjoy Afternoon Tea On The ichigosan bus
04.January.2020 | FOOD
From their popular AWAPA Foam Party event where you can dance in a club filled with foam to their BATHTUB CINEMA event where you can watch a movie with your friends in a bathtub, Afro&Co. never fails to bring us new and creative ways to have fun. They are now collaborating with Saga prefecture to run the ‘ichigosan bus’: a sightseeing bus which will introduce you to wonderful spots in Tokyo with an unexpected strawberry twist to celebrate the first anniversary of Saga prefecture’s strawberry farm ‘ichigosan’. Enjoy strawberry picking inside the bus and then tuck into a strawberry-tastic afternoon tea set and much more. The bus will be running for a five day period from January 1 to 19, 2020.
ichigosan Afternoon Tea
ichigosan Panna Cotta
The ichigosan bus commemorates one-year since Saga Prefecture launched their new brand of delicious succulent strawberries called ‘ichigosan’. The collaboration hopes to spread the delicious flavour of ichigosan strawberries to as many people as possible with the five-day-limited strawberry-tastic bus tour. Hop on the red double-decker bus, which looks just like a London tour bus, to enjoy strawberry picking on floor one and an original strawberry afternoon tea set prepared by a chef from Royal Garden Cafe Aoyama on floor two.
This three-experience-in-one tour bus introduces you to the newest famous spots in the city, offers you a fun strawberry picking experience and even comes with a delicious strawberry afternoon tea set. You can book tickets in advance online and there are two kinds of tickets available for on-the-day purchases. As this is the best season to enjoy ichigosan strawberries in Japan, make the most of it on this tour and you will be berry pleased.
Running: January 15 – 19, 2020
Operating Times: 11:00 – 18:30
Arrival and Departure Point: Royal Garden Cafe Aoyama
(2 Chome-1-19 Kitaaoyama, Minato City, Tokyo)
Bus Tour Time: 55 Minutes
5 Tours per Day
Price: Tickets are sold in pairs, ¥3,800 Per Person
Tickets: Reserve online or purchase on the day. There are two kinds of same-day tickets. (Subject to change)
Official Website: https://www.saga-ichigosan.jp/ichigosanbus2020/
Enjoy a Picnic Under Okinawa’s Starry Night Sky on Taketomi Island
27.April.2021 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island, a hotel resort in Okinawa, is bringing back its night time picnic plan this year where guests can sit on sofas by the beachside with the gorgeous starry sky overhead. The plan is called “Hoshi Furu Yoru no Teingaara Picnic” (Starry Night Milky Way Picnic). Teingaara (てぃんがーら) is Okinawan for the Japanese word for Milky Way (Ama no Gawa, 天の川). It will run from June 1 to August 31.
Gaze at the Milky Way beside the tranquil seaside
Aiyaru Beach is just a five-minute walk from HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island, and it’s here where guests can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Milky Away. The beach is situated away from any hustle and bustle, and not many people visit at night, allowing for a chance to enjoy the sound of the waves. Plus, there aren’t many days when people have picnics when the moon is out, meaning guests can enjoy a more quiet and private picnic under the moonlight on a comfy sofa.
A fancy picnic inspired by the Milky Way
Tuck into a very special picnic based on the Milky Way made with Taketomi Island’s famous Japanese leek, papaya, purple yam, and other delicious veggies as well as island tofu cream and miso. The set comes with a sparkling wine which captures the deep hues of the night sky.
A conversation with the stars
An expert on the Ishigaki Island and the stars will take guests on a journey through the stars, offering commentary on the island’s beauty and culture.
In March 2018, the Yaeyama Islands, which includes Taketomi Island, were recognised by the non-profit organisation International Dark‑Sky Association as Japan’s first International Dark Sky Park for its distinguished quality of starry nights. The Yaeyama Islands have a lower latitude than Tokyo meaning many more stars can be seen in the sky. Summertime is the best season for enjoying its stars too.
Hoshi Furu Yoru no Teingaara Picnic”
Japanese Plan Name: 星降る夜のてぃんがーらピクニック
Running: June 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021
Closed: June 20-25, July 19,-24, August 7-22.
Price: ¥30,000 per group (does not include tax, service charge, or accommodation fees)
Capacity: 1 group of two people per day
*Bookings must be made 14 days in advance
*Picnic will not run if the weather is bad
*Picnic ingredients subject to change depending on stock
Stay in a Penguin Themed Hotel Room at Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa
15.April.2021 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa opened its Penguin Room on April 6, a single new guest room themed around penguins designed in collaboration with Asahikawa Zoo.
Penguin Room Feature ①
Guests are immediately greeted with penguins galore as the enter their room, with penguin plushies by the bedside, on the ceiling, and pretty much everywhere else. It will be like staying with a family of penguins for the duration of their stay.
Penguin Room Feature ②
After a visit to Asahikawa Zoo, guests can head back to their hotel room where a variety of fun penguin-related items are stocked including games, all of which will remind them of their time at the zoo.
Penguin Room Feature ③
The room is also decorated with boards featuring photos and information of animals at Asahikawa Zoo. The boards are handwritten by the zoo staff, something they do every spring season.
Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa previously collaborated with Asahikawa Zoo when a polar bear themed room. Now, penguin lovers can have their dream come true as they spend their time surrounded by penguin decorations in their room. The hotel is just a 30-minute car ride from Asahikawa Zoo, so why not make a plan to experience both if you’re visiting Hokkaido this spring?
Opened: April 6, 2021
Location: Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa
Official Website: https://omo-hotels.com/asahikawa/
GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA x my route Launch Collaborative Campaign
Japanese company @YOKOHAMA is helping to promote the regional development of Yokohama by collaborating with GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA using the multimodal mobility service app “my route” with the launch of a campaign.
The campaign is taking place for residents of Yokohama, running from February 8 to 28. All people need to do is download and open the app and fill out the form. Fifty lucky people will have the chance to win a free ticket to GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA, an amusement park themed on the popular Gundam franchise.
my route is an app that lets users search for the most affordable way to travel as well as letting them book and buy tickets. @YOKOHAMA’s portal site is also now linked to the app, offering information about local stores, events, and other information regarding Yokohama.
GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA Collaboration Download Campaign
Running: February 8 – 28 2021
GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA
Open: December 19, 2020 – March 31, 2022
Location: Yokohama, Yamashita Futo
Address: 279-25, Yamashitacho, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa
Access: Minato Mirai Line
7-minute walk from Motomachi-Chukagai Station (Minatomirai Line)
Yokohama BAYSIDE BLUE Bus: 3-minute walk from Yamashitafuto Bus Stop
GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA Official Website: https://gundam-factory.net/
Special Edition Website: https://www.at-yokohama.net/topics/article20210208_02.html
Valentine’s Themed Menu Now Serving at FENDI CAFFE by ANNIVERSAIRE in Omotesando
30.January.2021 | FOOD
Luxury Italian brand FENDI is currently teamed up with the iconic Aoyama-based ANNIVERSAIRE CAFÉ OMOTESANDO to serve up a special Valentine’s Day themed menu at the cafe which it’s calling “FENDI CAFFE by ANNIVERSAIRE.”
Cake Set | ¥2,800 (Before Tax)
Tart Saison | ¥1,000 (Before Tax)
The cake set and tart saison are revamps of current menu items, now topped with in-season strawberries. The cafe has also been adorned with romantic red roses and multi-coloured decorations for this year’s Valentine’s Day.
FENDI CAFFE by ANNIVERSAIRE
Running: November 28, 2020 – February 14, 2021
Where: FENDI CAFFE by ANNIVERSAIRE
Address: 3-5-30 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00
FENDI Official Website: http://www.fendi.com
Tokyo’s Fancy New Pink Afternoon Tea at THE GRAND GINZA is Topped With Chocolate and Strawberries
30.January.2021 | FOOD
THE GRAND GINZA in Tokyo is getting ready for Valentine’s Day and White Day with the revealing of its new afternoon tea menu which will be served from February 1 to March 31.
The “Pink Afternoon Tea” is a combination of succulent strawberries and fruity ruby chocolate, which is the fourth type of chocolate alongside milk, dark, and white. It includes a ruby hot chocolate for staying warm during these cold winter months, strawberry macarons, strawberries to dip in ruby chocolate, strawberry quiche curry, and other unique items for a mix of sweet and savoury. There’s also a strawberry mille-fuille made with a recipe by Ginza’s famous French restaurant Maxim’s de Paris.
There are also 18 drinks to choose from including 13 types of teas from TWG. It’s a must-visit for Valentine’s Day.
Made in OME: Japan’s Millennials Promote Micro Tourism Project For Ome in Tokyo
29.January.2021 | SPOT
Ome—a city located in western Tokyo that’s about an hour’s train ride from the populous Shinjuku. It’s a place enjoyed by many for its hiking and river swimming locales, as well as its architecture, in which one can still feel the influences of Japan’s Edo period, and kindness of the locals.
MATINOEKI OUME, an Ome-based company, recently launched its “Made in OME” project which aims to revitalise the city. The project will create a new kind of Ome through the eyes of the millennial generation. Its goal is to polish and refine the appealing aspects of Ome to offer up new tourism opportunities while bringing in new fans to the city.
Made in OME’s first step towards that is teaming up with DJ and YouTuber Yuna Yabe and illustrator and streamer MIOCHIN, two models signed to ASOBISYSTEM who will represent the millennial generation as the navigators of this journey as they participate in workshops with local producers and manufacturers, developing a variety of products such as sweets made with ingredients from Ome, like baumkuchen and chocolate rolls, and more.
You can catch their activity live over on MIOCHIN’s official Instagram page. Visit Made in OME’s official website below for more details.
The two of them will host a free ‘monitor tour’ on February 21, 2021. These monitor tours aim to have people developing a strong relationship with new products from Ome. Participants will learn about the history and culture of Ome via local producers and manufacturers with products such as sake and indigo dyeing. Made in OME plants to expand their range of tourist monitor tours in the future.
Local Ome residents will also be invited to the tour in the evening of the same day. Learn all there is to know about Ome at Made in OME’s website which is available in English, Japanese, and Chinese.
MATINOEKI OUME opened in November 2016. Its focus is on livening up the city of Ome and getting more people to learn about its wonders by offering information on famous tourist spots, stocking a bounty of local products, and more.
MATINOEKI OUME Official Website: https://www.matinoeki-oume.com/
FANCL Ginza Square Opens Onsen Hot Spring That You Can Walk Into Wearing Your Clothes
22.January.2021 | SPOT
FANCL has brought the hot spring experience to its flagship site FANCL Ginza Square for a limited time with a variety of content that makes visitors feel like they’ve come to a Japanese onsen. The experience, named Tabi Suru Square Yu, is running until February 11, 2021.
Café au Lait / Fruit au Lait / Soy Milk Aojiru – ¥300 Each
Reiwa Honzen (FANCL Ginza Square Floor 9F)
Lunch Sana Winter Seafood Bento | ¥3,500
Winter Dinner Seafood Course | From ¥9,000
FANCL BROWN RICE MEALS (FANCL Ginza Square Floor B1F)
Hiroshima Oyster & Spinach Risotto Parmesan Cheese Galette Lunch Set | ¥1,850
Tomato Cream Pasta Lunch Set ¥1,850
Original Hand Towel
FANCL Ginza Square Onsen Essentials Set | ¥3,668
Breathing exercises at SUU-HAKU
At Tabi Suru Square Yu, visitors can enter a room that fully recreates the experience of being in a hot spring. The room is set at the same temperature, is filled with the same aromas, and is decorated in the same way. Visitors sit on one of the relaxation sheets to soak up the experience – effectively getting into a hot spring without having to change their clothes.
A variety of classic drinks and dishes sold at hot springs in Japan will also be sold, and visitors can get involved in the breathing exercises on offer.
YOKOHAMA AIR CABIN: Japan’s First Permanent Inner-City Cable Car Opens in April
20.January.2021 | SPOT
Japan is set to get its first ever permanent city cable car in Yokohama on April 22 called the YOKOHAMA AIR CABIN.
The YOKOHAMA AIR CABIN is a cable car system that will offer locals and tourists a chance to enjoy Yokohama from a new perspective whether during the hot summers or during the cool evenings when the city lights wake up.
The system will be connected directly to Sakuragichō Station and Shinko Pier for easy, quick access to enjoy Yokohama Minato Mirai from up high.
If you’re planning a trip to Yokohama at some point, be sure to take a ride on YOKOHAMA AIR CABIN, officially opening on April 22, 2021.
YOKOHAMA AIR CABIN
Opening: April 22, 2021
Operating Hours: 10:00-22:00
Price: General ¥1,000 / Children ¥500
Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE Releases Video of Magical Beachside Illuminations
19.January.2021 | SPOT
The incredible beachside Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE, which offers guests a breathtaking ocean view along the Okinawan coast, released a video on the official Hoshino Resorts YouTube page showcasing the cafe’s ongoing illumination event, “Illumi Banta,” which is running until February 28, 2021. Guests can enjoy some limited-time menu options and then take a romantic stroll along the beach with a warm lantern in hand.
Okinawa is known for its warm climate, rarely dipping below 15°C in the chilly season of winter. There are many celebratory days enjoyed every year around Christmas and New Years, and so BANTA CAFE decided to get in on the action with Illumi Banta, which has been running since December 1 last year—while following the necessary precautions against COVID-19 to ensure everyone stays safe. The spacious cafe is mostly outdoors so visitors can enjoy their time without worry.
A seat at the cafe in on a clear evening guarantees a front row seat to a beautiful orange sunset that sinks into the horizon. Normally, the cafe closes as sunset arrives, but for this event, opening hour have been extended into the night.
BANTA CAFE is located in the village of Yomitan where the beautiful ocean is surrounded by coral reef, enormous rocks, and a rich natural environment. It’s a must-visit if travelling to Okinawa.
Running: December 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021 (Except February 1st-5th)
Time: 18:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:00)
Address: 560 Gima, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa
Opening Hours: 10:00 to one hour after sunset (from 08:00 on weekends and holidays)
Official Website: https://banta-cafe.com/en/
Nagasaki’s 112 Year Old Hotel Nampuro Opens Terraces With Panoramic Ocean and Sky Views
19.January.2021 | SPOT
The 112-year-old Hotel Nampuro in Nagasaki is set to open the new Sky Terrace and Ocean Terrace this month. These vistas offer breathtaking, unbroken views of the sea and sky that make it feel as if you’re floating on the ocean with rolling skies ahead that stretch to the horizon.
Observation Terrace (1)
Observation Terrace (2)
Infinity Pool-Style Open-Air Bath
Beautifying Bubble Baths
Jacuzzi Bath (Male Only)
Hinoki Sauna & Steam Sauna
Iyashi Onsen Cafe
Rental Open-Air Bath
The observation terrace offers an incredible panoramic view of the great Ariake Sea that offers a picturesque spectacle at all times of the day. Guests can enjoy seeing the morning, noon, and night skies which merge together with the ocean for an unbeatable result. There’s also a “no talking” rule on the terrace so guests can fully soak up what’s in front of them as they take a luxirous soak in the warm baths.
The infinity pool-style open-air bath offers a refreshing view while making it seem as if you are part of the ocean. The silky bath uses delicate micro bubbles which become an air cushion and promote good blood circulation using massage. The jacuzzi bath relaxes the entire body with stimulating bubbles, while the children’s bath allows kids to get in on the fun too. Both saunas are a change to unwind fatigue and the tired body. The steam sauna is set at a lower temperature than your usual high-temperature dry sauna which ensures it doesn’t have as much strain on the body so guests can sweat it out comfortably. The freshly-brewed coffee available at the hot spring is also exclusive to the hotel’s Onsen Cafe.
Hotel Nampuro Observation Terraces – Sky Terrace & Ocean Terrace
Address: 2-7331-1 Bentenmachi, Shimabara, Nagasaki
Official Website: https://www.nampuro.com/world/english/
Universal Studios Japan Announces Easter Universal Celebration 2021
13.January.2021 | SPOT
Universal Studios Japan is set to spring into Easter starting on March 12 with the announcement of Universal Easter Celebration 2021. This year, which marks the 20th anniversary since USJ opened, will see the park’s cute and iconic characters once again lull guests into an unforgettable Easter dream at Universal Wonderland and Minion Park.
Universal Easter Celebration
USJ will see colourful pastel decorations cover the Universal Wonderland and Minion Park areas, and the characters too will be dressed in their seasonal Easter costumes. A special Easter rendition of the Wonderland Seasons Joy show will also take place to commemorate the park’s 20th anniversary with song and dance.
Wonderland Seasons Joy ~Easter Ver.~
Minion Park Easter
The park will also introduced a special egg hunt after Elmo and the Minions dropped some of their eggs. If you manage to find them all you get a limited-edition gold medal. USJ is also taking the Easter festivities online too with a special celebratory live stream called Let’s Cooking! Kawaii Easter Party
WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s21) Minions and all related elements and indicia TM & © 2021 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. TM & © 2021 Sesame Workshop © 2021 Peanuts Worldwide LLC TM & © Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment Universal Studios Japan TM & © Universal Studios. All rights reserved.
Universal Easter Celebration
Running: March 12, 2021 – June 27, 2021
Location: Universal Studios Japan
Official Website: https://www.usj.co.jp/web/en/us
Saga Prefecture’s Sake Brewers Clink Glasses to Launch OPEN SAGASAKE Campaign
The new OPEN SAGASAKE campaign is set to launch on January 14, 2021 to help spread awareness of sake brewed in Japan’s prefecture of Saga.
The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the world into confusion and disorder and made it difficult to predict the future. In response to this, Saga Prefecture’s sake brewers have come together for Japan’s sake fans to launch a campaign that is imbued with the hope for a brighter future. It will release a variety of content for people to look forward with positivity as they go into the New Year.
Saga was originally known as Hizen and hails as Japan’s oldest location for rice farming. It’s home to Nabatake Ruins, an ancient ruin of rice paddies believed to be the oldest in Japan, and the enormous Yoshinogari site which is suited for rice cultivation. It’s also home to many ‘power spots,’ a concept in Japan where a specific place is considered to give one energy by visiting it. The people of Saga have lived in rhythm with nature throughout history, and it’s here where many sake breweries have opened.
Those who spend over ¥1,500 on Saga sake (tax included) for the campaign will be given a special leaflet by Pleiades Reina when it begins on January 14. Reina is the first child of Getters Iida, a Japanese fortune teller. 100 lucky people will also be given another special product to make their Saga sake drinking experience that much more special. Sign-ups begin on January 14 and end on March 12 in Japan.
2021 OPEN SAGASAKE Limited-Edition Bottles
Special Saga sake brand limited-edition bottles will be sold starting on February 1. The labels feature colourful gradations so you can pick which bottle you want depending on which one you’re feeling.
An online event will take place for Japanese sake fans on YouTube on March 6 at 18:00 (JST). Various actresses, models, and influencers will take part in a talk, including fortune telling by Pleiades Reina. There will also be prizes and other content to look forward to.
OPEN SAGASAKE Campaign
Running: January 14, 2021 – March 31, 2021
Official Website: https://lifepro.me/opensagasake/ *Website will open on January 13, 2021 @ 15:00 (JST)
Shops in Saga and Fukuoka stocking Saga sake (select shops not participating)
Life Select: https://www.lifeselect.jp/
Online Event – Saga Sake KAMPAI＃LIVE!: https://youtube.com/user/SagaKouhouMovie