Scarlett’s Kawaii Kyushu Part 2: Kumamoto

20.February.2017 | FEATURES / SPOT

GO TO Part1 article → Scarlett’s Kawaii Kyushu Part 1: Beppu

The next stop on my journey was Kumamoto. Kumamoto is situated just south-west of Oita, and is famous for its onsens, mountains… and their worldwide famous mascot Kumamon! It’s got a nice lively feel in the evenings, and the locals are very friendly.

 

One of the most exciting parts of my Kyushu journey was definitely the bus from Beppu to Kumamoto. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy a 5 hour long bus ride, but it was an amazing experience. The scenery is just spectacular, and as you travel higher into the mountains you’ll see snow too if you’re lucky. There are plenty of stop off points so you can take photos of Mount Aso! There was even a traditional song about the one of the routes we were taking playing onboard.

 

kyusyu1

 

The first stop for me had to be Kumamon Square, every Kumamon fan’s paradise. As well as ample exclusive merchandise, you can also have a Kumamon latte, visit Kumamon’s office, and even meet the bear himself! At certain times of day Kumamon has a fun stage show, you can check the website for his schedule. I was lucky enough to get a hug from Kumamon, which according to the local Kumamon fans is quite rare!

The tourist sights of Kumamoto city have to be seen to be believed. Kumamoto castle is truly stunning, in the day or at night, and one of the oldest standing of its kind. It’s the proud symbol of Kumamoto. Near the castle is the Sakuranobaba Johsaien cafe and shopping area where you can pick up great omiyage (gift souvenirs) and eat some of Kumamoto’s famous dishes. Suizenji park is relaxing and beautiful – you can walk around the gardens and take in this detailed and neat Japanese gardening style. Did you know the main hill in the garden is a representation of Mount Fuji? All of these sights are accessible by a very handy tram system. With several lines going to different parts of Kumamoto city, and at only 170 yen a ride, you can’t go wrong!

kyushu2

 

Kumamoto suffered from a devastating earthquake in April last year, and are still rebuilding. Boosting tourism is a key goal for Kumamoto. This includes initiatives like introducing exciting pop culture to affected areas, like a One Piece train on some of the recently rebuilt train lines.

 

I was lucky enough to spend my New Year’s in Kumamoto city, and I thought I should rise to the occasion. I rented a kimono and went to the famous Kengun Shrine. It was a little further out from the centre, and is the most popular Hatsumode spot with the locals. At the shrine you can buy lucky charms for the year ahead and even get a fortune. There is also festival food, like taiyaki and yakitori, on the way to the shrine.

kyushu3

 

If you fancy a day trip, there are plenty of accessible places. Some train and bus routes out of the city are still closed from the effects of the earthquake, so be sure to check before you travel. I decided to go to a town long famous for its onsens and scenery – Kikuchi. Only an hour from Kumamoto city by bus, it’s the perfect relaxing day out for a break from the hustle and bustle, nestled in between the mountains. I would recommend walking up to the shrine from park, it was very serene and peaceful seeing the view from there.

unspecified

There are six recommended onsens in Kikuchi, all within walking distance of each other! I tried out Morisansou and Seiryuusou. The staff at Morosansou were very friendly and the onsen was an older style which I really liked. At Seiryuusou you have the option of the regular onsen or private family onsens, both at very reasonable prices. The female onsen was outdoors and overlooked an amazing waterfall and river, definitely one of the best onsen views I’ve ever seen!

That concludes my trip this time, but I would love to go back to Kyushu very soon. I’d particularly love to go to Fukuoka, and Karatsu (the town that Yuri Katsuki’s hometown is based on!) on my next adventure. Thanks for reading!

 

■Writer:Scarlett

■SNS:@scarlettdaccha(Twitter/Imstagram)

 

■Related article:Scarlett’s Kawaii Kyushu Part 1: Beppu

■Related article:Mogumogu Scarlet #1: Going to eat super soft pancakes in Japan

■Related aritcle:Mogu Mogu Scarlett#2  Pom Pom Purin café in Harajuku!

 

RELATED ENTRIES

  • teamLab’s Rinkan Spa & Tea Ceremony, Ruins and Remains Opens as Permanent Exhibit at Mifuneyama Rakuen

    17.November.2020 | SPOT

    Japanese art collective teamLab opened its teamLab: Rinkan Spa & Tea Ceremony, Ruins and Remains series of artworks at Mifuneyama Rakuen in Kyushu as permanent exhibitions on November 10. The artworks can be enjoyed as part of a set which includes enjoying the exhibits as well as a soak in Mifuneyama Rakuen Hotel’s sauna and a complimentary cup of Japanese tea.

     

    Rakan no Yu, a sauna located at Mifuneyama Rakuen Hotel, won the Saunachelin Grand Prix two years in a row in 2019 and 2020. The sauna and open-air baths enjoy natural water from Mt. Mifune and are surrounded by the vast nature of the local area.

     

    A sauna and new art experience fusion

    Sitting on the borderline of Mifuneyama Rakuen Park is the 3,000-year-old sacred Okusu tree of Takeo Shrine, which is Japan’s 7th largest. Also in the heart of the garden is another 300-year-old sacred tree. Knowing the significance of this, Japan’s forebears turned a portion of this forest into a garden, utilizing the trees of the natural forest. The border between the garden and the wild forest is ambiguous, and when wandering through the garden, before they know it, people will find themselves entering the woods and animal trails.

     

    Visitors can get their hands on a combo ticket which includes access to teamLab’s exhibition as well as daytime entry to the sauna. These are limited to 40 people per day.

     

    Below are some of the artworks that visitors can experience.

    Megaliths in the Bath House Ruins
    teamLab, 2019, Interactive Digital Installation

    Graffiti Nature – Living in the Ruins of a Bathhouse, Red List
    teamLab, 2017-, Interactive Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    Butterflies Dancing in the Depths of the Underground Ruins, Transcending Space
    teamLab, 2019, Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    Forest and Spiral of Resonating Lamps in the Forest – One Stroke, Autumn Mountain
    teamLab, 2018, Interactive Installation, Murano Glass, LED, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

  • Japan’s Pixar Bullet Train Project ‘GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE with Pixar’ Announces New Merchandise

    13.November.2020 | FASHION / SPOT

    The “GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE with Pixar” project has announced its second batch of original merchandise. Let’s take a look at a sample of the line-up.

     

    About GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE with PIXAR

    JR Kyushu signed a promotional license agreement with Walt Disney Japan to launch the “GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE with PIXAR” project, which began on September 12, 2020, and sees select shinkansen bullet trains decorated in characters from Pixar’s animated filmography.

     

    Original Merchandise – Batch ②

    Pixar Torimon | ¥1,512 (Tax Included)

    The Hakata Tormin is a popular souvenir confection in Fukuoka Prefecture. This collection features exclusive Pixar packaging.

    Pixar Stainless Steel Bottle | ¥3,190 (Tax Included)


    Pixar Mobile Battery | ¥4,180 (Tax Included) *Available online only

    Two items which are must-haves when travelling are a drink bottle and a mobile battery. The Pixar stainless steel bottle holds 130ml and is perfect for keeping hot drinks during the autumn and winter season.

    minimaginationTOWN Toy Story Woody Set | ¥2,480 (Tax Included)


    minimaginationTOWN Toy Story Ducky & Bunny Set | ¥3,278 (Tax Included)

    Cute Pixar plush toys riding the Pixar bullet train. There’s also Buzz and Little Green Men designs!

    Pixar Arita Ware Plate (Up design) | ¥3,080 (Tax Included) *Available online only

    Little Green Men Hand Towel | ¥2,816 (Tax Included) *Available online only

    Two traditional Japanese items with an Arita ware plate inspired by Up as well as hand towels which are available in navy and brown.

     

    Original Merchandise – Batch ②

    Release Date: November 13, 2020
    Available: Kokura Souvenir Shop, Hakata Souvenir Shop at Hakata Station’s Hakata Entrance, Hakata Souvenir Shop Dates, Hakata Souvenir Shop at Hakata Station’s Shinkansen area, Oita Souvenir Shop, Kumamoto Souvenir Shop, Nagasaki Souvenir Shop, Kagoshima Souvenir Shop, Miyazaki Souvenir Shop, and elsewhere
    Online Shop: https://jrk-kyushutabi.shop/html/page2.html
    *Limited in stock so available while supplies last

     

    Instagram campaign to win more original merch

    ©Disney/Pixar

    Prize: Embroidered Pouch With Pin

    The WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Instagram Campaign will run from November 16, 2020 to January 16, 2021 for a chance for 20 people to enter to win an embroidered pouch with a pin. All they need to do is follow the official Instagram page @wakuwakuadventure and post a photo related to the project with the Japanese hashtag #わくわくアドベンチャーキャンペーン.

     

    ©Disney/Pixar

  • 6 Best Spots to Visit in Japan’s Oita Prefecture During Autumn – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    10.September.2020 | SPOT

    Oita in Kyushu has been nicknamed “Hot Spring Prefecture Oita” due to having the largest number of hot spring water sources and outputs in Japan. Oita welcomes many visitors every year who flock to the prefecture’s many famous hot spring locations like Beppu and Yufuincho Kawakami.

     

    But the charm of Oita doesn’t lie solely in its hot springs. It’s also a location that offers breathtaking scenery during autumn. We’ve picked 6 spots around Oita Prefecture that are must-visits during autumn.

     

    Keiseki-en

    The gorge of Yabakei is designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty in Japan. Keiseki-en is a beautiful Japanese garden that was built to commemorate the completion of the Yabakei dam. It’s home to over 31,000 individual trees of around 100 species as well as a lake, waterfalls, and crags. It’s a place that boasts natural beauty throughout all four seasons.

     

    Address: 2286-1 Yabakeimachi Ōaza Ōshima, Nakatsu, Oita

     

    Kinrin Lake

    Kinrin Lake is one of Yufu’s most famous sightseeing spots for the mysterious torii gate that sits within the lake. Spring water and hot spring water flows through the lake, and because the temperature of the water is warm throughout the year, you can see steam rising from the surface in the early hours of winter days. Tenso Shrine also sits on the bank of the lake which is home to a sacred tree that’s designated as a natural monument.

     

    Address: 1561 Yufuinchō Kawakami, Yufu, Oita
    Access: 20 minutes on foot from Yufuin Station (JR Line)

     

    Kyusuikei

    Kyusuikei’s scenery spans through the prefectural road that connects the Kokonoe IC to Yamanami Highway. Its 2km expanse is made up of sheer cliffs which create the valley that is known for its autumn colours. Visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the maple and ginkgo trees from the observation deck that runs along the cliff. There are other nearby sightseeing spots too like Kokonoe Yume Otsurihasi Bridge and Kyusuikei Onsen hot springs.

     

    Address: Tano, Kokonoe, Kusu District, Oita
    Access: 20-minutes by car from Kokonoe IC

     

    Hakubakei

    The valley of Hakubaki was designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty of the city of Usuki. In autumn, surrounding trees are dyed in reds and yellows, bringing people from all over to witness the spectacle. And because the valley it at a high altitude, the gradation of the colourful trees changes as you go further in.

     

    Address: Badai, Usuki, Oita
    Access: 5-minutes by car from Usuki IC

     

    Fukiji Temple

    Fukiji Temple was built in the Heian Period for the high priest of Usa Jingu. The temple is a national treasure, and the Amida-Nyōrai contained inside is designated by the Japanese government as an Important Cultural Property.

     

    Address: 2395 Tashibufuki, Bungotakada, Oita
    Access: 30-minutes by car from Usa Station

     

    Mount Kuju

    Mount Kuju stands as the highest mountain in Kyushu Island at nearly 1,800-meters tall, which has also led to to be nicknamed the “Rooftop of Kyushu.” Its has many peaks, the highest being Mount Nakadake at 1,791-meters. One peak in particular draws mountain climbers, and that’s Mount Taisen. At its apex one can enjoy the breathtaking autumn colours together with the sight of the rolling mountains.

     

    Address: Tano, Kokonoe, Kusu District, Oita
    Access: 40-minutes by car from Kokonoe IC.

  • Japan’s Pixar Bullet Train Project ‘GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE with Pixar’ Details Announced

    28.August.2020 | SPOT

    JR Kyushu has signed a promotional license agreement with Walt Disney Japan to launch the “GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE with PIXAR” project, which will see the shinkansen bullet trains decorated in characters from the Pixar animated filmography starting on September 12, 2020.

     

    The project comes at a time when Pixar celebrates the 25th anniversary of the original Toy Story film, which released back in 1995 as the first entirely computer-animated feature film.

     

    New details have been released for the upcoming project, including the unveiling of the key visual, the content of the collaboration, campaigns that will be held, and limited-edition merchandise which will be sold.

    Key Visual

    The key visual is a colourful Pixar creation which is shaped to look like the seven prefectures that make up Kyushu—Japan’s south-westernmost island where the JR Kyushu WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Shinkanen bullet train will run.

     

    Character Visuals

    Poster Design

    All major stations along the JR Kyushu Line display the key visual along with the above-pictured poster featuring various Pixar characters. Each of Kyushu’s seven major prefectural train stations listed below will also have additional posters for different Pixar films.

     

    Hakata Station: Toy Story
    Saga Station: Up
    Nagasaki Station: Finding Nemo
    Oita Station: The Incredibles
    Kumamoto Station: Cars
    Kagoshima-Chūō Station: Monsters, Inc.
    Miyazaki Station: Wall-E

     

    Tabloid Distribution

    For illustrative purposes only. Distribution from September 12, 2020.

    At all major stations running the JR Kyushu Line, commuters can get their hands on a free tabloid inspired by the “My Adventure Book” from the Pixar film Up. The content of the tabloid features information related to the collaboration and where you can find Pixar characters at stations throughout Kyushu, so you too can have your own adventure.

     

    Photo Spots

    Cars photo spot

    The seven JR Kyushu prefectural stations will also have their own photo spots where you can snap a picture. You’ll also spot Woody and Buzz dolls and Hakata Station and Sully and Mike ones at Kagoshima-Chūō Station.

     

    Participating Stations: Hakata Station, Saga Station, Nagasaki Station, Oita Station, Kumamoto Station, Kagoshima-Chūō Station, Miyazaki Station

     

    Special Site & Official Instagram

    A special site opened which features the departure schedule for the JR Kyushu WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Shinkansen, details on campaigns, the latest details on the collaboration, and more. Waku Waku ADVENTURE now also has its own Instagram page which includes reports on event, pictures of merchandise, and other details.

     

    Special Movie

    A special collaborative movie will be released in September centred on the themes of Pixar’s movies such as bonds between people, family, friends, and adventure. It will be shown at JR Kyushu stations and the special site.

     

    Campaign: Find the Pixar Ball

    Original sticker designs

    If you spot a station staff member at any of the JR Kyushu prefectural stations wearing a Pixar ball badge, call out to them and they’ll give you one of seven possible Pixar stickers as pictured above. All seven can be put into your “My Adventure Book,” so try collecting them all!

     

    Participating Stations: Hakata Station, Saga Station, Nagasaki Station, Oita Station, Kumamoto Station, Kagoshima-Chūō Station, Miyazaki Station

    *Depending on the time, platform staff may not be wearing the badges

    *Stickers are available while supplies last

     

    GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Digital Stamp Rally

    A digital stamp rally will be held on the official JR Kyushu app. Board the JR Kyushu WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Shinkansen, visit JR Kyushu Stations, and get some original stamps.

     

    1st Stamp Rally: September 12, 2020 – January 31, 2021

     

    Limited Edition Merchandise

    Merchandise lineup

    A special collection of merchandise has been created featuring designs of Kyushu and the Pixar characters. The items will be sold at shops around JR Kyushu stations and online in Japan.

     

    Release Date: September 12, 20202
    Merchandise List: https://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/train/wakuwaku-adventure/goods/

     

    Those who ride the very first departing train will receive an original Pixar design train ticket. The Tsubame 363 train bound for Kagoshima-Chūō Station will depart from Hakata Station at 12:19 on September 12, 2020.

     

    ©Disney/Pixar

  • Japan’s New High Speed Bus Travels From Kyoto to Mount Koya

    23.August.2020 | SPOT

    Keihan Bus and Nankai Rinkan Bus are bringing back their high-speed bus service this year which will run from September 18 to November 30. The service will incorporate a mandatory booking system, making it even more convenient than last year.

    Mount Kōya is the name of the temple settlement found in Wakayama which first settled in 819. It is the centre for the Kōyasan Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism and is designated as a World Heritage Site, one of many found in Kyoto alongside Kinkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, and Shimogamo Shrine.

    The new Kyoto Koya-san buses offer a smooth, direct ride to the World Heritage Site, arriving there from Kyoto in just 2 hours and 40 minutes.

  • Pixar Themed Shinkansen Bullet Trains Speed Through Kyushu This September

    18.August.2020 | SPOT

    JR Kyushu has signed a promotional license agreement with Walt Disney Japan to launch the “GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE with PIXAR” project, which will see the shinkansen bullet trains decorated in characters from the Pixar animated filmography starting on September 12, 2020.

     

    The project comes at a time when Pixar celebrates the 25th anniversary of the original Toy Story film, which released back in 1995 as the first entirely computer-animated feature film.

     

    The “GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE with PIXAR” project’s story

    The concept behind the project is for passengers using the bullet trains to go off on a new adventure with their favourite Pixar characters to find new and exciting places around Kyushu. The trains are set to run from September 12, 2020 to mid-May 2021.

     

    Completely unique and original Pixar character designs

    The colourful designs that decorate both the inside and outside of the Kyushu shinkansen bullet trains combine Pixar characters with motifs that are a nod towards places around Kyushu.

    The exterior design of the trains feature many familiar faces from Pixar movies—even the iconic Luxo Lamp Jr, or ‘Pixar lamp.’ The inside has colourful head covers with different Pixar characters on them.

     

    Ride the first train

    Those who ride the very first departing train will receive an original Pixar design train ticket. The Tsubame 363 train bound for Kagoshima-Chūō Station will depart from Hakata Station at 12:19 on September 12, 2020. A collection of themed merchandise is also in the works.

  • MAXPLAN AZABU10: The New Landmark of Tokyo’s Azabu Juban District

    31.May.2020 | SPOT

    MAXPLAN Co. is set to open MAXPLAN AZABU10 on October 22, 2020 which is set to become the new symbol and a landmark of Tokyo’s Azabu Juban District. The building will offer many unique and extraordinary experiences.

    Nakamura Suzuko (CEO, MAXPLAN Co.) | Comment

    “This project borrows the strength of internationally-active architect Kengo Kuma. I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to be a driving force together with him once again. This building, which is the ‘Azabu Juban Development Project,’ will be a place that creates and discovers new collective value between companies and individuals. A place of creative symbiosis. It aims to offer well being for companies that brings about a sense of cultural values. It will be a creative space for companies and individuals to resonate, bounce ideas off, and flow with one another. I pray from the bottom of my heart that these things will serve as a connection to how we want to live in the future.”

    Kengo Kuma (Architect) | Comment

    “Azabu Juban is Tokyo’s intersection between tradition and the future. I wanted to create a symbol for this district of ‘fluctuations’ around its crossroads. Combining panels of varying sizes with different heights, thicknesses, and textures expresses the district’s diversity and energy. I wanted the building to blend in as part of the ‘fluctuations,’ as well as create a small 3D city which itself has ‘fluctuations’ […]”

     

    We look forward to seeing how this new landmark and symbol of Azabu Juban brings together the traditional and the futuristic.

  • Kyoto Brighton Hotel Offers 5 New Hotel Plans For Springtime, Cherry Blossom & Temple Experiences

    26.January.2020 | SPOT

    Kyoto Brighton Hotel is now selling reservations for its new “Haru no Asobi Plan” (Springtime Fun Plan) which is taking place between March and May this year and offers guests the opportunity to enjoy Kyoto in the spring and its cherry blossoms.

     

    Spring in Kyoto is the most popular season for tourists and travellers who flock from not only across Japan but from around the world. The Haru no Asobi Plan is made up of 5 exciting plans to see the ancient capital’s breathtaking cherry blossoms, vibrant green maples, and other offerings.

     

    “Asakatsu” – An early morning temple visit and stroll

    Get away from the crowded streets and enjoy the rare opportunity to experience incredible early morning sights you don’t normally get to see. Spend a quiet morning in a gorgeous environment in this plan. Several temples and gardens are in place for the experience: Kōdaiji Temple, Bishamon-do Temple, Taizō-in, Haradanien, and Tenryū-ji.

     

    Kiyomizu-dera Temple special night viewing

    One of the must-visit spots when travelling to Kyoto is Kiyomizu-dera, officially a World Heritage Site. This plan rents out the temple for you to experience it at nighttime. The main building is currently undergoing large-scale renovation to secure the roof as well as the inner construction of the temple. Seeing the temple is truly a sight to behold.

    You are guaranteed a view of the famous “Stage of Kiyomizu,” an enormous veranda attached to the main hall. The surrounding trees will be lit with enchanting lights, and you’ll be able to gaze at the distant city nightscape. Experience Kyoto like never before as the warm lights illuminate the Niōmon (Deva Gate), 3-storey pagoda, and purified water which runs from the Otowa Waterfall.

     

    Discover the world of Kyoto embroidery

    The traditional practice of Kyounui, or Kyoto-style embroidery, has continued since the Heian Period and is even garnering attention overseas. It’s a delicate and refined style of embroidery unique to Kyoto.

    After your embroidery session which will take place in a Kyoto town house nearby the cherry blossom-filled Hirano Shrine, you’ll look at kimono and yukata so beautiful they’ll look like they should be in an art museum, before heading to eat together with the creator.

     

    See the green maple trees of Hōgon-in on a private train

    Board the private 1-2 carriage Randen train on the Keifuku Electric Railroad, which runs from Shijō-Ōmiya to Arashiyama. This cute retro train will take you Arashiyama where the green maples are breathtakingly beautiful.

    You’ll also get to stroll through the quaint gardens of Hōgon-in Temple, view artwork painted by Noriko Tamura, and more.

     

    Sky Bus

    Enjoy a panoramic view on a private ride of the Sky Bus, a double-decker bus which is gaining huge popularity right now. You will ride through the city of Kyoto and see the rows of pink cherry blossoms. In April, they will also do an evening tour of the cherry blossoms so you can see them at night, and in May they’ll do a green maple tree tour.

     

    Discover the beauty of Kyoto in this very special hotel plan at Kyoto Brighton Hotel.

  • Bunjee Jump From the Top of Kyoto Tower With Their New VR Experience

    17.January.2020 | SPOT

    Have you ever wondered what the thrill of bungee jumping would be like, but are too afraid of heights to even consider putting it on your bucket list? Have no fear, because Kyoto Tower is bringing a new VR bungee jumping experience to the top of the building which will be available to experience from February 1 for a limited time.

    This VR experience was first brought to the tower in the fall of 2018, and this year it is making its grand return. After the event originally ended, there was huge demand for it to be held again.

    Those brave enough to have a go at this VR bungee jump (or bungy, depending where you are from), will go above and beyond the 100 meter observation deck to the highest accessible point of Kyoto Towerーup 120.9 metersーwhich is normally closed off to the public, to the special VR deck which has been prepared.

    The experience will offer you not only the thrill of jumping from Kyoto’s tallest structure, but the chance to gaze upon a panoramic view of the beautiful city too.

  • Japan Shopping Festival: Hello Kitty Supports Huge Shopping Event Aimed at Foreigners

    26.November.2019 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    一The Japan Shopping Tourism Organization (JSTO) has announced that it will hold an event titled “Japan Shopping Festival” aimed at foreign tourists in Japan from December 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020.

    ①Questionnaire Campaign

    A questionnaire will be carried out for non-Japanese travellers to win round-trip tickets to Japan. Travellers will be selected randomly from a lucky draw.

     

    ②Instagram Photo Contest

    Follow Japan Shopping Festival on Instagram and post photos related to the designated themes with the hashtag #jsfphoto. The themes are: ①Memories of what you bought and experienced in Japan, ②Your favourite fruits in Japan, and ③Good things about Japan you want to boast.

    ③Coupons, Goods & Experiences

    Japan Shopping Now is one of Japan’s biggest online shopping portal sites, and they are now promoting information on Japanese shopping overseas in English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean. This includes coupons, sales, and more at almost 1,000 participating stores.

     

    ④Special Events

    ・Japan Shopping Festival Tohoku (December 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020)

    This shopping festival will take place at 6 prefectures across Tohoku. Discover Japanese confectioneries, fashion, sake, fruit and more, including a tie-up with JR EAST PASS.

     

    Official Website:  http://tohoku.japanshopping.org/

     

    ・Matsuyama Shopping Festival (December 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020)

    From Okaido Shopping Street to Matsuyama Gintengai Shopping Arcade, Matsuchika Town, and more, look forward to end-of-year lucky draws, food events, shopping, and so on.

     

    Official Website:  http://matsuyama.japanshopping.org/

     

    Discover the wonders of shopping in Japan and learn more about the country with the Japan Shopping Festival.

  • 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.

  • TOTOCO Odawara: Kanagawa’s Sea Food Theme Park Opens November 22

    17.November.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Gyoko no Eki TOTOCO Odawara is a new “fish theme park” set to have its grand opening on November 22, 2019 at 10:00am (JST).

    The facility was established to promote further exchanges with Odawara Fishing Port which is said to be the biggest fish market in western Kanagawa Prefecture. It is the first “Fishing Port” (Gyoko no Eki*) and will sell seafood sourced locally, fishery products and more, as well as hold events to help promote Odawara.

     

    The building has three flours. The first floor is like a marketplace where fish, fishery products, produce, and more will be sold. The second and third floors house seafood restaurants and offer a panoramic view of Sagami Bay. This view is best observed from the terrace while you enjoy your delicious meal.

    *Fishing Port (in Japanese: Gyoko no Eki, or 漁港の駅) is a registered trademark of Odawara City to highlight facilities that promote exchange with Odawara Fishing Port. (Registered Trademark No.: 6163121).

    Odawara Fishing Port sells fresh fish sourced from the waters of Sagami Bay, which houses a variety of fish species, as well as fish and processed marine products from around Japan. TOTOCO Odawara will sell these very same products, all delivered directly from the port, to help spread the fishing culture and economy of Odawara.

     

    Let’s take a look at some of the delicious gourmet seafood meals you can expect to tuck into at TOTOCO Odawara!

    Totomaru Summit Bowl – ¥2,480

    A hearty and towering dish so high that it looks like it might topple over.

    Greedy Sea Urchin Eggs & Salmon Roe Bowl – ¥4,280

    A dream combination you’ve been waiting for your entire life. Savour the richness and sweetness of both of these mouth-watering delights.

    Oyster Egg Donburi Set – ¥1,680

    You can’t even see the rice any more for the pile of tasty oyster eggs, with their exquisitely soft texture.

    Osashimi Tengoku – Odawara Kaisen GO GO

    The third floor of the building is home to Osashimi Tengoku – Odawara Kaisen GO GO, a restaurant that calls itself “Sashimi Heaven” and offers a 59 minute all-you-can-eat buffet of fish, sides, desserts and more.

     

    59 Minute All-You-Can-Eat
    Adults – ¥2,590 / Children (Elementary School & Younger) – ¥1,390 / 3-Years & Younger – Free (All Prices Before Tax)

     

    Gyoko no Eki TOTOCO Odawara is easily reachable from Tokyo and right next to the local station. If you’ve come to Japan looking to try the country’s famous seafood, then make sure to put this place on your list.

RANKING

  • DAILY
  • MONTHLY

FOLLOW US