Japanese Hanami 2020: Soak Up the Pink Springtime Cherry Blossoms at Hoshino Resorts KAI

24.February.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

KAI, a hot spring ryokan brand managed by Hoshino Resorts, has announced an exciting new experience at 14 of its branches called “Otsu na Hanami Tabi” (A Chic Flower-Viewing Trip) which will run from March 15, 2020 to May 31, 2020.

 

The service offers a new kind of Hanami, or flower-viewing, experience for guests that doesn’t stop at just admiring the cherry blossoms, but enables them to enjoy both local history and customs too. Guests will be provided with a wicker basket of delicious Hanami goodies to enjoy, just like they did in the past.

 

We’ve picked five of the Hoshino Resorts KAI hot spring inns that we think our readers will be most interested in. Let’s take a look!

 

Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru | Aomori

Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru is located in the town of Owani, which sits in southern Tsugaru in Aomori Prefecture. They are offering an exciting experience this May: “Shidare-zakura Hitorijime Taizai,” which lets a single group have exclusive access to an area of seven shidare-zakura weeping cherry trees blooming in the inn’s spacious garden, which sit far away from guest rooms. Those lucky enough to experience this service can sip on cider and tuck into some delicious apple pie while listening to a Tsugaru-style shamisen performance, known as tsugaru-jamisen.

 

Shidare-zakura Hitorijime Taizai

Running: May 1, 2020 – May 7, 2020

Price: ¥5,000 per person

No. of People: 1 group per day (2-4 people per group)

Booking: 0570-073-011 (KAI Reservation Centre)

Note: The tsugaru-jamisen performance will take place 15:30-16:30

 

Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji | Tochigi


Feel what it’s like to live the life of someone living in a satoyamaーa village centred around an agricultural lifestyleーby waking up with the sunrise to start work early. Your morning job will be making tea at the watermill. You will use traditional and ancient tools like the suribachi mortar and the houroku pan to make tea grown from tea leaves in the area which you can enjoy a cup of to start your Hanami. As well as making tea, you’ll be able to enjoy a quiet breakfast while gazing at the Yoshino cherry trees, so you can get that real satoyama spring experience.

 

Running: April 18, 2020 – April 25, 2020

 

Hoshino Resorts KAI Izumo | Shimane

Hoshino Resorts KAI Izumo is located in Tamatsukuri Onsen in Shimane Prefecture, where all guest rooms have their own open-air bath. The hot spring ryokan’s “Sakura Koraku” experience gives you a chance to try wariko sobaーa style of soba noodles originating in Shimane’s city of Matsueーunder the cherry blossom trees.

 

Sakura Koraku

Running: April 1, 2020 – April 20, 2020

Time: 15:00-19:00

Price: ¥500 for one Hanami picnic set for two people (5 sets prepared per day)

Booking: Hoshino Resorts KAI Izumo front reception

Notes: Rickshaw will run from April 1, 2020 to April 7, 2020 costing ¥1,300 per person. 30 minute ride. 5 groups per day (2 people per group).

 

Hoshino Resorts KAI Kaga | Ishikawa

Head to one of Kaga’s famous weeping cherry blossom tree spots to enjoy a cup of Japanese tea prepared yourself. This plan offers the chance to experience Ishikawa culture in a spot that has been loved by locals for decades.

 

Running: April 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020

 

Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso | Kumamoto

Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso stands in Aso-Kuju National Park. Gaze at the five peaks of Mount Asoーthe largest active volcano in Japanーwhile sipping on water drawn from one of Japan’s 100 famous water sources. Change up the water of the water to your liking: carbonate it, add syrup, and so on. You’ll also get some refreshing fruits that have sat in carbonated water. Sit amongst the colourful flowers, like tulips and baby blue eyes, while soaking up the beautiful sights of Aso.

 

Tansan Ohanami

Running: April 20, 2020 – May 31, 2020

Price: ¥3,000 per person

No. of People: 3 groups per day (two people per group)

Booking: 0570-073-011 (KAI Booking Centre)

Note: In the case of rain, Tansan Ohanami will not run on that day

 

 

This is just 5 of the 14 Hoshino Resorts KAI branches offering a chic Hanami experience. If you’re travelling to Japan this spring, be sure to check out what they’re offering.

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    Tsutsuji Garden at Hotel de Yama

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    A combined view of the kaleidoscopic rhododendrons and Mount Fuji

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    Rhododendron Desserts: Saison a colorier – ¥1,634 / Tea Set – ¥2,360 (Before Tax)

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  • Coronavirus in Japan: Kaname Inn Tatemachi in Kanazawa Offers Free Accommodation to Foreigners Who Can’t Get Home

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  • 3 Must-Visit Cherry Blossoms Spots in Nagasaki Prefecture’s Hirado City | Spring 2020

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    Spring has arrived in the city of Hirado, Nagasaki, which has been dyed a cherry blossom pink colour from the blossoming of the cherry trees. A simple glance at the signs of spring there is enough to have one feeling elated. It has also made the news that the budding of the cherry blossoms in Hirado has arrived earlier than usual.

     

    We’ve made a list of 3 popular spots to enjoy Hanami in Hirado this spring.

     

    Jigenzakura

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    Address: Kigatsucho, Hirado, Nagasaki (35-minutes from Hirado Bridge)

    Nagasaki Tabi Net: https://www.nagasaki-tabinet.com/guide/51690/

     

    Kameoka Shrine / Kameoka Park

    Kameoka Park is a famous cherry blossom site that’s adjacent to Hirado Castle. It’s home to around 1,000 sakura trees, which are best seen from the end of March to early April. It also has a very rare type of cherry blossom called the nidozaki-zakura which blooms twice. You can see these around mid-April at Kameoka Park.

     

    Address: 1458 Iwanouechō, Hirado, Nagasaki (7-minutes from Hirado Bridge)

    Nagasaki Tabi Net: https://www.nagasaki-tabinet.com/guide/370/

     

    Tabira Park

    Tabira Park is just over Hirado Bridge, and is a place where you can look out at both Hirado Bridge and Hirado Seto while gazing at the rows of cherry trees.

     

    Address: 823-1 Tabirachō Kotedamen, Hirado, Nagasaki (Next to Hirado Bridge)

    Official Website: http://nagasaki-park.or.jp/free/tabira

     

     

    Hirado is easy to get to, and is a must-visit not just for Hanami, but for the food and its rich history too.

  • Feel Like You’re Living On Okinawa’s Taketomi Island With HOSHINOYA’s New ‘Workation’ Hotel Plan

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    HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island in Okinawa rolled out a new hotel plan on March 18 that’s set to run until June 30 this year.

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  • Japan’s First Guest House Meiji Kinenkan Officially Designated as Tangible Cultural Property

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    Meiji Kinenkan, located in Minato, Tokyo, was officially designated as a Tangible Cultural Property this month.

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    Dining hall used as the stage for Emperor Meiji’s Imperial Court diplomacy

    Golden roosters flutter on the walls around the black-lacquered mantle piece mirror

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    Overlooking the garden, offering not only a modern cafe experience but banquets too

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  • Witness Mount Fuji and Fully Bloomed Cherry Blossoms at HOSHINOYA Fuji

    24.March.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    HOSHINOYA Fuji is offering a very special Hanami flower-viewing experience for guests from April 7 to 21 this year where they can observe the springtime cherry blossoms against the backdrop of Mount Fuji. Offers include cherry blossom desserts, a glamping experience inside a cabin eating curry while enjoying the scenery of the outdoors, a private outdoor dining dinner, and more.

     

    HOSHINOYA Fuji hails as Japan’s first luxury camping resort. Located on the hill overlooking Lake Kawaguchi near Mount Fuji. It offers the ultimate glamping experience, with a large outdoor terrace surrounded by nature, cabins that can be enjoyed throughout the year, and more. It’s difficult to go out and enjoy the cherry blossoms on the streets right now, but if you’d still like to enjoy spring safely with your special someone, then HOSHINOYA Fuji has created a special springtime experience.

     

    Sakura Apéro: Witness the cherry blossoms during sunset with desserts in hand

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    Hanami on the terrace

    HOSHINOYA Fuji’s cabina area is built in such a way so that guests can enjoy an outdoor experience. One third of the cabin has a terrace area with an enormous window that looks out into the natural landscape. A fireplace and kotatsu is available so you can still enjoy the outdoors even inside while relaxing with a comfortable stay into the late nights. Some of the cabins offer a view of the surrounding cherry blossom trees, inviting spring into your room.

     

    Curry made on one of Mount Fuji’s lava plates

    At HOSHINOYA Fuji, guests can enjoy outdoor cooking in luxury be it in one of the cabins or the dining restaurant in the forest. Those who want to relax in a cabin are recommended the “Glamping Curry” at the terrace. You grill beef and vegetables yourself on a Mount Fuji lava plate and can combine five spices of your choice to create your own original flavour. In the outdoor dining area, which is exclusive to groups of guests, game meat is also served, such as boar and deer, as well as seasonal vegetables prepared in a dutch oven. For dessert, there’s cherry blossom flavoured ice cream. You can also make your own strawberry sauce using fresh strawberries over a fire to pour over your ice cream before topping it with matcha crumbles.

     

    Due to the ongoing situation surrounding the coronavirus, all guest rooms and public areas at all HOSHINOYA facilities are being thoroughly cleaned in line with the recommended guidelines to ensure the health and safety of guests and staff. Alcohol gel is available at all HOSHINOYA facilities, and staff’s health and hygiene are being consistently examined.

  • 5 Must-Visit Cherry Blossom Spots in Toyota City in Aichi Prefecture For Hanami 2020

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    Toyota in Aichi Prefecture is a city abundant with nature and one home to countless famous flower spots. Tourism Toyota has outlined a list of the perfect places to visit there this spring to enjoy viewing the cherry blossoms for this year’s Hanami.

     

    Asian Fawnlily | Korankei

    Korankei is a valley created by the Yodo River in Toyota, Aichi, and is said to be one of the best places in Japan to enjoy the autumn colours. In spring, an area covering 5,000m² blooms with beautiful Asian fawnlilies, dyeing the grass as a light purple carpet.

     

    Best Time To See: Mid March – Late March

    Location: Korankei, Iimori Asukecho, Toyota, Aichi

    Access: Board the Meitetsu Bus bound for Yamani (矢並線) at Toyotashi Station’s East Exit, get off at Korankei (香嵐渓), and walk for 10-minutes

    Official Website: https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/272/

     

    Cherry Blossoms & Spiraea Thunbergii | Aichi Greenery Center

     

    Every year at Aichi Greenery Center from late March to early April, the Spiraea Thunbergii, also known as Thunberg’s meadowsweet, blossom their white flowers in full along a path stretching 200 meters, which makes it look like the area is covered in snow. When the cherry blossoms bloom, their light pink flowers offer a beautiful contrast with the snowbound meadowsweet.

     

    Best Time To See: Late March – Early April

    Address: Saruta-21-1 Nishinakayamachō, Toyota, Aichi

    Access: Board the Oiden Bus bound for Fujioka/Toyota Via Nishinakayama (藤岡・豊田線(西中山経由)) and get off at the Greenery Center (緑化センター)

    Official Website: https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/277/

     

    Weeping Cherry Blossoms | Kaminaka

    Kaminaka is home to some incredible weeping cherry sights. Around 3,000 weeping cherry trees stretch 1km from the car park, dyeing the mountainous landscape white, red, and pink.

     

    Best Time To See: Early to Mid April

    Address: Makigahora Kaminakacho, Toyota, Aichi

    Access: 27km from Shidare Interchange (枝下IC) via Sarugata Green Road (猿投グリーンロード)

    Official Website: https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/225/

     

    Weeping Cherry Blossoms | Zuiryuji Temple & Daian-ji Temple

    Zuiryuji Temple is home to a weeping cherry tree that is said to be 400 years old. It is officially listed as a Natural Treasure of Aichi Prefecture. Its flowers are best enjoyed in early April when it offers a spectacular sight next to the temple gate.

     

    Daian-ji Temple also has an ancient weeping cherry tree that is 260 years old and listed as a National Treasure of Toyota. Another row of cherry trees are located next to it, wrapping the area in gorgeous pink hues. Both of these temple trees are also lit up in the evenings, offering a different kind of beautiful atmosphere from a daytime viewing.

     

    Best Time To See: Early April

    Address: Terayama-3 Inabuchō, Toyota, Aichi

    Access: Board the Oiden Bus [Kaisoku Inabu] at Toyotashi Station’s East Exit, get off at Dongurinoyu Mae (どんぐりの湯前), and walk for 10-minutes

    Official Websites:

    https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/39/ (Zuiryuji Temple)

    https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/697/ (Daian-ji Temple)

     

    Wisterias | Fuji no Kairo

    This 370-meter long path is known as Fuji no Kairo, or “Wisteria Corridor,” which is home to four different species of wisteria that bloom fully in the spring to the delight of those passing under it.

     

    Best Time To See: Late April – Early May

    Address: Mitsukuricho, Toyota, Aichi

    Access: Board the Oiden Bus bound for Fujioka/Toyota Via Kanocho (藤岡・豊田線(加納経由)) and get off at Toyota City Hall (藤岡支所). Change onto the Fuji Bus bound for Kawaguchi/Ino (川口・飯野線), then get off at Fuji no Kairo (ふじの回廊口).

    Official Website: https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/191/

  • Shirasagi Coffee: Ehime Prefecture’s Cafe Releases Springtime Cherry Blossom Menu

    21.March.2020 | FOOD

    Shirasagi Coffee, a cafe in Ehime Prefecture, has released a new seasonal menu full of strawberries and cherry blossoms to commemorate the spring season.

     

    Shirasagi Coffee’s logo features a heron, a reference to a legend that says the locals of Matsuyama in Ehime noticed that a white heron healed its injured leg by bathing in the hot springs of Dōgo Onsen, one of the oldest hot springs in  Japan. The cafe was renovated using furniture made from scrap wood from when Dōgo Onsen was built. It’s an artistic cafe that has garnered much attention from both locals and tourists.

    Thick-Cut Natural Yeast Toast

    This thick-sliced bread is provided by Panya Uzu, a bread shop also in Matsuyama, Ehime. Perfect for breakfast or lunch, it’s topped with a cherry blossom jam and mascarpone cheese cream.

    Top: Cream Soda / Right: Cherry Blossom Tea Latte / Left: Cherry Blossom & Strawberry Mint Sour

    This line-up of three drinks are made using seasonal strawberries grown in Ehime Prefecture.

    Sweet Bavarois

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    Spring Madonna Parfait

    This limited-time parfait is stacked with 12 different ingredients of varying textures and flavours, including cherry blossom, as well as Ehime strawberries, chestnuts, and matcha. It’s the culmination of Ehime’s springtime ingredients.

    Takeout Drinks

    Mini Parfait

    The cafe also serves mini parfaits, drinks and other items for takeout. Pick something out and go and observe the cherry blossoms for Hanami at Dōgo Park.

  • Lisa Larson Designs Cute New Cherry Blossom Hedgehog Items

    21.March.2020 | FASHION

    An adorable new collection of items fitting for Japanese springtime have been released featuring Lisa Larson’s popular hedgehogs and cherry blossoms. Larson has an interest in Japanese culture, and has designed this line-up in time for the Hanami season.

    Letter Paper Set – ¥440 (Tax Included) / Masking Tape (35mm) – ¥550 (Tax Included)

    The letter paper and masking tape features cute illustrations of the hedgehogs taking a stroll amongst the cherry blossoms. A great spring gift or souvenir from Japan.

    Water Absorbent Cloth – ¥660 (Tax Included) / Tea Towel – ¥660 (Tax Included)

    The cloth and tea towel are perfect additions to the kitchen, whether for drying the plates, for food prep, wiping the counter, and so on. The adorable strolling hedgehogs will add a warm touch to any kitchen.

    Printed Hand Towel – ¥1,540 (Tax Included)

    The hedgehogs are enjoying observing the cherry blossoms on this hand towel, which is light-pink and has a gentle Japanese taste to it. The towel is made using a dyeing technique known as kata-yuzen which is used to dye fabrics for kimono in Kyoto. It’s a versatile item: it can of course be used as a kitchen towel or cloth, but also for wrapping gifts like wine too.

    Mamezara Dish (Hasami Ware) – ¥1,430 (Tax Included)

    The hedgehogs are in the thick of the fully-bloomed cherry blossoms on this mamezara dish, which can be used for food or placing small items like keys and accessories.

    Waffles – ¥1,620 (Tax Included)

    These tins, which feature Mikey and the hedgehogs, are filled with a traditional waffle confection that has been sold by Tokyo Fugetsudo since 1927. They are light and crunchy round wafers stuffed with cream.

    Hanami Set 2020 (Online Orders Only) – ¥11,000 (Tax Included)

    Available online only, this special set is the perfect way to enjoy Hanami in Japan this season, featuring a cute bird sake jug and more.

     

    Celebrate the arrival of the cherry blossoms in Japan with this new line-up from Lisa Larson.

  • Hoshino Resorts to Open New KAI Poroto Ryokan in Hokkaido in Winter 2021

    20.March.2020 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts, which manages 42 ryokan inside and outside Japan serving Japanese tradition and culture, signed a partnership agreement with the town of Shiraoi in Hokkaido on June 28, 2018, which would have them open a hot spring ryokan there. It has been revealed that the new facility will be named Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto.

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto. Built by Japanese architect Hiroshi Nakamura, the site will open its doors in winter 2021 as the 19th branch of Hoshino Resorts’s hot spring ryokan brand KAI, of which it operates 16 in Japan. It will be the third branch of KAI in Hokkaido, following from Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Tomamu in Shimukappu village and Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa.

     

    Hot springs in Shiraoi, Hokkaido include moor springs, a type of organic spring water that is rare globally. KAI Poroto faces Poroto Lake, which is enveloped in nature and home to creatures such as wild birds. All rooms at the ryokan enjoy a view of the lake, as well as a chance to see the trees and flowers bloom and change in different colours throughout the seasons.


    KAI’s aim is to offer Japanese hospitality that can only be experienced in that town or city, and during that season, as well as to give guests a comfortable experience in a Japanese-style accommodation. At KAI Poroto, they are set to offer a completely new experience tied to Ainu culture in collaboration with the Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park currently in development in Shiraoi.

     

    Upopoy is scheduled to open at Lake Poroto on April 24, 2020. “Upopoy” is a word in the Ainu language that means “singing in a large group.” The museum is the first national museum in Japan to be dedicated to the indigenous Ainu people. It will serve as the national center for the revival and development of Ainu culture, something which is on the verge of extinction, and it will do this by showcasing Ainu culture and history through exhibitions, hands-on programmes, performances, and more.

     

    Hiroshi Nakamura is the architects that designed Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto. “Poroto” is also a word in Ainu to mean “large lake.” The ryokan’s lobby, which is decorated with Japanese white birch, offers a view of the lake and Mount Tarumae. There are also small bath houses called kashi which have been made using Ainu architectural methods, as well as open-air baths that have you feeling like you’re taking a dip in the lake.

  • Cherry Blossoms and Rape Blossoms Compete For Spring at Kusaba River in Fukuoka

    19.March.2020 | SPOT

    The town of Chikuzen in Fukuoka Prefecture is home to a 2km strip of cherry blossom trees which bloom their pink beauty along the Kusaba River in spring. The area sees countless people flock there during the Hanami season to see the trees in full bloom.

    But Kusaba River isn’t only home to cherry blossoms; it also sees rape blossoms sprout their yellow flowers during springtime, which offers a beautiful contrast to the overhead pink from the cherry trees.

    The place is lit up in the eveningsーa great chance to see the cherry blossoms in a different light at night.

    Rich verdure lines the whole of Kusaba River, so be sure to visit if you’re heading to Fukuoka this spring to see the cherry and rape blossoms.

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