Japanese Hanami 2020: Soak Up the Pink Springtime Cherry Blossoms at Hoshino Resorts KAI
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.
Running: April 1, 2020 – April 20, 2020
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.
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.
Hoshino Resorts KAI
Official Website: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/brand/kai/
Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku: The New Hot Spring Resort Hotel in Mie Prefecture
28.June.2020 | SPOT
Yukai Resort, a company in Japan which manages lots of famous hot spring resorts across the country, opened Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku in Toba, Mie on June 5, 2020.
Yukai Resort manages 29 well-established hot spring resort hotels and ryokan throughout Japan, including hotels where you can get one night with dinner and breakfast from just ¥7,500 (before tax) to ryokan where you can enjoy kaiseki meal courses, and more. All their luxury establishments feature hot springs surrounded in lush environments.
Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku opened on June 5, 2020 and is taking all of the necessary precautions against COVID-19 to protect guests and so that guests can enjoy a comfortable stay.
Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku is 10 minutes by car from Toba Aquarium and 30 minutes from Ise Grand Shrine, making it a great location to enjoy the sightseeing spots of Ise and Shima. The hotel’s concept is centred on being an “active resort” where you can get the full Toba experience with history, the sea, and activities.
The large open-air communal baths look out onto Toba Bay. The baths are designed like infinity pools, giving the effect that they are connected to the sea. Guests can enjoy a dip in the day or evening so they can enjoy both a blue sky or starry sky. There are also saunas.
There is also an indoor swimming pool with warm water, as well as foot baths, a kids play park, karaoke room, and many more fun features.
Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku also houses Yukai Resort’s first ever indoor glamping guest rooms with large tents decked with beds, sofa, carpet, cushions, and other amenities for a glamorous camping experience. There are glamping rooms with their own open-air baths that look out onto Toba Bay too, as well as both Japanese-style and Western-style rooms.
As a precaution against COVID-19, the restaurant is serving its food for takeout only until August 31, 2020. Guests can enjoy their meal in their rooms or in one of the many communal spaces. There’s plenty of health Japanese food to enjoy including sushi, Matsuzaka roast beef, eel, tuna, and more.
Local Shaved Ice Recipes Whipped Up at Hoshino Resorts KAI This Summer
28.June.2020 | FOOD
Hoshino Resorts has brought back its annual local shaved ice festival for the summer which will be served at branches of Hoshino Resorts KAI, a hot spring ryokan brand. It has been held every year since 2017 and gives people the chance to enjoy shaved ice with a variety of syrups and toppings inspired by local regions in which branches of KAI are dotted around.
Strawberry Shaved Ice | Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko (Chuzenji Onsen, Tochigi Prefecture)
Tochigi Prefecture has enjoy est the largest harvest of strawberries in Japan for the last 50 years. This shaved ice is doused in a sweet strawberry syrup and a bitter matcha sauce. It can be enjoyed while gazing out to Nikko’s beautiful scenery where you can see Chuzenji Lake and Mount Nantai from 1,300 meters above sea level in Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko.
Hydrangea Shaved Ice | Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone (Hakone Yumoto Onsen, Kanagawa Prefecture)
The Hakone area enjoys long blooming periods of hydrangeas. During their full bloom, the Hakone Tozan Line mountain railway gets nicknamed the “Hydrangea Line” and becomes a popular route for sightseeing. This refreshing shaved ice has hydrangea flavoured jelly and syrup.
Art Shaved Ice | Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara (Sengokuhara Onsen, Kanagawa Prefecture)
Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara is surrounded by many art museums, so what better way to keep with the them than with an art-inspired shaved ice dessert? Show your art skills by using strawberry red, orange-flavoured orange, and other colourful syrups to create your own unique design on your fluffy white canvas of shaved ice.
Apple Shaved Ice | Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps (Omachi Onsen, Nagano Prefecture)
Nagano Prefecture is famous in Japan for its apples. There are two types of syrup poured over this shaved ice, including one that tastes like mashed apples, and another made from Bramley apples.
Ginger Shaved Ice | Hoshino Resorts KAI Izumo (Tamatsukuri Onsen, Shimane Prefecture)
The ginger adds a sharp bite to the sweetness of this refreshing shaved ice and is perfect for overcoming the summer heat.
Tomato Shaved Ice | Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso (Sen no Moto Onsen, Oita Prefecture)
Made from tomatoes harvested in summertime, this sweet and sour shaved ice takes on a gorgeous red colour. Tomatoes are low in calories and have many nutritional ingredients, and are a good source of vitamin C and D, making this a healthier option.
And there are lots of other flavours to come from Hoshino Resorts KAI this summer too.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Local Shaved Ice 2020 (Japanese Name: 界のご当地かき氷 2020)
Running: July 11, 2020 – August 31, 2020
Available: At 15 Hoshino Resorts KAI branches
Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/features/kakigori/
Notes: Reservations not required
Hoshino Resorts KAI Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/
A Cafe With a View: Okinawa’s New Seaside Cafe ‘Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe’ Opens This July
27.June.2020 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts’s new cafe Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe will open in the village of Yomitan in Okinawa on July 1, 2020, offering a spectacular view.
The cafe is split into four distinct areas which overlook the the beach from atop a cliff. Customers are invited to take in the breathtaking scenery with a delicious dessert made from ingredients like mangoes, pineapple, and sugar—or a tasty meal.
An incredible beach cafe overlooking the sea
Banta Cafe runs along the western coast of Yomitan, a village in central Okinawa which is about an hour’s drive from Naha Airport. The cafe gets its name from iyumibanta which in Okinawan dialect refers to the cliffs you climb to spot the shadows of fish in the water, and is also the name they give to enormous rocks. The cafe is located atop one of these iyumibanta, or cliffs, making Banta Cafe a fitting name. From the cliff, customers can enjoy a panoramic view of the horizon which stretches across infinity. According to Hoshino Resorts, Banta Cafe sits as the largest beach cafe in Japan, spanning 1600㎡.
4 Unique Areas to Pick From
Having four distinct areas to choose from means you can select where you want to go depending on your mood on the day. Let’s take a look at each of them.
Rooftop Deck: A panoramic view welcomes you
Beyond the entrance is the Rooftop Deck which offers an unbroken view of the horizon. With the comfortable shadow cast by the eaves of the roof, and the sound of the rolling waves and wind, it feels like you’re sitting on the deck of a boat.
Beach Terrace: Kick back and enjoy the sea breeze
The Beach Terrace is located along a footpath that leads from the top of the cliff down to the beach. This spacious area sits nice and close to the sea. The Okinawan Ryukyu-tatami flooring has cushions for you to sit on as well as cabanas, so you can sit and chat with people while enjoying the view of the ocean, offering the real Okinawan experience.
Rocky Terrace: Lose yourself in the green wild of nature
The Rocky Terrace is enveloped in plants and vegetation that has grown naturally—it’s like a hideaway created by nature. The area has a wooden deck and rocking chairs for people to kick back and relax in, and there are tables with towering rocks that offer shade too.
Goro Goro Lounge: Lay down on a sofa and look out to the sea
The final area is the Goro Goro Lounge where an entire wall is made up of open windows. Here, you can relax and lay down nice and comfy on the sofas. There are long tables by the sofas too, perfect for pulling out a map or guidebook and planning the rest of your trip.
A true Okinawan cafe experience
Bubbly Jelly Soda
The cafe’s “Bully Jelly Soda” is inspired from a traditional bubbly Okinawan tea called bukubuku cha. It’s flavoured with lemongrass and mint and contains different jellies like mango and hibiscus.
This gelato ice cream gets its name from the Okinawan word for delicious which is chura. Choose from a variety of classic Okinawan flavours like pineapple and guava and top your ice cream with purple yam and bitter melon chips, chinsuko, and more.
The food lineup is to die for, with tasty bites like pizza toast topped with bitter melon, pork and egg rice ball which is a soul food of Okinawa, hot dogs filled with juicy sausages, shrimp fritters served with mango sauce, fried chicken, and plenty of other finger food.
Witness the magnificent sunset during business hours
Banta Cafe is home to a gorgeous beach with coral. The sea is cobalt blue as far as the eyes can see, there are strangely shaped rocks worn by the waves, and in the evenings is an incredible view of the sunset which can be enjoyed with a cocktail in hand.
Hoshino Resorts Olu Grill
Banta Cafe will also have its own separate grilled food restaurant called Olu Grill. Olu is another Okinawan word which means “blue,” in this case referring to the blue ocean. From fried steak served with an original sauce made from Okinawan awamori liquor and kurozu black vinegar to seafood and juicy burgers, there’s plenty to fill you up.
Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe / Olu Grill
Grand Opening: July 1, 2020
Address: 560 Gima, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa Prefecture
Access: 60-minutes by car from Naha Airport / 90-minutes by limousine bus from Naha Airport
Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe
Opening Hours: 10:00 until sunset
Official Website: https://banta-cafe.com/
*Breakfast service available from mid-July 2020. Serving hours will be 7:00-9:30
Hoshino ResortsOlu Grill
Opening Hours: [Dinner] 17:00-21:00 (Last Orders 20:30)
Official Website: https://banta-cafe.com/olu-grill/
*Reservations required. Lunch service available from mid-July 2020. Serving hours will be 11:00-15:00.
Kyoto’s New Hotel Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji Fuses With a Temple
23.June.2020 | SPOT
Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji, a new hotel by major real estate developer Mitsui Fudosan and Mitsui Fudosan Hotel Management, opened bookings for the new hotel last Friday. The hotel is set to officially open on September 28, 2020.
The hotel was developed to integrate into Jokyoji, a temple in Kyoto with a history spanning over 500 years. Even in Japan, where it is common for temples to undergo reconstruction, this is a rare project. The hotel aims to be a model case for breathing new life into temples.
The hotel is just a 1-minute walk from Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station and within walking distance from the bustling retail area of Shijō Kawaramachi, the Hanamachi district Ponto-chō, and Kyoto’s geisha district Gion. Guests are wrapped in the serene atmosphere of Jokyoji Temple where they can enjoy its historically maintained art, get involved in morning activities, and more.
Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji’s design concept is “Hotel Temple.” Nikken Space Design crafted the hotel’s interior design, which makes use of Jokyoji Temple’s preserved wood, gold leaf-covered folding screens and other features, while adding a modern white and black colour scheme throughout, giving a sense of comfort and high quality. From the lobby, guests can glimpse the main area of the temple and feel one with it.
Spacious rooms and baths
Guest rooms, even the standard room types, are a spacious 24m². All rooms can accommodate 2+ people, and there are even triple rooms which can house 3 people. Every room also comes with separate toilets and showers. Up on the second floor are the baths where guests can wind down after a day of travelling and sightseeing.
The 2nd floor restaurant, Sanga Ono Kyoto Jokyoji, was developed by ONO GROUP which has built many restaurants in Fukuoka Prefecture. This is the company’s first restaurant to be built outside Fukuoka. Guests can enjoy delicious Japanese rice, Kyoto vegetables, tai-chazuke (green tea poured over sea bream), Kyoto-style grilled fish, and more. The restaurant will also serve Japanese buckwheat noodles overseen by Akamachaya Asago, a restaurant listed in the Michelin Guide.
Experience Jokyoji Temple
Jokyoji Temple was founded in 1171 by Taira no Shigemori. In 1591, the temple was moved to Teramachi-dori where it has stayed to this day. When the hotel opens its doors, it will offer various activities to guests. Those who take part in the morning activity will receive a goshuin stamp from the chief priest.
Experience a hotel and a temple like never before as both are fused together at Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji.
Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji
Address: 620 Teianmaeno-cho, Shijo-sagaru, Teramachi-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
Access: 1-minute on foot from Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station
Official Website: https://www.gardenhotels.co.jp/kyoto-kawaramachi-jokyoji/eng/
FUNATSURU Kyoto Kamogawa Resort Opens Rooftop ‘KAMOGAWA Tenku Terrace’
21.June.2020 | SPOT
FUNATSURU Kyoto Kamogawa Resort, the administrative building of VMG HOTELS & UNIQUE VENUES, has opened its 4th floor rooftop terrace ‘KAMOGAWA Tenku Terrace’ for a limited time. It will remain open until August 31, 2020.
VMG HOTELS & UNIQUE VENUES uses historical buildings to open new brands, like hotels and unique venues, while offering historical and cultural experiences of the buildings’ local areas.
FUNATSURU Kyoto Kamogawa Resort originally opened as a traditional inn priding itself on its cuisine back in 1870. It was renovated and reopened as FUNATSURU Kyoto Kamogawa Resort in 2008. Its historical and artistic value has been highly acclaimed as a time-honoured work of architecture and was registered as a tangible cultural property of architecture by Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs. It has banquet and ceremony spaces, and in the summer you can enjoy its restaurant on the riverbed. The building is also used for parties and wedding ceremonies.
Like all businesses, FUNATSURU Kyoto Kamogawa Resort too has suffered at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the facility wants people to enjoy the summer nighttime skies of Kyoto and so while observing the necessary coronavirus precautions it has opened its rooftop terrace which can be used as a bar.
KAMOGAWA Tenku Terrace
Running: June 6, 2020 – August 31, 2020 (Closed Tuesdays & rainy days)
Opening Hours: 20:00-Midnight (Last Orders 23:00)
Price: Table Charge ¥1,000 per person (includes tax and service charge)
Official Website: https://www.funatsuru.com/restaurant/news/#new_01
Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki: A Luxury Ryokan Renovated From a Traditional Townhouse Alleyway
18.June.2020 | SPOT
Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki St. is a new inn that recently opened in Kyoto which is made up of 23 machiya (townhouses) and two restaurants. It was co-developed by Nazuna and Kiraku and offers an accommodation experience like no other.
Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki St. is renovated from an entire 110-year-old L-shaped alleyway of machiya spanning 1,400 square meters. The reception building sits on an unassuming streetand serves as both an entrance to welcome guests, as well as a passage from the outside world into Tsubaki St. On the other side, guests are greeted by a world reminiscent of the historical geisha districts of Kyoto known as Hanamachi. In the evening, guests can experience the luster of Tsubaki St. as the Japanese paper lanterns and paper lamps illuminate the stone-cobbled path.
All guest rooms enjoy private semi open-air baths
All 23 guest rooms are named and decorated based on the elements of nature that have long been enjoyed in the ancient city of Kyoto: TAKE (bamboo), MIZU (water), IWA (stone), HANA (flower), and HA (leaf). And since each guest room is its own building, guests can enjoy the entire space to themselves. There is also a large open area between the reception and guest rooms to reduce the chance of running into other guests, offering a more private experience.
Chisao Shigemori’s modern rock garden greets guests at the reception
The first floor of the reception building features a rock garden created by landscape architect Chisao Shigemori which fuses the traditional and the modern. His grandfather was Mirei Shigemori, a famous Japanese landscape architect who is known for having designed the Tofukuji Hojo Temple gardens in Kyoto, amongst other projects. Chisao himself has produced numerous works both inside and outside Japan, such as at Matsuo-Taisha Shrine.
The reception building’s second floor is a lounge space where guests can enjoy tea and confections made by d:matcha after checking in. It’s a chance to try Kyoto’s famous Uji matcha. At nighttime, this are is free for people to use where they can enjoy friendly soft drinks and alcohol.
Unforgettable food at two different restaurants
Behind a secret door located somewhere inside Tsubaki is “q,” a six-seated chef’s table produced by Hiroshi Sasaki, who is the owner of the Michelin three-star restaurant Gion Sasaki, and TOROMO PRODUCE. A roster of chefs will rotate for service, with Hiroshi Sasaki in the line-up. The restaurant will open officially on July 2, 2020 and is now taking enquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org. Group and family bookings are available. The restaurant will serve special courses the likes of which cannot be experienced anywhere else.
The other restaurant, “Wagyu Ryotei bungo” will serve courses made with specially-selected high quality Japanese wagyu beef. There are counter seats as well as 7 private and semi-private rooms which house 2-8 people.
Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki St.
Address: 838 Bomoncho, Shimogyo-ku Kyoto 600-8388
NEARBY STATIONS & AIRPORTS
5 minutes on foot from Omiya Station (Hankyu Kyoto Line) and Shijo-Omiya Station (Keifuku Arashiyama Line)
10 minutes by taxi from Kyoto Station
Official Website: https://www.nazuna.co/property/nazuna-kyoto-tsubaki-st/
Help Fukuoka’s Hotels During COVID-19 With Crowdfunding Project
17.June.2020 | SPOT
Fukuoka’s tourism industry is suffering greatly as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and so the city has launched a crowdfunding project to ask for people’s help and support.
By donating, you can receive a special ticket which can be used when travel returns to normal which can be used at hotels you have donated towards. The tiers are priced at ¥3,000 and ¥5,000, which will get you tickets priced at ¥3,300 and ¥5,500 respectively to be used in the future. If you’re thinking of travelling to Fukuoka, or already had plans booked to go there, then consider donating towards the city.
Fukuoka is a city loved by Japanese people and foreigners alike. It has a rich food culture, incredible festivals, a rich history, and an amalgamation of urban and rural scenery.
Fufu Nara: The First Luxury Hotel Set to Open in Nara Park is Designed by Kengo Kuma
09.June.2020 | SPOT
Fufu Nara is set to be the first luxury hotel to open inside Nara Park on June 5, 2020. Designed by industry-leading Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the hotel promises a unique dining experience with food served using herbal medicines that can only be tasted here, and guest rooms that are covered in art made by Nara-based artists who use traditional techniques. Both the dining and accommodation experiences aim to immerse guests in the culture of Nara.
Witness the handiwork of Nara’s artists
Nara is a city steeped with beautiful history and culture. This has been captured by the artists who have collaborated with Fufu Nara in the form of paintings, crafts, entrance decorations, and more. A stay at Fufu Nara is an opportunity to witness first hand the deep traditions and techniques of Nara’s art world.
There are 30 rooms in total which are split into five different types. For example, one room type is designed around the old Japanese style of sitting on the floor. Inks and woods are used in the room to enhance that feeling that you’re in Nara, and the colour tones too are chosen to bring to mind the ancient city.
Fufu Nara’s dining concept
Nara Prefecture is closely tied to herbal medicines. Herbal medicine came about in the year 611 during the monarch of Empress Suiko. It is written in the Nihon Shoki that the use of herbal medicine had already been adopted by the time Prince Shōtoku was serving under the Empress. Many different traditional herbal medicines are still used in Nara today, including Angelica root, shakuyaku peonies, fennel, and so on. Traditional herbal medicines have become popular again in the prefecture in recent years.
The food prepared at Nara Fufu makes use of ingredients grown and produced in Nara, from vegetables to herbs and beyond. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner all incorporate Japanese and Chinese herbal ingredients.
Spa by sisley
The hotel also has a spa made in collaboration with French luxury skin care brand Sisley. There, guests can enjoy Fufu Nara’s medicated baths.
Address: 1184-1 Takabatakecho, Nara, Nara Prefecture
Grand Opening: June 5, 2020
Price: From ¥77,000 (for 1 night and 2 meals for 2 guests in 1 room) *Tax and service charge included; spa charged separately
Official Website: https://fufunara.jp
THIRD ishigakijima: Okinawa’s New Island Hopping Hotel to Open in July
07.June.2020 | SPOT
Due to concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Star Resort had to postpone the opening of THIRD ishigakijima, a new hotel in Okinawa originally scheduled to open in April 2020. However, it has been confirmed that the hotel’s new grand opening date is July 31, 2020.
Ishigaki is an island in Okinawa which faces Ishigaki Port Ritoh Terminal, a port that connects Okinawa to remote islands like Taketomi Island and Iriomote Island. Many tourists and sightseers flock to Ishigaki to hop to all the different islands it connects to.
The new THIRD ishigakijima hotel is a perfect choices for groups of travellers, with its room that can accommodate over 3 guests. As well as hotel food, drinks and alcohol, THIRD ishigakijima also offers various activities to guests like shisha, fitness, and more. The hotel is all-inclusive, something which isn’t offered that much on Ishigaki.
The hotel also benefits from a self check-in system accessed using a QR code. Rooms are also accessed using a facial recognition system, making THIRD ishigakijima a tech-savvy experience.
The hotel is adopting guidelines from the government on operating hotels during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to protect its staff, guests, and local islanders.
Address: 4-7 Misakicho, Ishigaki, Okinawa
Guest Rooms: 28 (21 Loft Rooms/3 Suite Rooms/3 Twin Rooms)
Facilities: Cafe & Lounge, Book Lounge, Rooftop, Fitness
No Car Park
Access: 30-minutes on foot from Ritoh Terminal / 30-minutes by car or bus from Painushima Ishigaki Airport
Official Website: https://hotelthird.com/
HOSHINOYA Guguan Listed in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2020 Hot List
25.May.2020 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Guguan in Taiwan was listed in the 2020 Hot List of Condé Nast Traveler on May 5, 2020.
Condé Nast Traveler is a travel magazine which showcases the latest information for travel, hotels, restaurants, and shopping around the world. HOSHINOYA Guguan was chosen as “The Best New Wellness Resorts in the World” in their 2020 Hot List which featured new hotels that opened in 34 countries and regions worldwide last year.
HOSHINOYA Guguan opened on June 30, 2019 as the first Taiwan-based luxury hot spring resort produced by Hoshino Resorts, which manages 42 branches outside Japan. It is also the second overseas branch of the company’s “HOSHINOYA” brand, whose concept is “taking a break from the modern world.” It’s located on the outskirts of Taichung in Guguan which is home to natural hot springs. There, it co-exists and blends in naturally with the landscape. All guest rooms have open-air baths, so guests can enjoy the warm water together with the breeze in a spacious environment. They also offer various programs for guests to enjoy Guguan’s culture and natural environment.
HOSHINOYA Guguan was also picked as one of Travel + Leisure’s “The Best New Hotels in the World (The It List)” on February 20.
If you’re planning a trip to Taiwan in the future, be sure to check out HOSHINOYA Guguan.
Address: No.16, Wenquan Lane, Section 1, Dongguan Road, Heping District, Taichung City 424, Taiwan
Rooms: 49 (All with open-air baths)
Check In: 15:00 / Check Out 12:00
Price: From NT$18,000 per night (1 room, doesn’t include tax or service charge, meals charged separately)
Official Website: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/hoshinoya/guguan.html
Experience Kyoto Culture in Arashiyama With HOSHINOYA Kyoto’s New Hotel Plan
19.May.2020 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Kyoto has introduced a new hotel plan in an attempt to bring a little luxury into people’s lives and lift their spirit during this stressful time. The plan will have people going to Arashiyama to experience a bit of Kyoto culture and hospitality to lift their mood.
You will board a small boat located at the port near the hotel entrance and be taken to your private room. During your sail, you will be able to soak in the gorgeous sights of nature all around. Check-in is being carried out in guest rooms, meaning you won’t have to come into contact with other guests.
You have arrived at your room. HOSHINOYA Kyoto is located in Arashiyama which was formerly a holiday home destination for the Heian aristocrats. There are 25 rooms inside the garden, all of which look out onto the Ōi River. When you slide the window open, you can feel the gentle wind sweep through the valleys. Guest room walls are plastered with beautiful traditional kyokarakami wallpaper and fitted with HOSHINOYA Kyoto-original tatami sofas. Each and every part of the rooms are imbued with Kyoto culture. The rooms are not only comfortable and provide you with everything you need, but also offer a luxurious stay.
Inside your room, there are sutras which can be used for sutra copying, known as sakyou in Japanese, as well as equipment for making matcha to enjoy your own private tea ceremony without having to worry about the tradition’s strict rooms. It’s your very own private Kyoto cultural experience without having to worry about other people.
Dinner can be enjoyed in the main dining hall or in your room. The dining hall is fitted with semi-private booths where you can enjoy a seasonal Arashiyama 9 course kaiseki-ryori dinner with rice, vegetables, a special bento assortment, and more. For breakfast you can enjoy a morning hot pot which uses a special dashi stock packed full of seasonal veggies.
There are also activities to enjoy Kyoto’s breathtaking green outdoors. Mosquito nets made from Japanese red cedar are provided under which you can take part in a stretch routine which uses breathing techniques and meditation.
Outdoor activities are severely restricted right now as a result of COVID-19, but HOSHINOYA Kyoto has made it so you don’t have to do much moving around at all while still enjoying the fruits of nature.
Kyoto Culture in Arashiyama (Japanese Hotel Plan Name: 奥嵐山で京文化に触れる久しぶりの優雅な一日)
From ¥50,100 per night (Includes dinner/2 people 1 room/service charge and tax not included)
From ¥50,100 per night (Includes dinner and breakfast in dining hall/2 people 1 room/service charge and tax not included)
HOSHINOYA Kyoto Introduces New Rainy Season Themed Kaiseki Dinner Course
16.May.2020 | FOOD
HOSHINOYA Kyotoーthe Arashiyama-based hotel where every room offers a river viewーis launching a new kaiseki multi-course dinner this summer which offers the chance to enjoy the early summer breeze together with the spectacular views of the rainy season. Served with nine dishes, the kaiseki meal will be available between June 1 to July 31 this year.
The days of June in Japan are hot that the month itself also goes by the name minazuki which translates to “the month without water.” However, the evenings are enjoyed for their cool and refreshing air, and so June is also known as suzukurezuki, or “the month of cool dusk.” Not only will guests be able to enjoy the refreshing feeling of the season, but their kaiseki meal will be inspired by the sights of the rainy season, as well as the verdant smells of early summer, too, adding an extra level of freshness.
HOSHINOYA Kyoto’s dining concept goes by the name Gomi Jizai, which has people enjoying all five different tastes: sweet, salty, spicy, sour, and bitter. Ichiro Kubota, the Executive Chef at HOSHINOYA Kyoto, has truly honed his cooking abilities over the course of his career. His father was the head chef at one of the most famous restaurants in Kyoto’s Gion district. It was there that Kubota really began to learn his craft, and he went on to work at first-class and Michelin star restaurants in both Japan and abroad. He has set the standard for Japanese cuisine for the next generation.
Suzukurezuki Appetisers: See and taste early summer with a Hassun dish
A hassun is a kind of dish or tray often used in kaiseki course meals to serve numerous different foods. This hassun is inspired by Nagoshi no Harae, an ancient and traditional summer purification ritual that takes place at temples and shrines in Kyoto in June. It includes goma-dofu, a food similar to tofu made with crushed sesame seeds that’s eaten as a confection during Nagoshi no Harae to cool yourself down during the hot month of June.
It also comes with sweetfish dashi and watershield for that added feeling of coolness, as well as hotarukan which looks like fireflies gathered in the bamboo grass, and a texture-laden bamboo shoot and smoked salmon wrap.
Cool Kamo-nasu Eggplant Assortment: Sweet early summer vegetable appetisers
For appetisers, guests can look forward to some refreshing early summer vegetables, including kamo-nasu eggplant that’s been mixed in lots of dashi, fried, and seasoned with eggplant to elevate the sweetness and combined with ice cream. There’s also red sea urchin which is rich in sweetness, ginger foam, and new lotus root for bite. The bowl it’s all served is made by Nobuyoshi Sasaki and features a lace design. The use of glass serves to enhance that level of freshness from the food.
Conger Eel Hanami: Recreating a hydrangea Hanami in a bowl
The bowl includes fatty conger eel which is topped with more conger eel that has been minced as well as arrowroot daffodils to make it look like blossoming hydrangeas. It is said that conger eels that drink the water at the end of the rainy season become more delicious. Gion Matsuri, a festival held in Kyoto in July, is also called Hamo (conger eel) Matsuri. The dish also includes bonito, tuna, and kombu.
Young Fried & Salted Sweetfish: Smell the verdant fragrances with fried food
Sweetfish is a popular ingredients during early summer in Japan, and this one has been salted and fried. Sweetfish (ayu in Japanese) is also known as kougyo in Japan which means “fragrant fish.” It’s known for its fresh smell which is likened to that of greenery. It’s fried on a charcoal fire for some time which makes the head and tail smell incredible.焼
Cherry Mille-Feuille: A dessert gift from the early summertime
The crowning cherry of this dessert is smothered in acacia honey and then roasted, locking in all of that sweetness. The dessert is made with fresh cream, almond biscuit, and custard cream, all of which is layered to create a multi-textured pie. It’s served with a tonka bean ice cream. Tonka beans come from the same rose family as cherries, meaning they work wonders together.
Gomi Jizai Kaiseki
Running: June 1, 2020 – July 31, 2020
Price: ¥20,000 per person (does not include tax or service charge – hotel fee charged separately)
Available: To both guests and non-guests