Okinawa’s New Hot Spring Resort Lequ Okinawa Chatan Spa & Resort Opens
Lequ Okinawa Chatan Spa & Resort is the first hotel resort from Vessel Hotels. Operating on the concept of “Loving Yourself, Family, and the Town,” the hotel opened in the town of Chatan in Nakagami, Okinawa on March 1, 2020.
Rooftop Infinity Pool & Cafe/Bar
Sat atop the hotel roof is a spa which houses an infinity pool that offers an unbroken view of Chatan as well as the picturesque sunset in the evenings. There’s also a 3-meter high infinity pool, jacuzzis, and more, offering a luxurious space to relax.
Located to the side of the pool is a cafe and bar that serves a selection of original cocktails and fruity drinks as well as light food. When the sun sets and the evening settles, the pool lights are turned on, creating a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy a cup of Japanese sake or one of the refreshing cocktails while staring down at nighttime Chatan.
Vessel Hotel’s First Natural Hot Spring
Chatan Onsen hails as Vessel Hotel’s first-ever natural onsen hot spring. The water is drawn from 1,400m underground, which provides relief and relaxation from a day of sightseeing and travelling. The hot spring has towering windows, and there’s also a sauna for both men and women.
SPA SOLANI OKINAWA CHATAN – The Relaxation Salon
SPA SOLANI OKINAWA CHATAN is a “relaxation salon” which offers a Hawaiian-style spa experience using original products made using ingredients sourced in Okinawa. Oils are made with carefully-selected organic ingredients for that natural feeling. There are body treatments, messages, quick treatments, and more.
Filling Breakfasts at the Resort’s Kitchen
Vessel Hotel has brought its “Happy Breakfast Project” to Lequ Okinawa Chatan Spa & Resort. Tuck into a variety of meals prepared with Okinawan ingredients, or try one of the household classic Okinawan breakfasts. Whatever you have, you are guaranteed the Okinawan experience to start your day off.
The restaurant’s original souffle hamburger is made with a mix of Okinawan black cattle beef and Agu pork. The souffle is made in-house and prepared by the hotel guests’ hands. Food is also served in Okinawan yamuchin porcelain.
Lequ Okinawa Chatan Spa & Resort
Address: 34-2 Mihama, Chatan, Nakagami District, Okinawa
Opened: March 1, 2020
Official Website: https://www.vessel-hotel.jp/lequ/okinawa/
Experience 600 Years of Historical Culture with the Tanadui Festival Accommodation Program
01.September.2021 | SPOT
The HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island Resort in Taketomi, Okinawa will be holding the Tanadui Program between September 1 and October 12 2021. The special program will be held to mark the Tanadui Festival, an event that has been listed as an event of cultural importance and allows visitors to experience the deep, historical culture of Taketomi Island.
Taketomi is an island with it’s own unique culture with a selection of festival rituals, including food offerings to pray for prosperity and abundant harvests. The Tanadui Festival is the largest on the island and has been designated an event of cultural importance, running for over 600 years. Every year, throughout the seventh and eighth days of the festival, a stage is assembled in Yomochi Utaki to host over 80 traditional performances, each dedicated to the Gods and deities. On Taketomi Island, the phrase “Kashikusaya Utsugumidu Masaru” is key to the local lifestyle, roughly translating to “cooperation over all.” Join in the ‘Spirit of Utsugumi (cooperation)’ as the whole island practices and prepares for the festival – even those who have moved further away will return home to join in.
Bountiful Harvest Lunch – Get to know, touch, and cherish the five grains harvested on Taketomi Island
Enjoy a lunch that has been made using millet, wheats, beans, potatoes, and rice, which are said to be the five grains of Taketomi Island. Before lunch, you can join in the harvesting of potatoes grown on-site. Taketomi Island has no mountains or rivers as it was formed through the raising of coral atolls, making it difficult to grow crops. As distribution was unpopular in the past, the lack of crop growth meant that there was no food to live off. It is because of this that festivals, including the Tanadui Festival, were first held. They are used to pray for plentiful harvests and the traditions are upheld to this very day. During this event, you can harvest potatoes while learning about the history and land.
The lunch plate uses French techniques to propose a fun and new way of enjoying the five grains while retaining their simple sweetness; A sweet wheat risotto, shimadōfu soup, a harvest potato Dengaku (fried potatoes cut into cubes and sprinkled with sugar), plus desserts that can be enjoyed with peanuts. This delicious lunch allows you to get to know, touch, and cherish the five grains of Taketomi Island.
Price: ¥7,260 (Per person, tax & service charge included)
Capacity: Two groups per day
Hours: 12:30 ~ 14:00
Location; Field, Dining Room
Traditional Iiyachi Making Tour in collaboration with the islanders and HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island
Iiyachi is a traditional rice cake-like food that is eaten during the Tanadui Festival. Originally the Iiyachi was made using only materials found on the island, but thanks to modern development and tourism, plus the decline of agriculture, it is now regularly made using materials cultivated on other islands. HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island has worked hard to inherit the traditional production method. This year they will be challenging themselves by making Iiyachi using both traditional methods and local agriculture, cultivating millet and azuki beans to use in the recipe. Iiyachi is made by combining the ingredients in a large Shinme Pot to boil and steam. The resulting food is then kneaded out by a group of people while it is turned with a spatula.
This is an opportunity to get up and close with the island’s traditional culture which is only visible once a year during the festive period. Iiyachi making is an important job to the islanders, overflowing with enthusiasm and commitment to the Tanadui Festival.
Date: October 7
Location: Azumaya Garden
Teedun Dress-Up Experience
Here you can try on the outfits worn by the traditional performers who participate in the Tanadui Festival. The traditional costumes are only worn during the festival and have been passed through families for generations, usually unworn by anybody who isn’t native to the island. During the experience you will be offered a commemorative photo, perfect to take home as a memory of your trip to Taketomi Island.
Price: ¥1,210 (Per group, tax & service charge included)
Hours: 10:30 ~ 12:30
Location: Yuntaku Lounge
Here the staff will introduce you to the festivals roots, the culture that started it, and the history of the island, with photos to assist. You will be taught all about the 600 year history of the Tanadui Festival and the “Kashikusaya Utsugimi Domasaru” spirit. During the program, you can also learn about daily life on the island, full of festival excitement and traditional Okinawan scenery.
Hours: 20:45 ~ 21:15
Location: Yuntaku Lounge
One Moment on the Island ~Iiyacha~
A selection of traditional Okinawan snacks will be served in the Yuntaku Lounge, offering the visitors a special moment on the island. There are two seasonings available for the sweet and simple Iiyachi: Andansuu, a sweet oil miso that is popular in Yaeyama, and shrimp salt, made from Japanese Tiger Prawns found in the beautiful oceans surrounding the island.l
Hours: 14:00 ~ 16:00
Location: Yuntaku Lounge
Tanadui Festival Breakfast
Enjoy a unique Tanadui breakfast packed full of the fruits of the harvest, with millet mixed Juushii rice, Awa Miso Andansuu, and Pindako made using garlic and octopus from the island. You’ll be wide awake with this vibrant breakfast and its auspicious menu.
Price: ¥4,235 (Per person, tax & service charge included)
Hours: 7:00 ~ 10:30
Location: Dining Room
Experience 600 years of history for yourself with this unique program!
New BT21 Cafe Coming to Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, and Okinawa
The 9th BT21 Cafe ~Relaxing Holiday~ will be open for a limited time in six venues across Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, and Okinawa. If you’re a fan of these adorable LINE FRIENDS, just take a look at the menu items and goods on offer!
Chicken and Orange Hot Sandwich: ¥1,760 (Tax Included)
Grilled Vegetable Curry: ¥1,870 (Tax Included)
Tandoori Chicken Tacos: ¥1,870 (Tax Included)
Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Bacon: ¥1,870 (Tax Included)
Pistachio and Chocolate S’mores: ¥1,540 (Tax Included)
Cinnamon Apple Pie: ¥1,540 (Tax Included)
Maple Lemon German Pancake: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
Mixed Berry German Pancake: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
Strawberry Mojito/Kiwi Mojito/Peach Mojito: ¥990 each (Tax Included)
Coffee (Iced/Hot) / Black Tea (Iced/Hot): ¥550 (Tax Included)
Pins (Random, 7 designs): ¥660 (Tax Included)
Acrylic Keyrings (7 designs): ¥770 (Tax Included) / Clear Folder: ¥440 (Tax Included)
Stickers (7 designs): ¥770 each (Tax Included) / Placemat (2 designs): ¥1,000 each (Tax Included)
Swizzle Stick (7 designs): ¥990 each (Tax Included) / Tote Bag: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
Canvas Pouch: ¥1,980 (Tax Included) / Mini-towel (7 designs): ¥990 each (Tax Included)
Bandana (2 designs): ¥1,320 each (Tax Included) / Marshmallows: ¥972 (Tax Included)
Customers who book a table in advance will receive a randomly selected A5-size clear folder and a random clear coaster for each drink ordered.
The first installment of the 9th BT21 Cafe run, ~MY LITTLE BUDDY~, began in July 2021. The menu and goods, based on cute babies and their friends, received rave reviews.
~Relaxing Holiday~ is inspired by summer and being outside with friends. Menu items look like what people may eat while camping, and the original character art features your favorite BT21 characters eating their favorite foods. Various soups and desserts are available in cute souvenir cups, and anything ordered is perfect for posting on social media!
Which menu item looks the most delicious to you?
*Images for reference only.
BT21 Cafe 9th Run ~Relaxing Holiday~
Address: SHINJUKU BOX café&space Lumine EST (B1F 3-38-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo)
Running: August 28, 2021 – October 3, 2021
Address: HARAJUKU BOX Alta (3F 16-4 Jingumae 1-chome, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo)
Running: September 16, 2021 – October 31, 2021
Address: Collabo_Index Lumine Yokohama (6F 2-16-1 Takashima, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa)
Running: September 1, 2021 – October 3, 2021
Address: Nagoya Box café&space (B1F LACHIC, 3-6-1 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi)
Running: September 30, 2021 – November 7, 2021
Address: Shinsaibashi contact (1-6-24 Kitahorie, Nishi-ku, Osaka)
Running: August 27, 2021 – September 23, 2021
Address: OKINAWA BOX café&space (Naha OPA 2F, 1-20-1 Izumizaki, Naha, Okinawa)
Running: September 3, 2021 – October 3, 2021
Official Site: https://2021-2.box-cafe.jp/
BT21 is a globally popular cast of characters from LINE FRIENDS.
*The products and menu items produced and sold by LEGS COMPANY, Ltd. are the result of an official license agreement with LINE FRIENDS Co., Ltd. and may not be reproduced or sold without permission from LINE FRIENDS Co., Ltd.
ESTINATE HOTEL Celebrates Okinawa Branch’s 6th Anniversary With Ryu Ambe Collaboration
The lifestyle hotel chain ESTINATE HOTEL’s Okinawa Naha branch will turn 6-years-old on August 7, and to celebrate, it will hold a special event in collaboration with the character designer Ryu Ambe from August 6-15. This will be Ambe’s first-ever exhibition where his work will be sold in-person.
Pottery in Shujiro Castle Park
“Shima Map” design by Ryu Ambe to be used on posters and t-shirts
ESTINATE HOTEL has welcomed people from all regions of Japan over the years. It has held many events including one two years ago with the theme “Meet Local” and another last year themed on “Feel Global.” This year, the catchphrase is “Hello New World” which hopes to encourage people to discover new things by meeting the locals of Okinawa through the medium of art.
Ryu Ambe has a unique designer reminiscent of American comics. For this event, he has created the “Shima Map” which will be used on a variety of merchandise such as 30 limited-edition silk screen posters. There are also pottery pieces inspired by the sea life found in Okinawa’s oceans, amongst other art works.
Ryu Ambe Exhibition “HELLO NEW WORLD” at ESTINATE HOTEL
Running: August 6, 2021 – August 15, 2021 @ 11:00-17:00
Ryu Ambe’s Stay Duration: August 7, 2021 – August 8, 2021
Location: ESTINATE HOTEL Okinawa Floor 1F Lounge
Address: 23-11 Matsuyama, Naha, Okinawa, 900-0032, Japan
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/estinate_hotel/
Official Website: https://estinate.com/
Satoyama Jujo THE HOUSE IZUMI: Rent Out a Renovated Japanese House in Niigata
15.July.2021 | SPOT
Japanese design company Jiyujin launched its new Satoyama Jujo THE HOUSE chain of accommodations this month which offer a single group of guests a one-night stay in an entire house.
The first branch to open is IZUMI which features a fully-renovated Japanese-style house located in the city of Uonuma in Niigata. A gorgeous outlook is offered from the house with an unbroken view of lush forests, rice fields, and Mt. Makihata, which is listed as one of the ‘100 Famous Japanese Mountains.’
A breathtaking view awaits guests from the open-air bath
The spacious living room
Fully renovated from a 150-year-old private house, the building is supported by beautiful wooden beams and columns, and in the middle the oe, a sunken hearth. This, along with the beams and sashigamoi joints, are made from keyaki Japanese zelkova which is an elm-like tree. This species of tree is rare even in a tree-covered region such as Uonuma. The lumber used for this house was cut, preserved, and dried out for a number of decades before being processed into building material for the house. The heart in the middle of the living room is reminiscent of a time when large families would gather around one and serves to recreate that lifestyle.
The Nishiyama region is known for is production of delicious rice. IZUMI in fact looks out over Kabanosawa, a special and important place of rice production in Nishiyama. This vantage point also gives guests an opportunity to appreciate the hot and cold temperatures of the daytime and evening, the rivers, the shape of the land, and the earth the city sits on. The drastic change in temperatures in the day and night are especially noteworthy as this, along with the basin between the mountains, gives rise to a sea of clouds.
IZUMI sits on a hill that overlooks the rice paddies, making it a perfect location for spotting the sea of clouds. Minamiuonuma’s sea of clouds has over a 70% chances of appearing in the autumn and spring seasons.
The number one reason why Japan’s old, long-standing, and precious private houses are demolished is due to the cold getting in and it being too dark inside. Even those who want to see them preserved for tradition, including those who live in them already, would rather live in a modern home. That’s why Jiyujin has begun a renovation project instead of a demolition one. By refurbishing the houses, the ancient framework can be fixed up and preserved while a range of contemporary amenities are incorporate to fit with modern lifestyles. The Satoyama Jujo accommodations are built so they can be used for over 100 years.
For dinner, there are three options for guests. The first is a dinner at SANABURI which earned itself a Michelin star in Michelin Guide Niigata 2020. The second is a meal at a restaurant that earned the status of Bib Gourmand in the same guide. The third is to prepare your own meal in the house. There are plenty of shops around the station nearby where you can buy local ingredients.
After a delicious meal, guests can take a soak in the open-air tub and enjoy gazing out across the fields and the beautiful mountains which stand almost 2,000 meters high.
Satoyama Jujo THE HOUSE IZUMI
Japanese Name: 里山十帖 THE HOUSE IZUMI
Address: 671-1, Amanosawa, Minamiuonuma, Niigata, 〒949-6433, Japan
Official Website: Opening early July 2021
Access: 7-minutes by car from Jōetsu International Skiing Ground Station (JR Joetsu Line) / 16-minutes by car from Shiozawa-Ishiuchi IC
KYARY PAMYU PAMYU meets IMABARI: A Visit to the Historical Sea Route
Imabari is a city in Ehime Prefecture that faces the Seto Inland Sea. Since olden times, it has flourished as an important location for marine traffic. It’s home to a bounty of recognised national treasures and historical heritage sights, and is also famous for its production of citrus fruits such as mikan. Japanese pop star, model, and icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu took a trip to this ancient city to discover its wonder and beauty.
A Visit to the Historical Sea Route
A ‘power spot’ revered by prominent people
Oyamazumi Shrine has been revered by prominent figures throughout history as a place dedicated to the god of the mountain, god of the ocean, and the god of war. It’s home to numerous Important Cultural Properties which are available for viewing by the public such as the armour worn by the military commander Minamoto no Yoshitsune when the Minamoto clan won the Genpei War (1180-1185), armour worn by women, and more. The shrine is also a notable power spot for the ancient tree that has stood there for 2,600 years and is now recognised as a natural monument of Japan. Power spots are places in Japan where the spiritually-inclined draw energy from.
Address: 3327 Omishimacho Miyaura, Imabari, Ehime 794-1393, Japan
Opening Hours: Sunrise to 17:00
National Treasure Building: 8:30-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)
Official Website: https://oomishimagu.jp/
Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area
Lip-smacking food aplenty
If you’re one for great views, then the Kurushima Kaikyo service area is a must-visit, offering a panoramic look at the Kurushima Strait of the Seto Inland Sea. The service area is very well know particularly for the Jaguchi Mikan Juice, something of a city legend in Ehime where you can enjoy fresh mikan juice straight from a tap. You can also tuck a rice bowl dish made with tachiuo hairtail caught in the Seto Inland Sea that’s made to look like Kurushima Kaikyō Bridge, or try Imabari’s soul food dish: the Imabari Yakibuta Tamago Meshi, a pork, egg, and rice bowl. Don’t pass up the chance to snap a photo at the designated photo spot with the Seto Inland Sea in the back either like Kyary above.
Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area
Address: 3-9-68 Ohamacho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0002, Japan
Food Court: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00
Shops: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00
Outside Shopping Area & Cafes: [Weekdays] 9:00-17:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 9:00-18:00
Official Website: https://www.jb-highway.co.jp/sapa/kurushima.php
Murakami Suigun Museum
Dedicated to the Imabari heroes who protected the ocean
Murakami Suigun Museum is dedicated to kaizoku—pirates, or lords of the sea—something which conjures to mind villainy or bad guys, but the Murakami pirates were also considered heroes who helped maintain order and protect the sea during the Sengoku warring period of Japan. The museum features many displays of Murakami family treasures including the battle surcoat which the pirate leader wore over his armour, proudly bearing the Murakami family crest. Visitors can wear replicas of this coat, which Kyary tired herself: “Now I’m sorta like a military commander too,” she said.
Murakami Suigun Museum
Address: 1285 Miyakubocho Miyakubo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2203, Japan
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if the Monday falls on a public holiday) / New Year Holidays (Dec 29-Jan 3)
Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/suigun/
Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan
A bundle of fun and entertainment in one place
Roll on up to Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan to enjoy a shichirin BBQ feast with fresh seafood caught in the Seto Inland Sea while gazing out across Kurushima Kaikyo. This building complex serves as a resting spot and is also the perfect place to purchase local souvenirs including Ehime specialty products. It’s also famous for its offering the chance to board a boat to ride around Kurushima Kaikyo, renting out bicycles, and more. You’ll also be able to meet Koro-chan, a popular fish who has lived there for 30 years.
Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan
Address: 4520-2 Yoshiumichomyo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2114, Japan
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Restaurant: 10:00-16:00 (Last Orders 15:00)
Closed: New Year’s Day (and certain days in winter)
Official Website: http://www.imabari-shimanami.jp/ikiiki/
Dolphin Farm Shimanami
Meet the cute and friendly dolphins
Dolphin Farm Shimanami, which is connected to Hakata Beach, is the best and biggest place in Japan to interact with dolphins. Visitors can get close to them and the dolphins will show off their tricks and skills. There’s even a car camping area you can stay at.
Dolphin Farm Shimanami
Address: 1673 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Closed: On days with bad weath
Official Website: https://www.df-shimanami.com/
A white sandy beach rolling out 200-meters
Hakata Beach is located at the base of Oshima Bridge in Hakata. The beach is famous for its salt which is best tried on their popular sweet-tasting sea salt ice cream.
Address: 1668-1 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan
Sea Bathing: Early July – Late August
Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=198
High quality towels woven with tradition and technique
Imabari is the biggest producer of towels in Japan. Even their white towels alone have countless types you can choose from, allowing you to pick which level of softness and comfort you want. The iconic brand logo is also impactful, capturing the quality, production, and enthusiasm that the makes have for the product. Kyary herself uses them all the time!
Official Website: https://www.imabaritowel.jp/
Need a bike?
Sunrise Itoyama, located in the Imabari Central Cycling Terminal, is a rental bicycle service that has bikes and helmets for everyone’s needs. Rent out a bike and ride the Shimanami Sea Route which connects Ehime and Hiroshima with a series of bridges that hop across the islands of the Seto Inland Sea.
Address: 2-8-1 Sunabacho, Imabari, Ehime 794-0001, Japan
Rent-a-Cycle Details: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/archives/rentacycle/
Official Website: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/
The famous restaurant known to every local
If you want the real experience of Imabari’s yakitori soul food, you should visit Marutomi, a yakitori eatery. Imabari yakitori is different from the usual Japanese yakitori as it doesn’t come skewered. Instead, the chicken is cut into small pieces and fried that way. One of the most popular ways to have it is with the skin on so the outside is crunchy and the inside succulent. It goes perfect with a cup of sake too.
2-3-6 Katayama, Imabari, Ehime 794-0063, Japan
Opening Hours: 17:30-22:00
Official Website: https://maru-marutomi.jp/
A castle by the sea
Imabari Castle, built by the daimyo Tōdō Takatora, is known famously as one of Japan’s three “Castles on the Sea” and was also listed in Japan’s Top 100 Castles. When it was first constructed, boats could enter the moat from the ocean. It’s a site that breathes the prosperity that Imabari has enjoyed as a significant location for maritime traffic, the same Imabari that the Murakami pirates sought to protect. Head on up to the top of the castle to stand on the observation deck and gaze at an unbroken view of the city.
Address: 3-1-3 Toricho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0036, Japan
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Closed: December 29 – December 31
Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/imabarijo/
Kirosan Observatory Park
A breathtaking spectacle to remember
Kirosan Observatory Park is officially recognised by Setonaikai National Park. Standing atop the observation deck fills the eyes with wonder as they gaze upon a panoramic stretch of Imabari, the Seto Inland Sea, and Kurushima Kaikyo all at once. Kyary wrapped up her time in Imabari here as the sunset coloured the sky and sea in warm evening hues.
Kirosan Observatory Park
Address: 487-4 Yoshiumicho Minamiura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2115, Japan
No Fixed Holidays
Open 24-hours a day
Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=182
Imabari Tourism Information: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/
We hope you enjoyed joining Kyary on her adventures across Imabari, and perhaps she even got you a little curious in wanting to visit the city yourself. It’s a treasure trove filled with vistas by the sea, in nature, and in the city itself with its Important Cultural Properties. Food is also a big part of travel for many people, so you can rest assured that your belly will be satisfied in Imabari as you try their speciality mikan, fresh seafood fished in the Seto Inland Sea, and more.
Be Surrounded by Glowing Fireflies With Kissho Yamanaka’s New Hotel Plan
07.June.2021 | SPOT
Kissho Yamanaka, a hot spring hotel in Kaga, Ishikawa, is now offering a firefly-viewing experience as part of a new guest plan until June 15. This gorgeous resort, situated by the Daishoji River in the Kakusenkei Gorges, was awarded three Michelin stars in the Ryokan category of Michelin Guide Hokuriku 2021 Special Issue.
The firefly tour arrives as early summer is soon to begin. As part of the hotel plan, guests can also enjoy a dazzling Firefly Cocktail too.
Feel the rays of early summertime at Kissho Yamanaka.
Firefly & Sunset Hotel Plan
Address: Kissho Yamanaka, 1 Chome-14−3 Yamanakaonsen Higashimachi, Kaga, Ishikawa 922-0114, Japan
Official Website: https://kissho-yamanaka.com/
Bathe With Real Ducks at Tamagawa Onsen in Saitama
01.June.2021 | SPOT
As part of their 10th anniversary event, Tamagawa Onsen, a Showa retro-style bathhouse in Saitama, opened their ‘Real Duck Baths’ on May 29 which lets people bathe with real ducks. The experience is available on weekends and public holidays only.
Forget bathing with bright yellow toy ducks – now you can have the real thing. These ducks were hatched and raise from ducklings by the bathhouse manager Arai at their home. The ducks are still small so the hours when they will be out are not set in stone, but the bathhouse hopes that guests will watch their and support their growth as they mature over time.
Real Duck Bath
Running: Weekends and public holidays from May 29, 2021
*Subject to cancellation on any day depending on the condition of the ducks
Where: Tamagawa Onsen
Address: 3700 Tamagawa, Tokigawa, Hiki District, Saitama 355-0342, Japan
Official Website: https://tamagawa-onsen.com/
Hokkaido’s New Hotel Boasts a Famous Hot Spring and Overlooks the Tsugaru Straits
16.May.2021 | SPOT
Core Global Management is set to open the all-new Yunokawa Onsen Umi to Akari Hewitt Resort on July 1, 2021. In line with its opening, Japanese calligrapher Shoko Kanazawa has been put in charge of designing the hotel’s name logo.
The sea and sky meet in the Infinity Onsen
Tsukifune: the buffet restaurant
Enjoy Japanese-style food at Kumonami
Fires prepared by the staff everyday
A look inside the guest rooms
A look inside the guest rooms
Yunokawa Onsen is one of the three major hot spring resorts in Hokkaido. During the Edo period, Matsumae Chikatsumaru, who later became the lord of the Matsumae domain, and Enomoto Takeharu, the president of the former Tokugawa shogunate, are said to have bathed in this very hot spring. Yunokawa Onsen Umi to Akari Hewitt Resort is a chance to enjoy the good old days of Hakodate Yunokawa.
The rooftop offers an unbroken view of the incredible Tsugaru Straits. Guests can also enjoy a tranquil moment at the historic hot spring with a cup of Hakodate’s local sake and dango in hand underneath a moonlit sky while surrounded by the lights of fishing fires. There’s also a chance for both kids and adults to take a dip in a tatami bath – something you don’t really see in Japan.
Yunokawa Onsen Umi to Akari Hewitt Resort
Address: 3-9-20 Yunokawacho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 042-0932, Japan
Access: 5-minutes by car from Hakodate Airport
Official Website: http://hewitt-resort.com/hakodate-yunokawa/
Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse Reopens With New Sauna Area
08.May.2021 | SPOT
Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse reopened on April 29 after refurbishments to install a new sauna. The hotel, located in Yamagata Prefecture, is known for being situated atop rice paddies. Along with the sauna, it has also introduced a new spa program and healthy new menu made using organic vegetables grown by the hotel company itself.
An authentic Finnish-style sauna
The sauna is based on the Finnish-style löyly sauna, fully equipped with an authentic kiuas sauna stove inside which sauna stones are placed to heat up the room. Hinoki scented water is also used in the sauna.
The Sauna Features
The male sauna features hexagonal designs on the seats, ceiling windows, and bath. The seats can be moved around freely so guests can decide how high they wish to sit for optimal heat customisation. The sauna rooms overlook the rice paddies outside, and there’s open-air baths outdoors too so guests can feel at one with nature.
The women’s sauna is also a löyly type but uses raised benches instead of chairs. After sweating it out, guests can head to one of the outdoor baths and enjoy the view and sky.
There’s also a bar where guests can order local beers, sake, and wine, as well as fruit juice and ice cream. While relaxing, they can pick out from one of the 1,000 books available.
As well as fitness and massage services, morning yoga will begin this June. The MOON TERRASSE restaurant is also introducing new healthy dishes and drinks made with organic local ingredients.
SHONAI HOTEL SUIDEN TERRASSE
Address: Shimotorinosu-23-1 Kitakyōden, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0053, Japan
Official Website: https://www.suiden-terrasse.yamagata-design.com/
Surround Yourself in Atami’s Natural Environment and Relax With a Special Hot Spring Plan
22.April.2021 | SPOT
Onsen ryokan hot spring inn SOKI ATAMI is collaborating with Shiseido’s skin and mind brand BAUM to offer a special new accommodation plan for the spring season. SOKI ATAMI x BAUM -Fresh Verdure & Healthcare- will run from May 1, but pre-bookings are already open on SOKI ATAMI’s website.
Free gift bag to the first 100 people who make a reservation
Enjoy deep relaxation with sachets filled with natural smells like wood
A candle-lit night under the starry sky
Fresh verdure and caring for one’s health is the theme of this event which takes place deep within Atami. The plan includes the Forest Twin bedroom which is fitted with a half open-air hinoki area that faces the mountains and lets guests feel like they are surrounded by the new green leaves of spring. Rooms are also kitted out with amenities such as BAUM’s Hydro Essence Lotion which captures the essence of fresh trees and shrubs. Guests are invited to experience Atami’s hot spring culture and cuisine as they allow their mind and body to relax, ultimately benefitting their health. This season is known for its bounteous verdure and refreshing breeze, but it’s also said to help alleviate the May blues which many Japanese people experience after starting school or work again, the negative feelings of the rainy season, and more, all of which can put one’s spiritual state out of kilter. The scent of trees will rid guests of stress, nerves, and tension, and bring about relaxation, peaceful sleep, and a good detoxing.
BAUM is a skin and mind brand that helps support the strength of one’s skin by focusing attention on the water storage, growth, and environmental protection of trees and forests while showing the importance of looking after your mind and body. The brand is giving free gift bags to the first 100 people that make a reservation to show how anyone can enjoy a sustainable life using an everyday item.
On the top floor of the inn is a tearoom where guests can make their own sachets using hinoki cypress. Guests can also enjoy the Aroamtic Room Spray and Aromatic Candles provided by BAUM, all to further aid in relaxation and restoration. In the evenings, the lights will be switched off at the cafe and be replaced with candlelight which will serve as a romantic replacement to shine against the overhead backdrop of the starry night sky.
Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE Announces Art Festival by the Beachside
04.April.2021 | SPOT
The incredible Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE, a beachside cafe which offers guests a breathtaking ocean view along the Okinawan coast, has announced the upcoming Beachside Art Festival which will take place from April 10 to May 9. The festival will bring together artwork from a range of artists born and raised in Okinawa and leading the island’s youth culture. There will be a range of events from live painting to workshops, exhibits, and more.
The participating artists have all taken part in personal art exhibits, art events, showcased their work at concerts, and more both inside and outside Japan, but due to COVID-19, many events have of course been cancelled. Beachside Art Festival will serve as a way to display their wonderful works while supporting them at the same time.
The Artist Line-Up
MACHIDA visiting BANTA CAFE to check the feel of the ocean and their artwork
Vibrant artwork with the ocean as the backdrop
Visitors will be greeted by artwork dotted across various locations around BANTA CAFE. If they follow the top of the cliff down to the beach they will find sofas to sit on which have also been decorated with the artists’ artwork. Then there’s the Goro Goro Lounge with its enormous window that stretches an entire wall and offers a panoramic view of the sea. Here, visitors can look out at the artwork which will look like it’s floating above the horizon. All drinks ordered also come with a free sticker featuring artwork by the four participating artists.
Experience art-in-the-making with live painting
DENPA and MACHIDA will host their own live painting sessions where they will take inspiration from the surrounding environment.
HAYATO MACHIDA @ April 10, 2021 / April 11, 2021
DENPA @ April 18, 2021
Times: 11:00-13:00 / 14:00-17:00
Where: In front of BANTA CAFE on the beach
Have a go at traditional Okinawan bingata dyeing
Visitors can have a go at making their very own coasters from nine different colours using a traditional Okinawan stencilled dyeing technique known as bingata.
Running: April 24, 2021 / May 1, 2021 / May 2, 2021 / May 5, 2021
Times: 10:00 / 12:00 / 14:00 / 16:00 (Each slot lasts approx. one hour)
Where: Iwaba Terrace
Price: ¥2,000 (Tax Included)
Note: Online booking required
Take home a souvenir at the beachside museum shop
A museum shop will be open for the event on weekends and holidays where you can pick up art prints, stickers, postcards, and other mementos.
Opening Days: Weekends & Public Holidays
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00
Where: Beachside Terrace
Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE – Beachside Art Festival
Running: April 10, 2021 – May 9, 2021
Where: Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE, Okinawa
Official Website: https://banta-cafe.com/en/
Attack on Titan’s Eren and Levi Get Hot and Sweaty Together in the Spa in New Merch Drop
Hot spring chain Gokurakuya is set to host a collaborative event with the TV anime series Attack on Titan on Friday (March 5). It will take place at 32 of the chain’s RAKU SPA venues in promotion of the anime series’ final season.
Check out the promotional videos released for the collaboration.
Hand Towels: Entry Price + Sauna Set | ¥770 (Tax Included)
Acrylic Stands | ¥1,980 Each (Tax Included)
Folders | ¥550 (Tax Included)
Online Shop Exclusives
Tapestry | ¥5,808 (Tax Included)
A1 Posters | ¥1,848 Each (Tax Included) / A2 Posters | ¥1,518 Each (Tax Included)
First-Come, First-Served Free Postcards
Take a photo against a backdrop of Eren and Levi
Take a photo against a backdrop of Hange
Dishes, drinks, and desserts are also being served until April 11, 2021. Check out the menu below.
Eren’s Bandage Parfait | ¥1,188 (Tax Included)
Mikasa’s Red Tomato Ramen | ¥1,408 (Tax Included)
Armin’s Mushroom Porcini Omurice | ¥1,848 (Tax Included)
Levi’s Triple Hamburgers | ¥3,278 (Tax Included)
Survey Corps Seafood Squid Ink Pasta | ¥1,848 (Tax Included)
Eren’s Strawberry Soda Float / Mikasa’s Lychee Soda Float / Armin’s Mikan Soda Float / Levi’s Grape Soda Float / Hange’s Purple Soda Float | ¥715 Each (Tax Included)
Coasters (12 Designs)
Eren Shirt – ¥330 (Tax Included)
Colossal Titan Suit – ¥330 (Tax Included) *Limited to one person per day, first-come first-served
To celebrate Eren’s birthday, the hot springs will also be serving up a special cake limited-time cake and setting up a backdrop for people to take photos with. These will be available from March 24 to April 2.
Eren’s Chocolate & Raspberry Birthday Cake | ¥1,958 (Tax Included)
(C)諫山創・講談社／「進撃の巨人」The Final Season製作委員会
Running: March 5, 2021 – April 11, 2021
Where: 32 branches of RAKU SPA
Gokurakuyu Online Shop: https://eshop.gokurakuyu.ne.jp/
極楽湯/RAKU SPA Twitter：https://twitter.com/gokurakuyu_spa（@gokurakuyu_spa）
RAKU SPA： https://www.rakuspa.com/