UMI HOTEL ANNEX: The New Luxury Hotel Opens in Shizuoka’s Resort Area Usami

09.March.2020 | SPOT

Usami is known as the resort area of Ito in Shizuoka Prefecture, and it’s here that the new luxury relaxation hotel UMI HOTEL ANNEX, which boasts a horizon-stretched ocean view, has openedーtogether with the new restaurant and bar known as The SEA.

 

UMI HOTEL ANNEX, a hotel for relaxation

UMI HOTEL ANNEX offers a breathtaking experience for guests with its ocean view, the sounds of the waves, and the natural scent of trees that envelop it. The hotel is on the small side, built with just six rooms, but this opens the door for greater hospitality, consideration, and comfort. If you want to wind down from a long day of travelling, need some adequate sleep, and wish to get away from the hustle and bustle of Japan’s busy cities, then UMI HOTEL ANNEX has you covered.

 

Enjoy a sweeping ocean view

Upon entering a guest room, you are met with an unobstructed view of the sea. All rooms are also equipped with mirrorsーwhich span the entire wallーwhich bring the view of the ocean into your own room too. This means you can sleep soundly while surrounded by the sea, which is just 30 seconds from the hotel. *4 rooms of the rooms offer the ocean view

 

Rooms also have a pillar made from hiba cypress, a type of tree symbolic of Aomori Prefecture. The pillars not only serve to support the structure of the hotel, but also wrap the room with the natural scent of timber. Hiba is a strong antibacterial and pesticide wood, and its aroma also has a relaxing effect. 

 

Open-air infinity pool baths with water flowing from the source

The roof is decked out with infinity pool baths with water flowing in from the source. Everything in and around the pools is made from the same Aoyama hibi cypress, including the pools themselves, meaning all rooms enjoy that warm smell of cypress. The pool joins together with Usami Bay, which stretches 1km, offering a feeling of openness like no other. There are even waterproof sofas in the pool rooms for more relaxation.

 

Amenities galore for a quiet night’s sleep

Amenities offered include items by Sansatia, a Bali-based natural cosmetics company. There’s also an original line of room wear made from a special Japanese gauze which can also be used in the surrounding area outside too. The linen is provided by Imabari Towel, and the beds by Simmons. There’s also bath salts, shoehorns, and more.

 

All guest rooms are equipped with pots, microwaves, refrigerators, irons, and trouser pressers. There’s also coin operated laundry machines, accommodating for those longer stays.

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  • See 3,000 Rhododendrons in Full Bloom at the Tsutsuji Garden by Lake Ashi in Hakone

    29.March.2020 | SPOT

    May is the most colourful time of the year at Hotel de Yama near Lake Ashi in Hakone, when a total of 3,000 rhododendronsーcomprised of 30 different typesーbloom their beautiful flowers in the large Tsutsuji Garden, where one can enjoy a great view of Mount Fuji and Lake Ashi.

     

    Tsutsuji Garden at Hotel de Yama

    “Tsutsuji” is the Japanese word for rhododendron. The Tsutsuji Garden at Hotel de Yama was once the villa of Koyata Iwasaki, “the fourth and last president of a unified Mitsubishi.” During that time, numerous varieties of rhododendrons were planted in the garden, which have since been maintained. There are plants amongst them that are over 100-years-old, ones that tower over the human stature, and more; with petals that bloom pink, red, purple, and white.

     

    A combined view of the kaleidoscopic rhododendrons and Mount Fuji

    The staff who are experts on the garden have set up two photo frame stands in two of the best spots in the garden for taking picturesque photos. Snap some Instagrammable and memories with the colourful rhododendrons and Mount Fuji together.

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

    Salon de thé Rosage, the dessert restaurant that sits in front of the hotel, is serving up a new special dessert called “Saison a colorier” in line with the full bloom of the rhododendrons. It captures the colourful pink, red, white, and purple appearance of the flowers, and looks like a mini version of the hotel’s garden on your plate. The main part of the dessert is the tea mousse, which has a bright red colour as it is coated beautifully in a strawberry puree nappage. The tea used in the mouse is an original rhododendron blend exclusive to the restaurant.


    The white rhododendron dessert is a macaron that’s filled with raspberry sorbet. The red which contrasts with the white is a rhododendron milk tea cream and fresh raspberries. The rest of the plate is adorned with pink jelly and edible flowers. The perfect afternoon tea to finish off your time at Tsutsuji Garden.

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

    29.March.2020 | SPOT

    Kaname Inn Tatemachi, a hotel in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, has announced a project named “Room for rescue” which will offer free accommodation to foreigners unable to travel back to their home countries from Japan due to lockdowns and restrictions from going outside as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

    With flights cancelled around the world, there is no way for foreigners to return home from Japan, resulting in them being forced to change their plans and extend their stay. They are living their days in constant worry, both financially and mentally. To ensure that foreign travellers don’t feel like their trip to Japan was a bad experience, free accommodation is becoming available to those who meet certain prescribed conditions.

     

    In response to the decreasing number of tourists, Kaname Inn Tatemachi opened its doors to Japanese citizens through Facebook for free accommodation to help support businesses like local restaurants that could no longer make a living. They received a lot of guests, as well as a request from a friend who asked if someone from the Netherlands could stay there because they couldn’t get back to their country. This sparked the “Room for rescue” project for stranded foreign tourists to stay at Kaname Inn Tatemachi for free too.

     

    Kaname Inn Tatemachi is using its own funds to pay for the project and allow free stay. However, doing this long term will put strain on the business, so to help pay for hotel use and staff’s wages, the hotel has opened up a crowd funding page which you can find here.

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

    27.March.2020 | SPOT

    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

    Jigenzakura is a single sakura tree that stands proud and majestic. Aged 140 years old, the tree is listed as a National Treasure of Hirado. It’s close to the Oshima variety of cherry tree, and was planted by Catholics who migrated to Japan at the beginning of the Meiji Period. A visit to Jigenzakura offers a splendid sight to behold as it blossoms in the ravine. The best time to see it in full bloom last year was March 31.

     

    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

    27.March.2020 | SPOT

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

    Taketomi Island can be said to be home to landscape of what Okinawa used to be, with the Ryukyuan red roof tiles of its buildings, stone walls, and alleys spread with coral sand. Someone plucks away at a three-stringed sanshinーthe Okinawan precursor to the mainland shamisenーas time flows with gentle ease on the island. Taketomi Island is rich in traditional culture which can be felt throughout.

     

    The guest rooms at HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island emulate the island’s traditional architecture. All guest rooms have south-facing windows that can be opened to let in the southern winds, which the local islanders say are lucky. HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island developed its new workation plan in response to the current situation when more people are having to do remote work and work from home. It enables people a private abode where they can work and relax simultaneously. And all the necessary amenities have been prepared for a workation.

    The guest rooms at HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island are known as guest pavilions, which allow for you feel like you’re living like a real islander. They are equipped with Wi-Fi, printers, pand photocopiers too, making it the perfect work environment. And you don’t have to worry about hay fever as there are no Japanese cedar or cypress trees around.

    The pavilions offer a beautiful view of the bright blue sky and sea. The beaches are also open from March, so you can take a dip in the springtime sea too while basking in the warm climate.

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

    27.March.2020 | SPOT

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

    Meiji Kinenkan was built in 1881 as a dining and reception hall used for receiving important guests from abroad to the Akasaka Temporary Palace. In October 1881, a dinner was held at the site with Prince Albert Victor and Prince George who visited Japan that autumn. Five years later, in 1886, Empress Shōken received foreign guests in Western clothing for the first time. In 1888, a meeting attended by Emperor Meiji was held to discuss the draft of the Constitution, which is represented in artwork you can see on the walls of Meiji Kinenkan. During the construction of Meiji Jingu Gaien in 1918, Meiji Kinenkan was dedicated to Meiji Jingu from the Ito family and relocated to where it stands today. Before the war, the building was known as the “Constitution Memorial Hall” and was used for events related to the Imperial Family. It was renamed “Meiji Kinenkan” in 1947 and became a wedding hall of Meiji Jingu.

     

    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

    This building was used for court diplomacy under Emperor Meiji. Located on the grounds of Meiji Kinenkan, its interior exemplifies the idea of “Modern Meiji.” It has survived two relocations, the Great Kantō earthquake of 1923, and the Second World War. The lavish decor is a harmonious fusion of the traditional and the modern, with the overhead chandeliers, golden roosters, and mantle piece with its black lacquering and towering mirror.

     

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

    The Meiji Kinenkan Main Building was designated as an Tangible Cultural Property for its 100+ years of history, honouring its historical background, cultural role, and value as a building. Today, it is used for many different things, from a wedding reception to a venue for company parties.

    On weekdays, it is mainly used for its “kinkei” lounge, a spacious area that faces a gorgeous green garden planted with a variety of flowers that bloom through the seasons. Its interior decor also has history, such as its ceiling which is a reflection of the Meiji Period. They even serve cake from Meiji Kinenkan’s original sweets brand “Kaminomi no Mori” and coffee.

  • Go Skiing This Golden Week in Japan at Nekoma Ski Resort

    25.March.2020 | SPOT

    Nekoma Ski Resort, which is located on the northern slope of the Urabandai area, is holding a special spring ski event from March 30, 2020 called “Haru Nekoma ~Nekoma GO! GO! GO!”

    The spring season at Nekoma Ski Resort is the time to enjoy the compacted snow berms, with lots of different kinds of berms to try out. So skiers can enjoy the snow berms that pile up in the early morning, the resort is open from from as early as 5:55, and there’s also snow lifts, so they can maximise their piste riding experience to the fullest. Skiers can enjoy the full view of Mount Bandaiーwhich is officially listed as one of the 100 most famous mountains in Japanーas well as Lake Inawashiro too as they hit the downhill ski trails.

     

    Haru Nekoma ~Nekoma GO! GO! GO!

    Running: March 30, 2020 – May 6, 2020

    Times: [Weekdays] 7:30-15:00 / [Weekends & Public Holidays] 5:55-15:00

    Lift Price: [1 Day Ticket] Adults ¥3,818 / Junior & High School Students ¥3,091 / Elementary School Students ¥1,909 (Before Tax)

    Note: Dates and times subject to change depending on weather conditions

     

    Ride the springtime pistes of Alts Bandai too

    For the 2019-2020 season, you can ride the snow footpath that connects Nekoma Ski Resort to Alts Bandai. Go through the gate leading to it, walk through the Japanese beech trees for about 15 minutes, and you’ll arrive at the pistes in the deepest part of Alts Bandai which opens up to a spectacular view of Mount Bandai and the town of Inawashiro. Alts Bandai will be shut from March 29, but since there is still plenty of snow to ski down in the high-up pistes even in April, some of the lifts will still be operated. Enjoy a springtime walk and a springtime ski with the beautiful scenery before you with this special ski route.

     

    Running: From March 20, 2020 until the snow melts

    Gate Times: 10:00-13:30 (Last entries from Nekoma Ski Resort at 12:00)

    Price: Free

    Available Courses: Frozen 1, 2, 3 / Peak Lower 3 / Peak Lower 4

    Note: A valid day ticket from Nekoma Ski Resort is required

     

    Nekoma Terrace

    Bask in the springtime weather at the foot of the pistes in the Nekoma Terrace which has its own bar. After an early morning ski, take a break and relax at the terrace with a drink in hand and soak up the scenery around you as the temperature warms through the day.

     

    Spring Nekoma Terrace

    Time: 10:00-14:00

    Price: Alcohol ¥454 / Soft Drinks ¥182 (Before Tax)

    Location: Nekoma Ski Resort Centre House

     

    Spring discount tickets are also available, which can also be used at Alts Bandaiーwhich has the biggest pistes in Japanーuntil March 29. Ride across 189 hectares and enjoy 26 courses.

     

    Spring Discount Tickets

    Available: February 1, 2020 – May 6, 2020

    Valid: March 1, 2020 – May 6, 2020

    Price: Adults (20-23 Years) ¥20,000 / Junior & High School Students ¥10,909 / Elementary School Students ¥10,000 (Before Tax)

    Sold at: Alts Bandai / Nekoma Ski Resort Official Homepage / Alts Bandai and Nekoma Ski Resort sites

  • 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

    “Sakura Apéro” is a chance to take a breather and enjoy all the beauties nature has to offer. It is held in the cabin area of HOSHINOYA Fuji under the towering cherry blossom trees. Sit back, relax, and enjoy an evening treat of cherry blossom flavoured bean paste rice cake, a cup of matcha milk or a matcha cocktail, and a front row seat of the cherry blossoms as the sun sets.

     

    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.

  • Dine in Luxury With Truffle Toast at Patisserie SATSUKI in Hotel New Otani Osaka

    22.March.2020 | FOOD

    If you’re looking to indulge yourself during your trip to Japan, and happen to be staying in Osaka, then Hotel New Otani Osaka’s pastry shop Patisserie SATSUKI has you covered with their new “Spring Truffle Toast” which is made with Bianchetto truffles. Only 5 servings are served per dayーand 10 on weekends and public holidays.

     

    The arrival of Japan’s unprecedented bread boom

    In recent years, Japan as a country has seen a boom in the baking and serving of bread. NOGAMI, a bread shop in Osaka, is credited with lighting the fire of the “shokupan” boom, a type of fluffy bread in Japan. This has resulted in many more shops opening selling shokupan. In spring 2017, Hotel New Otani Osaka decided it wanted the people of Kansai to buzz about high quality shokupan too, so it developed its French-inspired “Spring Truffle Toast.” Since releasing, the bread has continued to sell out, and if you don’t place an order for one you won’t be able to get your hands on it. Their tasty truffle toast has returned again this year.

     

    Premium toast with loaded truffle

    Spring Truffle Toast With Bianchetto Truffles – ¥1,500 Per Loaf (Before Tax)

    The ambrosial Spring Truffle Toast lacks nothing when it comes to taste, texture, and smell. The ingredients used to make ordinary bread like eggs, milk, and butter aren’t used for the shop’s Spring Truffle Toast. Instead, strong flour, yeast, water, and finely chopped spring truffles are used. To bring out even more flavour, truffle butter, pure olive oil, and shortening is used.


    The same goes for the crustーeggs and milk aren’t used like in ordinary bread. And to prevent the bread from drying out, more time and labour is put into kneading the dough. A lava pot is used to bake the dough. By using far infrared to heat it, it makes the finished bread nice and chewy.


    The shop’s head chef wanted to ensure that the bread’s fragrant smell is preserved when you take the lid off, and so the entire loaf is lathered in truffle oil, which also gives it a moist taste.

     

    The bread can be toasted and enjoyed on its own, and you’re guaranteed great flavour and smell, but you can take it to the next level by topping it with a fried egg or scrambled egg to create an extraordinary and filling meal.

     

    These truffles can only be harvested in spring

    Truffles are a delicacy in kitchens around the world. The types used for the Spring Truffle Toast are Bianchetto. They are a very popular traditional truffle of Italy and can only be harvested from mid-March to April. As a result, they are extremely rare in Japan, making the toast that much more special.

  • 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.

  • 3D Character at Narita International Airport Exhibition Lectures On Japanese Culture & History in Multiple Languages

    16.March.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    The National Museum of Japanese History’s 3D character Momi-chan has been set up at the “Hikaru Edozu de Kanjiru Nihon” exhibition taking place at Narita International Airport. She is appears via Gatebox, a projection tube that uses the latest projection and sensory technology.

    “Momi-chan” – The National Museum of Japanese History’s 3D Character

    Gatebox

    The exhibition is a showcase of folding screens owned by The National Museum of Japanese History with pictures of Edo art on them. It hopes to promote an interest in Japanese history and culture to both foreign tourists travelling to Japan as well as Japanese travellers.

     

    Momi-chan can speak in English, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. If you’re travelling through Narita International Airport, be sure to pay her a visit for an insightful lesson.

  • Winston in Bloom: Afternoon Tea Collaboration by Harry Winston and Park Hyatt Tokyo Releasing in April

    13.March.2020 | FOOD

    Harry Winston and Park Hyatt Tokyo are joining hands to release a special afternoon tea set titled “Winston in Bloom.” It will be served at Peak Lounge on the 41st floor of Park Hyatt Tokyo from April 1 to 30 and be inspired by Harry Winston’s floral jewellery.

    Known as the “King of Diamonds” and “Jeweler to the Stars,” Harry Winston founded his brand in New York in 1932. He was captivated by the beauty of flowers and how they produce themselves naturally, a beauty which is represented in his jewellery.

     

    The collaborative “Winston in Bloom” afternoon tea is made in the image of a high-class flower garden adorned with diamonds and coloured stones.

    This is the Harry Winston brand’s first afternoon tea collaboration in Japan, and offers an elegant taste experience for anyone who wishes to munch through this garden.

    Special gifts are also prepared for anyone that orders this afternoon tea. These are available while supplies last.

  • Top 10 Must-Try Cherry Blossom Outdoor Bathing Experiences in Japan

    12.March.2020 | SPOT

    Online Japanese travel website Jalan has published an article listing the Top 10 cherry blossom furo (bath) locations in Japan based on the results of a questionnaire it held.

     

    Experiencing an outdoor Japanese bath is one thing, but it’s made even more special when coupled with the view and scent of the springtime cherry blossoms. The line-up features a list of locations praised for their scenery and the blossom of the cherry trees.

     

    1st Place: Hotel Keikyu Aburatsubo Kanchoso | Kanagawa Prefecture

    The baths at Hotel Keikyu Aburatsubo Kanchoso offer a clear view of Koajiro Bay from the hills of the Miura Peninsula. The bright blue shimmer of the ocean and the overlooking sky is made even more vibrant by the Yoshino cherry and kawazu-zakura trees that stand around the bath. It’s a tranquil spectacle as you gaze at the blue sea and enjoy your hot bath, which is full of beneficial minerals, as cherry blossom petals dance down from the trees onto the water surface.

     

    2nd Place: Hotel Suehiro | Aichi Prefecture

    This popular hotel offers a spectacular view of the ocean from the open-air rooftop bath. Around this time, the 300 Yoshino cherry trees are in full bloom down below. The common way of viewing cherry blossoms is to look up at the trees; but Hotel Suehiro offers the opposite for a unique Hanami experience.

     

    3rd Place: Onsen Yumoto Hounoya | Nara Prefecture

    Mount Yoshino is a famous cherry blossom spot as well as a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Onsen Yumoto Hounoya sits in the centre of it all, with cherry blossom trees rolling up and down all around. Enjoy a dip in the hydrogen carbonate spring water while you soak up the sights.

     

    4th Place: Goriyaku no Yu | Chiba Prefecture

    Among the mountains of the lush green city of Minamiboso lies Goriyaku no Yu. Three cherry trees bloom right in front of the open-air bath, which can be enjoy together with the striking mountains of the Yoro Ravine. Depending on the day, the petals of the cherry trees fall into the bath, dyeing it a beautiful pink.

     

    5th Place: Fuga No Yado Chouseikan | Niigata Prefecture

    Fuga No Yado Chouseikan is home to the largest open-air bath in the prefecture. It’s surrounded by 10 Yoshino cherries, which are lit up at night to create a magical atmosphere. Enjoy their full bloom together as the season for the petals’ fall begins.

     

    6th Place: Hotel Kami no Yu Onsen | Yamanashi Prefecture

    100 cherry trees can be enjoyed from the guest rooms, various baths, and inside the hotel at Kami no Yu Onsen. There are three kinds of cherry blossoms to see: the Yoshino cherry, yoshino-zakura, and yae-zakura. You can see them from the large public baths, but it’s the Hanami Furo baths that you can rent out which provide the best experience. They must be booked via telephone.

     

    7th Place: Fujino Yamanami Onsen | Kanagawa Prefecture

    This spacious open-air bath is enveloped by a gorgeous garden which blooms many different flowers through the season, including the 11 cherry blossom trees. During the day, you can enjoy the elegance of the garden, and at night it is lit up to provide a bewitching experience. The hot water is pulled from 1,800 meters below ground. The water is praised for its rich minerals which warm you from the inside.

     

    8th Place: Awanoyu Ryokan | Nagano Prefecture

    Five Yoshino cherries are planted beside this milk-coloured bubbly bath. Only in a mountainous land such as this where spring arrives late can you enjoy the cherry blossoms together with the leftover snow atop the mountains. The ryokan’s sulphur spring water contains carbon dioxide which warms the bath.

     

    9th Place: Okayama Ikoi No Mura | Okayama Prefecture

    Okayama Ikoi No Mura is a facility that offers a range of experiences, including coming into contact with animals. There are three bookable baths which offer your very own Yoshino cherry blossom tree view. The observatory deck at the facility is also popular as it overlooks the Seto Inland Sea.

     

    10th Place: Shigisan Kanko Hotel | Nara Prefecture

    Shigisan Kanko Hotel in Nara is easily reachable even from Osaka. There, guests can enjoy the full extent of the outdoors with the hot springs that reflect the mountains and the light pink Yoshino cherry trees.

     

    These cherry tree furo baths, where even the steam of the water is dyed pink, can only be enjoyed for about half a month! So if you’re planning a trip to Japan for the spring, cherry blossoms, and Hanami, be sure to put one of these picks on your list of must-visit places.

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