THE HIRAMATSU Kyoto is a New Luxury Hotel On Muromachi Street Renovated From a Traditional Townhouse
09.March.2020 | SPOT
The new luxury hotel THE HIRAMATSU Kyoto is set to open along Muromachi Street in Kyoto on March 18, 2020.
“Explore and indulge your curiosity” is the hotel’s concept
The hotel aims to create a place that encourages guests to explore and indulge their curiosities, and one that welcomes and treasures its guests in a way that only THE HIRAMATSU Kyoto can.
Built from a traditional Edo Period Kyoto-style townhouse
THE HIRAMATSU Kyoto sits pretty much in the heart of Kyoto, and is just a three-minute stroll from Karasuma Oike Station. It faces Muromachi Streetーa street that has long thrived when it comes to trade. The hotel is renovated from an old townhouse that has been around since the Edo Period, and it has been made sure that it hasn’t lost that traditional design.
Nakamura Sotoni Komu: A contemporary craftsman
To progress with the renovation work, THE HIRAMATSU KYOTO called on board the executive building director of Kyoto’s famous craftsman company Nakamura Sotoni Komu, who lent their skill to effect the effort.
THE HIRAMATSU Kyoto
Grand Opening: March 18, 2020
Address: 361 Sanjo Agaru Ennogyojacho, Muromachi-dori, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto
Access: 15-minutes by taxi from Kyoto Station / 3-minutes on foot from Karasuma Oike Station (via Kyoto Municipal Subway)
Official Website: https://www.hiramatsuhotels.com/eng/kyoto/
Wine and Dine at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto’s Luxurious New ‘Champagne Garden’
11.July.2020 | SPOT
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto opened its limited-time “Champagne Garden” on July 3 at its first floor outdoor terrace restaurant Brasserie. Running until September 6, customers can enjoy free-flow French Bollinger champagne and cocktails.
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto opened back in October 2016 as a luxury hotel, home to the famous Sekisuien Gardens which have a history spanning back 800 years and are mentioned in the The Tale of the Heike epic. The hotel’s first floor restaurant Brasserie has towering 9-meter tall windows that look out onto these gardens, while inside customers can enjoy dining in a stylish environment.
The champagne served in the Champagne Garden is produced by the French Champagne house Bolligner, a company that started by Jacques Bollinger in 1829. Fermented in oak barrels, the champagne has sophisticated and complex flavours. In 1884, Bolligner received a Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria.
At the Champagne Garden, guests can enjoy four different types of canapé made by the restaurant’s head chef Koga together with a glass of Bolligner. They can also order rosé wine, cocktails, or soft drinks too, all of which are free-flow. And since the restaurant faces the garden, guests can enjoy the view of the greenery throughout all four seasons, in central Kyoto.
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto reopened on July 1 after closing temporarily due to COVID-19. The hotel has launched its “Lead With Care” program which ensures guests and staff are at the top of the priority list for safety against the coronavirus.
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto – Champagne Garden
Running: July 3, 2020 – September 6, 2020
Location: Brasserie, Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto Floor 1F
Address: 445-3 Myōhōin Maekawachō, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
Price: ¥8,800 per person (90 minute window)
*15% service charge and 10% consumption tax charged separately
*Booking in advance recommended
Official Website: https://www.fourseasons.com/jp/kyoto/
Hoshinoya Tokyo Ranks Number One On ‘World’s Best Awards 2020 Top Hotels in Tokyo’
11.July.2020 | SPOT
Travel + Leisure published their “World’s Best Awards 2020 Top Hotels in Tokyo” list on July 8, 2020 on which Hoshinoya Tokyo, managed by Hoshino Resorts, placed No. 1.
“World’s Best Awards” is a list of the top hotels as ranked by travel magazine Travel + Leisure’s user ratings. The hotel category takes into account the facilities, location, service, food, and more offered at each hotel.
Established in Otemachi, Tokyo in July 2016, Hoshinoya Tokyo is a ryokan-style hotel which has two basement floors and 17 upper floors. It has a traditional Japanese ryokan vibe to it with its tatami mats, sliding doors, bamboo materials, and more, plus guests must take their shoes off at the entrance. And while it has traditional elements, it caters to the modern lifestyle, combining the best of both worlds. It offers guests a chance to easily experience Japanese culture and what it’s like to stay in a ryokan.
Address: 1-9-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Check In @ 15:00 / Check Out @ 12:00
Access: 10-minutes on foot from Tokyo Station’s Marunouchi North Exit / 2-minutes on foot from Otemachi Station’s A1 and C2 exits (via Tokyo Metro)
Official Website: https://hoshinoya.com/en/
THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL to Open on the Former Aoyama Bell Commons Grounds This Summer
10.July.2020 | SPOT
THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL in Aoyama, Tokyo will officially open on August 5, 2020. Set to be a new landmark of Tokyo as “a hotel where you have fun,” the establishment will house 42 rooms and a restaurant which serves everything from food around the world to authentic Japanese cuisine. Table bookings for the restaurant opened on July 1, 2020.
THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL is opening on the former Aoyama Bells Commons building which is just a 3-minute walk from Gaiemmae Station. The hotel is managed by Plan・Do・See who also manage 6th by ORIENTAL HOTEL (Yurakucho), ORIENTAL HOTEL (Kobe)< WITH THE STYLE (Fukuoka), THE LUIGANS (Fukuoka), and more.
Gaiemmae in Aoyama is a hub for fashion and culture in Japan which is visited by people all over the world. THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL will slot nicely into place in the area, serving a timeless experience with its polished and relaxing atmosphere and incredible restaurant.
All guest rooms are fitted with a unique mid-century modern style design that maintains both the welcoming vibe of the region and brings a contemporary feel. Rooms are made to offer an experience akin to living there, where guests can look forward to indulging all their senses.
The bathroom amenities offered are provided by Oltana, making this the first hotel in Japan to stock the company’s products. The items were developed specially for THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL and blend essential oils with Japanese fermentation methods. Everything from the raw materials to the finish product is made in Japan, and all are made sustainably and ethically.
Welcoming guests at the hotel entrance is THE BELCOMO on the fourth floor which offers a delicious casual dining experience whether it be for lunch, dinner, coffee, or an evening drink.
On the same floor is SHIKAKU, a counter-style restaurant serving authentic and seasonal Japanese food that is prepared before guests’ eyes with fresh ingredients.
And hidden on the 19th floor where the guest rooms are located is Aoyama Sushi Kanesaka, a sushi bar that serves exquisite sushi courses made with artisanal care and the utmost care.
Opening on the hotel’s top floor this autumn too is TRATTORIA ANDREA ROSSI, a classic Italian restaurant which will serve simple yet delicious dishes, wines, and desserts prepared in front of customers. On the same floor, a rooftop bar called THE TOP will also open where you can enjoy seasonal original cocktails, specially-selected wines, champagnes, and more.
THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL
Address: 2-14-4 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Price: ¥60,000-¥120,000 (2 people for 1 room)
Check In From 15:00 / Check Out By 13:00
Official Website: https://aoyamagrand.com/en/
Kyoto’s World Heritage Site Nijo Castle Announces Summer Evening Illumination Event
09.July.2020 | SPOT
NAKED, INC. has announced that it is holding a special summertime light-up event at Nijo Castle, a World Heritage Site in Kyoto, from August 8 to August 30. The company has also released its first ever 3DCG VR experience NAKED NINJA -Nijo-jo Castle- on the official NAKED, INC. online store.
Enjoy art entertainment in person or at home
NAKED, INC. has collaborated with many World Heritage Sites, Cultural Properties, tourism centres, leisure spots, and more over the years. Right now, the company is grappling with the question of what the shape of tourism, as well as art and entertainment, looks like during the COVID-19 outbreak—and what shape it will take post-pandemic. Nijo Castle is no exception, a place that enjoys tourism from both Japanese people and people overseas. In considering these issues, NAKED has conceived two different ways Nijo Castle can still entertain tourism now and in the near future.
The first is holding an event in person at Nijo Castle in the form of an outdoor light-up event that will have people wandering around as opposed to being stationary. In spring of 2017, NAKED held “Nijo Castle Cherry Blossom Festival 2017” where they hosted a variety of performances and events in line with the season. In fact, one such event was planned to take place at Nijo Castle this summer, but it had to be reconsidered as a result of COVID-19. Those involved still wanted to come up with a way that people who live close by could still enjoy some leisure time this summer, which is what led to this light-up event from NAKED.
Visitors will be able to enjoy the light-up safely by staying a set distance from one another while walking around Nijo Castle. The number of people inside at once will also be restricted. As well as this, people will need to wear masks, temperature will be regulated, and alcohol gel will be provided—all to ensure that visitors are kept safe.
The second way that NAKED has devised for people to still enjoy Nijo Castle is with the release of NAKED NINJA -Nijo-jo Castle-, the company’s first ever full 3DCG VR experience that lets people enjoy Nijo Castle online in a virtual space. This is so that people who cannot visit Nijo Castle can still enjoy its sights. NAKED plans to launch even more real and virtual, offline and online experiences in the future too in order to promote tourism in a new way during COVID-19.
Nijo Castle x NAKED Summer Special Light-Up 2020
Running: August 8, 2020 – August 30, 2020
Time: 19:00-22:00 (Last Entries 21:20)
Location: Nijo Castle
Address: 541 Nijojocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto場
NAKED NINJA-Nijo-jo Castle- VR
Price: ¥880 (Tax Included)
Official Website: https://event.naked.works/nijojo-summer2020/
RELAX FUJINO: The New Glamping Guest House Opening in Kanagawa
09.July.2020 | SPOT
Hibiya-Kandan is set to open a new glamping guest house by the name of “RELAX FUJINO” on August 21, 2020.
Just an hour and a half’s journey from the city, RELAX FUJINO is opening in Kanagawa Prefecture’s town of Fujino, a place known for its abundant nature and traditional arts. It aims to be a place where both “the heart and body can be happy.”
The guest house promises to serve guests the ultimate relaxation experience, have them feeling positive about themselves, and opening their eyes to new discoveries. They will be able to enjoy the region’s culture and nature while indulging in the kind of luxurious experience that Hibiya-Kandan is known for offering.
The glamping site is home to two separate sites: the Japanese-style “RURI” and the Western-style “ECRU,” both of which have decks offering a panoramic view of the mountain range. Each site also has its own dome-shaped tent which span 28 square meters in length. There are counter tables which offer a panoramic view of the sights, garden tables, and even BBQ spaces. This mix of indoors and outdoors makes guests feel like part of Fujino’s gorgeous natural environment. There are communal showers and toilets inside too, as well as a nearby hot spring facility.
The food served is made with plenty of organic vegetables grown in Fujino. A stay at the site means you get a free dinner and breakfast too.
There are plenty of both indoor and outdoors activities to get involved in, like yoga, coffee roasting, crafts, blueberry picking, and more.
Bookings open on August 1, 2020. If you’re in Japan this summer, then why not get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy a relaxing time out in nature?
Grand Opening: August 21, 2020 (Bookings open from August 1, 2020)
Address: 4611-1 Magino, Midori-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa
Official Website: https://hibiya-stay.com/relax/
NIPPONIA HOTEL Ozu Castle Stay: Ehime Prefecture’s New Tenshu Hotel
08.July.2020 | SPOT
Value Management, a company in Japan which carries out work in bringing new life to historical Japanese buildings, hotels, restaurants, and more, is opening a new hotel in Ehime Prefecutre called NIPPONIA HOTEL Ozu Castle Stay on July 23, 2020. The hotel will be the first in Japan where guests can stay inside wooden tenshu, which are traditionally the highest towers in a Japanese castle.
The city of Ozu is home to many examples of historical architecture, from its central castle town to Ozu Castle itself and more. It has become a location for tourism which focuses on historical houses and buildings. That’s where NIPPONIA HOTEL Ozu Castle Stay comes in. The surrounding townhouses have been renovated so that both the town and castle make up the entirety of the hotel complex.
Ozu Castle is a symbol of Ozu and was built by Tōdō Takatora and Wakisaka Yasuharu. It is officially recognised as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. Its tenshu were demolished during the Meiji Period, but thanks to the existence of pictures and models, they were rebuilt for the first time ever after the war in 2004. NIPPONIA HOTEL Ozu Castle Stay is the first facility in Japan to offer a castle stay experience like this, so it’s a must-include on anyone’s bucket list when visiting Japan.
NIPPONIA HOTEL Ozu Castle Stay
Address: 382 Ozu, Ozu-shi, Ehime Prefecture
Price: From ¥1 million per night. One group per night. 30 groups per year (subject to change).
Official Website: https://www.vmg.co.jp/
Kyoto’s Famous Kifune Shrine Celebrates Tanabata With Bamboo Lamp Light-Up
07.July.2020 | SPOT
Kifune Shrine, which is dedicated to the god of water Takaokami no Kami, is currently holding evening illuminations with Tanabata bamboo lamps until August 15, 2020.
About Kifune Shrine
Kifune Shrine is one of Kyoto’s foremost historical shrines. Records show that the shrine was already built in 677 during the reign of Emperor Tenmu. It is located near the source of Kamo River and is dedicated to the god of water who is said protect Kyoto’s water sources. The area is also known for kawadoko which is where Kibune’s restaurants build platforms over the river where visitors can enjoy their meal as the water flows beneath them.
Kifune Shrine and Tanabata
Tanabata is said to originate from the Suijinsai Festival (Water God Festival), with the stars themselves as the god of water. At Kifune Shrine, which is dedicate to Takaokami no Kami—the god of water—people not only pay their respects to the blessing of water, but hold Tanabata events as well as the Kifune Water Festival.
For this year’s Tanabata event, bamboo lamps will be lit up with wishes written on them by people.
Tanabata Shinto Rituals and the Kifune Water Festival
Tanabata Shinto rituals and the Kifune Water Festival will be held on July 7 where people will express their gratitude to the god who watches over Kifune’s waters as well as pray for water’s blessing throughout the year.
Kifune Shrine Tanabata Bamboo Lamp Light-Up
Running: July 1, 2020 – August 15, 2020
Time: From sunset to 20:00
Location: Kifune Shrine, 180 Kuramakibunecho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Official Website: http://kifunejinja.jp
Hotel New Otani Tokyo to Open Night Pool & Stay Plan
06.July.2020 | SPOT
Hotel New Otani Tokyo is launching its “Night Pool & Stay” hotel plan on July 1, 2020 which gives guests exclusive access to the night pool during their stay.
Hotel New Otani Tokyo’s night pool was first opened in 1998 with the concept of building a luxury pool that you won’t get sunburned in. Over 20 years on, the pool continues to beckon people during summertime for its unique pool experience under the moonlight and hotel lights and music produced by Japanese DJs who are popular in the country’s club scene. This year’s “Night Pool & Stay” plan will open with all of the necessary measures in place against COVID-19, with thorough cleaning and bacteria elimination at the top of the hotel’s list to ensure safety for its guests.
Check-in to the hotel’s “Night Pool & Stay” plan opens at 17:00. Guests don’t have to worry about using the locker room – they can get ready in their rooms before heading to the Garden Pool. After a luxurious dip in the pool, guests can retire to their sophisticated rooms, whether standard or suite, for some relaxation time. Check-out is 10:00, so they can enjoy their rooms throughout the early morning.
Located next to the Garden Pool is OUTRIGGER, a poolside restaurant open during the summer only that you can enter in your swimsuit. The restaurant serves popular dishes served at Hotel New Otani as well as Garden Pool exclusives. Tuck into a soybean hamburger, fresh green salad, nutritional smoothies, and more.
Night Pool & Stay
Running: July 18, 2020 – September 5, 2020 (Not open Sundays except August 9 and 16)
Hotel Otani Club Members: Open June 30, 2020 at 10:00am
General Guests: Open July 1, 2020 from 10:00am
Bookings/Enquiries: 03-3234-5678 (10:00-18:00)
Official Website: https://www.newotani.co.jp/tokyo/stay/plan/night-poolstay/
Chocolate-Piled Shaved Ice & Other Summer Season Delights at BEL AMER Kyoto Villa
04.July.2020 | FOOD
Kyoto-based chocolate bar BEL AMER Kyoto Villa is serving up the perfect line of new chocolatey bites for summer 2020.
The entire line-up is a delight to look at, from a mountain of chocolate piled on top of shaved ice, a summertime mango and melon dessert, and more.
Chocolate Noir Shaved Ice x Matcha: ¥1,540 (Tax Included)
Shaved ice is the quintessential summertime dessert in Japan, and since this one is being served at a shop specialising in chocolate, what better way to serve it than drizzled in a mountain of the stuff? The shaved ice is covered in rich chocolate cream and chocolate sauce and is topped with chocolate nibs. It’s also served with a side of matcha sauce which you can pour over yourself, creating a delicious harmony of flavours.
Mille-Feuille au Chocolat Exotic With 196℃ Chocolate Ice Cream: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
This summertime dessert is made with lots of mango and melon. In the centre of it all is even more mango, as well as pineapple and coconuts, for a flavourful layered experience. Served on the side is ice cream made from BEL AMER Kyoto Villa’s own original couverture chocolate.
Summer Pavlova: ¥1,320 (Tax Included)
This piece of art of a dessert is a must for lovers of matcha and melon. It’s made from fluffy meringue topped with white chocolate, matcha mousse, and chocolate cream, which itself is then topped with refreshing melon and grapes for a refreshing kick.
Chocolate Croquette Sandwich: ¥990 (Tax Included)
BEL AMER Kyoto Villa is also serving up a very unique dish indeed which mixes together chocolate and croquette—a flavour that actually works, combining sweetness and bitterness. The croquette is made from potatoes. The brioche sandwich also contains cheese and bacon.
These are just some of the delights on show at BEL AMER Kyoto Villa this summer. If ever you’re in Kyoto, be sure to stop by, especially in the summer.
BEL AMER Kyoto Villa Bettei Sanjo
Address: 66 Sanjodori Sakaimachi Higashi Iru Kitagawa Masuyacho, Nakagyo-Ku, Kyoto
Official Website: https://www.belamer-kyoto.jp
4 Refreshing Matcha Shaved Ice Flavours Released at Itohkyuemon in Kyoto
30.June.2020 | FOOD
Kyoto’s famous tea shop Itohkyuemon began serving four new Uji matcha and shaved ice mixed desserts on its menu yesterday (June 29). Itohkyuemon was founded in 1832 in the latter period of Edo. Ujitawara, the place in Kyoto where the shop is located, is famous for the tea served by Itohkyuemon which has been harvested by the Ito family for years.
Uji Matcha Parfait Ice: ¥1,490 (Tax Included) | Serving: Until Late September 2020 | Avaialble: Itohkyuemon JR Uji Station/Itohkyuemon Gionshijo
The Uji Matcha Parfait Ice uses a blend of matcha and milk-infused ice as its base. It’s then topped with sweet treats like rice flour dumplings, red bean paste, ice cream, matcha jelly, and more to turn it into a parfait.
Uji Matcha Daifuku Ice: ¥1,290 (Tax Included) | Serving: Until Late September 2020 | Avaialble: Itohkyuemon JR Uji Station/Itohkyuemon Gionshijo
This Uji Matcha Daifuku Ice is an upgrade of the one Itohkyuemon served last year. It has a creamy custard base with matcha daifuku hidden in the shaved ice.
Fluffy Uji Kindokei Vanilla Ice Cream: ¥990, Matcha Ice Cream ¥1,090 (Tax Included) | Serving: Until Late September 2020 | Avaialble: Itohkyuemon JR Uji Station/Itohkyuemon Gionshijo
Fluffy Uji Kindokei Rice Flour Dumpling: ¥850, Rice Flour Dumpling & Vanilla Ice Cream ¥970, Rice Flour Dumpling Matcha Ice Cream ¥1,090 Serving: Until Late September 2020 | Avaialble: Itohkyuemon Uji Main Branch
These two “Kindokei” (Gold Watch) servings use more ice. At the main branch of Itohkyuemon they’re more crunchy, while at the JR Uji Station and Gionshijo branches they’re more fluffy.
Official Website: https://www.itohkyuemon.co.jp/corporate/
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.
BEAMS Japan Kyoto finally opened on June 11, 2020 after the postponed grand opening of ShinPuhKan shopping centre in which it is located.
BEAMS Japan Kyoto comes as the first branch of BEAMS Japan in Kyoto and aims to be a hub of made-in-Japan products from BEAMS’s “TEAM JAPAN” range, a project to curate content across a broad range of categories based on the keyword “Japan.” The store will collaborated with Kyoto-based creators and businesses and offer a wide selection of branded products, original apparel lines, and more—through the lens of TEAM JAPAN.
The 3.5m high ceiling art of the legendary mythical bird Hou-ou catches the eye upon entry, and the shop lends a modern tinge to its traditional aesthetic. Here, BEAMS JAPAN’s many different products are lined up against one another.
BEAMS JAPAN opened a brand in Shinjuku in April 2016 and subsequently in Shibuya in December 2019. BEAMS Japan Kyoto comes as the company’s third branch.
BEAMS Japan Kyoto
Address: ShinPuhKan 1F, 586-2 Sagarubanocho, Aneyakoji, Karasumadori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00
No Fixed Holidays
BEAMS Japan Kyoto Page: https://www.beams.co.jp/special/beams_japan/08/
ShinPuhKan Official Website (English): https://shinpuhkan.jp/en/