Must-Visit Spots in Kagawa Prefecture in 2020: Cherry Blossoms, Dolphins, Bonsai & More
15.March.2020 | SPOT
Appreciation for the Seto Inland Sea in Japan is on the rise: American company Discovery named Shikoku one of its Top 10 must-visit rising locations around the world for 2020, and the city of Setouchi in Okayama has featured as a recommended travel destination in Western media. One particular location, Kagawa Prefecture, has been featured on many international travel sites as a must-visit place, including on Booking.com, Skyscanner, and REMOTE LANDS, with places such as Takamatsu, Teshima, and Shōdo Island being picked up.
Takamatsu is known as the doorstep that brings together the many islands of Seto Inland Sea. It’s a port city with great fresh food, highly convenient for travellers wanting to visit lots of different islands, and a popular region that brings together elements of Japanese culture.
Today, we take a look at some must-visit locations around Takamatsu, including a new facility opening, must-visit spots for spring to early summer, food, and more.
Shikoku Aquarium – The largest aquarium in Shikoku
Shikoku Aquarium is set to be the largest across Shikoku when it opens its doors to the public on March 20, 2020. It’s located inside Utazu Seaside Park in the town of Utazu where it will exhibit the creatures that live in Shikoku and feature the many different seaside landscapes located there. But the aquarium won’t just stop at showcasing animals, it will also be a cultural facility where you can learn about the history, culture, and natural environment of Shikoku, and there’ll be artwork perfect for the Setouchi Triennale contemporary art festival which is held around Seto Inland Sea every three years.
Address: Utazu Rinkaikoen, 4-1 Utazu, Ayauta District, Kagawa
[March 20, 2020 – September 30, 2020] 9:00-18:00
[October 1, 2020 – March 19, 2021] 10:00-18:00
[Golden Week/Summer Break] 9:00-21:00
No Fixed Holidays
Price: General (16+ Years & High School Students) ¥2,200 / Children (Elementary School Students) ¥1,200 / Toddlers (3+ Years) ¥60
Official Website: http://shikoku-aquarium.jp/
Well-Known & Little-Known-Good Cherry Blossom Spots
Kagawa Prefecture is home to many spots that offer beautiful sounds and sights throughout the four seasons. Cherry blossom season is right around the corner in Japan, so let’s take a look at some must-visit spots, both popular and little-known good ones.
Ritsurin Garden (Takamatsu)
One of the most famous historical gardens in Japan, Ritsurin Garden is home to around 320 Yoshino cherry trees, whose pink colour reflects beautifully off the lake together with the 1,000 green pine trees.
Marugame Castle (Marugame)
Marugame Castle is one of only 12 castle in Japan to have an original wooden tenshu, or castle tower, built. From the great height of the castle’s stone wall, which is the tallest in Japan, one can gaze down at 1,000 cherry blossom trees in bloom.
Around 3,000 cherry trees bloom on t he island, including Yoshino cherries, yama-zakura, and yae-zakura, which roll from the port to the lighthouse.
Asahiyama Forest Park (Mitoyo)
Asahiyama Forest Park is located on the peak of Mt. Asahi, up 238 meters high. There, you can witness 2,000 vibrant cherry blossom trees bloom in spring, including Yoshino cherries. The park’s observation deck is popular too, offering a 360° panoramic view.
Experience the world of bonsai in Kagawa, the only place in Japan which produces pine bonsai trees
Interest in bonsai trees continues to grow every year not just in Japan but overseas too. The number of people incorporating them into their lives as interior decoration is on the rise. Kagawa Prefecture is the only place in Japan which produces pine bonsai trees, the largest places being Kinashi and Kokubunji in Takamatsu. There are around 60 bonsai makers in both of these towns, so you are sure to spot some if you walk through them.
Official Website: https://takamatsu-bonsai.com/en/
The new Takamatsu Bonsai no Sato is also set to open on April 17, which will include an information centre providing information on bonsai culture in Takamatsu, and there will be workshops too. Whether you’re new to bonsai or a pro, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Takamatsu Bonsai no Sato
Grand Opening: April 17, 2020
Address: 353-1 Kokubunjichō Kokubu, Takamatsu, Kagawa
Travel to Kagawa this spring to enjoy the cherry blossoms and pay a visit to the new Shikoku Aquarium.
Ikebukuro’s Sunshine Aquarium to Open Magical New Jellyfish Area
01.July.2020 | SPOT
Sunshine Aquarium in Ikebukuro, Tokyo is set to open its brand new jellyfish area as part of the aquarium’s third major renovation on July 9, 2020.
Jellyfish Panorama Tank
Two tanks will grace this area: the magnificent moon jellyfish will dance across the 14-meter wide “Jellyfish Panorama” tank, while sea nettle jellyfish, which are known for their long tentacles, will swim in the “Jellyfish Screen.”
The jellyfish exhibit already in Sunshine Aquarium is also being renovated, with gorgeous new flooring and walls being put in place. Six tanks will be housed here, including the 360° “Jellyfish Tunnel,” “Jellyfish Loop,” “Jellyfish Drop,” and “Jellyfish Dream.”
A Spectacular Performance of Music, Smells, and Lighting
The new jellyfish area will feature original sounds newly recorded to capture the vibe of the jellyfish’s movements. There will also be special fragrances you can smell, as well as beautiful lighting that twinkles like the swaying of the water. All of this serves to make visitors feel calm and relaxed.
Exclusive Tully’s Coffee Beverage
T’s Splash Nata de Coco in Oasis: Have-In ¥649 / Takeout ¥637
This refreshing carbonated drink is inspired by jellyfish filled with lemon flavoured nata de coco coconut jelly. Exclusive to Sunshine Aquarium, the drink comes with one of four possible special jellyfish straw flags.
Grand Opening Commemoration Products
High Grade Jellyfish Confection: ¥400
Limited in stock, this confection was made in collaboration with Ikebukuro’s long-stand confectionery shop Ikebukuro Miharado and also under the guidance of the aquarium’s jellyfish staff.
Jellyfish Konjac: ¥972
Konjac shaped just like real jellyfish.
Grand Opening Commemoration Menu
Jellyfish Cold Greens: ¥1,100 / CHUKA SHUNSAI RYOURI・HINABE SHU (Alpa Floor 3F)
Blue Hawaii Tiny Aquarium & Jellyfish Jelly: ¥495 AGIO (Alpa Floor 3F) *15 served per day
Select restaurants in Sunshine City Alpa will also serve up some limited-time jellyfish-inspired dishes and drinks from July 9 to celebrate the opening of Sunshine Aquarium.
Address: Sunshine City World Import Mart Bldg. Rooftop, 3-1 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 9:30-21:00 (until September 10) / 10:00-18:00 (from September 11)
General (High School Students and Older) ¥2,200 (¥2,400 from July 9)
Children (Elementary & Junior High School Students) ¥1,200
Infants (Aged 4+ Years): ¥700
Official Website: https://sunshinecity.jp/
*Photos are for illustrative purposes only. All listed prices are tax-inclusive.
Kawasaki Aquarium to Open Inside Kawasaki Le FRONT This Summer
29.June.2020 | SPOT
Aqua Live Investment is set to open Kawasaki Aquarium, which will also be known as Kawa Sui for short, on floors 9F and 10F of Kawasaki Le FRONT, a shopping centre in front of Kawasaki Station, on July 17, 2020.
In the lead up to its grand opening, Kawasaki Aquarium launched its own official app, as well as opened purchases of Annual Passports to the aquarium, on June 17.
What is Kawasaki Aquarium all about?
The theme of Kawasaki Aquarium is “The World’s Beautiful Waters.” It will showcase creatures and living things from around the world—from the waters of Tama River which flows through Kawasaki to Asia, Africa, and the Amazon in South America—using the latest technology combining lighting, sound, and visuals.
There are three kinds of Annual Passports to choose from which let you access Kawasaki Aquarium as many times as you want throughout the year. They are valid for an entire year and let you bypass the ticket counter so you don’t have to line up. These passports can be bought via the aquarium’s official app before its grand opening. After that they can be bought either on the app or directly at the aquarium at the Passport counter.
Those who purchase an Annual Passport between June 17, 2020 and July 16, 2020 will receive an extra free two months on top of their guaranteed 12 months.
3 Annual Passport Types
Dual Passport: Daytime & Nighttime
Allowed Entry Times: [Day] 10:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:00) / [Night] 18:00-22:00 (Last Entries 21:00)
Prices (Tax Included): Adults ¥6,000 / High School Students ¥4,500 / Elementary & Junior High School Students ¥3,600 / Children (4+ Years) ¥1,800
Daytime Passport: Daytime Only
Allowed Entry Times: [Day] 10:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:00)
Prices (Tax Included): Adults ¥4,000 / High School Students ¥3,000 / Elementary & Junior High School Students ¥2,400 / Children (4+ Years) ¥1,200
Nighttime Passport: Nighttime Only
Allowed Entry Times: [Night] 18:00-22:00 (Last Entries 21:00)
Prices (Tax Included): Adults ¥4,000 / High School Students ¥3,000 / Elementary & Junior High School Students ¥2,400 / Children (4+ Years) ¥1,200
Experience the aquarium at night
Kawasaki Aquarium is open everyday until 22:00. Visiting the aquarium at this time offers a completely different experience as warm lights set the mood and different sounds play from daytime hours. It’s also a chance to see nocturnal creatures that only come out at night. Plus, the aquarium serves alcohol and bar food in the evenings.
Download the app
The Kawasaki Aquarium app is free to download and lets guests enjoy coupons with their Annual Passport, gives them the latest news about upcoming events, lets them access the online shop, and more.
Kawasaki Aquarium (Kawa Sui)
Address: Kawasaki Le FRONT (Floors 9F-10F), 1-11 Nisshinchō, Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa
Opening Hours: [Day] 10:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:00) / [Night] 18:00-22:00 (Last Entries 21:00)
Official Website: https://kawa-sui.com
*No refunds are given on Annual Passports
*Student ID required for students
*Free entry for those aged 3-years and below
*Those aged 12-years and below must be accompanied by a parent or guardian aged 16+
Help Rescue Sumida Aquarium’s Spotted Garden Eels by Showing Your Face Online
29.April.2020 | SPOT
Something unprecedented is happening over at Sumida Aquarium. The living creatures at the aquarium are starting to forget about humans as a result of the building’s closure in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, save for the aquarium staff who are looking after them. In the case of their spotted garden eels, the eels are now hiding in the sand, even when the aquarium staff check in on them.
What exactly is happening with the spotted garden eels?
Spotted garden eels by nature are extremely fragile and alert creatures, and so are prone to diving under the sand to hide themselves. Around 300 of these eels live in a single tank at Sumida Aquarium, and since they are used to people being in the aquarium all the time, they rarely bury themselves even when people get close. However, since the closure of Sumida Aquarium on March 1, 2020, a change has been seen in the spotted garden eels.
Humans not being around is the new norm for the eels. It’s as if they have forgotten about the existence of humans, and now hide themselves away when the staff come through. With the eels no longer showing themselves to the staff, it has becoming difficult to run daily checks to see if the eels are unwell, famished, and so on. The change of environment may even lead to stress of the eels fighting. It has become a serious problem for the staff to ensure they are living an adequate quality of life.
That is where Sumida Aquarium’s “Spotted Garden Eel Face Reveal Festival” comes into play. The aquarium has called for emergency measures for people to video call in to show their faces to the eels so they don’t forget about humans and so they no longer feel afraid of people being around.
Spotted Garden Eel Face Reveal Festival
The festival is a chance for people to meet the spotted garden eels from their own home by using an iPhone, iPad or computer to call in using video chat. As long as you can video call, anyone is free to join. Two sessions will be held per day where people can see the eels pop their heads out of the sand, feed, and so on.
This is the first time Sumida Aquarium has held such a project, and it may or may not work, but they won’t know unless they try. Check the dates below and see if you can get involved.
May 3rd @ 10:30-14:00 (JST)
May 4th @ 10:30-14:00 (JST)
May 5th @ 10:30-14:00 (JST)
How to Participate
Use an iPhone or an iPad to FaceTime any of the Gmail addresses below.i
１）Open the FaceTime app and enter any of the Gmail addresses. Select video call.
２）Screens will be placed in front of the water tanks with the spotted garden eels live. Once the call starts, show your face, wave your hand, and call out to them. Please note that talking loudly is strictly prohibited.
３）5 screens was the limit of what could be set up. They ask for you to call for only 5 minutes so that many different people can show their face so it feels like lots of people at a festival.
*The aquarium apologies if the eels don’t show themselves
*The aquarium apologies in the case that anything goes wrong with the call
*Only iOS can be used at this time and not Android OS
Beautiful Jellyfish Umbrellas Designed by Kamo Aquarium Will Keep You Dry
26.April.2020 | FASHION
YOU+MORE!, a brand of humorous merchandise and accessories developed by Felissimo, has teamed up with the famous Kamo Aquarium to release a series of jellyfish umbrellas.
The intricate umbrella designs were developed in cooperation with the staff at Kamo Aquarium’s Jellyfish Dream House. Three different kinds of jellyfish were used as inspiration for the umbrellas.
Moon Jelly Umbrella
YOU+MORE! Moon Jelly Umbrella – ¥1,600
Moon jellyfish are perhaps one of the most popular kinds of jellyfish out there. What may be the most striking part of this umbrella is the colour gradation which gives it a transparent effect. The edges of the umbrella are also curved, giving it a delicate silhouette and making it look even more like the real things.
The umbrella’s frames are built strong, and the material of the umbrella itself is a white glass fibre which serves not only to mimic the colour of a moon jelly, but so that you can still see through it too. (As a side note, all three of the umbrella designs are made from glass fibre.)
Northern Sea Nettle Umbrella
YOU+MORE! Northern Sea Nettle Umbrella – ¥1,600
Like the northern sea nettle itself, this umbrella features a dome shape and incorporates a stripe design. A northern sea nettle has 16 stripes, and so that many were added to the umbrella. The jellyfish staff at the aquarium praised this one as the most realistic.
YOU+MORE! Spotted Jelly Umbrella – ¥1,600
Like the northern sea nettle, the spotted jelly too as a cute dome-shaped body. If someone who has never seen one of these jellyfish umbrellas before sees this design, they’ll think of it as just having cute spotted design. However, a jellyfish enthusiast is sure to get excited as the sight of this one with its details like its orange colour and the dots around the edges.
Kamo Aquarium will begin selling limited edition versions from the end of June this year which come with an ephyra charmーthat’s the name for a baby jellyfish. The aquarium is currently closed until May 6 due to the coronavirus. The latest updates can be found on their official website.
Address: Okubo-657-1 Imaizumi, Tsuruoka, Yamagata
Official Website (Japanese): https://kamo-kurage.jp/
Official Website (English): https://kamo-kurage.jp/english/
Tokyo’s National Museum of Nature and Science Launches YouTube Video Exhibition On Japanese Cherry Blossoms
18.April.2020 | SPOT
National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo has posted a new series on its YouTube channel entitled “Japanese Cherry Blossoms Illustrated by Ohta Yoai, a Pioneer of the Botanical Art in Japan.”
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Ueno-based museum was forced to close its doors to the public on February 29, 2020. The museum was originally scheduled to hold the “Japanese Cherry Blossoms Illustrated by Ohta Yoai, a Pioneer of the Botanical Art in Japan” exhibition at the museum itself from March 14 to April 12, but due to the closure it was not run.
However, the exhibition planners still wanted people to see the content of the exhibition, and so they have posted three videos on YouTube to take viewers on a tour of it. The three videos, themed on “Botanical Art,” “Japanese Cherry Blossoms,” and “Ohta Yoai” are presented by Japanese botanist Masanobu Higuchi.
In the first video, we are introduced to the exhibition’s theme of Japanese cherry blossoms. We get to see examples of cherry blossom collected by Tomitaro Makino, the father of Japanese botany.
In the second video, we realm about what kind of person illustrator Ohta Yoai was, as well as botanist Jisaburo Ohwi. Both of them co-wrote the 1973 work Nihonzakura Shu (“A Collection of Japanese Cherry Blossoms”).
In the third and final video, we get to see some of Ohta Yoai’s best pieces, along with explanations of what kinds of cherry blossoms they are.
5 Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Hokkaido | 2020 Edition – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON
Sapporo, Asahikawa, Abashiriーthe list goes on when it comes to incredible places to see the cherry blossoms in Hokkaido. And the best time to see them in Japan’s northernmost main island is May.
Today, we are joined by Mirina, an Instagrammer who posts photos of tourist and sightseeing spots in Hokkaido that are rich in nature. She has shared her photos with us along with details of 5 must-visit famous cherry blossom sites in Hokkaido. Let’s take a look.
Tokiwa Park is located in the city of Asahikawa, and is home to around 200 individual cherry trees of various kinds including the Yoshino cherry and ezo yamazakura. Weeping cherries also dangle their graceful branches around the lake, which you can sail through on a boat for an even more memorable cherry blossom experience. Tokiwa Park is also listed as one of Japan’s “100 City Parks,” so it’s one that needs to go on your list of sightseeing spots if you’re travelling to Hokkaido.
Address: Tokiwakoen, Asahikawa, Hokkaido
Access: 25-minutes on foot from Asahikawa Station (via JR Line). Alternatively, board the Tohoku Bus and get off at Tokiwa Park (常磐公園).
Official Website: http://www.asahikawa-park.or.jp/
Twin Harp Bridge
This spot is also located in Asahikawa. It gets its name from how the bridge looks like two harps lined up next to each other. Twin Harp Bridge is also a popular place with the locals for celebrating Hanami in the spring season as cherry blossoms bloom in the vicinity of the bridge.
Twin Harp Bridge
Address: 4 Chome Toko 18 Jo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido to 5 Chome Kyokushin 1 Jo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido
Access: 20-minutes by car from Asahikawa Airport / 15-minutes by car from Asahikawa Station
Official Website: http://www.city.asahikawa.hokkaido.jp/files/tosi_kei/index.htm
Kitoushi Forest Park – Family Village
Located southeast of Asahikawa, Kitoushi Forest Park – Family Village offers views of ezo yamazakura as well as shibazakura moss phlox. Visitors can also have barbeques at the facility for an even better outdoor experience combining great food with cherry blossom viewing.
Kitoushi Forest Park – Family Village (Kitoushi Shinrin Koen Kazokuryokomura)
Address: 5 Gokita-44 Nishi, Higashikawa, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido
Access: 40-minutes by car from Asahikawa Station
Official Website: http://www.kazokuryokoumura.jp/
More Information (English): http://www.asahikawa-tourism.com/asahikawa/asahikawa_sites/higashikawa/higashikawa_en.html
Maruyama Park is another famous cherry blossom site where Yoshino cherry trees and ezo yamazakura bloom. Compared to Asahikawa, the cherry blossoms here bloom a little earlier during spring. You’ll catch them from late April to early May. During the cherry blossom season, there is a place where fires can be lit, so you’ll catch people cooking up jingisukan, a type of Japanese mutton dish.
Address: Miyagaoka, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Access: 5-minutes on foot from Maruyama-Kōen Station
Official Website: http://www.sapporo.travel/find/nature-and-parks/maruyama_park/
Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park
Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park’s rolling hills offer a breathtaking view of shibazakura moss phlox cherry blossoms. The hills themselves aren’t steep, so the spectacle can be enjoyed from both the top and bottom of them. The Shibazakura Festival is also held between May and June.
Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park
Address: 393 Higashimokotosuehiro, Ozora, Abashiri-gun, Hokkaido
Access: 30-minutes by cat from Abashiri Station. Alternatively, board the transit bus from Abashiri Station, get off at Higashimokotocho (東藻琴町). The park is a 5-mintue drive from here.
Official Website: http://www.shibazakura.net/
Photo：Mirina has visited many sightseeing spots in Hokkaido, so if you’re looking for more places to visit be sure to follow her on Instagram.
Photos: Mirina Nishio
Travel Virtually to Japan’s City of Komoro in Nagano to See Cherry Blossoms, Soak in the Onsen & More
02.April.2020 | SPOT
Komoro Tourism Bureau has developed the new “Komoro Tourism Channel” using Voicy, a news and media site which reports spoken information online. The channel focuses on the latest information with regards to tourism in Komoro, and focuses on the city’s many different hot springs.
Komoro is a city in Nagano Prefecture. Komoro Castle is home to Kaikoen Park, which was chosen as the 100 best cherry blossom spots in Japan. The city also boasts a wide variety of onsen (hot springs) which offer amazing views and numerous different bathing experiences. Komoro Tourism Channel covers all of this and more.
Komoro is about 2-hours by car via the Nerima Interchange on Kan-etsu Expressway. It’s also accessible from Tokyo via car. You can also reach it in around 24 minutes from Karuizawa Station via Shinano Railway.
Delivering the sounds of the relaxing onsen from Komoro
Komoro has eight water sources which provide water to its hot springs. The city sits 1,400 meters above sea level, from which each of its hot springs offer breathtaking views. The podcast on the hot springs, which is in Japanese, lets you feel like you’re experiencing them from your very own home. More podcasts on Komoro are planned to be released in the future, and QR codes will be implemented are various hotels and tourist facilities in Komoro which when scanned will offer voice guides to those places.
Komoro Tourism Channel: https://voicy.jp/channel/1074
The Komoro Tourism Bureau is coming up with measures to continue promoting the city during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As well as Komoro Tourism Channel, it is also releasing information on its website, Twitter page, and elsewhere.
Kaikoen Park at Komoro Castle
Kaikoen Park at Komoro Castle is a tourist hot spot in Komoro. The castle itself was chosen as one of Japan’s 100 most famous castle sites. It is also famous for the castle itself being situated lower than the town around the castle. Kaikoen Park was selected as one of Japan’s 100 best cherry blossom spots, where around 500 trees bloom Yoshino cherries, shidare-zakura, higan-zakura, and more through April every year. The “Komoro-yae-beni-share” tree is an endemic species of cherry tree to Komoro and has a deep pink colour. The park also has towering stone walls and is home to the the front castle gate.
Komoro Castle Official Website (Japanese): https://www.komoro-tour.jp/castle/
Komoro Castle Official Website (English): https://www.komoro-tour.jp/lg_en/
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.
Hotel de Yama / Salon de thé Rosage
Address: 80 Motohakone, Hakone, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa
Official Website: https://www.hakone-hoteldeyama.jp/en/
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 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 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.
Witness Mount Fuji and Fully Bloomed Cherry Blossoms at HOSHINOYA Fuji
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.
Address: 1408 Ōishi, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi
Official Website: https://www.hoshinoya.com/
5 Must-Visit Cherry Blossom Spots in Toyota City in Aichi Prefecture For Hanami 2020
21.March.2020 | SPOT
Toyota in Aichi Prefecture is a city abundant with nature and one home to countless famous flower spots. Tourism Toyota has outlined a list of the perfect places to visit there this spring to enjoy viewing the cherry blossoms for this year’s Hanami.
Asian Fawnlily | Korankei
Korankei is a valley created by the Yodo River in Toyota, Aichi, and is said to be one of the best places in Japan to enjoy the autumn colours. In spring, an area covering 5,000m² blooms with beautiful Asian fawnlilies, dyeing the grass as a light purple carpet.
Best Time To See: Mid March – Late March
Location: Korankei, Iimori Asukecho, Toyota, Aichi
Access: Board the Meitetsu Bus bound for Yamani (矢並線) at Toyotashi Station’s East Exit, get off at Korankei (香嵐渓), and walk for 10-minutes
Official Website: https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/272/
Cherry Blossoms & Spiraea Thunbergii | Aichi Greenery Center
Every year at Aichi Greenery Center from late March to early April, the Spiraea Thunbergii, also known as Thunberg’s meadowsweet, blossom their white flowers in full along a path stretching 200 meters, which makes it look like the area is covered in snow. When the cherry blossoms bloom, their light pink flowers offer a beautiful contrast with the snowbound meadowsweet.
Best Time To See: Late March – Early April
Address: Saruta-21-1 Nishinakayamachō, Toyota, Aichi
Access: Board the Oiden Bus bound for Fujioka/Toyota Via Nishinakayama (藤岡・豊田線(西中山経由)) and get off at the Greenery Center (緑化センター)
Official Website: https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/277/
Weeping Cherry Blossoms | Kaminaka
Kaminaka is home to some incredible weeping cherry sights. Around 3,000 weeping cherry trees stretch 1km from the car park, dyeing the mountainous landscape white, red, and pink.
Best Time To See: Early to Mid April
Address: Makigahora Kaminakacho, Toyota, Aichi
Access: 27km from Shidare Interchange (枝下IC) via Sarugata Green Road (猿投グリーンロード)
Official Website: https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/225/
Weeping Cherry Blossoms | Zuiryuji Temple & Daian-ji Temple
Zuiryuji Temple is home to a weeping cherry tree that is said to be 400 years old. It is officially listed as a Natural Treasure of Aichi Prefecture. Its flowers are best enjoyed in early April when it offers a spectacular sight next to the temple gate.
Daian-ji Temple also has an ancient weeping cherry tree that is 260 years old and listed as a National Treasure of Toyota. Another row of cherry trees are located next to it, wrapping the area in gorgeous pink hues. Both of these temple trees are also lit up in the evenings, offering a different kind of beautiful atmosphere from a daytime viewing.
Best Time To See: Early April
Address: Terayama-3 Inabuchō, Toyota, Aichi
Access: Board the Oiden Bus [Kaisoku Inabu] at Toyotashi Station’s East Exit, get off at Dongurinoyu Mae (どんぐりの湯前), and walk for 10-minutes
https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/39/ (Zuiryuji Temple)
https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/697/ (Daian-ji Temple)
Wisterias | Fuji no Kairo
This 370-meter long path is known as Fuji no Kairo, or “Wisteria Corridor,” which is home to four different species of wisteria that bloom fully in the spring to the delight of those passing under it.
Best Time To See: Late April – Early May
Address: Mitsukuricho, Toyota, Aichi
Access: Board the Oiden Bus bound for Fujioka/Toyota Via Kanocho (藤岡・豊田線(加納経由)) and get off at Toyota City Hall (藤岡支所). Change onto the Fuji Bus bound for Kawaguchi/Ino (川口・飯野線), then get off at Fuji no Kairo (ふじの回廊口).
Official Website: https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/191/
Shirasagi Coffee: Ehime Prefecture’s Cafe Releases Springtime Cherry Blossom Menu
21.March.2020 | FOOD
Shirasagi Coffee, a cafe in Ehime Prefecture, has released a new seasonal menu full of strawberries and cherry blossoms to commemorate the spring season.
Shirasagi Coffee’s logo features a heron, a reference to a legend that says the locals of Matsuyama in Ehime noticed that a white heron healed its injured leg by bathing in the hot springs of Dōgo Onsen, one of the oldest hot springs in Japan. The cafe was renovated using furniture made from scrap wood from when Dōgo Onsen was built. It’s an artistic cafe that has garnered much attention from both locals and tourists.
Thick-Cut Natural Yeast Toast
This thick-sliced bread is provided by Panya Uzu, a bread shop also in Matsuyama, Ehime. Perfect for breakfast or lunch, it’s topped with a cherry blossom jam and mascarpone cheese cream.
Top: Cream Soda / Right: Cherry Blossom Tea Latte / Left: Cherry Blossom & Strawberry Mint Sour
This line-up of three drinks are made using seasonal strawberries grown in Ehime Prefecture.
Bavarois is a classic dessert at Shirasagi Coffee, and this one is made using matcha grown in the village of Shingu in Ehime and is coated in a cherry blossom cream.
Spring Madonna Parfait
This limited-time parfait is stacked with 12 different ingredients of varying textures and flavours, including cherry blossom, as well as Ehime strawberries, chestnuts, and matcha. It’s the culmination of Ehime’s springtime ingredients.
The cafe also serves mini parfaits, drinks and other items for takeout. Pick something out and go and observe the cherry blossoms for Hanami at Dōgo Park.
Address: 2F, 12-1 Dōgoyunomachi, Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture
Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00 (from 07:00 on weekends and public holidays)
No Fixed Holidays
Closest Station: Dogo Station via Iyotetsu
Official Website: https://shirasagicoffee.com/
*Open everyday until 22:30 from March 23, 2020
*Table reservations available on weekdays
*Breakfast-only until 11:00