Cherry Blossoms and Rape Blossoms Compete For Spring at Kusaba River in Fukuoka
19.March.2020 | SPOT
The town of Chikuzen in Fukuoka Prefecture is home to a 2km strip of cherry blossom trees which bloom their pink beauty along the Kusaba River in spring. The area sees countless people flock there during the Hanami season to see the trees in full bloom.
But Kusaba River isn’t only home to cherry blossoms; it also sees rape blossoms sprout their yellow flowers during springtime, which offers a beautiful contrast to the overhead pink from the cherry trees.
The place is lit up in the eveningsーa great chance to see the cherry blossoms in a different light at night.
Rich verdure lines the whole of Kusaba River, so be sure to visit if you’re heading to Fukuoka this spring to see the cherry and rape blossoms.
Address: 875 Hisamitsu, Chikuzen, Asakura-gun, Fukuoka
Bloom Period: Late March – Early April
Access: 5-minutes on foot from Shincho Bus Stop (新町バス停) via Nishi Tetsu Bus
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
Lisa Larson Designs Cute New Cherry Blossom Hedgehog Items
21.March.2020 | FASHION
An adorable new collection of items fitting for Japanese springtime have been released featuring Lisa Larson’s popular hedgehogs and cherry blossoms. Larson has an interest in Japanese culture, and has designed this line-up in time for the Hanami season.
Letter Paper Set – ¥440 (Tax Included) / Masking Tape (35mm) – ¥550 (Tax Included)
The letter paper and masking tape features cute illustrations of the hedgehogs taking a stroll amongst the cherry blossoms. A great spring gift or souvenir from Japan.
Water Absorbent Cloth – ¥660 (Tax Included) / Tea Towel – ¥660 (Tax Included)
The cloth and tea towel are perfect additions to the kitchen, whether for drying the plates, for food prep, wiping the counter, and so on. The adorable strolling hedgehogs will add a warm touch to any kitchen.
Printed Hand Towel – ¥1,540 (Tax Included)
The hedgehogs are enjoying observing the cherry blossoms on this hand towel, which is light-pink and has a gentle Japanese taste to it. The towel is made using a dyeing technique known as kata-yuzen which is used to dye fabrics for kimono in Kyoto. It’s a versatile item: it can of course be used as a kitchen towel or cloth, but also for wrapping gifts like wine too.
Mamezara Dish (Hasami Ware) – ¥1,430 (Tax Included)
The hedgehogs are in the thick of the fully-bloomed cherry blossoms on this mamezara dish, which can be used for food or placing small items like keys and accessories.
Waffles – ¥1,620 (Tax Included)
These tins, which feature Mikey and the hedgehogs, are filled with a traditional waffle confection that has been sold by Tokyo Fugetsudo since 1927. They are light and crunchy round wafers stuffed with cream.
Hanami Set 2020 (Online Orders Only) – ¥11,000 (Tax Included)
Available online only, this special set is the perfect way to enjoy Hanami in Japan this season, featuring a cute bird sake jug and more.
Celebrate the arrival of the cherry blossoms in Japan with this new line-up from Lisa Larson.
TONKACHI STORE: https://shop.tonkachi.co.jp/
Experience Hanami and Cherry Blossoms With Digital Art at FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020 – Sakura –
18.March.2020 | SPOT
FLOWERS BY NAKED is an annual flower-themed digital art event held by NAKED Inc. As part of this year’s event, FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020 – Sakura –, a special addendum event entitled “Nijo Castle Sakura Matsuri” will take place during the evenings at the World Heritage Site Nijo Castle From March 20 to April 12 this year.
FLOWERS BY NAKED is an interactive digital art experience. It has been held at Nijo Castle during the autumns of 2018 and 2019, but this will be the event’s first time being held in Kyoto during the spring season. 2020’s theme is cherry blossoms, and this will be showcased in a number of wonderful ways.
Prologue | NAKED BIG BOOK
“NAKED BIG BOOK, a monument of the beginning of this exhibition, will show collaboration works by an artist Ryotaro Muramatsu and a photographer LESLIE KEE. LESLIE KEE contained energy into photographs as the quiet expression, and Ryotaro Muramatsu reinterprets his works to dynamic photography art.”
Arrival of Spring | Kara-mon Gate (Important Cultural Property)
“Projection mapping expresses the coming of Spring on Karamon-Gate as an important cultural property.”
Flowers Wall ~ SAKURA ~ | Inner Moat
“Projection mapping of impressive sakura on the moats in Nijo-jo Castle. The landscape will transition following sakura.”
Sakura Droplets | Seiryu-en Garden
“A mystical space surrounded by real sakura where bubbles confined spring fragrance float as the sakura droplet. ”
The event is working on countermeasures against the coronavirus, such as installing disinfectants and having staff wear masks. It requests that visitors take normal measures against the infection such as cough etiquette and washing your hands. Click here for more information.
FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020 −Sakura− World Heritage Nijo-jo Castle
Running: March 20, 2020 – April 12, 2020
Opening Hours: 18:00-21:00 (Closed at 22:00)
Location: Nijo-jo Castle
Early Bird Tickets (Available until March 19, 2020) / Junior High School and Older ¥1,000, Elementary School Students ¥800
General Tickets (March 20, 2020 – April 12, 2020) / Junior High School and Older ¥1,400, Elementary School Students ¥800
*All prices above include tax. Free for preschoolers. Disability discount available.
Official Website: https://flowers.naked.works/2020nijojo-sakura/
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.
THE LOCAL COFFEE STAND FUKUOKA: New Coffee Shop Opens in Fukuoka’s Hakata Ward
14.March.2020 | FOOD
Japan’s biggest online coffee publisher Good Coffee is opening a new cafe called “THE LOCAL COFFEE STAND FUKUOKA” in Hakata, Fukuoka.
Good Coffee looks to bring together coffee lovers with all kinds of coffee shops. THE LOCAL COFFEE STAND FUKUOKA will be their second branch of “THE LOCAL COFFEE STAND” in Japan following the branch they opened in Shibuya, Tokyo.
Good Coffee provides a wealth of information and the latest news on where to get delicious coffee inside and outside Japan. They have joint sponsorship and manage the TOKYO COFFEE FESTIVAL where roasters from across the country all come together and serve coffee in a variety of ways, host live performances, and more.
The coffee beans at THE LOCAL aren’t roasted in-house. Instead, the head barista, Yuji Otsuki, personally selects roasts every month from shops published on Good Coffee. This is a rare style of coffee shop in Fukuoka where every month, customers can enjoy a different cup of high quality coffee every month from popular roasters inside and outside Japan from the comfort of Fukuoka.
The coffee beans used for the cafe’s opening month of March will be drip coffee from GLITCH COFFEE&ROASTERS in Jinbocho, Tokyo and espresso from CRAFTSMAN COFFEE ROASTERS in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi. Events are scheduled to be held at THE LOCAL COFFEE STAND FUKUOKA every month where baristas and coffee roasters will be invited as guests.
Find your new favourite coffee at THE LOCAL COFFEE STAND FUKUOKA.
THE LOCAL COFFEE STAND FUKUOKA
Address: 2-14-1 Hakataekihigashi, Hakata, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture
Opening Hours: 9:00-23:00 (*Pre-opening hours)
Access: 5-minutes from Hakata Station’s Tsukushi Exit
Official Website: http://thelocal2016.com/fukuoka/
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.
Food Review: Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea at Q-pot CAFE. in Omotesando
The MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON editorial team took a trip to Q-pot CAFE. to try out their new afternoon tea experience, the “SAKURA Romantic Tea Party,” where we were treated to a pink kawaii tea party experience. This afternoon tea is available now until April 26, 2020.
The cherry blossom designed decor and decorations welcomed us to an early spring. We ate in the cafe’s “SAKURA Room” for this review, which takes the Q-pot’s springtime cherry blossom experience to the next level.
Romantic SAKURA Afternoon Tea Set w/ Drink – ¥2,400 (Serves 1) (Tax Included) *Photo shows tea set for two
The top plate is beautifully adorned with cherry blossom St. Honoré cakes which are filled with a sumptuous gorgeous cherry blossom cream. There is also peach bavarois, strawberry cookies, and Q-pot CAFE.-original rich, cream ganache-filled macarons. The fallen cherry blossom petals on the plate are also in fact chocolate.
Everything on the plate screams kawaii with the considerate attention that is given to all the little details.
The bottom plate is the savoury stuff. We have hearty croissants filled with duck pastrami and cucumber that has been dressed with white wine vinegar. They are served with a white asparagus cream potage soup and skewered olives, mini tomatoes and pickles.
The balance of flavours between the top and bottom plates is exquisite; the savoury food refreshes your palate after the sweet treats on top.
The set comes with a cup of pink cherry blossom tea. Floral and fruity fragrances fill your nose as you go to take a sip, after which your taste buds are treated to the notes of cherry blossom and raspberry. This subtly sweet and refreshing drink is the perfect accompaniment to your dessert and meal line-up. It even comes with a little chocolate petal.
Romantic SAKURA Mont Blanc Plate w/ Drink – ¥2,060 (Tax Included)
The pink mont blanc gives cherry tree vibes. It’s made with cherry blossom bean paste cream, rich matcha chocolate, Japanese waguri chestnut, and chestnut cream. When you fork the fluffy bean paste, you get plenty of chestnut cream and matcha chocolate with it. The sweetness of the cherry blossom bean paste and the subtle bitterness of the matcha go really well together. Q-pot. CAFE offers a selection of original macarons too which you can pick from including strawberry, chocolate, lemon, and melon. We wanted to go as pink as possible, so we went for the strawberry one!
Romantic SAKURA Parfait w/ Drink – ¥1,850 (Tax Included)
This strikingly gorgeous parfait is topped with cherry blossom cookies, cherry blossom meringue, and more. Its tall beautiful form is built up by a selection of ingredients, including Japanese flavours like cherry blossom cream and houjicha sauce.
But what we want to draw attention to is the transparent jelly in the middle of the glass. If you look really closely, it looks like dancing cherry blossom leaves.
Q-pot CAFE. also has a range of other limited-time menu items, as well as food that looks just like real accessoriesーsomething the cafe is famous for. They also have accessories that look like real desserts, like a sugar cookie or crunchy meringue. Perfect for coordinating a spring look this year.
Make sure to pay a visit to Q-pot CAFE. if you’re visiting Tokyo this spring!
SAKURA Romantic Tea Party
Running: March 1, 2020 – April 26, 2020
Online Reservations: Now Open
*Afternoon tea set and hanami plan to be served until March 29, 2020
Address: 3-4-8 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00 (Last Orders 19:30)
Closed: New Year’s Holidays
Official Website: https://www.q-pot.jp/eng/
7 Must-Visit Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyoto For Hanami | 2020 Edition – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON
The warmer weather is growing ever closer as we start to approach spring, and in Japan, that means the cherry blossom season is right around the corner. Today, we are joined by Instagram user Macchan-san who has provided us with some picturesque photos of places Kyoto for this Top 7 list of must-visit locations in the ancient capital to see the cherry blossoms this year.
Gion Shirakawa is a place that delivers on expectations when visiting Kyoto, with its rows of traditional houses, stone pavements, and maiko whom you’re sure to meet. This area is also lit up with illuminations during the cherry blossom season, which is perfect when you’re listening to the sound of the flowing Shirakawa River while gazing to your heart’s content at the cherry blossoms.
▶ Gion Shirakawa
Address: Shirakawa River, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto (Between Kawabata Shopping Arcade and Gion Tatsumi Bridge)
Closest Stations: 5-minutes on foot from Gion-Shijō Station (via Keihan Electric Railway) / 10-minutes on foot from Sanjō Station (via Keihan Electric Railway) / 10-minutes on foot from Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station (via Hankyu Railway)
Official Website: http://gion-yoisakura.com/
Former Main Building of the Kyoto Prefectural Office
The Former Main Building of the Kyoto Prefectural Office is listed under Japan’s list of Important Cultural Properties. It is the oldest building among existing government buildings in Japan. The courtyard is home to towering shidare-zakura cherry blossom trees, which captivate those who visit the building. The view of the buildingーwhose exterior is like that of a western mansionーtogether with the cherry blossoms is a sight to behold.
▶ Former Main Building of the Kyoto Prefectural Office
Address: Yabunouchicho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto
Open: Tuesdays-Fridays (and every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Saturday)
Closed: Public Holidays and New Year Holidays
Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00
Closest Station: 10-minutes on foot from Marutamachi Station
Official Website (Japanese): https://www.pref.kyoto.jp/qhonkan/
Shojuin is famous for its beautiful heart-shaped window located in the reception hall. During the cherry blossom season, the window is dyed a pink colour. It is also lit up in the evenings, but you need to book a place in advance to see it. Places are allocated randomly. You can book on the official website.
Address: Kawakami-149 Okuyamada, Ujitawara, Tsuzuk District, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 9:00-16:30 (April-September)
Price: ¥500 (Includes tea and confection)
Official Website: http://shoujuin.boo.jp/
①Reachable by Keihan Uji Bus (Numbers 180, 182 or 184) from Uji Station and Shin-Tanabe Station. Get off at Ichumae Bus Stop (維中前)
②10 minutes by the Okayamada Community Bus or taxi
Sewaritei is a very popular spot for celebrating Hanami in Japan with its rows of cherry trees that span 1.4km along the park. From the Sakura Deai Kan observation building, you can soak up the breathtaking view of 220 individual cherry blossom trees. When they are in full bloom, it’s like walking through a tunnel of them, providing a romantic atmosphere.
Address: Yawata Zaioji, Yawata 614-8307, Kyoto Prefecture
Closest Station: 10-minutes on foot from Iwashimizu-Hachimangu Station (via Keihan Main Line)
Official Website: https://www.city.yawata.kyoto.jp/0000000479.html
Fushimi Jikkokubune Boats
Fushimi Jikkokubune is an opportunity to board an Edo Period-style boat. It departs from Bentenbashi, and takes passengers on a relaxing journey to observe Kyoto’s nature as well as the cherry blossoms. The departing times are fixed and limited, so be sure to check the official website in advance.
▶ Fushimi Jikkokubune Boats
Address: 247 Minamihamacho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto
Times: Check the official website
Closest Station: 5-minutes on foot from Chushojima Station (via the Keihan Main Line)
Official Website: https://kyoto-fushimi.or.jp/ship/
Fushimi Port Park
There is a walking course offered at Fushimi Port Park which lets you take in all of its sights. I recommend going for a Hanami walk when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
▶ Fushimi Port Park
Address: Yoshijima Kanaidocho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto
Closest Station: 3-minutes on foot from Chushojima Station (via the Keihan Main Line)
Official Website: http://kyoto-park.or.jp/fushimi/
Fushimi Deai Bridge
This bridge appeared in the anime film I Want to Eat Your Pancreas. It’s a very beautiful spot where the cherry trees reflect off the surface of the water below the bridge. The location’s sights are the same as they were in the past too.
▶ Fushimi Deai Bridge (in Japanese: 伏見出会い橋)
Address: 911 Kitahamacho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto
Closest Station: 9-minutes on foot from Chushojima Station (via the Keihan Main Line)
Did you enjoy this list? If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto this spring, be sure to use these picks as reference for your Hanami and cherry blossom destinations. And if you’re looking for more places to visit in Kyoto, then follow Macchan on Instagram