Go Skiing This Golden Week in Japan at Nekoma Ski Resort

25.March.2020 | SPOT

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

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

 

Haru Nekoma ~Nekoma GO! GO! GO!

Running: March 30, 2020 – May 6, 2020

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

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

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

 

Ride the springtime pistes of Alts Bandai too

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

 

Running: From March 20, 2020 until the snow melts

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

Price: Free

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

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

 

Nekoma Terrace

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

 

Spring Nekoma Terrace

Time: 10:00-14:00

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

Location: Nekoma Ski Resort Centre House

 

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

 

Spring Discount Tickets

Available: February 1, 2020 – May 6, 2020

Valid: March 1, 2020 – May 6, 2020

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

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

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    A true Okinawan cafe experience


    Bubbly Jelly Soda

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    Chulato

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    Food Menu


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    Witness the magnificent sunset during business hours


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    Hoshino Resorts Olu Grill


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    What is Kanucha Resort?

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    Buggy Ride Tours & Buggy Adventure Tours

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    Oura Mangrove Kayak

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    Hanami on the terrace

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    Curry made on one of Mount Fuji’s lava plates

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    Guests can enjoy a contrast bath experience with the sauna and open-air bath, as well as entertain themselves with a glamping-style dinner in the spacious outdoor dining area.

    To make the Sauna Suite Cabin’s atmosphere even more enjoyable, O Park OGOSE teamed up with Finland’s oldest textile brand, Finlayson, which turned 200-years-old this year, to bring in some of their elephant design furniture and products, including bed linen, towels, and more. Their “ELEFANTTI” line-up is popular even in Japan.



    In the bedroom drawers, their are even ELEFANTTI notebooks and letter sets which guests are free to take and use.

     

    If you’re looking for a private sauna experience away from the busy city while in Japan, then be sure to check out the new Sauna Suite Cabin at BIO-RESORT HOTEL & SPA O Park OGOSE.

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

    09.March.2020 | SPOT

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

     

    UMI HOTEL ANNEX, a hotel for relaxation

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

     

    Enjoy a sweeping ocean view

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

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    Amenities galore for a quiet night’s sleep

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

  • Okinawa’s New Hot Spring Resort Lequ Okinawa Chatan Spa & Resort Opens

    08.March.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Lequ Okinawa Chatan Spa & Resort is the first hotel resort from Vessel Hotels. Operating on the concept of “Loving Yourself, Family, and the Town,” the hotel opened in the town of Chatan in Nakagami, Okinawa on March 1, 2020.

     

    Rooftop Infinity Pool & Cafe/Bar

    Sat atop the hotel roof is a spa which houses an infinity pool that offers an unbroken view of Chatan as well as the picturesque sunset in the evenings. There’s also a 3-meter high infinity pool, jacuzzis, and more, offering a luxurious space to relax.

    Located to the side of the pool is a cafe and bar that serves a selection of original cocktails and fruity drinks as well as light food. When the sun sets and the evening settles, the pool lights are turned on, creating a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy a cup of Japanese sake or one of the refreshing cocktails while staring down at nighttime Chatan.

     

    Vessel Hotel’s First Natural Hot Spring

    Chatan Onsen hails as Vessel Hotel’s first-ever natural onsen hot spring. The water is drawn from 1,400m underground, which provides relief and relaxation from a day of sightseeing and travelling. The hot spring has towering windows, and there’s also a sauna for both men and women.

     

    SPA SOLANI OKINAWA CHATAN – The Relaxation Salon

    SPA SOLANI OKINAWA CHATAN is a “relaxation salon” which offers a Hawaiian-style spa experience using original products made using ingredients sourced in Okinawa. Oils are made with carefully-selected organic ingredients for that natural feeling. There are body treatments, messages, quick treatments, and more.

     

    Filling Breakfasts at the Resort’s Kitchen

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    The restaurant’s original souffle hamburger is made with a mix of Okinawan black cattle beef and Agu pork. The souffle is made in-house and prepared by the hotel guests’ hands. Food is also served in Okinawan yamuchin porcelain.

  • Stay at Miyazaki Prefecture’s Phoenix Seagaia Resort For the Ultimate Springtime Experience

    07.February.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Spring is the season for relaxationーa time for kicking back and letting your mind and body chill in its cool embrace. If you’re looking for the ultimate relaxation this spring, say, to be treated like a princess, then look no further than Phoenix Seagaia Resort.

     

    Located in Japan’s Miyazaki Prefecture, this resort offers the perfect springtime experience, with an all-you-can-eat dessert buffet, a walk through the flower-filled garden, massages, a bath with an ocean view, and much more.

     

    All-you-can-eat dessert buffet with 50 different treats – Available Spring Only

    The pastry chefs at Sheraton have poured their hearts and souls into this ambrosial line-up. Fifty beautifully colourful delights make up this all-you-can-eat dessert buffet, which features a bountiful of berries such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. The line-up will change for the second month of this limited-time service to introduce a different fifty items. That makes 100 options over the course of two months. Even better, all the soft drinks are all-you-can-drink too.

     

    Sheraton Sweets Buffet” Very Very Berry”

    Running: March 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020 (Except March 22, 2020)

    Time: 14:00-15:30

    Location: “Pine Terrace” Garden Buffet at Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort (Floor 1F)

    Price: Ages 13+ ¥2,500 / Ages 4-12 ¥1,250

    Information Page: https://seagaia.co.jp/article/641

    *Members of the Segaia Premium Members Club receive a discount: Ages 13+ ¥2,300 / Ages 4-12 ¥1,150

    *Those looking to eat lunch at the Sheraton restaurant can pay the following price on the day only: Ages 13+ ¥1,000 / Ages 4-12 ¥625

     

    Drink tea and feel like a princess around the pool

    “THE LIVING GARDEN” is a garden area attached to Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort, where guests can enjoy a “springtime garden party” in a gorgeous, Instagrammable-looking space. Purchase a “Picnic Basket” set for takeout and enjoy some well-deserved princess teatime either on one of the sofas surrounding the pool or in a gazebo, the latter of which you can rent.

     

    FLOWER LIVING ~Spring Garden Party~
    Running: February 21, 2020 – May 24, 2020
    Price: Free (For Sheatron guests only)
    Information Page: https://seagaia.co.jp/article/641

     

    Hog that breathtaking ocean view all to yourself

    Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort’s favourable location places it by the sea, meaning all rooms guests stay in enjoy an ocean view. There are also two very special rooms called “Corner Suites” which boast a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean from the bathtub. The blue sea and sky can be enjoyed from every part of the room too, not just the bath, meaning everyone can enjoy their own private little resort experience without being intruded upon by anyone else.

     

    Special Club Suite – Grand View Bath

    Location: Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort – Club Floor (Floors 39/41) 109㎡

    No. of People: 2

    Information Page: https://seagaia.co.jp/hotel/sgor/club-floor/20

     

    Unwind at the spa

    Experience true luxury at the Banyan Tree Spa, a pioneering Asian spa brand that was established in Phuket, Thailand. Enjoy nature and beauty come together in your treatment with quiet music, natural light from the towering windows, and the scent of original essential oils.

     

    Banyan Tree Spa

    Location: Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort (Floor 39)

    Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Reservation Only)

    Information Page: https://seagaia.co.jp/hss/254

     

    Eye-catching artisanal cocktails to complete your spring evenings

    Left: Berry Rose Bouquet / Right: Cherry Blossom Tonic

    The KURO BAR offers an unbroken view of the lit-up garden area. Sip on one of their delicious and expensive-looking cocktails, like the “Berry Rose Bouquet,” a full-bodied beverage made with a tea liqueur, rose syrup and cranberry juice. Or you can order the “Cherry Blossom Sonic” at Pacifica, a cocktail lounge with live music. This drink is fragrant with cherry blossom and mixes together cherry blossom liqueur and gin.

     

    Flower Cocktails

    Available: March 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020

    Prices: Berry Rose Bouquet ¥1,300 / Cherry Blossom Tonic ¥1,600

     

    Taste the flavours of a Miyazaki Prefecture spring

    At the resort’s main restaurant, Pine Terrace, they are serving a buffet-style menu with seasonal springtime ingredients. Enjoy a line-up of typical Miyazaki flavours, like shimaura sea bream and steamed kumquat white wine, spring cabbage and sakura shrimp spaghetti aglio e olio, tempura, and more.

     

    Pine Terrace’s Spring Dinner Buffet

    Available: March 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020

    Time: 17:30-22:00 (Last Orders 21:30)

    Prices: Ages 13+ ¥4,500 / Ages 4-12 ¥2,250

    *Prices for the dinner buffet will change from the start of April to: Ages 13+ ¥4,600 / Ages 4-12 ¥2,300

    Information Page: https://seagaia.co.jp/article/641#paragraph_1557

     

    Make some springtime memories this year at the incredible Seagaiaシーガイアで春の楽しい思い出を作ろう!

     

    *Listed prices include tax. Photos are for illustrative purposes only.

  • Fukushima 50 Cast and Director Premiere Film About the Nuclear Disaster to Fukushima Locals

    26.January.2020 | MOVIE

    Fukushima 50 is an upcoming film based on the non-fiction book On the Brink: The Inside Story of Fukushima Daiichi by Japanese journalist Ryūshō Kadota. It will be released on March 6, 2020.

     

    The film will discuss the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that occurred after the 9.0 magnitude Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011 which stands as the largest ever earthquake recorded in Japanese history.

     

    The film’s title refers to the pseudonym given by the media to the 50 employees that remained on the site after the nuclear power plant disaster. It will show the reality that the group faced that only they knew from being inside the plant and in the face of death.

    Japanese actors Kōichi Satō and Ken Watanabe, who star in the upcoming film, held a campaign where they visited various locations across Fukushima Prefecture. Satō, as well as the film’s director Setsurō Wakamatsu and executive producer at KADOKAWA Shinichiro Inoue, made a courtesy call to Tomioka, a town which is still difficult for residents to return to. Tomioka is in fact one of the settings featured in Fukushima 50, and so before the films releases in March 2020ー10 years since the disaster struckーthe cast and staff went to pay their respects to the locals still living there.

     

    The film premiered at Koriyama Theatre in Fukushima where Kōichi Satō, Ken Watanabe, and director Setsurō Wakamatsu all made an appearance. The event began with cast and staff announcing that they first wanted the people of Fukushima to watch the film before they made their comments. This was the first time the film had been shown to the general public, less than two months from its official release.

    Satō, Wakamatsu, and Inoue’s appearance in Tomioka took place on January 22. Executive producer Inoue was the first to greet the people. “We have come to Tomioka today to officially announce to you the completion of the film Fukushima 50. We hope everybody, including the mayor, will see it as soon as soon as possible.” The director Wakamatsu followed, saying: “We are gratefully indebted to the people of Tomioka for letting us interview you before the film shoot. We wish for you all to see it and for it to be a film you believe the rest of the world should see.”

     

    Satō said: “I believe there will be many people who look back on [the incident] and remember it like it was yesterday rather than something that happened a long time ago. I think there will be people who do not wish to remember as well. However, the film needed to be powerful in order for the memories of the incident to not fade away. The film may bring back pain, but I ask you to view the film as necessary so we can pass down the reality of what happened to future generations.”

     

    Director Wakamatsu commented on Yonomori, a park in Tomioka and one of the filming locations which people are currently prohibited from entering due to the high radiation levels. “We filmed a crucial ‘cherry blossom scene’ there. Cherry blossoms are a thing of beauty, but it was really complicated when I thought about how these cherry blossoms cannot be seen by anyone.” Satō weighed in on this point. Speaking about his character Toshio Izaki, he said: “I don’t know to what extent his complex feelings are conveyed regarding his mental state when observing the cherry blossoms, but I hope that the beauty and transience of the cherry blossoms ties itself to the thought of never wanting this incident to happen again with those to watch the film.”

     

    The Tomioka town mayor Miyamoto commenting on the team having filmed in Tomioka. “As living witnesses, for us to be able to pass this film down to future generations, I greatly felt that I wished for them to shoot the film, rather than permitting them to do it. I don’t believe Tomioka has been used as a film location or such before, so I want to go ahead with doing PR, both myself and as a town, so that everybody can see it.”

    The courtesy call at Koriyama Theatre in Fukushima’s city of Koriyama took place the following day on January 23. Satō said before the audience: “I’m overwhelmed that we’ve finally come to this moment. By no means is this a film I could ask you to enjoy. I think there are some scenes in there that are very painful to watch, but I ask kindly that you see it through to the end.”

    Watanabe spoke with strong words, saying: “There are many people whose lives were unfortunately changed by this incidentーpeople who cannot return to Fukushima. When we began filming, me and the rest of the cast and staff said that we would be unable to shoulder the extent of what actually happened, but we should dive head first into the movie, and understand even a little of what those people went through. From there we went and finished the film, and now we’re going around promoting it, starting with this city, and for that I am proud. This film absolutely enables one to feel connected to the future in some way.”

     

    Director Wakamatsu followed up this comment. “We started this film project five years ago, and at last it’s finished. I am proud that we are able to say that as well as promote the film here in Fukushima. We set out to make this film faithfully and with sincerity.”

    At the end of the talk, everybody gave their final comments. Satō said: “Let’s change this negative legacy into a different kind of legacy, even if just a little.” Watanabe said: “In my heart, I feel I hadn’t actively supported Fukushima until now. But, I believe I have been able to deliver that now to all of the people of Fukushima, doing what I’m best at. I hope it’s something you can get behind.”

     

    After their closing statements, the cast and director were given a huge round of applause by the people of Fukushima.

     

    ©2020 “Fukushima 50” Production Committee

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