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.

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  • See the Sun Sit Atop Mount Fuji at Tokyo’s Sunshine 60 Observation Deck

    27.October.2020 | SPOT

    SKY CIRCUS Sunshine 60 Observation Deck is holding its 5th Tentai Kanshokai this year where visitors can witness the phenomenon known as Diamond Fuji, a rare occurrence that only happens several times a year where the sun looks like it is sitting on top of the mountain peak and looks like a sparkling diamond. The first session was held on October 1, 2020 and the next ones will be held from November 12 to 18.

    Diamond Fuji (Photo by Bic Camera Inc)

    The phenomenon occurs most often during the winter solace when the days are shorter and can do so for both the sunrise and sunset depending on the time and place. SKY CIRCUS Sunshine 60 Observation Deck offers a spectacular view for this visual wonder.

     

    Diamond Fuji at SKY CIRCUS

    Running: November 12, 2020 – November 18, 2020

    Time: 16:10-16:30

    Location: SKY CIRCUS Sunshine 60 Observation Deck

    Price: Entry to Observation Deck only

    *Depending on the weather conditions the phenomenon may not be visible

     

    The Sunshine 60 building is also offering rooftop viewings to the 30 people between November 14 and 16, with 10 people allowed per day on a first-come, first-served basis. The 227m view offers the perfect vista for a photo and so a photographer will be on site in co-operation with Bic Camera to take photos of people on the day.

     

    Rooftop Photos

    Running: November 14, 1010 – November 16, 2020

    Time: 15:30-17:00

    Price: ¥5,000

    How to Book: Telephone bookings only on 03-3989-3457 from October 30 at 10:00am (JST). 10 people per day, first-come, first-served.

    *Check the Important Notices before visiting

  • Sanrio Themed Cafe Celebrates Characters’ Monthly Magazine ‘Ichigo Shimbun’

    23.October.2020 | FOOD

    Sanrio is once again collaborating with the EGG & SPUMA cafe located on the 8th floor of Shinjuku Lumine EST to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Ichigo Shimbun, a monthly magazine published by Sanrio which includes information about the latest character merchandise, the Sanrio Character Awards, and more. The limited-time cafe will run from November 1, 2020 to late January 2021.

    Sanrio fans can expect a very special menu line-up of food, drinks, and desserts based on their favourite characters from the Sanrio roster.

    There will in fact be two different menus served on separate occasions. The first menu will welcome a soufflé omelette topped with a potato salad Pochacco while the second will see an adorably pink My Melody cream stew.

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    © 2020 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L613344

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  • Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto to Open in Hokkaido in January 2022

    21.October.2020 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts, Japan’s premiere hotel management company boasting over 40 properties both inside and outside Japan is set to its new onsen ryokan (hot spring Japanese style inn) Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto in January 2022 following the completion of a partnership agreement with Shiraoi, Hokkaido on June 28, 2018.

     

    KAI Poroto comes as the 19th property for the KAI brand, following KAI Nagato (opened in March 2020), KAI Kirishima (scheduled to open in January 2021), and KAI Beppu (scheduled to open in summer 2021). It will also be the third KAI property to open in Hokkaido, following RISONARE Tomamu in Shimukappu and OMO7 Asahikawa in Asahikawa. The new property will be designed by Japanese architect Hiroshi Nakamura.

    (Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP)

    Guests will be able to enjoy Shiraoi onsen water at KAI Poroto. The water comes from a “moor spring” which contains organic minerals derived from plants. This type of water is rare throughout the world. KAI Poroto faces the shores of Lake Poroto and is surrounded by the natural forests of Hokkaido where many species of wild bird live. All guest rooms boast a lake view where changes in scenery throughout the seasons can be enjoyed.

     

    KAI Poroto will is cooperating with both the town of Shiraoi as well as “Upopoy”, the National Ainu Museum and Park, which has the aim of becoming a “symbolic space for ethnic harmony”. The facility will respect Ainu culture and provide a place of accommodation for guests to experience it.

     

    Upopoy: A symbolic space for ethnic harmony

    A symbolic space for ethnic harmony by the name of “Upopoy opened in Shiraoi, Hokkaido on July 12, 2020. This national centre serves as a base for the reconstruction and development of Ainu culture, which is in danger of survival. The main facilities are the National Ainu Museum and the National Ainu Park. The National Ainu Museum is the first national museum in Japan centred around indigenous Ainu people and the history and culture of the people as expressed through their perspective. This is expressed in a variety of different exhibits. The National Ainu Park is a field museum, where Ainu culture can be taught through a number of programs. Experiences on-site include the Ainu traditional dance, which is registered as UNESCO intangible cultural heritage, wood carving, and embroidery workshops, as well as food and traditional performing arts experiences. “Upopoy” means “to sing (in large numbers)” in the language of Ainu.

     

    Designed by Hiroshi Nakamura

    Japanese architect Hiroshi Nakamura is behind the design of KAI Poroto. “Poroto” means a large lake in the Ainu language and KAI Poroto boldly draws this lake into its premise. In the lobby of the birch forest, guests will be greeted by a magnificent view of the lake, which leads to Mount Tarumae. Guests can also relax in the lounge while watching the flames in the fireplace, something which was at the centre of Ainu people’s lives. On the surface of the lake, a bathhouse called Kashi, which is built using traditional Ainu construction methods, stands like a village. The open-air bath makes one feel as if you are immersed in the lake. The design has been created in a way that is modern, inspired by the lifestyles, nature, and family of Ainu people.

  • Pokémon Cafe and Pikachu Sweets by Pokémon Cafe Reveal New Desserts Including Polteageist Tea Set

    20.October.2020 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    Pokémon Cafe and Pikachu Sweets by Pokémon Cafe are releasing a new teatime menu at their respective branches on October 24, 2020.

     

    Pokémon Cafe

    Polteageist & Sinistea Tea Party! Fruit Tea Set ~Apple Flavoured~ | ¥1,188 (Tax Included)


    Polteageist & Sinistea Tea Party! Fruit Tea Set ~Strawberry Flavoured~ | ¥1,188 (Tax Included)

    Pokémon Cafe is serving up two different fruit tea sets based on the Ghost-type Pokémon Polteageist and Sinistea. Customers are free to pour in their desired amount of fruit syrup which changes the colour of the tea. The sets come with a cute cookie too.

     

    Pikachu Sweets by Pokémon Cafe

    Left: Polteageist’s Tea Party! Fruit Tea ~Mixed Berry Flavour~ / Right: Polteageist’s Tea Party! Fruit Tea ~Peach Orange Flavour~ | ¥700 Each (Before Tax)

    Pikachu Sweets by Pokémon Cafe is also going to serve up some Polteageist themed fruit teas as well as a selection of desserts like macarons and financier almond cakes which have Pokémon tail and ear designs.

    After ordering one of the Polteageist fruit teas, customers can place their cups under the Polteageist tea pot as pictured above and activate the pot to dispense their drink, so it’s like Polteageist  really pouring tea for you.

    Left: Swirlix Strawberry Macaron | Middle: Pikachu Vanilla Macaron | Right: Galarian Ponyta Pistachio Macaron – ¥500 Each (Before Tax)

    Treat yourself to one of the super cute Swirlix, Pikachu, or Ponyta macarons each with designs that tell you instantly which Pokémon they’re inspired by.

    Polteageist Fruit Tea and & Pikachu Macaron Set

    Customers can order a tea and macaron combination set too.

     

    Pikachu Parfaits

    Pikachu Glass Parfait Set | ¥1,500 (Before Tax)

    An adorable set of Pikachu parfaits, one being caramel banana flavoured and the other chocolate.

    Pikachu Tea Party Assortment – Pika Pika Pikavee Set | ¥2,800 (Before Tax)

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    Pikachu Tea Party Assortment – Ghost Type Set | ¥2,800 (Before Tax)

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    The Polteageist teapot and Sinistea teacup used at the Pokémon Cafe and Pikachu Sweets by Pokémon Cafe will also be released at Pokémon Center Online in Japan on December 5, 2020.

     

    © 2020 Pokémon.©1995-2020 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc.
    Pokémon, ポケットモンスター, and ポケモン are registered trademarks of Nintendo, Creatures Inc., and GAME FREAK inc..

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    18.October.2020 | FOOD

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  • Gaze at the Starry Sky in a Hot Swimming Pool This Winter at HOSHINOYA Okinawa

    17.October.2020 | SPOT

    HOSHINOYA Okinawa has announced its new “Hoshizora Hot Pool” experience where guests will be able to stay warm in the hotel’s warmed-up swimming pool while gazing up at the winter night sky. It will run from December 1, 2020 to February 28, 2020.

     

    Okinawa enjoys a mild winter each year; it’s uncommon for the temperature to dip below 15℃. Winter is a time where all of us enjoy being in the warmth of indoors, but in Okinawa you can enjoy being outside even during the cold season. And that’s where Hoshizora Hot Pool comes in as the end of the year approaches, a time when there are many events and celebrations to be had.

     

    The outdoor pool at HOSHINOYA Okinawa can be heated and so is perfect during the winter season. Guests are invited to soak in the infinity pool, where you can hear the sounds of the waves, and where it looks like the sea and sky become one. Almost all 88 of the constellations can be seen in Okinawa, and since the sky is clear during the winter nights, it’s the opportune time to be turning your gaze skyward.

     

    Glowing lanterns make for a romantic atmosphere

    When the sun sets, lanterns are lit by the poolside and breathe a warmth light to the cool evenings. The lights sway back and forth, reflecting off the water to create a magical atmosphere.

     

    Hot cocktails by the pool

    Guests will also be able to order from the bar once the lanterns are lit from the evening with a selection of refreshing drinks made with fresh fruits to hot cocktails to warm the body.

     

    Float beneath the starry sky to the sounds of the waves

    Guests can enjoy floating in the pool as an endless tapestry of stars unravels itself overhead. The Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe will be open for business in the evening too. Guests can order some fruity desserts, rent lanterns, and more.

  • Rilakkuma Book Cafe Themed Afternoon Teas in Osaka Will Serve Bear-Huggingly Kawaii Food

    17.October.2020 | FOOD

    Major bookstores across Japan are rolling out the Rilakkuma Book Fair where fans can get their hands on short Rilakkuma fairy tails, exclusive merchandise, and more.


    In line with the event, Fruits Parlor & Bakery Season & Co., a cafe in Umeda, Osaka, is serving up a special menu with the theme “Rilakkuma Book Cafe” from October 30 to November 30. This includes a afternoon teas which also celebrates the cafe’s 1st anniversary, more exclusive merchandise, and novelties for customers who order from the Rilakkuma menu.

    Rilakkuma Zukin Afternoon Tea | ¥4,000 (Before Tax) *Reservation-only

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    Rilakkuma Yuki Hime Afternoon Tea | ¥4,000 (Before Tax) *Reservation-only

    A different afternoon tea that serves up 12 items. This also comes with a fruit iced tea.

    Rilakkuma’s Honey Apple Smoothie | ¥800 (Before Tax)

    A honey apple smoothie topped with refreshing vanilla ice cream, smooth fresh cream, and a Rilakkuma jelly candy.

    Rilakkuma’s Royal Chocolate Milk Tea | ¥1,200 (Before Tax)

    Classic royal milk tea served with chocolate Rilakkumas. Eat on their own or dip into your tea!

     

    The cafe is now taking reservations for the afternoon teas. Bookings must be made two days in advance by telephone or the official website.

  • Snow Fireworks to Light Up the Winter Skies of Miyazaki at Phoenix Seagaia Resort

    14.October.2020 | SPOT

    Phoenix Seagaia Resort, a resort located in Miyazaki Prefecture whose brand slogan claims them as the most beautiful in all of Japan, has announced a heart-warming new experience for the winter season.

     

    Seagaia’s Snow Fireworks

    Miyazaki doesn’t see a lot of snowfall, but this winter, the prefecture is welcoming an all-new fireworks festival which will launch fireworks into the sky that falls like pure white snow. Phoenix Seagaia Resort is also offering a guest plan which combines a stay at the resort with front row seats to the fireworks.

     

    Running: December 4, 2020 – February 27, 2021 (Fridays and Saturdays only + January 10, 2021)
    Time: 20:00 (Approx 3 minutes)
    Bookings: https://bit.ly/3lurZWK

     

    Starlight Winter Illuminations

    THE LIVING GARDEN is the garden area of Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort exclusive to guests. This winter, the garden will be lit up with 30,000 LED lights and lanterns to create a magical, starry sky-like atmosphere by both of the garden’s pools.

     

    Running: November 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021
    Location: THE LIVING GARDEN, Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort
    Illumination Times: Sunset to 23:00

    Price: Free (Exclusive to Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort guests)

     

    A Cosy Menu For a Warm Stay

    Gazebos by the waterside at THE LIVING GARDEN

    S’mores

    Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort will also serve s’mores, hot cocktails, and other treats at THE LIVING GARDEN with gazebos and fire pits. Enjoy fluffy marshmallow s’mores served with nuts and salted chocolate.

     

    Running: November 6, 2020 – February 28, 2021 (Excluding Wednesdays & Thursdays)

    Times: 19:30-23:00 (Last Orders 22:30)

    Location: KUROBAR, THE LIVING GARDEN, Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort

  • An Otaku’s Dream: The EJ Anime Hotel in Saitama Where You Can Stay in Rooms Themed On Anime Series

    04.October.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Manga publisher KADOKAWA opened the new anime concept hotel EJ Anime Hotel at Tokorozawa Sakura Town in Tokorozawa, Saitama, on October 1, 2020.

     

    Tokorozawa Sakura Town is a new shopping complex set to open on November 6, 2020, where it will serve as a hub for the latest in Japanese pop culture with events, shops, restaurants, a museum, and more. EJ Anime Hotel opened on early Thursday in the run up to the complex’s grand opening to welcome guests.

     

    The ‘EJ’ of EJ Anime Hotel stands for ‘Entertainment Japan.’ The hotel aims to have guests living inside the stories they love from a wide range of Japanese media from anime to manga, movies, tokusatsu SFX movies, idol culture, and more.

     

    As well as room decorations and the exclusive merch that will be on sale, the hotel is also offering a new kind of accommodation experience by incorporating videos, sounds, lighting, and more. Its restaurant will also offer a selection of food and drink in collaboration with various series including all-out full course dinners.

     

    When using the hotel elevator, you will hear announcements from none other than popular Japanese voice actor Yuki Kaji who has played many big roles in anime including Eren Jaeger in Attack on Titan. “As an anime fan first and foremost, having such a fun concept hotel like this open, not to mention getting to be involved as an announcer, makes me really happy,” explains Kaji. “I want guests to make some great memories staying at EJ Anime Hotel.”

    “Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense.” Collab Room ©2020 夕蜜柑・狐印/KADOKAWA/防振り製作委員会

    “Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!” Collab Room © 2020 丈/KADOKAWA/宇崎ちゃん製作委員会

    “KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!” Collab Room ©2019 暁なつめ・三嶋くろね/KADOKAWA/映画このすば製作委員会

    “A Certain Scientific Railgun T” Collab Room ©2018 鎌池和馬/冬川基/KADOKAWA/PROJECT-RAILGUN T


    “Yuki Yuna Is a Hero” Collab Room ©2017 Project 2H

    Right now, EJ Anime Hotel is collaborating with five different anime series: Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense.Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!A Certain Scientific Railgun T, and Yuki Yuna Is a Hero. The hotel is taking bookings on its official website.

     

    If you’re thinking of travelling to Japan as an anime fanatic, then look no further and book with EJ Anime Hotel.

  • Solo Sauna Tune: Tokyo’s New Privacy Guaranteed Finnish-Style Sauna

    30.September.2020 | SPOT

    Solo Sauna Tune is a new sauna that offers “total privacy” which is set to open its first branch inside UNPLAN Kagurazaka in Tokyo this November.

    Most sauna facilities in Japan cater to groups, but at Solo Sauna Tune, all guests are given their own space where they can undress, bathe, and relax in their own private room. This is especially desirable during the current pandemic where social distancing is paramount, and is a great opportunity for people not wanting to travel in groups.

    The solo saunas are heated using sauna stoves imported from Finland. Adding water to the sauna stones lets guests control the amount of steam in the room so they can adjust as they like. There is also a Japanese white birch aroma provided to the löyly (Finnish for ‘steam’).

     

    Guests can also cool off in cold water. The Chiller provides water at 15℃. There are also overhead showers for cooling down, and the showerheads can be adjusted to make the water come out like mist.

    The relaxation area is coloured in a stylish black where guests can kick back for a while.

    After using the sauna, guests can visit the powder room where there are a varieties of free amenities. There’s also a café which serves craft beers, food, and other treats.

  • Hotel New Otani Tokyo, Osaka & Makuhari Now Serving Rich Chestnut Pancakes For Autumn

    20.September.2020 | FOOD

    The Tokyo, Osaka, and Makuhari branches of Hotel New Otani are now serving seasonal autumn versions of their specially made pancakes at their coffee shop and all-dining restaurant SATSUKI until November 30, 2020

     

    Fantastically fluffy pancakes

    Hotel New Otani has been serving its special pancakes for the past 10 years which have become a favourite amongst guests.

    The hotel’s pastry chefs have whisked up a variety of flavours in line with the changing seasons this past decade using strictly-selected ingredients including strawberry, melon, mango, chestnut, and more.

     

    A marriage of rich chestnut and fluffy pancake

    Hotel New Otani Specially Made Chestnut Pancakes 2020 | ¥2,800 (Before Tax/Service Charge)

    Chestnuts are the flavourful theme for autumn 2020’s pancakes, made with strictly-selected chestnut astringent skin, sweet bean jelly, and topped with a chestnut macaron.
    The pancakes are served with melt-in-the-mouth Italian ricotta. There are two different doughs, one made from coffee flour which has high nutritional value, and the hotel’s original “White Cereal” which is a combination of millets and amaranth.
    The pancakes are cooked on a low heat for about 5 minutes on each side so they rise to a fluffy 5cm thickness and become startlingly smooth.

     

    Strawberries for winter

    For this year’s winter, the hotel will be serving strawberry pancakes.

     

    Enjoy a selection of seasonal pancakes when staying at Hotel New Otani.

  • Kyoto’s Female-Only Hotel CAFETEL Kyoto Sanjo for Ladies Reveals Halloween Room

    17.September.2020 | SPOT

    CAFETEL Kyoto Sanjo for Ladies, a hotel in Kyoto exclusive to female guests, is offering a new Halloween room plan between October 1 and November 1. There is just one room and it can only be booked for one day between that period. This plan was offered last year and was a resounding success amongst guests.

    Last year’s Halloween room took on a more cute and bright theme, but they’re going for something darker this time. The theme this year is “The Secret Witches-Only Get-Together,” with all ideas and designs conceived and handmade by the hotel staff themselves.

    Guests will find decorations all around the room, such as bats on doors and walls who will listen in on the witches’ gossip to creepy crawly spiders in the bed. Candles are provided in the room to set the Halloween mood, and there’s even witch and devil costumes and props for guests to dress up in.

     

    Free goodies for the witch get-together

    Guests can enjoy a gorgeous view of the Kamogawa River from their room. They are also presented with a free Halloween drink exclusive to those who stay in this room.

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