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/
Make Your Own Mister Donut Treats at Home With These Simple Recipes
09.August.2020 | FOOD
Mister Donut Japan is releasing recipes over on its official website on August 7 which will show you how to make three of their popular doughnuts. The simple recipes are twists on the “Honey Dip,” “Old Fashioned,” and “Pon de Ring” doughnuts.
The doughnuts can be whipped up for breakfast, as a daytime snack or an evening treat, so customers can enjoy the taste of Mister Donut from the comfort of their own home.
The “Morning Ring Toast” recipe is the perfect wake-up treat made with honey dip, eggs, and ham, all of which complement each other deliciously.
“Old Fashioned Parfait” combines the irresistible crunchiness of the Old Fashioned doughnut with ice cream to create a real summertime dessert.
Finally, “Pon de Agedashi” is an indulgence for after dinner, bringing together Pon de Ring doughnuts with grated daikon radish. It’s a great snack to have with an evening drink.
Mister Donut Japan will release the recipe as well as a how-to-make video over on their official website this Friday, so be sure to try making your own at home.
Official Website: https://www.misterdonut.jp/enjoy/recipe/
*Photos are for illustrative purposes only
*Please store the doughnuts in a cool environment. Eat quickly after you have made them.
*Adjust the cooking time while keeping an eye on the microwave or toaster oven
Sink Your Teeth Into These Beauty Inspired Parfaits at Shiseido Parlour in Harajuku
A colourful line-up of angelic parfaits will be served up at Shiseido Parlour The Harajuku, which is located on the 8th floor of the WITH HARAJUKU shopping centre, from August 18 to October 11.
Made in collaboration with Shiseido Beauty Square, also located in the building, these parfaits are inspired by different popular cosmetic brands.
The parfaits will be switched out every two weeks. The first parfait will be based around the brand bareMinerals. After that it will be NARS, then Laura Mercier, and finally Dolce & Gabbana Beauty. Each sweet treat also comes with samples of cosmetics and fragrances from each respective beauty company.
Lychee Green Beauty Parfait with bareMinerals | ¥1,980 (Tax Included) | Serving: August 18, 2020 – August 30, 2020
The bareMinerals parfait is made with mineral-rich lychee sherbet, healthy ice cream made with tofu, marine blue jelly, ruby grapefruit, orange, mango, and more.
Fig & Berry Chocolate Mode Parfait with NARS | ¥1,980 (Tax Included) | Serving: September 1, 2020 – September 13, 2020
If you’re looking for true dark luxury, then tuck into this devilish layering of Belgian chocolate ice cream, strawberry milk sauce, figs, pione grapes, raspberries and a topping of macaron and chocolate.
Japanese Chestnut Tea Gradation Parfait with Laura Mercier | ¥1,980 (Tax Included) | Serving: September 15, 2020 – September 27, 2020
A delightful gourmet marriage of Earl Grey jelly, houjicha ice cream, and chai sauce which creates a nude lip brown colour. This one’s topped with Japanese chestnuts, blackcurrants, pomegranate, a macaron, and a swirling chocolate stick.
Blood Orange Exotic Parfait with Dolce & Gabbana Beauty | ¥1,980 (Tax Included) | Serving: September 29, 2020 – October 11, 2020
The final parfait is a vivid combination of sumptuously sweet blood orange sherbet, rose jelly, an ‘exotic’ sauce, ruby grapefruit, raspberries, mango, a macaron, and to decorate, a red rose.
*Depending on ingredient stock, the parfaits and serving periods are subject to change
*Photos are for illustrative purposes only
Shiseido Parlour The Harajuku
Address: WITH HARAJUKU (Floor 8F), 1-14-30 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Dining/Lunch: 11:30-15:30 (Last Orders 14:00)
Dinner: 18:00-22:00 (Last Orders 20:30)
Lounge: 11:30-22:30 (Last Orders 21:30)
Closed: Mondays (Except on public holidays)
Official Website: https://parlour.shiseido.co.jp/en/index.html
Fall Into Autumn With an Enchanting Boat Ride Through Arashiyama in Kyoto
08.August.2020 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Kyoto has announced a special new serving for one group a day that lets them bask in the autumn colours of Arashiyama. The service, entitled “Asa no Momiji Bune” (Morning Autumn Colours Boat), will run from November 20 to December 6 this year.
A cosy autumn morning boat ride all to yourself
Sail down the tranquil Oi River, which runs right beside HOSHINOYA Kyoto, and bask in the surrounding sights of Arashiyama and Ogurayama as they burn aflame with autumnal colours. Wrapped in reds and yellows in every direction, this morning experience is a rare opportunity witness Japan’s fall season like never before as you gaze at the crisp leaves of the trees and their reflection from the water’s surface.
Sweet wagashi treats just for you
While on the boat, guests are treated to a cup of matcha and some seasonal Japanese wagashi confections, like hard candies shaped like HOSHINOYA Kyoto’s logo and other colourful sweets made to look like maple leaves, ginkgo leaves, and more. These confections are made exclusively for the boat ride by Kameya Yoshinaga, a Japanese sweets shop that has been around since 1803, while the matcha is provided by Rishouen Chasho, a tea shop in Uji, Kyoto who have picked out specially selected leaves just for HOSHINOYA Kyoto.
The roofed Kingfisher boat
The boat guests will ride is owned by HOSHINOYA Kyoto and is called “Hisui” (Kingfisher). A switch can change the rooftop colour from white to transparent so you can look up and see the gorgeous blue sky.
If you’re in Japan this autumn, and still need to find a hotel, why not treat yourself to a luxurious morning boat ride at HOSHINOYA Kyoto?
Asa no Momiji Bune / 朝のもみじ舟 (Morning Autumn Colours Boat)
Running: November 20, 2020 – December 5, 2020
Boarding/Return: HOSHINOYA Kyoto
Price: ¥31,000 per group (tax, service charge, and hotel fee not included in price)
Includes: Boat ride, Japanese confections, matcha
Participation: Exclusive to HOSHINOYA Kyoto guests
Capacity: 1 group of 1-4 people per day
Reservations Required: Book at https://hoshinoya.com/kyoto/
Note: The boat ride will be cancelled during stormy weather
Premium Hotel MGallery to Open New Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle This November
03.August.2020 | SPOT
MGallery, a collection of over 5,000 luxury boutique hotels in 110 countries worldwide, landed in Japan for the first time last year with the opening of the 5-star KYOTO YURA HOTEL MGallery in Kyoto. Now, the brand has announced the opening of the new “Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery” (Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo-jo Bettei) which will open on November 28, 2020.
Situated just a short 1-minute stroll from Njio Castle Station, this small, 25 room hotel, aims to offer luxury at the highest level.
Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery was designed by Yukio Hashimoto, who has worked on countless hotels and facilities around the world. The hotel lobby and all guest rooms face a gorgeous Japanese-style garden where guests can enjoy its beautiful sights through all four seasons.
The hotel takes inspiration from Nijo Castle, a structure which has seen both the end of the shogun as well as the start of modern Japan. As you enter the hotel, from the front door through and through the main entrance, guests will find themselves in their own private domain before they reach the breathtaking Japanese garden in front of them. All 25 of the guest rooms are crafted with high quality, sophisticated interiors.
On the first floor of the hotel, guests will find a restaurant and bar. The restaurant cooks up creative French dishes made delicately with seasonal ingredients while the bar serves up MGallery’s iconic “mixology” cocktails.
Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery also offers a range of activities which can’t be experienced anywhere else, including private trips to local shrines and temples that the hotel has connections with.
Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery (Japanese: 京都悠洛ホテル⼆条城別邸)
Grand Opening: November 28, 2020
Address: 180 Ichinochō, Nakagyō-ku, Kyoto
Hotel New Otani Osaka released introduced its new “NIGHT POOL & RESTAURANT PLAN ~SWEET or BITTER~” plan on July 18 which is set to run until September 13. The plan is a set that combines the hotel’s night pool with a dining experience at its restaurant.
The pool, named “The Water Terrace,” remains open into the night every summer at Hotel New Otani Osaka and has done so since 2015. This year, the number of people allowed in the pool is being limited as part of measures against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
SWEET PLAN: Tuck into specially-made pancakes
Hotel New Otani Osaka’s all-day dining restaurant “SATSUKI” are serving up their famous fluffy pancakes for the “SWEET PLAN.” These fluffy delights are served with ricotta and are made with cascara powder, which is known as a superfood. Enjoy a ‘sweet’ night with a serving of pancakes and a dip in the night pool.
BITTER PLAN: Grown-up nighttime fun
For the “BITTER PLAN,” guests can head up to the rooftop sky lounge where they can order a drink from the bar, whether it be one of the 18 different kinds of beers, cocktails, high-balls, and more. They also serve food like roast pork and appetisers. Gaze out across and spot Osaka Castle sat beneath the starry night sky as you enjoy your meal.
The hotel’s poolside restaurant “LAGOON” will be joining the fun too, serving soy meat burgers, a soy chocolate parfait that can be shared amongst friends, and more.
NIGHT POOL & RESTAURANT PLAN ~SWEET or BITTER~
Running: July 18, 2020 – September 13, 2020
SWEET PLAN: 14:00～18:00
BITTER PLAN: 17:00～23:00
Enquiries: 06-6949-3229 (Direct to restaurant)
Official Website: https://www.newotani.co.jp/group/pools/osaka/
Shibuya’s New Hotel sequence MIYASHITA PARK Connects the People to the City
01.August.2020 | SPOT
sequence MIYASHITA PARK is a new mixed-use hotel set to open inside MIYASHITA PARK on August 1, 2020.
sequence’s concept is to connect the people with the city. It offers a space for everyone whether they want a quiet time alone, whether they are sightseeing, having a work-do, celebrating a party or festival, and more. This is centred around the hotel’s three notions: “SMART,” “OPEN,” and “CULTURE.”
The hotel is inspired by the local concept of “PARK MIND” which offers guests a place to relax after a long, busy day, like in a park. It has collaborated with Tokyo-based designers and creators to bring this to life in room designs. Furniture and fittings are simple while still being of high quality.
The fourth floor entrance connects seamlessly to Miyashita Park and is home to a lobby lounge as well as the new VALLEY PARK STAND cafe and bar. Up on the fifth floor is the breakfast dining restaurant Dōngxī Restaurant & Sakaba. Up on the 18th floor, guests can enjoy a panoramic view of Shibuya, as well as dine at the entertainment restaurant SOAK whose design and concept mixes together history and the future, the West and the East. There is also art from artists coordinated by The Chain Museum.
sequence MIYASHITA PARK
Address: 6-20-10 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Official Website: https://www.sequencehotels.com/miyashita-park
Laforet Harajuku’s Midsummer Takeaway Desserts Include Cinnamoroll Goodies
31.July.2020 | FOOD
Eight shops inside Laforet Harajuku are participating in the shopping mall’s midsummer takeout dessert event which is taking place from August 1 to 31. This includes the new milk dessert shop “MILK MILK MILK” which opened as the first branch in Japan on July 17 this year. Desserts and merchandise of Sanrio’s popular character Cinnamoroll, who won this year’s 2020 Sanrio Character Ranking, will also be sold.
café de paris | Floor B1F
Many Many Fruits Sandwich: Mango ¥626 / Green Grape ¥561 (Tax Included) *Takeout only
Fresh fruit is packed onto these adorable looking sweet sandwiches.
CAFE CREPE | Floor 1F
Honey Summer Orange: ¥730 (Tax Included) *Takeout only
Another cute summer dessert finished with swirls of fresh cream, fresh orange, and a round dollop of ginger ice cream.
MILK MILK MILK! | Floor 2F
Milk Bottle Smoothie: ¥880 (Tax Included) *Takeout and have-in
Served in a cute milk bottle, what better way to cool down than with a cool strawberry smoothie?
Cinnamoroll Milk Pudding: ¥1,078 (Tax Included) *Takeout and have-in
Cinnamoroll Sky Beaker Parfait: ¥1,048 (Tax Included) *Have-in only
There are two tasty Cinnamoroll desserts to choose from, including the milk pudding made with Hokkaido milk and a parfait with a gradient or jelly and chocolate mint ice cream, topped with mint, and served in a beaker.
© 2001,2020 SANRIO.,CO.LTD. APPROVAL NO.S610695
Laforet Harajuku Summer Takeout Menu
Running: August 1, 2020 – August 31, 2020
Official Website: https://www.laforet.ne.jp/
Glamp Dome Kobe Tenku: Go Glamping With Hot Springs and Kobe’s Night Sky
25.July.2020 | SPOT
The new glamping facility Glamp Dome Kobe Tenku is set to open inside Minotani Green Sports Hotel in Kobe, Hyogo on August 7, 2020.
Located in the lush green abyss of Kobe’s Minotani area, Glamp Dome is just 20-minutes from Kobe-Sannomiya. Guests can look forward to a glamorous camping experience inside on of the huge dome tents set up on site from which they can enjoy Kobe’s sunset and subsequent night sky. The facility promises a luxury camping experience like no other.
Your dome tent and a private BBQ space
The half-dome tents are 7 meters in circumference. They are fitted with air conditioning and can be used throughout all four seasons. Each one has its own private BBQ space too so you can enjoy a close-knit meal together with friends and family without having to interact with other guests.
The Ginga Hot Spring’s water is directly from the water source
Ginga Hot Spring’s water spurts out from 1,200 meters underground. The facility offers a variety of bathing experiences, from the open-air hot spring to utaseyu where water falls onto your back, and more, as well as a resting area, sauna, and so on.
It is said that if water pH levels are over 7.5 then it is good for your skin. The water at Ginga Hot spring is 8.5, making the water quality very high.
The unique foot bath bar
At Glamp Dome Kobe Tenku, guests can enjoy a bar experience with pouring their own drinks while getting a foot bath from the facility’s hot spring water sauce. Open from 19:00-21:00, there’s also campfires, fire pits for private domes, and other services.
Glamp Dome Kobe Tenku also offers high quality ingredients for a gourmet camping BBQ experience, from premium Japanese black wagyu steak to seafood and more.
・Japanese black wagyu steak
・Domestic smoked beef
・Skillet of the day日
Glamp Dome Kobe Tenku also offers hotel-style amenities like towels, toothbrushes, hair dryers, gowns, and more. All domes are also fitted with Wi-Fi and plug sockets.
When Glamp Dome Kobe Tenku opens, it will also be bookable on Resort Glamping, a booking website for glamping facilities and resort villas across Japan. If you’re ever travelling to Kobe, why not stay there in style with this very special glamping experience?
Ginza’s Luxury New Hotel Aloft Tokyo Ginza’s Opening Date Announced
23.July.2020 | SPOT
Aloft Tokyo Ginza
Address: 6-14-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
4-minutes on foot from Ginza Station via the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line
2-minutes on foot from Higashi-Ginza Station via the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line
Pour Sake Into These Cups and Watch the Cherry Blossoms Bloom
23.July.2020 | FASHION
Japanese online store Fujimaki, which sells rare luxury products, released the new “Sakura no Heihai” (Cherry Blossom Sake Cup) on July 18 which has a cherry tree design on it that blossoms when cold sake is poured over it.
The cup is manufactured by Marumo Takagi, a Japanese pottery and ceramics company based in Tajimi, Gifu, which has been running for over 130 years. Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people held out on the Hanami (cherry blossom flower viewing) in Japan this year. Marumo Takagi conceived the idea for their new cup as a result of this so that people can enjoy Hanami from the comfort of their own home.
Left: Blossoms in 7 minutes with liquids near 17°C / Right: Very cold liquids cause a full bloom
Each and every cup is handmade individually, including the cherry blossom designs. The flowers bloom a faint pink when the users pours in liquid which are of a temperature around 17°C. If the liquid is very cold, the cherry blossoms take on a full bloom pattern. The white porcelain serves to emphasise the pink hues of the flowers.
The secret behind how this reaction happens lies in the tools used to draw the illustration. Seiji Takagi, the 5th generation president of Marumo Takagi, conceived the idea when he simply thought how amusing it would be to have a function on one of the company’s drinking vessels that changes as a result of temperature.
Takagi explained how the went through much trial and error to achieve their vision for the colour, something which they were more focused on than everything else in the manufacturing process.
Cherry Blossom Sake Cup (Japanese: 桜の平盃): ¥3,300 (Tax Included)
The western region of Gifu Prefecture is famous for its Japanese ceramics. It is the biggest pottery manufacturing location in Japan and has been firing up ceramics for over 1,300 years. The city of Tajimi in Gifu, where Marumo Takagi is based, has prospered when it comes to the creating sake cups. The cherry blossom sake cup comes as an innovative design and shows the true skill and art of Marumo Takagi’s artisans.
Product Page (Japanese): https://fujimaki-select.com/item/408_0001.html
Neon Genesis Evangelion Escape Game Has You Dodging Lasers
Hakone Kowakien Yunessun, a hot spring amusement park in Hakone, began teaming up with Neon Genesis Evangelion on July 1 for a series of events. The newest event to be announced is the “Evangelion Laser Trap” escape game which is set to begin on July 23. The park’s cave baths are also taking on a theme inspired by the Second Impact in Evangelion with special lights and sounds.
Evangelion Laser Trap Escape
Guests must become Evangelion characters and use their knowledge, experience, and whole body to make it through the dark room and avoid the red lasers. Those who clear the room will receive an original Evangelion sticker.
Second Impact Cave Baths
The cave baths will be illuminated with bright red lights inspired by the Second Impact cataclysm from Evangelion.
Evangelion themed food and drinks will be served at the event, and fans can get their hands on exclusive merchandise.
Evangelion Laser Trap Escape
Running: July 23, 2020 – August 23, 2020
Location: Hakone Kowakien Yunessun
Opening Hours: 09:00-19:00 (Last Entries 18:00
Entry Fee: General ¥2,500 / Children (3-12 Years) ¥1,400
Participation Fee: ¥500 per person
Second Impact Baths
Running: January 10, 2020 – September 30, 2020
Location: Hakone Kowakien Yunessun
Opening Hours: 09:00-19:00 (Last Entries 18:00
Entry Fee: General ¥2,500 / Children (3-12 Years) ¥1,400
Participation Fee: Free
Official Website: https://eva-hakone.com/
Harajuku’s New Chocolate Dessert Shop SÔ CÔ La Now Open For Business
16.July.2020 | FOOD
The first Tokyo branch of the chocolate dessert shop SÔ CÔ La opened in Harajuku on July 15, 2020. Together with Harajuku Milk & Mot Tram—a shop which opened in collaboration with bubble tea shop Mot Tram and fresh cream shop Milk—SÔ CÔ La serves to further cement Harajuku as the number one place to go for desserts.
SÔ CÔ La Soft Serve Ice Cream: ¥550
SÔ CÔ La Soft Serve Ice Cream Sundae: ¥550
SÔ CÔ La will serve a range of desserts using ruby chocolate—the officially-recognised fourth type of chocolate alongside milk, dark, and white—the cocoa beans of which have a natural pink colour. It has a sweet, sour, and fruity taste. Customers can look forward to trying a range of rich desserts made with this rare type of chocolate and blended with dark chocolate.
The crunchiness of the shop’s handmade “Aragosta Cones” goes perfectly with the rich chocolate blend ice cream.
SÔ CÔ La Harajuku
Address: THE SHARE 1F, 3-25-18 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00