【NagasakiStroll】Why Not Kyushu? Come and View the Gorgeous 99 Islands
Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka… A majority of tourists would always start and end their Japan trip within these prefectures. These prefectures are very lovely places, but why not come sightseeing in Kyushu! If you want to experience something different from other tourists, Nagasaki would be a great place to visit.
In Kyushu there are many wonderful prefectures like Kumamoto for the castle, Oita for onsens, Fukuoka for ramen, and then comes Nagasaki. Today I will show you one of my favorite places of all in Nagasaki prefecture.
Look at this amazing view, full of green and blue. Can you count how many islands there are in this photo? There are about 17 islands within this picture, but there are actually more than 200 islands!
This place is called 99 Island Pearl Sea Resort (Kujyu-kushima). 99 refers to “many”, and there are actually 208 islands.
Pearl Sea Resort offers a fantastic way to enjoy the view of these beautiful islands.
They have a harbor offering sightseeing boats, the elegant boat Pearl Queen, and the colorful vessel, Mirai that will cruise around the islands.
You can enjoy the cruise both below and above decks on the boats. I enjoyed being outside, especially at the top of the deck where I could feel the breeze. We cruised around numerous islands and were able to see oyster rafts for pearl cultivation and ducks that were swimming nearby.
Adult: ¥ 1440
Child: ¥ 700
You can also enjoy various types of marine life found in the local waters at Umikirara Aquarium! Entrance is ¥ 1440 for adults (¥ 720 children).
Last but not least, my most favorite spot!
There is a natural land bridge created by blocks of stones by the beach where you can walk across on the days at special low tides. It only happens once or twice every month so if you’re lucky, you might be able to walk on the bridge to the mini gate at the end of the land bridge!
■SNS：mintbaaby / instagram
99 Island Pearl Sea Resort
Address: 1008 Saseboshi Kashimaechou Nagasakiken 858-0922
Access: 25min by bus from JR Sasebo Station.
■Related article：Scarlett’s Kawaii Kyushu Part 1: Beppu
■Related article：Scarlett’s Kawaii Kyushu Part 2: Kumamoto
Miyako Hotel Hakata Opens With Instagram-Worthy Pool, Michelin-Led Restaurant Menu & More
24.September.2019 | SPOT
Miyako Hotel Hakata will have its grand opening on September 22, 2019. To help spread word of the luxurious secrets behind its doors, an official report was released detailing everything there is for guests to look forward to.
Its metropolitan exterior is inspired by the spectacular natural landscapes of Kyushu
Miyako Hotel Hakata can be found by taking the Tsukushi Exit of Hakata Station where it stands directly in front, towering above the surrounding buildings. The basement floor of the hotel is directly connected to the station for ease of access. This floor is also home to a convenience store, restaurants and more and can be used by non-guests too.
The building is a gorgeous eye-catching glass cube which offers an abundance of natural light during the day. At night, the hotel exterior is illuminated with 168 LED lights, giving it an metropolitan appearance. The building rooftop has a running ‘waterfall’ which is inspired by the majestic rural environments of Kyushu. Its iconic design makes it instantly-recognisable, with hopes in mind that this will make it a new landmark of Hakata.
The lobby houses a gorgeous cafe lounge serving food and drink
Up on the 3rd floor is the clean, bright and spacious front lobby where staff are waiting to greet guests warmly. In addition to the reception desk, there is CAFÉ EMPATHY, a cafe and lounge which can be used by both guests and non-guests. The cafe is produced by Transit General Offiice which is known for having produced the The Rail Kitchen Chikugo―a restaurant train―amongst a host of shared offices, hotels and more.
The spectacular menu line-up includes an array of delicious drinks from herbal teas to flavoured lattes, as well as an assortment of light meals made using ingredients from around Kyushu. They also serve an original afternoon tea that’s served from 14:30. Everything on the menu is nothing short of Instagrammable and perfect for those who love to wine and dine on drinks and food that is both cute and fancy.
The colourful flavoured lattes come in four flavours and can also be ordered for takeout. One of them is the Beets Latte which is a pink colour which comes from the beetroot used to make it. It has a subtle sweetness and smooth flavour.
The stocked teas include those made by Paris-based tea company KUSMI TEA, such as the Anastasia which is a mix of standard black tea and citrus, as well as an array of decaffeinated fruit teas.
Spend your time in luxury in your room
Floors 5 through 12 are all lined with guest rooms. There are four types of rooms, all large, including Twin and Double. Each and every room has been given the same level of care and attention to create the most comfortable experience for guests.
The Deluxe room is the perfect package if you’re looking to indulge in a little extravagance, whether as a treat to yourself or together with that special someone. The room design is stylish and simple, allowing for optimal relaxation. The bed is roomy and is ideal for watching the television or chatting.
All guest rooms are also equipped with tablets from which you can control the air con, lights and so on. The TV can even tell you whether the restaurant is full or not which is a super convenient feature.
A restaurant and bar menu created by a Michelin-starred chef & dreamy terrace pool
On floor 13―the top floor―you will find Miyako Hotel Hakata’s must-see feature: the SOMEWHERE RESTAURANT & BAR. This all-dining restaurant’s concept is “A Beautiful Place Somewhere.” Its dinner menu was conceived by Michihoro Haruta, the chef at Crony, a Michelin 1-starred restaurant in Nishi-Azabu, Tokyo. The innovative menu is made with local ingredients from Fukuoka and across Kyushu. The wine menu was created by Kazutaka Ozawa, a sommelier at Crony. The restaurant enjoys a laid-back atmosphere that isn’t overly formal or strict, with a glass exterior including the roof, allowing diners to enjoy the romantic evening atmosphere.
Breakfast is served to both guests and non-guests and is served as a western-style buffet packed full of assorted foods such as freshly-baked bread, omelette, Eggs Benedict, and more. They serve an original Japanese-style breakfast too for those who fancy Japanese food. The tall windows allow natural light to pour into the restaurant.
Right next to the restaurant is the hotel’s very own spa, offering a natural hot spring pool, jet bath, footbath and more. As part of the hotel’s grand opening, the spa is free for all guest until March 31, 2020. The hotel offers rental swimsuits too so you can freely and easily enjoy a nighttime dip. And when night truly sets in, you can gaze an unbroken view of Hakata from the roof, and the ‘waterfall’ next to the pool will also be lit up.
There’s even a special poolside menu so you can order cocktails and light food from the terrace. With everything illuminate in beautiful lighting, your cocktail in hand, you can certainly snap some Instagram-worthy shots. And if you’re looking for a warm bath, there is a large public bath and even a sauna indoors.
Miyako Hotel Hakata
Address: 2-1-1 Hakataekihigashi, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka
Official Website: https://www.miyakohotels.ne.jp/hakata/english/index.html/
Popular Tokyo Café Bakery BREAD, ESPRESSO & to Open in Fukuoka
Bakery café BREAD, ESPRESSO & has made quite a reputation in Omotesando, Tokyo for its stylish interior and delicious coffee and bread. The bakery café is now opening a new branch in Fukuoka called BREAD, ESPRESSO & HAKATA & on September 25th, 2019.
To commemorate 10 years in business, BREAD, ESPRESSO & will be opening their first ever branch in Hakata, Kyushu. The café bakery will be nestled between Hakata Station and CANAL CITY HAKATA. Whether you are a busy commuter looking for a heartwarming cup of coffee or a traveling tourist, the location is ideal for anyone looking for a quick rest stop.
The new café bakery is approximately 165 m² in size, making it the largest branch. The shop is decorated with a pure white base theme and has the perfect comfortable environment to enjoy a coffee.
Mu: ￥330 (after tax)
French Toast: ￥750 (after tax)
BREAD, ESPRESSO &’s popular Mu and French Toast will be on the menu along with Hakata-limited goods. If you are searching for some delicious bread in Hakata, please make your way to BREAD, ESPRESSO &.
BREAD, ESPRESSO & HAKATA & (パンとエスプレッソと博多と)
Address: 101, 2-8-12, Hakata Ekimae, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka
Opening Hours: 8:00 ー 20:00
No regular holidays.
Yamada Coffee on the Amami Islands to release cafe au lait made with home blend speciality coffee and sugarcaneTo celebrate 4 years since the opening of “Yamada Coffee Amami Island,” the shop are releasing a their own in-house blended speciality coffee mixed with non‐centrifugal cane sugar* from sugarcane grown in the Amami Islands. This is the kind of beverage that is drank in the Southern islands. The cafe au lait sweetening base has an authentic coffee flavour and a delicious sweetness that is body-friendly.The “kibiore” sweetening, which will be sold from September 8th, is a cafe au lait base mixed with speciality coffee home brewed by Yamada Coffee in Amami in Kagoshima and non‐centrifugal cane sugar taken from locally grown sugar cane on the Amami Islands.The shop’s speciality coffee uses 100% high quality coffee beans that meet international standards which are blended to create a balance that maintains the beans’ rich flavour even when used in in a cafe au lait, and also leaves a fresh and smooth aftertaste.The sugar is made from 100% non‐centrifugal cane sugar that comes from exceptional local sugarcane grown on the Amami Islands which has been grown in lots of sunlight in the South.The non-centrifugal cane sugar contains lots of minerals. It is well-accepted that when compared to brown cane sugar, it is the superior choice, containing less acidity and bitterness. Cafe au lait bases are normally made with white sugar, but Yamada Coffee use non‐centrifugal sugar in order to create a cafe au lait base that is friendly to your body.Not a single preservative, colouring or flavouring is used – their “kibiore” simply uses coffee and non‐centrifugal sugar. Yamada Coffee want to make kibiore a thing of Amami Ōshima and so are also releasing gift sets that can be used as Bon Festival or end-of-year gifts by people both inside and outside Amami Ōshima.During your trip to Amami Ōshima, be sure to stop by Yamada Coffee for a sit down with one of their special cafe au lait!
~Wild Beach~ Enjoy the best resort-filled rooftop bar and BBQ
Summer is almost here and it’s time to enjoy the sun, the beach, and the food!
Who would have thought you can enjoy the resort like atmosphere in Shinjuku?
Well, Tokyo Sky Resort Wild Beach (Shinjuku) is the best place to visit when you are tired of the city and feel like relaxing.
Once the elevator door opens, you will enter a completely different zone. The area is filled with white sand, beach beds, and sofa seats, creating a tropical beach resort atmosphere.
The “Beach Café Area” offers a fashionable “French style barbecue” where you can enjoy various kinds of appetizers and drinks. At night the area is lit up with candles and lights, creating a romantic feeling.
At the private wood deck space, you can reserve the whole area and enjoy the recent trend in Japan, “glamping” (glamorous camping). There will be a glamping tent with tables, sofas, and a barbecue space to have a good time with friends and family. There will also be a personal waitress that will be serving your food and drinks.
Try out the most popular drinks, Mango Sparkling and Peach Sparkling! They are very fruity and easy-drinking for anyone. Even the ice cubes are colored, which makes it very stylish and perfect for Instagram!
Continuing with Instagram, there are several cute photo spots inside the café. There are 3 different areas with wall art of an Angel’s wing and there are also swings here that will bring back your childhood memories.
Not only can you come and BBQ with your friends on the weekend, but you can also show up after work on a weekday to refresh and have a nice relaxing time.
- Beach Café Area with Parasol and Sofa ￥1000
- Beach Café Area with Pergola Bed ￥2000
- Wild BBQ ￥4500 (Kids under 10 ￥1500)
- Wild BBQ for Girls Night Out ￥3900
- Beach BBQ (￥5500) (Kids under 10 ￥2500)
- Beach BBQ for Girls Night Out ￥4900
- Luxury BBQ ￥7500 (Kids under 10 ￥3500)
- Luxury BBQ for Girls Night Out ￥6900
- Glamping BBQ ￥15,000 (Kids under 10 ￥5500)
- Glamping BBQ for Girls Night Out ￥12,500
- You can make any plan into all you can drink set with +￥1500
- You must make a reservation if you are planning on going on Fridays or weekends and the reservation must be made a month prior.
There are also free café spaces where you do not need to make any reservations so feel free to come in any time!
The Tokyo Sky Resort Wild Beach (Shinjuku) will be opened until September 30th, 2017!
Natural forest will become a space of interactive-art! “Koou Suru Mori to Shiroato – Kushimazaki Juso”
13.May.2017 | SPOT
Team Labo will hold “Koou Suru Mori to Joseki – Kushimazaki Juso” at Omura Shrine which stands on Kushima Shiro Ato”
Kushimazaki Juso is a place which became a natural forest after the Kushima Castle was deserted. The place includes huge trees.Floating, Resonating Spheres – Omura Shrine
teamLab, 2017, Interactive Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki TakahashiThe project is to combine the mysterious natural forest and modern technology.
Oomura Park will become an interactive digital art location which changes its form by the passing of people. The project includes “Koou Suru Mori to Joseki – Kushimazaki Juso,”which is an art event where colors and the resonating of sounds change when a person walks by and “Fuyu suru, Koou suru Kyutai,”where a light bulb bobs up and down in the center of the shrine grounds.
This event will be held between the 3rd of June, 2017 (Sat) and the 2nd of July (Sun) and “Kashobu Maturi” will be held on the 4th of June (Sun) from 11:00 to 15:00. In the largest Kasyobu Park in Kyusyu, 171 kinds of Kashobu (300 thousands of Kashobu) will showcase the park until mid June.呼応する森と城跡 – 玖島崎樹叢 / Resonating Forest and Castle Ruins – Kushimazaki Tree Flora
teamLab, 2017, Interactive Digitized Nature, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi
The scene where the light bulb sparkles and fades out looks like it is breathing. Let’s experience the world of interactive art which combines nature and digital artforms.
Resonating Forest and Castle Ruins – Kushimazaki Tree Flora
Event period: June 3rd, 2017 (Sat) to July 2nd (Sun)
Omura Park, Omurashi, Nagasaki Prefecture (Kushimazaki Juso / Omori Shrine) (〒856-0834 45-3 1-Chome, Kushima, Omurashi, Nagasaki Prefecture)
※The event will be cancel depending on the weather conditions.
※Elementary school students must come with their parents and a group consisting of only junior high / high school students must leave the venue before 20:30.
Related article：Visit Temples and Shrines, and Collect Goshu-in!
A cake shop in Kansai that is popular for its cute cat logo “Chat noir”
Are you a cat or a dog person?
Today I will show you a cake shop in Kansai that is popular for its cute cat logo.
My friend took me to this store because she fell in love with the cats.
Chat noir means “black cats” in French.
As you can see, all of these have a black cat logo somewhere on the cake.
My friend and I were standing in line for about 15 minutes because we had a hard time deciding which one to buy sense they were all super cute!
We were definitely going to buy the cake that was shaped like a cat because their eyes were literally staring at us.
This is the bag they put in and the box with the cakes inside.
The cakes were all in one box, but the staff gave us an extra bag because I was with my friend. The bag was so cute and fancy, I decided to keep it. I mean, who wouldn’t keep such a cute bag?!
Another hidden cute gift was this ice pack. It has their logo front and bag. You can also keep/reuse this sense it’s cute and clean!
We chose these 3 cakes. The one in the very left is a Tiramisu, the middle one is a cheesecake, and the right one is a chocolate cake.
We tried all 3 of them and my favorite was the cheesecake because it was soft and the sweetness was just right for me. The tiramisu one was a little bitter for me, but it was the perfect bitterness for my friend. My friend’s favorite was the chocolate cake because it had a little coffee flavor and it was the cutest out of all the cakes from the store.
What my friend really likes about this store is that it’s not so sweet and they have various types of cakes.
There are about 8 Chat noir in Osaka, and 4 of them have a café space, so I recommend you to peek in when you visit Osaka!
For more information, please visit：http://chat-noir.net/shop.php
A book lover’s hostel of paradise ー BOOK AND BED TOKYO opens at Fukuoka PARCO!
23.April.2017 | SPOT
With the concept of “Staying overnight at a bookshop” at the core, the “BOOK AND BED TOKYO” hostel will open a new branch inside Fukuoka PARCO on Saturday 29th April 2017. The online reservations homepage started on Thursday 20th April.
The most comforting experience of falling asleep while reading – a true feeling of happiness can be experienced at this hostel in Fukuoka. It’s not about the fluffy mattress, nor a fluffy pillow or a warm and soft futon, but a bed buried deep in a bookcase.
As you enjoy your stay at this hostel and flick through the pages of your favourite book, nighttime will fall in no time – two hours will go by and your eyelids will start to feel heavier and heavier, and as you continue to read, you drop off to sleep.
The moment you fall asleep is a moment of pure happiness and is something that everybody should experience at least once in his or her lifetime. From 30th April, BOOK AND BED TOKYO will start their “Daytime plan” which allows guests to enjoy the hostel space at their own free will without staying over. This hostel is not just limited to travellers – anybody is welcome to stay over to spend carefree nights filled with wonderful bliss and books.
BOOK AND BED TOKYO Fukuoka
Address：Fukuoka PARCO Shinkan 6th floor 2 -11-1, Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken,
Subway Kukou line 「Tenjin station」West exit・7th exit (direct connection)
Nishitetsu Tenjin Ōmuta Line 「Fukuoka（Tenjin）station」- immediately outside the north exit ticket barriers
Close to the Nishi Tetsu Bus stop
Related article：【Nagasaki sweets】Kasutera Ice Cream Sandwich
Here I am in Nagasaki again!
Today I will be showing you guys a great place to buy Kasutera Ice Cream Sandwich!
Now a specialty of Nagasaki, Kasutera is a popular Japanese sweet sponge cake. The name doesn’t sound Japanese because it came from the Portuguese phrase “Pao de Castela”. Traditionally, there were only honey flavor, but today there are all sorts of flavors including matcha and chocolate. Kasutera is available to buy in any souvenir shops and cafes in Nagasaki.
I’ve had so many different flavors of Kasutera, but I never got to try Kasutera Ice, so I visited a store called New York Do. It is a 5 minute walk from Nigiwaibashi Station.
As I entered the store, there were various types of snacks and a big freezer. Inside the freezer there was Kasutera Ice! They had 6 different flavors: Basic, chocolate, strawberry, matcha, biwa, and sweet bean paste. The first one the staff pointed out was the biwa (Ioquat) flavored out so my friend got that. I knew right away that I was getting the matcha flavored one.
As I removed the Kasutera Ice from its wrapper, there was a scoop of matcha flavored ice cream sandwiched between two slices of Kasutera. The staff told us to wait 10 minutes before opening it, but we couldn’t wait that we started eating it.
My advice for you is to wait 10 minutes before eating it because the ice cream wasn’t melted enough for me to be able to take a bite. It is better to defrost the ice cream by putting it between your hands.
Not surprisingly, the Kasutera Ice was delicious! I think all of the ice cream goes well with the Kasutera because the cake itself tastes like honey.
If you buy just the Kasutera, you can sandwich your own favorite ice cream and make an original Kasutera ice cream!
Address: Nagasaki ken Furukawa cho 3-17
Open: 10am – 6:30pm, Sundays til 5pm.
Related article：【Nagasaki Lunch】HIKARI BURGER at Sasebo city
Continuing with my Nagasaki tour, the next stop should be Hikari Burger (a.k.a SASEBO BURGER)!!!
Yes, this is what Sasebo City is known for.
Hikari opened in 1950 and is one of the oldest burger restaurants in town.
They are famous for its jumbo size burger. When I mean jumbo, it’s really jumbo.
I lived here for 16 years, but I never had the chance to try it so it was actually my first day to order one!
There were all sorts of burgers: Hamburger, Cheese Burger, Bacon Burger, Fish Burger, Jumbo Chicken Burger…etc.
I decided to go with the “Special Burger”. I mean, who wouldn’t buy something that said “special” on it?!
There are 3 tables outside for people to sit so I waited there. It has a nice little roof to block the sun.
As my number was called, they handed me the huge special burger wrapped in a nice white cover.
The Special Burger contained: huge soft buns with chicken meat, cheese, omelet, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.
As you can see from the picture, the egg is standing out so bright~! It was so hard to take my first bite off the burger because it was so tall. It took me 3 bites to actually get to the chicken and egg. I really liked their buns because they didn’t have any sesame’s and they were super soft and sweet. The combination of the chicken, egg, and the bacon are always the best. As I kept eating, first I thought the sweet flavor was from the buns, but they were actually the sauce. They rearranged the mayonnaise with some kind of spice, that the burgers actually tasted sweet! It took me a long time to finish because I’ve never had a burger that big in Japan.
If you miss the real American size hamburger, come to Hikari!
Address:：〒857-0047 Nagasaki ken, Saseboshi Yaokamachi 1-1
Open:：Monday ~ Sunday 10am~20pm
Japanese beer company Sapporo releases special-edition can to support Kumamoto Castle recovery
Be sure to spend the drinking funds for your cherry blossom viewing party on these beautiful cans.
Between April 14 and April 16, 2016, several powerful earthquakes shook Kumamoto and Oita Prefectures, killing at least 50 people and injuring 3,000 others. Merely five years from 2011, it was another stark reminder that Japan lies on an active fault line and that major earthquakes are always possible.
The two prefectures suffered damage to a number of significant cultural properties, including Aso Shrine and Kumamoto Castle. Aso Shrine is one of Japan’s oldest shrines, and Kumamoto Castle can often be found listed among the most popular castles in Japan.
With the anniversary of the earthquake quickly approaching, along with the beginning of cherry blossom season, Sapporo has found a crisp, refreshing way to continue supporting recovery with one of the best parts of sakura viewing: drinking beer.
Japanese Winter Snack-Sweet Potato
When it becomes winter in Japan, you will start to see various types of satsumaimo (sweet potato) flavored snacks.
You will also hear music from small trucks that are selling ishi-yaki-imo: “Ishi-ya-ki-imo～….yaki-imo～ yakitate～”.
Since the 18th century, ishi-yaki-imo (stone roasted sweet potato) has traditionally been eaten in Japan as a snack.
When my friend and I were adventuring around Asakusa, we found an ishi-yaki-imo store called Amakara Enishi.
The owner gave us a sample of yaki-imo and it was so sweet and soft that there was no way we were going to leave there without buying one.
The price is decided according to the weight of the yaki-imo. It was ¥200 per 100g.
We chose a medium sized one and it was only ¥400. The owner halved it so we could share one.
The yaki-imo was soft and the inside was golden!
Sweet mild flavor made me feel like I was eating caramel…Ofcourse without the chewiness. One of the best yaki-imo I had in my life.Apparently, this yaki-imo would still taste delicious even if it cooled down.
The owner told us that they were on TV last week, so I would recommend you to visit before it gets super crowded!!
Come out and try this sweet sweet potato and enjoy the last few days of winter in Japan!
SNS：@mintbaaby / Instagram
Address: 1 Taitouku Asakusa Tokyoto 29-8
Open: 8:30am to 19:30pm
The Starbucks Japan Limited Menu (Spring Version)
The worldwide famous coffee shop, Starbucks, has different types of drink menus for each country.
Japan has loads of limited seasonal specials, and now spring (cherry blossom) season is among us!
Starbucks began selling sakura flavored Frappuccino! (FYI sakura is cherry blossom in Japanese).
You have a choice of Frappuccino or latte. Since it’s still cold in Japan, people tend to order the latte version, but I decided to go with Frappuccino.
It’s very pink even at the top. They decorated the whip cream topping with pink sprinkles and pink crisped rice flakes.
The sakura aroma reaches the nose when I put the straw in my mouth.
I’m having a very hard time to describe what it tastes like, but it tastes very floral. Sakura is very hard to explain, but I guess it kind of tastes like strawberries with fewer flavors.
There were so many rice flakes in the Frappuccino, that it reminded me of eating a sakura flavored crunch bar.
The Sakura Frappuccino will be sold until March 14th.
Now they are giving out coasters with cute cherry blossom designs on it. By accessing the website with the QR code on the coaster, you can take pictures with a special spring starbucks frame!
Let’s go to Starbucks!
SAKURA Blossom Cream Frappuccino®