A Cafe With a View: Okinawa’s New Seaside Cafe ‘Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe’ Opens This July
27.June.2020 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts’s new cafe Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe will open in the village of Yomitan in Okinawa on July 1, 2020, offering a spectacular view.
The cafe is split into four distinct areas which overlook the the beach from atop a cliff. Customers are invited to take in the breathtaking scenery with a delicious dessert made from ingredients like mangoes, pineapple, and sugar—or a tasty meal.
An incredible beach cafe overlooking the sea
Banta Cafe runs along the western coast of Yomitan, a village in central Okinawa which is about an hour’s drive from Naha Airport. The cafe gets its name from iyumibanta which in Okinawan dialect refers to the cliffs you climb to spot the shadows of fish in the water, and is also the name they give to enormous rocks. The cafe is located atop one of these iyumibanta, or cliffs, making Banta Cafe a fitting name. From the cliff, customers can enjoy a panoramic view of the horizon which stretches across infinity. According to Hoshino Resorts, Banta Cafe sits as the largest beach cafe in Japan, spanning 1600㎡.
4 Unique Areas to Pick From
Having four distinct areas to choose from means you can select where you want to go depending on your mood on the day. Let’s take a look at each of them.
Rooftop Deck: A panoramic view welcomes you
Beyond the entrance is the Rooftop Deck which offers an unbroken view of the horizon. With the comfortable shadow cast by the eaves of the roof, and the sound of the rolling waves and wind, it feels like you’re sitting on the deck of a boat.
Beach Terrace: Kick back and enjoy the sea breeze
The Beach Terrace is located along a footpath that leads from the top of the cliff down to the beach. This spacious area sits nice and close to the sea. The Okinawan Ryukyu-tatami flooring has cushions for you to sit on as well as cabanas, so you can sit and chat with people while enjoying the view of the ocean, offering the real Okinawan experience.
Rocky Terrace: Lose yourself in the green wild of nature
The Rocky Terrace is enveloped in plants and vegetation that has grown naturally—it’s like a hideaway created by nature. The area has a wooden deck and rocking chairs for people to kick back and relax in, and there are tables with towering rocks that offer shade too.
Goro Goro Lounge: Lay down on a sofa and look out to the sea
The final area is the Goro Goro Lounge where an entire wall is made up of open windows. Here, you can relax and lay down nice and comfy on the sofas. There are long tables by the sofas too, perfect for pulling out a map or guidebook and planning the rest of your trip.
A true Okinawan cafe experience
Bubbly Jelly Soda
The cafe’s “Bully Jelly Soda” is inspired from a traditional bubbly Okinawan tea called bukubuku cha. It’s flavoured with lemongrass and mint and contains different jellies like mango and hibiscus.
This gelato ice cream gets its name from the Okinawan word for delicious which is chura. Choose from a variety of classic Okinawan flavours like pineapple and guava and top your ice cream with purple yam and bitter melon chips, chinsuko, and more.
The food lineup is to die for, with tasty bites like pizza toast topped with bitter melon, pork and egg rice ball which is a soul food of Okinawa, hot dogs filled with juicy sausages, shrimp fritters served with mango sauce, fried chicken, and plenty of other finger food.
Witness the magnificent sunset during business hours
Banta Cafe is home to a gorgeous beach with coral. The sea is cobalt blue as far as the eyes can see, there are strangely shaped rocks worn by the waves, and in the evenings is an incredible view of the sunset which can be enjoyed with a cocktail in hand.
Hoshino Resorts Olu Grill
Banta Cafe will also have its own separate grilled food restaurant called Olu Grill. Olu is another Okinawan word which means “blue,” in this case referring to the blue ocean. From fried steak served with an original sauce made from Okinawan awamori liquor and kurozu black vinegar to seafood and juicy burgers, there’s plenty to fill you up.
Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe / Olu Grill
Grand Opening: July 1, 2020
Address: 560 Gima, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa Prefecture
Access: 60-minutes by car from Naha Airport / 90-minutes by limousine bus from Naha Airport
Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe
Opening Hours: 10:00 until sunset
Official Website: https://banta-cafe.com/
*Breakfast service available from mid-July 2020. Serving hours will be 7:00-9:30
Hoshino ResortsOlu Grill
Opening Hours: [Dinner] 17:00-21:00 (Last Orders 20:30)
Official Website: https://banta-cafe.com/olu-grill/
*Reservations required. Lunch service available from mid-July 2020. Serving hours will be 11:00-15:00.
Japan’s Cafe Chain Bread, Espresso & to Open New Branch in Kamata
25.February.2021 | FOOD
Hitobito, the company behind Japan’s popular bakery cafe chain Bread, Espresso &, is set to open a new branch inside Makita General Hospital in Kamata on March 1. The cafe opened its doors for pre-openings earlier this month with shortened business hours.
Bread, Espresso & has 20 branches across Japan including the popular one located in Omotesando, Tokyo. Its frequented by people of all ages for its deliciously soft bread made from 100% Japanese wheat.
The cafe’s picture book-like interior design caters to children featuring bread-shaped tables and cute illustrations.
Customers are welcome to try out the free samples on display. Each sample has a little card detailing various information which customers can take to the register if they want to buy that item. Often in Japanese bakeries there are tongs and trays which customers are free to use, but this new style of service lessens contact with others for a safer trip during the pandemic.
The bakery serves Bread, Espresso & classics like French toast and their mu pastries, as well as alternatives like gluten-free breads, no-sugar treats, and more.
Pan, Espresso & Kamata
Address: 8-19-1 Nishi-Kamata, Ota-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 9:00-21:00 (Until 18:00 during pre-opening)
Holidays: None (Except Sundays during pre-opening, after it will be open 7 days a week)
Pan, Espresso & Official Website: http://www.bread-espresso.jp/
GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA x my route Launch Collaborative Campaign
Japanese company @YOKOHAMA is helping to promote the regional development of Yokohama by collaborating with GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA using the multimodal mobility service app “my route” with the launch of a campaign.
The campaign is taking place for residents of Yokohama, running from February 8 to 28. All people need to do is download and open the app and fill out the form. Fifty lucky people will have the chance to win a free ticket to GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA, an amusement park themed on the popular Gundam franchise.
my route is an app that lets users search for the most affordable way to travel as well as letting them book and buy tickets. @YOKOHAMA’s portal site is also now linked to the app, offering information about local stores, events, and other information regarding Yokohama.
GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA Collaboration Download Campaign
Running: February 8 – 28 2021
GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA
Open: December 19, 2020 – March 31, 2022
Location: Yokohama, Yamashita Futo
Address: 279-25, Yamashitacho, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa
Access: Minato Mirai Line
7-minute walk from Motomachi-Chukagai Station (Minatomirai Line)
Yokohama BAYSIDE BLUE Bus: 3-minute walk from Yamashitafuto Bus Stop
GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA Official Website: https://gundam-factory.net/
Special Edition Website: https://www.at-yokohama.net/topics/article20210208_02.html
Enjoy a Valentine’s Day Bath at Ofuro Cafe no Yu Hakuju in Saitama
08.February.2021 | SPOT
Ofuro Cafe Hakuju no Yu is holding a special Valentine’s Day event for lovers which will run from February 6 to 14.
Though the bath house is split between male and female, couples can write messages of love to their special someone on a heart-shaped plaque made from Japanese cypress wood. The plaques were made in collaboration with the local business Kanezawa.
Choko Sweet Sake Shake | ¥630 (Before Tax)
For the Valentine’s event, the bath house is also serving up a special shake beverage made with chocolate and sweet sake. The polyphenol in chocolate is said to be good for health and beauty, making it a perfect choice for a day of luxury at Ofuro Cafe Hakuju no Yu.
Guys who visit the bath house on Valentine’s Day itself will also receive free Valentine’s chocolate.
Running: February 6, 2021 – February 14, 2021
Venue: Ofuro Cafe Hakuju no Yu
Address: 337-1 Wataruse, Kamikawa, Kodama District, Saitama
Official Website: https://ofurocafe-hakujyu.com/
■About Ofuro Cafe
Ofuro Cafe is a chain of hot spring brands made for long stay periods. It offers a variety of free services such as coffee, magazines, comics, massage chairs, PC rental, and more. The experience created is like being invited to a friend’s house to kick bck and relax. There are three branches in Saitama including Ofuro Cafe Utatane, Ofuro Cafe Hakuju no Yu, and Ofuro Cafe Bivouac, as well as one branch in Mie, Ofuro Cafe Yumoriza. It also has three franchise branches: Ofuro Cafe Bijinyu in Shizuoka, Ofuro Cafe Biwakoza in Shiga, and Ofuro CafeSeiyukan in Hokkaido. “おふろcafe(R)” is a registered trademark of ONSENDOJO INC.
Founded in March 2011. Manages hot spring facilities including the Ofuro Cafe brand as well as resort facilities, consultation services, and supporting regional businesses.
Valentine’s Themed Menu Now Serving at FENDI CAFFE by ANNIVERSAIRE in Omotesando
30.January.2021 | FOOD
Luxury Italian brand FENDI is currently teamed up with the iconic Aoyama-based ANNIVERSAIRE CAFÉ OMOTESANDO to serve up a special Valentine’s Day themed menu at the cafe which it’s calling “FENDI CAFFE by ANNIVERSAIRE.”
Cake Set | ¥2,800 (Before Tax)
Tart Saison | ¥1,000 (Before Tax)
The cake set and tart saison are revamps of current menu items, now topped with in-season strawberries. The cafe has also been adorned with romantic red roses and multi-coloured decorations for this year’s Valentine’s Day.
FENDI CAFFE by ANNIVERSAIRE
Running: November 28, 2020 – February 14, 2021
Where: FENDI CAFFE by ANNIVERSAIRE
Address: 3-5-30 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00
FENDI Official Website: http://www.fendi.com
Made in OME: Japan’s Millennials Promote Micro Tourism Project For Ome in Tokyo
29.January.2021 | SPOT
Ome—a city located in western Tokyo that’s about an hour’s train ride from the populous Shinjuku. It’s a place enjoyed by many for its hiking and river swimming locales, as well as its architecture, in which one can still feel the influences of Japan’s Edo period, and kindness of the locals.
MATINOEKI OUME, an Ome-based company, recently launched its “Made in OME” project which aims to revitalise the city. The project will create a new kind of Ome through the eyes of the millennial generation. Its goal is to polish and refine the appealing aspects of Ome to offer up new tourism opportunities while bringing in new fans to the city.
Made in OME’s first step towards that is teaming up with DJ and YouTuber Yuna Yabe and illustrator and streamer MIOCHIN, two models signed to ASOBISYSTEM who will represent the millennial generation as the navigators of this journey as they participate in workshops with local producers and manufacturers, developing a variety of products such as sweets made with ingredients from Ome, like baumkuchen and chocolate rolls, and more.
You can catch their activity live over on MIOCHIN’s official Instagram page. Visit Made in OME’s official website below for more details.
The two of them will host a free ‘monitor tour’ on February 21, 2021. These monitor tours aim to have people developing a strong relationship with new products from Ome. Participants will learn about the history and culture of Ome via local producers and manufacturers with products such as sake and indigo dyeing. Made in OME plants to expand their range of tourist monitor tours in the future.
Local Ome residents will also be invited to the tour in the evening of the same day. Learn all there is to know about Ome at Made in OME’s website which is available in English, Japanese, and Chinese.
MATINOEKI OUME opened in November 2016. Its focus is on livening up the city of Ome and getting more people to learn about its wonders by offering information on famous tourist spots, stocking a bounty of local products, and more.
MATINOEKI OUME Official Website: https://www.matinoeki-oume.com/
Pompompurin Themed Desserts and Drinks Now Being Served Up in Osaka
28.January.2021 | FOOD
The Osaka-based fruit parlour and bakery Season&Co., which is located on the first floor of LINKS UMEDA, is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Sanrio’s popular character Pompompurin with a themed menu of desserts and drinks until April 12, 2021.
Menu item names have been translated from Japanese by MMN.
Pompompurin Peeking From the Nabe Hot Pot | ¥1,000 (Before Tax)
Pompompurin’s Specially-Made Parfait | ¥1,600 (Before Tax)
Pompompurin’s Strawberry Omelette | ¥1,600 (Before Tax)
Pompompurin’s Pudding Juice | ¥730 (Before Tax)
Pompompurin’s Mixed Juice | ¥730 (Before Tax)
NMB48 x Pompompurin’s Chocolate Cake | ¥700 (Before Tax)
NMB48 x Pompompurin’s Osaka Cupid | ¥500 (Before Tax)
The menu includes a range of Pompompurin themed drinks and desserts as well as merchandise. There’s also two items made in collaboration with NMB48.
For every order, customers will receive a free lunch mat, and if they spend over ¥1,000 (before tax) on anything on the menu, including the merch, they’ll get a free sticker.
Season&Co. x Pompompurin Collab Cafe
Running: January 27, 2021 – April 12, 2021
Where: FRUITS PARLOR+BAKERY Season & Co.
Address: LINKS UMEDA 1F, 1-1 Ofukacho, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Opening Hours: 9:30-20:00 (Last Orders 19:30)
Official Website: https://season-co.shop
FANCL Ginza Square Opens Onsen Hot Spring That You Can Walk Into Wearing Your Clothes
22.January.2021 | SPOT
FANCL has brought the hot spring experience to its flagship site FANCL Ginza Square for a limited time with a variety of content that makes visitors feel like they’ve come to a Japanese onsen. The experience, named Tabi Suru Square Yu, is running until February 11, 2021.
Café au Lait / Fruit au Lait / Soy Milk Aojiru – ¥300 Each
Reiwa Honzen (FANCL Ginza Square Floor 9F)
Lunch Sana Winter Seafood Bento | ¥3,500
Winter Dinner Seafood Course | From ¥9,000
FANCL BROWN RICE MEALS (FANCL Ginza Square Floor B1F)
Hiroshima Oyster & Spinach Risotto Parmesan Cheese Galette Lunch Set | ¥1,850
Tomato Cream Pasta Lunch Set ¥1,850
Original Hand Towel
FANCL Ginza Square Onsen Essentials Set | ¥3,668
Breathing exercises at SUU-HAKU
At Tabi Suru Square Yu, visitors can enter a room that fully recreates the experience of being in a hot spring. The room is set at the same temperature, is filled with the same aromas, and is decorated in the same way. Visitors sit on one of the relaxation sheets to soak up the experience – effectively getting into a hot spring without having to change their clothes.
A variety of classic drinks and dishes sold at hot springs in Japan will also be sold, and visitors can get involved in the breathing exercises on offer.
YOKOHAMA AIR CABIN: Japan’s First Permanent Inner-City Cable Car Opens in April
20.January.2021 | SPOT
Japan is set to get its first ever permanent city cable car in Yokohama on April 22 called the YOKOHAMA AIR CABIN.
The YOKOHAMA AIR CABIN is a cable car system that will offer locals and tourists a chance to enjoy Yokohama from a new perspective whether during the hot summers or during the cool evenings when the city lights wake up.
The system will be connected directly to Sakuragichō Station and Shinko Pier for easy, quick access to enjoy Yokohama Minato Mirai from up high.
If you’re planning a trip to Yokohama at some point, be sure to take a ride on YOKOHAMA AIR CABIN, officially opening on April 22, 2021.
YOKOHAMA AIR CABIN
Opening: April 22, 2021
Operating Hours: 10:00-22:00
Price: General ¥1,000 / Children ¥500
Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE Releases Video of Magical Beachside Illuminations
19.January.2021 | SPOT
The incredible beachside Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE, which offers guests a breathtaking ocean view along the Okinawan coast, released a video on the official Hoshino Resorts YouTube page showcasing the cafe’s ongoing illumination event, “Illumi Banta,” which is running until February 28, 2021. Guests can enjoy some limited-time menu options and then take a romantic stroll along the beach with a warm lantern in hand.
Okinawa is known for its warm climate, rarely dipping below 15°C in the chilly season of winter. There are many celebratory days enjoyed every year around Christmas and New Years, and so BANTA CAFE decided to get in on the action with Illumi Banta, which has been running since December 1 last year—while following the necessary precautions against COVID-19 to ensure everyone stays safe. The spacious cafe is mostly outdoors so visitors can enjoy their time without worry.
A seat at the cafe in on a clear evening guarantees a front row seat to a beautiful orange sunset that sinks into the horizon. Normally, the cafe closes as sunset arrives, but for this event, opening hour have been extended into the night.
BANTA CAFE is located in the village of Yomitan where the beautiful ocean is surrounded by coral reef, enormous rocks, and a rich natural environment. It’s a must-visit if travelling to Okinawa.
Running: December 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021 (Except February 1st-5th)
Time: 18:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:00)
Address: 560 Gima, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa
Opening Hours: 10:00 to one hour after sunset (from 08:00 on weekends and holidays)
Official Website: https://banta-cafe.com/en/
Nagasaki’s 112 Year Old Hotel Nampuro Opens Terraces With Panoramic Ocean and Sky Views
19.January.2021 | SPOT
The 112-year-old Hotel Nampuro in Nagasaki is set to open the new Sky Terrace and Ocean Terrace this month. These vistas offer breathtaking, unbroken views of the sea and sky that make it feel as if you’re floating on the ocean with rolling skies ahead that stretch to the horizon.
Observation Terrace (1)
Observation Terrace (2)
Infinity Pool-Style Open-Air Bath
Beautifying Bubble Baths
Jacuzzi Bath (Male Only)
Hinoki Sauna & Steam Sauna
Iyashi Onsen Cafe
Rental Open-Air Bath
The observation terrace offers an incredible panoramic view of the great Ariake Sea that offers a picturesque spectacle at all times of the day. Guests can enjoy seeing the morning, noon, and night skies which merge together with the ocean for an unbeatable result. There’s also a “no talking” rule on the terrace so guests can fully soak up what’s in front of them as they take a luxirous soak in the warm baths.
The infinity pool-style open-air bath offers a refreshing view while making it seem as if you are part of the ocean. The silky bath uses delicate micro bubbles which become an air cushion and promote good blood circulation using massage. The jacuzzi bath relaxes the entire body with stimulating bubbles, while the children’s bath allows kids to get in on the fun too. Both saunas are a change to unwind fatigue and the tired body. The steam sauna is set at a lower temperature than your usual high-temperature dry sauna which ensures it doesn’t have as much strain on the body so guests can sweat it out comfortably. The freshly-brewed coffee available at the hot spring is also exclusive to the hotel’s Onsen Cafe.
Hotel Nampuro Observation Terraces – Sky Terrace & Ocean Terrace
Address: 2-7331-1 Bentenmachi, Shimabara, Nagasaki
Official Website: https://www.nampuro.com/world/english/
SNOOPY MUSEUM TOKYO’s PEANUTS Cafe Serves Up New Menu Items Inspired by the Comics
18.January.2021 | FOOD
The PEANUTS Cafe at SNOOPY MUSEUM TOKYO rolled out new menu items on Saturday (January 16) as part of a new exhibition called “Snoopy to Kyoudai” (Snoopy and Siblings) featuring a sandwich and desserts inspired by scenes from the beloved Peanuts comics.
The New Menu Line-Up
Snoopy Flower Basket Sandwich | ¥1,400 (Before Tax)
This flower basket is based on a scene when Snoopy meets with his siblings who pay him a visit after he recovers from being unwell and they eat sandwiches together. The tasty sandwiches are stuffed with pastrami beef and veg so you too can get your fill like Snoopy. The basket also comes with mini corn dogs and crispy fries. This is one to share (or hog all to yourself!)
Olaf’s Pancakes | ¥1,200 (Before Tax)
These pancakes are inspired by Olaf, who was first introduced in the ocmics as the winner of the Ugly Dog Contest. They are loaded with ice cream, fruit, a whole Japanese custard pudding, fresh cream, and a drizzle of caramel sauce.
Belle’s Raspberry Milkshake | ¥900
A doughnut-topped raspberry milkshake like the one that appears in the comics. It’s a nod to Belle, Snoopy’s only sister.
©2021 Peanuts Worldwide LLC (短縮形 ©2021 Peanuts)
PEANUTS Cafe SNOOPY MUSEUM TOKYO
Running: January 16, 2021 – July 11, 2021
Address: Minami-Machida Grandberry Park Park-Life Site, 3-1-1 Tsuruma, Machida, Tokyo
PEANUTS Cafe Official Website: http://www.peanutscafe.jp/snoopymuseum-tokyo/
Tokyo’s Kirby Café Whips Up Chocolate and Fruit Loaded Limited-Time Menu
The Kirby Café in Tokyo, which is based entirely around the popular Kirby video game series, will release a new limited-time menu on January 15 called ‘Chocolate de PUPUPU’ which will be served until February 28. The fruit and chocolate-packed line-up features three items. Item names are translated from Japanese by MMN.
The ‘Chocolate de PUPUPU’ Menu
Kirby Café’s Stovetop Dessert Pizza ~Looking Out the Chocolate Train Window~ | ¥1,380 (Before Tax)
Waddle Dee Also Loves Chef’s Chocolate Pan Stew! | ¥1,480 (Before Tax)
Old Odyssey | ¥780 (Before Tax)
Which of these delightfully cute treats do you want to inhale?
Running: January 15, 2021 – February 28, 2021
Official Website/Table Reservations: https://kirbycafe.jp