Airbnb recommends 3 kinds of overnight stays and 4 experiences to take in this cherry blossom season
05.April.2017 | SPOT
With the arrival of Japan’s cherry blossom season, it is predicted that this year foreign tourists visiting Japan will increase by 18% and domestic travel will increase by 28% over last year.
Airbnb recommends 3 kinds of overnight stays and 4 experiences for this cherry blossom viewing season.
Three popular overnight stays for the cherry blossom viewing season
This house is located in the town of Yoshino in Nara Prefecture, a town known as one of Japan’s most famous places for cherry blossom viewing. The room is made of Yoshino cedar and white cedar so you can enjoy viewing cherry blossoms enveloped in the nice tree smell. One overnight stay is approximately 9900 yen ~
There are about 1300 cherry trees in Nishi Park and it has been chosen as one of the 100 best cherry blossom viewing sites in Japan. You can walk to this park in 5 minutes. One overnight stay is approximately 7900 yen~
You can walk to Maruyama Park in 5 minutes from this cabin. Murayama Park is famous for its cherry blossoms. You can enjoy drinks and cakes in an old Japanese-style house café near here. One overnight stay is approximately 7000 yen~
Not only will you learn how to do floral arrangement, but also you can learn floral arrangement philosophy by visiting a shrine and participating in a tea party for 3 days. Mika who has a 30 year career in flower arranging will help you to enjoy this experience!
This experience will be taught by Kyoko who runs a Furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth) online shop. You will learn how to wrap different things using a Furoshiki on this 3 day-trip. Using your newly learned technique you can wrap your lunch box and go on a cherry blossom-viewing picnic.
An Amazake making experience and a tasting of different kinds of Amazake over a 3 day-period. The host will be Mayu who is a sommelier and the owner of a SAKE BAR.
The host of this event, Maria has experienced teaching Japanese-style painting in Japan and in New York. She will guide the program both in Japanese and in English. You will learn about the history, and about pigmented ink by visiting an art store. You can enjoy Japanese-style painting over a 3 day-period.
It’s getting warmer everyday and the cherry blossoms will be at their best very soon. Have some wonderful spring experiences!
Death Stranding Ending Theme Song ‘Almost nothing’ by Silent Poets to Release Worldwide
It has been announced that Silent Poets’ newest song Almost nothing feat. Okay Kaya will be released digitally worldwide on November 22. The song is used as the ending theme for the PlayStation®4 game Death Stranding which released on November 8, developed by Kojima Productions and directed by Hideo Kojima.
The song is a follow up to Silent Poets’ Asylums for the feeling feat. Leila Aduーanother song from them which was used in a trailer for the gameーand captures the world of the game. It features guest vocals from Norwegian singer-songwriter Kaya Wilkins under her moniker Okay Kaya. Kaya is also an actress and starred in the 2017 supernatural thriller drama film Thelma. Kojima himself and Michiharu Shimoda of Silent Poets both enjoyed the film, and sent an offer to Kaya to jump on board with the song.
The track itself is an emotional down tempo number featuring Kaya’s calm vocals, which rock the listener like a lullaby, and includes a string arrangement by Tokuzawa Seigen. The mix was carried out by H.E.R. whose self-titled album won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. It has a warm atmospheric and cinematic sound that wraps up the ending to the vast video game.
The cover art for the track features a BB (Bridge Baby) from Death Stranding
Speaking about the song, game director Hideo Kojima commented: “Death Stranding is the end of Sam’s ‘journey,’ but is also the start of a new ‘journey’ for the player. Silent Poets spectacularly connects the hopes and after effects of those things together as an interlude. This beautiful song will stand to represent the path that everyone has walked, as well as something that has engraved itself on their emotions, for all eternity.”
Michiharu Shimoda (Silent Poets) also commented: “We took great care and put our all into this song so that it touches people’s hearts and stays with them at the end of Death Stranding, with the beauty of Okay Kaya’s vocals and the strings at the forefront, and the track made simple.”
He continues: “I am honoured to be involved with such a wonderful work that will leave its mark on the history of gaming. I hope people enjoy the song not only in the game, but in their everyday lives too.”
Almost nothing feat. Okay Kaya
Release Date: November 22, 2019
Label: ANOTHER TRIP
Silent Poets Official Website: www.silentpoets.net
Death Stranding Official Website: https://www.playstation.com/games/death-stranding-ps4/
Human Lost Anime Film’s New PV Shows What Japan Would Be Like in Showa Period’s 111th Year
A new trailer has dropped for the upcoming animated film Human Lost which is set for release on November 29.
The trailer shines more lights on the film’s story and setting, including showing what Japan would be like if it were still in the Showa Period, specifically the 111th year.
Fuminori Kizaki is directing the film, and so additionally, to promote the film, the director’s cut of the Afro Samurai film and Bayonetta Bloody Fate filmーboth of which he directed and storyboardedーas well as the TV anime series Speed Grapher, which featured character designs by Yūsuke Kozaki who is also working on Human Lost, will be made available to watch for free for a limited time on Yahoo’s streaming service GYAO!.
Human Lost‘s story is set in 2036. A breakthrough in medical science has led to the creation of nanomachines, and the S.H.E.L.L. system that controls them, which ensures humans are free from disease and injury and extends their lifespan to 120. But this ultimate social system has warped the Japanese nation in a number of ways, whether it be economical disparities, serious environmental pollution, or the “Human Lost” phenomenon that malforms people disconnected from the S.H.E.L.L. network.
The film is being directed by Fuminori Kizaki and Katsuyuki Motohiro at Polygon Pictures with screenwriting from Tow Ubukata.
©2019 HUMAN LOST Project
Music Rhythm Game DEEMO Anime Film Adaptation Slated For 2020
Japanese publisher Pony Canyon attended Anime NYC 2019 which was held at the Javits Convention Center in New York from November 15-17.
On Friday 15th, Ming-Yang Yu, CEO of the gaming company Rayark, held a talk about the internationally popular game DEEMO and revealed that an animated film has been greenlit. He was joined by Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, the CEO of Japanese animation studio Production I.G who are known for having worked on some of the biggest titles in the anime industry, such as Attack on Titan, Ghost in the Shell, and Guilty Crown. Together, they also announced that the Rayark’s next work will take place in collaboration with Production I.G.
DEEMO is a popular music rhythm game for smartphone which has accumulated over 23 million downloads worldwide. DEEMO -Reborn- will be released on PlayStation 4 on November 21, 2019, both digitally and physically. The game sees players using a piano to perform a wide variety of genres, from rock to jazz, electro and more, with around 200 songs to choose from. The game has proven particularly popular in Asia, but enjoys a huge fan base across the globe, who have praised how smooth it is compared to other mobile rhythm games, and how it feels like you’re actually playing a piano.
The film will be animated by Signal.MD, an animation studio founded by Production I.G holding company IG Port. Production I.G themselves will support the production.
Junichi Fujisaku (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Blood+) is the screenwriter while up-and-coming director Shuhei Matsushita will stand in as director.
Yuki Kajiura will compose the main theme and insert songs. She has composed music for the Sword Art Online series, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero, The Garden of Sinners, and more.
The film is set to be complete sometime in 2020. Check the official website for ongoing updates and details.
©2020 Rayark Inc. /DEEMO THE MOVIE Production Committee
Official Website: https://deemomovie.jp/en/index.html
BURNOUT SYNDROMES Perform TV Anime Haikyu!! To The Top Opening Theme
It has been announced that 3-piece Japanese rock band will perform the opening theme PHOENIX for Haikyu!! To The Top, the fourth season to the TV anime series Haikyu!!, which is set to premiere on in Japan on MBS and TBS on January 10, 2020.
The series is an adaptation of Haruichi Furudate’s shōnen manga series of the name name, serialised in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump. News of the fourth season blew up on Japanese social media when it was announced in August. The new season has also been attracting attention as it is collaborating with the Japanese volleyball league V.LEAGUE which many notable Japanese players are signed to.
This marks the band’s third opening theme they have performed for Haikyu!!, following the season two opening FLY HIGH!ーwhich the band made their major debut with in March 2016ーand season three opening Hikariare.
Speaking about the new opening theme PHOENIX, band vocalist and guitarist Kazuumi Kumagai commented, “We’ve been tasked with writing a third opening theme song. We’re ecstatic!”
He continues: “We’ve written a song with a party feel to it to tie in with the spicy development of the story. Please look forward to hearing it!”
The band also released a video of their performance at ANI-ROCK FES. 2018 at Saitama Super Arena for the Haikyu!! live show.
PHOENIX will be released as a single on February 12, 2020, which is the day after the finale of their upcoming 7-date solo tour which is set to begin in December this year. It will be the band’s biggest solo tour to date.
©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha／・”Haikyu!!” Production Committee・MBS
Concert Review: BABYMETAL Return to Japan After US Tour With an Exhilarating Show
18.November.2019 | MUSIC
BABYMETAL returned to Japan for two nights on November 16 and 17 at Saitama Super Arena after their 20-date US tour which included their first-ever arena show in the States at The Forum in Los Angeles. Joining them for the Japan leg of their world tour, entitled “METAL GALAXY WORLD TOUR IN JAPAN,” were British rock band Bring Me The Horizon, who served to make the show that much more electrifying.
BABYMETAL kicked off their set with FUTURE METAL, the lead track to their latest album, METAL GALAXY. Su-metal, Moametal, and one of their Avengersーthe name given to a trio of backup dancers rotating in place of Yuimetal who departed from the band last yearーstood atop a triangular stage, with a giant LED screen behind them and drowned in mesmerising lighting. With each song, the members pulled fans further and further into the Metal Galaxy.
It was clear for Japanese fans to see how much Su-metal and Moametal have grown in strength and confidence in their performances, having just completed their biggest US tour to date. The crowd in turn reacted with a surging excitement at the band’s behemoth performance.
They continued with more songs from the new record, including DA DA DANCE (feat. Tak Matsumoto) and PA PA YA!! (feat. F.HERO), for a thrilling set that lasted an hour and a half.
BABYMETAL dropped their third studio album METAL GALAXY on October 11 and made it to 13th place on the Billboard Top 200 in the US. On the same day, BABYMETAL also reached No. 1 on Billboard Top Rock Albums, making them the first Japanese act to do so. METAL GALAXY also stands as the band’s second album to make it into the Top 20 of the UK’s Official Charts for Rock & Metal Albums, coming in at No. 1, beating their own record and setting the record for Japanese artists. The album debuted at No. 3 on the Oricon Weekly Chart in Japan and dominated the iTunes charts in Japan, the UK, US, and elsewhere around the world.
BABYMETAL recently added extra shows to the Japan leg of the tour. The additional concerts will take place at Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall on January 25 and 26 next year.
Credit: Taku Fujii
LEGEND – METAL GALAXY
2020/1/25 @ Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall (Open 16:30/Start 18:30)
2020/1/26 @ Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall (Open 15:00/Start 17:00)
Tickets available on BABYMETAL’s official website: http://www.babymetal.com/
BLUE ENCOUNT Drops My Hero Academia Opening ‘Polaris’ Along With Official Music Video
Four-person music group BLUE ENCOUNT has launched their new song ‘Polaris’ on streaming services and dropped the official music video on YouTube. The CD and DVD versions of ‘Polaris’ will be released on November 20.
‘Polaris’ Music Video
Polaris is currently the opening theme song for hit anime series My Hero Academia.
The music video was shot entirely outdoors and is set in Muroran: a port city which sits on the south coast of Hokkaido. As strong seaside winds blow, the band members are seen performing at the top of a cliff. Natural rough winds ruffle the scene, creating a realistic presence. Just as the North Star (Polaris) dazzles in the pitch black night sky, the vast natural landscape of the video is dotted with the four prominent figures of the band members dressed in distinctive red costumes. The music video will capture your gaze just like the beautiful Polaris. In the video, natural scenes are weaved perfectly with cuts of animation. The beautiful movements of nature and animation in this video is something you don’t want to miss.
BLUE ENCOUNTER’s New Single: Polaris
Release for sale: November 20, 2019
■ First-Run Limited Edition Version (CD + DVD)
- Price: ¥2,200 (Before Tax)
- Catalog Number: KSCL-3200～3201
■ Regular Edition Version (CD）
- Price: ¥1,100 (Before Tax)
- Catalog Number: KSCL-3202
■Limited Edition Version（CD＋DVD）
- Price: ¥1,500 (Before Tax)
- Catalog Number: KSCL-3203～3204
*Presented in a digipak with an original design illustration and contained within a jacket.
Polaris (Special Edition) Advanced Streaming Services: https://kmu.lnk.to/polaris
Special Edition Website: https://blueencount.jp/feature/special2019
My Hero Academia Series Information:
Broadcasted every Saturday evening from 5:30 since October 12 by Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation, Nippon Television Network System and 29 other affiliated stations across Japan. (Not available in some regions).
Original Manga Creator: Kōhei Horikoshi, Shueisha Inc.
A Weekly Shōnen Jump series.
My Hero Academia Official Website: http://heroaca.com/
teamLab to Take Their Interactive Installation ‘The Tree of Resonating Colors of Life’ to Odaiba in Tokyo
18.November.2019 | SPOT
Christmas is about to fall upon VenusFort in Odaiba, Tokyo, with a snow-pile of Christmas content set to take place at the mall from November 30 onward. This will include the exhibiting of teamLab’s hugely popular “The Trees of Resonating Colors of Life” installation.
teamLab, The Tree of Resonating Colors of Life, 2018, Interactive Installation, Endless, H: 8000 mm W: 6000 mm D: 6000 mm Sound: Hideaki Takahashi© teamLab
Located in the Olive Plaza, this interactive art piece is a three-dimensional tree made up of many light spheres which change colour as people touch them.
The popular annual “SNOW WISH” event will also take place again this year, where delicate snow falls gracefully from the ceiling. This year the event is collaborating with “VenusFort Illumination 2019-2020 -Grateful Harmony-” to create a heart-warming and enchanting Christmas display that’s sure to put you in the Christmas mood.
There will also be a Christmas raffle where you can win prizes, a special VenusFort Christmas party menu, as well as a Black Friday Market where you can grab some serious bargains.
Be sure to add Odaiba on your list of places to visit if you’re celebrating Christmas and the holiday season in Tokyo this year.
Smell as Good as Sailor Moon With Her New Miracle Romance Moon Stick Perfume
Bandai’s official online store Premium Bandai released a new perfume in its Miracle Romance brand of cosmetics on November 14 inspired by Sailor Moon’s Moon Stick.
This bottle of perfume features the same design as the Moon Stick, an item used by Sailor Moon for healing and attacking.
The shiny gold-plated lid is in the shape of a crescent moon, underneath which sits a red rhinestone on a sparkly pink stick. The intricate design of this clear pink perfume bottle is made so that it reflects light and shines. It’s also sized perfectly so it feels like you are holding the real Moon Stick, so you can feel like Sailor Moon too!
The perfume has a lovely and refreshing rose fragrance that conjures up the image of a strong, dignified young lady like Sailor Moon. The first notes to hit your nose when applying are elegant blackberry, bergamot, and mandarin. The middle note are a luxurious rose, delicate jasmine, and lily of the valley. Finally, to complete this feminine fragrance, we have patchouli and vetiver to elevate that high-class feel, and finally musk and sandelwood. The perfume also has two carefully chosen beautifying components: extracts of rose centrifolia and Indian lotus.
Not only is this a cute item, it’s the real deal with its mix of high quality ingredients. Smell as good as Sailor Moon does by getting your hands on the Miracle Rose Moon Stick Perfume.
©️Naoko Takeuchi・PNP・Toei Animation
Miracle Rose Moon Stick Perfume
Price: ¥4,620 (Tax Included) *Doesn’t include shipping or handling fees
Available: On Premium Bandai, Sailor Moon Store, and elsewhere
Pre-Orders: From November 14, 2019 while supplies last
Shipping: June 2020 (subject to change)
Product Page: https://p-bandai.jp/item/item-1000140386/?rt=pr
Heart-Meltingly Cute Olaf Confection to Arrive in 7-Eleven to Celebrate Frozen 2
Tabemas is a Japanese confectionery series of small, traditional sweets designed to look like characters. To celebrate the release of Frozen 2 on November 22, the series is releasing an Olaf confection which will be sold at 7-Eleven convenience stores across Japan from the same day as the release of the film.
The series name “Tabemas” means “edible mascot” and as the name suggests, Olaf has completely transformed into a delicious traditional sweet from carrot nose to adorable feet. In sweet form, the 40mm-tall chubby Olaf is stood still, staring up at you with adorable round eyes overflowing with adoration.
This is a traditional nerikiri confection made from bean paste and soft mochi to a surprising level of detail. Even the snowflake pattern has been recreated. As Frozen 2 is set in autumn, Olaf has been stuffed with the most appropriate autumn flavour: maple. This small and dainty confection is the perfect treat for people of all ages.
These are in limited stock so hurry down to your nearest 7-Eleven from November 22 if you are interested.
Tabemas Confectionary Series: Frozen 2 Olaf
Recommended Retail Price: ¥258 (Before Tax)
Release Date: November 22, 2019
Available at: The chilled desserts section of 7-Eleven convenience stores across Japan
*As these are in limited stock, sales will end once stock has been depleted.
*Not available at all 7-Eleven convenience stores.
More Information: https://www.bandai.co.jp/candy/tabemas/olaf/
Cosy Up in the Snow Huts This Winter at Hoshino Resorts KAI
17.November.2019 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts is once again bringing its kamakura snow huts to two of its KAI hotelsーa brand of hot spring hotels. You’ll catch them at Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru and Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps from February 1 to 29 next year.
KAI Tsugaru: Beautiful Koginzashi Stitched Lanterns Light Your Way
Koginzashi is a type of sashiko stitch work famous in the Tsugaru region. Japanese kogin designer Iemasa Yamahata has designed 50 beautiful Kogin lanterns for Hoshino Resorts’ KAI Tsugaru hot spring hotel, which is hidden away in the town of Owani in southern Tsugaru, Aomori.
When you arrive at KAI Tsugaru, follow the lanterns along the snow and you’ll arrive at the kamakuraーa type of Japanese igloo built in northern Japan for winter festivals. Multiple objects, big and small, have been designed with koginzashi, so guests can enjoy this beautiful art form.
Cosy up inside your secret snow hut and enjoy some tasty chocolate with cute koginzashi designs made by a local Japanese confectionery shop. Order a hot cocktail too made using apples grown in Aomoriーa prefecture famous across the country for its apples. There’s a non-alcoholic cocktail option too.
You’ll also find an original card game inside the huts created by the KAI Tsugaru staff. It’s called “Kogin Awase” and works like the card game Pairs. What could be better than sat warm inside an igloo, eating sweets and drinking while playing a card game?
KAI Alps: Enjoy Life as a Yukinko Snow Child
Turn back into a child and experience young life in the snow country of the Shinano Province (now Nagano Prefecture) with the Shinshū Kamakura Yukinko Experience.
In the harsh cold and knee-deep snow environment of Shinano, people would take anti-snow measures by wearing things like the straw raincoat known as a mino, a traditional winter coat called a hanten, and other things. Guests can do the same and dress up to become a child of the snow, known as a Yukinko. You’ll forget about the snow before you even realise it.
In old Japanese houses, friends and family would gather around an iroriーa sunken fireplace. You’ll find these dotted around the public space at KAI Alps too, where you can sit around and enjoy the crackling and warmth of the fire. There will also be hand warmers and shiruko sweet porridge too so you can rest assured you won’t go cold.
Experience life in the snow at Hoshino Resorts KAI this winter.
KAI Tsugaru – “Kogin Kamakura”
Running: February 1, 2020 – February 29, 2020 (Subject to change depending on snowfall)
Price: ¥1,500 per person (includes snow hut entry, confections, and 1 drink)
*Alcoholic/non-alcoholic cocktail options available
Reservations: Available from the front desk on the day
Address: Kamibotanmori-36-1 Ōwani, Ōwani-machi, Minamitsugaru District, Aomori Prefecture
KAI Alps – “Shinshū Kamakura Yukinko Experience”
Running: February 1, 2020 – February 29, 2020 (Subject to change depending on snowfall)
Time: Kamakura Light-Up 17:00-21:00 / Yukinko Dress-Up 15:00-21:00 / Winter Stroll Preparations 20:00-21:00
No. of People: 4
Reservations: Not required
Address: 2884-26 Taira, Ōmachi-shi, Nagano Prefecture
Hoshino Resorts KAI Official Website: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/brand/kai/
TOTOCO Odawara: Kanagawa’s Sea Food Theme Park Opens November 22
Gyoko no Eki TOTOCO Odawara is a new “fish theme park” set to have its grand opening on November 22, 2019 at 10:00am (JST).
The facility was established to promote further exchanges with Odawara Fishing Port which is said to be the biggest fish market in western Kanagawa Prefecture. It is the first “Fishing Port” (Gyoko no Eki*) and will sell seafood sourced locally, fishery products and more, as well as hold events to help promote Odawara.
The building has three flours. The first floor is like a marketplace where fish, fishery products, produce, and more will be sold. The second and third floors house seafood restaurants and offer a panoramic view of Sagami Bay. This view is best observed from the terrace while you enjoy your delicious meal.
*Fishing Port (in Japanese: Gyoko no Eki, or 漁港の駅) is a registered trademark of Odawara City to highlight facilities that promote exchange with Odawara Fishing Port. (Registered Trademark No.: 6163121).
Odawara Fishing Port sells fresh fish sourced from the waters of Sagami Bay, which houses a variety of fish species, as well as fish and processed marine products from around Japan. TOTOCO Odawara will sell these very same products, all delivered directly from the port, to help spread the fishing culture and economy of Odawara.
Let’s take a look at some of the delicious gourmet seafood meals you can expect to tuck into at TOTOCO Odawara!
Totomaru Summit Bowl – ¥2,480
A hearty and towering dish so high that it looks like it might topple over.
Greedy Sea Urchin Eggs & Salmon Roe Bowl – ¥4,280
A dream combination you’ve been waiting for your entire life. Savour the richness and sweetness of both of these mouth-watering delights.
Oyster Egg Donburi Set – ¥1,680
You can’t even see the rice any more for the pile of tasty oyster eggs, with their exquisitely soft texture.
Osashimi Tengoku – Odawara Kaisen GO GO
The third floor of the building is home to Osashimi Tengoku – Odawara Kaisen GO GO, a restaurant that calls itself “Sashimi Heaven” and offers a 59 minute all-you-can-eat buffet of fish, sides, desserts and more.
59 Minute All-You-Can-Eat
Adults – ¥2,590 / Children (Elementary School & Younger) – ¥1,390 / 3-Years & Younger – Free (All Prices Before Tax)
Gyoko no Eki TOTOCO Odawara is easily reachable from Tokyo and right next to the local station. If you’ve come to Japan looking to try the country’s famous seafood, then make sure to put this place on your list.
Gyoko no Eki TOTOCO Odawara
Address: 1-28 Hayakawa, Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture (West side of of Odawara Fishing Port)
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Subject to change depending on the season)
Access: By train – 10 minutes on foot from JR Hayakawa Station / By car – 2 minutes from Seishō Bypass Hayakawa Interchange or 4 minutes from Odawara-Atsugi Road Odawara-Nishi Interchange
Official Website: https://www.totoco-odawara.com
This Relaxing Onsen Hotel with Picturesque Nature and Luxurious Local Cuisine is the Perfect Getaway
Japan is full of picturesque locations where you can be at one with nature and soak the tiredness of your body away in the onsen baths. If you are looking for an escape from busy working life, then you’re in luck: Today we’ll be introducing you to a modern onsen hotel which is perfect for families, lovers, and even solo travellers.
Escape from Tokyo on the bullet train, ride the Zairai line and finally, catch a bus. After your two-hour journey, you will arrive at onsen hot spot Uonuma city in Niigata Prefecture. Today, we’ll be heading to Tomoya Hotel. The picturesque scenery of paddy fields and mountains will unfold before your very eyes and put your mind at ease.
Sunlight pours over the reception desk from the giant window. It was time to check in. After being informed on meal times and private onsen rentals, I quickly headed to my room.
I was given room 305. The warm wooden structure made the room feel lavishly large. Whether you’re snuggling up with a lover, chilling out with friends or relaxing with family, the atmosphere and size of the room allows for flexible usage.
The Sanashi river was right outside my window. I could watch the soothing clear water flow out to the horizon for hours.
The room was prepared with loungewear, bath towels, toothbrushes, socks and many other amenities. It was even fitted with a fridge and water heater.
From the lamps lighting the stairway and hallway sofas to the displayed artwork, every item in Tomoya Hotel is a carefully selected item of special design.
There was even a DJ area next to the lobby which contained a surprising stash of records, CDs and DVDs which was uncountably large. Being able to discover new music and films is another admirable feature of the hotel.
The front lobby is filled with a fresh and liberating atmosphere. There are plenty of spots to sit and read to yourself as the melodies of records weave through the air.
The shop sells specially selected products including locally produced juice, snacks and much more. You can even purchase Tomoya Hotel’s original skincare goods. Reading the cheerful and thoughtful comments written on the goods by the manager made it clear that every single item in the shop was chosen with the utmost care.
One by one, several lavish courses arrived at my door for dinner that evening. The locally-sourced ingredients and seasonal vegetables were served with Niigata prefecture’s uonuma koshihikari rice, which is famed as Japan’s best rice.
Nameko mushroom hotpot, salt-fried East Asian trout, tofu mixed with lotus root, and sashimi were just some of the hotel’s many original dishes that were brought to my door. As the rice was harvested from the first crop of the year, it was very sweet and so delicious that I helped myself to multiple servings without realising. The food was flavoured and seasoned very lightly to ensure that guests could fully enjoy the true flavours of the fresh harvest from the mountains and the sea. The luxurious dinner was highly enjoyable.
I enjoyed sipping a small glass of Tomoya’s chilled Reishu sake with my meal. This is an original recipe sake created by Tomoya Hotel and local sake brewery Tamagawa Shuzo. It was so refreshing, easy to drink and perfectly complimented every dish. The hotel provided a rich variety of alcoholic dinks including refreshing beer, carefully-selected wines, rare local sake, homemade fruit liqueurs, and more.
The onsen is home to rich history dating back to the year 1300 when it first opened its doors to the public. There are two types of private rental onsen and large public onsen indoors. Some square-shaped baths sit right beside a small stream which branches off from the Sanashi river. Treat yourself to a soothing soak in a historical onsen while absorbing the beautiful scenery.
After finishing your relaxing soak, head to floor 1 of the main building to spend some time relaxing. This space is for guests to use freely and how they please. There are bookshelves lined with books and games available.
The first floor of the hotel annexe was my favourite place. Music from a variety of genres is played here. A disco ball hangs high, splashing light across the spacious room. There is a ping-pong table, a pool table, massage chair, piano, an old Nintendo game, manga and much more. It may seem like a relaxing place at first glance, but my heart was racing with excitement as I got hooked on the games.
The following morning, breakfast was delivered right to my room again. Seeing the tray filled with a luxurious mix of both western and Japanese-style cuisine was very pleasing to see. I indulged in yaki-fu: baked wheat gluten which is a specialty of Niigata, fried fish, rolled Japanese-style omelette, homemade cheesecake and much more. All the meals served at the hotel are made with the utmost care and precision.
If I were to introduce all the wonderful services and features of Tomoya hotel then there would be no end to this article. The main highlights were the delicious meals made with locally sourced ingredients, the soothing onsen, the music, films and experience of art culture, and of course, the opportunity to get in touch with nature, watching the water trickle down the mountain streams as your mind discovers peace.
If you are looking to heal your body, mind and soul whilst discovering nature and art, then Tomoya Hotel is perfect for you.
Writer：Ellie（MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON）
Address: 282 Oyuonsen, Uonuma, Niigata
Official Website: http://www.tomoyahotel.com/index.html