Biwako Bunka Park in Shiga Prefecture Begins Special Lotus Exhibition

27.July.2020 | SPOT

Biwako Bunka Park in Shiga Prefecture has begun its special lotus exhibition which will take place in the Japanese garden of Sekishoan, a tea house located in one corner of the park, which is taking place now until August 16, 2020. The lotuses will be displayed for a limited time only and are the same ones being grown in the forest of Mizunomori Water Botanical Garden in Shiga.


Biwako Bunka Park

Biwako Bunka Park is located in the Arts and Education Culture Cluster part of Biwako Bunka Park Toshi Kousou which was built in 1979. The Arts and Education Culture Cluster site stands as a collection of facilities representing the arts and education of Shiga Prefecture. The park itself is a combination of nature and culture and houses lush verdure, an art gallery, library, Japanese garden, tea house, and more.


Special lotus exhibition

Sekishoan, a tea house and Japanese garden in the park inspired by the Evening glow at Seta in the Eight Views of Ōmi, serves up matcha and Japanese confections to customers. In the Japanese garden, they are holding a special exhibition of 10 lotus flowers from 6 different types. These lotuses have been specially selected and borrowed from Mizunomori Water Botanical Garden.


  • Starbucks Japan to Open New Branch Produced by Hiroshi Fujiwara in Miyashita Park

    30.July.2020 | FOOD

    Starbucks Japan is opening a new branch in MIYASHITA PARK on August 4, 2020. Set to be Starbucks Japan’s fifth “park” branch—opening inside a park—the new coffee shop is being produced by Hiroshi Fujiwara’s Fragment brand.

    MIYASHITA PARK is a shopping complex filled with shops stocking high quality products, and stands as a new landmark of Shibuya. On the rooftop is the newly-arranged park area which has its own skate park, bouldering wall, and more. It’s home to all-new facilities, and there’s also the actual park where events can take place.


    Starbucks Coffee Miyashita Park offers a new style of Starbucks conceived from the mind of Hiroshi Fujiwara. Glass doors are fitted on both the front and back sides of the cafe, allowing for a full-open design. The flooring is coloured green, making it feel as if it has become one with the green outdoors of the park, and the same mesh used inside Miyashita Park is used for the ceiling.


    The cafe’s design was conceived to be a unique standout in the park, specifically with the image in mind of countries outside Japan where you walk along a lone road and eventually come to a gas station.


    Starbucks Coffee Miyashita Park will also sell a range of merchandise at the back of the shop, as well as Starbucks coffee beans. There’s also a glass table in the middle of the cafe which slots in nicely with the overall aesthetic. The fun design together with the expanse of the park outside adds for an enjoyable combination that makes it a pleasant stay as you sip your beverage.

    The regular line-up of merchandise sold at the Miyashita Park branch, such as the tumblers, are all produced by Hiroshi Fujiwara’s Fragment brand. Items are branded with the word “MYST” which lets you know it’s from this particular branch, as well as Fragment’s logo.


    Discover a new Starbucks experience at Miyashita Park.

  • teamLab’s Acorn Forest Exhibition to Open in Saitama’s Higashi-Tokorozawa Park

    17.July.2020 | SPOT

    teamLab’s upcoming new digital art exhibition teamLab: Resonating Life in Acorn Forest is set to open in Higashi-Tokorozawa Park in Saitama on August 1, 2020. The interactive display will react to and change from the presence of people.


    The Kadokawa Culture Museum calls the collection of oaks and other deciduous broadleaf trees of Musashino the “Musashino Woods.” These Musashino Woods transition through the greens of spring and summer, display beautiful autumnal leaves from fall until early winter, and are home to ripe acorns in autumn.


    Deciduous broadleaf forests were widespread in Japan during the Jomon Period. These forests were home to acorn-bearing trees, and acorns were a major food source for the Jomon people. During the Jomon Period, many people existed alongside the acorn forests, living easily with this abundant food source.


    teamLab’s Digitized Nature art project uses non-material digital technology to transform nature into art without having a physical impact on it.


    teamLab: Resonating Life in the Acorn Forest will transform the acorn forests of Musashino into an interactive art space which changes due to the presence of people.

    Autonomous Resonating Life – Liquified Light Color, Sunrise and Sunset / teamLab, 2020, Interactive Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    With sunrise, the ovoids begin to reflect the world around them. When pushed down by a person or blown by the wind, the ovoids fall back and then rise releasing a resonating tone. The ovoids around it also respond one after another, continuing to resonate with the same tone.


    As the sun sets, the ovoids shine by themselves. When an ovoid is pushed by a person or blown by the wind it falls down and then rises, a sound resonates out, and it emits a light color specific to the sound.

    Resonating Trees / teamLab, 2014, Interactive Digitized Nature, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    The trees shine brightly. The light of each tree is autonomous, slowly blinking.


    The light transmitted from Autonomous Resonating Life – Liquified Light Color, Sunrise and Sunset causes the trees’ lights to change color, and a tone specific to that color resonates out. The light of a tree is transmitted to the surrounding trees one by one, as the sound is continuously emitted.


    When a light resonates from the trees in the distance, it signifies the presence of people. Perhaps people will become more aware of the existence of others in the same space.

  • SENNAN LONG PARK: Osaka’s New Recreational Facility With Food, Leisure & Sports

    28.June.2020 | SPOT

    Set to be the largest recreational facility in the Kansai region of Japan, SENNAN LONG PARK is set to open on July 3, 2020. The facility, which is being opened by DAIWA LEASE in Rinkuminamihama, was originally scheduled to open earlier but this was postponed due to effects of COVID-19.



    SENNAN LONG PARK is located nearby Kansai International Airport—the doorstep of Kansai. Its concept as the region’s largest recreational facility is to combine create a space for people to enjoy the sea, sky, and nature.



    Inside people will find four separate zones: the Activity Area, Community Area, Market Area, and Glamping Area, where they can enjoy sports, food, and leisure. And in the run up to the grand opening, several places inside will open early from June 20 to 30 (10:00am-5:00pm). This includes THE BBQ BEACH in Marble Beach, the athletic spot HEARTTHROB, and RECAMP Rinku.

  • Fufu Nara: The First Luxury Hotel Set to Open in Nara Park is Designed by Kengo Kuma

    09.June.2020 | SPOT

    Fufu Nara is set to be the first luxury hotel to open inside Nara Park on June 5, 2020. Designed by industry-leading Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the hotel promises a unique dining experience with food served using herbal medicines that can only be tasted here, and guest rooms that are covered in art made by Nara-based artists who use traditional techniques. Both the dining and accommodation experiences aim to immerse guests in the culture of Nara.

    Witness the handiwork of Nara’s artists

    Nara is a city steeped with beautiful history and culture. This has been captured by the artists who have collaborated with Fufu Nara in the form of paintings, crafts, entrance decorations, and more. A stay at Fufu Nara is an opportunity to witness first hand the deep traditions and techniques of Nara’s art world.

    There are 30 rooms in total which are split into five different types. For example, one room type is designed around the old Japanese style of sitting on the floor. Inks and woods are used in the room to enhance that feeling that you’re in Nara, and the colour tones too are chosen to bring to mind the ancient city.


    Fufu Nara’s dining concept

    Nara Prefecture is closely tied to herbal medicines. Herbal medicine came about in the year 611 during the monarch of Empress Suiko. It is written in the Nihon Shoki that the use of herbal medicine had already been adopted by the time Prince Shōtoku was serving under the Empress. Many different traditional herbal medicines are still used in Nara today, including Angelica root, shakuyaku peonies, fennel, and so on. Traditional herbal medicines have become popular again in the prefecture in recent years.


    The food prepared at Nara Fufu makes use of ingredients grown and produced in Nara, from vegetables to herbs and beyond. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner all incorporate Japanese and Chinese herbal ingredients.


    Spa by sisley

    The hotel also has a spa made in collaboration with French luxury skin care brand Sisley. There, guests can enjoy Fufu Nara’s medicated baths.

  • Plum Blossom Festival 2020: See the Plum Blossoms Of Odawara Flower Garden

    17.February.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    The plum blossoms of Odawara Flower Garden, which is located in Odawara, Kanagawa, are at the height of their blossom right now. The park’s Keiryu no Baien (“Mountain Stream Plum Garden”) area boasts the largest collection of plum blossoms in Japan’s Kanto region, with 480 trees spanning 200 species.


    This year’s Plum Blossom Festival at the park is now running until March 8, 2020, and is the perfect time to witness these beautiful flowers.


    Home to 480 trees spanning 200 types of plum blossom treeーfrom early bloomers to late bloomersー, the Keiryu no Baien is a true spectacle to behold and a must-visit for any plant-lovers out there visiting the Kansai region of Japan. Every year, the Plum Blossom Festival takes on a unique theme, with 2020’s titled “Rare Plum Blossoms ~Uncommon Plum Blossoms in the Auspicious Months of Early Spring~”.

    As the theme suggests, the Keiryu no Baien is home to many rare types of plum blossoms you won’t see anywhere else, such as the ougonbai (黄金梅), which has distinct thin, pale yellow petals. This year’s festival shines the spotlight on many more of these uncommon speciesーan unmissable chance for horticulturalists.

    Plum Blossom Festival Soba Noodles – ¥600 (Tax Included) / With Drink ¥700 (Tax Included)

    The Odawara Flower Garden cafe, Cafe Hibiscus, is serving a selection of plum blossom themed meals and drinks for the festival. This includes the above-pictured new soba noodle dish, which is topped with plum pulp grown in Odawara as well as kamaboko fish cake, shrimp fritters, and spring onion. The broth in particular is worth of note which the staff went to great lengths to create. There’s also plum blossom ice cream too made with nanko plums, as well as other delicious bites.


    Entry to Odawara Flower Park as well as use of the car park are completely free. The festival runs until early March, but to fully enjoy the early and mid bloomers in their height, now is the best time to go. Don’t miss out.

  • 5 Must Visit Cafes in Shiga Prefecture: Coffee, Desserts & Lunch – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    08.February.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Having recommended many cafes to our readers in Kyoto and Osaka, we felt it time to move to another prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. This time, we’re looking at Shiga, and we’re joined by Instagrammer Tiara who posts photos of their trips around Kansai eating sweets. They have kindly provided us with photos along with explanations of 5 must-visit cafes.

    and f CAFE in Moriyama

    and f CAFE is popular for its fresh fruit-filled parfaits and assortment of refreshing drinks. The cafe is adorned with many different plants. Up on the second floor is a spacious kid’s area, which makes it a popular location for people with children. There are even private rooms you can take your pets in, as well as mini dog park seats where you can sit with your dog.

    Morning-Harvested Strawberry Bread / Morning-Harvested Strawberry Latte
    Feast on an enormous thick-sliced piece of fluffy bread loaded with a homemade cream that’s made with mascarpone cheese and not too sweet, and topped with sweet strawberries, which have their flavour elevated thanks to the cream. The latte is also topped with super sweet strawberries.
    ▼and f CAFE (アンドエフ カフェ)
    Address: 208-5 Futamachicho, Moriyama, Shiga Prefecture
    Opening Hours: Lunch 11:00-16:00 / Cafe 11:00-18:00
    Closed: Sundays

    cafe de Boku in Moriyama

    cafe de Boku was actually renovated from an old-time sake brewery with a rich history. It’s furnished with lots of antique furniture. Their lunch menu is packed full of healthy vegetables, and they haven’t skimped on desserts either, boasting a range of parfaits and tarts made with fruits grown in Shiga.

    Seasonal Fruit Parfait
    The parfait I had was topped with a variety of fresh and juicy strawberry called akihime, grown in Dainaka. They go lip-smackingly well with the rich flavour of the milky ice cream. Part of the fun of eating the seasonal parfaits as cafe de Boku is that the parfait changes with each passing season, so it’s fun to look forward to what they’ll have next time.
    The cafe also sells a variety of takeout baked confections, making it a great place to stop by to pick up some nibbles for yourself or to share with friends.
    ▼cafe de Boku (カフェ デ ボク)
    Address: 1-10-2 Moriyama, Moriyama-shi, Shiga Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 11:00-17:30
    Closed: Thursdays

    Cafe Marvel in Otsu

    A window seat at Cafe Marvel means you get to watch the trains go past along the Keihan Electric Railway. This beautiful cafe has a wonderful interior with its wooden tables and chairs. They have a unique lunch menu, which is limited to just ten options, and those options change every day. In addition to the mains and soups, there’s around six deli-type foods to pick from.

    Fried Yuto Shrimp & Crab Cream Croquette With Omurice
    I ordered the fried yuto shrimp and crab cream croquette with omurice. The tasty fried shrimps are nice and big, and the cafe’s original tartar sauce is to die for. This is a pretty hearty lunch, but it’s so delicious you get through it quickly. It might be a good idea to check out their menu sheet which shows what’s been served each month, that way you can plan what you want to eat.
    ▼Cafe Marvel (カフェマーベル)
    Address: 5-9 Goryocho, Otsu, Shiga Prefecture
    Opening Hours: Not known
    Closed Days: Not known

    W.Bolero in Moriyama

    W.Bolero is a cafe selling luxurious Western-style confections. Tucked away quietly from the hustle and bustle of the city, their dining space has an antique aesthetic. They sell cakes, sweets, chocolate, pastries, and more.
    Opera d’été
    It has been called the number one confectionery shop in Saga because anything you eat there is exquisite. They also allow for takeout.
    There is also a branch of this cafe in Osaka, but at the Saga branch, with its warm and welcoming homely vibe, you can enjoy your coffee and cake at one of the terrace seats.
    ▼W.Bolero (ドゥブルベ・ボレロ)
    Address: 48-4 Harimadacho, Moriyama, Shiga Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00
    Closed: Tuesdays
    Official Website:

    Mov’s TOWN & COFFEE in Otsu

    Mov’s TOWN & COFFEE is another cafe with a relaxed atmosphere. It was renovated from a traditional Japanese house, and its interior design is Denmark-made. As well as comfy chairs, they even have sofas, so you can kick back with a cup of coffee or other beverage.

    Left: Cafe au Lait / Right: Coffee Jelly
    The subtly sweet  coffee beans used for the coffee in the cafe au lait are provided by a coffee roasting company based in Moriyama, Shiga called Comeyasu. The creamy coffee jelly contains a cream sauce with a fragrant kirsch and coconut smell. They also sell a variety of other drinks like healthy organic juices.
    ▼Mov’s TOWN &COFFEE (モヴズ タウン&コーヒー)
    Address: 1-56 Miyukicho, Otsu, Shiga Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 10:00-8:00
    Closed: Wednesdays / Every 3rd Tuesday of the month

    We hope you enjoyed this list. If you’d like more recommendations of cafes around the Kansai region then be sure to follow Tiara on Instagram.


    Original Text & Photos: @happy_pinkrose_tiara

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga


    *Information written in this article is correct at the time of publishing. For more details on each shop, please visit their official websites and social media pages.

  • Shaun the Sheep Farm Garden to Open on March 31

    25.March.2019 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    A new amusement facility themed on the British stop-motion series Shaun the Sheep named Shaun the Sheep Farm Garden is set to hold its grand opening on March 31, 2019. A special preview was carried out for the press on March 19. In the run up to the grand opening, the park will pre-open for general admission from March 23.


    The facility is opening adjacent to English Garden Rosa & Berry Tawada, a 5,000m2 farm where you can come into contact with sheep.

    This is Japan’s first ever permanent establishment for Shaun the Sheep. It will be home to a farmer’s house, a sheep shelter, and Shaun himself and his sheep friends will also be present. There is also a cafe on the east side of the facility as well as an event house and more.


    Dive into the world of Shaun the Sheep at his Farm Garden!

  • Rent Out An Entire Japanese-Style House in Shiga Prefecture

    08.January.2019 | Uncategorized

    Taraichi Tei is an old fashioned Japanese-style inn that has just opened in Makinocho, located in Takashima in the beautiful green prefecture of Shiga. The building is a fusion of ages with the outside bearing the style of a Japanese inn of old and the inside combining tradition with modern.

    While IH cooking heaters have played an important role for the irori sunken hearth, kamado cooking range and goemon bathtub, they are now also used in kitchens and plumbing. The inn is also equipped with these. It also has the latest style bath and toilet as it continues to combine elements of a traditional inn with the latest Japanese technology for guests to experience.

    The previously vacant building was built over 150 years ago and has been renovated to re-open as a rental house. It is fully decked out with fittings like sliding doors and building materials that offer a true old-fashioned Japanese style house experience.

    Bookings come with a meal included. For the winter season they are serving shishinabe boar meat hot pot and in summer they will serve food cooked in the irori. The staff will also prepare rice.

    The selling point of the inn is the traditional goemon bath made entirely from Japanese cypress. They also have an alternative bathtub of the latest style. But for the real experience you should try the traditional tub.


    If you’re travelling to Japan and are looking for that real Japanese experience of staying in an old style house then be sure to check out Taraichi Tei.

  • Book a Stay at a Japanese Temple With ‘Terahaku’

    20.July.2018 | SPOT

    Terahaku, a website run by Wa-Qoo that offers bookings to stay at temples in Japan, will begin taking bookings to stay at Wa-Qoo Mii-dera from August 1, 2018.

    Wa-Qoo is designed to offer guests the experience of what it would be like to stay at a temple and operates to bring the average person closer to temples. It was formally used as a place for monks, Shinto priests and worshippers to stay, but it now accepts travellers and tourists.


    The facility has expanded to accommodate the changing times and use by visitors. As well as being able to stay there, you can experience zazen meditation, hand-copying sutras and other cultural aspects of temples. Its a place with rich cultural experience which has led to an increasing number of foreign guests every year.


    They are also taking bookings to stay in the priests’ temple quarters of Mii-dera Temple which has been renovated. You can see Lake Biwa from the temple which is known as one of the Eight Views of Omi.


    If you’re looking for a stay full of culture, then be sure to check out Wa-Qoo Mii-dera.



    Wa-Qoo Mii-dera

    Address: 246 Onjojicho, Otsu-shi, Shiga Prefecture

    Bookings: From August 1, 2018

    Bookings can be made on the Terahaku website and via Rakuten LIFULL STAY, Vacation STAY and other hotel booking services inside and outside Japan.

    Official Website:


  • Dine Along Lake Biwa in the Cool Evening Aboard the Biwako Beer Boat

    10.June.2018 | SPOT

    The Biwako Beer Boat sets sail starting from June 20 as part of a summer-only cruise plan at Lake Biwa.

    びわ湖 ビア・ボート 夜景

    You’ll get to experience the full atmosphere of a beer garden while on the water while enjoying the cool breeze of the evening air. Dine on finger food while chugging all-you-can-drink beer or order an all-you-can-eat buffet for ¥5,000 as you gaze at the gorgeous sight of Lake Biwa and the night sky. There’s also all-you-can-drink Yebisu Beer.

    びわ湖 ビア・ボート food

    The name of the cruiser you’ll ride is Megumi. She’ll be initially be anchored at Otsu Port and open for business at 5:30pm. There will then be two 45-minute cruising sessions which run from 6:30pm-7:15pm and again at 7:30pm-8:15pm after which she will close for the night. You can board while ever the boat is parked at Otsu Port.

    びわ湖 ビア・ボート

    What’s better is that you don’t have to make a reservation either, just turn up. Board Megumi during the hot summer and bask in the refreshing lake air at Lake Biwa!



    Biwako Beer Boat

    Location: Otsu Port (3-minutes on foot from Biwako-Hamaotsu Station via Keihan Electric Railway)

    Opening Hours: 5:30pm-8:15pm (Two 45-minute cruising sessions will run at 6:30pm-7:15pm and 7:30pm-8:15pm respectively)

    Running: June 20, 2018-September 13, 2018 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. There are exceptions however, so please check the company website for details.

    Price: ¥5,000 per person (Includes boarding fee, food and drink, and tax) *There is no discount fee for children.

    Boat: High-Speed Craft “Megumi” (Approximately 122t, Capacity: 200)

    No. of People: 40 maximum (*Reservations not required but you may be refused entry if the boat is full. Please make a reservation if you’re going in a group.)

    TEL: 077-524-5000 (9am-5pm)



  • “Okuibuki Snow Resort” in Shiga Prefecture will be opened until April! Let’s enjoy skiing and snowboarding

    13.March.2018 | SPOT

    Okuibuki Snow Resort is the largest ski slope in the Kansai Region located in Yonehara-shi, Shiga Prefecture. The site will be opened until the 8th of April.



    ​During March/April when spring skiing can be enjoyed, it is easy to get to the  ski slope since there is no snow on the roads. You don’t have to use winter tires for  most of the time and the weather conditions of the ski slopes are    good for most of the time.




    Events which offer discount lift tickets will be held on special days and periods such as Couple’s DAY, School appreciation Day and Junior/Senior appreciation Week.



    In addition, parking fees during weekdays will be free from the 5th of March.

    Moreover, a “Garden Chair”area where you can view the slopes, will be installed in the open terrace. Why not enjoy winter sports during this spring season with your family, friends or your boyfriend/girlfriend!



    Okuibuki Snow Resort

    Business hours: until 2018/04/08

    Address: Okuibuki, Kozuhara, Yoneharashi, Shiga Prefecture

    Business hours: 8:00 to 17:00 (detailed information – please refer to the website)