Premium Hotel MGallery to Open New Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle This November

03.August.2020 | SPOT

MGallery, a collection of over 5,000 luxury boutique hotels in 110 countries worldwide, landed in Japan for the first time last year with the opening of the 5-star KYOTO YURA HOTEL MGallery in Kyoto. Now, the brand has announced the opening of the new “Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery” (Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo-jo Bettei) which will open on November 28, 2020.

Situated just a short 1-minute stroll from Njio Castle Station, this small, 25 room hotel, aims to offer luxury at the highest level.

Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery was designed by Yukio Hashimoto, who has worked on countless hotels and facilities around the world. The hotel lobby and all guest rooms face a gorgeous Japanese-style garden where guests can enjoy its beautiful sights through all four seasons.

 

The hotel takes inspiration from Nijo Castle, a structure which has seen both the end of the shogun as well as the start of modern Japan. As you enter the hotel, from the front door through and through the main entrance, guests will find themselves in their own private domain before they reach the breathtaking Japanese garden in front of them. All 25 of the guest rooms are crafted with high quality, sophisticated interiors.

On the first floor of the hotel, guests will find a restaurant and bar. The restaurant cooks up creative French dishes made delicately with seasonal ingredients while the bar serves up MGallery’s iconic “mixology” cocktails.

Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery also offers a range of activities which can’t be experienced anywhere else, including private trips to local shrines and temples that the hotel has connections with.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Grab a Takeout Hydrangea Parfait at Itohkyuemon in Kyoto

    22.June.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    Itohkyuemon, one of Kyoto’s most famous green tea shops which established in the latter part of the Edo Period, is now serving a takeout hydrangea parfait at its main branch in Uji, Kyoto.

    Uji, the city where Itohkyuemon is based, is home to Mimuroto Temple which is famous for its hydrangea. The temple bustles with sightseers and tourists during Japan’s rainy season who flock to gaze upon the gorgeous flowers. The tea shop’s limited-time hydrangea parfait was first released in 2013 and has gone to become their most popular seasonal parfait every year. So that lots of people can continue to enjoy the popular dessert, Itohkyuemon is offering the parfait as a takeout option so customers don’t have to eat indoors.

     

    The parfait is made with matcha and hydrangea mashed sweet potato and hydrangea-coloured crushed jelly, and is topped with leaf-shaped matcha cookies, blueberries, and other colourful treats that bring to mind Uji’s rainy season.

  • Kyoto Tower Hotel Celebrates 110th Anniversary of Randen Tramway Service With Special Hotel Plan

    18.June.2021 | SPOT

    In commemoration of the Randen tramway service’s 110th anniversary, Kyoto Tower Hotel introduced an exclusive new one-night hotel plan on Friday at one of its rooms. The Kyoto Tower Hotel Train Room is a themed guest room experience and celebration of Randen’s long history.

    A look at the Randen Kitano Line

    Randen tram photos decorate the guest room

    Old train tickets and platform signs

    A tatami area, train handles, and train priority seat

    Randen Train Room souvenirs for guests

    Randen was founded in 1910 and remains the only tramline in Kyoto. It’s part of Keifuku Electric Railroad and runs from Shijo-Omiya to Arashiyama. The Randen Train Room is a trainspotter and train otaku’s paradise. Inside, guests will find historical photos of trams that have run as part of the Randen service, as well as other train-related motifs like a Randen priority seat chair, carriage handles, and more. There’s also a little tatami seating area which is perfect for sitting on and planning your next day’s trip, putting out souvenirs you’ve picked up, or just relaxing. Guests can also watch a DVD on the TV that looks at footage of Randen trains, and even listen to a CD that has train sounds on it.

  • Imabari is a city in Ehime Prefecture that faces the Seto Inland Sea. Since olden times, it has flourished as an important location for marine traffic. It’s home to a bounty of recognised national treasures and historical heritage sights, and is also famous for its production of citrus fruits such as mikan. Japanese pop star, model, and icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu took a trip to this ancient city to discover its wonder and beauty.

     

    A Visit to the Historical Sea Route

     

     

    Oyamazumi Shrine

    A ‘power spot’ revered by prominent people

    Oyamazumi Shrine has been revered by prominent figures throughout history as a place dedicated to the god of the mountain, god of the ocean, and the god of war. It’s home to numerous Important Cultural Properties which are available for viewing by the public such as the armour worn by the military commander Minamoto no Yoshitsune when the Minamoto clan won the Genpei War (1180-1185), armour worn by women, and more. The shrine is also a notable power spot for the ancient tree that has stood there for 2,600 years and is now recognised as a natural monument of Japan. Power spots are places in Japan where the spiritually-inclined draw energy from.

     

    Information

    Oyamazumi Shrine

    Address: 3327 Omishimacho Miyaura, Imabari, Ehime 794-1393, Japan

    TEL: 0897-82-0032

    Opening Hours: Sunrise to 17:00

    National Treasure Building: 8:30-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)

    Official Website: https://oomishimagu.jp/

     

    Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area

    Lip-smacking food aplenty

    If you’re one for great views, then the Kurushima Kaikyo service area is a must-visit, offering a panoramic look at the Kurushima Strait of the Seto Inland Sea. The service area is very well know particularly for the Jaguchi Mikan Juice, something of a city legend in Ehime where you can enjoy fresh mikan juice straight from a tap. You can also tuck a rice bowl dish made with tachiuo hairtail caught in the Seto Inland Sea that’s made to look like Kurushima Kaikyō Bridge, or try Imabari’s soul food dish: the Imabari Yakibuta Tamago Meshi, a pork, egg, and rice bowl. Don’t pass up the chance to snap a photo at the designated photo spot with the Seto Inland Sea in the back either like Kyary above.

     

    Information

    Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area

    Address: 3-9-68 Ohamacho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0002, Japan

    Food Court: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00

    Shops: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00

    Outside Shopping Area & Cafes: [Weekdays] 9:00-17:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 9:00-18:00

    Official Website: https://www.jb-highway.co.jp/sapa/kurushima.php

     

    Murakami Suigun Museum

    Dedicated to the Imabari heroes who protected the ocean


    Murakami Suigun Museum is dedicated to kaizoku—pirates, or lords of the sea—something which conjures to mind villainy or bad guys, but the Murakami pirates were also considered heroes who helped maintain order and protect the sea during the Sengoku warring period of Japan. The museum features many displays of Murakami family treasures including the battle surcoat which the pirate leader wore over his armour, proudly bearing the Murakami family crest. Visitors can wear replicas of this coat, which Kyary tired herself: “Now I’m sorta like a military commander too,” she said.

     

    Information 

    Murakami Suigun Museum

    Address: 1285 Miyakubocho Miyakubo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2203, Japan
    TEL: 0897-74-1065

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if the Monday falls on a public holiday) / New Year Holidays (Dec 29-Jan 3)

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/suigun/

     

    Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan

    A bundle of fun and entertainment in one place

    Roll on up to Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan to enjoy a shichirin BBQ feast with fresh seafood caught in the Seto Inland Sea while gazing out across Kurushima Kaikyo. This building complex serves as a resting spot and is also the perfect place to purchase local souvenirs including Ehime specialty products. It’s also famous for its offering the chance to board a boat to ride around Kurushima Kaikyo, renting out bicycles, and more. You’ll also be able to meet Koro-chan, a popular fish who has lived there for 30 years.

     

    Information

    Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan

    Address: 4520-2 Yoshiumichomyo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2114, Japan

    TEL: 0897-84-3710

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Restaurant: 10:00-16:00 (Last Orders 15:00)

    Closed: New Year’s Day (and certain days in winter)

    Official Website: http://www.imabari-shimanami.jp/ikiiki/

     

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami

    Meet the cute and friendly dolphins

     

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami, which is connected to Hakata Beach, is the best and biggest place in Japan to interact with dolphins. Visitors can get close to them and the dolphins will show off their tricks and skills. There’s even a car camping area you can stay at.

     

    Information

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami

    Address: 1673 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan

    TEL: 0897-72-8787

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: On days with bad weath

    Official Website: https://www.df-shimanami.com/

     

    Hakata Beach

    A white sandy beach rolling out 200-meters 

     

     

    Hakata Beach is located at the base of Oshima Bridge in Hakata. The beach is famous for its salt which is best tried on their popular sweet-tasting sea salt ice cream.

     

    Information

    Hakata Beach

    Address: 1668-1 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan

    Sea Bathing: Early July – Late August

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=198

     

    Imabari Towels

    High quality towels woven with tradition and technique

     

    Imabari is the biggest producer of towels in Japan. Even their white towels alone have countless types you can choose from, allowing you to pick which level of softness and comfort you want. The iconic brand logo is also impactful, capturing the quality, production, and enthusiasm that the makes have for the product. Kyary herself uses them all the time!

     

    Information 

    Imabari Towel

    Official Website: https://www.imabaritowel.jp/

     

    Sunrise Itoyama

    Need a bike?

    Sunrise Itoyama, located in the Imabari Central Cycling Terminal, is a rental bicycle service that has bikes and helmets for everyone’s needs. Rent out a bike and ride the Shimanami Sea Route which connects Ehime and Hiroshima with a series of bridges that hop across the islands of the Seto Inland Sea.

     

    Information 

    Sunrise Itoyama

    Address: 2-8-1 Sunabacho, Imabari, Ehime 794-0001, Japan

    TEL: 0898-41-3196

    Rent-a-Cycle Details: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/archives/rentacycle/

    Official Website: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/

     

    Marutomi

    The famous restaurant known to every local

    If you want the real experience of Imabari’s yakitori soul food, you should visit Marutomi, a yakitori eatery. Imabari yakitori is different from the usual Japanese yakitori as it doesn’t come skewered. Instead, the chicken is cut into small pieces and fried that way. One of the most popular ways to have it is with the skin on so the outside is crunchy and the inside succulent. It goes perfect with a cup of sake too.

     

    Information 

    Marutomi

    2-3-6 Katayama, Imabari, Ehime 794-0063, Japan

    TEL: 0898-23-2740

    Opening Hours: 17:30-22:00

    Closed: Wednesdays

    Official Website: https://maru-marutomi.jp/

     

    Imabari Castle

    A castle by the sea

    Imabari Castle, built by the daimyo Tōdō Takatora, is known famously as one of Japan’s three “Castles on the Sea” and was also listed in Japan’s Top 100 Castles. When it was first constructed, boats could enter the moat from the ocean. It’s a site that breathes the prosperity that Imabari has enjoyed as a significant location for maritime traffic, the same Imabari that the Murakami pirates sought to protect. Head on up to the top of the castle to stand on the observation deck and gaze at an unbroken view of the city.

     

    Information

    Imabari Castle

    Address: 3-1-3 Toricho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0036, Japan

    TEL: 0898-31-9233

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: December 29 – December 31

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/imabarijo/

     

    Kirosan Observatory Park

    A breathtaking spectacle to remember

    Kirosan Observatory Park is officially recognised by Setonaikai National Park. Standing atop the observation deck fills the eyes with wonder as they gaze upon a panoramic stretch of Imabari, the Seto Inland Sea, and Kurushima Kaikyo all at once. Kyary wrapped up her time in Imabari here as the sunset coloured the sky and sea in warm evening hues.

     

    Information 

    Kirosan Observatory Park

    Address: 487-4 Yoshiumicho Minamiura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2115, Japan

    No Fixed Holidays

    Open 24-hours a day

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=182

     

    Imabari Tourism Information: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/

     

    We hope you enjoyed joining Kyary on her adventures across Imabari, and perhaps she even got you a little curious in wanting to visit the city yourself. It’s a treasure trove filled with vistas by the sea, in nature, and in the city itself with its Important Cultural Properties. Food is also a big part of travel for many people, so you can rest assured that your belly will be satisfied in Imabari as you try their speciality mikan, fresh seafood fished in the Seto Inland Sea, and more.

  • Ace Hotel Kyoto Commemorates 1st Anniversary With Yu Nagaba Exhibition

    16.June.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

    Ace Hotel Kyoto marked its 1st anniversary on June 11 since opening. In celebration of hitting the milestone, the hotel is collaborating with Japanese artist Yu Nagaba by displaying his work at its gallery until June 30. The works displayed are of the sights and people that Nagaba saw and penned in a memo pad while staying at Ace Hotel Kyoto. All of the illustrations were made for this exhibition and so they are being exhibited for the first time. One of the pieces is also being sold at stickers in the hotel’s shop.

     

    Yu Nagaba‘s work

     

    Yu Nagaba | Comment

    “After I heard whispers that Ace Hotel was setting up in Kyoto, I hoped I could do something, so I was happy to take part in this project, but I also spent my time wondering what I could draw, and no ideas came to mind. After pondering I went to find inspiration by deciding to stay at Ace Hotel. I drew what came to mind during my time there as I walked the streets of Kyoto and spent time at the hotel. I drew a total of 49 illustrations in my memo pad. I painted six of my favourites on canvas. I hope people can get a feel for my experiences of Kyoto in these pieces.”

  • Experience a Bath Like Never Before in a Luxurious Private Space at Yadoru KYOTO HANARE

    15.June.2021 | SPOT

    Yadoru KYOTO HANARE is a hotel in Kyoto that blends seamlessly into the town, offering a stay experience that’s like living there. For guests who use their baths, they have introduced a new selection of five ingredients to be put into the bath like bath salts. Each comes with a different effect, enhancing your bathing experience beyond getting clean.

     

    Yadoru KYOTO HANARE is continuing to enforce precautions against the spread of COVID-19 so guests can enjoy getting away from home to relax and unwind safely. The hotel has and continues to enjoy many guests during this time who are seeking out some healing. One of the biggest selling points for guests is the hotel’s bathing experience. With that in mind, they have set up the Yadoru YUAMI service which allows guests to try a variety of bathing products made by local Kyoto businesses.

     

    ‘Yuami’ is an old Japanese expression for getting in the bath. The word ‘yadoru’ in the hotel’s name is also an old phrase meaning ‘to stay at a lodging on your travels.’ Yadoru KYOTO HANARE is wanting to have its site feel even more like a traditional Kyoto townhouse for guests to experience, so they are now using the word ‘YUAMI’ as part of their services.

     

    With Yadoru YUAMI, guests can pick from five different bath products, each wrapped in pouches. Each offers a completely different bathing experience with different benefits and fragrances.

     

    1. Sake Lees

    Sake lees from Kyoto’s long-standing and historical sake brewery Sasaki Shuzou. Massage the lees in the bathtub while they are still in the pouch to create a milky white water that fills the bathroom with the fragrant smell of sake lees. The ingredients in the lees have a moisturising effect, improve blood circulation, and leave skin looking beautiful.

     

    2. Gyokuro Green Tea

    The Kyoto Distillery stands as Japan’s first establishment specialising in gin. One of their gins is called Ki no Bi, a Japanese craft gin. Its smell and taste is the result of a combination of 11 kinds of botanical products including gyokuro green tea, junpier berry, and hinoki cypress, all of which are featured individually on this list. Gyokuro is a type of high-grade Japanese green tea and contains theanine which stimulates relaxing, making it perfect for unwinding after a long day.

     

    3. Juniper Berry

    Juniper berry is an indispensable ingredient in making craft gin. This bathing product is made with the type that’s actually used in making Ki no Bi craft gin. When submerged in the water, the air is filled with the woody, relaxing, and inviting scent of gin.

     

    4. Hinoki Cypress

    This bathing powder is also made with the same hinoki cypress used in Ki no Bi which, when put in the water, emits the smells of a forest. Hinoki cypress contains phytoncide which has a relaxation effect, calming the autonomic nervous system and blood pressure.

     

    5. Matcha

    Matcha is the quintessential flavour of Kyoto. Guests who check in at Yadoru KYOTO HANARE are offered a cup. They can also bathe in it with Yadoru YUAMI.

  • Experience a Front Row Seat of Karuizawa’s Tranquil Forests at HOSHINOYA

    13.June.2021 | SPOT

    HOSHINOYA Karuizawa has announced a special summer plan for guests called “Mori no Hotori cafe&Bar ~Suijo no Tokutoseki~” (Cafe & Bar by the Forest ~Special Seats on the Water~). The midsummer evening plan is available for one group per day and takes place at the hotel’s cafe and bar which sits by a forest and faces the Kera-Ike Pond. It invites guests to relax under the starry night sky on the water and enjoy the sounds of nature while enjoying drinks and bites to eat.

     

    Japan is known for its summer hot summers. However, Karuizawa enjoys a cooler climate, so evenings dip to around 20°C for a comfortable temperature.

     

    Stargazing on top of the water

    HOSHINOYA Karuizawa is connected directly to Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary. At the entrance, by the Kera-Ike Pond, is the hotel’s Mori no Hotori cafe&bar which is open all year. The cafe/bar fusion is surrounded by Karuizawa’s lush forests, and it’s here that guests can enjoy sitting on specially-prepared seats on the water. It will feel like they are walking on water as they approach their seats where they can take their shoes off and sit on the tatami mats to gaze at the stars.

     

    Calm the heart with an enchanting performance

    When you walk up the stairs that face Kera-Ike from HOSHINOYA Karuizawa, your ears will be met with the enchanting sound of crystal bowls which add a mysterious depth to the natural sounds of the forest, spiriting guests away to another wonderful world.

     

    Indulgent drinks and food

    Guests can pick from a range of drinks and bites to eat scented with fruits, wood, and other natural fragrances of the forest. There arw six drinks to choose from including a gin and tonic made with lindera umbellata, a type of camphor, as well as a whisky made with ripe fruits. Food includes chocolate made from lindera umbellata and kuma bamboo grass, cherry blossom and walut chips, and more.

  • Be Surrounded by Glowing Fireflies With Kissho Yamanaka’s New Hotel Plan

    07.June.2021 | SPOT

    Kissho Yamanaka, a hot spring hotel in Kaga, Ishikawa, is now offering a firefly-viewing experience as part of a new guest plan until June 15. This gorgeous resort, situated by the Daishoji River in the Kakusenkei Gorges, was awarded three Michelin stars in the Ryokan category of Michelin Guide Hokuriku 2021 Special Issue.

    The firefly tour arrives as early summer is soon to begin. As part of the hotel plan, guests can also enjoy a dazzling Firefly Cocktail too.

    Feel the rays of early summertime at Kissho Yamanaka.

  • These Disney Ceramic Teacups and Plates Are Traditional Kiyomizu Wares From Kyoto

    07.June.2021 | FASHION

    Asahido is now selling a collection of Disney-inspired ceramics made using a traditional Japanese pottery technique known as Kiyomizu which originated in Kyoto.

    Winnie the Pooh Hundred Acre Wood Teacup

    This collection of teacups features hand drawn designs of Winnie the Pooh and his friends relaxing in their home of the Hundred Acre Wood. They are dyed indigo using a traditional dyeing technique known as gosu which makes the colour run deep into the design. There are cups to pick from, one big and one small and both with different designs. More details here (in Japanese).

    Mickey & Minnie Traditional Dyed Pattern Mugs

    These smiley teacups are made using the same dyeing technique and feature Mickey and Minnie made from collages of traditional Japanese patterns that have long been used in Kyoto.

    Disney Princess Plates

    Seven Disney Princesses have been feauted in this hand-painted Kiyomizu ware plate collection, all of which are lined with gorgeous colours including gold. They make for beautiful decorations for any Disney fan’s room.

    Mickey & Minnie Kiyomizu Dolls

    “Rakuyaki” is the name of the hand-mouldered pottery technique used to crafts these Mickey and Minnie Mouse dolls, one which has been used since the Taisho Period. Compared to the other ceramics on this list, these dolls are baked at a lower temperature, giving the colours a softer look. Red and black are classic colour combinations used in this technique, so Mickey and Minnie were the perfect candidates. Only 100 of each will be sold.

  • The Promised Neverland x Hotel Keihan Room Plan Collaboration Begins

    05.June.2021 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Hotel Keihan launched a new guest room plan in collaboration with the anime series The Promised Neverland at its Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Sendai, and Sapporo branches on Tuesday. It also released a collection of exclusive merchandise which can be bought at each hotel’s front desk.

    Guest Rooms

     

    Exclusive Merch Line-Up

    Pins | ¥550 Each (Tax Included)

    Key Rings | ¥550 Each (Tax Included)

    Lobby display

    The hotel plan was originally scheduled to take place for three months but has been extended by a further month to accommodate for travel restrictions as well as guest demand. New prices have also been introduced to make it more accessible to people. Fans of the anime series can get their hands on a range of items not available anywhere else too including pins, key rings, folders, and more.

     

    The hotel room designs are inspired by both seasons of The Promised Neverland and come with life-size panels, wall decorations, and more, so fans can look forward to getting sucked into the world of the anime series.

     

    (C)白井カイウ・出水ぽすか/集英社・約束のネバーランド製作委員会

  • Michelin Star Restaurant and Sushi Bar in Kyoto Get Added to Hometown Tax Service

    02.June.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    Furunavi, a Japanese website that offers the hometown tax service, has added two restaurants in Kyoto to its listings. Hometown tax allows taxpayers to donate to any municipality and receive tax cuts.

     

    Due to COVID-19, the number of tourists and travellers in Kyoto has meant that major tourist sites and restaurants have seen a lack of visitors. In response to this, Furunavi is collaborating with Kyoto City using its ‘Furunavi Gourment Point’ scheme that lets people dine at restaurants and eateries in the city while enjoying tax deductions.

     

    Kikunoi Roan and Sushi Rakumi are two restaurants that have been added to Furunavi’s service.

     

    Kyoto x Kikunoi Roan

    Kikunoi Roan is a Michelin two-star restaurant located just a little down from Shijo-dori and Kiyamachi-dori by the business district of Takase River. When stepping through the noren entrance curtain of the concrete building, you’re met with a quiet tranquility that makes you forget you’re even in the big bustling city. The restaurant’s counter seats are popular as you get to watch the chefs prepare the food before you. It’s a compact space that brings customers close together. More details on Furunavi here.

     

    Kyoto x Sushi Rakumi

    Sushi Rakumi is a Michelin one-star sushi restaurant situated beside Shirakawa River. This counter-style sushi bar seats just eight people at a time. The chefs are skilled in many different forms of sushi making, all of which capture the delicious taste of Kyoto cuisine. The sushi toppings are all sourced from Kyoto, Toyosu, and Yaizu. Enjoy a unique selection of innovative sushi courses. More details on Furunavi here.

  • Kyoto’s Ace Hotel Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary With Special Hotel Plan

    31.May.2021 | SPOT

    Ace Hotel Kyoto will commemorate its first anniversary on June 11, 2021. The hotel opened on the site of the historical former Kami Branch of the Kyoto Central Telephone Office which was completely renovated and refurbished. The hotel takes on an ‘East Meets West’ theme with elements of art and culture found throughout. As part of the celebration, the 98-year-old Samiro Yukino, a dyer and the man responsible for creating the hotel’s logo, has made sign posters and will display 242 photos from his immense collection of 17,000 photographs he has taken over the years in 10 guest rooms as part of the special hotel plan.

    Ace Hotel Kyoto Tatami Suite

    Ace Hotel Kyoto Standard Twin

    Samiro Yunoki

    Ace Hotel displays works of art from artists from both Japan and abroad all around the building, from the hotel’s iconic logo to dye work, paintings decorating the guest rooms, eye-catching tapestries, and more. Despite the pandemic which began last year, Ace Hotel has enjoyed many guests staying there. In celebrating of their first anniversary, they are releasing offering their ‘We Are One’ package for guests booking Suite rooms.

     

    Ace Hotel ranked No. 9 in the ‘Most Popular New Hotels’ in TripAdvisor’s 2021 Traveller’s Choice Best of the Best Hotels. It was also the only Japanese hotel to rank in the list.

  • All About Matsuyama | Final Episode: Introducing the New Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre

    30.May.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The reception staff are ready and waiting to greet customers with a smile

     

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre finally opened in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. You’ll find it on the first floor of Matsuyama Mitsukoshi which isn’t even a one-minute walk from Okaido Station. It features an interior fusion combining history and culture with a design inspired by Matsuyama Castle while also throwing in a contemporary feel.

    Six giant screens serve as the perfect place for tourism-related PR of Matsuyama

    The first sight many visitors will lay their eyes on upon entering the information centres are the six screens spanning 1.5 meters high and 4.5 meters across the wall. Here, a variety of promotional material centred on the highlights of Matsuyama will be displayed.

     

    The information centre offers many useful services, including for foreign customers who don’t speak Japanese. There is a translation and interpreting service, money exchange, rental electrical outlets for smart devices, and more. The staff themselves are multilingual, but the interpreting service includes access to a call centre which you can access using the free WiFi or using an iPad. The availability of foreign currency exchange is also extremely beneficial as Matsuyama is a city abundant with long-standing shops that have been around for decades and longer. Another convenience with the centre is easy access to public transport. If you’re looking to travel around the prefecture, we recommend paying a visit to the centre first as it’s sure to provide valuable information. You can even rent mobile batteries for your smartphone to lessen the stress when sightseeing.

    The pictogram shows the many handy services available

    Visitors will also find a comprehensive duty-free counter inside the information centre which covers all stores in Okaido, Gintengai, Matsuchika Town, Dogo Shoten, and Ropeway Shotengai. You must spend over ¥5,000 (before tax) on products to be duty-free eligible. Since it’s a comprehensive service, if you have multiple receipts you can be exempt from tax as long as all your receipts exceed ¥5,000. Participating stores have special stickers plastered up inside so tourists can quickly and easily identify them.

    Stores participating in the duty-free service have stickers and signs to show it

    For example, if you spend ¥500 at participating stores in Dogo Shotengai, ¥1,000 in Okaido Shopping Street, and ¥3,500 in Gintengai Shotengai, and take all three of those receipts adding up to ¥5,000 to the information centre, you can get your items duty free. But keep in mind that the receipts have a validity period on them, so be sure to check opening hours.

     

    The Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre serves as the perfect site for bringing in all kinds of tourists, including foreign travellers, to Matsuyama post-COVID. The information also goes by the cute nickname “Dan Dan info.” Dan dan is an old Ehime phrase meaning “thank you” and ties in with the smiling and hospitable welcome staff wish to greet guests with. It’s exciting to look into the future and see how Matsuyama’s tourism and economic growth will develop in its shopping districts, stores, and elsewhere. Make one of your first stops the Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre when visiting the city.

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