Experience a Crisp Japanese Autumn While Ice Skating in Karuizawa
15.August.2020 | SPOT
This autumn, Karuizawa Hoshino Area is opening up the Kera-Ike Skate Rink for a limited time from October 16 where visitors can skate around the ice while soaking up the reds and yellows of the surrounding forest.
Karuizawa Hoshino Area is a resort managed by Hoshino Resorts. The middle of October is when Karuizawa’s red maple trees blossom, while the beginning of November marks the incoming yellow karamatsu Japanese larches.
An ice skating rink enveloped in a forest
Kera-Ike Skate Rink is a frozen lake in the middle of a forest in Karuizawa. It’s located ride by Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary, so Hoshino Resorts had the idea to turn it into an ice rink so that people can enjoy the local wildlife while skating. For this year’s opening of the ice rink, Hoshino Resorts has a range of art content related to Japanese autumn for people to enjoy too.
Reds, Yellows, and White
Karuizawa sits 1,000 meters above sea level, and so the autumn leaves begin showing from the middle of October. This is when the urushi Japanese lacquer trees and momiji maples dye the forest a bright-red. Following shortly after are the karamatsu Japanese larches which add a bright yellow to the red hues. Visitors can soak up the kaleidoscope of colours while skating across the pure white ice rink.
Beautiful autumn leaf themed content
The ice skating chairs are a popular item at Kera-Ike Skate Rink and are a great way for beginners and children to enjoy being on the ice. This year, the chairs have been pained in the same colours at the autumnal leaves.
Autumn leaf decorations on the windows
The rink-side cafe has six giant glass windows spanning 2.5 meters across. Each window has its own unique autumn leaf design on it.
Autumn Leaf Latte
The cafe will serve the perfect autumn-time beverage, a latte topped with momiji and kaede maple leaves designs made from pumpkin powder—a fitting flavour for the season.
Kera-Ike Skate Rink
Running: October 16, 2020 – November 10, 2020
*Run period subject to change depending on the autumn leaves.
*The 2020-21 skate rink opening period runs until March 7, 2021. Closed November 26, 2020 and January 19-21, 2021.
Opening Hours: 10:00-16:00
Official Website: http://www.hoshino-area.jp/archives/area/skate
Hoshino Resort’s Banta Cafe in Okinawa to Open Limited-Time Night Cafe During Winter
Located in wonderfully warm Okinawa, Hoshino Resort is the perfect getaway for those wanting a warmer winter. The Banta Cafe overlooks the ocean, offering unmatched views. From December 1, 2021, until January 31, 2022, the cafe will hold the ‘Illumi-Banta: Night Lights by the Sea’ event. Of course, Illumi-Banta is a portmanteau of the words ‘Illumination’ and ‘Banta,’ but the Okinawan word iyumibanta means ‘a cliff overlooking the fish.’ The entire location, from the top of the cliff all the way to the sea, will be bathed in otherworldly light. A special menu will also be available during the event period, serving up food perfect for eating as guests wander by the seaside. A number of Okinawan workshops will also bring local craftsmen to the site to show off their creations. Why bundle up when you can enjoy a warm winter by the ocean?
A Fantastic World of Light and Ocean Life
Banta Cafe sits on a cliff above the water, and the waters beneath it hide gorgeous coral reefs. Watch the sea come to life, as the ocean, white sand beach, and rock formations are illuminated. The lights will change colors during the daily light show along with the tides, so don’t miss it!
Light Show Times: 18:30, 20:00, 21:00 *Each show lasts about five minutes.
Playful Plant Shadows
On the large roof deck located at the entrance, large fern and palm leaves have been arranged to welcome guests along with other plants local to Okinawa. Using lights, the shadows from these plants reach massive heights on the 4-meter high Ryukyu limestone walls, and guests are encouraged to try making some fun shadow puppets for the perfect snapshot!
Enjoy a Lantern-Lit Night Picnic with the Strolling Soup Set
The night cafe will be selling a special Strolling Soup Set menu, inviting guests to venture out onto the sandy shore with a lantern in hand to enjoy a meal beside the sea. Guests can choose two of the available four soups along with a crispy baguette and herb butter.
Hours: 18:00 – 20:30 (Last Order)
Price: Strolling Soup Set for Two, ¥2,600
Includes: Two types of soup and bucket for two people, lantern and basket rental
Four Types of Soup
Filled with colorful vegetables, such as tomato, bitter melon, and yellow carrot
Packed with seafood flavor and a unique mix of Okinawan spices
・Consomme with Yushi Tofu
A lightly-salted soup made with Okinawa’s fluffy Yushi Tofu and thick-cut bacon
・Yam and Cauliflower Potage
Creamy potage with white cauliflower and brightly colored yam
The Night Light Market, a Gathering of Proud Okinawan Artists
On Saturday nights from January 8 to January 29, the Night Light Market will bring various artists and craftsmen from Okinawa to the Hoshino Resort. These artists will be excited to share the culture of Okinawa and will offer a range of products made of locally sourced materials. Guests can even try their hand at local crafts at the indoor Gorogoro Lounge!
Running: Every Saturday Night from January 8 – January 29, 2022
Wouldn’t you prefer a warm Okinawan winter?
Running: December 1, 2021 – January 31, 2022 (Closed from January 17-21)
Hours: Sunset – 21:30
Official Site: https://banta-cafe.com/
Kurobe Gorge Trekking Tour Offers Breathtaking Two-Day Trolley Journey
13.October.2021 | SPOT
The Kurobe Gorge Trolley in Toyama will offer a special two-day journey through the fall foliage on October 29 and November 1, 2021.
On the day of the tour, guests will enjoy a leisurely journey through nature as a Kurobe Gorge tour guide explains the features of the surrounding environment.
Kurobe Gorge Trekking Tour
Deadline for Applications:
- October 29, 2021 – By October 18, 2021
- November 1, 2021 – By October 21, 2021
*Applications will close once capacity is reached.
30 guests per tour on a first-come, first-served basis.
Official Site: https://www.kurotetu.co.jp
Solo One-Day Hot Spring Plan Offers Complete Relaxation and Rejuvenation in Karuizawa
12.October.2021 | SPOT
Karuizawa Hoshino Area, a place known for bringing nature and culture lovers together, will be offering a new one-day hot spring spa plan from November 4, 2021, until March 19, 2022. This is the perfect way to unwind from the stresses of the past year while getting away from crowds and responsibilities. Because it’s only one day, it’s perfect for those who can’t take a long vacation, but who are still desperate for some relaxation! The package will include access to hot spring baths, body care, a choice of lunch and drinks, and plenty of skincare amenities.
Tonbo-no-Yu Hot Spring, open since the Taisho era, will serve as the main location for the getaway. The springs themselves are bicarbonate and chloride springs with soft and thick waters in which to achieve the perfect soak and detox. Getting out of the water will leave a veil of salt on your skin, moisturizing it and cleansing every inch of your body. The open-air bath is surrounded by trees, while the indoor baths offer excellent views through oversized windows.
Five Luxuries to Enjoy on the One-Day Getaway
[Power Up] Proper Bathing Instructions for the Best Hot Springs Experience
For those looking to maximize their hot spring experience, a comprehensive bathing guide will be provided to all guests, including breathing exercises and techniques for a great facial massage. The plan includes rental towers, and guests can feel free to enter the springs as many times as they like. At the reception desk, guests will also be given a bottle of Apple Vinegar Water to help them stay properly hydrated while soaking.
[New] Gentle Skin Care while Relaxing in the Spring
Those participating in the one-day plan will be given OSAJI amenities to use during their stay. The brand is made up of safe and organic products approved by dermatologists, to be applied before and after bathing.
[Power Up] Improve Gut Health with Healthy Beverages
When guests get out of the bath, a warm brown rice amazake will be waiting, shown to improve the intestinal environment and boost natural immunity. By using brown rice, the drink contains larger amounts of Vitamin E and dietary fiber than traditional amazake. This tasty drink will be served at Cafe Hungry Spot, adjacent to the springs.
Relieve Stiff Joints with Attentive Body Care
At Tokoyo, located within the Harunire Terrace in the Karuizawa Hoshino Area, guests will get a 30-minute body care treatment with their choice of foot massage or shoulder and neck massage. Unwind and let go of all of your stress.
Choose From Six Different Restaurants for Lunch
For lunch, six restaurants in the Hoshino area are at your beck and call, from Japanese cuisine to Italian. There’s no need to make reservations in advance; choose what you’re craving the day of, and don’t stress!
Solo One-Day Hot Spring Spa Plan
Running: November 4, 2021 – March 19, 2022 (Excluding Dec. 29 – Jan. 3 and Jan. 11 – 20)
Reservations: https://www.hoshino-area.jp (Reservations required by 18:00 the day before)
Location: Tonbo-no-Yu, Karuizawa, Nagano
Applause Square Nagoya to Offer Autumn Dinner with Birthstone-inspired Sweets
Wedding venue Applause Square Nagoya will be opening a limited-time restaurant for eight days only during October and will offer some of the most artful desserts you’ve ever seen. The wedding hall is not normally open to the public, so this will be an opportunity to see this incredible mansion up close while savoring some unique fall flavors.
Jewel Art Topaz Parfait, made with Rum Raisin and Iced Chestnut Mont Blanc with Orange Parfait, and three Chocolate Bonbons
Six hors-d’oeuvres, each a vibrant and unique color
Sea Bream Vapeur with Eggplant and Chips that resemble Autumn Leaves, paired with Hot consommé soup scented with sherry and served in front of guests
Roasted Chita Pork with Tomato Chutney Sauce and Ginger, covered with Brown Mushrooms
Each of the six hors d’oeuvres were inspired by birthstones. Following are a number of luxurious meat and fish dishes, followed by a rich and abundant parfait filled with autumn flavors.
Jewel Night ~Luxurious French Cuisine with the Taste of Autumn~
Open: October 14, 15, 17, 21, 22, 28, 29, 31
Hours: Weekdays from 17:00-20:00 (2 hour slots) / Weekends 19:00-21:00
Address: Applause Square Nagoya (2-9-36 Marunouchi, Naka-ku, Nagoya)
Access: 2-minute walk from Marunouchi Exit 2 on Sakuradori and Tsurumai train lines
Official Site: https://www.bestbridal.co.jp/
‘Shiseido Parlour Ginza Salon de Cafe’ Reveals Limited Autumn Dessert Menu
The ‘Shiseido Parlour Ginza Salon de Cafe’ has announced that between October 1 and October 31 2021, customers can enjoy a limited edition Autumnal sweets menu. This year their menu includes the Jersey milk ‘Japanese Chestnut Mont Blanc Parfait from Kyushu’ and the ‘Shine Grape Fruit Sandwich.’ There will also be two special additions to the menu to celebrate the 96th Azuma Odori.
Japanese Chestnut Mont Blanc Parfait from Kyushu using Jersey Milk: ¥2,500 (Tax Incl.)
Strawberry Parfait using “Koihime” strawberries from Nagano’s Hatake Kobo: ¥2,100 (Tax Incl.)
Weekday / Limited Quantity Products
Shiseido Parlour Story: ¥2,600 (Tax Incl.) (Drink Incl.)
Shine Grape Fruit Sandwich with grapes from Iizuka Orchard: ¥1,700 (Tax Incl.)
Shinbashi Color Ice Cream Soda: ¥1,150 (Tax Incl.)
The Japanese Chestnut Mont Blanc Parfait is made using Jersey milk ice cream, chestnut cream, and fresh cream, along with the “Koihime” Fruit Sandwich, made using Kashu “Koihime” Strawberries are available on both the regular and limited Shiseido Parlour Ginza menus. Meanwhile, the luxurious Shiseido Parlour Story and the seasonal Shine Grape Fruit Sandwich, filled with various Autumnal fruits and centred around the grape, are only served on weekdays and holidays in limited quantities.
In the late Meiji Era, Shinbashi geisha were often seen wearing blue and green kimonos, with the color combination being coined Shinbashiiro (Shinbashi Color.) The elegant and retro Shinbashi Color Ice Cream Soda recreates the iconic look using green apple syrup, lemon, and ginger ale, topped with a traditional vanilla ice cream.
Immerse yourself in the season with a feast of Fall sweets in Ginza.
Shiseido Parlour Ginza Salon de Cafe
Address: Tokyo Ginza Shiseido Building 3F, 8-8-3, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Tuesday to Saturday: 11:00 ~ 21:00 (L.O. 20:30)
Sunday, public holidays: 11:00 ~ 20:00 (L.O.19:30)
Closures: Mondays (excluding public holidays), New Year
Starry Night Bonfire Event in Nikko Invites Guests to Relax Under the Full Moon
04.October.2021 | SPOT
Nikko-Yumoto, a hot spring hotel located near the picturesque Nikko National Park, will hold a limited-time event starting October 6. On select nights in October and November, guests are invited to sit around a bonfire and enjoy the full moon, new moon, and meteor showers while learning about astrology!
Harvested throughout the autumn months, Natsuotome strawberries grown in nearby Senjogahara are used to make a hot fruit wine to enjoy while gazing at the night sky. A warm drink will be perfect for cold nights in Oku-Nikko, located over 1,500 meters above sea level. In October, the night temperature can be as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit! For those not wanting something alcoholic, feel free to enjoy some tasty hot cocoa.
What’s the first thing you think of when you see a bonfire? Roasting marshmallows, of course! During the event, a bag of magical powder will be tossed into the fire, turning the flames into different colors. Don’t worry–the powder itself contains no harmful substances and is safe for both humans and the environment.
Starry Night Bonfire
Dates: October 6, October 9, October 20, October 21, November 5, November 18, November 19 / 19:30-20:30
Fee: Free *The event may be canceled in the case of inclement weather.
Official Site: https://www.qkamura.or.jp/nikko/activity/
Kyoto Brighton Hotel Offers New Morning Plan to Admire Autumn Leaves
27.September.2021 | SPOT
The Kyoto Brighton Hotel is offering a special morning plan that will charter temples and shrines exclusively for hotel guests between November 17 and November 30 2021.
Kitano Tenmagu Shrine
Even throughout Japan, Kyoto has one of the highest amounts of Autumn leaf viewing spots. This unique viewing plan allows guests to enjoy the vivid autumn leaves by charter, with special permission to visit each spot before it opens to the general public. With this plan, you can experience the wonders of Kyoto in Autumn while avoiding the crowds.
The “Morning Plan” proposed by the Kyoto Brighton Hote offers guests the chance to spend a peaceful time in the fresh, dignified early morning air while avoiding the crowds. This popular plan has been running for 20 years.
Not only is the viewing private, but you will also learn more about the area with guidance from the priests and staff.
After returning to the hotel, you will be treated to a special “Kyoto Breakfast” which uses local ingredients arranged in both Japanese and Western styles. This breakfast will taste even better following the cleansing of body and mind in the crisp early morning air.
Why not take part in this purifying “Morning Activity” and immerse yourself amongst the Autumn leaves?
Autumn Leaves Special Morning Activity Plan
Location: Kyoto Brighton Hotel
Duration: November 17 ~ November 30 2021
Official Site: https://kyoto.brightonhotels.co.jp/
Autumn Sweet Potato Frappuccino Now Available at Starbucks Japan
22.September.2021 | FOOD
Fall is in the air, which means seasonal treats are back at Starbucks! The Sweet Potato Frappuccino will be available at participating Starbucks locations beginning September 22, which also happens to be the first day of autumn.
The 4th annual Artful Autumn @ Starbucks promotion is back for 2021! This year’s concept is ‘Made by Earth,’ and the lineup of new products features fall ingredients that highlight the bounty of the planet.
Tall Sweet Potato Frappuccino To-Go: ¥638 / In-store: ¥650
The new drink is filled with the flavor of baked sweet potato, honey, and molasses. Each beverage is made with roasted sweet potatoes that have been cut into pieces, keeping some of their unique texture. Sweet potato flakes sprinkled on top add a bit of crunch!
If you’re in Japan, be sure to grab one before they’re gone!
Sweet Potato Frappuccino®
Available: September 22, 2021 – October 19, 2021 (While supplies last.)
Where: Participating Starbucks locations nationwide.
Official Site: https://www.starbucks.co.jp/
Autumn Scenery Coming to teamLab Forest Fukuoka for a Limited Time Only
The permanent museum teamLab Forest Fukuoka is bringing autumn scenery to the virtual exhibition for a limited time only beginning September 18, 2021. A number of animals made of autumn foliage will be roaming through the space, and you won’t want to miss this memorable experience!
teamLab Forest Highlights
Shifting Valley, Living Creatures of Flowers, Symbiotic Lives – teamLab, 2020
Animals of Flowers, Symbiotic Lives II – teamLab, 2019
Soft Terrain and Granular Topography – teamLab, 2020
Flutter of Butterflies, Ephemeral Life – teamLab, 2020
The prolific works of the teamLab art collective change with the seasons. In the Forest of Movement, guests can enter the ‘Shifting Valley, Living Creatures of Flowers, Symbiotic Lives’ exhibit, where creatures made of flowers exist in a three-dimensional space. For this fall event, these flowers will be those found in the autumn months. The ‘Soft Terrain and Granular Topography’ will display tons of colorful grains raining down on visitors, while the ‘Flutter of Butterflies, Ephemeral Life’ will change the usual butterflies to have autumn colors as they fly around guests.
teamLab Forest is a new museum created by art collective teamLab. The museum consists of two sections: the first, ‘The Catching and Collecting Forest,’ invites guests to explore with their smartphone to capture various unique creatures, while the second, ‘The Athletics Forest,’ is a physical creative space which asks visitors to use their body to immerse themselves in interactive areas.
Would you like to visit this distinctive museum in Fukuoka on your next trip to Japan?
teamLab Forest Fukuoka – SBI SECURITIES Co., Ltd.
Autumn Scenery Coming on September 18, 2021
Venue: BOSS E･ZO FUKUOKA 5F, Next to Fukuoka PayPal Dome (2-2-6 Jigyohama, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka)
Official Site: http://forest.teamlab.art
GU Web Commercial Features New Cast in 2021 Fall/Winter Collection
10.September.2021 | FASHION
Japanese fast-fashion retailer GU is promoting the 2021 Fall/Winter Collection with a new cast and new image. In a fun and goofy web commercial recently uploaded to YouTube, the five faces of the collection are seen rocking some of the new pieces available now.
In addition to Ayami Nakajo and Sota Fukushi, three new cast members–Noritake Kinashi, Chara, and Yutaro–are joining the 2021 Fall/Winter campaign. The commercial highlights GU’s stylish and warm knit cardigans, which are currently a huge trend for autumn.
Using these unique individuals, GU hopes to show that these new pieces can fit anyone of any age, gender, or size. Chara and Noritake Kinashi show that adults can still have fun with their fashion, while Yutaro claims that fashion isn’t just following trends, but accentuating your individuality.
In an upcoming commercial set to air on television in October, Ayumi Nakajo, Chara, and Yutaro will be shown in more trending knitwear, while a November commercial will feature all five cast members in easy-to-wear and stylish winter pants.
Which of these new pieces would you like to add to your wardrobe?
GU Web Commercial ‘FashiON!’
The Westin Tokyo Hotel to Offer Premium Autumn Parfaits for Limited Time
05.September.2021 | FOOD
Three delicious desserts are coming to The Westin Tokyo for a limited time! Beginning October 1, visitors to the hotel can enjoy a collection of premium parfaits filled with seasonal ingredients and western liquors unique to the executive bar, simply named The Bar. These will be available until November 28, on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holiday nights only.
Chocolate Parfait with Figs and Red Berries
Chestnut and Apple Parfait
Chestnut and Hazelnut Mont Blanc Parfait
The chocolate parfait includes whole figs and bright red berries, and is finished with rich port. Calvados was added to the Chestnut and Apple Parfait, allowing guests to enjoy a refreshing combination of nuts, fruits, and mascarpone. The Mont Blanc Parfait includes a fragrant rum from Martinique, and has a richer dessert flavor.
The executive pastry chef carefully layers each parfait by hand, and these unique treats combining flavors of both east and west can only be found at The Westin Tokyo!
Premium Autumn Parfait
Available: October 1 – November 28, 2021 (Only available Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Holidays)
Price: ¥3,000 each (Tax and Service Charge Included)
Location: Executive Bar “The Bar” (1F)
Mister Donut Releases Sweet Potato Treats for Autumn
31.August.2021 | FOOD
To ring in the fall season, Mister Donut shops across Japan are now offering five different sweet potato donuts. The scrumptious sweets will be available until the end of November.
Honey Sweet Potato Donut
Honey Sweet Potato with Butter Donut
Purple Sweet Potato Donut
Candied Sweet Potato Donut
Sweet Potato Donut
The final donut on the list, the Sweet Potato Donut, doesn’t refer to a typical sweet potato in Japanese, but instead to a popular sweet potato cake. It’s topped with sweet potato cream and black sesame.
These sweet potato themed treats have been available for the past three years, and continue to please customers with their simple taste and texture. Each pastry is kneaded with specific types of sweet potato powder, to give it a signature flavor and feel.
New additions to this year’s lineup include the Honey Sweet Potato Donut and the Honey Sweet Potato with Butter Donut. By soaking the dough used for these treats in syrup, each bite provides a burst of sweetness while also keeping the texture of a freshly-cooked autumn potato. The Butter Donut is oven-baked with a salted butter-flavored filling.
The Purple Sweet Potato, Candied Sweet Potato, and Sweet Potato Donuts from last year are all making a comeback after immense popularity. Which one would you try first?
Sweet Potato Treats at Mister Donut
Available: August 27 – Late November 2021
Where to Buy: At most Mister Donut shops nationwide
Official Site: https://www.misterdonut.jp