Japan’s New High Speed Bus Travels From Kyoto to Mount Koya

23.August.2020 | SPOT

Keihan Bus and Nankai Rinkan Bus are bringing back their high-speed bus service this year which will run from September 18 to November 30. The service will incorporate a mandatory booking system, making it even more convenient than last year.

Mount Kōya is the name of the temple settlement found in Wakayama which first settled in 819. It is the centre for the Kōyasan Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism and is designated as a World Heritage Site, one of many found in Kyoto alongside Kinkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, and Shimogamo Shrine.

The new Kyoto Koya-san buses offer a smooth, direct ride to the World Heritage Site, arriving there from Kyoto in just 2 hours and 40 minutes.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Tomioka Silk Fantasia ~Festival of Silk~, an Exciting Event Combining Video, Music, and Fashion, to Be Held at Tomioka Silk Mill, a World Cultural Heritage Site!

    25.September.2023 | FASHION / FOOD / MUSIC / SPOT

    An incredible event combining video, music, and fashion, Tomioka Silk Fantasia ~Festival of Silk~ will be held at the Tomioka Silk Mill, a National Treasure and World Cultural Heritage Site. The event will be held with support from the city of Tomioka, Gunma Prefecture, and will run for approximately two weeks starting on October 6, 2023.

     

    Guests will be able to enjoy the NAKED Yorusampo -Tomioka- and Tomioka Silk Fantasia as they explore the historic site. The special event was directed by renowned international director Junya Yamada in collaboration with NAKED Inc., which continues to captivate audiences with its digital artworks including projection mapping and illuminations.

     

    <NAKED Yorusampo™ -Tomioka->

    ‘NAKED Yorusanpo™’ is an outdoor immersive night walk concept by NAKED. Previously, the unique event has been held in various regions, including the Ikaho Onsen town in Gunma Prefecture and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Zuiganji Temple in Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, to promote the nighttime economy of different areas. Even in tourist destinations where businesses tend to close early at night, this event breathes new life into the city’s landmarks through illuminations and projection mapping, allowing tourists to make the most of their evenings and supporting measures for dispersed tourism.

     

    Experience NAKED’s grand projection mapping, lantern art, and Flower Fortune while enjoying the night at Tomioka Silk Mill, a national treasure and UNESCO World Heritage site.

     

     

    <Tomioka Silk Fantasia

    On October 14 and 15, guests can enjoy live music and a fashion show on a special stage in front of the Tomioka Silk Mill’s West Cocoon Warehouse. Live music performers include DE DE MOUSE, a composer, producer, and DJ from Gunma Prefecture; bala, a Tokyo-based creative collective of female artists and creators; and Yasushi Yamabe, a taiko drummer active both in Japan and abroad.

     

    DE DE MOUSE

    bala

    Taishi Yamabe

     

    Visitors will also be able to enjoy a tour of the area between Jyoshu-Tomioka Station and Tomioka Silk Mill in cooperation with local restaurants and facilities. Please come experience a fantastic night in Tomioka City, where silk and fantasy are woven together in a fusion of images, music, and fashion, as if you have entered a different dimension.

     

    Contents

     

    ・NAKED Distance Lanterns®

    Introducing NAKED’s unique art-inspired lanterns, born during the COVID-19 pandemic. When you take a leisurely stroll with one of these lanterns in hand, the ground comes alive with colors and patterns unique to each location, allowing you to be a part of the mesmerizing light display.

     

    For this event, inspiration was drawn from the location of Tomioka Silk Mill in Gunma Prefecture, which has strong ties to the art of natural dyeing. As a result, five color variations will be available: red, blue, pink, green, and yellow, all inspired by the vibrant hues of plant-based dyes.

     

    *Lantern rentals: ¥500 per turn (Tax Included)

     

    ・NAKED Flower Fortune®

    Introducing the wildly popular art fortune-telling, NAKED Flower Fortune®, which even ranked high in domestic rapid retweets on X (formerly Twitter). Choose your favorite flower from a variety of colors and shapes, and you’ll encounter the perfect message for that moment. The flower ornaments attached to the fortune can be transformed into art by tying them to a wooden branch to make the flowers bloom, making them a great souvenir to take home as a keepsake.

     

    *Price: ¥500 each (Tax Included)

     

    ・Tomioka Silk Mill West Cocoon Warehouse

    The highlight of this event is the massive projection mapping show on the stage of the national treasure, Tomioka Silk Mill West Cocoon Warehouse, spanning approximately 45 meters in width. As the giant silk wraps around the building, the lush flora of Tomioka bursts forth. After enjoying the changing seasons of nature, step into a nostalgic world featuring retro signs and lanterns. Experience the unique and culturally rich presentation that is characteristic of Tomioka’s deep historical heritage.

    ・Tomioka Silk Fantasia

    A special event will unfold at the Tomioka Silk Mill World Heritage site. Come enjoy an event featuring artistic direction by renowned director Junya Yamada, a mesmerizing live performance by DE DE MOUSE, a high-art fashion show that seamlessly harmonizes with  live music, and a powerful taiko drum performance by Yasushi Yamabe. Additionally, guests can enjoy an energetic performance by the creative collective girls group bala. Projection mapping will enhance the space, adding even more charm to the beautiful Tomioka Silk Mill, where history and the future intersect. From Gunma to the world, immerse yourself over the course of one special night where various cultures can come together to exchange unique experiences and celebrate.

     

    ・Tomioka Silk Mill East Cocoon Warehouse Illumination

    The Tomioka Silk Mill East Cocoon Warehouse World Heritage site is illuminated, allowing visitors to savor its unique nighttime beauty that differs entirely from daytime. Enjoy the enchanting and fantastical nighttime scenery that you wouldn’t typically be able to see.

     

    ・The Historic Nirazuka Silk Mill Illumination

    The historic Nirazuka Silk Mill is illuminated, offering guests the opportunity to enjoy its beauty in a way that differs from daylight. Enjoy this enchanting and fantastical nighttime scenery that you wouldn’t typically be able to see.

     

    Tomioka Night Gourmet Stroll

    A collaborative event with “Tomioka Silk Fantasia – Festival of Silk.” We introduce dining and souvenir shops around Tomioka Silk Mill that are open during the event period. Enjoy delicious local cuisine unique to Tomioka.

    Presale tickets are now available from ZAIKO and Rakuten Ticket.

     

    Additional information will be announced in the future.

  • Hirosaki and Hakodate to Begin Winter Tourism Campaign with Snow Miku Starting December 2022

    26.November.2022 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    The cities of Hirosaki and Hakodate in Hokkaido have announced that they will team up with Hatsune Miku’s popular iteration Snow Miku to promote tourism in the area this winter. A number of activities will begin in December 2022.

     

    [Snow Miku x Hirohako] Collaboration Project

    ■Hirohako Winter Tourism Campaign Poster Featuring Snow Miku

    ・Period: Mid-November~February 28, 2023

    ・Locations: Facilities in both cities, tourist facilities, hotels, shopping areas

     

    ■Snow Miku Illustration Contest Exhibition Event

    Over 50 illustrations have been submitted under the theme of Snow Miku and Hakodate / Snow Miku and Hirosaki. These will be on display through the winter!

    ・Running: December 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022

    ・Venues: Hirosaki Municipal Tourist Center (Hirosaki)
                        Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse (Hakodate)

     

    ■Snow Miku Photo Spot

    Snow Miku panels featuring shamisen and apples from Hirosaki will be on display, while the Hakodate version will include references to squid fishing and footbaths. 

    ・On Display: December 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022

    ・Locations: JR Hirosaki Station, Chuohirosaki Station (Hirosaki)
                            JR Hakodate Station, Hakodate Airport (Hakodate)

    ■Digital Stamp Rally Using the Mikunavi App

    A number of panels will be installed at five checkpoints in Hirosaki and Hakodate. A total of 1,000 people–500 in each city–will win original merch including a Snow Miku mask case and decorated masking tape. All you need to do is check in!

    ・Available: December 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022

    ・Locations: (Hirosaki) Hirosaki Municipal Tourist Center, Hirosaki City Machinaka  Information Center,

                             Hirosaki Tourist Information Center, Hirosaki Castle Information Center, Tsugaru-han Neputa Village

          (Hakodate) Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse, Yunokawa Hot Spring Footbath, Goryōkaku Tower,

    Hakodate Green Plaza C Block (Hakodate Lumi-Pop), Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward

     

    ■Hirohako Winter Tourism Campaign Theme Song and Music Video 

    The tourism theme song will get a new music video that will be broadcast on YouTube, at local tourist facilities, and on TV and radio!

    ・On Air: December 1, 2022~

    ・Theme Song: Mahou no Keshiki (Lyrics/Composition: ryuryu)

     

    ■Snow Miku Welcome Announcements to be Broadcast at Tourism Facilities, etc. 

    A one-minute welcome announcement by Snow Miku will air at tourist facilities!

    ・Running: December 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022

    ・Locations: Tourist areas in both cities

     

    ■Snow Miku Filters Using AR

    When each barcode is scanned with a smartphone, Snow Miku will appear on the screen! Visitors can take pictures with Snow Miku to commemorate their winter trip to Hirosaki and Hakodate.

    ・Available: December 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022

  • Interview: Shakuhachi Player Yoshimi Tsujimoto Discusses Her Craft and the Upcoming Concert at Kumano-Nachi Taisha

    20.October.2022 | MUSIC / SPOT

    Each year, an incredible event is held at Kumano-Nachi Taisha, a Shinto shrine and World Heritage Site located in the Kii Mountain Range of Wakayama Prefecture.

     

    To kick off the ‘diamond celebration,’ a special concert will mark the 1,250th anniversary of the birth of Kobo Daishi, the Japanese Buddhist monk who founded the Shingon school of Buddhism. Yoshimi Tsujimoto, a shakuhachi player from Hashimoto, will perform in the concert scheduled to begin on October 22 at 13:30. 

     

    Moshi Moshi Nippon sat down with Yoshimi Tsujimoto to discuss her music and, most importantly, her interest in sharing the sound of the shakuhachi with the world.

     

     

    −How did you become interested in the shakuhachi? 

    My father loved the shakuhachi, and because of that, I grew up surrounded by the sound of it. That’s how it all began!

     

    −What attracts you to playing the shakuhachi?

    I love the timbre of the shakuhachi. 

    Those who play the shakuhachi often say that a single note has the power to bring someone to enlightenment. 

    Curiously, individual differences in tone are more easily discernible with the shakuhachi than with other instruments. That means that a person can express themselves in more unique ways.

     

     −You’ve performed in many different countries. Do you get different reactions to the shakuhachi in other countries when compared to Japanese audiences?

    I have a vivid memory of a time I performed a classical shakuhachi piece solo. This particular type of classical music is called ‘wabi-sabi,’ and it isn’t very loud or lively. 

    In Japan, when I finish a performance, people usually clap. But when I performed in South America, as soon as the piece concluded, there was a standing ovation with people shouting “Bravo!” That would never happen in Japan, and it left such a lasting impression on me.

     

    −Are there any countries that have left a lasting impression on you, or that you would like to visit in the future?

    I have good memories of every country I’ve visited, but I think that Cuba left the biggest impression. I just made me think about how incredible music can be.

    I’d love to visit Bulgaria, Morocco, Armenia, Uganda…it’s tough, because I want to visit every country I haven’t been to yet. (laughs)

     

    −You’re from Hashimoto City, near Mount Koya. How did you feel when you heard that this concert would be held so close to your hometown?

    What I felt was pure joy.

    Personally, I’ve always loved Mount Koya, and I went there many times as a child. It’s such a pleasure to be able to perform there.

     

    −Tell us some of your favorite memories involving Mount Koya.

    I go to Mount Koya at least three or four times a year. It’s not a particular memory per se, but every time I go, I love to eat vegetarian food, explore, and buy wheat buns and sesame tofu as gifts to take home.

     

    −Are there any local foods or places that you’d recommend?

    The fruit is delicious in Wakayama, and my hometown is famous for persimmons.They are so yummy, and I just want everyone to try them!

    Mount Koya and Kumano Kodo are both World Heritage sites, and they are both absolutely breathtaking. Other than those, I’d recommend Adventure World! It has adorable pandas roaming around freely and the most wonderful dolphin shows. Everyone from around the country should visit!

     

    −Finally, do you have a message for Moshi Moshi Nippon readers?

    Japan is filled with incredible places and culture. The shakuhachi, a beloved traditional Japanese instrument, is one piece of that culture.

    I want audiences around the world to hear the sound of the shakuhachi and to make it more familiar. If you have a chance to hear it, I hope you will.

    Be sure to follow Yoshimi Tsujimoto’s activities going forward as she shares the beauty and culture of shakuhachi with the world.

  • Concert to be Held at World Heritage Site Kumano-Nachi Taisha in Wakayama

    25.August.2022 | MUSIC / SPOT

    Each year, an incredible event is held at Kumano-Nachi Taisha, a Shinto shrine and World Heritage Site located in the Kii Mountain Range of Wakayama Prefecture.

     

    To kick off the ‘diamond celebration,’ a special concert will mark the 1,250th anniversary of the birth of Kobo Daishi, the Japanese Buddhist monk who founded the Shingon school of Buddhism. Yoshimi Tsujimoto, a shakuhachi player from Hashimoto, will perform, while the event also hopes to bring tourism to the area by sharing more information about Wakayama with the masses. 

     

    Date: October 22, 2022, 13:30
    Venue: Danjo-garan Buddhist Temple

    Program:

    [Part 1] Chorus of local elementary school students, etc.

    [Part 2] Talk Session

    Participants:

    Hougen Yabu (Director of Head Temple Kongobu-ji on Mount Koya)

    Yoshimi Tsujimoto (Shakuhachi player)

    [Part 3] Concert

    Performer: Yoshimi Tsujimoto (Shakuhachi player)

    *Will include a percussion, guitar, and keyboard session

     

    <About the Call for Visitors>

    350 Guests are Invited!

    *If there are too many applicants, a drawing will be held.

    *Livestreaming of the event will also be available online.

     

    Application Period: August 23 – September 26, 2022

     *Postcards must be postmarked by September 26. Those applying n the website must do so by 23:59 on September 26.

     

    How to Apply:

    1. By postcard

    Address: Yamabutai Concert Section
    Wakayama Broadcasting Co.
    3-3 Minatohonmachi
    Wakayama, 〒640-8577

    What to Include: Zip Code, Address, Name, Age, Phone Number, Admission
    *Can include up to 2 guests.

     

         2. On the special website

    Please apply using the application form on the special website.

    URL: https://yume.wbs.co.jp/

     

    Keep in Mind:

    1. Incomplete entries will be considered invalid.

    2. Only one application per person is allowed.

    3. If there are too many applicants, a drawing will be held. Winners will be announced when numbered tickets are sent out.

    4. Personal information provided in each application will not be used for any purpose.

     

    (For Reference) Past Performers

    2015 – Hitomi Shimatani (Danjo-garan Buddhist Temple)

    2016 – Chitose Hajime (Kumano-Nachi Taisha)

    2017 – *Canceled due to typhoon.

    2018 – Kumiko (Oyunohara)

    2019 – May J. (Kumano-Nachi Taisha)

    2020 – *Canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.

    2021 – Yuki Koyanagi (Kumano-Nachi Taisha)

     

    ■Cast Profiles

    ◆ Hougen Yabu / Director of Head Temple Kongobu-ji on Mount Koya

    ・1993 – Graduates from Koyasan University

    ・In 2011, he became the chief priest of Kirihata Temple, where he remains to this day.

            *Kirihata Temple [Fukuoka Prefecture] / Sasaguri 88 Sacred Sites, #10

    ・In 2021, he became the Director of Head Temple Kongobu-ji on Mount Koya and was also appointed as the director of the 1,250th birthday celebration for Kobo Daishi, the founder of the Buddhist sect.