See Japan’s Autumn Colours on a Bus Tour to the Chapel of the Wind and Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden
09.September.2020 | SPOT
The Mount Rokko Cable Car & Tourism Company has announced a special bus tour which will take passengers to the Chapel of the Wind and Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden. Running on weekends and public holidays between October 24 and November 15, the bus will depart from Kobe Sannomiya, and will also include a special lunch at the Rokko View Palace inside Rokko Garden Terrace.
What to look forward to
Chapel of the Wind, known as Kaze no Kyokai in Japanese, was built by internationally-renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando. It’s open for the autumn season only, and the bus tour will give you a chance to go inside and take in one of Ando’s early works.
The lunch offered on the tour will be served at Rokko View Palace inside Rokko Garden Terrace, a staggering 880m above sea level. The menu includes roast chicken and beef, salad, bread, and dessert.
Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden will be in full autumn bloom during the bus tour, with reds, yellows, and oranges presented by the beeches and maples. There’s also an exhibition taking place at the garden centred on Persian cyclamens and diamond lilies. You will stroll leisurely through the garden as the garden staff take you on a tour to see the beautiful autumnal sights.
Enjoy Contemporary Art in Nature with the ‘Rokko Meets Art -Art Walk 2021-‘
14.September.2021 | SPOT
The Kobe Tourism Bureau will be opening the limited time ‘Rokko Meets Art -Art Walk 2021-‘ tour on Kobe City’s Rokko Sanjo between September 11 and November 24 2021.
Rokko Mountain was developed as a leisure spot by foreign residents during the Meiji Era, and is still beloved to this day for its magnificent views and abundant nature.
The ‘Rokko Meets Art -Art Walk-‘ tour opened in 2010 in order to convey the charms of Mt. Rokko to as many people as possible while introducing them to contemporary art. Over 400 artist groups have exhibited since its opening, with visitors being able to enjoy the innovative works and scenery which changes with the art.
The ‘Rokko Meets Art -Art Walk-‘ is not only for art fans but also for those who wish to visit Mt. Rokko for sightseeing and leisure, allowing each visitor to experience art with their five senses as the seasons change.
Some pieces are modified by the artist throughout the exhibition period, allowing you to feel the changes of the works each time you visit. Due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions, opportunities to come into contact with nature and art have greatly decreased. In response, the ‘Rokko Meets Art -Art Walk-‘ has started a variety of projects, including online exhibitions and workshops.
Experience this fun combination of nature and contemporary art for yourself at the ‘Rokko Meets Art -Art Walk 2021-!’
Rokko Meets Art -Art Walk 2021-
Duration: September 11 ~ November 23 2021
Opening Hours: 10:00 ~ 17:00
Location: 12 spots throughout Rokko Sanjo
Satellite Venue: Arima Onsen Area
JR Sannomiya Station Square Special Exhibition: ‘Rokko Meets Art -Art Walk-‘ Selection
Tickets・Official Site: https://www.rokkosan.com/art2021/
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
Hankyu Men’s Chooses Comedian Eiko Kano as Face of New Collection
31.August.2021 | FASHION
Comedian and singer Eiko Kano has been chosen as the new icon for Hankyu Men’s 2021 collection. The new concept, “WELCOME TO THE NEW WORLD ~RESPECT FOR THE NORTH~,” is heavily inspired by life in the north, and the collection will feature a variety of useful products and services from fashion to lifestyle.
PERFECT LOVE～HANKYUMEN’S VER～
With a humor that transcends age, Eiko Kano has been appointed as the new icon for Hankyu Men’s 2021 collection, in the hopes that he can raise people’s spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the visuals, an original music video has also been released to convey the northern theme.
Kano originally debuted as the lyricist and composer for band 50TA as a prank segment on popular TV Asahi variety show London Hearts. His first album hit #9 on the Oricon charts, with the most popular track being PERFECT LOVE. His new arrangement of the song, PERFECT LOVE HANKYU MEN’S 2021AW Version, was made for this new collaboration.
HANKYU MEN’S 21AW
Hankyu Men’s Osaka: https://www.hankyu-dept.co.jp/mens/
Hankyu Men’s Tokyo: https://www.hankyu-dept.co.jp/mens-tokyo/
Shohei Otani is Brand Ambassador for BOSS 2021 Autumn/Winter Collection
31.August.2021 | FASHION
In a new promotion, BOSS is previewing their upcoming 2021 Autumn/Winter Collection with a surprising new brand ambassador: Los Angeles Angels pitcher/batter Shohei Ohtani.
Clad in BOSS’s uniquely elegant pieces, Ohtani shows off casual styles and new looks possible only through creative combinations. From a cool leather jacket to a sophisticated wool coat, each detail has been carefully considered for quality, to ensure that a man wearing BOSS is ready for anything.
Wearing the newest BOSS collection, Shohei Ohtani shows off two distinctive looks.
In the first look, Ohtani is rocking a new leather bomber jacket from the Autumn/Winter collection. Made from 100% sheepskin, the piece is smooth to the touch and features luxurious trim, ribbed knitting on the color and sleeves, and plenty of other small details throughout. The structured collar and dark green color make it a perfect choice for the sophisticated man.
For the second look, the baseball star is clad in a relaxed wool coat. This mature and elegant style is achievable with this coat alone, worn here with simple white pants. A versatile piece, wear it over a suit when heading to the office, or with a casual outfit on the go.
How do you feel about the new BOSS 2021 Autumn/Winter collection? Would these pieces fit your personal style?
BOSS x Shohei Otani
Official Site: https://www.hugoboss.com/jp/men/
Autumn Limited Parfait Released at The Strings Hotel Tokyo Intercontinental’s Cafe & Bar Rhythmos
30.August.2021 | FOOD
Between September 15 and November 30 2021, two seasonal Autumnal Strings Parfaits will be available to order at the Rhythmos Cafe & Bar, found on the 26th floor of The Strings Hotel Tokyo Intercontinental. Executive pastry chef Osada Gaku has selected seasonal fruits and flavors such as citrus, chestnut, and crystal pomelo to create an artistic autumnal parfait. For parfait lovers who want to compare the seasonal dessert with Rhythmos’ standard parfait, the iconic Duo Parfait set will still be available to purchase along with a selection of drinks. This sweet treat can be enjoyed not only with afternoon tea but also as a post-dinner dessert.
The Marron parfait is formed of crimson and purple layers, starting with chestnut cream and panna cotta, with beautifully textured glacé chestnut chunks and fluffy candied chestnuts. The rum-infused custard cream brings out the chestnut taste, with the addition of panna cotta and acidic cassis jule bringing the taste to a whole new level.
The orange Autumn Citrus parfait is made with seasonal citrus fruits, including crystal pomelo, mikan, and pink grapefruit. Starting with the fresh citrus, you’ll find an orange and bergamot jule, paired with a caramel panna cotta and cream to balance out the subtle sweet and bitter flavors, along with chocolate cream and panna cotta, plus a cookie crunch to accent. The refreshing acidity of the citrus combined with the bittersweet caramel come together to create a wonderful harmony for your tastebuds.
Why not enjoy a blissful and mature lunchtime with this luxurious seasonal parfait?
The Strings Parfait – Marron/Autumn Citrus
Availability: September 15 ~ November 30, 2021
Location: Cafe & Bar Rhythmos (26F)
Opening Hours: 11:30 ~ 20:00 (L.O.18:30) *Subject to change due to Covid-19 rules
Tel. 03-5783-1258 (Direct restaurant reservation line)
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto to Begin Autumn Harvest Festival-themed Afternoon Tea Service
The Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto will begin offering Autumn Harvest Afternoon Tea for a limited time starting on September 13. This seasonal menu was designed by pastry chef Reiko Yokota, who has experience at Michelin Star restaurants and Four Seasons Hotels around the world. The menu is filled with healthy treats for both mind and body, utilizing fall ingredients like sweet potato, pumpkin, persimmon, and apple.
Autumn Harvest Afternoon Tea
Five-sweets collection using fresh autumn ingredients to present the true flavor of local fruits and vegetables
Four savory treats presented in a bowl made to look like an autumn field, inviting guests to dig up autumn’s bounty
Luxurious western and Japanese chestnuts compliment these premium autumn parfaits
A collection of take-home sweets featuring warm colors and autumn ingredients such as pumpkin and chestnut are perfect for decorating your home table
Halloween cupcakes, available for a limited-time, are the perfect souvenir
Guests can overlook the Sekisuien Gardens while dining from the terrace, a unique experience at the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
Afternoon tea begins with a collection of sweets, including jellies, tarte tatin, and crème brûlée, each bringing out the complex flavor of local Japanese fruits and vegetables. The featured jalapeno cornbread, inspired by Chef Yokota’s childhood in Texas, is one of the more unique dishes.
The savory dish, prepared by Brasserie restaurant head chef Ryuji Koga, presents each morsel in a bowl reminiscent of an autumn field, giving guests the chance to experience a bountiful harvest themselves by using a spoon as a makeshift shovel.
For drinks, patrons can enjoy a selection of premium teas from Ronnefeldt in Germany, including the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto’s original blend. Two autumn-only tea mocktails are also present on the menu.
The premium parfait, limited to 10 servings per day, is made from two types of chestnut-forward Mont Blanc. The Western chestnuts have a rich flavor, while the Japanese varieties are gentler and more delicate in their sweetness. The Mont Blanc with Chestnuts, Rum, and Cassis has a more adult flavor, balancing the sweetness of French chestnuts with the complex flavor of rum. Interwoven with pear compote and black currant jelly, this is a parfait that’s as delightful to look at as it is to eat.
The Japanese Chestnut Mont Blanc with Uji Green Tea and Yuzu is a more traditional Kyoto dish, bringing with it lavish amounts of green tea from Marukyu Koyamaen in Uji, along with refreshing yuzu sorbet.
Those not wanting to leave this experience behind quite yet can feel free to take some pastries and baked goods home. In addition to the popular Mont Blanc and Strawberry Millefeuille, the Sweet Potato Shortcake will also be available. Why not pick up a Chestnut and Rum Pound cake, or perhaps an Orange and Earl Gray Pound Cake made with Ronnefeldt tea leaves?
Halloween cupcakes will also be available for the first time this year, from October 15 to October 31. These include the Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Cupcake, and the Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcake.
Featuring colorful and delectable seasonal ingredients, how would you like to partake in this magnificent afternoon tea service?
Autumn Harvest Afternoon Tea
Available: September 13 – November 30, 2021
12:00-14:30 (Last order at 14:00)
15:00-17:30 (Last Order at 17:00)
*There are two sessions at the above times.
Location: Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto 1F, Brasserie Restaurant
Premium Autumn Parfait
Available: September 13 – November 30, 2021 from 11:30-18:00
Location: Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto 1F, Brasserie Restaurant
(Limited to 10 per day.)
Available: September 13 – November 30, 2021 from 11:30-18:00 from 10:00-21:00
Location: Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto 1F, Brasserie Restaurant
Official Site: https://www.fourseasons.com/jp/kyoto/
Anime Theme Park Nijigen no Mori to Hold Second Kakashi & Obito-themed Escape Game
A special event is coming to the Naruto-themed area of Nijigen no Mori, an anime theme park located on Awaji Island in Hyogo prefecture! The Naruto Shippuden x Escape Game: #009 Kakashi & Obito event is taking place from August 21 to October 10!
A look at NARUTO & BORUTO Shinobizato
A look at the game
Participation bonus: 4 special wooden phone straps with new illustrations
The first escape game in the series was held in 2020 to positive feedback. It was first held to celebrate Kakashi’s birthday, which is September 15, and all visuals of both him and Obito are completely new and made for the event.
Guests can also write their celebratory messages on special ‘petal stickers’ and place them on the character panel of their choice!
Would you like to come celebrate Kakashi’s birthday?
©Masashi Kishimoto ／Shueisha・TV Tokyo・Pierrot
Naruto Shippuden x Escape Game: #009 Kakashi & Obito
Running: August 21-October 10, 2021
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
Estimated Play Time: 30 minutes
Nijigen no Mori
Address: 2425-2 Kusumoto, Awaji, Hyogo
Official Website: https://nijigennomori.com/
Japan’s Poké Lid Project Lays Down New Manhole Covers in Hyogo Prefecture
Three new Pokémon manhole covers were unveiled in Awaji, Hyogo Prefecture on August 11, as part of the Poké Lid project. The new designs depict the legendary Pokémon Lugia, Bayleef, Aromatisse, and Cloyster. These are the first Poké Lids to be placed in Hyogo.
Including these new additions, the total number of Pokémon-themed manhole covers across Japan is now 201. The project began with the installation of a Eevee manhole cover in Ibusuki City, Kagoshima Prefecture in December 2018.
Each one features completely original Pokémon art, and going on a pilgrimage to visit each of them has become a popular new fad. The project aims to promote local tourism by using these internationally-loved characters.
There are also plans to turn each cover into Pokéstops, used in the popular location-based Pokemon GO smartphone game.
Which Poké Lid would you like to find first?
©2021 Pokémon. ©1995-2021 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc.
Pokemon, Pokémon and Pokémon are registered trademarks of Nintendo, Creatures and Game Freak.
Official Site: https://local.pokemon.jp/manhole
‘átoa,’ Part Art Museum and Part Aquarium, Opening in Kobe
12.August.2021 | SPOT
Blending living creatures with art, átoa, a new urban aquarium, will open in Kobe’s Shinkocho on October 29, 2021. New images have just been revealed, and we now have an idea of what the interior will look like!
‘átoa’ comes from a combination of the words ‘aquarium’ and ‘art,’ and as the name suggests, the space will blend over 100 pieces of digital and performance art with 3,000 ocean creatures to provide a never-before-seen experience.
The exterior of the Kobe Port Museum looks like a contemporary art gallery
The stairway leads guests to a cave entrance, making the visit feel more like an adventure
‘MARIN NOTE – The Movement of Life’ embodies underwater life
‘ELEMENTS – The Forest of Spirits’ welcomes you to a foggy sea of trees
Light cutout show by famed cutout artist Atsumi Sakai
A mysterious walk through a traditional Japanese garden
‘PLANETS,’ a journey through the darkness of outer space and the deep sea
Food & drink offerings worthy of posting on social media
A spectacular view of the Kobe Bay area
átoa original products on sale
Rokko, the land on which Kobe City sits, is said to have been formed over one million years ago by the upheaval of the Earth and consistent water erosion. The Kobe Port Museum (KPM), where átoa is located, has long attracted visitors with its unique exterior, embodying the ancient origins of the surrounding lands.
átoa will be divided into eight different zones, each with its own theme and distinctive presentation. Visitors will first enter the ‘Cave of Beginnings,’ where fish-shaped lights reflected on the walls and floor lead you deeper into the space, as if through a kaleidoscope.
After emerging, ‘MARIN NOTE – The Movement of Life,’ a visual embodiment of underwater life, will greet you. The sound and scents of the sea will surround guests, with a cylindrical water tank at the center of the room filled with zebra sharks, spotted garden eels, and many more underwater creatures.
On the second floor, enter ‘ELEMENTS – The Forest of Spirits,’ a foggy sea of trees straight out of a fairy tale. This is where you can find freshwater fish, amphibians, and adorable tree-dwelling animals not typically found in aquariums, like woodchucks! This is another highlight of átoa: you might find more animals you wouldn’t expect!
The third floor houses both ‘MIYABI’ and ‘PLANETS,’ where guests can enjoy a ‘theatrical aquarium experience.’ Discover Atsumi Sakai’s famed cutout art in the ‘MIYABI’ area, meant to simulate a Japanese garden. Enjoy the magical experience of fish swimming just beneath your feet as you stroll along a glass-covered floor.
The ‘PLANETS’ area houses AQUA TERRA, one of Japan’s largest spherical water tanks, with a diameter of 3 meters. Guests are welcome to ponder the vastness of both outer space and the deepest stretches of the sea. The area is bathed in the light of countless stars thanks to optical fibers embedded in the floor, while mist will continuously pour from above.
Housed on the fourth floor, an outdoor exhibit, the ‘SKYSHORE Sky Garden,’ will soothe your soul as you play with only the most adorable marine life, from penguins to otters. This is also where visitors can enjoy the átoa cafe, offering a lineup of Instagram-worthy food and drink.
The observation deck ‘ROOF TOP’ also provides a breathtaking view of Kobe. Whether you visit during day or night, take in the views of Kobe Harborland and Meriken Park to your heart’s content. A full museum shop will be stocked with adorable plushies and other original products.
Address: 7-2, Shinkocho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo
Open Date: October 29, 2021
Hours: 10:00-21:00 (Open Every Day)
Official Site: https://atoa-kobe.jp
Pâtissier-Inspired Shaved Ice Flavors Available at Kobe Minato Onsen Ren for Limited Time
There’s no better way to combat a heat wave than enjoying a cool bowl of shaved ice! Natural hot spring resort Kobe Minato Onsen Ren, overlooking Kobe Port, is releasing a gorgeous new style of this popular summer treat. Called Fluffed Ice, it offers a slightly more sophisticated flavor, and serves as the perfect way to cool off for adults escaping the hustle and bustle of the sweltering city.
Fluffed Ice, uniquely designed by a pastry chef: ¥900 each (Tax Included)
Fukuju (Nada’s Famous Sake)
Uji Green Tea and Hokkaido Azuki
By filtering the water and freezing it at a slower rate, the shaved ice is completely pure and free of any and all impurities. Visitors can enjoy four different flavors: Setouchi Lemon, a refreshing blend of acidity and white chocolate; Fujuku, which contains locally-sourced sake and sweet syrup; Strawberry, offering a mix of sweet and sour; and, finally, Uji Matcha and Hokkaido Azuki, elegantly mixing flavors from both northern and southern Japan. The syrup used is made from scratch, and was developed by the pâtissier of Le Pan Kobe Kitano, a bakery and sweets shop nearby.
During this incredibly hot summer, give this new Fluffed Ice a try!
Location: Ocean Spa ‘Poolside Bar,’ Restaurant Suiren
Available Until: September 30, 2021
Official Site: https://ren-onsen.jp/event/fuwakoori/