Experience Old Time Kyoto in Autumn 2020 With Tea and Textiles
18.September.2020 | SPOT
Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, is also called the birth place of Japanese culture, with a history spanning 1,200 years. Today, we’re going to take a look at a number of upcoming events and seasonal items on sale in Kyoto for autumn 2020.
Celebrating 300 years of Tango Chirimen
This year marks 300 years since Tango Chirimen was established, a company located in Tango in northern Kyoto that specialises in a Japanese textile of flat woven silk known as ‘chirimen.’ There are many local chirimen brands around Japan, but it is the chirimen from Tango that has stood above the rest these past 300 years. The brand is now looking to the start of a new era for itself during its triple century milestone.
LIFE WITH THE QUALITY
Tango Chirimen is currently displaying a collaborative art exhibit at NEWoMan Shinjuku in Tokyo. This includes the entry display made in collaboration with Japanese artist Saki Tanaka, wall art made from woven fabrics, and more.
Running: Until September 30, 2020
Location: NEWoMan Shinjuku
Lineup: Display in collaboration with Saki Tanaka, wall art, and more
United Arrows x Tango Chirimen
United Arrows is also collaborating with the brand and incorporating their logo mark “TANGO OPEN” on a new men’s t-shirt.
Product Name: BY Tango Broad Wide Form Tapered Shirt
Buy Here: https://store.united-arrows.co.jp/shop/by/goods.html?gid=52838245
Sold at: BEAUTY & YOUTH UNITED ARROWS stores and their official online store
Taste tea from Uji on Japanese Tea Day
It is generally considered that the first tea of the season in Japan is best enjoyed from the end of April and during May, but in fact Japanese tea is the perfect season to enjoy Japanese tea, specially since the country celebrates Japanese Tea Day (Nihoncha no Hi) on October 1 and 31.
Ujicha, or tea from Uji in Kyoto, boasts some of the most famous kinds of teas in Japan. This includes matcha, sencha, and gyokuro, all of which were first grown in southern Kyoto. Because of this, it is said that Ujicha marks the origins of Japanese tea. So when you visit Japan during autumn, why not celebrate Japanese Tea Day with some authentic tea from Uji?
Ujicha Tea Murie Online Course
The Ujicha Tea Murie Course has been held since 2015 in Kyoto, and this year, the course is heading online for the first time as a result of the pandemic. Learn how to make and serve Uji tea from a professional tea instructor as well as its history and more.
Running: Session 1: September 15, 2020 / Session 2: October 2, 2020 / Session 3: October 17, 2020
Requirements: Download and install Zoom
Official Website: https://www.pref.kyoto.jp/yamashiro/ocha/
Certified Ujicha tea cafes for an authentic experience
Tsujiri Rihei Ginza | Tsujiri Rihei Senju
Nakamura Tokichi Ginza
Tsujiri Rihei Ginza, Tsujiri Rihei Senju, and Nakamura Tokichi Ginza are all cafes in Tokyo that are officially recognised for serving authentic Ujicha tea which also includes proper preparation as well as teaching the history and culture behind the tea. These three cafes are also holding an Ujicha tea stamp rally as well as a Twitter hashtag campaign.
Uji Tea Cafe Stamp Rally
Running: Until December 31, 2020
Location: 40 cafes in Kyoto
*The information listed in this article is correct at the time of publishing. The information is subject to change.
World’s First Mario Cafe and Shop Opens at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka
Universal Studios Japan (USJ) announced earlier this month that its new Nintendo-themed area SUPER NINTENDO WORLD will open in spring 2021. While the grand opening of SUPER NINTENDO is still a while away yet, USJ has everyone covered, as the new and first of its kind Mario Cafe & Store officially opened inside the park’s Hollywood Area on October 16, 2020.
The cafe and shop is dream come true for fans of the Mario bros as they enter into a world inspired by the video game series with Mario and Luigi and level decorations in every corner. It can be easily spotted thanks to the red and green “M” and “L” letters on the windows symbolising Mario and Luigi as well as the Mario and Luigi hats. Gamers can enjoy this exciting space while they wait for the official opening of SUPER NINTENDO WORLD.
Themed food and merchandise line-up
Decorations are instantly recognisable with Question Blocks and Pipes on the walls, Mario Mushroom-coloured tables, and more.
The food line-up includes dishes, drinks, and desserts like pancake sandwiches made to look like Mario and Luigi’s hats, fruit dream soda inspired by the brothers’ moustaches, and a selection of original merchandise which reads “WHOSE CAP?” on it like T-shirts and more. You can see more of what’s on the menu here.
SUPER NINTENDO WORLD
Grand Opening: Spring 2021
Official Website: https://www.usj.co.jp/web/en/us
Japan’s Elephant Zoo Ichihara Elephant Kingdom to Receive Revamp For Spring 2021
20.October.2020 | SPOT
Ichihara Elephant Kingdom is the home to the largest number of elephants in Japan. The zoo has announced major renovations set for completion next spring which will allow for the elephants to live an even more enjoyable life.
Ichihara Elephant Kingdom is located in central Chiba and is home to 12 elephants. It’s also home to around 80 other species of animals like red pandas, beavers, capybaras, hippos, and more. The zoo also has a variety of attractions, like the Elephant Ride which sits behinds where the elephants live, and the Elephant Lift where you can ride up and down an elephant trunk. The Head of Ichihara Elephant Kingdom, Sayuri Sakamoto, served as the writer for the 2005 Japanese drama film Shining Boy & Little Randy. One of the zoo’s Asian elephants, Randy, was also a model for the film.
The renovations will introduce a new home for the elephants as the current one is seeing wear over time, as well as a new large-scale pond for the elephants to play in, a playground, and more. The zoo has always ensured a safe distance between visitors and the elephants so people can enjoy watching them will making sure the elephants stay happy. It is now creating new spaces to continue that service.
The water pond the zoo is building for the elephants is called Elephant Splash, and they are launching a crowdfunder on October 27, 2020 to ask for people’s help with funding the project. It will allow a new space for the elephants to play which visitors are sure to enjoy too, like seeing the 1- and 2-year-old Ramu and Momoka splashing around.
The crowdfunding project has nine different tiers including tickets to an evening cherry blossom party at the park, a chance to ride the elephants, and more. The campaign will end on January 15, 2021, the same date as Ramu’s birthday.
Ichihara Elephant Kingdom
Opening Hours: 10:00-16:00 (Last Entries 15:00)
About 5 minutes from Ichihara-Tsurumai interchange of Ken-O Expressway
About 65 minutes from Tokyo station,
About 80 minutes from Yokohama station,
About 35 minutes from Haneda airport
to Ichihara-Tsurumai Bus Terminal.
About 5 minutes by our free shuttle bus from Ichihara-Tsurumai Bus Terminal.
About 10 minutes from Takataki station of Kominato railway by the zoo’s free shuttle bus.
Official Website: http://www.zounokuni.com/english/
Fujikawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival 2020 Begins This November
19.October.2020 | SPOT
The Fujikawaguchiko Tourism Association will host this year’s Fujikawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival, which will be the 22nd run, to help support the tourism industry in the northern region of Fuji which has seen a great impact as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With much less people travelling to Japan during the pandemic, and the virus having continued for a long time, the Fujikawaguchiko Tourism Association is instead focusing on travellers within the country by hosting various events that can be enjoyed at Fujikawaguchiko.
All the necessary precautions will be taken at this year’s festival, including taking people’s temperature upon arrival, the mandatory wearing of face masks, alcohol gel being available at the site, and more. This will protects not only the locals but sightseers too, and so cooperation is being asked of everyone visiting.
At this year’s festival, visitors can look forward to the popular Momiji Tunnel of maple trees which will be lit up at sunset until 10:00pm. The beautiful autumn colours can be enjoyed with Mount Fuji in the background. There will also be food, souvenirs, and a variety of activities to be enjoyed.
The Momiji Tunnel is an absolute must-see for anyone visiting Yamanashi during autumn and is nothing less than Instagram-worthy.
22nd Fujikawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival
Location: Around Lake Kawaguchi
Running: November 7, 2020 – November 29, 2020
Opening Hours: 9:00-19:00 (Light up is from sunset to 22:00)
Access: 25 mins from Kawaguchiko Station by bus (nearest bus stop: Itchiku Kubota Art Museum Stop)
*Please observe social distancing and government guidelines in relation to COVID-19.
*Fujikawaguchiko is a World Heritage Site and recognised as a place of natural beauty. Please take your trash home with you.
Tokyo Midtown Announces Winter Event ‘MIDTOWN WINTER MOMENTS’
18.October.2020 | SPOT
Tokyo Midtown has announced that its winter event ‘MIDTOWN WINTER MOMENTS’ will run from November 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021.
“ANOTHER WORLD” is the concept for this year’s rendition of the annual event, which will see new winter illuminations, Christmas decorations, the opening of an ice rink, and plenty of other fun experiences for people to enjoy throughout the entire day, right into the evening.
MIDTOWN WINTER LIGHTS
A highlight of the event will be the “MIDTOWN WINTER LIGHTS,” warm illuminations to light fires in hearts during the cold winter season that will create a dazzling spectacle the likes of which cannot be missed.
Path of Light – An Illuminated World
The pedestrian walkway will welcome a strip of gorgeous golden lights affixed to towering trees to guide your way. More golden lights than ever before are being prepared this year to pull visitors into a romantic and dreamy world.
SNOW LIGHT GLOBE – A World of Snow
The SNOW LIGHT GLOBE is a giant 3-meter tall and 4.5-meter wide snow globe inside which glistens sparkling snow, crystals, and aurora. The lights are ever-changing throughout the day, presenting itself differently every time you look at it.
STEP LIGHT – A Colourful World
STEP LIGHT is a fun and interactive illumination display with lights that light up when you step on them, creating a colourful walkway.
Running: November 19, 2020 – February 28, 2021
Time: 17:00-23:00 (Until 24:00 around the plaza)
Location: Midtown Garden
MIDTOWN ICE RINK – A World of Ice
MIDTOWN ICE RINK is something people in Tokyo look forward to every winter. This year, the rink is opening in November. It’s one of the biggest ice rinks in Tokyo and provides real ice for people to skate on, welcoming everyone from children and beginners to pros. The rink will be open into the evening too when it will be lit up so people can enjoy a little night skating session.
Running: November 19, 2020 – February 28, 2021
Time: 11:00-21:00 (Last Entries 20:00)
*Opens at 17:00 on November 19 and is closed on January 1
*Opening hours subject to change depending on weather
Location: Tokyo Midtown
General (High School Students and older) – Weekdays ¥2,000 / Weekends & Public Holidays ¥2,500
Children (Junior High School Students and younger) Weekdays ¥1,500 / Weekends & Public Holidays ¥2,000
Midtown Christmas Trees
Various Christmas trees will be set up in the Tokyo Midtown garden area, indoors, and elsewhere to set in the holiday season mood.
Running: November 19, 2020 – December 25, 2020
Present Christmas Tree – A World of Fantasy
The Tokyo Midtown garden will welcome a mysterious kind of Christmas tree for the first time every this year—one which sprouts presents. 25 presents will be grown, and in December one will be given out each day.
Location: Midtown Garden
Santa Tree – A Miniature World
Around 1,800 individual Santa Claus ornaments will make up the 4-meter tall Santa Tree inside the Tokyo Midtown Galleria
Location: Galleria 1F Tree Shower
Choose! Choose! AR Tree – An Original World
Tokyo Midtown also has something for people to enjoy at home. They can use an app that makes use of AR tech so that a Christmas tree can appear when you go to take a photo which you can decorate with an assortment of ornaments. There’s over 1,000 possible combinations. More details about this will be posted on the event website in early November.
MIDTOWN WINTER MOMENTS
Running: November 19, 2020 – February 28, 2021
Official Website: https://www.tokyo-midtown.com
Gaze at the Starry Sky in a Hot Swimming Pool This Winter at HOSHINOYA Okinawa
17.October.2020 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Okinawa has announced its new “Hoshizora Hot Pool” experience where guests will be able to stay warm in the hotel’s warmed-up swimming pool while gazing up at the winter night sky. It will run from December 1, 2020 to February 28, 2020.
Okinawa enjoys a mild winter each year; it’s uncommon for the temperature to dip below 15℃. Winter is a time where all of us enjoy being in the warmth of indoors, but in Okinawa you can enjoy being outside even during the cold season. And that’s where Hoshizora Hot Pool comes in as the end of the year approaches, a time when there are many events and celebrations to be had.
The outdoor pool at HOSHINOYA Okinawa can be heated and so is perfect during the winter season. Guests are invited to soak in the infinity pool, where you can hear the sounds of the waves, and where it looks like the sea and sky become one. Almost all 88 of the constellations can be seen in Okinawa, and since the sky is clear during the winter nights, it’s the opportune time to be turning your gaze skyward.
Glowing lanterns make for a romantic atmosphere
When the sun sets, lanterns are lit by the poolside and breathe a warmth light to the cool evenings. The lights sway back and forth, reflecting off the water to create a magical atmosphere.
Hot cocktails by the pool
Guests will also be able to order from the bar once the lanterns are lit from the evening with a selection of refreshing drinks made with fresh fruits to hot cocktails to warm the body.
Float beneath the starry sky to the sounds of the waves
Guests can enjoy floating in the pool as an endless tapestry of stars unravels itself overhead. The Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe will be open for business in the evening too. Guests can order some fruity desserts, rent lanterns, and more.
Hoshizora Hot Pool
Address: 474 Gima, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa
Running: December 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021
Price: Free (Drinks from the bar however must be paid for)
Time: Open 24 hours (But only adults can use the pool after sunset)
Bar Opening Hours: Sunset until 22:00
*Available to HOSHINOYA Okinawa guests only
Opening Hours: 19:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:00
Price: Dessert Set for Two = ¥2,728 (Before Tax)
*Available to guests and non-guests
Official Website: https://hoshinoya.com
Ibaraki Prefecture Announces Official Tours of Mount Tsukuba and Lake Kasumigaura
17.October.2020 | SPOT
Ibaraki Prefecture has been promoting the areas of Mount Tsukuba and Lake Kasumigaura with a variety of events and programs since 2018. For 2020, one of the programs the prefecture has announced is ‘Mount Tsukuba PLAY 2020’ which invites people on a trial tour around Mount Tsukuba and Lake Kasumigaura.
About Mount Tsukuba
Mount Tsukuba is the doorstep to tourism in Ibaraki Prefecture, known for its iconic double peaks which has it listed officially as one of the “100 Most Beautiful Mountains in Japan.” The mountain offers 10 different courses for climbers, all of which boast gorgeous views and scenery throughout all four seasons. It also has a famous shrine halfway up the mountain known as Tsukubasan Shrine which is considered the physical enshrinement of the mountain itself. The shrine has long been a place of worship for people.
About Lake Kasumigaura
Lake Kasumigaura is the second-largest lake in Japan after Shiga Prefecture’s Lake Biwa. It is loved by locals and tourists for its beautiful natural environment and the expanse of its breathtaking view. It also has its own cycling route, Tsukuba Kasumigaura Ring Ring Road, which is an official National Cycling Route that has become a popular route with cyclists in recent years.
During the autumn season on weekends, the area offers a special long-ride cycling tour as an opportunity for people to soak up the local area, as well as kids programs, concerts for parents and their children, and other activity programs and guide tours. Bookings are now available online.
A Look at Mount Tsukuba PLAY 2020
Mount Tsukuba and Lake Kasumigaura – 2 Day 1 Night Sports Experience Tour
Mount Tsukuba PLAY 2020 is offering a special sports tour for elementary school kids where a guide will take them to climb Mount Tsukuba and canoe around Lake Kasumigaura, amongst other activities.
A Photogenic Tour in the Small Town by the Lake Shore
atacamaki, a ‘slow photographer’ and resident of Kasumigaura, will be taking photographers on a two day trip around the lake and surrounding area with rental bicycles to teach them how to shoot photos like a pro.
Concert in Tsukuba Forest
A concert will be held for children in the forest where they can lay down on the grass and be at one with nature as they enjoy the performance. The performance will be played by Akashi Yamada, the forest instructor and a singer-songwriter.
Cycling Along the Kokai River and Near Chikusei With Tsukuba Mounta in the Background
A local guide will give parents and children a tour of Tsukuba and all the must-see spots. The 37km cycling tour will offer plenty for people to see and encourages beginners to cycling.
A Long Cycling Tour Around Lake Kasumigaura, Kitaura, and Tsukuba
The program also offers a two-day long distance cycling tour of 100km.
Mount Tsukuba PLAY 2020
Mount Tsukuba PLAY Special Site: https://mount-tsukuba.com/play
Get Lucky in Marriage and Matchmaking This October in Shimane’s City of Matsue
15.October.2020 | SPOT
Japan’s city of Matsue in Shimane Prefecture is wanting to create a new kind of sightseeing and tourist experience that encourages people to stay for a time in the city, and so it has launched the “Re Happy! Campaign.”
In the old Japanese calendar, October is known as Kamiarizuki, or ‘the month when deities are around.’ The Izumo region of the country is known as a place where deities from all across Japan gather, and so October here has been called the one true Kamiarizuki. There are many different kinds of deities, but today we’ll be looking at those associated with matchmaking and marriage, and mapping out a route you can take around Matsue to up your luck when it comes to these things.
Shop Name: Ohori to Hakucho
We begin at Ohori to Hakucho, a confectionery shop that sells cute sweet treats and local delicacies, some of which are themed on increasing your luck with marriage ties.
Kounkaku inside Matsu Castle
There are many old and traditional Japanese houses around Matsue Castle which make for Instagram-worthy photos, so find the right spot as you walk around and snap some pictures.
Heart-Shaped ema board
Ema are small wooden plaques strung up at shrines on which people write their wishes. Write one yourself so that the deities can receive your desires.
After a long stroll of sightseeing, head to the Tamatsukuri Onsen hot spring for a relaxing bathe. It’s said that sitting in an onsen hot spring beautifies your skin. Sit back and enjoy the fireworks on the screen while sipping on some high-grade sake.
Matsue is a great place to visit whether on your own or as a couple, with plenty of spots to up your luck with matchmaking and marriage.
Matsue Re Happy! Campaign
Official Website: https://www.kankou-matsue.jp/rehappy
Snow Fireworks to Light Up the Winter Skies of Miyazaki at Phoenix Seagaia Resort
14.October.2020 | SPOT
Phoenix Seagaia Resort, a resort located in Miyazaki Prefecture whose brand slogan claims them as the most beautiful in all of Japan, has announced a heart-warming new experience for the winter season.
Seagaia’s Snow Fireworks
Miyazaki doesn’t see a lot of snowfall, but this winter, the prefecture is welcoming an all-new fireworks festival which will launch fireworks into the sky that falls like pure white snow. Phoenix Seagaia Resort is also offering a guest plan which combines a stay at the resort with front row seats to the fireworks.
Running: December 4, 2020 – February 27, 2021 (Fridays and Saturdays only + January 10, 2021)
Time: 20:00 (Approx 3 minutes)
Starlight Winter Illuminations
THE LIVING GARDEN is the garden area of Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort exclusive to guests. This winter, the garden will be lit up with 30,000 LED lights and lanterns to create a magical, starry sky-like atmosphere by both of the garden’s pools.
Running: November 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021
Location: THE LIVING GARDEN, Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort
Illumination Times: Sunset to 23:00
Price: Free (Exclusive to Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort guests)
A Cosy Menu For a Warm Stay
Gazebos by the waterside at THE LIVING GARDEN
Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort will also serve s’mores, hot cocktails, and other treats at THE LIVING GARDEN with gazebos and fire pits. Enjoy fluffy marshmallow s’mores served with nuts and salted chocolate.
Running: November 6, 2020 – February 28, 2021 (Excluding Wednesdays & Thursdays)
Times: 19:30-23:00 (Last Orders 22:30)
Location: KUROBAR, THE LIVING GARDEN, Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort
Ashikaga Flower Park Turns On the Lights For ‘The Garden of Illuminated Flowers’
13.October.2020 | SPOT
Ashikaga Flower Park in Ashikaga, Tochigi, has announced an illumination event for the autumn and winter seasons called “The Garden of Illuminated Flowers ~Flower Fantasy 2020~” which will run from October 17, 2020 to February 7, 2021.
The annual event is being held a week later than usual in order to implement the necessary precautions against COVID-19 and to ensure visitors are divided from one another so that they can enjoy the event as always safely. Masks will need to be worn and visitors must sanitise their hands as well as have their temperature checked with the on-site thermal camera before entering the park.
Held for the 19th time this year, the event was ranked among the Top 3 biggest light-up events in Japan in 2017 alongside Sapporo White Illuminations and Huis Ten Bosch Illuminations. It was also ranked top by night view critics in Japan as best the illumination event for four consecutive years.
So, why is this event adored so much?
The Miraculous Great Wisteria
Due to COVID-19, people were unable to enjoy the blossoming wisteria during this year’s spring season, but now they can be enjoyed in autumn and winter in the form of illuminations.
Illuminated Water Lilies
Water lilies are enjoyed from summer through autumn. These water lily lights by the waterside are like little individual flower spirits.
Illuminated Rose Garden
A panoramic spectacle of vivid red rose lights. A special blue light-up will also take place to give gratitude to frontline workers who will be busy this season.
A Flower Story of Illuminated Wisteria
The multicoloured wisteria that bloom from mid-April to mid-May at the park are also being represented as dazzling illuminations which will reflect off the water surface to create a magical atmosphere.
Santa Claus will be at the park from late November to late December to hand out presents to children.
Enter a romantic world of Japanese illuminations at Ashikaga Flower Park.
The Garden of Illuminated Flowers ~Flower Fantasy 2020~
Address: 607 Hasamacho, Ashikaga, Tochigi
Running: October 17, 2020 – February 7, 2021
Official Website: https://www.ashikaga.co.jp/flowerfantasy_special2020/en/index.html
Halloween Food Served Up at Meiji Jingu Shrine’s Constitution Memorial Hall
Meiji Kinenkan, also known as Constitution Memorial Hall, has announced that its beer terrace Sekirei will open up for October to serve up a Halloween themed menu.
Meiji Kinenkan is a unique and premium venue at Meiji Jingu Shrine that serves as a host to many different kinds of gatherings. It was designated as an important cultural property of Tokyo for its architecture in March of this year.
Sekirei normally opens during the summertime each year, but this year they’ve decided to open up for business for the autumn season too. Guests can enjoy a line-up of over 40 different food items in the beautiful autumn-kissed gardens along with beer and a selection of other beverage.
The Halloween menu arrived on Monday and features a colour arrangement of tasty bites, with an original line-up of foods and desserts conceived by Meiji Kinenkan’s chef who specialises in French cuisine at the site.
Other Autumn Options
Autumn is a very pleasant season in terms of weather, and so as well as the Halloween menu, Sekirei has cooked up a separate seasonal assortment too including Japanese roast beef with vegetables, fried masutake mushroom and salmon, and more.
Sekirei has a special indoor all-you-can-drink plan as well in case it rains, so guests don’t have to worry about the weather and can keep warm indoors if the occasion calls for it.
Running: Until October 30, 2020 (Weekdays Only)
Times: 17:00-22:00 (Last Food Orders 21:00 / Last Drink Orders 21:30)
*From 18:00 on August 16, 19, and 20
Official Website: https://www.meijikinenkan.gr.jp/restaurant/sekirei.html
Online Bookings: https://www.tablecheck.com/shops/meijikinenkan-sekirei/reserve
Address: 2-2-23 Moto-Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
3 minutes from Shinanomachi Station (JR Chuo-Sobu Line)
6 minutes from Aoyama-itchome Station (Ginza, Hanzomon, Oedo subway line)
6 minutes from Kokuritsu-kyogijo Station (Oedo subway line)
Official Website: https://www.meijikinenkan.gr.jp/english/
Learn Japanese History at Kyoto’s Nijo Castle Festival With the NAKED SAMURAI App
09.October.2020 | SPOT
NAKED, INC. has announced the launch of a new project called ‘NAKED SAMURAI’ that will debut at Nijo Castle Festival 2020 which begins on October 14, 2020.
NAKED has fused technology with reality for many different projects, such as CITY LIGHT FANTASIA—an evening projection mapping exhibit—which has been showcased in the observation deck halls of government buildings and towers, the Night Walk event in Hokkaido and Aomori, and more.
With the effects of COVID-19 changing the way we live our lives, so too does NAKED have to change the way it blends tech with real life. And that’s where NAKED SAMURAI comes in which the company is taking to Nijo Castle, one of Japan’s many tourist hot spots as well as a World Heritage Site.
See historical architecture while learning Japanese history
NAKED SAMURAI is an app used for smartphones that has a samurai as your guide with fully-recoded lines. The samurai will tell users the history and stories behind the various spots at Nijo Castle from his perspective. When putting your phone up to certain places, certain sites that are normally locked at Nijo Castle will open up onto the app, giving you a rare look into what’s inside.
Tokugawa Ieyasu, Toyotomi Hideyori, and other historical figures make an appearance
Your guides include Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate who ordered the building of Nijo Castle, and Toyotomi Hideyori, the general responsible for uniting Japan. They can both give you different insights into Nijo Castle.
Using the app lets you see how Nijo Castle looked back in these historical figures’ days during the Edo Period, as well as former castle tower before it was destroyed in 1750, and much more.
Nijo Castle Festival 2020
Running: October 14, 2020 – December 7, 2020
Location: Nijo Castle
Address: 541 Nijojocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto
Time: 8:45-16:00 (Castle closes at 17:00)
Price: General ¥1,030 / Junior to High School Students ¥350 / Elementary School Students ¥200
Official Website: https://nijo-jocastle.city.kyoto.lg.jp/event/nijojomatsuri/
*Certain parts of the event require a separate fee
*Schedule and details subject to change or cancellation depending on the situation of COVID-19
SUPER NINTENDO WORLD Will Open at Universal Studios Japan in Spring 2021
Universal Studios Japan (USJ) has announced that its new Nintendo-themed area SUPER NINTENDO WORLD will open in spring 2021. The park was originally scheduled to open last year, the year of the Tokyo Olympics, but the date was postponed due to COVID-19.
SUPER NINTENDO WORLD: A Nintendo Fan’s Dream
SUPER NINTENDO WORLD will be the first-ever multilevel Nintendo-themed area at USJ, and the first of its kind in the world. Fans of the internationally beloved games can expected to see a whole host of rides and attractions dedicated to their favourite characters, from Mario Kart to Yoshi and beyond, as well as themed restaurants, merchandise shops—the list goes on. There is endless amount of fun for fans to feel a part of the Nintendo world as they take up the role of Mario and hit blocks to receive coins, collect items, and much more.
While the grand opening of SUPER NINTENDO is still a while away yet, USJ has everyone covered. The new and first of its kind Mario Cafe & Store will officially open inside the park’s Hollywood Area on October 16, 2020. Let’s take a closer look.
Mario Cafe & Store
Mario Cafe & Store’s location inside the Hollywood Area
This Mario themed space will serve up food and drink inspired by everybody’s favourite plumber as well as sell merchandise.
The cafe and shops’ exterior designs
The cafe and shop can be easily spotted thanks to the red and green “M” and “L” letters on the windows symbolising Mario and Luigi as well as the Mario and Luigi hats. Gamers can enjoy this exciting space while they wait for the official opening of SUPER NINTENDO WORLD.
Mario & Luigi themed food
The food and drink line-up pays tribute to the beloved Mario video game franchise with instantly-recognisable motifs.
①Strawberry Shortcake Mario Hat Pancake Sandwich ②Grape Cheesecake Luigi Hat Pancake Sandwich ③Mario’s Strawberry Cream Fruit Cream Soda ④Luigi’s Apple Cream Fruit Cream Soda ⑤Soft Drinks (Super Mushroom, comes with drinks bottle)
Everything on the menu is sure to have you snapping some photos for Instagram.
Exclusive Mario merchandise
The shop is located next to the cafe and offers a whole range of exclusive merchandise with references to the Mario games like the brothers’ hats, Princess Peach’s crown, and more.
There’s also a special “WHOSE CAP?” series of goods to grab.
Stay tuned for future updates on SUPER NINTENDO WORLD.
*Photos are for illustrative purposes only
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SUPER NINTENDO WORLD
Grand Opening: Spring 2021
Official Website: https://www.usj.co.jp/web/en/us