Kyoto’s Rokuo-in Temple to be Illuminated in the Autumn Evenings

25.September.2020 | SPOT

Keifuku Electric Railroad is lending its strength to Rokuo-in Temple in Kyoto this autumn to light up the ancient site in the evenings from November 14 to December 6.

Shari-den (Photo taken in 2019)


Temple path (Photo taken in 2019)

This year marks the 5th run of the autumn evening light-ups. The temple, just a four minute walk from Rokuoin Station, is known for its beautiful maple trees which blossom breathtaking autumnal colours during the fall season.

Temple reception hall with fusuma images


Fusuma image example

The temple is selling new goshuin temple stamp books this year for the light-up event. Visitors will also be able to see 56 fusuma images drawn by contemporary Japanese artist Takaya Fuji.

 

Rokuo-in Temple will close early next year for approximately 2 years and 9 months for repairs. The temple is also currently limiting the number of people allowed at once, making this year the best time to see the autumn leaves.

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    21.October.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Minami-za, one of the most respected kabuki theatres in Japan, has announced a special exhibition in collaboration with the TV anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba which will run from November 6 to 23.

     

    Minami-za is the oldest theatre in Japan and is registered as a Tangible Cultural Property of Japan. The Demon Slayer exhibition will feature displays, decorations, and a range of exclusive merchandise.

     

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    Fans will find a range of character boards displayed at the entrance lobby to Minami-za with the characters donning traditional kabuki attire.

     

    Special Stage Photo Spots

    Cut-outs of the main cast of characters will be displayed on stage. People will be able to stand up on stage and take photos with the characters in this unique collaboration with kabuki.

     

    Signboard

    An original signboard will be displayed at the entrance to Minami-za.

     

    Free Bonus Items

    All customers who visit the theatre will receive one of these 18 possible coasters for free.

     

    Merchandise

    Those who hold a ticket to the event will be able to purchase a selection of original merchandise at the theatre. The items will also be sold online at Shochiku Kabuki-ya Honpo.

    Teabags (4 Flavours) | ¥800 (Tax Included)

    Special teabags will also be sold at the Tokyo and Kobikicho Square branches of Shochiku Kabuki-ya Honpo as well as their online website between October 21 and 23.

     

    Tickets to the event are available via Lawson in Japan.

     

    ©Koyoharu Gotouge/Shueisha・Aniplex・ufotable

  • 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.

  • 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

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    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
    Prices:

    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.

     

    Time: 17:00-23:00
    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

     

    Time: 11:00-Midtown
    Location: Galleria 1F Tree Shower

     

    Choose! Choose! AR Tree – An Original World

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  • 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.

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    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.

    Snow World

    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.

  • Pokémon Illuminations to Shine at Lake Sagami in Kanagawa

    11.October.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest, an outdoor multi-resort in Sagamihara, Kanagawa, has announced that the Kanto region’s biggest illumination event SAGAMIKO ILLUMILLION is set to return for 2020-2021. The event will see 6 million illuminations light up the area from November 14, 2020 to April 4, 2021.

     

    About SAGAMIKO ILLUMILLION

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    SAGAMIKO ILLUMILLION is being held with all the necessary precautions in place against COVID-19.

  • Halloween Food Served Up at Meiji Jingu Shrine’s Constitution Memorial Hall

    10.October.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    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.

     

    Halloween Menu

    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.

  • 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.

  • Enjoy Breakfast With a Feline Twist at eXcafe Gion in Kyoto Where They Serve Cat Shaped Toast

    06.October.2020 | FOOD

    eXcafe Gion, a cafe located near Kyoto’s popular tourist spot Yasaka Shrine, introduced its Mikeneko breakfast to the menu on Monday. The breakfast was first put on the menu at the Arashiyama branch of eXcafe.

    Gion is one of Kyoto’s biggest and most famous shopping districts. eXcafe Gion is located along Shinbashi-dori Street, which is listed as one of Japan’s Important Preservation Districts of Historic Buildings, making it within walking distance of many traditional places in Kyoto such as Yasaka Shrine, Hanamikoji Street, Shirakawa, Tatsumidaimyojin Shrine, and more.

    eXcafe Mikeneko Breakfast | ¥1,380 (Before Tax)

    eXcafe’s Mikeneko breakfast menu is made with the new thick-cut, three-coloured cat-shaped bread from the popular cafe Kyoto Neko Neko, which is made with three flavours: caramel, black cocoa, and plain. It comes with various toppings to choose from including anko red bean paste, butter, whipped cream, and fruit, so you can arrange your toast how you like it.

     

    The toast is served with mitarashi-dango for dessert which can be cooked on top of the little stove that you get.

     

    Enjoy a super cute breakfast meal at eXcafe and then a stroll around Gion when visiting Kyoto.

  • Visit Osaka This Christmas For the Grand Wish Christmas 2020 Illuminations

    04.October.2020 | SPOT

    Grand Front Osaka has announced a Christmas event this year called ‘Grand Wish Christmas 2020’ which will run from November 11 to December 25. ‘Winter Voyage’ is the theme for the event which will switch on host of dazzling illuminations to warm up the cockles of everyone’s heart this coming winter.

     

    Winter Voyage: A journey of hope to connect the world

    The ball-draped Winter Voyage Tree was created by Japanese designer Kimi Hasegawa and will be placed inside the mall’s Knowledge Plaza. Guests will also be welcomed by the Champagne Gold Illumination which has been fitted with 400,000 balls, and there will also be a photo exhibition made in collaboration with travel culture magazine TRANSIT that showcases beautiful sights around the world.

     

    *Please note that parts of the event are subject to change or cancellation depending on the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

     

    Winter Voyage Tree: The main Christmas tree

    The balloons that adorn the tree each represent a continent and how the world is connected to the same sky. The Winter Voyage Tree is a magical Christmas tree to deliver wishes this winter, with the balloons each having motifs of animals, buildings, and plans from each place around the world. See them illuminated with the ‘Lighting Show’ this winter.

     

    Running: November 11, 2020 – December 25, 2020

    Lighting Show: [Weekdays] 17:00-Midnight / [Weekends] 16:00-Midnight

    Location: Knowledge Village, Grand Front Osaka North Building Floor 1F

     

    Champagne Gold Illumination

    126 trees around the 1 hectare-wide Umekita Plaza in front of Osaka Station will glow with 400,000 champagne gold lights.

     

    Running: November 11, 2020 – February 23, 2021

    Illumination Time: Everyday 17:00-Midnight

    Locations: Umekita Plaza, Keyaki Namiki, West Side of Grand Front Osaka’s North Building

     

    TED HYBER -Ugly Christmas Sweater-

    Ted Hyber is a giant teddy bear created by French contemporary artist Fabrice Hybert. A symbol of Grand Front Osaka’s Umekita Plaza, he will be dressed up in an “Ugly Christmas Sweater” this year.

    Running: November 11, 2020 – December 25, 2020
    Location: Grand Front Osaka South Building

     

    TRANSIT Photo Exhibition – “It’s a beautiful planet”

    Travel culture magazine TRANSIT will be showcasing a selection of photos taken by a number of artists such as Yayoi Arimoto, who works for the magazine, taken around the world. It’s a great opportunity for those unable to travel in the current climate.

     

    Running: November 11, 2020 – December 25, 2020
    Location: Grand Front Osaka North Building Floors 3F-6F

  • Autumn Lights Set to Illuminate Kyoto’s Konkai-Komyoji Temple This November

    04.October.2020 | SPOT

    Autumn illuminations are set to shine on Konkai-Komyoji Temple in Kyoto from November 13.

    Konkai-Komyoji Temple is a Buddhist temple that was founded in 1175. It is one of the eight temples of the Jodo sect of Buddhism and his home to numerous treasures including a painting by Edo period painter Itō Jakuchū, folding screen paintings by Tomioka Tessai, and more. There are many wonders to behold at the temple, such as the Tora-no-ma which has sliding doors that depending on how they are open or closed display a different number of tigers, or the Shiun Gardens which have a stream that reflects the beautiful autumnal colours of the overhead trees.

    The temple is also home to the Goko Shuyui Amida Butsu statue, which has been picked up by the Japanese media on many occasions and referred to as the “Afro Buddha” due to its afro hairstyle.

     

    There will be Japanese music performances with traditional instruments like the koto and shinobue three times an evening for the illumination event. If you’re in Kyoto this autumn, this is one event to not miss.

  • Taiko-en: Osaka’s Oasis in the City Begins 2020 Autumn Illumination Event

    01.October.2020 | SPOT

    Taiko-en is an enormous site spanning 250,000 square feet and is home to a breathtaking garden, restaurant, and more. This year, the site is giving host to a special illumination event for autumn this year which began on Saturday.


    Since July 2019, Taiko-en has been lighting up its garden with illuminations for people to enjoy the beautiful garden in the evening, bringing together nature with the history of the site.


    The illuminations begin with projection mapping at the entrance of the garden which rolls out an autumn colour carpet. As visitors walk along the projected path, the lights and colours dance beneath their feet.

     

    Further in they will come to the “Night Museum” area where they will find stone statues collected by Denzaburō Fujita lit up, as well as paper lanterns, and more, offering a magical atmosphere different from that during the daytime. There’s also a path home to moso bamboo as well as acrylic bamboo with LED lights in it which lead visitors into a mystical world of dazzling radiance. In the main area, there’s a lake with a sea of clouds above it, and the trees of the garden coloured bright red.

     

    The restaurant and banquet area are open for business, so after enjoying a gourmet meal, visitors are encouraged to go and see the light show.

  • 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

    Book: Online
    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.

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