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.
Konkai-Komyoji Temple Autumn Lights
Running: November 13, 2020 – December 6, 2020
Viewing Hours: 17:30-20:30 (Last Entries 20:00)
Price: General ¥1,000 / Elementary School Students ¥500 / Infants – Free / Groups of 20+ ¥800 each
Address: 121 Kurodanichō, Sakyō-ku, Kyoto
Official Website: https://www.kurodani.jp/lightup_aut/
‘Kyoto Yura Hotel M Gallery’ New Halloween Menu Features Adorable Monster Motifs
The ‘1F Lounge & Bar 1867’ at the Kyoto Yura Hotel M Gallery will be hosting a Halloween themed afternoon tea from October 1 2021, with tea sets and cocktails available. The premium hotel is owned by Accor, a Paris, France based group that owns over 5,000 hotels and resorts in 110 countries.
The Halloween-themed afternoon tea has been made by Jennie Chiu, a pastry chef who grew up in America, the home of Halloween. The afternoon tea features cute and playful monster motifs, including a witch-hat Mont Blanc, a Cassis and Chestnut Cake topped with a small ghost, and a spider-web topped Raspberry and Chocolate Mousse. For savory treats, Chef Nishimura Niki has prepared Foie Gras soaked in Salted Koji, plus two luxurious lobster dishes.
The creative Halloween cocktails were brainstormed by Yamazaki Sousei, who ranked in the Japan Top 10 category of bartending competition ‘WORLD CLASS 2021.’ The Halloween and apple pie inspired lineup was inspired by Scotland and the Celtic people, looking back to when Halloween was first celebrated.
Enjoy some adult-only time in this retro-modern “family mansion” themed space.
Halloween Afternoon Tea Set
Availability: October 1 ~ October 31 2021
Location: Lounge & Bar 1867
Serving Hours: 12:00 and 15:00 *Please reserve your table by 17:00 on the day prior to your arrival
Availability: October 1 ~ October 31 2021
Location: Lounge & Bar 1867
Serving Hours/Opening Hours: 11:30 ~ 21:00 (L.O. 20:30)
Official Site: https://kyotoyurahotel-mgallery.com/ja
Tokyo Mega Illumination at Tokyo City Keiba to Collaborate with NAKED for AR Experience
2021 marks the fourth year that the Oi Racecourse, also called Tokyo City Keiba, will be bathed in a sea of over eight million colorful lights! The Tokyo Mega Illumination is back from October 16, 2021, until April 10, 2022, and features a water fountain show synchronized to music, a 100-meter tunnel covered in twinkling lights, and more. This year, in the Twinkle area of the event, guests can enjoy various AR illuminations created as a collaboration with NAKED, a creative production company headquartered in Shibuya. The NAKED BIG BOOK interactive experience will also welcome visitors to enjoy a projection mapping experience like no other.
NAKED BIG BOOK
AR Horse Camera Filter
Limited-Time Area: Tree Playing with Lights (Lawn Area)
NAKED’s most popular work, NAKED BIG BOOK, utilizes projection mapping to allow guests to turn the pages of a giant book and experience a unique world separate from their own. Using web filters and AR, guests can also see the object as a pop-up picture book!
During this special collaboration held on a horse racing track, visitors can also see a giant white horse in AR as they explore the grounds. Colorful horseshoes and stars will pop up from people’s footprints, and the sound of visitors’ steps will take on the sound of a horse’s hooves instead. Be sure to make some memories by snapping commemorative photos with themed filters during the event!
Tokyo Mega Illumination 2021-2022
October 16, 2021 – April 10, 2022
Open Saturday and Sunday throughout October (Closed October 31)
Open Daily from November 1, 2021 – January 10, 2022 (Closed on Race Days and January 1)
Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays from January 11, 2022 – April 10, 2022 (Closed April 1)
Tickets are sold for the following week. New tickets for the following week go on sale each day at 0:00.
Official Site: https://www.tokyomegaillumi.jp/
Halloween Sweets Now Available at Historical Kyoto Sweets Shop Tsuruya Yoshinobu
Founded in 1803, Tsuruya Yoshinobu is a famous Japanese sweets shop specializing in wagashi, or traditional Japanese confections. To celebrate Halloween, the shop is now selling some themed treats through the end of October.
Halloween Pumpkin/Halloween Ghost Japanese Sweets
Happy Halloween Cookie Assortment
The celebration of Halloween dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, before later being Christianized as All Hallow’s Day. A day to ward off evil spirits and celebrate the fall harvest, it has become a much less serious holiday in recent decades. Children dress up in costumes and go door-to-door asking for candy, and the past is largely forgotten. The sweets available at Tsuruya Yoshinobu are decorated with cute expressions and are sure to be a hit at tea time with friends and family. Be sure to keep an eye out for the ghosts, featuring six different expressions!
Japanese sweets aren’t as strong as their American counterparts, and each is sculpted like a work of art. These will melt in your mouth and are perfect for enjoying with matcha, tea, or coffee! Be sure to fill out the blank card along with the cookie gift box for a thoughtful gift this holiday season.
Tsuruya Yoshinobu Halloween Wagashi
Happy Halloween Cookie Assortment, Available October 10 – Late October: ¥1,620 (Tax Included)
Halloween Pumpkin Japanese Sweets, Available October 16-31: ¥486 each (Tax Included)
Halloween Ghost Japanese Sweets, Available October 16-31: ¥486 each (Tax Included)
Where to Buy: Tsuruya Yoshinobu
*Please note that products are only available in-store, not online.
*Certain locations may not offer these products.
Official Site: https://www.tsuruyayoshinobu.jp/
Kurobe Gorge Trekking Tour Offers Breathtaking Two-Day Trolley Journey
13.October.2021 | SPOT
The Kurobe Gorge Trolley in Toyama will offer a special two-day journey through the fall foliage on October 29 and November 1, 2021.
On the day of the tour, guests will enjoy a leisurely journey through nature as a Kurobe Gorge tour guide explains the features of the surrounding environment.
Kurobe Gorge Trekking Tour
Deadline for Applications:
- October 29, 2021 – By October 18, 2021
- November 1, 2021 – By October 21, 2021
*Applications will close once capacity is reached.
30 guests per tour on a first-come, first-served basis.
Official Site: https://www.kurotetu.co.jp
Rosa & Berry Tawada English Garden Celebrates 10 Years with Light-Up Event
In scenic Shiga prefecture, visitors can find one of the largest light-up events in the Kansai region. The Rosa & Berry Tawada park is celebrating ten years in 2021, and to celebrate this milestone, the Rosa & Berry Illumination 2021 is covering the space in thousands of brightly colored rainbow lights!
Giant 4-meter Wreath and Treehouse
Constructing the Giant Wreath
Glittering Balloons & Rainbow Churros
The main stage, Stardust Lake, is located beside the Galaxy Railroad area. Guests can experience the beauty of Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan, as they wander the illuminated grounds. Don’t miss this year’s unique light show ‘Rainbow of Hope,’ a wish for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In commemoration of the park’s 10th anniversary, a huge wreath over four meters wide will be hung within the park. Created by Yoshihi Futana, the wreath was created with carefully collected plants that were starting to wither. The size is sure to impress, so don’t miss your chance to snap a picture with this work of art!
The church-like building sitting atop a hill in the park is decorated with illuminated flowers made by creative team You Ru Maru. Fans of Shaun the Sheep can enjoy a store dedicated to the popular character and his friends on-site, some hotpot during the cooler months at the Kotatsu Nabe restaurant, and a hot cup of tea overlooking the lights at the Hillside Cafe Tearoom. Don’t forget to grab a rainbow churro as you wander around the park!
Rosa & Berry Illumination 2021 ~Hills of Twinkling Lights~
Running: October 8, 2021 – February 14, 2022 (Closed Tuesdays)
Hours: 17:30-21:00 (*Hours change depending on the season)
Address: Rosa & Berry Tawada English Garden (Maibara, Shiga Prefecture)
Official Site: https://www.rb-tawada.com
Kyoto’s Kurodani Temple, Typically Closed to the Public, to Accept Visitors for Limited Time
Constructed in 1175, the Kurodani Temple is one of the head temples of the Jodo Sect of Buddhism. Though typically closed to the public, the grounds will open for a short period to allow guests to experience some beautiful autumn scenery beginning November 12, 2021. This temple is associated with the Shinsengumi and served as the headquarters of the Aizu Clan at the end of the Edo period, so those interested in history won’t want to miss out on this incredible opportunity.
[Night] Shiun Garden
[Day] Autumn Leaves at the Main Gate
[Day] Shiun Garden
[Night] Autumn Leaves at the Main Gate
Temple Grounds at Sunset
The Tiger’s Room
Live Koto Performance
Gokoushiyuiamidabutsu, ‘Afro Buddha’
Guests will be able to enjoy the gorgeous autumn temple scenery during both daytime and nighttime, with the night viewing also offering some traditional Japanese live music. Visitors can also see various temple treasures and historical items, as well as the Tiger Room, known for its painted doors. The unique and aptly named Afro Buddha will also be on display. After training for an extremely long period of time, the Buddha’s hair piled up, giving him this strangely modern appearance.
On a clear day, guests will be able to see clear to the Abeno Harukas building in Osaka. Vividly painted ceilings and other statues will completely surround visitors in spiritual history. At night, traditional Japanese music will be played at three different times in the front gardens. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the temple will offer a Premium Plan, allowing interested guests to enter the grounds 30 minutes before general admission starts. (This will require reservations made on the official website.) This will also include a guided tour!
How would you like to experience this piece of Japanese history while surrounded by unforgettable autumn foliage?
Special Autumn Viewing
Kudodani Temple, Kyoto – The Head Temple of the Jodo Sect of Buddhism
Address: 121 Kurodanicho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Night Viewing Details: https://www.kurodani.jp/lightup/
Day Viewing Details: https://www.kurodani.jp/sp_daytime/
Running: November 12 – December 5, 2021
Hours: 10:00-16:30 (Final Admission at 16:00)
Special Viewing Areas: Mikado, Daihojo, the Gardens, two locations at the main gate
Running: November 12 – December 5, 2021
Hours: 17:30-20:30 (Final Admission at 20:00)
Live traditional Japanese music will be performed in the garden located in front of the Main Hall at 17:45, 18:30, and 19:15
Enjoy “A Magical Moment” at the ‘HIBIYA Magic Time Illumination 2021’ Event
The ‘HIBIYA Magic Time Illumination 2021’ light event will be held in Tokyo Midtown Hibiya, as well as in related associations like Hibiya Area Management, Hibiya Chanter, Tokyo Midtown Hibiya, Hibiya Nakadoori, and Hibiya Chanter’s Area Management locations, between November 18 2021 and February 14 2022. The theme for this year’s illumination event is “A Magical Moment” that can be enjoyed from a distance.
HIBIYA AREA ILLUMINATION
The ‘HIBIYA AREA ILLUMINATION’ transforms Hibiya into a sparkling Christmas scene every year. The trees surrounding the Hibiya area will be lit up in a gradient of colors to represent a new drawn, with the theme “may a wonderful tomorrow shine at the end of today.” Each tree is lit up in a different colour, creating the gradation effect.
Duration: November 18 2021 ~ February 14 2022 (scheduled)
Switched On Between: 17:00 ~ 23:00
Location: Hibiya Nakadoori / Tokyo Midtown Hibiya
HIBIYA WINTER SQUARE
The ‘HIBIYA WINTER SQUARE,’ installed at the Hibiya Step Plaza, has been designed to be viewed while maintaining distance from the other visitors, creating an all-new experience for the New Normal era.
Duration: November 18 ~ December 26 2021 (scheduled)
*The main staircase illuminations are scheduled to remain installed until February 14 2022.
Switched On Between: 17:00 ~ 23:00
Location: Tokyo Midtown Hibiya 1F, Hibiya Step Plaza
PARK VIEW WINTER GARDEN
The 6F Park View Garden overlooks Hibiya Park, Kyoko Gaien, and Hibiya Doori, making it the perfect seasonal evening viewing spot. For the first time, this year the lawn will be decorated with gradation colors to match the Hibiya Step Plaza, creating a gorgeous space that looks amazing in photos! Get away from the hustle and bustle of the streets and enjoy the Hibiya illuminations from above.
Duration: November 18 2021 ~ February 14 2022 (scheduled)
Switched On Between: 17:00 ~ 23:00
Location: Tokyo Midtown Hibiya 6F Park View Garden
Earth Christmas Tree
Artificial Art Tree
This year’s illuminations have been designed with Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in mind. The producers have made efforts to be sustainable while creating the Earth Christmas Tree and reduce waste by using LEDs that use 40% less power compared to regular bulbs, while the Artificial Art Tree can be reused year after year.
Enjoy a magical time this winter with the ‘HIBIYA Magic Time Illumination’ while maintaining a safe and considerate distance from the other guests!
HIBIYA Magic Time Illumination 2021
Duration: November 11 2021 ~ February 14 2022
Location: Tokyo Midtown Hibiya, Hibiya Nakadoori, Hibiya Chanter’s Hibiya Area Management locations
Applause Square Nagoya to Offer Autumn Dinner with Birthstone-inspired Sweets
Wedding venue Applause Square Nagoya will be opening a limited-time restaurant for eight days only during October and will offer some of the most artful desserts you’ve ever seen. The wedding hall is not normally open to the public, so this will be an opportunity to see this incredible mansion up close while savoring some unique fall flavors.
Jewel Art Topaz Parfait, made with Rum Raisin and Iced Chestnut Mont Blanc with Orange Parfait, and three Chocolate Bonbons
Six hors-d’oeuvres, each a vibrant and unique color
Sea Bream Vapeur with Eggplant and Chips that resemble Autumn Leaves, paired with Hot consommé soup scented with sherry and served in front of guests
Roasted Chita Pork with Tomato Chutney Sauce and Ginger, covered with Brown Mushrooms
Each of the six hors d’oeuvres were inspired by birthstones. Following are a number of luxurious meat and fish dishes, followed by a rich and abundant parfait filled with autumn flavors.
Jewel Night ~Luxurious French Cuisine with the Taste of Autumn~
Open: October 14, 15, 17, 21, 22, 28, 29, 31
Hours: Weekdays from 17:00-20:00 (2 hour slots) / Weekends 19:00-21:00
Address: Applause Square Nagoya (2-9-36 Marunouchi, Naka-ku, Nagoya)
Access: 2-minute walk from Marunouchi Exit 2 on Sakuradori and Tsurumai train lines
Official Site: https://www.bestbridal.co.jp/
‘Shiseido Parlour Ginza Salon de Cafe’ Reveals Limited Autumn Dessert Menu
The ‘Shiseido Parlour Ginza Salon de Cafe’ has announced that between October 1 and October 31 2021, customers can enjoy a limited edition Autumnal sweets menu. This year their menu includes the Jersey milk ‘Japanese Chestnut Mont Blanc Parfait from Kyushu’ and the ‘Shine Grape Fruit Sandwich.’ There will also be two special additions to the menu to celebrate the 96th Azuma Odori.
Japanese Chestnut Mont Blanc Parfait from Kyushu using Jersey Milk: ¥2,500 (Tax Incl.)
Strawberry Parfait using “Koihime” strawberries from Nagano’s Hatake Kobo: ¥2,100 (Tax Incl.)
Weekday / Limited Quantity Products
Shiseido Parlour Story: ¥2,600 (Tax Incl.) (Drink Incl.)
Shine Grape Fruit Sandwich with grapes from Iizuka Orchard: ¥1,700 (Tax Incl.)
Shinbashi Color Ice Cream Soda: ¥1,150 (Tax Incl.)
The Japanese Chestnut Mont Blanc Parfait is made using Jersey milk ice cream, chestnut cream, and fresh cream, along with the “Koihime” Fruit Sandwich, made using Kashu “Koihime” Strawberries are available on both the regular and limited Shiseido Parlour Ginza menus. Meanwhile, the luxurious Shiseido Parlour Story and the seasonal Shine Grape Fruit Sandwich, filled with various Autumnal fruits and centred around the grape, are only served on weekdays and holidays in limited quantities.
In the late Meiji Era, Shinbashi geisha were often seen wearing blue and green kimonos, with the color combination being coined Shinbashiiro (Shinbashi Color.) The elegant and retro Shinbashi Color Ice Cream Soda recreates the iconic look using green apple syrup, lemon, and ginger ale, topped with a traditional vanilla ice cream.
Immerse yourself in the season with a feast of Fall sweets in Ginza.
Shiseido Parlour Ginza Salon de Cafe
Address: Tokyo Ginza Shiseido Building 3F, 8-8-3, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Tuesday to Saturday: 11:00 ~ 21:00 (L.O. 20:30)
Sunday, public holidays: 11:00 ~ 20:00 (L.O.19:30)
Closures: Mondays (excluding public holidays), New Year
Junei Hotel Kyoto Adds New Plan Allowing Guests to Reserve Entire Property
06.October.2021 | SPOT
The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West, a small luxury hotel located in the heart of Japan’s ancient capital, has revealed a new plan allowing guests to rent out the entire premises. Imagine being in a hotel with only your closest family and friends!
The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West – Guest Room
The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West – Bathroom
The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Bamboo Suite
The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Bamboo Suite Bathroom
The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Standard Room
The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Standard Bathroom
The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Breakfast at Futago
The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Futago Restaurant Interior
The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Dinner at Futago
Hozucho River Boat Ride
The Junei Hotel Kyoto Rooftop View of Kiyomizu-dera Lights
The Junei Hotel Kyoto Rooftop Garden Moon Viewing
With two locations in Kyoto, guests will be able to enjoy the entirety of the hotel in complete privacy while still enjoying hotel hospitality. With between 8-11 rooms, this would be the perfect spot for a family gathering, wedding reception, graduation trip with friends, corporate meeting place, or even for overseas guests!
The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West opened in 2017 as a community-based luxury hotel with only eight rooms, with a single mission: bringing the beauty of Japan to the world. Beyond simply finding a place to sleep for the night, the hotel wants guests to experience something special and to provide an unforgettable experience. By partnering with local tourism associations, the Junei Hotel hopes to accurately convey the traditions and singular culture of the city of Kyoto.
In March 2020, a second location opened. The Junei Hotel Kyoto is surrounded by bamboo, and in fact, the theme of the hotel itself is bamboo and the moon. Each of the guest rooms is decorated with traditional and local bamboo crafts, and every detail is pulled from the natural beauty of Higashiyama, Kyoto.
The restaurant attached to the hotel, Futago, is the perfect place for adults to unwind and recharge. The kappo-style course menu features Kyoto vegetables and seasonal ingredients, blending the delicious with the nutritious. Chefs will cook each dish using a variety of methods, and guests will be amazed by how the flavor of the meat changes from course to course. The menu changes each month, so be sure to come back throughout the year!
Guests can also rent out Arashiyama Yusaitei, a gorgeous building deep in the forests of Kyoto perfect for wedding receptions, photoshoots, tea ceremonies, and more. The rooftop garden offers a stunning view of Kiyomizu-dera and is also perfect for moon viewing. Those wanting to get even closer to nature can enjoy a boat ride down the Hozucho river, and for those craving desserts, a Japanese sweets-making class is also available!
Who would you take with you on a private stay at the Junei Hotel Kyoto?
The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West
Address: 3-14 Shimochojamachi, Higashihorikawa-dori, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto
Official Site: https://www.juneihotel.com/imperialpalace/
The Junei Hotel Kyoto
Address: 4-139 Honmachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
Official Site: https://www.juneihotel.com/kyoto/
Universal Studio Japan to Expand Super Nintendo World with Donkey Kong Area
Since opening in March, Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan has caught the world’s attention, leading global game fans to pray even harder for Japan to reopen for tourism. Now, the park is scheduled to level up with a new Donkey Kong-themed area scheduled to open in 2024.
Currently, Super Nintendo World is filled with Mario-inspired attractions, dining options, and shops, recreating some of the most memorable parts of the franchise in a larger-than-life way. The new Donkey Kong area will feature a roller coaster and more interactive experiences, as well as themed merchandise and food options. Guests will be able to walk through lush jungles, where Donkey Kong and his friends live. The creation of the new area will more than double the size of Super Nintendo World.
Launched as an arcade game by Nintendo in 1981, Donkey Kong quickly took the world by storm, with games continuing to be released on Nintendo systems from the SNES to the Nintendo Switch. As of March 2021, the series has sold over 65 million units worldwide.
Comment from Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto
“I am very happy to be able to make the world of Donkey Kong a reality following the world of Mario. I am looking forward to creating a thrilling Donkey Kong experience with the amazing team at Universal. It will take some time until it is completed, but it will be a unique area for not only people who are familiar with Donkey Kong games but for all guests.”
WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s21)
Minions and all related elements and indicia TM & © 2021 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. TM & © Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment. TM & © Universal Studios. All rights reserved. © Nintendo
Universal Studios Japan
Three Unique Japanese Cafes You’ll Want to Visit Again and Again
Most of us have been spending more and more time at home over the past year. It’s time to get out for a change of scenery, and what better activity than cafe hopping! Check out these unique cafes around Japan, each offering a safe and relaxing space to enjoy a day out.
[Saitama] Bath Cafe BIVOUAC
This cafe located in Kumagaya City offers a full range of bath and sauna facilities, as well as a restaurant featuring healthy dishes filled with local, freshly-picked veggies.
[Gifu] Activity Cafe Takayama Zenko-ji
Set inside a Buddhist temple, this cafe invites anyone, regardless of faith or nationality, to enjoy a cup of tea while experiencing traditional culture. It’s also a great space to work remotely, with free Wi-fi!
Filled with plants and light, NANARIDA has been dubbed a digital detox cafe, not allowing smartphones or laptops each Sunday. Leaving your phone with the staff will grant you a free beverage, so come enjoy some tea and conversation.
TEXT： Natalie（MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON）