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
Satoyama Jujo THE HOUSE IZUMI: Rent Out a Renovated Japanese House in Niigata
15.July.2021 | SPOT
Japanese design company Jiyujin launched its new Satoyama Jujo THE HOUSE chain of accommodations this month which offer a single group of guests a one-night stay in an entire house.
The first branch to open is IZUMI which features a fully-renovated Japanese-style house located in the city of Uonuma in Niigata. A gorgeous outlook is offered from the house with an unbroken view of lush forests, rice fields, and Mt. Makihata, which is listed as one of the ‘100 Famous Japanese Mountains.’
A breathtaking view awaits guests from the open-air bath
The spacious living room
Fully renovated from a 150-year-old private house, the building is supported by beautiful wooden beams and columns, and in the middle the oe, a sunken hearth. This, along with the beams and sashigamoi joints, are made from keyaki Japanese zelkova which is an elm-like tree. This species of tree is rare even in a tree-covered region such as Uonuma. The lumber used for this house was cut, preserved, and dried out for a number of decades before being processed into building material for the house. The heart in the middle of the living room is reminiscent of a time when large families would gather around one and serves to recreate that lifestyle.
The Nishiyama region is known for is production of delicious rice. IZUMI in fact looks out over Kabanosawa, a special and important place of rice production in Nishiyama. This vantage point also gives guests an opportunity to appreciate the hot and cold temperatures of the daytime and evening, the rivers, the shape of the land, and the earth the city sits on. The drastic change in temperatures in the day and night are especially noteworthy as this, along with the basin between the mountains, gives rise to a sea of clouds.
IZUMI sits on a hill that overlooks the rice paddies, making it a perfect location for spotting the sea of clouds. Minamiuonuma’s sea of clouds has over a 70% chances of appearing in the autumn and spring seasons.
The number one reason why Japan’s old, long-standing, and precious private houses are demolished is due to the cold getting in and it being too dark inside. Even those who want to see them preserved for tradition, including those who live in them already, would rather live in a modern home. That’s why Jiyujin has begun a renovation project instead of a demolition one. By refurbishing the houses, the ancient framework can be fixed up and preserved while a range of contemporary amenities are incorporate to fit with modern lifestyles. The Satoyama Jujo accommodations are built so they can be used for over 100 years.
For dinner, there are three options for guests. The first is a dinner at SANABURI which earned itself a Michelin star in Michelin Guide Niigata 2020. The second is a meal at a restaurant that earned the status of Bib Gourmand in the same guide. The third is to prepare your own meal in the house. There are plenty of shops around the station nearby where you can buy local ingredients.
After a delicious meal, guests can take a soak in the open-air tub and enjoy gazing out across the fields and the beautiful mountains which stand almost 2,000 meters high.
Satoyama Jujo THE HOUSE IZUMI
Japanese Name: 里山十帖 THE HOUSE IZUMI
Address: 671-1, Amanosawa, Minamiuonuma, Niigata, 〒949-6433, Japan
Official Website: Opening early July 2021
Access: 7-minutes by car from Jōetsu International Skiing Ground Station (JR Joetsu Line) / 16-minutes by car from Shiozawa-Ishiuchi IC
eXcafe Gion, a cafe in Gion, Kyoto is now open for business on weekdays again.
Cat-shaped bread by Neko Neko Shokupan
The cafe is located near Tatsumihashi
eXcafe’s famous Hoku Hoku Dango Set
eXcafe Gion opened in November 2019 following the opening of the popular eXcafe Arashiyama. Gion is a major sightseeing spot of Kyoto for its fusion of traditional and contemporary Kyoto culture. One of its longest and most quintessential traditions of that of Chayamachi, also called Hanamachi, where maiko and geisha live and work.
eXcafe Gion is situated near Tatsumihashi where the relaxing sounds of the Shirakawa River can be heard. The cafe incorporates elements of a traditional Japanese teahouse with tatami flooring and wooden structures, ready to welcome guests with open arms who have been strolling around to see the historical architecture of the local area.
The summer season sees locals and sightseers dressed in yukata, the sound of geta shoes clacking on the floor. Summertime is also when the cafe serves their famous Hoku Hoku Dango, a must-try if visiting Gion.
Address: 57-1 Motoyoshicho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0087, Japan
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/excafe.official/
Kyoto’s National Museum of Modern Art Announces ‘Modern Crafts’ Exhibition
09.July.2021 | SPOT
The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto has announced a new exhibition. A Chronicle of Modern Crafts: Works from the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto Collection will run from July 9 to August 22.
Crafts are one of the pillars of the activities at the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, a facility that opened in 1963. This emphasis has helped form one of Japan’s premiere collections of crafts. Moreover, they have on occasion presented exhibitions such as the International Exhibition of Contemporary Ceramic Art, Contemporary Ceramic Art: Canada, U.S.A., Mexico and Japan, Fiber Works: Europe and Japan, and Contemporary Glass: Europe and Japan, which introduced and compared crafts from other countries with Japanese works, and exerted a strong influence on the Japanese art and crafts scene.
In this exhibition, the museum takes a look back at some of these events from the past based on works from the museum collection while retracing the development of modern crafts. This includes the exhibiting of 305 pieces, 231 from Japanese craftsmen and 74 from those overseas.
A Chronicle of Modern Crafts: Works from the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto Collection
Running: July 9, 2021 – August 22, 2021
Venue: National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 9:30-17:00 (Until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays)
Closed: Mondays (but open August 9) and August 10
Price: General ¥1,200 / University Students ¥500 / Free for those aged 18 and below
*Opening hours subject to change depending on COVID-19
Vegetable Shaved Ice Arrives On Honjitsuno’s Menu For Summer
Honjitsuno is a cafe based in Takeyacho, Kyoto, which introduced its new vegetable shaved ice desserts to the menu on July 1. Every month will see a different vegetable used.
Strawberry & Fruit Tomato | ¥1,600 (Tax Included)
Made with strawberry sauce, fruit tomato jam, and milk pudding. Hidden inside is soft cheesecake.
Peach & Corn | ¥1,600 (Tax Included)
Made with peach sauce, sweetcorn, custard cream, and caramel sauce. You can really taste the original sweet taste of the corn.
Matcha & Edamame | ¥1,600 (Tax Included)
Made with Mashed green soybeans, seaweed salted red bean paste, mango, and matcha sauce.
All of the sauces and jams are homemade. Combining vegetables with fruits on shaved ice creates a whole new delicious eating experience.
Address: 371 Sashimonoyachō, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-0095, Japan
Opening Hours: 9:00-18:00 (Currently operating on reduced hours)
No Fixed Holidays
Official Website: http://www.bread-espresso.jp/
The Quintessential Quintuplets ∬ Digital Stamp Rally Opens at Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto
Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto is one of several locations participating in the digital stamp rally that’s being held as part of the The Quintessential Quintuplets ∬ Real Sisters War Again event taking place at Toei Kyoto Studio Park from June 26 to August 31. The hotel is offering food inspired by the series along with exclusive merchandise.
The Quintessential Quintuplets ∬ Real Sisters War Again
Menu inspired by the Nakano quintuplets
Receive an original pin for going to all of the rally spots
Receive one of 7 possible coasters for every menu item ordered
‘For Happy Wedding’ Parfait | ¥1,452
Non-Alcoholic Tropical Cocktail w/Cookie | ¥1,089
Nino’s Seasonal Vegetable & Ham Dutch Baby Pancake | ¥2,057
Miku’s Matcha Soda w/Cookie | ¥1,089
Yotsuba’s Non-Alcoholic Green Apple Cocktail w/Cookie | ¥1,089
Itsuki’s Iced Dessert | ¥1,452
The event taking place at Toei Kyoto Studio Park is based on the Sisters War arc of The Quintessential Quintuplets ∬. Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto and Fushimi Inari Taisha are both spots for the digital stamp rally. The hotel’s all-day dining restaurant KAZA is serving up the delicious food, drink, and dessert pictured above, along with a special wedding dress-inspired parfait called For Happy Wedding. For every menu item ordered, customers also receive a free coaster.
The digital stamp rally is being held to allow people to enjoy safely walking around Kyoto as the city has seen a major drop in tourism due to the pandemic.
The Quintessential Quintuplets ∬ Real Sisters War Again
Running: June 26, 2021 – August 31, 2021
*Toei Kyoto Studio Park will be closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays until July 16
Event Details: https://www.rihga.co.jp/kyoto/restaurant/fair_list/5hanayome
Butai Meguri: https://www.butaimeguri.com/
Yojiya Matcha Cosmetic Blotting Paper Releasing This Summer
26.June.2021 | FASHION
Kyoto-based cosmetic brand Yojiya is set to release its seasonal summer matcha cosmetic blotting paper online on July 1. Pre-orders opened on Monday along with a present campaign that’s running until the release date.
Matcha Oil Blotting Paper
Free limited-edition slim clear bottle for the first 50 people who spend over ¥8,000
Exclusive pre-order set
Yojiya’s oil blotting paper is a popular product. Every summer, they release it in special limited-time scents, with this year seeing the paper infused with Uji matcha leaves.
Yojiya Oil Blotting Paper Matcha
Release Date: July 1, 2021 (Online Exclusive)
Pre-Orders: June 21, 2021
Buy Online: https://www.yojiyacosme.com/
Running: June 21, 2021 – June 30, 2021
Requirements: Spend over ¥8,000
Grab a Takeout Hydrangea Parfait at Itohkyuemon in Kyoto
Itohkyuemon, one of Kyoto’s most famous green tea shops which established in the latter part of the Edo Period, is now serving a takeout hydrangea parfait at its main branch in Uji, Kyoto.
Uji, the city where Itohkyuemon is based, is home to Mimuroto Temple which is famous for its hydrangea. The temple bustles with sightseers and tourists during Japan’s rainy season who flock to gaze upon the gorgeous flowers. The tea shop’s limited-time hydrangea parfait was first released in 2013 and has gone to become their most popular seasonal parfait every year. So that lots of people can continue to enjoy the popular dessert, Itohkyuemon is offering the parfait as a takeout option so customers don’t have to eat indoors.
The parfait is made with matcha and hydrangea mashed sweet potato and hydrangea-coloured crushed jelly, and is topped with leaf-shaped matcha cookies, blueberries, and other colourful treats that bring to mind Uji’s rainy season.
Takeout Hydrangea Parfait
Available: Until the end of June 2021
Price: ¥1,080 (Tax Included)
Location: Itohkyuemon Uji
Official Website: https://www.itohkyuemon.co.jp/corporate/
Kyoto Tower Hotel Celebrates 110th Anniversary of Randen Tramway Service With Special Hotel Plan
18.June.2021 | SPOT
In commemoration of the Randen tramway service’s 110th anniversary, Kyoto Tower Hotel introduced an exclusive new one-night hotel plan on Friday at one of its rooms. The Kyoto Tower Hotel Train Room is a themed guest room experience and celebration of Randen’s long history.
A look at the Randen Kitano Line
Randen tram photos decorate the guest room
Old train tickets and platform signs
A tatami area, train handles, and train priority seat
Randen Train Room souvenirs for guests
Randen was founded in 1910 and remains the only tramline in Kyoto. It’s part of Keifuku Electric Railroad and runs from Shijo-Omiya to Arashiyama. The Randen Train Room is a trainspotter and train otaku’s paradise. Inside, guests will find historical photos of trams that have run as part of the Randen service, as well as other train-related motifs like a Randen priority seat chair, carriage handles, and more. There’s also a little tatami seating area which is perfect for sitting on and planning your next day’s trip, putting out souvenirs you’ve picked up, or just relaxing. Guests can also watch a DVD on the TV that looks at footage of Randen trains, and even listen to a CD that has train sounds on it.
Randen Train Room
Location: Kyoto Tower Hotel (Room 820)
Running: June 11, 2021 – June 10, 2022
KYARY PAMYU PAMYU meets IMABARI: A Visit to the Historical Sea Route
Imabari is a city in Ehime Prefecture that faces the Seto Inland Sea. Since olden times, it has flourished as an important location for marine traffic. It’s home to a bounty of recognised national treasures and historical heritage sights, and is also famous for its production of citrus fruits such as mikan. Japanese pop star, model, and icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu took a trip to this ancient city to discover its wonder and beauty.
A Visit to the Historical Sea Route
A ‘power spot’ revered by prominent people
Oyamazumi Shrine has been revered by prominent figures throughout history as a place dedicated to the god of the mountain, god of the ocean, and the god of war. It’s home to numerous Important Cultural Properties which are available for viewing by the public such as the armour worn by the military commander Minamoto no Yoshitsune when the Minamoto clan won the Genpei War (1180-1185), armour worn by women, and more. The shrine is also a notable power spot for the ancient tree that has stood there for 2,600 years and is now recognised as a natural monument of Japan. Power spots are places in Japan where the spiritually-inclined draw energy from.
Address: 3327 Omishimacho Miyaura, Imabari, Ehime 794-1393, Japan
Opening Hours: Sunrise to 17:00
National Treasure Building: 8:30-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)
Official Website: https://oomishimagu.jp/
Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area
Lip-smacking food aplenty
If you’re one for great views, then the Kurushima Kaikyo service area is a must-visit, offering a panoramic look at the Kurushima Strait of the Seto Inland Sea. The service area is very well know particularly for the Jaguchi Mikan Juice, something of a city legend in Ehime where you can enjoy fresh mikan juice straight from a tap. You can also tuck a rice bowl dish made with tachiuo hairtail caught in the Seto Inland Sea that’s made to look like Kurushima Kaikyō Bridge, or try Imabari’s soul food dish: the Imabari Yakibuta Tamago Meshi, a pork, egg, and rice bowl. Don’t pass up the chance to snap a photo at the designated photo spot with the Seto Inland Sea in the back either like Kyary above.
Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area
Address: 3-9-68 Ohamacho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0002, Japan
Food Court: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00
Shops: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00
Outside Shopping Area & Cafes: [Weekdays] 9:00-17:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 9:00-18:00
Official Website: https://www.jb-highway.co.jp/sapa/kurushima.php
Murakami Suigun Museum
Dedicated to the Imabari heroes who protected the ocean
Murakami Suigun Museum is dedicated to kaizoku—pirates, or lords of the sea—something which conjures to mind villainy or bad guys, but the Murakami pirates were also considered heroes who helped maintain order and protect the sea during the Sengoku warring period of Japan. The museum features many displays of Murakami family treasures including the battle surcoat which the pirate leader wore over his armour, proudly bearing the Murakami family crest. Visitors can wear replicas of this coat, which Kyary tired herself: “Now I’m sorta like a military commander too,” she said.
Murakami Suigun Museum
Address: 1285 Miyakubocho Miyakubo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2203, Japan
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if the Monday falls on a public holiday) / New Year Holidays (Dec 29-Jan 3)
Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/suigun/
Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan
A bundle of fun and entertainment in one place
Roll on up to Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan to enjoy a shichirin BBQ feast with fresh seafood caught in the Seto Inland Sea while gazing out across Kurushima Kaikyo. This building complex serves as a resting spot and is also the perfect place to purchase local souvenirs including Ehime specialty products. It’s also famous for its offering the chance to board a boat to ride around Kurushima Kaikyo, renting out bicycles, and more. You’ll also be able to meet Koro-chan, a popular fish who has lived there for 30 years.
Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan
Address: 4520-2 Yoshiumichomyo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2114, Japan
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Restaurant: 10:00-16:00 (Last Orders 15:00)
Closed: New Year’s Day (and certain days in winter)
Official Website: http://www.imabari-shimanami.jp/ikiiki/
Dolphin Farm Shimanami
Meet the cute and friendly dolphins
Dolphin Farm Shimanami, which is connected to Hakata Beach, is the best and biggest place in Japan to interact with dolphins. Visitors can get close to them and the dolphins will show off their tricks and skills. There’s even a car camping area you can stay at.
Dolphin Farm Shimanami
Address: 1673 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Closed: On days with bad weath
Official Website: https://www.df-shimanami.com/
A white sandy beach rolling out 200-meters
Hakata Beach is located at the base of Oshima Bridge in Hakata. The beach is famous for its salt which is best tried on their popular sweet-tasting sea salt ice cream.
Address: 1668-1 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan
Sea Bathing: Early July – Late August
Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=198
High quality towels woven with tradition and technique
Imabari is the biggest producer of towels in Japan. Even their white towels alone have countless types you can choose from, allowing you to pick which level of softness and comfort you want. The iconic brand logo is also impactful, capturing the quality, production, and enthusiasm that the makes have for the product. Kyary herself uses them all the time!
Official Website: https://www.imabaritowel.jp/
Need a bike?
Sunrise Itoyama, located in the Imabari Central Cycling Terminal, is a rental bicycle service that has bikes and helmets for everyone’s needs. Rent out a bike and ride the Shimanami Sea Route which connects Ehime and Hiroshima with a series of bridges that hop across the islands of the Seto Inland Sea.
Address: 2-8-1 Sunabacho, Imabari, Ehime 794-0001, Japan
Rent-a-Cycle Details: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/archives/rentacycle/
Official Website: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/
The famous restaurant known to every local
If you want the real experience of Imabari’s yakitori soul food, you should visit Marutomi, a yakitori eatery. Imabari yakitori is different from the usual Japanese yakitori as it doesn’t come skewered. Instead, the chicken is cut into small pieces and fried that way. One of the most popular ways to have it is with the skin on so the outside is crunchy and the inside succulent. It goes perfect with a cup of sake too.
2-3-6 Katayama, Imabari, Ehime 794-0063, Japan
Opening Hours: 17:30-22:00
Official Website: https://maru-marutomi.jp/
A castle by the sea
Imabari Castle, built by the daimyo Tōdō Takatora, is known famously as one of Japan’s three “Castles on the Sea” and was also listed in Japan’s Top 100 Castles. When it was first constructed, boats could enter the moat from the ocean. It’s a site that breathes the prosperity that Imabari has enjoyed as a significant location for maritime traffic, the same Imabari that the Murakami pirates sought to protect. Head on up to the top of the castle to stand on the observation deck and gaze at an unbroken view of the city.
Address: 3-1-3 Toricho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0036, Japan
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Closed: December 29 – December 31
Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/imabarijo/
Kirosan Observatory Park
A breathtaking spectacle to remember
Kirosan Observatory Park is officially recognised by Setonaikai National Park. Standing atop the observation deck fills the eyes with wonder as they gaze upon a panoramic stretch of Imabari, the Seto Inland Sea, and Kurushima Kaikyo all at once. Kyary wrapped up her time in Imabari here as the sunset coloured the sky and sea in warm evening hues.
Kirosan Observatory Park
Address: 487-4 Yoshiumicho Minamiura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2115, Japan
No Fixed Holidays
Open 24-hours a day
Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=182
Imabari Tourism Information: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/
We hope you enjoyed joining Kyary on her adventures across Imabari, and perhaps she even got you a little curious in wanting to visit the city yourself. It’s a treasure trove filled with vistas by the sea, in nature, and in the city itself with its Important Cultural Properties. Food is also a big part of travel for many people, so you can rest assured that your belly will be satisfied in Imabari as you try their speciality mikan, fresh seafood fished in the Seto Inland Sea, and more.
Ace Hotel Kyoto Commemorates 1st Anniversary With Yu Nagaba Exhibition
Ace Hotel Kyoto marked its 1st anniversary on June 11 since opening. In celebration of hitting the milestone, the hotel is collaborating with Japanese artist Yu Nagaba by displaying his work at its gallery until June 30. The works displayed are of the sights and people that Nagaba saw and penned in a memo pad while staying at Ace Hotel Kyoto. All of the illustrations were made for this exhibition and so they are being exhibited for the first time. One of the pieces is also being sold at stickers in the hotel’s shop.
Yu Nagaba‘s work
Yu Nagaba | Comment
“After I heard whispers that Ace Hotel was setting up in Kyoto, I hoped I could do something, so I was happy to take part in this project, but I also spent my time wondering what I could draw, and no ideas came to mind. After pondering I went to find inspiration by deciding to stay at Ace Hotel. I drew what came to mind during my time there as I walked the streets of Kyoto and spent time at the hotel. I drew a total of 49 illustrations in my memo pad. I painted six of my favourites on canvas. I hope people can get a feel for my experiences of Kyoto in these pieces.”
Ace Hotel Kyoto x Yu Nagaba
Running: June 7, 2021 – June 30, 2021
Location: Ace Hotel Kyoto (Floor 1F Gallery Space)
Official Website: https://www.acehotel.com/kyoto/
Experience a Bath Like Never Before in a Luxurious Private Space at Yadoru KYOTO HANARE
15.June.2021 | SPOT
Yadoru KYOTO HANARE is a hotel in Kyoto that blends seamlessly into the town, offering a stay experience that’s like living there. For guests who use their baths, they have introduced a new selection of five ingredients to be put into the bath like bath salts. Each comes with a different effect, enhancing your bathing experience beyond getting clean.
Yadoru KYOTO HANARE is continuing to enforce precautions against the spread of COVID-19 so guests can enjoy getting away from home to relax and unwind safely. The hotel has and continues to enjoy many guests during this time who are seeking out some healing. One of the biggest selling points for guests is the hotel’s bathing experience. With that in mind, they have set up the Yadoru YUAMI service which allows guests to try a variety of bathing products made by local Kyoto businesses.
‘Yuami’ is an old Japanese expression for getting in the bath. The word ‘yadoru’ in the hotel’s name is also an old phrase meaning ‘to stay at a lodging on your travels.’ Yadoru KYOTO HANARE is wanting to have its site feel even more like a traditional Kyoto townhouse for guests to experience, so they are now using the word ‘YUAMI’ as part of their services.
With Yadoru YUAMI, guests can pick from five different bath products, each wrapped in pouches. Each offers a completely different bathing experience with different benefits and fragrances.
1. Sake Lees
Sake lees from Kyoto’s long-standing and historical sake brewery Sasaki Shuzou. Massage the lees in the bathtub while they are still in the pouch to create a milky white water that fills the bathroom with the fragrant smell of sake lees. The ingredients in the lees have a moisturising effect, improve blood circulation, and leave skin looking beautiful.
2. Gyokuro Green Tea
The Kyoto Distillery stands as Japan’s first establishment specialising in gin. One of their gins is called Ki no Bi, a Japanese craft gin. Its smell and taste is the result of a combination of 11 kinds of botanical products including gyokuro green tea, junpier berry, and hinoki cypress, all of which are featured individually on this list. Gyokuro is a type of high-grade Japanese green tea and contains theanine which stimulates relaxing, making it perfect for unwinding after a long day.
3. Juniper Berry
Juniper berry is an indispensable ingredient in making craft gin. This bathing product is made with the type that’s actually used in making Ki no Bi craft gin. When submerged in the water, the air is filled with the woody, relaxing, and inviting scent of gin.
4. Hinoki Cypress
This bathing powder is also made with the same hinoki cypress used in Ki no Bi which, when put in the water, emits the smells of a forest. Hinoki cypress contains phytoncide which has a relaxation effect, calming the autonomic nervous system and blood pressure.
Matcha is the quintessential flavour of Kyoto. Guests who check in at Yadoru KYOTO HANARE are offered a cup. They can also bathe in it with Yadoru YUAMI.
Release Date: June 1, 2021
Price: ¥1,000 (Before Tax)
Location: Yadoru KYOTO HANARE (Participating Branches: Washi no Yado/Kanade no Yado/Mizunoe no Yado/Roji no Yado)
Book by Telephone: 03-4510-8671
Book by E-mail: email@example.com
*Exclusive to Yadoru KYOTO HANARE guests
Experience a Front Row Seat of Karuizawa’s Tranquil Forests at HOSHINOYA
13.June.2021 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Karuizawa has announced a special summer plan for guests called “Mori no Hotori cafe&Bar ~Suijo no Tokutoseki~” (Cafe & Bar by the Forest ~Special Seats on the Water~). The midsummer evening plan is available for one group per day and takes place at the hotel’s cafe and bar which sits by a forest and faces the Kera-Ike Pond. It invites guests to relax under the starry night sky on the water and enjoy the sounds of nature while enjoying drinks and bites to eat.
Japan is known for its summer hot summers. However, Karuizawa enjoys a cooler climate, so evenings dip to around 20°C for a comfortable temperature.
Stargazing on top of the water
HOSHINOYA Karuizawa is connected directly to Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary. At the entrance, by the Kera-Ike Pond, is the hotel’s Mori no Hotori cafe&bar which is open all year. The cafe/bar fusion is surrounded by Karuizawa’s lush forests, and it’s here that guests can enjoy sitting on specially-prepared seats on the water. It will feel like they are walking on water as they approach their seats where they can take their shoes off and sit on the tatami mats to gaze at the stars.
Calm the heart with an enchanting performance
When you walk up the stairs that face Kera-Ike from HOSHINOYA Karuizawa, your ears will be met with the enchanting sound of crystal bowls which add a mysterious depth to the natural sounds of the forest, spiriting guests away to another wonderful world.
Indulgent drinks and food
Guests can pick from a range of drinks and bites to eat scented with fruits, wood, and other natural fragrances of the forest. There arw six drinks to choose from including a gin and tonic made with lindera umbellata, a type of camphor, as well as a whisky made with ripe fruits. Food includes chocolate made from lindera umbellata and kuma bamboo grass, cherry blossom and walut chips, and more.
Cafe & Bar by the Forest ~Special Seats on the Water~
Japanese Plan Name: 森のほとりcafe&bar ～水上の特等席～
Running: July 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021
Book Here: https://hoshinoya.com/karuizawa/
*Bookings must be made 5 days in advance
Requirements: Must be aged 20+ years / HOSHINOYA Karuizawa guests only
Capacity: 1 group of two people per day
Notes: Will not take place if it rains
Official Website: https://hoshinoya.com/