Shizuoka’s Hot Spring Hotel SOKI ATAMI Opens For Business

07.November.2020 | SPOT

UDS Ltd. opened SOKI ATAMI on Sunday (November 1), a new hot spring accommodation situated in the town of Koarashicho in Atami, Shizuoka.

 

The town of Koarashicho is considered the annex, as it were, to Atami. SOKI ATAMI can be reached in around 40 minutes by bullet train from Shinagawa Station. The accommodation takes into account the value of Atami’s hot spring resorts and what’s on offer there. It serves a ‘sojourn style’ of accommodation that allows you to return to yourself as you are, without any stresses, something which is enhanced thanks to being situated away from the hustle and bustle of the city in nature.

 

The accommodation’s name originates from the Japanese characters so (素) and ki (器), the former roughly translating to ‘origin,’ ‘source,’ or ‘foundation’ and the latter as ‘utensil’ or ‘vessel.’ Together, the words combine to make up what SOKI ATAMI prides itself on: seeking authenticity and being yourself without decorations in a space that welcomes nature, natural features, and incorporates raw materials.

Atami is one of the primary hot spring locations in Japan, prospering as a place that treats illness and injury, something which began after Tokugawa Ieyasu himself bathed there during the Edo Period. The city has since continued as a place to pass down the Japanese culture of hot spring bathing, and SOKI ATAMI cements this fact once again with its grand opening as it serves as a facility offering the nurturing of the body and soul. At the same time, it will promote local culture and cuisine.

 

The accommodation, surrounded by nature, offers a panoramic view of the ocean, and consists of a reception wing, guest room wing, and restaurant wing. In the ‘Village Garden,’ there are trees growing citrus fruits and a variety of plants and crops, showcasing the regional lifestyle and natural features.

 

Guest Rooms

There are 54 guest rooms in total ranging from 40㎡ to 65㎡ which can fit up to 4 people. Guests can enjoy the hot springs with all room types.

TONERICO:INC. is in charge of the inter design who have given it a natural feel.

 

In the rooms, guests will find sencha and kisetsucha tea grown in Shizuoka Prefecture as well as a Japanese confection made with mugikogashi barley flour which is said to promote longevity and sound health.

Numerous amenities are also available in all guest rooms including relaxing self-care items.

 

Baths

The public baths benefit from the changing seasons which changes up the bathing experience. The water is perfect for de-stressing, moisturising, and making your skin look beautiful.

There’s also a traditional steam sauna in the women’s area for detoxing and moisturising.

 

Tea Room

The tea room on the top floor of the accommodation offers a panoramic view of Atami Bay. Guests can enjoy watching the annual fireworks launched there throughout the year.

Menu Sample: Seasonal Yoseicha Course ¥3,000 | Wakan Gin & Tonic ¥1,200 (Before Tax)

A variety of menu choices to stabilise the mind and body will be available to order, many using local ingredients from Atami and Shizuoka Prefecture.

 

Food

Menu Sample: Breakfast – Seasonal Yosei Gozen | Dinner: SOKI Course, Nabe Course, Chef’s Course

In the restaurant wing is the dining room which has an open kitchen in front of guest tables where the chefs cook locally-sourced fish and vegetables among other delicious foods. and other ingredients are all sourced locally and directly.

The dining room was designed by age co.,ltd which has worked on many different ryokan and restaurants. The open and dynamic space has a high ceiling towering 4.5 meters overhead.

 

Garden

The garden area can be seen from the restaurant and is home to a variety of citrus fruits from the Izu Peninsula as well as seasonal vegetables and herbs. It offers beautiful scenery throughout the year .

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    Golden Island Zipang 2020

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    Azumi: A New Ryokan Brand

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    Azumi’s approach aims to respect the traditions and community of each region while at the same time building something that will be passed down through the generations. Shiro Miura of Rokukaku-ya, a shop which values living materials such as wood and stone through Sukiya architecture, has been on the Azumi team since the brand’s inception to create a space that can be enjoyed as a marvel of Japanese architecture while satisfying those travelling from abroad.

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    Azumi will open its doors in Spring 2021, filled with the ideas conceived by the one and only Adrian Zecha.

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    If you’re in Japan this winter then don’t miss out on this year’s Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up which will be split into three sessions: the Christmas Session, New Year Session, and St. Valentine Session. More details below.

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    29.November.2020 | SPOT

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    The Aquarium’s first Christmas tree

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    Artwork Name: Natale di Pesce D’oro
    Running: December 1, 2020 – December 27, 2020
    Location: Art Aquarium Museum entrance

     

    Pair tickets for Christmas with alcohol


    Pair Ticket (2 People) + 2 Drinks | ¥4,600 (Tax Included)

    Those arriving in twos can buy Pair Tickets which come with two alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages so you can plunge into the magical underwater world of the aquarium while enjoying a drink.

     

    Buy Tickets: https://ticket.artaquarium.jp/en/
    Running: November 24, 2020 – December 27, 2020
    Validity Period: December 1, 2020 – December 27, 2020
    Drinks Menu:

    [Alcohol] COEDO Beer / Marihana / Louis Raison Rouge Délice

    [Non-Alcoholic] Sanpellegrino Pompelmo / Grapefruit

     

    Christmas menu served up in the lounge and cafe

    2-Person Hors d’oeuvre With 2 Drinks | Online Booking ¥4,200, Same-Day ¥5,000 (Tax Included) | Serving: December 18, 2020 – December 25, 2020

    The aquarium’s lounge restaurant is serving an hors d’oeuvre for pairs of Japanese and western food together with two drinks.

    2-Person Christmas Sweets Plate With 2 Drinks | Online Booking ¥3,300, Same-Day ¥3,850 (Tax Included) | Serving: December 1, 2020 – December 27, 2020

    The cafe is serving up plate of assorted desserts, perfect for a post-aquarium date.

    Christmas Special Cocktail | ¥2,200 (Tax Included) | Serving: December 1, 2020 – December 27, 2020

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  • Sendai Stroll: Taking a Walk Around Japan’s City of Trees With Chinese Influencer Etsuna

    27.November.2020 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Sendai, the capital of Miyagi Prefecture and the largest city in Japan’s Tohoku region, is a two-hour bullet train ride from Tokyo. The city has earned the nickname Mori no Miyako, or ‘City of Trees,’ due to the abundant rows of zelkova trees lining many of its streets. It bustles with charm and is enjoyed by locals and tourists for its history, sights, and events, such as its associations with the Japanese regional ruler Date Masamune, the famous Sendai Tanabata Festival, and more. However, there are many other incredible locations that Sendai has to offer that aren’t as well known as the popular sites, so today we are joined by Etsuna who is giving us the latest in what can be found in the city.

     

    Along The Coast

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    Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium

    Feel the sea breeze and ocean water of Tohoku against your skin

    Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium opened in 2015 as the larrgest aquarium in the Tohoku region. The first floor is themed on the waters of Tohoku where many rare aquatic species from the Sanriku Coast are housed. The second floor is centred on sea creatures found in the oceans around the world such as tropical fish, jellyfish, marine mammals, and other familiar faces.

     

    Visitors can even meet ascidians there which are famous in the Sanriku Coast.

    The large fish tanks let in a lot of natural light, recreating the beauty of the Sanriku sea.

    There’s also a special spot where you can get up close to some of the fish!

    The aquarium offers an optional program where visitors can feed the penguins.

    “It’s a pretty big aquarium,” said Etsuna. “It was great to see all of the different things they have on display. I had a lot of fun feeding the penguins too!”

     

    Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium

    Address: 4-6 Nakano, Miyagino-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (May change depending ont he season)
    No Fixed Holidays
    TEL: 022-355-2222
    Access: 10-minutes by shuttle bus (free ride) from JR Nakanosakae Station
    Price: Adults ¥2,200 / Seniors, High School and Junior High School Children ¥1,600 / Elementary School Children ¥1,100 / Infants ¥600 (All Tax-Inclusive)

    Official Website: http://www.uminomori.jp/umino/

     

    Sendai Chuooroshiuri Market

    Fresh fish at an affordable price

    Sendai Chuooroshiuri Market is like the kitchen of Sendai. The food shops there were opened by locals. Visitors will find many different bites to eat when visiting. Etsuna visited Sushi Yoshi, a restaurant in the area so popular that there’s always a line.

    The restaurant’s name, Sushi Yoshi, suggests that it’s a sushi restaurant, but they actually serve common delicacies like rice bowls and set meals.

    Maguro Sanshudon | ¥1,500

    This rice bowl contains three kinds of maguro tuna, so much in fact that you can’t even see the rice!

    “You can enjoy delicious fresh fish at a reasonable price. You might have to wait in line, but it’s totally worth it!”

     

     Sushi Yoshi
    Address: 4-3-1 Oroshimachi, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 6:30-13:30
    Closed: Wednesdays and Sundays
    TEL: 022-232-8042
    Access: 20-minutes by bus from Sendai Station

     

    Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center

    Learn the story of the disaster

    Inside Arai Station, which is the last stop on the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, you can find the Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center where visitors can learn all about how the Great East Japan Earthquake affected Sendai through the exhibition rooms and in the communal space.

    The first floor features a panel with a 3D map of how the tsunami inundated the region as a result of the earthquake.

    Up on the second floor is a permanent exhibition showcasing the restoration and restoration efforts of the community as well as real photos from around the time of the disaster.

    There are also staff members there who survived the disaster and can describe their experiences as well as current issues facing Sendai.

    “I got teary when the speaker told me about the hardships they faced at that time,” explains Etsuna. “The people of Sendai are living their lives looking forward, and I have a lot of respect for them.”

     

    Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center
    Address: Kutsugata-85 Arai, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00
    Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if the Monday falls on a public holiday) / Day after public holiday / New Year Holidays
    TEL: 022-390-9022
    Access: Arai Station
    Entry: Free

    Official Website: http://sendai311-memorial.jp

     

    Sendai Arahama Elementary School

    The school that still stands after the earthquake disaster

    On the day of the Tohoku earthquake, many local residents fled to Sendai Arahama Elementary School where 320 people were trapped including the evacuees, children, and teachers, before managing to escape safely to the roof. The school is now open as a memorial to preserve the memories of those who survived.

    The tsunami that struck after the earthquake made it to the second floor of the school. These first two floors have been kept untouched and are as they were on the day.

    There are photos as well as video footage exhibited on the fourth floor where the tsunami didn’t reach.

    From the school building’s roof you can gaze at the peaceful coastline.

    “Seeing the place that was hit by the tsunami up close has really changed my outlook on life. There is green in the surrounding area. I felt life budding all around.”

     

    Sendai Arahama Elementary School
    Address: Shinborihata-32-1 Arahama, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 9:30-16:00
    Closed: Mondays / Every 4th Thursday of the month / New Year Holidays
    TEL: 022-355-861
    Access: 15-minutes by bus from Arai Station
    Entry: Free

     

    Akiu Area

    Akiu Onsen is a spa town known to locals as the ‘living room’ of Sendai. It’s a 30-50 minute bus ride from Sendai Station. It has been nicknamed one of Japan’s Three Baths alongside Bessho Onsen and Nozawa Onsen, both in Nagano Prefecture. It’s another place that Date Masamune frequented many times.

     

    Rairaikyo Gorge

    A stroll along the gorge path

    Rairaikyo Gorge gets its name from the abundance of enormous rocks that have been eroded by the Natori River and given them strange shapes. The Kanji ‘rai’ used in the gorge’s name literally means ‘many rocks.’ The gorge is home to a 1-km path that people can walk along and soak up the incredible natural environment that offers sights to behold throughout the year. From late October to mid November, when the autumn leaves are in bloom, the area is also lit up in the evenings.

    The heart-shaped hollow in the rocks as pictured above is considered a sacred place for couples.

    Taking a stroll along the path one sees maple trees aplenty. Visiting during the height of autumn graces you with a colourful scene you wouldn’t want to miss.

    “I feel healed having gotten to take a leisurely stroll through nature,” explained Etsuna. “The rocks of Akiu have some interesting shapes.”

     

    Rairaikyo Gorge

    Address: Akiumachi Yumoto, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
    Access: Approx. 40 minutes by bus from Sendai Station

     

    Akiu-sha

    A stylish, old fashioned cafe in the hot spring town


    When taking a trip to Akiu Onsen, one hot spot that’s a must-visit is Akiu-sha, a restaurant that was renovated from an old private farm house from the Edo Period. During the day it serves lunch food and drinks while in the evenings it’s used for events like private parties.

    There’s an open garden at the site which is sometimes used for weddings. At the back are vegetable plots tended to by the restaurant.

    Akiu-sha Lunch | ¥1,280 (Before Tax)

    The Akiu-sha Lunch is made with fresh vegetables grown in both their own plot as well as from around Akiu.

    Akiu Saiseki Chocolate | ¥850 (Before Tax)

    A white chocolate dessert inspired by the unique rocks of Akiu. Customers can use the little wooden hammer to break apart the dessert to create a rubble of chocolate.

    The inside of the restaurant is spacious with towering beams holding it up.

    “The vegetables are so fresh, I couldn’t believe how tasty they were! This flavour is unique to this place.”

     

    Akiu-sha
    Address: Nozoki-9-4 Akiumachi Yumoto, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00 (Last Food Orders 14:30 / Cafe Last Orders 16:00)
    Closed: Tuesdays
    TEL: 022-724-7767 (Bookings not possible)
    Access: 50-minutes by bus from Sendai Station

    Official Website: http://akiuwinery.co.jp

     

    Akiu Winery

    Taste and compare different original wines

    Akiu Winery in Akiu Onsen was the first winery to open in Sendai. It’s home to an enormous grape field, and inside is the brewery itself as well as a dining area and shop. They serve an array of original wines.

    As well as originals, Akiu Winery also stocks famous wines from Sendai.

    Merlot Red Wine 2018 (Sample) | Koshu Sur Lie 2019 (750ml) ¥2,300 | Steuben Rosé 2019 (750ml) ¥2,000 (All Before Tax)

    Akiu Winery’s line-up of wines are famous in Sendai.

    At the back of the winery is the expansive grape field.

    Craft Grill | ¥1,330

    At the outdoor terrace you can enjoy a BBQ grill together with a glass of wine.

    “The sight of the grape field made me feel like I was in France. You can enjoy a BBQ too so I definitely want people to come here!”

     

    Akiu Winery
    Address: Biwaharanishi-6, Akiumachi Yumoto, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
    Official Website: http://akiuwinery.co.jp

    Akiu Great Falls

    The Three Great Waterfalls of Japan

    Akiu Great Falls is considered one of Japan’s three most famous waterfalls alongside Kegon Falls in Tochigi Prefecture and Nachi Falls in Wakayama Prefecture. It’s about 15-minutes by car downstream from Akiu Onsen and is also accessible by bus.

    They have a retro shop at the entrance of the waterfall.

    Also located next to the waterfall is Akiu-Otaki Fudoson, a temple surrounded by dense green foliage and enormous gingko trees.

    “Being in nature really relaxed me and took away the day’s stress! It’s quite a walk to the waterfall basin so you get plenty of exercise too.”

     

    Akiu Great Falls
    Address: Otaki Akiumachi Baba, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
    TEL: 022-398-2323 (Akiu Onsen Tourist Information Center)
    Access: 50-minutes by bus from Sendai Station (Running on weekends and public holidays only)

     

    Around Sendai Station

    Sendai Station can be considered as the doorstep of Japan’s Tohoku region. It of course runs JR East’s Tohoku Shinkansen bullet trains as well as operates Sendai Subway services and buses. The area around the station is great for finding tasty local delicacies, shopping, and souvenir-buying.

     

    WANOSHOKU NIKAI

    Seri-nabe is Sendai’s new specialty food

    If you’re asked to give an example of a famous speciality food product from Sendai, chances are people will jump straight to the city’s gyutan beef tongue, but what has been the talk of the town recently is seri-nabe. Seri-nabe is a type of hotpot cooked with Japanese parsley (‘seri’) – one of Japan’s seven spring flowers. Miyagi Prefecture boasts as a top class producer of Japanese parsley. The hotpot is served in a simple duck broth which allows the fragrance of the parsley to come through.

    “I can’t get enough of the crunchy texture of the [parsley] roots! It was delicious, I had a refreshing soy sauce soup finished with ramen.”

     

    WASHOKU NIKAI
    Address: 2-5-15 Ichibanchō, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 17:00-Midnight
    No Fixed Holidays
    TEL: 022-224-6040

     

    Iroha Yokocho

    Bar crawl deep into the back streets

    The side streets of the Sunmall Ichibancho arcade have a retro Japanese vibe to them, packed full of shops that make one feel nostalgic.

    The long, winding alleys feature plenty of Instagram-worthy spots.

    “This is a great spot for enjoying a bar crawl, just having a light drink and then moving onto the next place. Even if you don’t drink there’s tasty food to enjoy too!”

     

    Iroha Yokocho

    Address: 2-3-28 Ichibancho, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    TEL: 022-223-3151

    S-PAL Sendai

    A fashion mall connected to the station

    S-PAL is a fashion mall directly connected to Sendai Station, home to apparel stores, restaurants, souvenir shops, sundry sellers, and more. Here are some sundry stores selling a variety of miscellaneous items perfect as souvenir purchases.

     

    Nakagawa Masashichi

    This is an old-time chain that has been around for 300 years. Specialising in lifestyle goods, this S-PAL branch is the only one in all of Tohoku.

    Its interior design has a retro feel to it with shelves and tables piled with cute bits and bobs.

    Kaya-ori Tea Towel | ¥440 (Tax Included)

    A specialty product of Tohoku, this tea towel is made using the traditional weaving technique of kaya-ori. Exclusive to Tohoku.

     

    IORI

    IORI is another shop you’ll only find in the Tohoku area. They sell imabari towels which are perfect as gifts to yourself or another.

    Handkerchiefs | ¥600 Each (Tax Included)〜

    These handkerchiefs are only sold in Sendai and feature a variety of embroidered motifs like the windsocks of the Sendai Tanabata Festival, kokeshi dolls, the helmet of Date Masamune, and more.

     

    KANEIRI STANDARD STORE

    A select shop stocking stationery and other trinkets that promote the culture and craftsmanship of Tohoku. This store is right next to Sendai Station and has plenty of souvenir-worthy items, so it’s absolutely worth a visit.

    As well as lifestyle goods, the store also sells items made in Miyagi, like kokeshi dolls.

    Matsukawa Daruma | ¥1,300 (Before Tax)

    These Matsukawa Daruma are super cute, especially the blue one which is inspired by the Sendai Domain, also known as the Date Domain.

     

    Dagashiya Zousan

    Dagashiya Zousan sells old-time Japanese sweets and confections, stocked with many popular treats from Tohoku adored by both kids and adults alike.

    The traditional sweets are all packed together along the shelves and up the walls.

     

    The popular souvenir shops of Sendai

    You can’t go home after a fun trip without picking up a souvenir, so here’s s line-up of shops that have been surging in popularity recently in Sendai, all of which sell Sendai-specific items.

     

    Drinkable zunda at Agurienomori Mitte

    Drinkable Zunda | ¥370 (Before Tax)

    Zunda are mashed green soybeans boiled and turned into a sweet paste. They are also a local delicacy. Zunda mochi are very famous, but zunda beverages are popular too. This shop sells a variety of zunda treats to pick from.

     

    Bamboo grass kamaboko at Kanezaki-ya

    There are many makers of sasa-kamaboko, or bamboo grass fish paste, but what makes Kanezaki-ya’s so great is how it retains the original umami flavour and plump texture of the fish.

     

    Zaou cheese at Tohoku Meguri Irotoiro

    Zaou Cream Cheese, Vanilla Cream Spread | ¥557 Each (Before Tax)

    A food select shop selling a range of different ingredients. Their kaou cheese with sweet vanilla is their most popular item.

    “It’s a fashion mall so of course they sell clothes, but they had a bunch of other stuff too, everything from traditional Japanese daruma to food. I really recommend S-PAL Sendai if you’re searching for souvenirs!”

     

    S-PAL Sendai
    Address: 1-1-1 Chuo, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Restaurant wing open 11:00-22:00)
    No Fixed Holidays
    TEL: 022-267-2111
    Access: Connected directly to Sendai Station
    Official Website: https://www.s-pal.jp/sendai/ 

     

    “Sendai looking and progressing into the future as it overcomes the effects of the disaster. It’s a place with amazing food, fun shops, and is teeming with nature. If you’ve never been to Sendai before, then be sure to visit and have fun!”

  • Gifts Galore as Roppongi Hills Welcomes the Christmas Market Again For 2020

    27.November.2020 | SPOT

    Christmas has sleighed into Roppongi Hills again this year, beginning with the Keyakizaka-dori Illuminations on November 13. The Christmas Market is also set to return to Oyane Plaza on November 28.

    2020 marks the 14th run of the Roppongi Hills Christmas market which is inspired by the the famous Stuttgart Christmas Market in Germany. Visitors can sift through around 1,500 miscellaneous Christmas goods, enjoy German mulled wine and sausages, and more.

     

    At the West Walk, visitors will also find an enormous 6.5m tall Christmas tree to complement the warm, cosy, festive atmosphere of the holiday season event.

  • sequence SUIDOBASHI: Tokyo’s Next-Generation Hotel Opens November 25

    26.November.2020 | SPOT

    Major real estate developer Mitsui Fudosan and Mitsui Fudosan Hotel Management will open “sequence SUIDOBASHI,” the third branch of their “sequence” hotel chain, in Chiyoda, Tokyo, on November 25, 2020.

     

    A convenient stay in Tokyo

    sequence SUIDOBASHI is just a 1-minute walk from Suidōbashi Station’s JR Line and a 6-minute walk from its Toei Subway-Mita Line. Its convenient location puts it near the Tokyo Dome City entertainment complex where you can enjoy sports events, concerts, an amusement park, and more. It also means easy access to other places like Akihabara, Kagurazaka, and Otemachi.

     

    Suidobashi is home to many office buildings, and so to blend in with its environment, sequence SUIDOBASHI features monotone colouring with chic and sophisticated design.

     

    An easy check-in with facial recognition technology

    At the hotel entrance is the facial recognition check-in counter. Guests use an app to register in advance and can use facial recognition or a QR code to self check-in easily. The hotel lobby also has a counter table and DJ booth as well as a cafe counter.

     

    One checked-in, guests can enter the hotel to find their rooms or other facilities throughout the building. sequence SUIDOBASHI is the second branch to incorporate facial recognition, which lets the hotel do everything for you from checking-in to entering your room, following sequence KYOTO GOJO. The hotel chain is also the first in Tokyo to incorporate it.

     

    The concept of “MOMENT”

    The hotel is built around the concept of a moment, offering a range of spaces for guests to enjoy different moments like the theatre and the lounge, all of which can be experienced with proper COVID-19 precautionary measures in place.

     

    Bar and dining at KANPAI TERRACE

    The hotel’s bar and dining restaurant KANPAI TERRACE has a spacious open terrace where guests can enjoy a selection of sandwiches, French toast, mains and sides for breakfast and lunch. During bar time, pick from a range of alcohols and pair them with various Japanese, Western, and Chinese foods.

     

    SHUNKAN LOUNGE

    Up on the 2nd floor is the guest-only “SHUNKAN LOUNGE,” a 40m² mini theatres with an enormous 120-inch screen where guests can enjoy sports, entertainment, and more. They can also take food and drink they bought from KANPAI TERRACE in there.

     

    SHUNKAN LOUNGE also has its own art gallery showcasing art themed on the concept of “MOMENT” from young, up-and-coming artists.

     

    Guest Rooms

    There are eight types of rooms to choose from, all of which can accommodate 2+ people. Rooms are compact and functional whether it be for guests’ morning routines or for desk work. The hotel has selected black as the base colour for the backstage area while the bed area uses white which softly illuminates with the light to create a chic contrast in the room design. There are also speckles of orange throughout the room which is the brand’s colour and adds accent to the overall design.

     

    Floors 3-6 and 12 feature bunk bed rooms perfect for friends and families travelling together. The rooms are compact with everything guests need in there including the washrooms with showers and toilets. There’s also a concept room called “Bunk Bed 4 LIVE” which features a projector and BOSE speakers for guests looking for more of a party room.

     

    If you’re looking for a place to stay in Tokyo, why not check out the “next-generation” lifestyle hotel sequence SUIDOBASHI?

  • Japan’s First Icefall Open-Air Bath to Open at Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel in Aomori

    26.November.2020 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel has announced the limited-time opening of its new Hyobaku open-air icefall bath which guests can enjoy this winter from December 18, 2020 to March 22, 2021. The bath overlooks a gorgeous mountain stream, offering an exclusive wintertime view.

     

    Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel

    Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel stands alone near the the picturesque Oirase Keiryu mountain stream which lets guests immerse themselves in the undisturbed serenity of nature. The hotel lobby features a grand fireplace created by Japanese artist Taro Okamoto.

     

    The Icefall Bath

    Icefalls are created when glaciers flow over a steep drop. The 14km Oirase Keiryu mountain stream is made up of 14 waterfalls which give rise to icecalls of various shapes and sizes. When light shines through them they turn a striking ice blue, something only visible during winter. The hotel has been offering the icefall bath service since 2017 to allow guests to see the icefall themselves, in the comfort of a warm bath, when the waterfalls freeze.

     

    The Icefall Created Over Time

    The waterfalls begin to freeze in early December which gradually gives rise to the icefall. The harsh cold allows the water to freeze and layer bit by bit overtime which. By mid January, the frozen waterfalls stand 3.5m high and 16cm accross. The icefall is ever-changing as its shape changes depending on the temperature, wind, and light shining through.

     

    Experience an outdoor hot spring experience like never before in Japan during winter at Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel.

  • W Osaka: Japan’s First Luxury Lifestyle Hotel to Open in March 2021

    22.November.2020 | SPOT

    Marriott International has announced that W Osaka will have its grand opening on March 16, 2021. Room bookings opened via the hotel's official website on Wednesday (November 18).

     

    W Osaka is a luxury lifestyle hotel that will open along Midosuji, the primary main street in central Osaka, positioning it within walking distance of Shinsaibashi which is home to world-leading luxury brand stores, Dotonbori which hails as one of the main tourist spots in Osaka where one can find an unending selection of restaurants and places for a great night out, and Minamisenba where you can find Osaka-based designer stores, coffee shops, and more. It's also conveniently situated near the business district of Honmachi.

     

    The Hotel’s Theme: A fun place for Osaka’s merchants

    The hotel’s design was overseen by Osaka-born international architect Tadao Ando. The 32- storey building is coloured a simple yet stylish black and is based around crystals.

    The interior design was carried out by Concrete Architectural Associates from the Netherlands who have recreated the image of Osaka’s city lights with dazzling neon lights. Under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate during the Edo period, extravagance was banned, but that was well over a century ago, so it is of course permitted now. But while W Osaka incorporates flashy design, its interior isn’t overly-sophisticated and maintains an air of light-hearted fun to it.

     

    A single button caters to whatever, whenever when it comes to guests

    The 337 guest rooms boast beautiful vivid colours and contemporary designs that are sure to leave an impression. Washrooms are spacious and are equipped with rainfall showers. The rooms’; windows also stand from the floor to the ceiling, allowing for a perfect view of Osaka’s beautiful streets. Best of all, all room telephones are fitted with a “Whatever/Whenever” button on them which enables hotel staff to cater to guests’ needs and wishes at all times no matter what it is.

     

    A Michelin-star chef’s menu

    In the lobby, guests will see a mic on a mic stand which is a nod to Osaka’s famous manzai culture of comedy duos. The hotel also plans to open a bar area. For now, however, guests can enjoy the all-dining restaurant which boasts a menu supervised by a Michelin-star-winning chef who has also ranked in Asia’s Best Restaurants 50. In the future, W Osaka plans to be host to unique wedding ceremonies too.

    If you’e planning a trip to Osaka next year, be sure to check out W Osaka, opening March 16, 2021.

  • Tokyo Tower to Begin Morning Tea Gathering On 150-Meter Main Deck

    21.November.2020 | SPOT

    Tokyo Tower is set to host a special morning tea gathering on its 150-meter-high main deck, which overlooks central Tokyo, from November 21, 2020.

    A peaceful morning cup of tea above Tokyo

    Tokyo is a communications tower in the middle of Tokyo which has its own observation deck open to the public which offers an incredible view of the capital. During the day, the tower is very busy with visitors, and so this morning tea gathering aims to offer people a chance to enjoy the tower and its view in peace and quiet, before opening hours, with a cup of Japanese tea.

     

    An open display showcasing Japanese crafts

    The event is cooperating with the Japan-France Tea Ceremony Association who is providing specially-selected traditional Japanese tea-making and serving equipment, all of which were made by traditional Japanese artisans and have been passed down since the Edo Period for an authentic.

     

    Open to foreigners even if you don’t know Japanese or the etiquette of the Japanese tea ceremony

    Don’t worry if you can’t speak Japanese or don’t know the manners or proper etiquette when it comes to the Japanese tea ceremony – the event is open to all, and you can participate without sitting in the traditional seiza positioning. The staff can speak English, French, and Spanish, so foreign tourists won’t miss out on anything.

  • Fuji-Q Highland Begins Christmas Event at Gaspard and Lisa Town

    19.November.2020 | SPOT

    Christmas cheer is here at Fuji-Q Highland, the popular amusement park in Yamanashi, where a special Christmas event is taking place at Gaspard and Lisa Town in the park.

     

    Christmas gift set with original tote bag

    Hot Coffee Set | ¥2,000 (Tax Included)

    Up until Christmas Day, the Gaspard and Lisa Town shop is selling a special hot coffee set to warm visitors this holiday season which comes with coffee, cookies, and a coffee cup sleeve.

    The set comes in a festive tote bag with Gaspard and Lisa celebrating Christmas 2020 around a Christmas tree.

     

    Hot Coffee Set Contents
    ①Drip Coffee (Gaspard or Lisa version)
    ②5 Fujiyama Cookies
    ③Sleeve (Gaspard or Lisa version)
    *Tote bags are available while supplies las

     

    Treats for Christmastime

    Gaspard and Lisa Christmas Jar Sweets | ¥500 (Tax Included)

    At the Les Rêves Salon de thé tea salon, visitors can pick up a jar dessert which contains a sweet and sour tart topped with Gaspard and Lisa shaped cookies. Cafe Brioche is also selling a selection of freshly-made Christmas pastries.

     

    When visitors spend over ¥2,000 in a single transaction at shops in the town they will receive a limited-edition Gaspard and Lisa Christmas coaster.

     

    Send Christmas post to the Gaspard and Lisa creators

    When buying something in the town, customers will be handed a Christmas card that they can send a message in to post in the town’s Christmas postbox. The post will be sent to wife and husband Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben, the creators of Gaspard and Lisa, in Paris, France. Up on the second floor of the town’s shop are also drawings and messages by the two creators delivered for this year’s Christmas event.

     

    Post Collection: November 14, 2020 – December 13, 2020

    Location: Gaspard and Lisa Town Shop

    *1 card per transaction, available while supplies last

     

    Meet Gaspard and Lisa

    Gaspard and Lisa donning Christmas cloaks will make an appearance on Christmas cloaks to light up the Towatomo Tree. Visitors can also enjoy a soup with a cute Gaspard or Lisa sleeve.

     

    Date: December 25, 2020
    Time: From 16:30
    Location: Gasprd and Lisa Town’s Towatomo Tree
    Prices:
    Soup Only – ¥300 (Tax Included)

    Soup & Sleeve – ¥720 (Tax Included)

     

    Wine bottle shaped chocolate

    ~Le Premier~Le chocolate au vin | ¥2,980 (Tax Included)

    The bakers at Highland Resort Hotel & Spa have crafted a new wine bottle-shaped chocolate for the Christmas event. Its sweetness makes it perfect for pairing with wine.

     

    Available: Les Rêves Salon de thé in Gaspard and Lisa Town

     

     

    ©2020 Hachette Livre

  • Hoshino Resorts Tomamu’s Ice Village Will Be Open For Winter 2020-2021

    18.November.2020 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts Tomamu, Hokkaido’s top snow resort where you can stay, has announced that this year’s Ice Village will open from December 10, 2020 to March 14, 2021.

     

    Ice Village opens up at Tomamu in wintertime only and has done so every year since 1998. It boasts 3.2 hectares of land and houses 10 enormous igloos to create a little village of ice. At its lowest, the temperature there can drop to -30°C which is what works the magic behind the Ice Village.

     

    Many events around Hokkaido have been cancelled this year as a result of the pandemic, and so Tomamu has decided to remain open to both guests and non-guests while operating under strict countermeasures against COVID-19. This way, people can still enjoy the wonderful winter season of Hokkaido. This year sees the opening of the Ice Milk Cafe and Ice Fruit shop in the Ice Village where they can order a variety of food and drink to take out onto the Ice Terrace. There’s even the Ice Hotel and Ice Chapel.

     

    Draw fresh milk from the Ice Milk Cafe

    The one-meter tall Ice Milk Bottle lets visitors who order a glass of Ice Milk at the Milk Cafe draw fresh Tomamu Milk which has a distinctly deep flavour during winter. You can also mix the milk on an ice sheet to create gelato.

     

    Ice Milk Cafe

    Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:30)

     

    Enjoy chilled fruits at the Ice Fruit Shop

    Visitors can enjoy a range of whole frozen fruits that have been shaved into smaller pieces as well as frozen fruit beverages. They also serve fruits on skewers you can pick which fruit combinations you like to enjoy out on the Ice Terrace.

     

    Ice Fruit Shop
    Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:30)

     

    Enter a magical frozen world at the Ice Terrace

    Once you’ve ordered your takeout drink or dessert, you can go out onto the terrace to sit at the tables and chairs, which are also made of ice, and enjoy the frozen world around you, like the giant snowflakes.

     

    Ice Terrace
    Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00

     

    Order a crisp drink at the Ice Bar

    The ice bar serves over 50 different alcoholic beverages at the ice counter, with drinks like colourful cocktails served chilled in ice cubes.

     

    Ice Bar

    Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:45)

     

    Dogs are allowed at the Ice Hotel

    Everything at the Ice Hotel, from the ceiling to the walls, is made from ice. It’s available to one group per day and has its own ice bath and hot springs. Dogs are also allowed and get their own pup igloo.

    Running: January 18, 2021 – February 28, 2020
    *Reservations required 7 days in advance

     

    The Ice Chapel made entirely of ice

    A chapel made entirely of ice which represents “the unbreakable love between two pure souls which shall last forever.” From the altar and crucifix, to the wedding aisle and benches, everything is made of ice and snow. Firework displays will take place to congratulate newly-wed couples.

    Running: January 18, 2020 – February 14, 2020

    Visiting Times: 17:45 / 19:45 / 21:45 (10 minutes each)
    Ceremony Times: 14:00 / 17:00 / 19:00 / 21:00

     

    Crafts at the Ice Atelier and shopping at the Ice General Store

    Visitors can craft things made from ice at the Ice Atelier as well as buy a selection of ice and snow-themed items like crafts, accessories, mugs, and more at the shop.

     

    Ice Atelier / Ice General Shop
    Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00

     

    Kids and adults can have fun at the Ice Slide and Ice Rink

    The Ice Slide is the most popular part of the Ice Village where kids and adults alike can slide down and overlook the bustling village. Right next to the slide is the Ice Rink, another bustling spot popular with visitors.

    Ice Slide Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00
    Ice Rink Opening Hours: 17:00-21:45 (Last Entries 21:30)

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