Autumn in Shizuoka: Izunokuni Panorama Park’s Autumn Tree Tunnel and Mountain View

03.December.2020 | SPOT

Japan in the autumn season is truly a sight to behold. Travelling to Shizuoka Prefecture during autumn calls for a trip to Izunokuni Panorama Park, where one can gaze at the autumn colours blooming at the peak of Mount Katsuragi. The best time to visit is from late November to early December, especially to see the tunnel of trees at Izunokuni Panorama Park’s Boardwalk which blossom reds and yellows.

 

The Boardwalk’s autumn tunnel

At the centre of Fujimidai Terrace you will find the Boardwalk which is home to a tunnel of autumnal trees. Visitors can enjoy the warmth of the sun filtering through the multicoloured leaves together with a cool breeze as they walk the leaf-littered path. Late November and early December is the height of autumn in this area, and on a clear day, Mount Fuji is clearly visible, making it a must-visit for anyone travelling to Japan in autumn.

 

A beautiful view of Suruga Bay and Mount Fuji for the New Year

Izunokuni Panorama Park will also be open on New Year’s Day—January 1, 2021—from 5:00am, offering visitors a breathtaking view of the sunset, Suruga Bay, and Mount Fuji from Fujimidai Terrace atop Mount Katsuragi. What a way to start the New Year. Additionally, the first 200 visitors each day from January 1st-3rd will also be given an ema plaque from Katsuragi Shrine.

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  • FANCL Ginza Square Opens Onsen Hot Spring That You Can Walk Into Wearing Your Clothes

    22.January.2021 | SPOT

    FANCL has brought the hot spring experience to its flagship site FANCL Ginza Square for a limited time with a variety of content that makes visitors feel like they’ve come to a Japanese onsen. The experience, named Tabi Suru Square Yu, is running until February 11, 2021.

    Café au Lait / Fruit au Lait / Soy Milk Aojiru – ¥300 Each

    Reiwa Honzen (FANCL Ginza Square Floor 9F)

    Lunch Sana Winter Seafood Bento | ¥3,500

    Winter Dinner Seafood Course | From ¥9,000

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    Tomato Cream Pasta Lunch Set ¥1,850

    Original Hand Towel

    FANCL Ginza Square Onsen Essentials Set | ¥3,668

    Breathing exercises at SUU-HAKU

    At Tabi Suru Square Yu, visitors can enter a room that fully recreates the experience of being in a hot spring. The room is set at the same temperature, is filled with the same aromas, and is decorated in the same way. Visitors sit on one of the relaxation sheets to soak up the experience – effectively getting into a hot spring without having to change their clothes.

     

    A variety of classic drinks and dishes sold at hot springs in Japan will also be sold, and visitors can get involved in the breathing exercises on offer.

  • YOKOHAMA AIR CABIN: Japan’s First Permanent Inner-City Cable Car Opens in April

    20.January.2021 | SPOT

    Japan is set to get its first ever permanent city cable car in Yokohama on April 22 called the YOKOHAMA AIR CABIN.

    The YOKOHAMA AIR CABIN is a cable car system that will offer locals and tourists a chance to enjoy Yokohama from a new perspective whether during the hot summers or during the cool evenings when the city lights wake up.

    The system will be connected directly to Sakuragichō Station and Shinko Pier for easy, quick access to enjoy Yokohama Minato Mirai from up high.

     

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  • Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE Releases Video of Magical Beachside Illuminations

    19.January.2021 | SPOT

    The incredible beachside Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE, which offers guests a breathtaking ocean view along the Okinawan coast, released a video on the official Hoshino Resorts YouTube page showcasing the cafe’s ongoing illumination event, “Illumi Banta,” which is running until February 28, 2021. Guests can enjoy some limited-time menu options and then take a romantic stroll along the beach with a warm lantern in hand.

    Okinawa is known for its warm climate, rarely dipping below 15°C in the chilly season of winter. There are many celebratory days enjoyed every year around Christmas and New Years, and so BANTA CAFE decided to get in on the action with Illumi Banta, which has been running since December 1 last year—while following the necessary precautions against COVID-19 to ensure everyone stays safe. The spacious cafe is mostly outdoors so visitors can enjoy their time without worry.

     

    A seat at the cafe in on a clear evening guarantees a front row seat to a beautiful orange sunset that sinks into the horizon. Normally, the cafe closes as sunset arrives, but for this event, opening hour have been extended into the night.

     

    BANTA CAFE is located in the village of Yomitan where the beautiful ocean is surrounded by coral reef, enormous rocks, and a rich natural environment. It’s a must-visit if travelling to Okinawa.

  • Nagasaki’s 112 Year Old Hotel Nampuro Opens Terraces With Panoramic Ocean and Sky Views

    19.January.2021 | SPOT

    The 112-year-old Hotel Nampuro in Nagasaki is set to open the new Sky Terrace and Ocean Terrace this month. These vistas offer breathtaking, unbroken views of the sea and sky that make it feel as if you’re floating on the ocean with rolling skies ahead that stretch to the horizon.

    Observation Terrace (1)

    Observation Terrace (2)

    Infinity Pool-Style Open-Air Bath

    Silky Bath

    Beautifying Bubble Baths

    Jacuzzi Bath (Male Only)

    Children’s Bath

    Hinoki Sauna & Steam Sauna

    Iyashi Onsen Cafe

    Rental Open-Air Bath

    The observation terrace offers an incredible panoramic view of the great Ariake Sea that offers a picturesque spectacle at all times of the day. Guests can enjoy seeing the morning, noon, and night skies which merge together with the ocean for an unbeatable result. There’s also a “no talking” rule on the terrace so guests can fully soak up what’s in front of them as they take a luxirous soak in the warm baths.

     

    The infinity pool-style open-air bath offers a refreshing view while making it seem as if you are part of the ocean. The silky bath uses delicate micro bubbles which become an air cushion and promote good blood circulation using massage. The jacuzzi bath relaxes the entire body with stimulating bubbles, while the children’s bath allows kids to get in on the fun too. Both saunas are a change to unwind fatigue and the tired body. The steam sauna is set at a lower temperature than your usual high-temperature dry sauna which ensures it doesn’t have as much strain on the body so guests can sweat it out comfortably. The freshly-brewed coffee available at the hot spring is also exclusive to the hotel’s Onsen Cafe.

  • Universal Studios Japan Announces Easter Universal Celebration 2021

    13.January.2021 | SPOT

    Universal Studios Japan is set to spring into Easter starting on March 12 with the announcement of Universal Easter Celebration 2021. This year, which marks the 20th anniversary since USJ opened, will see the park’s cute and iconic characters once again lull guests into an unforgettable Easter dream at Universal Wonderland and Minion Park.

     

    Universal Easter Celebration

    USJ will see colourful pastel decorations cover the Universal Wonderland and Minion Park areas, and the characters too will be dressed in their seasonal Easter costumes. A special Easter rendition of the Wonderland Seasons Joy show will also take place to commemorate the park’s 20th anniversary with song and dance.

    Wonderland Seasons Joy ~Easter Ver.~

    Minion Park Easter

    The park will also introduced a special egg hunt after Elmo and the Minions dropped some of their eggs. If you manage to find them all you get a limited-edition gold medal. USJ is also taking the Easter festivities online too with a special celebratory live stream called Let’s Cooking! Kawaii Easter Party

     

    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 & © 2021 Sesame Workshop
© 2021 Peanuts Worldwide LLC TM & © Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment
Universal Studios Japan TM & © Universal Studios. All rights reserved.

    © Nintendo

  • 200 Varieties of Japanese Iris to Bloom at Odawara Flower Garden

    10.January.2021 | SPOT

    The plum blossoms of Odawara Flower Garden, which is located in Odawara, Kanagawa, are at the height of their blossom right now. The park’s Keiryu no Baien (“Mountain Stream Plum Garden”) area boasts the largest collection of plum blossoms in Japan’s Kanto region, with 480 trees spanning 200 species.

    480 individual Japanese ayame plum blossoms of 200 varieties will adorn the garden once again this year. The event has a different theme each year, with this year’s focusing on the interweaving of red and white coloured flowers on each tree branch.

    Visitors will be able to see the beautiful colour combination from many different iris varieties such as the murui-shibori which sometimes sees red safflowers come to life, the wachigai which witnesses wonderful variegated flowering, the impeccably beautiful maki-tateyama, and more.

     

    2021 Keiryu no Baien
    Running: January 23, 2021 – March 7, 2021
    Location: Odawara Flower Garden
    Address: 3798-5 Kuno, Odawara, Kanagawa
    Entry: Free
    Parking: Free
    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    *No holidays for the duration of the event – open every day

     

    Keiryu no Baien Guide Tour

    Takayuki Otsubo, the president of the garden, is also an advisor on the management of its plants. He will be offering a detailed tour for the event.

     

    Date: February 21, 2021
    Times: 10:30 / 13:30 (1 hour each)
    Participation: Free
    Capacity: 30 per slot (first-come, first-served)

    *Tour will be held seated indoors if it rains

     

    Keiryu no Baien Flowers and Kimono Girls

    A kimono rental and fitting service will be available at the event so visitors can take photo next to the gorgeous flowers while adorned in traditional Japanese dress.

     

    Date: February 13, 2021
    Time: 9:30-16:00 (Bookable slots)
    Price: ¥3,000 (Tax/Rental/Fitting included)
    No. of People: 15 (Booking required)
    Bookings: By phone call by February 7, 2021
    TEL: 0465-34-2814

    *Must be at least 140m tall
    *Visitors are asked to do their own makeup
    *Male kimono are available in limited quantities

     

    Plum Menu

    The Odawara Flower Garden cafe, Cafe Hibiscus, is serving a selection of plum blossom themed meals and drinks for the festival. This includes the above-pictured new soba noodle dish, which is topped with plum pulp grown in Odawara as well as kamaboko fish cake, shrimp fritters, and spring onion. The broth in particular is worth of note which the staff went to great lengths to create. There’s also plum blossom ice cream too made with nanko plums, as well as other delicious bites.

     

    Plum Blossom Festival Soba Noodles – ¥600 (Tax Included) / With Drink ¥700 (Tax Included)

    Plum Ice Cream – ¥380 (Tax Included)

    Location: Cafe Hibiscus
    Opening Hours: 10:00-16:00 (Last Orders 15:30)
    *No holidays for the duration of the event – open every day

     

    Plum Blossom Souvenirs


    A selection of plum blossom-themed souvenirs will be available like umeboshi dried plum, plum jelly, and more.

     

    Available: From early January 2021
    Location: Entrance souvenir corner
    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

  • Super Nintendo World Releases Virtual Tour of Entire Theme Park Area

    07.January.2021 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Universal Studios Japan (USJ) announced last month that its highly-anticipated new Super Nintendo World area will open on February 4, 2021, which also happens to fall on the day of USJ’s 20th anniversary.

     

    Super Nintendo World comes as the world’s first theme park area to be based around Nintendo’s characters and games, combining innovative ideas with cutting-edge technology.

     

    With just one month left until the grand opening, USJ has launched a special website for Super Nintendo World which offers a virtual tour through each part of the new theme park area. Mario fanatics are sure to be delighted by the adornments from Bowser’s Castle to Pipes, Mushrooms, Question blocks, and more, as well as familiar faces like Goombas, Thwomps, Yoshi—the list goes on.

     

    Accessing the site will bring you to an overview of the map. As you scroll down the website takes you on a virtual journey to each of its iconic attractions, all of which are designed to make you feel like you’re really in the world of Super Mario.

  • teamLab Reconnect Project Combines Art With the Sauna Experience in Roppongi

    06.January.2021 | SPOT

    Art collective teamLab has announced the opening of teamLab Reconnect: Art with Rinkan Sauna Roppongi which will run for half a year starting this March in Roppngi, Tokyo.

     

    Since 2019, teamLab has been combining saunas with digital art to create wholly new and unique sauna experiences never before seen.

    teamLab Reconnect’s aim is not to offer a luxury and high-end venue for seeing artwork, but to put visitors into a luxurious state to experience the art. Through contrast bath therapy, where visitors are placed in a hot sauna followed by cold water and then relaxation, they can open their minds and senses to a variety of artworks and in essence become part of the art itself. teamLab hopes this will enable visitors to realise their own existence―their mind, body, and environment―and in turn ‘reconnect’ with the world and time.

    Levitation
    teamLab, 2021, Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    teamLab Reconnect will welcome a variety of new artworks based on teamLab’s new art project ‘Supernature Phenomenon’ which captures different natural phenomena in nature.

    Proliferating Immense Life – A Whole Year per Year
    teamLab, 2020, Interactive Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    This artwork captures the life cycle of flowers. It is not a pre-recorded image that is played back; it is created by a computer program that continuously renders the work in real time. The interaction between people and the installation causes continuous change in the artwork, meaning previous visual states can never be replicated, and will never reoccur.

     

    Since opening their sauna in Mifuneyama Rakuen in Kyushu back in 2019, which won the SAUNACHELIN two years in a row in 2019 and 2020, teamLab has gone on to create new works of sauna art such as teamLab: A Forest Where Gods Live and teamLab Ruins and Heritage: Rinkan Spa & Tea Ceremony.

  • hotel androoms Announces Opening of New Kyoto Shijo Branch in March

    06.January.2021 | SPOT

    Solare Hotels and Resorts has announced that a new branch of hotels androoms will open in Kyoto Shijo on March 6, 2021. In the run up to its grand opening, the company has opened a website where guests can book hotels with Solare Hotels and Resorts at the cheapest possible price. The website will begin rolling out more information about each hotel on the site through the year.

     

    Access

    hotel androoms Kyoto Shijo is located a convenient 5-minute walk from Kyoto Station’s Karasuma Line section and 7 minutes from the Central Exit in the JR section, placing it within close distance to many of Kyoto’s sightseeing spots.

     

    The hotel offers seven different room types from standard to double to premium twin. One room can house a maximum of three people, accommodating groups and families. It also promises to be packed with a variety of exclusive services you won’t find at other hotels.

     

    Specialty coffee by Unir Kyoto

    hotel androoms Kyoto Shijo will welcome the opening of a new branch of Unir inside the hotel which serves coffee made from specially-selected coffee beans. The coffee is hand-roasted on site with baristas pouring their love and skill into every cup.

     

    Breakfast delivered right to your room

    The morning time is your time and should be used as you please without you having to rush around, so says the hotel, and so it offers a breakfast delivery service which must be booked in advance.

     

    Relax and unwind in the modern-style baths

    Those looking for a little relaxation can look forward to pushing all their stresses aside in a modern bathing area which is inspired by a cave. It’s open from 3pm-2am and again from 6am-10am.

     

    If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto and want a hotel with easy access to all the hot spots then be sure to consider hotel androoms Kyoto Shijo.

  • Tokyo Welcomes New KISS,TOKYO Bench at Shibuya River Street

    02.January.2021 | SPOT

    What is being dubbed as a new sightseeing spot in Shibuya, “KISS,TOKYO,” an artistic bench, appeared at Shibuya River Street on Christmas Day. The street runs from SHIBUYA STREAM towards Daikanyama.

     

    About KISS,TOKYO

    “KISS,TOKYO” is a project and nod towards those who love Tokyo, taking inspiration from the “I♡NY” slogan and logo. Japan isn’t a country where kisses are used as greetings like other places around the world, but the bold notion of “KISS,TOKYO” expresses the feeling of love wards the people and city. It’s a mark to welcome visitors to the capital of Japan.

     

    The bench was made in cooperation with the Shibuya City Tourism Association and Tokyu and under a crowdfunder.

     

    Pop-Up Store

    A pop-up shop is now open at WIRED SHIBUYA selling merchandise with the KISS,TOKYO logo on it. It will run until January 31, 2021.

     

    If you’re planning a trip to Shibuya, make sure you get a photo with the city’s new sightseeing and tourist spot.

  • 2021 New Year’s in Japan: 5 Must-Visit Illumination Spots

    27.December.2020 | SPOT

    Illumination and light-up events are a huge part of winter and the holiday season in Japan, but when Christmas ends, many of them are turned off until next year. But there are still some that run through the New Year holidays and into early spring, so we’ve compiled a list of 5 must-visit illumination and light-up spots to visit over the next couple of months.

    Please note that the times and dates of these events are subject to change depending on the COVID-19 situation.

     

    Tochigi: The Garden of Illuminated Flowers ~Flower Fantasy 2020~

    Ashikaga Flower Park in Ashikaga, Tochigi, is holding an illumination event for winter called “The Garden of Illuminated Flowers ~Flower Fantasy 2020~” until February 7, 2021. Held for the 19th time this year, the event was ranked among the Top 3 biggest light-up events in Japan in 2017 alongside Sapporo White Illuminations and Huis Ten Bosch Illuminations. It was also ranked top by night view critics in Japan as the best illumination event for four consecutive years.

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/366535 

     

    ▼The Garden of Illuminated Flowers ~Flower Fantasy 2020~

    Address: 607 Hasamacho, Ashikaga, Tochigi
    Running: October 17, 2020 – February 7, 2021
    Official Website: https://www.ashikaga.co.jp/flowerfantasy_special2020/en/index.html

     

    ▼MIDTOWN WINTER MOMENTS

    Tokyo Midtown’s winter season event ‘MIDTOWN WINTER MOMENTS’ is running until February 28, 2021. “ANOTHER WORLD” is the concept for this year’s rendition of the annual event, which is enjoying new winter illuminations, Christmas decorations, an ice rink, and plenty of other fun experiences for people to enjoy throughout the entire day, right into the evening. A highlight of the event is the “MIDTOWN WINTER LIGHTS,” warm illuminations to light fires in hearts during the cold winter season that will create a dazzling spectacle the likes of which cannot be missed.

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/366420

     

    ▼MIDTOWN WINTER MOMENTS
    Running: November 19, 2020 – February 28, 2021
    Official Website: https://www.tokyo-midtown.com

     

    Kanagawa: SAGAMIKO ILLUMILLION’s ‘Pokémon Illuminations’

    Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest’s annual SAGAMIKO ILLUMILLION winter event is taking place until April 4, 2021, and this year, it has brought that a new Pokémon with Pokémon illuminations. Wild Pokémon illuminations roam everywhere and there are plenty of Pokémon photo spots to take your picture with including Pikachu sleeping in the forest, Charmander taking a nap by an open-air, and more.

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/375427

     

    ▼SAGAMIKO ILLUMILLION
    Address: 1634 Wakayanagi, Midori-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa
    Running: November 14, 2020 – April 4, 2021
    Illumination Times: 16:00-21:00 (Last Entries 20:30)
    *Illumination times to begin from 17:00 starting in February
    Official Website: https://www.sagamiko-resort.jp/illumillion/

     

    Nagano: Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up

    Shiraito Highland Way is holding this year’s Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up until February 14, 2021. Karuizawa Shiraito Falls is a 3-meter tall waterfall that spans 70-meters in length. The lights add a warmth to the cool evening and glow under a starry night sky. The event creates a different atmosphere from the summer light-up, allowing visitors to enjoy the enveloping nature in a way that they normally can’t and see beauty they may not have noticed in the area before.

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/379120

     

    ▼Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up
    Location: Karuizawa Shiraito Falls
    Running: December 19, 2020 – February 14, 2021
    ・Christmas Session: December 19th-20th, 24th-27th (17:00-19:00)
    ・New Year Session: January 2nd-3rd, 8th-11th (17:00-19:00)
    ・St.Valentine Session: February 11th-14th (17:30-19:30)

    Access: https://karuizawa-shw.com/access/

    *Please see the website for the latest information
    *Entry restrictions may be made depending on the number of visitors

    Official Website: https://karuizawa-shw.com/

     

    Shizuoka: Hikari no Sumika Winter Illuminations

    Toki no Sumika is hosting its 19th annual winter illumination event “Hikari no Sumika” until March 21, 2021. There are many different illumination areas to enjoy at the event, like the Forest of Trees Illuminations, the 370m-long Tunnel of Lights, and more.

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/359381

     

    ▼Hikari no Sumika 2020-2021
    Running: September 18, 2020 – March 21, 2021
    Address: Gotemba Kogen Toki no Sumika, 719 KōyamaGotemba, Shizuoka
    Illumination Times: 17:30-22:00
    Car Park Spaces: 2,000
    Enquiries: 0550-87-3700 (9:00-20:00)

    Official Website: http://www.tokinosumika.com/illuminations2017/renewal/

  • Doraemon Future Department Store to Open Pop-Up Shop in Osaka and Nagoya

    26.December.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Doraemon’s official shop Doraemon Future Department Store, which is located in Odaiba, Tokyo, is celebrating its 1st anniversary of opening this December by opening two limited-time shops in Osaka and Nagoya this month and January respectively. Fans can get their hands on a selection of exclusive merchandise and more.

     

    Customise Service

    The pop-up shops will offer a customisation service which lets customers have different embroideries put into the T-shirts, tote bags, and other merch they buy. The work is done on the spot by hand so you can see the result of what will be a very special item of which only one exists in the world. Perfect for Doraemon fans and gifts to friends and family.

     

    Post Office

    The shop will offer a postal service for sending off Doraemon letters and postcards with original Doraemon stamps.

     

    Bonus Items

    1st Anniversary Postcard

    Mini Tote Bag

    Those who buy anything from the department stores will receive a free 1st anniversary postcard. And for every ¥5,000 spent (tax included) they’ll get a mini tote bag. These are all limited in stock so you’ll want to get them while they’re hot.

     

    If you’re in Osaka or Nagoya over the New Year be sure to pay a visit to the Doraemon Future Department Store pop-up shops.

     

    ©Fujiko-Pro

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