See Capybara Bathing in a Yuzu Hot Bath at Izu Shaboten Zoo This Winter

16.December.2020 | SPOT

Izu Shaboten Zoo’s annual “Capybara Yuzu Hot Bath” event is set to return this winter from December 19, 2020 to January 5, 2021.

 

In Japan, there’s a saying that you won’t catch a cold if you take a hot yuzu bath, and so it has been a custom since the Edo period to float the fruits on top of the water during the winter season.

Izu Shaboten Zoo’s “Capybara Yuzu Hot Bath” event first started in 1996 and has continued every year since throughout the winter and over the New Year. Visitors flock to see the capybara looking content as they enjoy their warm citrus-smelling baths.

The zoo’s adorable capybara plush toy makes a return this year too. They are made with traditional Japanese colours like indigo blue and emerald green. Their cute appearance are sure to have you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

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  • Anime Series Chibi Maruko-chan Inspires New Sake from Hatsukame Brewery in Shizuoka

    23.May.2022 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    Last year, Hatsukame Sake Brewery, a staple in Shizuoka Prefecture, released a collaborative special edition sake featuring Papa Hiroshi from the anime series Chibi Maruko-chan. The collab makes sense, as the anime series takes place in Shizuoka Prefecture. Bottles sold out incredibly fast, so it’s no wonder that the brewery has now opened orders for the 2022 batch! The special products will be available on June 4, just in time for Father’s Day. Customers can choose from the Junmai Ginjo or Junmai Daiginjo varieties.

     

    Junmai Ginjo Papa Hiroshi Vintage 2022

     

    Junmai Daiginjo Papa Hiroshi Vintage 2022

    The Junmai Ginjo Papa Hiroshi Vintage 2022 was made with water, rice, and yeast from Shizuoka, where the series takes place. With a refreshing aroma and a gentle sweetness derived from the Homarefuji rice, the flavor is sure to arouse your palate!

     


    The original label featured on the bottle shows Papa Hiroshi enjoying local sake with tuna sashimi from Shizuoka with Mt. Fuji in the background. All bottles will come with a paper box featuring a similar design. The turtle on the label is the symbol of Hatsukame Brewing! It’s recommended that customers drink their sake with local tuna–it’s the perfect combination.

     

    The Daiginjo variety is made from rare Aiyama rice, known as the ‘Diamond of Sake Rice.’ Polished and carefully prepared by hand, the aroma of the sake is reminiscent of tropical fruits. The final product has a rich sweetness.

     

    Last year’s label showed Papa Hiroshi in a Kimono watching the first sunrise over Mt. Fuji. Be sure to grab a bottle to experience the taste of Shizuoka! Only 223 bottles will be available, so be quick!

     

    ©さくらプロダクション/日本アニメーション ©Hatsukame Sake Brewery Co., Ltd. ©Nexus Co., Ltd.

     

  • EMOCAL, a Project to Support Japanese Regions, Releases Music Using Local Sound Samples

    14.May.2022 | MUSIC / SPOT

    The EMOCAL project aims to support small-town areas of Japan. As a new initiative in the project, specific soundscapes only found in certain areas of the country have been combined with music to create some unique tracks. A selection of musical artists have collaborated with the project to bring these songs to life!

     


    EMOCAL was created by ZOWA’s original label, CatchyStuck. The project supports local regions and communities by using ASMR soundscape videos recorded in each region to convey their particular charms to all of Japan. The sounds recorded in each place are considered to be very valuable and are intended to serve two purposes: to bring tourism back after the pandemic and to provide fans of ASMR a way to experience these areas from afar.



    Check out each of these unique ambient tracks created by four up-and-coming musicians! Each song is available on viviON’s ASMR platform ZOWA and on Spotify.

     

    Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture / Ikkyuu x Hige Driver, I Love Ikkyuu

    Beard Driver created this ambient track with sounds recorded inside of Ikkyuu, a ramen shop.

    ZOWA: https://zowa.app/play/20019
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/1RP4RcpJwMrFzoYQbnfDYm?si=f1f1e816adb14db0

     

    Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture / Miyuki no Hama x Powerless, Seiren

    Powerless created this track, inspired by the sounds of waves crashing at Miyuki no Hama, a seaside recreation area 20 minutes from Odawara Station.

    ZOWA: https://zowa.app/play/20016
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/5DkQ9FeM7jQBacUf7Nbuxc?si=c7d771e73ddd44b6

     

     

    Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture / Wasabi Field x baker, On the silent hill

    Utogi in Shizuoka city is surrounded by incredible nature. Known as the birthplace of wasabi cultivation, baker used sounds recorded in the area to create this ambient track.

    ZOWA: https://zowa.app/play/20017
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/0oIU4x7MjVKmpouRwEPaXZ?si=04dcb805cea540b7

     

    Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture / Cape Tara x SeA0, Akushu

    Cape Tara is a popular spot featuring an 800-meter-long sandbar at low tide. The sounds captured here were used by artist SeA0, and this track is sure to make you miss the water.

    ZOWA: https://zowa.app/play/20018
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/1Utz5j0oB4GmSDOMVdUcXU?si=eafa1949b3ea44d0

  • Pui Pui Molcar Inspires Pop-up Shop at Shizuoka PARCO

    01.April.2022 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Shizuoka PARCO will open a pop-up shop inspired by the popular stop-motion series Pui Pui Molcar from March 30 until April 10! The shop has opened at seven PARCO locations nationwide so far, attracting over 45,000 fans.

     

    Pui Pui Molcar aired for 12 episodes from January to March 2021. The series was directed by Tomoki Misato, and has attracted a worldwide fandom with its cute and fuzzy characters.

     

    Extra-large Photo Spot

     

    Merchandise

    Pins (21 varieties)

     

    Acrylic Keychain

     

    Mini Canvas

    Diorama Acrylic Stand

    Blanket

    Acrylic Signboard Stands



    The venue will feature an oversized photo spot where visitors can take commemorative photos in a full-size Molcar, as well as a collection of commemorative merchandise featuring illustrations drawn exclusively for the shop. Since the first pop-up shop opened at Shibuya PARCO in July 2021, it has traveled to Urawa, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Sendai, Hiroshima, and Shinsaibashi. Why not check it out?

  • Banyan Tree Rooftop Bar Opens on Japan’s Southernmost Island

    30.March.2022 | SPOT

    The Banyan Tree Rooftop Bar, located at Hoshino Resort Risonare Kohamajima on Japan’s southernmost island, is holding a special stargazing event until April 20, 2022. Visitors can enjoy a cocktail as they gaze at the countless twinkling stars overhead.

     

    Kohama Island is located within the Yaeyama Islands. With a warm climate, it’s comfortable to spend long hours outside, even at night. Kohamajima was also the first island in Japan to be protected by the IDA (International Darkness Association), meaning that no bright manmade lights can interfere with stargazing. Visitors can see 84 of 88 constellations! 

     

    Enjoy a Boundless Starry Sky

    The Banyan Tree Terrace will bring guests together to feel the sea breeze and taste colorful mojitos as they enjoy the pleasant weather. Why not spend a relaxing time in a fantastic space lit with faintly glowing candles as you stargaze?

     

    Taste Colorful Mojitos

    A limited number of colorful mojitos will be available at a bar counter set up on the terrace for this event only. You can also enjoy Okinawan original mojitos with made with Okinawa lime, brown sugar instead of sugar, non-alcoholic mojitos for children, and tropical fruit mojitos with pineapple and passion fruit.

     

    Munch on Snacks Perfect to Pair with Cocktails

    Guests can also enjoy a snack set with salty nuts perfect for enjoying with alcohol!

  • INN THE PARK Fukuoka Allows Guests to Spend the Night in a Public Park

    30.March.2022 | SPOT

    INN THE PARK Fukuoka is the first place in Kyushu where you can spend the night overnight in a public park! No, you won’t be sleeping on a bench or on the ground–this is way fancier. This is the second such location, with the first opening in Shizuoka in 2017. 

     

    Spherical Tent

    Glamping

    Cabin

    Suite

    Restaurant

    The new facility will be located in Uminonakamichi Seaside Park in Higashi-ku, Fukuoka City. The park is about 6km from east to west and includes a zoo, outdoor swimming pool, aquarium, outdoor theater, and more. Guests can overlook Hakata Bay while enjoying these many fun outdoor activities and delightful accommodations! 

     

    How about staying here on your next trip to Japan?

  • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Collaborates with Popular Shimane Manju for LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project

    18.March.2022 | FOOD / MUSIC / SPOT

    Celebrating the 10th anniversary of her major label debut, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is staying active in 2022. In conjunction with the nationwide tour, the “LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project” was launched to energize Japan through the appeal of regional towns and cities, and has been attracting major attention. Kyary’s tour made it to Shimane on March 12, and the details of her next collaboration have been revealed!

    Kyary will be teaming up with Nakaura Foods and their delicious local delicacy Dojou Sukui Manju. Known as the representative treat of the San’in region, the name is a reference to the mask worn during local performances of the Yasugibushi folk song. The steamed buns were developed by Nakaura Foods in 1967 and have been loved by locals ever since. In the 2000s, the company began experimenting with new flavors by teaming up with other local creators.

     

    The company’s logo is being reimagined for the project, inspired by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s 2013 Furisodeshon music video. 

    The name of the popular product has also been changed to Kyary Sukui Manju! Each box has a pop design and would make a perfect souvenir for Kyary fans.

    A collaborative T-shirt is also on sale featuring the new logo and the singer’s 10th-anniversary logo. A special LINE collaboration is also underway, and 50 people who order the new Kyary-themed treats from the official Nakaura Foods online store will be entered to win a shirt!

  • Booking.com Reveals 4 Best Lodgings with Outdoor Baths for Snow Viewing

    16.March.2022 | SPOT

    Booking.com Japan has revealed its top four picks for the Japanese accommodations with the best outdoor baths and snow views! 

     

    Zao Kokusai Hotel (Zao Onsen, Yamagata Prefecture)

    Located 900 meters above sea level and surrounded by the gorgeous natural beauty of the Zao mountains, this resort has long been renowned for its spectacular view of seasonal scenery. During winter, guests can enjoy a fully spring-fed open-air bath while gazing at the snow-capped mountains. The milky white waters of the Zao Hot Springs have high sulfur content which will improve the texture of your skin. The resort also has a bath large enough to accommodate up to seven people at a time and a private bath for families or lovers. 

     

    Midorinokaze Resort Kitayuzawa (Date, Hokkaido)

    The Midorinokaze Resort Kitayuzawa is surrounded by nature and contains one of the largest open-air baths in Japan, along with 20 unique fragrant baths for guests to enjoy. In winter, the surrounding trees seem to glisten with snow, and visitors are sure to find plenty of peace and relaxation while lounging beneath the grey skies. 

     

    Akakura Kanko Hotel (Myoko, Niigata Prefecture)

    This highland resort sits on a 1,000-meter peak, offering unmatched views of Niigata Prefecture. The natural hot spring flows from the inside of Mt. Myoko, with healing waters perfect for soaking in during the cold winter months. The large baths are also equipped with a sauna and deck, and those wanting to view the scenery from their room can enjoy guest accommodations with private baths as well!

     

     

    Satoyama Jujo (Minamiuonuma, Niigata Prefecture)

    Winning a design award for its facilities, Satoyama Jujo has a different feel when compared to most hotels and ryokan. Booking.com recommends it for travelers looking for new experiences! In the open-air bath, visitors can relax while enjoying a panoramic view of Mt. Makihata, one of Japan’s 100 most famous peaks. Guests can also enjoy the starry skies at night. This is a perfect location for couples!

     

    Each season in Japan offers uniquely beautiful scenery. How would you like to enjoy winter in one of these luxurious baths?

  • Three Japanese Tourism Instagram Accounts to Follow for Travel Inspiration

    07.March.2022 | SPOT

    The pandemic has changed our lives forever. People have spent the last two years missing travel as they spend more and more time at home, and while many are ready to travel again, it can be difficult to know if it’s the right time to return to normalcy. To make the situation a little easier, many local tourism associations in Japan are posting images on Instagram to inspire people to give traveling another try. These three Instagram accounts are our personal favorites, and once Japan opens to tourists again, you won’t want to miss visiting these areas!

     

    [Official Kumamoto Tourism Association] Motto, motto, Kumamoto!

     

    Instagramでこのプロフィールを見る

     

    もっと、もーっと!くまもっと。【熊本県観光公式】(@kumamotto.official) • Instagram写真と動画

     

    Discover the charms of Kumamoto on this local Instagram account featuring photos from four unique local photographers. Many will know the area as the home of the character Kumamon. The images capture the daily lives of Kumamoto residents and include local food and gorgeous scenery. The postings also include the location of the photo and comments from the photographers, making things feel more personal. 

     

    [Official Hokkaido Tourism Association] GoodDay Hokkaido

     

    Instagramでこのプロフィールを見る

     

    GoodDay北海道(@goodday_hokkaido) • Instagram写真と動画

     

    Hokkaido is an area rich in gourmet seafood and dairy, but its spectacular landscapes are reason enough to visit. GoodDay Hokkaido shows off both the common and uncommon elements of Hokkaido life, often introducing little-known areas. Each photo is vividly colored, and followers can see different seasons at every time of day as they scroll through the feed. See the best images from Japan’s northernmost island each and every day on your smartphone!

     

    [Ome / Okutama] Umetama

     

    Instagramでこのプロフィールを見る

     

    うめたま|OME&OKUTAMA TOKYO(@umetama.official) • Instagram写真と動画

     

    Umetama is an account that introduces places of interest in Ome and Okutama, two of Tokyo’s most scenic towns. Each can be reached in about an hour by train from Shinjuku Station. Visitors can enjoy a gorgeous day trip from the Tokyo center, with the area featuring plenty of campsites and hiking trails. There are tons of stargazing spots, and visitors are often surprised that such incredible nature is so close to Japan’s hectic capital. Those with kids will find plenty to do here, so start taking notes while you scroll through the Umetama page!

     

    More and more young people are finding the appeal of Ome and Okutama, and the area has become the perfect relaxation spot for those seeking refuge from their busy lives. In addition, the craft beer bar Ome Beer, located near Ome Station, sells local alcohol, including Okutama’s popular craft beer ‘Vertere.’ See the lesser-known side of Tokyo on this picturesque account. 

     

    Remember how wonderful it is to travel? Hopefully, Japan opens for tourism again soon, and you can visit all of these gorgeous locales.

  • Laid-Back Camp Starts Third Stamp Rally in Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture

    23.January.2022 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Shizuoka Prefefcture is once again collaborating with popular anime series Laid-Back Camp for a special stamp rally. Two courses will be open from January 21 until March 21, 2022, and will take guests on a journey throughout the most gorgeous localities in the region.

     

    This stamp rally is the third in a series of Laid-Back Camp and Shizuoka Prefecture stamp rallys held since November 2021. 

     

    Those who finish the rally will be presented with a special clear folder featuring an exclusive illustration made for this event, so get traveling! 

     

     

    (C) あfろ・芳文社/野外活動委員会

  • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Announces ‘LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project’ to Support Rural Areas

    20.January.2022 | Uncategorized

    Celebrating the 10th anniversary of her major label debut, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is back in the news. The artist will perform at this year’s Coachella, one of the largest music festivals in the United States, and recently released her first full-length album in three years ‘Candy Racer’ in October 2021.  On January 16, Kyary embarked on the largest tour of her career, ‘Kyary Pamyu Pamyu 10th ANNIVERSARY JAPAN TOUR 2022 CANDY WAVE,’ which will see the singer performing 30 shows across Japan.

     

    In conjunction with the nationwide tour, the “LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project” was launched to energize Japan through the appeal of regional towns and cities.  The 30 stops on the new tour include many that Kyary has not visited before, and were chosen based on the singer’s desire to perform for fans who may not typically be able to attend one of her shows. 

     

    This initiative aims to bring attention and support to local industries and to inspire more tourism to rural areas.

     

    This project is a new attempt to enliven local communities by collaborating with companies that have roots in the rural locations where these concerts will be held. These company’s logos have been reimagined, paying homage to the artwork associated with Kyary’s previous song releases. T-shirts designed with each of these collaborative logos will be on sale for a limited time, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the local community for development and social contributions.

     

    For the encore of the first live show, Kyary wore a collaboration logo T-shirt inspired by Suzuhiro Kamaboko, a company in Kanagawa Prefecture. The artist also introduced the project and its aim to the excited audience. More collaborations will be announced through July 2021.

     

    Check out the ‘LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project’ website for more details!

     

    Comment from Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

    “This tour is to commemorate my tenth anniversary, and as I travel all over Japan to express my gratitude to those who have supported me over the past decade, I also want to do something for everyone else. I’m happy to support these local companies and I’d like to work with them to revitalize the entire country. We’ll be engaging in all sorts of collaborations around Japan, so look forward to it!”


     

    January 16, Kanagawa Performance: Suzuhiro Kamaboko

    Suzuhiro Kamaboko, a long-established fish paste store in Odawara that has been in business for 156 years, has agreed to take part in the project. Their normally navy blue brand logo has received a major makeover in colorful pink, green, and purple hues. 

    The T-shirts featuring the new collaboration logo on the front and the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu 10th anniversary logo and ‘LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project’ logo on the back are now available for purchase!

     

    *Otono Kuni (From 4th Album ‘Japamyu,’ 2018)
    Streaming Links: https://lnk.to/otonokuni

     

    January 29, Gunma Performance: Oginoya Kamameshi

    Oginoya, the largest Ekiben shop in Japan, was established 136 years ago in Yokokawa, Gunma Prefecture. 

    Their main dish, Touge no Kamameshi,’ has been sold for over 60 years and often makes appearances at events all over Japan. The company’s logo has been reborn through the lens of Kyary’s popular song Tsukematsukeru. A special kamameshi dish will also be prepared for the project, and will be sold in limited quantities at the Gunma concert venue on January 29, Kyary’s birthday!

     

    *Tsukematsukeru (1st Single, 2012)
    Streaming Links: https://lnk.to/tsukematsukeru

     

    May 20, Fukushima Performance: Kourakuen

    Kyary will appear in commercials for Kourakuen as part of the project. The company started as a small diner in Aizuwakamatsu and is now is a national chain of ramen restaurants serving over 54 million people a year! The new logo and collaboration details will be revealed at a later date, so keep an eye out!

  • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Explores Tomakomai, Hokkaido in New Tour Video

    22.December.2021 | MUSIC / SPOT

    Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is introducing potential travelers to the charms of Tomakomai, Hokkaido in a new two-part tourism video on her YouTube channel. 

     

    In the new videos, fans can see Kyary in a new light very unlike her onstage persona. Along with her tour guides, she travels for two days around this gorgeous city on Japan’s northernmost island.
    The first video begins with her visit to a Red Eagles Hokkaido hockey game, quickly followed by tons of outdoor activities like canoeing and horseback riding. The singer enjoys plenty of local dishes and captures some spectacular views of Lake Utonai. 


    Who is the one who invited Kyary to Tomakomai anyway? Fans will have to watch to find out. Whether living in Japan or dreaming about visiting someday, these videos are sure to inspire a future trip.

     

  • Egg specialty store TAMAGOYA to launch Strawberry Fair for a limited time in Shizuoka

    07.December.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    Shizuoka-based egg specialty store TAMAGOYA is currently running a BERRY BERRY Strawberry Fair for a limited time.

     

    TAMAGO Pudding Parfait

    ICHIGP Pudding Parfait

    Gigantic ICHIGO Shortcake Parfait

    Strawberry-filled Pancakes

     

     

    The cafe offers pancakes and parfaits made with strawberries from Shizuoka Prefecture. The menu includes the “TAMAGO Pudding Parfait” that looks like a fried egg with fluffy pancakes and pudding as a specialty of egg stores, and the seasonal “ICHIGO Pudding Parfait”. The “ICHIGO’s Giant Shortcake Parfait,” which weighs over 5 kg, is available by reservation only.

     

    Enjoy the harmony of eggs and strawberries to your heart’s content.

     

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