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.

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    19.October.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    Located in wonderfully warm Okinawa, Hoshino Resort is the perfect getaway for those wanting a warmer winter. The Banta Cafe overlooks the ocean, offering unmatched views. From December 1, 2021, until January 31, 2022, the cafe will hold the ‘Illumi-Banta: Night Lights by the Sea’ event. Of course, Illumi-Banta is a portmanteau of the words ‘Illumination’ and ‘Banta,’ but the Okinawan word iyumibanta means ‘a cliff overlooking the fish.’ The entire location, from the top of the cliff all the way to the sea, will be bathed in otherworldly light. A special menu will also be available during the event period, serving up food perfect for eating as guests wander by the seaside. A number of Okinawan workshops will also bring local craftsmen to the site to show off their creations. Why bundle up when you can enjoy a warm winter by the ocean? 

     

    A Fantastic World of Light and Ocean Life

    Banta Cafe sits on a cliff above the water, and the waters beneath it hide gorgeous coral reefs. Watch the sea come to life, as the ocean, white sand beach, and rock formations are illuminated. The lights will change colors during the daily light show along with the tides, so don’t miss it!

    Light Show Times: 18:30, 20:00, 21:00 *Each show lasts about five minutes.

     

    Playful Plant Shadows

    On the large roof deck located at the entrance, large fern and palm leaves have been arranged to welcome guests along with other plants local to Okinawa. Using lights, the shadows from these plants reach massive heights on the 4-meter high Ryukyu limestone walls, and guests are encouraged to try making some fun shadow puppets for the perfect snapshot!

     

    Enjoy a Lantern-Lit Night Picnic with the Strolling Soup Set

    The night cafe will be selling a special Strolling Soup Set menu, inviting guests to venture out onto the sandy shore with a lantern in hand to enjoy a meal beside the sea. Guests can choose two of the available four soups along with a crispy baguette and herb butter. 

    Hours: 18:00 – 20:30 (Last Order)

    Price: Strolling Soup Set for Two, ¥2,600

    Includes: Two types of soup and bucket for two people, lantern and basket rental

     

    Four Types of Soup

    ・ Minestrone
    Filled with colorful vegetables, such as tomato, bitter melon, and yellow carrot

    ・Clam Chowder

    Packed with seafood flavor and a unique mix of Okinawan spices

     

    ・Consomme with Yushi Tofu
    A lightly-salted soup made with Okinawa’s fluffy Yushi Tofu and thick-cut bacon

     

    ・Yam and Cauliflower Potage
    Creamy potage with white cauliflower and brightly colored yam

     

    The Night Light Market, a Gathering of Proud Okinawan Artists

    On Saturday nights from January 8 to January 29, the Night Light Market will bring various artists and craftsmen from Okinawa to the Hoshino Resort. These artists will be excited to share the culture of Okinawa and will offer a range of products made of locally sourced materials. Guests can even try their hand at local crafts at the indoor Gorogoro Lounge!

    Running: Every Saturday Night from January 8 – January 29, 2022

    Hours: 18:00-21:00

     

    Wouldn’t you prefer a warm Okinawan winter? 

  • Tokyo Mega Illumination at Tokyo City Keiba to Collaborate with NAKED for AR Experience

    17.October.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

    2021 marks the fourth year that the Oi Racecourse, also called Tokyo City Keiba, will be bathed in a sea of over eight million colorful lights! The Tokyo Mega Illumination is back from October 16, 2021, until April 10, 2022, and features a water fountain show synchronized to music, a 100-meter tunnel covered in twinkling lights, and more. This year, in the Twinkle area of the event, guests can enjoy various AR illuminations created as a collaboration with NAKED, a creative production company headquartered in Shibuya. The NAKED BIG BOOK interactive experience will also welcome visitors to enjoy a projection mapping experience like no other.

     

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  • Rosa & Berry Tawada English Garden Celebrates 10 Years with Light-Up Event

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    The church-like building sitting atop a hill in the park is decorated with illuminated flowers made by creative team You Ru Maru. Fans of Shaun the Sheep can enjoy a store dedicated to the popular character and his friends on-site, some hotpot during the cooler months at the Kotatsu Nabe restaurant, and a hot cup of tea overlooking the lights at the Hillside Cafe Tearoom. Don’t forget to grab a rainbow churro as you wander around the park!

  • Kyoto’s Kurodani Temple, Typically Closed to the Public, to Accept Visitors for Limited Time

    12.October.2021 | SPOT

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    The Tiger’s Room

    Ohoujou Garden

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    Gokoushiyuiamidabutsu, ‘Afro Buddha’ 

     

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    On a clear day, guests will be able to see clear to the Abeno Harukas building in Osaka. Vividly painted ceilings and other statues will completely surround visitors in spiritual history. At night, traditional Japanese music will be played at three different times in the front gardens. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the temple will offer a Premium Plan, allowing interested guests to enter the grounds 30 minutes before general admission starts. (This will require reservations made on the official website.) This will also include a guided tour!

     

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  • Enjoy “A Magical Moment” at the ‘HIBIYA Magic Time Illumination 2021’ Event

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    Location: Tokyo Midtown Hibiya 1F, Hibiya Step Plaza

     

     

    PARK VIEW WINTER GARDEN

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    Duration: November 18 2021 ~ February 14 2022 (scheduled)

    Switched On Between: 17:00 ~ 23:00

    Location: Tokyo Midtown Hibiya 6F Park View Garden

     

     

    Earth Christmas Tree

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    Enjoy a magical time this winter with the ‘HIBIYA Magic Time Illumination’ while maintaining a safe and considerate distance from the other guests!

  • Planetariums in Tokyo to Show Night Flower Film Narrated by Taishi Nakagawa

    10.October.2021 | MOVIE / SPOT

    A stunning new film is coming to the Konica Minolta Planetarium in Tokyo Skytree Town and Planetaria Tokyo in Yurakucho Mullion starting November 19, 2021! Night Flower ~Blooming for One Night on a Starry Island~ will take guests on a journey to Iriomote Island in Okinawa, known for its beautiful starry sky. At night, this island is home to Sagaribana, a flower that only blooms at night and seems to glow in brilliant shades of white, pink, or red. The film is narrated by actor and model Taishi Nakagawa.

     

    Journey to an Immersive Starry Island

    Iriomote Island, a world heritage site, is filled with rich nature and a vast ecosystem of living things. From this island, 84 of the 88 constellations scattered across the sky can be seen, including the Crux. A number of these constellations have been captured in this film, with plenty of detail given by Taishi Nakagawa. It almost feels like a date with him–and who could resist that?

     

    Feel as Though You’ve Been Transported to the Jungle

    Using the SOUND DOME® stereoscopic sound system, even the tiniest sound of a bird chirping or leaves rustling will feel as close as can be. Along with the narrator, Manami Kakudo provides the theme song to the film which will leave audiences with goosebumps. 

     

    Mysterious Flowers Blooming Beneath a Starry Sky

    The Sagaribana is a whimsical flower, almost alien in its appearance. They bloom for only one night, closing up by morning. This can teach us a valuable lesson: that each day, and each night, is precious, and life can be more fragile than we realize. 

     

  • Junei Hotel Kyoto Adds New Plan Allowing Guests to Reserve Entire Property

    06.October.2021 | SPOT

    The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West, a small luxury hotel located in the heart of Japan’s ancient capital, has revealed a new plan allowing guests to rent out the entire premises. Imagine being in a hotel with only your closest family and friends!

     

    The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West – Guest Room

    The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West – Bathroom

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    The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Standard Room

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    The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Breakfast at Futago

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    Arashiyama Yusaitei

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    The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West opened in 2017 as a community-based luxury hotel with only eight rooms, with a single mission: bringing the beauty of Japan to the world. Beyond simply finding a place to sleep for the night, the hotel wants guests to experience something special and to provide an unforgettable experience. By partnering with local tourism associations, the Junei Hotel hopes to accurately convey the traditions and singular culture of the city of Kyoto. 

     

    In March 2020, a second location opened. The Junei Hotel Kyoto is surrounded by bamboo, and in fact, the theme of the hotel itself is bamboo and the moon. Each of the guest rooms is decorated with traditional and local bamboo crafts, and every detail is pulled from the natural beauty of Higashiyama, Kyoto. 

     

    The restaurant attached to the hotel, Futago, is the perfect place for adults to unwind and recharge. The kappo-style course menu features Kyoto vegetables and seasonal ingredients, blending the delicious with the nutritious. Chefs will cook each dish using a variety of methods, and guests will be amazed by how the flavor of the meat changes from course to course. The menu changes each month, so be sure to come back throughout the year!

     

    Guests can also rent out Arashiyama Yusaitei, a gorgeous building deep in the forests of Kyoto perfect for wedding receptions, photoshoots, tea ceremonies, and more. The rooftop garden offers a stunning view of Kiyomizu-dera and is also perfect for moon viewing. Those wanting to get even closer to nature can enjoy a boat ride down the Hozucho river, and for those craving desserts, a Japanese sweets-making class is also available!

     

    Who would you take with you on a private stay at the Junei Hotel Kyoto? 

  • Universal Studio Japan to Expand Super Nintendo World with Donkey Kong Area

    06.October.2021 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Since opening in March, Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan has caught the world’s attention, leading global game fans to pray even harder for Japan to reopen for tourism. Now, the park is scheduled to level up with a new Donkey Kong-themed area scheduled to open in 2024. 

     

    Currently, Super Nintendo World is filled with Mario-inspired attractions, dining options, and shops, recreating some of the most memorable parts of the franchise in a larger-than-life way. The new Donkey Kong area will feature a roller coaster and more interactive experiences, as well as themed merchandise and food options. Guests will be able to walk through lush jungles, where Donkey Kong and his friends live. The creation of the new area will more than double the size of Super Nintendo World. 

    Launched as an arcade game by Nintendo in 1981, Donkey Kong quickly took the world by storm, with games continuing to be released on Nintendo systems from the SNES to the Nintendo Switch. As of March 2021, the series has sold over 65 million units worldwide.

     

    Comment from Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto

    “I am very happy to be able to make the world of Donkey Kong a reality following the world of Mario. I am looking forward to creating a thrilling Donkey Kong experience with the amazing team at Universal. It will take some time until it is completed, but it will be a unique area for not only people who are familiar with Donkey Kong games but for all guests.”

     

    WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s21)
    Minions and all related elements and indicia TM & © 2021 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. TM & © Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment. TM & © Universal Studios. All rights reserved. © Nintendo

  • Three Unique Japanese Cafes You’ll Want to Visit Again and Again

    05.October.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    Most of us have been spending more and more time at home over the past year. It’s time to get out for a change of scenery, and what better activity than cafe hopping! Check out these unique cafes around Japan, each offering a safe and relaxing space to enjoy a day out. 

     

     

    [Saitama] Bath Cafe BIVOUAC

    This cafe located in Kumagaya City offers a full range of bath and sauna facilities, as well as a restaurant featuring healthy dishes filled with local, freshly-picked veggies. 

    Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/497213

     

     

     

    [Gifu] Activity Cafe Takayama Zenko-ji

    Set inside a Buddhist temple, this cafe invites anyone, regardless of faith or nationality, to enjoy a cup of tea while experiencing traditional culture. It’s also a great space to work remotely, with free Wi-fi!

    Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/484296

     

     

     

    [Tokyo] NANARIDA

    Filled with plants and light, NANARIDA has been dubbed a digital detox cafe, not allowing smartphones or laptops each Sunday. Leaving your phone with the staff will grant you a free beverage, so come enjoy some tea and conversation. 

    Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/493631

     

    TEXT: Natalie(MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

  • Okinawa’s Hotel Nikko Alivia Announces Season 3 of Monogatari Kaiseki Menu

    04.October.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    SAWA, a restaurant featuring both Japanese and traditional Ryukyu cuisine, will begin the third season of its delicious and artful Monogatari Kaiseki menu starting October 1, 2021. Each season featured a selection of dishes inspired by original stories created by the head chef, and with the new installment, guests will also be supporting the reconstruction of Shuri Castle which suffered damage after a 2019 fire. The restaurant is located at Okinawa’s Hotel Nikko Alivia, and the meal will be available until October 31. 

     

    Monogatari Kaiseki: Appetizer ‘Beneath the Moonlit Night’ 

    Monogatari Kaiseki: Grilled Items ‘Vampire’s Dinner’ 

    Monogatari Kaiseki: Dessert ‘Pumpkin Ghost/Tidings of Autumn’ 

     

     

    In this imagining, a collection of ghosts and spirits gather at the Shuri Castle Festival on Halloween to compete in a cooking competition, and guests are invited to judge each dish. A drink pairing set will also be available. 

     

    5% of all sales will be donated to the Okinawa Prefecture Shuri Castle Fire Restoration and Recover Fundraiser, to help rebuild the historical site. 

  • Editor’s Choice! 3 Best Exhibitions to Visit Before Time Runs Out

    04.October.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Autumn has shaped up to be a great time for art lovers to explore Japan, with a number of inspiring exhibitions of all different genres popping up around the country. The editorial team at Moshi Moshi Nippon has taken special notice of three must-visit events still open now, so be sure to check these out while you still can!

     

     

     

    [Tokyo] ‘Shonen, Shou’ 

    Yasunari Ikenaga, a leading figure in the world of contemporary beauty painting, is currently holding an exhibition featuring portraits of the up-and-coming actor and model Shou. Pay special attention to the delicate techniques the artist utilizes to capture the subject’s expressions. 

     

    Running: Until October 15, 2021

    Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/497728

     

     

     

    [Fukuoka] teamLab Forest

    Art collective teamLab has opened a permanent museum in Fukuoka City! Those wanting to see the interactive exhibits transformed for autumn, however, better hurry before the event ends.

     

    Now Open

    Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/500506

     

     

     

    [Saitama] Machi Tawara: #JustOneLike – From Salad Anniversary to Size of the Future

    Japanese poet Machi Tawara, the winner of the Kadokawa Tanka Award in 1986, is a powerhouse in the world of prose. Her 1987 book Salad Anniversary sold over three million copies, and 35 years later, the writer is still at the forefront of her field. This exhibition depicts her life in words and is sure to inspire. 

     

    Running: Until December 5, 2021

    Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/500300

     

     

     

    Text: Natalie (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

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