Karuizawa’s New Apple Farm Opens in Collaboration With Hoshino Resorts and Local Farmers
The Karuizawa-based hotel and hot spring complex Hoshino Onsen Tombo-no-yu joined hands with local apple farmers last year to help support apple cultivation for their apple hot springs. This is now being taken to the next level with the opening of Ringo Tsuchi, an apple farm that Tombo-no-yu staff helped to build. The farm opened on March 19, and locals will be able to visit part of the farm for free starting on April 26.
The project ties in with the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiative, specifically the 12th goal: “Responsible Consumption and Production,” which looks to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Karuizawa is located in Nagano Prefecture which is ranked as the 2nd biggest producer of apples in Japan. When growing apples, those fruits which incur any kind of damage or grazing isn’t shipped to the country’s supermarkets or stores. It’s these not-so-perfect apples that Tombo-no-yu uses for its apple hot spring experience. Though it may just be a small step towards that goes, it still goes a small incremental way towards achieving it.
Free entry to Ringo Tsuchi
The main raw materials at Ringo Tsuchi (“Apple Earth”) are the apples used in the apple hot springs and fallen leaves from around the Hoshino area. In addition to compost and water, the materials are fermented, which adds the necessary nutrients to growing apples and creates soft and breathable soil. And since compost is added, it creates an environment where gardening tools can be used in the earth without any prior preparation.
The completion of Ringo Tsuchi
In the mid-October last year, work was carried out at Nomoto Kajuen Orchards in Mimakigahara Okubo, Nagano, to carefully select picked apples and not-so-perfect apples. These apples were used for the apple hot springs at Tombo-no-yu over a three day period from October 23 to 25. The apples are placed in both the male and female hot springs to float on the water.
After that three-day period, the apples were collected, washed, and cut to be used for compost. Since fermentation removes water content, the staff also had to add water twice a month to manage the compost.
Working with the locals
Katsuya Nomoto is a representative of Nomoto Kajuen Orchards, a farm that grows apples, prunes, and more. The farm takes advantage of the area’s high altitude and takes pride in its work to cultivate produce that is healthy to the body and environment using soil microbes as an organic fertiliser. It’s also officially recognised as a farm dedicated to supporting Nagano’s environment, and carries out school trips for children to visit, creating ties with the local community.
Official Website: http://www.hoshino-area.jp
Hoshino Resorts Tomamu Releases Original Craft Beers
Hokkaido-based luxury resort Hoshino Resorts Tomamu is set to sell a limited-time selection of original craft beers this summer from July 1 to August 31.
Tomamu Amber Ale
Tomamu Black Ale
The Japanese word for corn is toumorokoshi, but in Hokkaido it’s called toukibi. This collection of corn beers is made with natural water drawn from Hokkaido along with other tasty ingredients. These beers are each made in collaboration with North Island Beer, The Heavy Snow Beer, and Onuma Beer, and come in response to the decrease in occasions to be able to enjoy chilled glass of beer as a result of COVID-19.
The beers have sweet notes of corn and are each made in the style of the three respective beermakers who each have their own malt, hops, and flavours they pick.
Tomamu Original Craft Beers
Running: July 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021
Location: Hoshino Resorts Tomamu
Official Website: https://www.snowtomamu.jp/winter/
Sustainable Concept Store Opens in Nagoya PARCO
Sustainable Think. is a concept shop centred around sustainability and SDGs which first opened in Yurakucho Marui in March. The store has now moved to Nagoya PARCO where it opened on April 3.
A look at some of the participating brands
The store hopes to teach people about the importance of sustainability with a collection of products that are socially- and environmentally-friendly. Sustainable materials and methods are used to produce the items sold at the store.
The store is decorated in 17 colours to represent the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a series of global initiatives being taken to create a sustainable future for people around the world. It also features an installation made from hikkake Japanese washi paper with colourful pull-out boxes containing items by participating brands.
Sustainable Think. Nagoya PARCO
Opened: April 3, 2021
Where: Nagoya PARCO Floor 2F
Official Website: https://sustainablethink.com/
Tokyo’s New Vegan Dessert Shop the vegan marshmallooow Opens in Ginza
Ginza Mitsukoshi is welcoming a limited-time vegan dessert shop by the name of ‘the vegan marshmallooow’ which is open from April 1 to June 30. This shop is known amongst the vegan community in Japan for its vegan cakes, and due to that positive response, is now opening its first long-term promotional pop-up shop in collaboration with Mitsukoshi Isetan Group.
Online orders opened at Mitsukoshi Isetan on March 27 with a delicious line-up that includes their signature vegan chocolate cake.
A look at just some of the mouth-watering line-up
Their number one most popular order: a gorgeously gluten-free mirror cake made with rich chocolate.
<NEW> Whole Fruit Cake
For those who like something a little more fruity and refreshing, this juicy cake is topped with assorted fruits like setoka orange, peach, kiwi, blueberry, strawberry, and more. The gluten-free sponge and soy cream give it a light texture that’s also rich.
<NEW> Special Chocolate Cake Slice
An exquisite three-layered version of the shop’s iconic chocolate make made with plant-based ingredients. Its triple tier is formed harmoniously of sponge, chocolate mousse, and cream. A single serving for a single sweet tooth.
Two moist layers of gluten-free strawberry sponge with a soy milk base. Smooth, creamy, light, and delicious.
This mont blanc is specially made with Japanese chestnuts. The addition of soy cream elevates the nutty flavour throughout. A crunchy tart and fluffy sponge also makes for a textural sensation.
the vegan marshmallooow’s vegan cake now available online at Mitsukoshi Isetan
Vegan Chocolate Cake Set (3 Pieces)
the vegan marshmallooow
Running: April 1, 2021 – June 30, 2021
Where: Mitsukoshi Ginza Floor B2F
Address: 4-6-16 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
the vegan marshmallooow Official Instagram: https://instagram.com/theveganmarshmallooow
Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE Announces Art Festival by the Beachside
04.April.2021 | SPOT
The incredible Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE, a beachside cafe which offers guests a breathtaking ocean view along the Okinawan coast, has announced the upcoming Beachside Art Festival which will take place from April 10 to May 9. The festival will bring together artwork from a range of artists born and raised in Okinawa and leading the island’s youth culture. There will be a range of events from live painting to workshops, exhibits, and more.
The participating artists have all taken part in personal art exhibits, art events, showcased their work at concerts, and more both inside and outside Japan, but due to COVID-19, many events have of course been cancelled. Beachside Art Festival will serve as a way to display their wonderful works while supporting them at the same time.
The Artist Line-Up
MACHIDA visiting BANTA CAFE to check the feel of the ocean and their artwork
Vibrant artwork with the ocean as the backdrop
Visitors will be greeted by artwork dotted across various locations around BANTA CAFE. If they follow the top of the cliff down to the beach they will find sofas to sit on which have also been decorated with the artists’ artwork. Then there’s the Goro Goro Lounge with its enormous window that stretches an entire wall and offers a panoramic view of the sea. Here, visitors can look out at the artwork which will look like it’s floating above the horizon. All drinks ordered also come with a free sticker featuring artwork by the four participating artists.
Experience art-in-the-making with live painting
DENPA and MACHIDA will host their own live painting sessions where they will take inspiration from the surrounding environment.
HAYATO MACHIDA @ April 10, 2021 / April 11, 2021
DENPA @ April 18, 2021
Times: 11:00-13:00 / 14:00-17:00
Where: In front of BANTA CAFE on the beach
Have a go at traditional Okinawan bingata dyeing
Visitors can have a go at making their very own coasters from nine different colours using a traditional Okinawan stencilled dyeing technique known as bingata.
Running: April 24, 2021 / May 1, 2021 / May 2, 2021 / May 5, 2021
Times: 10:00 / 12:00 / 14:00 / 16:00 (Each slot lasts approx. one hour)
Where: Iwaba Terrace
Price: ¥2,000 (Tax Included)
Note: Online booking required
Take home a souvenir at the beachside museum shop
A museum shop will be open for the event on weekends and holidays where you can pick up art prints, stickers, postcards, and other mementos.
Opening Days: Weekends & Public Holidays
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00
Where: Beachside Terrace
Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE – Beachside Art Festival
Running: April 10, 2021 – May 9, 2021
Where: Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE, Okinawa
Official Website: https://banta-cafe.com/en/
Shinjuku’s Takano Fruit Parlour Serves Up Strawberry Desserts For the Spring Season
02.April.2021 | FOOD
This spring, Takano Fruits Parlour is serving up a special strawberry-themed course menu at its Shinjuku branch starting on April 5. It comes as part of the restaurant’s monthly fruit theme where they shine a spotlight on a single fruit each month. This month is strawberries which are adorning everything from appetisers to the main and dessert with a collection of succulent delights.
Spring Strawberry Course | ¥4,400 (Tax Included)
The course includes an apéritif, strawberry soup, beef cooked in a strawberry and demi-glance sauce, fruit salad, a hot dessert, strawberry chiboust, strawberry art palette assortment, a chilled strawberry dessert, and a choice of coffee, tea, or cafe au lait.
Spring Strawberry Course
Running: April 5, 2021 – April 28, 2021 (Weekdays Only)
Where: Takano Fruit Palrour
Address: 3-26-11 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Time: [Morning Slot] 11:00-13:30 / [Afternoon Slot] 16:30-18:30
Official Website: https://takano.jp/parlour/
‘Ugly Wardrobe’ Installation Created From Surplus Garments from Shibuya Fashion Week
30.March.2021 | FASHION
Sustainable fiberboard manufacturing company PANECO® has teamed up with the creative collective group ‘h220430’ to create the Ugly Wardrobe.
h220430 is a collective of creators focused on designing furniture, lighting, and other interior pieces. With their work, they hope to make people rethink and act against a string of international problems such as deterioration of the global environment and world conflicts.
PANECO® seeks to reduce waste clothing and help create a circular economy with their innovative fiberboard which can be used to make furniture, displays, and many other products.
COVID-19 greatly affected the fashion industry as it did others, and the stagnant market produced a vast number of surplus garments. PANECO® received 500 surplus garments that were about to be incinerated. They pressed the garments using special machinery and elevated them into a robust and beautiful material, and using it, constructed a wardrobe. Rather than watching them be incinerated without ever being worn, they found a way that they could be used as long as possible by upcycling them into wardrobe that would stand alongside fashion.
Japanese Milky Candy Themed Hotel Rooms Open in Collaboration With Hoshino Resorts
Hoshino Resorts has launched a hotel plan at its BEB hotel branches called “Milky Sweet Room Stay.” The plan was devised in collaboration with Japanese confectionery brand Fujiya and their popular Milky soft candy. Guests will be able to stay in rooms decorated in all things Milky, an experience that is running from March 26 to June 30.
Milky Sweet Room
Look like Peko-chan, the Milky mascot, with the top and overall set
Find Peko-chan at Hoshino Resorts BEB5 Karuizawa
Make a Milky smoothie on a bicycle at Hoshino Resorts BEB5 Tsuchiura
Milky Sweet Room Stay opening campaign
Guests will be able to enjoy Milky like they never have before in all kinds of deliciously sweet ways. Rooms are adorned with Milky cushions, a doll of Peko-chan who is the face of Milky, Milky wallpaper and decorations, Milky bath products, and of course Milky candy.
At the Karuizawa branch of Hoshino Resorts BEB5, guests must locate Peko-chan in three locations around the area. Those who find all three will win all-you-can-eat French toast covered in Milky sauce. at the Tsuchiura branch, guests can get a set of ingredients to make their own smoothie by pedalling on a bicycle. It takes about 30 seconds for your Milky shake to be ready.
The iconic Milky packaging design is also being revamped in celebration of the brand’s 70th anniversary. As part of the celebration, guests can expect t see a line-up of past designs along with some rare ones. Hoshino Resorts is also holding a campaign to promote the room where dix people can win a ¥50,000 voucher for Hoshino Resorts as well as a set of assorted Milky candy.
Milky Sweet Room Stay
Running: March 26, 2021 – June 30, 2021
Where: All Hoshino Resorts BEB branches
Capacity: Only one room available per hotel for up to a maximum of 3 people
Campaign Details: https://www.fujiya-peko.co.jp/hoshino_cp/
Hoshino Resorts Official Website: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/
Shibuya PARCO Announces FASHION CAMPAIGN “CYCLE” Sustainability Project
Tokyo-based shopping complex Shibuya PARCO has announced its first full-building project FASHION CAMPAIGN “CYCLE” which is taking place from March 25 to April 5.
‘Sustainable’ is an indispensable keyword in the fashion industry. Shibuya PARCO is looking to become a new-generation fashion building that fully considerate of the environment through and through, and so it has launched a full-scale sustainability project that encompasses a range of actions, such as accelerating efficient energy use.
For the duration of FASHION CAMPAIGN “CYCLE,” items, services, and exhibitions will roll out which align with Shibuya PARCO’s sustainability policy. A range of events which also take place. This will include the Sustainable Payback scheme which ears you 10% payback on any select products bought that are tagged as sustainable. There is also be a rooftop flea market called HNF in SHIBUYA PARCO HOUYHNHNM no Furima which is run by Japanese web magazine HOUYHNHNM. ‘New vintage’ is the theme of the market where customers can get their hands on clothing, tools, music, and more from the 80’s onwards. At the CYCLE POP UP STORE, run in cooperation with the creator brand YEAH RIGHT!!, a range of upcycled products from old brand stock will be available for purchase, and American-Japanese model Kiko Mizuhara’s sustainable brand ‘OK’ is also making an appearance.
When you spend over ¥5,000 (tax included) on products in Shibuya PARCO with the above-pictured sustainable-certified tag you can get 10% payback.
*Select products only (as tagged)
*¥500 for every ¥5000 spent (for the first 500 customers only)
*¥50,000 max payback
Running: March 25, 2021 – April 5, 2021
Payback Exchange: Saison Counter (Shibuya PARCO Floor 5F)
YEAH RIGHT!! presents CYCLE POP UP STORE
At this pop-up store, you can get your hands on a range of items that were once old stock from brands and have been upcycled to become completely new products. Items from Kiko Mizuhara’s sustainable brand ‘OK’ will also be sold here.
Running: March 25, 2021 – April 4, 2021
Where: Shibuya PARCO POP UP SPACE on Floor 3F (GYSER PARCO)
HNF in SHIBUYA PARCO HOUYHNHNM no Furima
A flea market run by Japanese web magazine HOUYHNHNM. Get your hands on a ‘new vintage’ line-up of 80’s clothing, music, and more
When: April 3, 2021
Where: ComMunE on Shibuya PARCO Floor 10F
FASHION CAMPAIGN “CYCLE”
Running: March 25, 2021 – April 5, 2021
Where: Shibuya PARCO
Address: 15-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo
Product Page: https://shibuya.parco.jp/feature/detail/?id=3075
Goldfish Festival to Take Place This Summer at Hoshino Resorts Aomoriya
19.March.2021 | SPOT
If you’re looking to experience Aomori’s culture, then Hoshino Resorts Aomoriya is the hotel to stay at. Every year throughout the year the accommodation hosts many festivals. This summer, guests can look forward to the Goldfish Festival which will run from June 1 to August 31. Inspired by local tradition, the hotel will be decorated with paper goldfish floats—including one towering 3-meters tall—known as kingyo nebuta or kingyo neputa in Japanese. Shaved ice will also be served to help guests cool off.
Kingyo Nebuta goldfish floats, a summer tradition of Aomori
Aomori is synonymous with its myriad of goldfish festivals. The must-have decoration at these festivals are their goldfish floats which are lit up in the evenings. Their origin lies in the tsugaru-nishiki, a species of goldfish found only in Aomori’s city of Tsugaru. People revered them back in the day and so created the floats to showcase that. They are a symbol of summertime Aomori and adored by locals and tourists alike.
Kingyo Sukui Yatai: Challenge yourself to Japanese festival goldfish scooping
A new stall arrives at Hoshino Resorts’ Goldfish Festival this year: the classic Japanese goldfish scooping experience, a common sight at summer festivals. The goldfish you catch can be ‘rented’ and taken to your hotel room. Guests have to meet certain requirements if they want to be able to take the fish home with them. The staff look after the fish every day so guests can rest assured they are treated well. Goldfish scooping will be held with social distancing measures in place, with only one group allowed in the stall per turn.
4 Exciting Things to Look Forward to
Surrounded by over 450 ningyo neputa goldfish floats
Goldfish ice cream made in the form of traditional Japanese amezaiku candy art
Where: Yottemare Sake Bar
Price: ¥900 (Before Tax)
Take your scooped fish to your hotel room
Where: Jawamegu Plaza
Price: ¥500 (Before Tax)
Includes: 2-3 fish, fishbowl, air pump
Over 30 summer yukata to pick from with goldfish designs
Where: Jawamegu Plaza
Price: Adults ¥500 / Kids ¥300 (Before Tax)
Shigakko Kingyo Matsuri Festival
Running: June 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021
Where: Hoshino Resorts Aomoriya
Conditions: Must be a guest staying at the hotel
Event Details: https://hoshinoresorts.com/ja/hotels/aomoriya/
Reserve a Peach Blossom Farm to Yourself in Japan This Spring at HOSHINOYA Fuji
10.March.2021 | SPOT
Japan’s glamping resort HOSHINOYA Fuji is offering a very special service to guests this spring: the ability to reserve a peach blossom farm to themselves where they can enjoy their own private Hanami flower viewing experience together with complementary tables, chairs, blankets, and desserts. It will run from April 5 to 20.
Surrounded by peach blossoms in full bloom
The location of the peach farm is in Fuefuki, Yamanashi. This is an exclusive plan into a place that has never before been open to the public. It will offer a magical Japanese springtime experience with the florally-fragrant peach blossoms set against a backdrop of the snow-topped mountains.
Tuck into peach-flavoured crepes
Guests will be treated to a glass of sparkling wine together with skillet-cooked crepes in caramel sauce, peaches, and finished with a dollop of ice cream. A truly indulging and extravagant way to enjoy Japan’s spring time this year.
Peach Blossom Hanami
Japanese Plan Name: 桃源郷花見
Running: April 5, 2021 – April 20, 2021
Where: HOSHINOYA Fuji,
Address: 401-0305 Yamanashi, Fujikawaguchiko, Oishi 1408, Japan
Price: ¥6,500 per person (tax, service charge, and resort stay not included) *Includes drop-off and pick-up
Capacity: 5 groups of 10 people per day
Bookings: Must be made by 17:00 the day before
Notes: Will not run during bad weather
Official Website: https://hoshinoya.com/en/
Fruit Packed Sandwiches Get Whipped Up at Limited-Time Shop in Tokyo
21.February.2021 | FOOD
The fruit sandwich eatery Maruichi Seika has opened a pop-up shop on the second floor of Kita-Senju Marui in Adachi, Tokyo. The shop is a collaboration between the popular local restaurant Ippo Ippo and Maruichi, a long-standing and much-loved fruit shop.
Fruit is the key ingredient at Maruichi Seika where they want customers stuffing their cheeks with strawberries, oranges, pineapple, and more. Fruit is packed into fat sandwiches and combined with mascarpone cheese for a filling treat. The bread is provided by Furansuya, a local bakery in Kita-Senju that has been running for over 10 years.
A Select Look at the Line-Up
Sky Berry | ¥740 (Tax Included)
This sandwich is named after a particular variety of strawberry is known as the Sky Berry. It’s sourced from Tochigi Prefecture and is known for its superior sweetness, juiciness, and the fact that it’s low in acidity. Ordering this lets you enjoy three different kinds of well-known strawberry: the titular Sky Berry, the Tochiotome which is also from Tochigi, and the classic Amaou from Fukuoka.
Setoka | ¥840 (Tax Included)
The Setoka is a rare and super sweet, full-bodied citrus fruit that’s normally given as a gift in Japan. In sandwich form, it enjoys a perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess.
Pineapple | ¥630 (Tax Included)
The Golden Pineapple from the Philippines is the variety used in this sandwich, packed with mouth-watering sweetness and offering a rich fruity fragrance.
Maruichi Mix | ¥740 (Tax Included)
This sandwich is a combination of fruits including the Amaou strawberry from Fukuoka, the Kanjuku Kiwi from Ehime, and the Premium Banana from the Philippines. It also contains the best picked mikan which are bought fresh from the market every day.
If you’ve never tried a fruit sandwich in Japan and are in Tokyo this winter, then don’t miss out on Maruichi Seika’s limited-time line-up.
Address: Kita-Senju Marui Floor 2F – Kitchen Garden 350
Address: 3-92 Senju, Adachi-ku, Tokyo
Kita-Senju Marui Official Website: https://www.0101.co.jp/084/
Vegan Food Heads to Tokyo Midtown at New FRUITS IN LIFE Juice Bar and Deli
07.February.2021 | FOOD
FRUITS IN LIFE is a new fruit juice bar and deli set to open in Tokyo Midtown on March 2, 2021. The eatery will serve up a fruity vegan menu.
Slow Juice (6 Flavours) | ¥850 Each (Before Tax)
Smoothies (11 Flavours) | Medium ¥550, Large ¥700 (Before Tax)
Fruful 200 Set | ¥1,250 (Before Tax)
Smoothie Parfaits: Avocado & Banana ¥1,000 (Before Tax) / Amaou Strawberry ¥1,250 (Before Tax)
FRUITS IN LIFE opens its first branch in Tokyo Midtown
Enjoy 200g of fresh fruits with Fruful 200
The menu is entirely plant-based ranging from smoothies and cold press slow juices to avocado toast made with a 100% whole wheat focaccia, the rice paper-wrapped salad baton filled with fruit and veg, and more. The lunch menu also includes the one plate Fruful 200 Set which contains 200g of fruits, and more. There’s also fruit desserts like jelly and smoothie parfaits. The Avocado Banana Parfait is packed with vitamins and over 200g of fruits, is only 438ml, and is low in calories.
FRUITS IN LIFE Tokyo Midtown
Grand Opening: March 2, 2021
Location: Tokyo Midtown Plaza Floor B1F
Address: 9-7-2 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: [Weekdays] 8:30-21:00 (Last Orders 20:30) / [Weekends & Holidays] 10:00-21:00 (Last Orders 20:30)