Hoshino Resorts OMO3 Kyoto To-ji Opens For Business
23.April.2021 | SPOT
The all-new Hoshino Resorts OMO3 Kyoto To-ji hotel opened its doors on April 15, 2021, welcoming guests to the surrounding area home to To-ji, Kyoto’s famous Shingon Buddhist temple. The hotel’s concept is “The Heart’s Trip Through Time and Space,” and aims to showcase to guests the sights and wonders of the To-ji area. The temple itself, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is just a 5-mintue walk from the hotel.
To-ji has a long history dating back to 796 when it was founded. Its 1,200 year or so history has spanned multiple periods of Japanese history. In 823, the Emperor Saga honoured the Japanese monk Kukai and bestowed the temple to him. Kukai made To-ji the central seminary of esoteric Buddhism and built various buildings such as the pagoda and halls. Since then, To-ji has been the headquarters of this esoteric sect of Japanese Buddhism. It is a hot spot for tourists and a sight many have most likely seen when looking up must-visit locations around Kyoto.
Inside the hotel
A delightful assortment of menu items
A stroll around To-ji
National Treasure morning walk
Two artworks: “Mandala Art” and “Hohoemi Wall”
Sand table for writing characters
Deepen your knowledge at the Shinbashira book table
OMO Hotels introduce their guests to the local area’s secrets, allowing them to jump right in to all that’s on offer. It acts as a resort of sorts with the hotel at the centre and the local sights within walking distance. To enjoy all there is to see, OMO offers the Go-KINJO tour guide service which comes in two forms: Go-KINJO Map and Go-KINJO Activity. Both have guests led by an OMO Ranger who are experts in the area and will take guests to see various locations while providing commentary.
On their tour, guests can learn all there is to know about the To-ji area, both past and present. That includes information about famous local stores not listed in guidebooks. It’s an opportunity to discover the true To-ji area from when the temple was built to today by actually walking around seeing the sights yourself.
Hoshino Resorts OMO3 Kyoto To-ji
Opened: April 15, 2021
To-ji Mandala Sanpo Walk
Capacity: 20 people
Relax With Cows and Sheep at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu in Hokkaido
17.May.2021 | SPOT
Hokkaido’s largest hotel resort Hoshino Resorts Tomamu is set to open its enormous new 100-hectare farm area this summer for a limited time between July 1 and September 30. Guests are invited to sit and lay amongst the farm’s animals during the warm season.
Relax in nature
The farm area was originally an agricultural ground home to around 700 cows. Hoshino Resorts Tomamu wanted to bring the space back to its origins for people to enjoy, and so it is now operating as 100s hectares of farmland. The resort has offered a range of limited-time experiences on the land in the past, such as the Cow & Daytime Nap Hammocks where people can doze on hammocks and count the sheep, as well as the Pasture Lounge, and more.
What to expec
Inhale the smells of nature while laying on some comfy beds
Guests are invited to kick back and relax on a warm and cosy bed spanning 30 meters. Its large size means you don’t have to come into close contact with everyone, enabling you to enjoy yourself withour worry. Cushions and blankets are also prepared.
Soak up the sights and sounds of the farm
The cows on the grass
Hammocks for a siesta snooze
Yagi the Postman
Running: July 1, 2021 – September 30, 2021
Location: Hoshino Resorts Tomamu Farm Area
Note: Accessible to hotel and daytrip guests
*Will not run if the weather is bad
Official Website: https://www.snowtomamu.jp
Experience Japan’s Rainy Season Hydrangea With This Special Hotel Plan
16.May.2021 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone has announced a special hydrangea-themed hotel plan for Japan’s rainy season which will run from June 12 to July 4.
Hydrangeas bloom before guest room benches
At KAI Hakone, there is a special guest room with an outdoor bench seating area which looks out into the green forest. Hydrangeas will bloom, providing a gorgeous backdrop as guests enjoy the sounds of the Sukumogawa River.
Hydrangea accessory kit
Guests will be given an accessory kit in their rooms to make their own flower accessories from hydrangea leaves and wooden mosaics. These accessories can be fitted to yukata, used as piercings, and more to serve a Japanese summer vibe.
Enjoy hydrangea sweets and shaved iced
Guests can turn their rooms into a little tearoom with the wooden mosaic plaques provided on which they can tuck into a range of hydrangea-flavoured sweets and desserts along with a cup of matcha. The shaved ice is a KAI Hakone-original made with jelly and syrup coloured purple with hydrangea.
The hydrangea is perhaps the most celebrated flower in all of Hakone, arriving in early summer. It’s hailed in a variety of ways, one of the most popular being the Hydrangea Train, a nickname given to the train that runs from Odawara Station to Gora Station. Passangers are treated to an incredible view out the train window as their vision is filled with vivid hydrangea flowers.
This year marks the second that KAI Hakone is offering its seasonal hydrangea plan. If you’re able to visit during this time, don’t miss out.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone – Hydrangea Plan
Running: June 12, 2021 – July 4, 2021
Capacity: Max 2 people
Bookings: https://kai-ryokan.jp/hakone/ (Must be made 10 days in advance)
Discover 130 Years of KYOTO BENRIDO’s Colourful Photo and Printmaking World
Nara TSUTAYA BOOKS is set to host the KYOTO BENRIDO’s World fair from May 15 to July 9, celebrating the history of a store that was established in 1887.
Benrido has been contributing to the inheritance of Japanese culture through the photography, printmaking, and publications of cultural properties for 130 years. The The company owns is one of the world’s few remaining collotype studios which provides modern day photographers the unique opportunity to produce prints of their work using this rare process. Collotype was invented in France in the 19th century. It enables one to print images in various tones without the need for halftone screens.
Benrido offers a range of different products such as postcards, folding fans, standing screens, and more, all of which feature artwork by famous artists from the Meiji era to the early Showa era, the Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga, the portfolio of Saul Leiter, and more.
At the fair, visitors can pick up a wide selection of items from collotype pieces to other artistic goods. And starting on May 28, it will also sell items related to Hokusai and ukiyo-e prints.
KYOTO BENRIDO’s World
Running: May 15, 2021 – July 9, 2021
Opening Hours: 8:00-23:00
Location: Nara TSUTAYA BOOKS
Official Website: https://store.tsite.jp/nara/event/shop/19765-1744050424.html
Get Wet at This Rain Themed Event at Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Yatsugatake
06.May.2021 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Yatsugatake is calling for the rain this summer with the announcement of its Yatsugatake Fure Fure Sky event. The event will see over 1,000 fure fure bozu strung up—small handmade dolls to pray for the rain—along the 150-meter main street Green Pepper Avenue. The dolls act as the opposite of the more well known teru teru bozu dolls which are used to prevent rainy days.
Rain is something that’s always on the mind of travellers who hope for a dry trip when they reach their destination. This event however takes advantage of the rainy days to turn it into something to be enjoyed.
Yatsugatake Fure Fure Sky: 3 Things to Enjoy
The grand spectacle of the rain and over 1,000 dolls
Colourful fure fure bozu will line Green Pepper Avenue which serve as gorgeous decorations. There are eight colours to be spotted which represent the Yatsu in Yatsugatake meaning “eight” in Japanese.
Enjoy the sight and sound of the rainfall in the Rainy Domes
Sit inside your very own dome along Green Pepper Avenue and enjoy the sounds of the tapping rain. This is an experience that is best enjoyed when it rains, meaning praying for the rain is a must. It’s a chance to enjoy the rain without getting wet while sipping on wine and tucking into some light food.
Location: Green Pepper Avenue
Snap some photos in the rain wearing a Fure Fure Poncho
Inside the activity centre, visitors can rent their very own Fure Fure Poncho. This means they can head out in the rain and enjoy the sounds of the rain hitting their poncho, which is available in three different colours and all sizes for the family.
Location: Activity centre
Notes: Exclusive to Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Yatsugatake guests
Yatsugatake Fure Fure Sky
Running: June 1, 2021 – July 11, 2021
Location: Green Pepper Avenue (Japanese Name: ピーマン通り)
Official Website: https://risonare.com/yatsugatake/
Enjoy a Picnic Under Okinawa’s Starry Night Sky on Taketomi Island
27.April.2021 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island, a hotel resort in Okinawa, is bringing back its night time picnic plan this year where guests can sit on sofas by the beachside with the gorgeous starry sky overhead. The plan is called “Hoshi Furu Yoru no Teingaara Picnic” (Starry Night Milky Way Picnic). Teingaara (てぃんがーら) is Okinawan for the Japanese word for Milky Way (Ama no Gawa, 天の川). It will run from June 1 to August 31.
Gaze at the Milky Way beside the tranquil seaside
Aiyaru Beach is just a five-minute walk from HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island, and it’s here where guests can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Milky Away. The beach is situated away from any hustle and bustle, and not many people visit at night, allowing for a chance to enjoy the sound of the waves. Plus, there aren’t many days when people have picnics when the moon is out, meaning guests can enjoy a more quiet and private picnic under the moonlight on a comfy sofa.
A fancy picnic inspired by the Milky Way
Tuck into a very special picnic based on the Milky Way made with Taketomi Island’s famous Japanese leek, papaya, purple yam, and other delicious veggies as well as island tofu cream and miso. The set comes with a sparkling wine which captures the deep hues of the night sky.
A conversation with the stars
An expert on the Ishigaki Island and the stars will take guests on a journey through the stars, offering commentary on the island’s beauty and culture.
In March 2018, the Yaeyama Islands, which includes Taketomi Island, were recognised by the non-profit organisation International Dark‑Sky Association as Japan’s first International Dark Sky Park for its distinguished quality of starry nights. The Yaeyama Islands have a lower latitude than Tokyo meaning many more stars can be seen in the sky. Summertime is the best season for enjoying its stars too.
Hoshi Furu Yoru no Teingaara Picnic”
Japanese Plan Name: 星降る夜のてぃんがーらピクニック
Running: June 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021
Closed: June 20-25, July 19,-24, August 7-22.
Price: ¥30,000 per group (does not include tax, service charge, or accommodation fees)
Capacity: 1 group of two people per day
*Bookings must be made 14 days in advance
*Picnic will not run if the weather is bad
*Picnic ingredients subject to change depending on stock
‘hotel tou nishinotoin kyoto by withceed’ is a new hotel in Kyoto managed by Withceed Hospitality Management that held its grand opening on April 20, 2021.
Located just a 10-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station, the hotel is situated between Nishi Hongan-ji and Higashi Hongan-ji, two temples and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The hotel’s concept is Oku (奥) which is Japanese for “deep,” “interior,” or being at the “heart” of something. Its aim is to offer guests a place to dive deep into Kyoto’s traditions and culture in a space that puts great focus on its interior design.
The design is built around themes of ‘light and shadow,’ ‘distance,’ and ‘gloss’ which expresses the notion of depth. The lattice windows and sliding doors pour in natural light, and the single boulder makes one think of being in a garden. It’s a design to tickle the senses and imagination which in turn lets guests feel the depth of culture and being deep within the space.
The hotel has its own cafe/bar fusion called ‘cafe&bar oku’ which serves food and drinks from a range of Kyoto restaurants and cafes such Kyoto-style meicha tea from Ippodo Chaho, a tea shop that first established back in 1717, as well as a traditional Japanese breakfast rice porridge called okaisan made using Hachidai Megihei rice, and more. Customers can also enjoy drinks from Allpress Espresso, a New Zealand speciality coffee roaster setting up shop in Japan for the first time.
hotel tou nishinotoin kyoto by withceed
Grand Opening: April 20, 2021
Address: 455 Nishinotoincho Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu 600-8327 Japan
Official Website: www.hotel-tou.com
Stay in a Penguin Themed Hotel Room at Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa
15.April.2021 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa opened its Penguin Room on April 6, a single new guest room themed around penguins designed in collaboration with Asahikawa Zoo.
Penguin Room Feature ①
Guests are immediately greeted with penguins galore as the enter their room, with penguin plushies by the bedside, on the ceiling, and pretty much everywhere else. It will be like staying with a family of penguins for the duration of their stay.
Penguin Room Feature ②
After a visit to Asahikawa Zoo, guests can head back to their hotel room where a variety of fun penguin-related items are stocked including games, all of which will remind them of their time at the zoo.
Penguin Room Feature ③
The room is also decorated with boards featuring photos and information of animals at Asahikawa Zoo. The boards are handwritten by the zoo staff, something they do every spring season.
Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa previously collaborated with Asahikawa Zoo when a polar bear themed room. Now, penguin lovers can have their dream come true as they spend their time surrounded by penguin decorations in their room. The hotel is just a 30-minute car ride from Asahikawa Zoo, so why not make a plan to experience both if you’re visiting Hokkaido this spring?
Opened: April 6, 2021
Location: Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa
Official Website: https://omo-hotels.com/asahikawa/
Experience a Hotel Camping Experience at Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto
Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto is collaborating outdoor recreation product brand Coleman to launch the Hotel Camp Buffet which will run from May 1 to August 31 at the hotel.
Guests can enjoy a fusion of the hotel and camping experiences as Coleman provides their tents, tables, chairs, and other outdoor items to be used at Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto. The hotel chef, Honda, has also conceived a camp buffet for guests to enjoy at both lunchtime and dinnertime.
The hotel is carrying out all necessary measures against COVID-19 including providing guests with a how-to breakdown at all tables, providing alcohol spray, mouth guards with the Coleman logo so guests can enjoy dining and talking, and more.
Coleman x Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto Hotel Camp Buffet
Individual Room Plan | Capacity: 4-6 People
Enjoy a camping buffet with tents, chairs, and other camping goods provided by Coleman. Everything will already be set up for guests to enjoy.
Lunch & Dinner Buffet Menus
・Beef churrasco in black pepper
・Frankfurt and smoked berry ham
Lunch & Dinner
・Meat and potato cottage pie
・Atlantic salmon wood plank grill
・Croque-madame style hot ham and cheese sandwich
・Spare ribs in BBQ sauce
Hotel Camp Buffet
Where: ALL DAY DINING KAZA (Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto Floor 1F)
Address: 1 Taimatsuchō, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
Running: May 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021
Times: [Lunch] 11:30-15:00 (Last Orders 13:00) / [Dinner] 17:30-21:00 (Last Orders 19:00)
Bookings: Must be made 3 days in advance. Slots are two hours max.
Price: ¥6,050 (Includes lunch and dinner buffet and room)
Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto Official Website: https://www.rihga.co.jp/kyoto
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/
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
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Holds Wisteria Event in Japan to Ward Off Demons
Keifuku Electric Railroad launched an event on Boxing Day last year in Japan in collaboration with the TV anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. The event is still taking place and is set to end on April 11.
At Arashiyama Station on the Randen Line, there is a temporary area draped with wisteria flowers that commuters are encouraged to participate in as part of the collaboration. Built to ward off demons, fans of the anime series can write their own messages to be strung up on the flowers. They can write their thoughts and feelings on the characters and series as well as wishes and prayers for COVID to soon be over for all. It’s been a popular photo spot amongst passengers. And if you head from this area up to the roof, you can gaze out at the incredible view of Arashiyama.
鬼滅の刃 京ノ御仕事 弐
The New Disney Kyoto Traditional Design Series Combines Disney With Kyoto Craftsmanship
Kyoto City and Japanese company Shintsu are set to release their Disney/Kyoto Traditional Design Series after previously having to postpone the release due to the pandemic. It will be available from April 27 to May 10 and celebrates the skilled, dexterous hands of Kyoto’s expert craftsman and their industry which has been passed down for thousands of years. They have innovated to create something brand-new that captures both the craft and culture of Kyoto and the contemporary wonder of Disney.
Comments from the Creators
Okazen | Comment
“We have existed inside our town in Kyoto for 200 years. We make a variety of items from garments for maiko apprentice geisha to our own company-originals products. For this Disney/Kyoto Traditional Design Series, we wondered how we could express the world of Disney using the kyoyuzen Kyoto-style method of dyeing. We made something with detailed consideration, looking at all the intricate things in the dyeing process. Our Fantasia furisode long-sleeved kimono features a truly treasured scene which enabled use to incorporate many different methods in order to capture the expression, clothing, and all the stars as much as possible. We believe this piece will suck everyone into Fantasia’s world.”
Asahido | Comment
“For producing something for the Disney/Kyoto Traditional Design Series, we asked gave one of our craftsmen free rein to put their own individual self into the work. At the time, they were primarily an illustrator, so we were worried if the judges would overlook them, but the end result was something that looks truly complete and finished. The traditional craftwork of Kiyomizu pottery is a process of hand making and hand drawing each and every little thing. I believe it’s this quality that gives the characters warmth and life. I’d love for people to take it in their hands themselves and take their time looking at it in a full 360°.”
Tsujikura | Comment
Tsujikura is Japan’s oldest wagasa Japanese umbrella shop. We’ve been in Kyoto since 1690. In that small space underneath the washi Japanese paper and bamboo, one enters a rich world where they can feel the four seasons of Japan. Our umbrella for the Disney/Kyoto Traditional Design Series uses a very advanced technique known as kiritsugi, a type of cutting and patching. We displayed Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on handmade washi paper which we dyed. You can feel an affinity with the umbrellas for their simple and minimal designs. Our aim was to incorporate Disney elements into a traditional Japanese umbrella pattern.”
Other Featured Works
©DISNEY Based on the”Winnie the Pooh” works by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard .
Kanbayashi Shunsho Honten