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)
Kanagawa Closed School Site Becomes New Camping Site ‘CAMPiece’
UNDOKAIYA has turned Kyukitaashigarachu School into the new camping site CAMPiece which opened this month. The school, located in Minamiashigara, Kanagawa, closed in March 2010. UNDOKAIYA was the first in the priority list to acquire the rights to take over the site.
Photo of CAMPiece
Minamiashigara is known as the home town of Kintaro, a figure in Japanese folklore. It’s also home to many historical spots, such as Daiyuzan Saijoji Temple, as well as tourist sites and facilities. CAMPiece aims to serve as an opportunity for people visiting Minamiashigara to enjoy its lush natural environment, to converse with the locals, help revitalise the regional economy, increase tourism, and increase job opportunities.
Address: 2586 Uchiyama, Minamiashigara, Kanagawa 250-0131, Japan
Opening: May 2021
Price: [Weekdays] ¥6,600 (Tax Included) / [Weekends & Public Holidays] ¥7,700 (Tax Included)
*Prices subject to change depending ons eason
*Visitors will be given a ticket to attend for free on their next visit
Official Website: https://campiece.com
Hydrangea Matcha Parfait Gets Served For Spring at Kyoto Tea Shop
Japanese Uji tea shop Itohkyuemon broughr back its seasonal Hydrangea Parfait to the menu at three of its stores last Monday.
Hydrangea Tea Party
Kyoto’s city of Uji, where Itohkyuemon’s main branch is based, is home to Mimuroto Temple which is famous for its hydrangea flowers. The temple always bustles during the springtime rainy season. It’s around this time that people can be waiting up to 3 hours for a seat at Itohkyuemon. Their Hydrangea Parfait is their most popular parfait, never failing to create a buzz on Japanese social media. It contains hydrangea-flavoured mashed sweet potato, hydrangea jelly, leaf-shaped matcha cookies, blueberries, and more, all capturing the swaying hydrangeas during the downpour of the rainy season. They are limited in stock and are not re-added to the menu until the following year once they run out.
Customers can order the parfait on its own, with a cup of tea, or with both tea and warabimochi. The tea set and tea party versions come with a free hydrangea coaster.
Running: May 10, 2021 until sold out
Hydrangea Parfait (Single) | ¥1,390 (Tax Included)
Tea Set | ¥1,690 (Tax Included)
Hydrangea Tea Party | ¥1,990 (Tax Included)
*Drinks include hot or iced Uji matcha
Participating Branches: Uji / JR Uji Station / Gion-Shijo
Official Website: https://www.itohkyuemon.co.jp/corporate/
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
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/
New Doraemon and Korosuke Dessert Gets Served at the Fujiko F. Fujio Museum
The Kawasaki-based Fujiko F. Fujio Museum, which is dedicated to the Japanese manga writing duo who created Doraemon, is now serving up its new Doraemon Korosuke Chiffon Sandwich which was added to the menu on Wednesday.
Doraemon Korosuke Chiffon Sandwich | ¥1,280 (Tax Included)
The new arrival sees Doraemon and Korosuke turned into chiffon sandwiches with the beloved blue robot cat made from chocolate and filled with banana cream and his friend filled with mango cream.
Check out some of the other items available on the menu at the museum too.
Doraemon Arrabbiata | ¥1,230 (Tax Included)
French Toast de Anki Bread | ¥980 (Tax Included)
Fork into the Doraemon Arrabbiata with tomato sauce and a Doraemon face made from egg sheets, or a French toast inspired by Doraemon’s Copying Tost, one of his many Secret Gadgets.
Doraemon Korosuke Chiffon Sandwich
Released: April 21, 2021
Where: Fujiko F. Fujio Museum
Address: 2-8-1 Nagao, Tama Ward, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 214-0023, Japan
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00
Official Website: http://fujiko-museum.com/english/
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
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
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/
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
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/
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/