Rilakkuma & Sumikko Gurashi Festival Announced For Fall in Sapporo
Rilakkuma and Sumikko Gurashi are set to collaborate at a special festival centred entirely around the characters which will run at Sapporo Factory from September 17 to November 28.
Rilakkuma, Sumikko Gurashi, and you are invited to the festival which will be split into two areas: the Rilakkuma Pavilion and Sumikko Gurashi Pavilion where the characters will be present to greet guests. The event is taking on a magical theme which imagines the spirits of San-X, the company who created Rilakkuma and Sumikko Gurashi, casting a mysterious magic on the festival to bring happiness to all.
There’s plenty for fans of the characters to enjoy including fun photo spots, exclusive merchandise, and much more.
If you’re in Sapporo this autumn, don’t miss the Rilakkuma & Sumikko Gurashi Festival.
Rilakkuma & Sumikko Gurashi Festival
Running: September 17, 2021 – November 38, 2021
Venue: Sapporo Factory 3 (Floor 3F)
Address: 4 Chome-1-2 Kita 2 Johigashi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0032, Japan
Opening Hours: [Weekdays] 13:00-17:00 (From 10:00 on September 17) / [Weekends] 10:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)
Closed: Thursdays (Except September 23, 2021)
TEL: 011-272-9302 (10:00-17:00 except weekends and holidays)
Official Website: https://ntv.co.jp/rilakkuma-and-sumikko-fest/
Sonny Angel Doll Series Releases Japanese Good Luck Collection
03.June.2021 | FASHION
The new Sonny Angel Japanese Good Luck Series was released on May 27, the same month when the popular doll series reached its 17th anniversary milestone. The series sees Sonny Angel wearing a range of traditional Japanese lucky charms to deliver healing and happiness to people.
A Lucky Cat with a cute bell on his neck. His raised left hand/paw will bring you good luck.
A hat depicting Mount Fuji, a symbol of Japan. Pine, bamboo and plum leaves are illustrated on the folding fan.
Daruma are brightly coloured hollow dolls decorating houses in Japan so that our wishes will come true.
The Raccoon Dog has a long history as a strange, even supernatural animal and is known to be a shape shifter.
A Guardian Dog is thought to ward off evil spirits. This one is decorated in a houndstooth pattern, also known to be a sign of good luck.
Ebisuten is the god of “prosperous business”. The sea bream in his hand, a fish often served on New Year’s Day and at weddings, is a symbol of “congratulations”.
The packaging features a mikuhiki design. A mizuhiki is a decorative cord made from twisted paper. If you purchase four or more dolls as part of this series on Sonny Angel’s online store, you’ll also receive a free gift bag.
Sonny Angel Japanese Good Luck Series
Released: May 27, 2021
Price: ¥850 (Tax Included)
Product Page (English): https://www.sonnyangel.com/en/2021/05/07/japanese-goodluck/
Sumikko Gurashi Camping Themed Merchandise to be Released
A new collection of camping-themed Sumikko Gurashi merchandise is set to roll out at Sumikko Gurashi Shop, FamilyMart, and elsewhere in Japan from May 22. Online orders will also open on June 21 at 11:00am (JST). The items are available as part of a lottery draw – depending on which you pull, you will get a different prize.
A-Prize: Shirokuma Camp Plush Toy
B-Prize: Tonkatsu Camp Plush Toy
C-Prize: Neko Camp Plush Toy
D-Prize: Tokage Camp Plush Toy
E-Prize Large Leisure Rug
F-Prize: Crockery, Spoon, & Fork Set (6 Designs)
G-Prize: Cool Scarf Towel (4 Designs)
H-Prize: Camp Clear Bottle (5 Designs)
Last One Prize: Penguin Camp Plush Toy
Double Chance Campaign: Penguin Camp Plush Toy (50 Available)
*The prizes and packaging different from the Last One Prize
The popular characters from Sumikko Gurashi feature in a variety of cute camping-themed items. Prizes A-D are plush toys of Shirokuma, Tonkatsu, Neko, and Tokage. Each of the plush toys in the line-up also has their own unique item: Shirokuma has a scarf, Tonkatsu has sunglasses, Neko has a hairband, and Tokage has a hat. The plush toys are 28cm in size and plump. The E-Prize is a large 150cm leisure rug featuring an original art design. The front side is made from microfiber while the reserve side is water-resistant so it can be used both indoors and outdoors. It also comes with a handy zip bag for taking around. Prizes F-H are cutlery and plate sets as well as a scarf towel and clear bottle. The Last One Prize is a special plush toy of Penguin.
(C)2021 San-X Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Ichiban Kuji Sumikko Gurashi Camping Collection
Japanese Product Name: 一番くじ すみっコぐらし～のんびりすみっコキャンプ～
Release DateL June 21, 2021 @ 11:00am
Price: ¥650 Per Turn (Tax Included)
Shipping (Japan): ¥500 (Tax Included)
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
Hokkaido’s New Hotel Boasts a Famous Hot Spring and Overlooks the Tsugaru Straits
16.May.2021 | SPOT
Core Global Management is set to open the all-new Yunokawa Onsen Umi to Akari Hewitt Resort on July 1, 2021. In line with its opening, Japanese calligrapher Shoko Kanazawa has been put in charge of designing the hotel’s name logo.
The sea and sky meet in the Infinity Onsen
Tsukifune: the buffet restaurant
Enjoy Japanese-style food at Kumonami
Fires prepared by the staff everyday
A look inside the guest rooms
A look inside the guest rooms
Yunokawa Onsen is one of the three major hot spring resorts in Hokkaido. During the Edo period, Matsumae Chikatsumaru, who later became the lord of the Matsumae domain, and Enomoto Takeharu, the president of the former Tokugawa shogunate, are said to have bathed in this very hot spring. Yunokawa Onsen Umi to Akari Hewitt Resort is a chance to enjoy the good old days of Hakodate Yunokawa.
The rooftop offers an unbroken view of the incredible Tsugaru Straits. Guests can also enjoy a tranquil moment at the historic hot spring with a cup of Hakodate’s local sake and dango in hand underneath a moonlit sky while surrounded by the lights of fishing fires. There’s also a chance for both kids and adults to take a dip in a tatami bath – something you don’t really see in Japan.
Yunokawa Onsen Umi to Akari Hewitt Resort
Address: 3-9-20 Yunokawacho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 042-0932, Japan
Access: 5-minutes by car from Hakodate Airport
Official Website: http://hewitt-resort.com/hakodate-yunokawa/
Sakura Miku Blossoms On Merchandise at Hirosaki Sakura Matsuri 2021 in Aomori
Japanese anime, game, and hobby merch site CharaAni released a new collection of Sakura Miku merchandise on Monday in collaboration with the Hirosaki Sakura Matsuri 2021 festival.
Hirosaki Sakura Matsuri 2021 x Sakura Miku Line-Up
Folders | ¥450 Each (Tax Included)
Tapestries | ¥3,500 Each (Tax Included)
Acrylic Stands | ¥1,500 Each (Tax Included)
Holographic Pins | ¥550 Each (Tax Included) *Blind box, designs are random
Reversible Blankets | ¥5,500 Each (Tax Included)
Scarf Towel (Art by iXima) | ¥2,000 (Tax Included)
Happi (Art by iXima) | ¥6,000 (Tax Included)
Hand Towel (Art by Mamo) | ¥1,000 (Tax Included)
Motel Key Ring (Art by iXima) | ¥1,500 (Tax Included)
Teacups | ¥1,700 Each (Tax Included)
Flat Pouch (Art by iXima & Mamo) | ¥2,500 (Tax Included)
Drum Bag (Art by iXima) | ¥6,500 (Tax Included)
Full Graphic T-Shirt (Art by Morichika) | ¥5,500 (Tax Included)
Full Graphic Zipper Hoodie (Art by Hechima) | ¥9,900 (Tax Included)
Fashion Mask (Art by iXima) | ¥2,200 (Tax Included)
Desk Mat (Art by iXima) | ¥3,300 (Tax Included)
Shitakawa Rayaki Dove Whistle | ¥2,200 (Tax Included)
Music Box: “Haru o Matsu Hito” – PolyphonicBranch feat. Hatsune Miku
The Sakura Miku x Hirosaki Sakura Matsuri 2021 collection invites on board four artists: iXima, Mamo, Hechima, and Morichika who have created original artwork for the line-up. The items can be bought both at the festival and online.
The collection also includes Sakura Miku-inspired dove whistles made by Shitakawa Rayaki Tsuchi Ningyo, a clay doll company that has been around for over 200 years. The company began in the latter half of the Edo Period when Takaya Kanegura, who had learned how to make ceramics in the town of Chikuzen in Fukuoka, was employed by the Hirosaki Domain to build a furnace.
Miku fans can also get their hands on a music box which features an original song created for the festival called Haru o Matsu Hito (“Person Waiting For Spring”). It features artwork by iXima.
Art by iXima / Mamo / へちま / もりちか © Crypton Future Media, INC. www.piapro.net
Hirosaki Sakura Matsuri 2021 Merchandise
Order Window: May 10, 2021 – May 31, 2021
Event Details: https://www.hirosakipark.jp/sakura/
Music Box – “Haru o Matsu Hito”
Price: ¥10,000 (Tax Included)
Order Window: Late August 2021 – Early September 2021
Song: “Haru o Matsu Hito” by PolyphonicBranch feat. Hatsune Miku
Sumikko Gurashi x Hokka Hokka Tei Palm Sized Plushie Campaign Launches
The Hokka Hokka Tei x Sumikko Gurashi campaign is returning again this year as part of a celebration to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Hokka Hokka’s first store opening in Soka, Saitama.
Every month, 100 lucky people who are members of the Hokka app have the chance to win a set of five palm-sized Sumikko Gurashi plushies for every Sumikko Gurashi bento they purchase at Hokka Hokka Tei stores in Japan. Each purchase comes with a QR code that can be scanned which will reveal whether they’ve won or not.
Hokka Hokka Tei x Sumikko Gurashi Campaign
Details (Japanese): https://www.hokkahokka-tei.jp/news/2021/20210422.pdf
Japan’s Pingu 40th Anniversary Exhibition Heads to Sapporo
Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the Swiss claymation children’s television series Pingu which first hit the air in 1980. Japan has been celebrating the milestone with the Pingu Exhibition, and now it’s heading to Sapporo Factory in Hokkaido where it will run from April 23 to May 30.
Original material for Pingu by the show’s creator Otmar Gutmann will be exhibited, as well as the actual clay figures, dioramas, storyboards, and more that were used during the filming in Switzerland. Until last year’s exhibition, many of the 400 or so items on display have never been shown in Japan before.
There is a Pingu Market at the exhibition where fans of the noot-nooting penguin can get their hands on a range of exclusive items, pre-orders, and more. The exhibition also sees the return of the popular Pingu Egg capsule toy which has a mini Pingu figure inside.
Pingu Market Exclusive Merchandise
The market shelves are lined with limited-edition exclusives, pre-orders, items made in collaboration with popular brands, and more. Please note that a ticket to the exhibition is required to enter the shop.
Pingu Egg (5 Possible Prizes) | ¥300 Per Turn (Tax Included)
Have a turn at the capsule toy gacha where the figure you receive in your Pingu Egg is completely random. Each comes with an accessory.
Pingu 40th Figure (Robby) | ¥17,600 (Tax Included)
The Robby figure captures a scene taken from the 7th episode of the Pingu series titled Hide and Seek in English. Only 100 of these figures are available to buy and is limited to one per person.
40th Anniversary Pingu Exhibition
Running: April 23, 2021 – May 30, 2021
Where: Sapporo Factory Floor 3F
Address: 4 Chome Kita 2 Johigashi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0032, Japan
[Weekends, National Holidays, Golden Week] 10:00-19:30 (Last Entries 19:00)
[Weekends & Weekdays From May 10th Onwards] 13:00-19:30 (Last Entries 19:00)
Price: General ¥900 / High School & Junior High School Students ¥900 / Elementary School Students ¥600
Tickets: Available at the exhibition or at Ticket Pia using the P-Code 685-572
Official Website: http://pingu.jp/40th/
San-X has revealed the title and key visual for Sumikko Gurashi’s upcoming second feature film. The film is titled Eiga Sumikko Gurashi: Aoi Tsukiyo no Mahou no Ko (Sumikko Gurashi The Movie: A Magical Child of the Blue Moonlit Night) and is set to released in Japan this November.
San-X created their corner-dwelling Sumikko Gurashi characters in 2012. Their first feature film, Eiga Sumikko Gurashi: Tobidasu Ehon to Himitsu no Ko (Sumikko Gurashi The Movie: A Popping Picture Book and A Secret Child), was released in Japan back in 2019.
The sequel’s story is set during a blue moonlit night when a peculiar magic is cast on the town where the characters live. The film is being directed by Takahiro Omori (Natsume’s Book of Friends) with screenplay by Reiko Yoshida (K-ON!, Girls und Panzer). Fanworks are returning to animate the sequel.
©2021 SAN-X CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Eiga Sumikko Gurashi: Aoi Tsukiyo no Mahou no Ko (Sumikko Gurashi The Movie: A Magical Child of the Blue Moonlit Night)
Japanese Title: 映画 すみっコぐらし「青い月夜のまほうのコ」
Release Date: November 2021 (Japan)
Official Website: https://sumikkogurashi-movie.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/
Earth Day Tokyo 2021 to Promote Sustainability, Eco-Friendliness, and an Organic Lifestyle at Yoyogi Park
15.April.2021 | SPOT
This year’s Earth Day Tokyo will take place at Yoyogi Park from April 17-18 where messages of eco-friendliness, organic products, sustainability, ethics, and inclusiveness will be at the core of various events held as part of the festival.
This year marks Earth Day Tokyo’s 20th run as part of the global Earth Day initiative and brings together environmental NPOs, charities, and locals. Due to COVID-19, in-person events will only take place on April 17 and 18 but the festival will run online from April 17 to 25.
Earth Day Tokyo 2021 Concert
Concerts will take place across the two-day Yoyogi Park festival. Many musicians and guests have committed themselves to the future of the planet at the Earth Day Tokyo’s concerts, with past line-ups including Japan’s King of Rock Kiyoshiro Imawano, UA, BONNIE PINK, and more.
This year will see performances from Itou Seikou ITP, Kenichi Nagira, yae, scoobie do, Taiji Sato, Nozomi Nobody, hachi_Aigoz, tico moon, Rokuta Yanagiya, and Ichido Ryutei.
Every single product at the market booths has a story, and visitors will be able to hear about them from the makers in-person as they shop. And the items sold at the market will be different each day, stocking something to add a little environmental consideration into our lives.
C. W. Nicol’s “Nicol’s Forest Kitchen” sausages help plant forests
The late Welsh-born Japanese writer, actor, and singer-songwriter C. W. Nicol was the Executive Committee Chairman for Earth Day Tokyo from 2000 until his passing last year. He also launched Nicol’s Forest Kitchen in 2011 which has been a regular at Earth Day Tokyo to help protect Japan’s forests. The food stall will make an appearance this year too.
C. W. Nicol began to wonder how he could help raise people’s interest in forests as well as help revitalise forests that had been destroyed. Nicol’s Forest Kitchen project was his answer: to spread awareness through food, and in doing so, the project could help build up forests.
Visitors separate garbage themselves with the help of volunteers
At the Eco Station, volunteer staff will help direct visitors in separating garbage properly, raising awareness on the proper procedures which they can take away home with them.
Earth Day Tokyo 2021 @ Yoyogi Park
Running: April 17, 2021 – April 18, 2021
Where: Yoyogi Park
Earth Day Tokyo Official Website: https://www.earthday-tokyo.org
Little Glee Monster and Other Japanese Artists Announced For Tokyu Musix Challenge
Tokyu Musix Challenge is set to take place at Bunkamura Orchard Hall this year on March 7 at 18:00.
2020 saw the cancellation of music events across the world, with Japan being no exception. Shibuya, Tokyo’s hub of countless live music venues and halls, was particularly affected by the effects of the pandemic. But the energy and power that music artists hold is one they can offer to brighten up peoples’ time during today’s times. That’s where Tokyu Musix Challenge comes in, a new kind of music festival that will bring together a multitude of genres, and where better for it to be held than the cultural melting pot that is Shibuya.
This year will be the first run of the festival, where a collaboration between classical music and contemporary pop music will clash at Bunkamura Orchard Hall. The Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, which is recognised as Japan’s oldest symphony orchestra, will play alongside acts such as Little Glee Monster, Ai Higuchi, Win Morisaki, Meimi Tamura, Kayoko Yoshizawa, ROTH BART BARON, and more. And the line-up is set to grow as more performers will be announced in the lead up to the event.
Comments from the Artists
Little Glee Monster
“We are really looking forward to feeling the fresh breeze of our music colliding with the grand scale of an orchestra. We’ll be sure to play our part so that we don’t lose to the overwhelming performance of everyone in the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, but also so that our music complements theirs. We hope that everyone can have a good time and feel good from the strength that music has.”
“In 2020, we may have all lived kind of complicit with so many options in front of us leading down different paths. A certain friend might have gone to a drinking party, another might not have seen their lover for a long time. What choices do we make? We become darker depending on our choices. In Shibuya, a city that continues to change, I will sing my unchanged songs.”
“Over this past year, the respect I have for the position I’m in where I can express myself has really sunk in. I’m so happy I’ve been able to get involved with this challenge. And getting to sing with an orchestra, it’s magnificent. I’m so excited about what’s to come.”
“I can’t contain my excitement at a genre collaboration between classic, which is the foundation of music, and pop which is strongly tied to Shibuya. I think I’m going to start feeling tense at getting to perform alongside everyone in the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and singers of all different kinds of music. We don’t have a lot of freedom today during the pandemic, but I will work my hardest so that I can deliver love through music from the city of Shibuya.”
“My chest roars and having the opportunity to perform along side Japan’s oldest and longest-running Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra at the legendary Orchard Hall. It’s my first time experiencing singing with an orchestra, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the songs will be structured, and how my voice will sound, when we do it.”
Tokyu Musix Challenge
Date: May 7, 2021
Time: Doors 17:30 / Start 18:30 / End 20:00
Venue: Bunkamura Orchard Hall
Address: 2-24-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Price: ¥7,000 (Tax Included)
Buy Tickets: https://l-tike.com/st1/tokyu_musix_challenge
Tokyu Musix Challenge Official Website: https://tokyu-musix-c.com
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/