Experience a Front Row Seat of Karuizawa’s Tranquil Forests at HOSHINOYA
13.June.2021 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Karuizawa has announced a special summer plan for guests called “Mori no Hotori cafe&Bar ~Suijo no Tokutoseki~” (Cafe & Bar by the Forest ~Special Seats on the Water~). The midsummer evening plan is available for one group per day and takes place at the hotel’s cafe and bar which sits by a forest and faces the Kera-Ike Pond. It invites guests to relax under the starry night sky on the water and enjoy the sounds of nature while enjoying drinks and bites to eat.
Japan is known for its summer hot summers. However, Karuizawa enjoys a cooler climate, so evenings dip to around 20°C for a comfortable temperature.
Stargazing on top of the water
HOSHINOYA Karuizawa is connected directly to Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary. At the entrance, by the Kera-Ike Pond, is the hotel’s Mori no Hotori cafe&bar which is open all year. The cafe/bar fusion is surrounded by Karuizawa’s lush forests, and it’s here that guests can enjoy sitting on specially-prepared seats on the water. It will feel like they are walking on water as they approach their seats where they can take their shoes off and sit on the tatami mats to gaze at the stars.
Calm the heart with an enchanting performance
When you walk up the stairs that face Kera-Ike from HOSHINOYA Karuizawa, your ears will be met with the enchanting sound of crystal bowls which add a mysterious depth to the natural sounds of the forest, spiriting guests away to another wonderful world.
Indulgent drinks and food
Guests can pick from a range of drinks and bites to eat scented with fruits, wood, and other natural fragrances of the forest. There arw six drinks to choose from including a gin and tonic made with lindera umbellata, a type of camphor, as well as a whisky made with ripe fruits. Food includes chocolate made from lindera umbellata and kuma bamboo grass, cherry blossom and walut chips, and more.
Cafe & Bar by the Forest ~Special Seats on the Water~
Japanese Plan Name: 森のほとりcafe&bar ～水上の特等席～
Running: July 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021
Book Here: https://hoshinoya.com/karuizawa/
*Bookings must be made 5 days in advance
Requirements: Must be aged 20+ years / HOSHINOYA Karuizawa guests only
Capacity: 1 group of two people per day
Notes: Will not take place if it rains
Official Website: https://hoshinoya.com/
Banyan Tree Group Opens Garrya Nijo Castle Kyoto Hotel
26.June.2022 | SPOT
Banyan Tree Group, one of the world’s leading independent hospitality groups, held the grand opening of Galleria Nijo Castle Kyoto, on Friday, June 17, 2022. This is the first of the group’s hotels to open in Japan.
Located south of Nijo Castle, a World Heritage Site, and named after the beautiful winter flower, Galleria Nijo Castle Kyoto is a small, modern, and minimalist luxury hotel that offers simple guests a chance to recharge themselves.
For the grand opening, a new Wellbeing Room has been opened where visitors can experience quiet meditation.
Visitors can stroll through nearby gardens, temples, and shrines, take a tour of Kyoto’s many historical sites, or spend time in the Wellbeing Room meditating or practicing yoga to recharge their batteries away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
The French Restaurant Singular will also offer up healthy and tasty meals with a focus on local ingredients and producers.
Enjoy a visit to Kyoto in this peaceful space perfect for resting both body and soul.
Garrya Nijo Castle Kyoto
Address: 180-1 Ichinocho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
Access: 2-minute walk from Nijojo-mae Station on the Kyoto City Subway Tozai Line
Official Site: https://www.banyantree.com/ja/japan/garrya-nijo-castle-kyoto
Private Jet Package Now Available in Toyama Offering Spectacular View of Tateyama Mountains
22.June.2022 | SPOT
Mizu to Takumi, a company associated with the Toyama West Tourism Promotion Association, has teamed up with SKYTREK to offer guests a once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit the area via private jet. Reservations for the incredible experience began on June 17, 2022.
Offering an entirely new tourism experience in Toyama Prefecture, visitors can see the area’s natural wonders from miles above the Earth. The program also aims to share local culture and more about traditional craftsmanship and cuisine.
Toyama Prefecture boasts dramatic topography, from the massive peaks of the Northern Alps and the Tateyama Mountains to the deep waters of Toyama Bay. To better allow visitors to see the sights, these private jet tours will be chartered on special courses different from standard airlines.
After the flights, guests will be welcomed to explore Takaoka’s deep history and culture. Kane no Sanzun, a restored and preserved inn, will welcome visitors, offering a relaxing and rejuvenating time.
Visitors can also book optional excursions to further explore the area, such as a Zen meditation experience at a famous temple in Takaoka, a traditional crafting workshop, and a tour and tasting of the only whiskey distillery in the Hokuriku region.
Come enjoy a trip to Toyama with a whole new perspective!
Travel to Toyama by Private Jet
Available: June 17 – October 26, 2022
Travel Period: June 22 – October 31, 2022
Airbnb Reveals Top 10 Most Popular Summer Destinations in Japan
08.June.2022 | SPOT
Airbnb boasts one of the largest travel communities in the world, filled with users offering up lodging and those eager to visit somewhere new. The Japanese subsidiary of the company has revealed the top spots added to Japanese users ‘Favorites (Wish Lists)’ from May 1 to May 17, 2022. Where will travelers in the country be headed this summer?
Golden Week is long gone and users are starting to think about where to visit during the hottest part of the year. This national ‘Wish List’ might make it easier to pick a spot, with many locations highlighting lesser-known areas!
Gujo Hachiman Villa, Limited to 1 Couple Per Day (Gifu)
This completely private rental villa was made for sauna enthusiasts. One lucky pair per day can book this suite along the Yoshida River flowing through Gujo Hachiman, known as the “City of Water and Dance.” Currently booked through the end of August, reservations for September and beyond will be available in early June. Book a stay to enjoy the gorgeous autumn foliage!
A House Surrounded by Lush Greenery in the Countryside (Tottori)
Hosted by a family of musicians and architects, this guesthouse invites guests to enjoy gorgeous Nordic-inspired interiors and the serene quiet of the countryside. For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, this is the perfect spot.
Hoshina Satomachi, Limited to 1 Couple Per Day (Nagano)
There’s nothing like spending the summer in a traditional Japanese home. Enjoy a barbeque on the terrace and relax on the massive lawn. This is the perfect spot for families with children or pets!
Coastal Cabin (Chiba)
You can’t have summer without a pool. This luxurious coastal retreat boasts a 15-meter pool, outdoor Jacuzzi, bonfire space, and a barbeque. Relax by the pool while listening to your favorite songs or soak in the outdoor bath as you watch the waves crash along the shore.
An Elegant and Peaceful Log Cabin (Nagano)
Located at 1,300 meters above sea level on the Iizuna plateau, this log cabin is situated in the midst of a dense forest. A perfect space for couples, families, or small groups of friends, guests are welcome to enjoy hiking through this gorgeous landscape in the center of Japan!
Buffet Inspired by ‘Moominvalley Turns Jungle’ to be Held for the First Time at Keio Plaza Hotel Hachioji
From June 1 until August 31, Keio Plaza Hotel Hachioji is inviting guests to travel to the adorable world of Moomin by partaking in two tasty buffet events at the Le Clair Restaurant on the second floor. In Moomin’s home country of Finland, people start enjoying the summer following the solstice in June. The theme of this project is ‘Moominvalley Turns Jungle,’ inspiring the hotel’s chefs to create a spectacular original menu. A tasty lunch buffet will be held Tuesday through Friday during the event period, while a sweets buffet will take place on weekends and holidays. The restaurant’s interior will be decorated with artwork from Tove Jansson’s 1956 comic Moominville Turns Jungle.
The Moomin Lunch Buffet is titled ‘Jungle Party in Moominville,’ and will depict a fun summer lunch get-together in the titular character’s home village. The lineup of foods includes smoked salmon canapes, marinated herring, and sardine sandwiches, all typical of Scandinavian cuisine. Plenty of spiced dishes and veggies will be available, the latter looking like they came from Moominmamma’s garden. August 9 is Moomin Day, and the chefs will be preparing some extra goodies for each guest on that day only.
The Moomin Sweets Buffet will feature adorable desserts created by expert pâtissiers and will be inspired by Moomin and his friends enjoying the summer. From red velvet cake made to look like Little My’s dress to chocolate mousse in the style of Moominpappa’s Silk Hat, fans of the series will want to snap plenty of pictures before they dig in! Tons of sweets will include popular Scandinavian ingredients like red currants, raspberries, and blueberries. The welcome plate, limited to one per person, will change monthly, with a Tropical Parfait coming in July and an Edible Jungle coming in August. Light meals will also be available to compliment the sweets.
The Sweets Buffet will also include a special table plan limited to three per day, using plates and mugs included in the Moomin by Arabia 2022 Summer collection. Guests participating in this plan can order a special non-alcoholic cocktail created by the restaurant’s bartender and made with rose-colored ice inspired by Moominmamma’s love for flowers.
Moomin x Keio Plaza Hotel Hachioji
Moomin Lunch Buffet ~Jungle Party in Moominvalley~
Running: June 1 – August 31, 2022 [Tuesday-Friday only]
Location: Le Clair Restaurant, 2F
Hours: 11:30-15:30 (2-hour seating) *Last order 30 minutes before reservation ends.
Moomin Sweets Buffet ~Moominvalley Turns Jungle Fun Summer Time~
Running: June 4 – August 28, 2022 [Weekends and Holidays only]
Location: Le Clair Restaurant, 2F
Hours:  11:30-13:00  12:00-13:30  14:30-16:00  15:00-16:30
Buffet Bonuses: https://www.fujibi.or.jp
Advanced Reservations begin on May 17, 14:00 for hotel email subscribers, LINE Friends only
Standard reservations begin May 19 at 10:00
Moomin by Arabia Product Information:
Sekiguchi Product Information: https://www.sekiguchi.co.jp/collection/
Conrad Tokyo Hotel to Offer Peach Afternoon Tea in Collaboration with Luxury Brand Wedgwood
29.May.2022 | Uncategorized
Starting July 1, guests visiting the five-star Conrad Tokyo hotel can enjoy a new peach-filled afternoon tea menu for a limited time. Designed in collaboration with the British luxury brand Wedgwood, the lineup includes both savory and sweet items perfect for summer. The afternoon tea will be available on the 28th floor at the aptly named Twenty Eight Bar and Lounge.
In collaboration with Wedgwood, a 260-year-old porcelain and fine china brand used by the British royal family, this special service will feature an afternoon tea plate with a tempting array of sweets. The plate itself is from Wedgwood’s world-renowned Gio collection and features a honeycomb pattern embossed on fine bone china. The contrast between the modern setting, the classic and refined shape of the white tableware, and the beautiful pink treats will come together to create the most memorable summer moment imaginable.
Coconut & Earl Grey Panna Cotta / Rose Jelly / Peach Compote
Wine and Peach Gelatin / Vanilla Mousse
White Peach Mousse / Raspberry Gelatin
White Peach and Soy Milk Sandwich
Apricot Tart / Peach Cream
Peach Soup / Lobster Consomme Jelly
White Peach and Chicken Mousse Tart
Pork Rillettes and Peach Slider
Highlights from the sweets menu include coconut & Earl Grey Panna cotta served with rose jelly and peach compote, peach gelatin infused with red wine and vanilla mousse, and a delectable white peach and soy milk sandwich. For those with less of a sweet tooth, the afternoon tea service also offers delectable dishes like a white peach and chicken mousse tart, a pork rillettes and peach slider, and more. Guests can also enjoy a selection of scones in either plain or coconut, each served with clotted cream and either peach or guava jam. Over 20 beverages will be on offer, including Wedgwood teas.
Glamorous Peach Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood
Running: July 1 – August 31, 2022
Hours: Daily from 11:00-16:30 *2-hour time slots
Location: Twenty Eight Bar and Lounge (28F)
Izu, the Setting for Laid-Back Camp, Now Offering Travel Plans
JR Tokai Tours has released a new travel plan for fans of Laid-Back Camp Season 2, which aired from January to March 2021. The tour will take place in the Izu area, which was heavily featured in episodes 10, 11, and 12. Guests can enjoy a travel plan with single lodging and original goods starting May 23 until June 29, 2022.
The slice-of-life series Laid-Back Camp is currently serialized in COMIC FUZ.
Set in Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures, Laid-Back Camp is a relaxing series following a group of high school girls going camping and enjoying their daily lives. The series is based on the author Afro’s personal experiences and interviews, and since serialization in 2015, the series has attracted fans from around the world. The original comic has sold over 7 million copies. In 2018, the first anime series premiered, inspiring a spin-off Room Camp in 2020 and a second season in 2021.
Four years after it was announced in 2018, a Laid-Back Camp animated film will arrive in theaters this summer.
HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island Offering Relaxing Starry Sky Plan for a Limited Time
23.May.2022 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island, a resort in Okinawa Prefecture, is offering a special plan from June 1 until August 31, 2022. The Hoshizora Sparkling Stay Plan is perfect for anyone wanting to relax under a starry sky. Taketomi Island has the honor of being Japan’s first protected starry sky area, meaning that not too many manmade lights can be incorporated into building designs. Under the theme of ‘miisurin,’ meaning ‘sparkling eyes’ in the local dialect, guests can enjoy a retreat from modern life as they gaze up at the night sky while enjoying spa treatments, delicious food, and plenty of other ways to relax.
Three Ways to View the Starry Sky
Floating Beneath the Stars
On the first night of your stay, enjoy relaxing in a pool beneath the glittering night sky. A staff member will gently rock your body from side to side to induce a state of deep relaxation.
On the second night, enjoy leaving your room at dusk to walk along the shore and find the first star in the night sky. Along with a staff member who is well-versed on stars and astrology, visitors will head towards the West Pier, a tangible cultural property, to watch the sunset.
Private Deep Breathing Course
After walking along the beach, guests will sit on Kondoi Beach beneath the shimmering sky to stretch and participate in relaxing deep breathing. Enjoy the sound of the crashing waves while all of your tension drifts away.
Hoshizora Sparkling Stay Plan
Available: June 1 – August 31, 2022
*Reservations accepted up to 14 days in advance.
EMOCAL, a Project to Support Japanese Regions, Releases Music Using Local Sound Samples
The EMOCAL project aims to support small-town areas of Japan. As a new initiative in the project, specific soundscapes only found in certain areas of the country have been combined with music to create some unique tracks. A selection of musical artists have collaborated with the project to bring these songs to life!
EMOCAL was created by ZOWA’s original label, CatchyStuck. The project supports local regions and communities by using ASMR soundscape videos recorded in each region to convey their particular charms to all of Japan. The sounds recorded in each place are considered to be very valuable and are intended to serve two purposes: to bring tourism back after the pandemic and to provide fans of ASMR a way to experience these areas from afar.
Check out each of these unique ambient tracks created by four up-and-coming musicians! Each song is available on viviON’s ASMR platform ZOWA and on Spotify.
Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture / Ikkyuu x Hige Driver, I Love Ikkyuu
Beard Driver created this ambient track with sounds recorded inside of Ikkyuu, a ramen shop.
Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture / Miyuki no Hama x Powerless, Seiren
Powerless created this track, inspired by the sounds of waves crashing at Miyuki no Hama, a seaside recreation area 20 minutes from Odawara Station.
Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture / Wasabi Field x baker, On the silent hill
Utogi in Shizuoka city is surrounded by incredible nature. Known as the birthplace of wasabi cultivation, baker used sounds recorded in the area to create this ambient track.
Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture / Cape Tara x SeA0, Akushu
Cape Tara is a popular spot featuring an 800-meter-long sandbar at low tide. The sounds captured here were used by artist SeA0, and this track is sure to make you miss the water.
Official Site: https://catchystuck.jp/ambient/
Yunohana Onsen Resort Reveals Contemporary Art-Inspired Guest Rooms
Sumiya Kihoan, a cozy inn at Yunohana Onsen in Kameoka City in Kyoto, opened a unique new guest room on April 28, 2022. The room’s concept is “where guests can stay in the middle of contemporary art,” and was inspired by the works of internationally-acclaimed contemporary artist Yukinori Yanagi. The new room, created as part of the Art Room Project, has been named ‘Kofuu.’
The Icarus Corridor Connecting Heaven and Earth
Heavenly Bath Welcoming a Rainbow at Dusk
In-Ground Bath Featuring Oribe Glazed Ceramic
Concept Drawing of the Art Room Project by Yukinori Yanagi
The new room includes an open-air bath where guests can be transported into the world of Yanagi’s contemporary art while gazing at the gorgeous Kyoto landscape. Upon entering the inn, guests are greeted by a long corridor leading to the bedrooms, dining room, and two creative open-air baths. The space was created in collaboration with Yanagi and local artists and craftsmen, such as potter Ishii Naoto, obi craftsman Yamaguchi Genbei X, plasterer Kusumi Akira, and Japanese paper craftsman Hatano Wakaru. A delicious menu is prepared by chef Hosoi Kunihiko.
Ryokan Sumiya Kihoan
Address: Yunohana Onsen, Kameoka City, Kyoto
Room Details: https://hakutai.sumiya.ne.jp/artroom-kohoo/
Room Reservations: https://reserve.489ban.net/client/sumiya/0/plan/id/119287/stay?noSearch=1
Official Site: https://www.sumiya.ne.jp/
Kanahei’s Small Animals Inspires Hotel Room at Hotel New Otani Tokyo
03.May.2022 | SPOT
Hotel New Otani Tokyo will offer special collaboration rooms inspired by illustrator Kanahei’s characters Piske & Usagi from May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023.
Original Cushion / Acrylic Stand
The room is completely decorated with brand new illustrations of Piske and Usagi made exclusively for the collaboration. A total of five original amenities will be included with each room plan, including an original cushion and acrylic stand. Come surround yourself with complete cuteness!
Piske & Usagi’s Relaxing Room Plan
Location: Hotel New Otani (Tokyo)
Available: May 1, 2022 – April 30, 2023
Official Site: https://www.newotani.co.jp
Oakwood Hotel Oike Kyoto Reveals Room Plan with UNDERSON UNDERSON Washi Underwear
The lifestyle brand UNDERSON UNDERSON is all about making skin healthier by using washi paper. The unique brand has teamed up with Oakwood Hotel Oike Kyoto, known for its traditional washi decorations, for a special accommodation plan! Booking a room will get you a fancy new pair of underpants and some other popular items. The plan began on April 11, 2022, and will continue through the end of the year.
UNDERSON UNDERSON Underwear
UNDERSON UNDERSON Stretchy Washi Mask
john masters organics × UNDERSON UNDERSON Mask & Air Refreshener
The plan wants to allow visitors to enjoy their stay in Kyoto while experiencing traditional Japanese washi paper with both their eyes and their skin. The walls of the Oakwood Hotel Oike Kyoto feature artwork and furnishings with Japanese flare and have been upgraded to include HAMADAWASHI’s Tosa washi paper. This material has been used in the restoration of cultural heritage sites such as Nijo Castle and Ginkaku-ji Temple. Tosa washi can also be found on the partitions at Cafe O and on the walls of the coworking space!
To celebrate the collaboration, UNDERSON UNDERSON will be giving away underwear and other items made of its iconic WASHIFABRIC.
While this may sound like a strange collab, how would you like to give this underwear a try?
Oakwood Hotel Oike Kyoto
UNDERSON UNDERSON Underwear Collaboration Room Plan
Available: April 11 – December 31, 2022
Reservations / Official Site: https://oakwood.jp/kyoto-oike/
W Osaka Reveals Special Menu Inspired by Fashion Duo AMIAYA
Luxury hotel W Osaka will be offering ‘ICHIGO AFTERNOON TEA – Dressed up for Spring,’ a special menu inspired by the fashion duo AMIAYA, from April 1 until May 31, 2022. The menu items will be available at the Living Room area on the hotel’s third floor.
W Osaka Fashion Ambassador AMIAYA
ICHIGO AFTERNOON TEA – Dressed up for Spring
The event will utilize some of the popular strawberry dishes currently popular at the hotel, but will also include some raspberries and orange sweets. Some dishes will be decorated with flower petals, inspired by the vivid fashion of W Osaka’s fashion ambassador AMIAYA. The twins have attracted worldwide attention as models and DJs, and they celebrated their first anniversary on March 16.
Savory options include a Quiche with Sakura Shrimp and Spring Cabbage and Caramelized Onion and Chevre Cheese plate. Guests can enjoy a total of 12 items prepared by the W Osaka chef team, all displayed on a beautiful afternoon tea stand. Each menu comes with a welcome drink and free refills for tea and coffee.
ICHIGO AFTERNOON TEA – Dressed up for Spring
Available: April 1 – May 31, 2022
Location: W Osaka Living Room (3F)