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.

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    In celebration of Meiji’s popular Marble chocolate, The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Umekoji is collaborating with the confectionery brand to offer a Marble themed hotel room for guests. The room opened on July 27.

    Showa retro-style posters, telephone, and other decorations

    Meiji’s colourful Marble chocolate was first released in 1961. It turned 60-years-old in February of this year, meaning it has continued to be enjoyed by three generations. Grandparents have passed them onto mothers and fathers, and them to their own children. Now the whole family can celebrate the chocolate in a themed hotel room in Kyoto.


    Named the Marble Room, the hotel room is decorated in seven colours just like the chocolates themselves. This includes seven individual pillows on the sofa, balloons, wall decorations, and more. There’s even a crane game inside the room where guests can obtain some chocolates for free.

     

    Also inside the room are Showa retro-style posters and a telephone, and guests can watch all of the old Marble commercials on the television which have aired these past 60 years. Guests also receive a free smartphone ring, eco bag, pouch, and other little freebies as part of the plan.

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    29.July.2021 | SPOT

    Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo launched a new hotel plan on July 26 which includes a ticket to bathhouses around Kyoto, a bath amenity set, a hotel-original sento t-shirt, and more.

     

    Available until March 30, 2022, the plan was conceived as a way for tourists to enjoy the ordinary, everyday Kyoto in a way that’s different from people’s usual tourist and sightseeing experiences in the city. Kyoto continues to be a hub for sento bath culture.

    Hinode-yu, a bathhouse in Minami Ward, Kyoto

    Hotel-original tees are available as part of the plan

    Receive a bath amenity set and bathhouse ticket

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  • New Cocktail Menu Gets Served at KYOTO YURA HOTEL MGallery

    28.July.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    KYOTO YURA HOTEL MGallery is now serving a new cocktail and afternoon tea menu in collaboration with Perrier Promotion.

     

    KYOTO YURA HOTEL MGallery is a hotel group based in Paris, France which operates over 5,000 hotels and resorts in 110 countries worldwide. Together with the mineral water brand Perrier, the two companies launched the ‘Perrier Promotion with KYOTO YURA HOTEL MGallery’ on July 21 which includes a special cocktail and afternoon tea line-up being served up at Lounge & Bar 1867.

    Perrier x MURAKAMI Tote Bag

    Perrier Cacao & Orange Asian Fizz Mocktail | ¥1,300 (Tax Included)

    Perrier Umami & Ryokucha Green Tea Sour Mocktail | ¥1,300 (Tax Included)

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    The drinks line-up includes three mocktails which are available on the free flow drinks menu when ordering the hotel’s popular afternoon tea. The afternoon tea set was conceived by pastry chef Jennie Chiu and is packed full of summer fruits like passion fruit and mango.

     

    During the collaboration, the first 200 people to order either the afternoon tea set or high tea set will also receive a free novelty tote bag featuring the Takashi Murakami’s characters Kaikai and Kiki.

     

    In the evenings, the Perrier Pop-Up Bar are serving two alcoholic cocktails alongside the mocktails.

     

     

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    Pottery in Shujiro Castle Park

     

    “Shima Map” design by Ryu Ambe to be used on posters and t-shirts

    ESTINATE HOTEL has welcomed people from all regions of Japan over the years. It has held many events including one two years ago with the theme “Meet Local” and another last year themed on “Feel Global.” This year, the catchphrase is “Hello New World” which hopes to encourage people to discover new things by meeting the locals of Okinawa through the medium of art.


    Ryu Ambe has a unique designer reminiscent of American comics. For this event, he has created the “Shima Map” which will be used on a variety of merchandise such as 30 limited-edition silk screen posters. There are also pottery pieces inspired by the sea life found in Okinawa’s oceans, amongst other art works.

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    The service aims to let guests feel like they’re actually living at their hotel room, adding an extra layer of relaxation and comfort.

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    “MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS offers accommodation services in concept rooms full of originality not found in existing hotels or home-sharing facilities. The concept of the fourth room is “HARAJUKU”. The room is filled with “KAWAII”, one of the representative cultures of Japan. Once you step into the room through the archway, you will feel as if you have wandered into the world of a picture book. The room is inspired by Harajuku, a place where you can enjoy the extraordinary feeling of being lost in a different dimension.

     

    With the opening of the room HARAJUKU, an entire building has been transformed into MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS, with four rooms available for booking via Airbnb. The rooms can be used for a variety of purposes, such as accommodation for domestic and foreign tourists, staycations (casual holiday at home or nearby), girls’ parties, and birthday parties with your friends. In order to ensure the safety of the guests, they carry out temperature checks, use alcohol sanitisers and disinfect the rooms with alcohol when cleaning.

     

    The archway at the entrance is a gateway to a world of wonder. From the moment you step into the house, the excitement is bound to build.

    The living room is decorated with colourful objects and animals reminiscent of a museum. Why not find your favourite objects and animals, and enjoy taking photos with them?

    The bedroom has a queen-size bed, together with a sofa bed and an air bed in the living room, which can accommodate up to four people.

    The shower room is equipped with amenities such as shampoo, conditioner, and body soap. The separated washbasins and Toto Washlet toilets have been installed.

    The kitchen is fully equipped with a microwave, fridge, and other daily necessities. Colourful KAWAII tablewares are lined up so that you can enjoy the world of the room more.

     

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS

    The first room  ‘SAKURA’

    The room has received high praise from both domestic and international travelers.

    A monument of cherry blossoms, the symbol of Japan, fills the ceiling of the bedroom, creating a gorgeous and unique space.

     

    The second room ‘ORIGAMI’

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    Why don’t you create your own story at MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS, a place full of unique concepts that you can only experience here?

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    A breathtaking view awaits guests from the open-air bath

    The spacious living room

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    IZUMI sits on a hill that overlooks the rice paddies, making it a perfect location for spotting the sea of clouds. Minamiuonuma’s sea of clouds has over a 70% chances of appearing in the autumn and spring seasons.

     

    The number one reason why Japan’s old, long-standing, and precious private houses are demolished is due to the cold getting in and it being too dark inside. Even those who want to see them preserved for tradition, including those who live in them already, would rather live in a modern home. That’s why Jiyujin has begun a renovation project instead of a demolition one. By refurbishing the houses, the ancient framework can be fixed up and preserved while a range of contemporary amenities are incorporate to fit with modern lifestyles. The Satoyama Jujo accommodations are built so they can be used for over 100 years.

     

    For dinner, there are three options for guests. The first is a dinner at SANABURI which earned itself a Michelin star in Michelin Guide Niigata 2020. The second is a meal at a restaurant that earned the status of Bib Gourmand in the same guide. The third is to prepare your own meal in the house. There are plenty of shops around the station nearby where you can buy local ingredients.

     

    After a delicious meal, guests can take a soak in the open-air tub and enjoy gazing out across the fields and the beautiful mountains which stand almost 2,000 meters high.

  • Pretty Boy Detective Club Anime Themed Hotel Room to Open at Sunshine City Prince Hotel in Ikebukuro

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    Sunshine City Prince Hotel is set to open a room themed on the anime adaptation of Nisio Isin’s mystery light novel series Pretty Boy Detective Club. The room will be available for a limited time between July 22 and September 19.

    Concept Room

    Hotel Keyring

    Pin

    Card Key (*Can be taken home)

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  • Shiraraso Grand Hotel Announces Traditional Japanese Candle-Making Experience For Guests

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  • Kyoto Tower Hotel Celebrates 110th Anniversary of Randen Tramway Service With Special Hotel Plan

    18.June.2021 | SPOT

    In commemoration of the Randen tramway service’s 110th anniversary, Kyoto Tower Hotel introduced an exclusive new one-night hotel plan on Friday at one of its rooms. The Kyoto Tower Hotel Train Room is a themed guest room experience and celebration of Randen’s long history.

    A look at the Randen Kitano Line

    Randen tram photos decorate the guest room

    Old train tickets and platform signs

    A tatami area, train handles, and train priority seat

    Randen Train Room souvenirs for guests

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  • Imabari is a city in Ehime Prefecture that faces the Seto Inland Sea. Since olden times, it has flourished as an important location for marine traffic. It’s home to a bounty of recognised national treasures and historical heritage sights, and is also famous for its production of citrus fruits such as mikan. Japanese pop star, model, and icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu took a trip to this ancient city to discover its wonder and beauty.

     

    A Visit to the Historical Sea Route

     

     

    Oyamazumi Shrine

    A ‘power spot’ revered by prominent people

    Oyamazumi Shrine has been revered by prominent figures throughout history as a place dedicated to the god of the mountain, god of the ocean, and the god of war. It’s home to numerous Important Cultural Properties which are available for viewing by the public such as the armour worn by the military commander Minamoto no Yoshitsune when the Minamoto clan won the Genpei War (1180-1185), armour worn by women, and more. The shrine is also a notable power spot for the ancient tree that has stood there for 2,600 years and is now recognised as a natural monument of Japan. Power spots are places in Japan where the spiritually-inclined draw energy from.

     

    Information

    Oyamazumi Shrine

    Address: 3327 Omishimacho Miyaura, Imabari, Ehime 794-1393, Japan

    TEL: 0897-82-0032

    Opening Hours: Sunrise to 17:00

    National Treasure Building: 8:30-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)

    Official Website: https://oomishimagu.jp/

     

    Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area

    Lip-smacking food aplenty

    If you’re one for great views, then the Kurushima Kaikyo service area is a must-visit, offering a panoramic look at the Kurushima Strait of the Seto Inland Sea. The service area is very well know particularly for the Jaguchi Mikan Juice, something of a city legend in Ehime where you can enjoy fresh mikan juice straight from a tap. You can also tuck a rice bowl dish made with tachiuo hairtail caught in the Seto Inland Sea that’s made to look like Kurushima Kaikyō Bridge, or try Imabari’s soul food dish: the Imabari Yakibuta Tamago Meshi, a pork, egg, and rice bowl. Don’t pass up the chance to snap a photo at the designated photo spot with the Seto Inland Sea in the back either like Kyary above.

     

    Information

    Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area

    Address: 3-9-68 Ohamacho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0002, Japan

    Food Court: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00

    Shops: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00

    Outside Shopping Area & Cafes: [Weekdays] 9:00-17:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 9:00-18:00

    Official Website: https://www.jb-highway.co.jp/sapa/kurushima.php

     

    Murakami Suigun Museum

    Dedicated to the Imabari heroes who protected the ocean


    Murakami Suigun Museum is dedicated to kaizoku—pirates, or lords of the sea—something which conjures to mind villainy or bad guys, but the Murakami pirates were also considered heroes who helped maintain order and protect the sea during the Sengoku warring period of Japan. The museum features many displays of Murakami family treasures including the battle surcoat which the pirate leader wore over his armour, proudly bearing the Murakami family crest. Visitors can wear replicas of this coat, which Kyary tired herself: “Now I’m sorta like a military commander too,” she said.

     

    Information 

    Murakami Suigun Museum

    Address: 1285 Miyakubocho Miyakubo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2203, Japan
    TEL: 0897-74-1065

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if the Monday falls on a public holiday) / New Year Holidays (Dec 29-Jan 3)

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/suigun/

     

    Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan

    A bundle of fun and entertainment in one place

    Roll on up to Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan to enjoy a shichirin BBQ feast with fresh seafood caught in the Seto Inland Sea while gazing out across Kurushima Kaikyo. This building complex serves as a resting spot and is also the perfect place to purchase local souvenirs including Ehime specialty products. It’s also famous for its offering the chance to board a boat to ride around Kurushima Kaikyo, renting out bicycles, and more. You’ll also be able to meet Koro-chan, a popular fish who has lived there for 30 years.

     

    Information

    Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan

    Address: 4520-2 Yoshiumichomyo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2114, Japan

    TEL: 0897-84-3710

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Restaurant: 10:00-16:00 (Last Orders 15:00)

    Closed: New Year’s Day (and certain days in winter)

    Official Website: http://www.imabari-shimanami.jp/ikiiki/

     

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami

    Meet the cute and friendly dolphins

     

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami, which is connected to Hakata Beach, is the best and biggest place in Japan to interact with dolphins. Visitors can get close to them and the dolphins will show off their tricks and skills. There’s even a car camping area you can stay at.

     

    Information

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami

    Address: 1673 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan

    TEL: 0897-72-8787

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: On days with bad weath

    Official Website: https://www.df-shimanami.com/

     

    Hakata Beach

    A white sandy beach rolling out 200-meters 

     

     

    Hakata Beach is located at the base of Oshima Bridge in Hakata. The beach is famous for its salt which is best tried on their popular sweet-tasting sea salt ice cream.

     

    Information

    Hakata Beach

    Address: 1668-1 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan

    Sea Bathing: Early July – Late August

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=198

     

    Imabari Towels

    High quality towels woven with tradition and technique

     

    Imabari is the biggest producer of towels in Japan. Even their white towels alone have countless types you can choose from, allowing you to pick which level of softness and comfort you want. The iconic brand logo is also impactful, capturing the quality, production, and enthusiasm that the makes have for the product. Kyary herself uses them all the time!

     

    Information 

    Imabari Towel

    Official Website: https://www.imabaritowel.jp/

     

    Sunrise Itoyama

    Need a bike?

    Sunrise Itoyama, located in the Imabari Central Cycling Terminal, is a rental bicycle service that has bikes and helmets for everyone’s needs. Rent out a bike and ride the Shimanami Sea Route which connects Ehime and Hiroshima with a series of bridges that hop across the islands of the Seto Inland Sea.

     

    Information 

    Sunrise Itoyama

    Address: 2-8-1 Sunabacho, Imabari, Ehime 794-0001, Japan

    TEL: 0898-41-3196

    Rent-a-Cycle Details: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/archives/rentacycle/

    Official Website: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/

     

    Marutomi

    The famous restaurant known to every local

    If you want the real experience of Imabari’s yakitori soul food, you should visit Marutomi, a yakitori eatery. Imabari yakitori is different from the usual Japanese yakitori as it doesn’t come skewered. Instead, the chicken is cut into small pieces and fried that way. One of the most popular ways to have it is with the skin on so the outside is crunchy and the inside succulent. It goes perfect with a cup of sake too.

     

    Information 

    Marutomi

    2-3-6 Katayama, Imabari, Ehime 794-0063, Japan

    TEL: 0898-23-2740

    Opening Hours: 17:30-22:00

    Closed: Wednesdays

    Official Website: https://maru-marutomi.jp/

     

    Imabari Castle

    A castle by the sea

    Imabari Castle, built by the daimyo Tōdō Takatora, is known famously as one of Japan’s three “Castles on the Sea” and was also listed in Japan’s Top 100 Castles. When it was first constructed, boats could enter the moat from the ocean. It’s a site that breathes the prosperity that Imabari has enjoyed as a significant location for maritime traffic, the same Imabari that the Murakami pirates sought to protect. Head on up to the top of the castle to stand on the observation deck and gaze at an unbroken view of the city.

     

    Information

    Imabari Castle

    Address: 3-1-3 Toricho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0036, Japan

    TEL: 0898-31-9233

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: December 29 – December 31

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/imabarijo/

     

    Kirosan Observatory Park

    A breathtaking spectacle to remember

    Kirosan Observatory Park is officially recognised by Setonaikai National Park. Standing atop the observation deck fills the eyes with wonder as they gaze upon a panoramic stretch of Imabari, the Seto Inland Sea, and Kurushima Kaikyo all at once. Kyary wrapped up her time in Imabari here as the sunset coloured the sky and sea in warm evening hues.

     

    Information 

    Kirosan Observatory Park

    Address: 487-4 Yoshiumicho Minamiura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2115, Japan

    No Fixed Holidays

    Open 24-hours a day

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=182

     

    Imabari Tourism Information: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/

     

    We hope you enjoyed joining Kyary on her adventures across Imabari, and perhaps she even got you a little curious in wanting to visit the city yourself. It’s a treasure trove filled with vistas by the sea, in nature, and in the city itself with its Important Cultural Properties. Food is also a big part of travel for many people, so you can rest assured that your belly will be satisfied in Imabari as you try their speciality mikan, fresh seafood fished in the Seto Inland Sea, and more.

  • Ace Hotel Kyoto Commemorates 1st Anniversary With Yu Nagaba Exhibition

    16.June.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

    Ace Hotel Kyoto marked its 1st anniversary on June 11 since opening. In celebration of hitting the milestone, the hotel is collaborating with Japanese artist Yu Nagaba by displaying his work at its gallery until June 30. The works displayed are of the sights and people that Nagaba saw and penned in a memo pad while staying at Ace Hotel Kyoto. All of the illustrations were made for this exhibition and so they are being exhibited for the first time. One of the pieces is also being sold at stickers in the hotel’s shop.

     

    Yu Nagaba‘s work

     

    Yu Nagaba | Comment

    “After I heard whispers that Ace Hotel was setting up in Kyoto, I hoped I could do something, so I was happy to take part in this project, but I also spent my time wondering what I could draw, and no ideas came to mind. After pondering I went to find inspiration by deciding to stay at Ace Hotel. I drew what came to mind during my time there as I walked the streets of Kyoto and spent time at the hotel. I drew a total of 49 illustrations in my memo pad. I painted six of my favourites on canvas. I hope people can get a feel for my experiences of Kyoto in these pieces.”

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