Hoshino Resort’s Banta Cafe in Okinawa to Open Limited-Time Night Cafe During Winter
Located in wonderfully warm Okinawa, Hoshino Resort is the perfect getaway for those wanting a warmer winter. The Banta Cafe overlooks the ocean, offering unmatched views. From December 1, 2021, until January 31, 2022, the cafe will hold the ‘Illumi-Banta: Night Lights by the Sea’ event. Of course, Illumi-Banta is a portmanteau of the words ‘Illumination’ and ‘Banta,’ but the Okinawan word iyumibanta means ‘a cliff overlooking the fish.’ The entire location, from the top of the cliff all the way to the sea, will be bathed in otherworldly light. A special menu will also be available during the event period, serving up food perfect for eating as guests wander by the seaside. A number of Okinawan workshops will also bring local craftsmen to the site to show off their creations. Why bundle up when you can enjoy a warm winter by the ocean?
A Fantastic World of Light and Ocean Life
Banta Cafe sits on a cliff above the water, and the waters beneath it hide gorgeous coral reefs. Watch the sea come to life, as the ocean, white sand beach, and rock formations are illuminated. The lights will change colors during the daily light show along with the tides, so don’t miss it!
Light Show Times: 18:30, 20:00, 21:00 *Each show lasts about five minutes.
Playful Plant Shadows
On the large roof deck located at the entrance, large fern and palm leaves have been arranged to welcome guests along with other plants local to Okinawa. Using lights, the shadows from these plants reach massive heights on the 4-meter high Ryukyu limestone walls, and guests are encouraged to try making some fun shadow puppets for the perfect snapshot!
Enjoy a Lantern-Lit Night Picnic with the Strolling Soup Set
The night cafe will be selling a special Strolling Soup Set menu, inviting guests to venture out onto the sandy shore with a lantern in hand to enjoy a meal beside the sea. Guests can choose two of the available four soups along with a crispy baguette and herb butter.
Hours: 18:00 – 20:30 (Last Order)
Price: Strolling Soup Set for Two, ¥2,600
Includes: Two types of soup and bucket for two people, lantern and basket rental
Four Types of Soup
Filled with colorful vegetables, such as tomato, bitter melon, and yellow carrot
Packed with seafood flavor and a unique mix of Okinawan spices
・Consomme with Yushi Tofu
A lightly-salted soup made with Okinawa’s fluffy Yushi Tofu and thick-cut bacon
・Yam and Cauliflower Potage
Creamy potage with white cauliflower and brightly colored yam
The Night Light Market, a Gathering of Proud Okinawan Artists
On Saturday nights from January 8 to January 29, the Night Light Market will bring various artists and craftsmen from Okinawa to the Hoshino Resort. These artists will be excited to share the culture of Okinawa and will offer a range of products made of locally sourced materials. Guests can even try their hand at local crafts at the indoor Gorogoro Lounge!
Running: Every Saturday Night from January 8 – January 29, 2022
Wouldn’t you prefer a warm Okinawan winter?
Running: December 1, 2021 – January 31, 2022 (Closed from January 17-21)
Hours: Sunset – 21:30
Official Site: https://banta-cafe.com/
Okinawan Gen-Z Pop Singer Grace Aimi Releases Debut Album
02.December.2021 | MUSIC
Born in the year 2000 to an American father and American-Okinawan mother, Gen-Z pop singer Grace Ami released her 12-track debut album on November 26. The album is comprised of both new tracks and some previously available on streaming services and was produced by Chaki Zulu. Along with the release, a teaser for the Karaoke Queen music video was uploaded to YouTube, with the full video scheduled to be released on December 6.
MV Teaser (Directed by Takuto Shinpo)
Aimi began her career by starting a YouTube channel with her younger brother. As they began posting covers to popular songs, their popularity on social media grew, and in 2020 Grace Aimi released Eternal Sunshine. She is now signed to Capitol Records US and constantly experiments with new sounds and genres, jumping between gospel R&B to rock and rap and goth-pop. Her creativity and individuality are making her a unique addition to the Japanese music scene, and she’s definitely someone to keep an eye on!
Originally from Okinawa, Grace believes that her hometown has been essential to her sensibilities as an artist. “My home island was devastated during WWII, but the people there are beautiful and genuinely happy. I hope to share that Okinawan spirit with everyone,” she says.
Release Date: November 26, 2021
Streaming Link: https://umj.lnk.to/GraceAimi_If_Album
CD Price: ¥3,300 (Tax Included)
Grace Aimi Official Site: http://graceaimi.com/
Planetariums in Tokyo to Show Night Flower Film Narrated by Taishi Nakagawa
A stunning new film is coming to the Konica Minolta Planetarium in Tokyo Skytree Town and Planetaria Tokyo in Yurakucho Mullion starting November 19, 2021! Night Flower ~Blooming for One Night on a Starry Island~ will take guests on a journey to Iriomote Island in Okinawa, known for its beautiful starry sky. At night, this island is home to Sagaribana, a flower that only blooms at night and seems to glow in brilliant shades of white, pink, or red. The film is narrated by actor and model Taishi Nakagawa.
Journey to an Immersive Starry Island
Iriomote Island, a world heritage site, is filled with rich nature and a vast ecosystem of living things. From this island, 84 of the 88 constellations scattered across the sky can be seen, including the Crux. A number of these constellations have been captured in this film, with plenty of detail given by Taishi Nakagawa. It almost feels like a date with him–and who could resist that?
Feel as Though You’ve Been Transported to the Jungle
Using the SOUND DOME® stereoscopic sound system, even the tiniest sound of a bird chirping or leaves rustling will feel as close as can be. Along with the narrator, Manami Kakudo provides the theme song to the film which will leave audiences with goosebumps.
Mysterious Flowers Blooming Beneath a Starry Sky
The Sagaribana is a whimsical flower, almost alien in its appearance. They bloom for only one night, closing up by morning. This can teach us a valuable lesson: that each day, and each night, is precious, and life can be more fragile than we realize.
Night Flower ~Blooming for One Night on a Starry Island~
Release Period: November 19, 2021 ~
Runtime: About 40 minutes
Address: Planetaria Tokyo (Yurakucho Mullion) / Konica Minolta Planetarium (Tokyo Skytree Town)
*Screening times will vary depending on the day and time of year.
*Facility hours are subject to change.
Official Site: https://planetarium.konicaminolta.jp/program/night_flower/
Okinawa’s Hotel Nikko Alivia Announces Season 3 of Monogatari Kaiseki Menu
SAWA, a restaurant featuring both Japanese and traditional Ryukyu cuisine, will begin the third season of its delicious and artful Monogatari Kaiseki menu starting October 1, 2021. Each season featured a selection of dishes inspired by original stories created by the head chef, and with the new installment, guests will also be supporting the reconstruction of Shuri Castle which suffered damage after a 2019 fire. The restaurant is located at Okinawa’s Hotel Nikko Alivia, and the meal will be available until October 31.
Monogatari Kaiseki: Appetizer ‘Beneath the Moonlit Night’
Monogatari Kaiseki: Grilled Items ‘Vampire’s Dinner’
Monogatari Kaiseki: Dessert ‘Pumpkin Ghost/Tidings of Autumn’
In this imagining, a collection of ghosts and spirits gather at the Shuri Castle Festival on Halloween to compete in a cooking competition, and guests are invited to judge each dish. A drink pairing set will also be available.
5% of all sales will be donated to the Okinawa Prefecture Shuri Castle Fire Restoration and Recover Fundraiser, to help rebuild the historical site.
Monogatari Kaiseki Halloween Story – Shurijo Festival –
Available: October 1 – October 31, 2021
Hours: 18:00-21:30 (Last order at 21:00)
Address: SAWA Restaurant at Hotel Nikko Alivila
*Limited to 10 per day.
Reservation Line: 098-989-9021
Official Site: https://www.alivila.co.jp
Aoi Kubo to Perform Theme For Short Anime Series “Deji” Meets Girl
Up-and-coming 16-year-old singer Aoi Kubo has been selected to perform the theme song for the upcoming short anime series “Deji” Meets Girl, premiering October 1. The song, Otogibanashi no You na Kiseki (Fairy Tale-like Miracle) is now streaming, and a lyric video has also been uploaded to YouTube ahead of the show’s start. Two additional songs are available on the digital EP, each inspired by the two main characters in the show. Akane Malbeni, the original character designer, also provided the jacket art.
“Deji” Meets Girl tells the story of Maise Higa, a high-school freshman who works part-time at the front desk of her family’s hotel in Okinawa. One day, she meets Ichiro Suzuki, a mysterious hotel guest from Tokyo traveling alone. Ever since he arrives, strange things begin happening, like fish swimming through the air, and Maise is desperate to get to the bottom of things.
Comments from Aoi Kubo
Q1: Describe how you felt when you were chosen to perform the theme for “Deji” Meets Girl.
I’ve always wanted to sing the theme song for an anime series, so when I got the offer, I was super surprised! This is a fantasy series, and it depicts a mysterious world that really captivated me, so I hope tons of people will watch and enjoy it.
I would be so happy if everyone would listen to the songs I created for these characters, and compare how they sound in context!
Q2: When singing these songs, what did you pay special attention to or emphasize?
I was asked to write the theme, and to do that, I really surrounded myself with the show’s world.
Otogibanashi no You na Kiseki is based on my own interpretation of the show’s worldview.
For the other two songs I wrote based on the main characters, I tried to imagine what they were feeling, and what thoughts were running through their heads.
A creator contest is also being held! Creators can submit illustrations or music videos based on one of Aoi Kubo’s three songs for “Deji” Meets Girl. The best illustrations will appear on TV, while the best music video will be streamed on Kubo’s official YouTube channel. Entries can be submitted starting October 1, so be sure to check out the special site if you’d like to participate!
Otogibanashi no You na Kiseki
Streaming Links: https://kubo-aoi.lnk.to/orogibanashi
“Deji” Meets Girl
Premiering October 1, 2021, during Super Animism slot on MBS/TBS (28 stations nationwide)
Anime Official Site: https://dejimeetsgirl.okinawa
Special Site: https://dejimeetsgirl.okinawa/creator-challenge/
Experience 600 Years of Historical Culture with the Tanadui Festival Accommodation Program
01.September.2021 | SPOT
The HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island Resort in Taketomi, Okinawa will be holding the Tanadui Program between September 1 and October 12 2021. The special program will be held to mark the Tanadui Festival, an event that has been listed as an event of cultural importance and allows visitors to experience the deep, historical culture of Taketomi Island.
Taketomi is an island with it’s own unique culture with a selection of festival rituals, including food offerings to pray for prosperity and abundant harvests. The Tanadui Festival is the largest on the island and has been designated an event of cultural importance, running for over 600 years. Every year, throughout the seventh and eighth days of the festival, a stage is assembled in Yomochi Utaki to host over 80 traditional performances, each dedicated to the Gods and deities. On Taketomi Island, the phrase “Kashikusaya Utsugumidu Masaru” is key to the local lifestyle, roughly translating to “cooperation over all.” Join in the ‘Spirit of Utsugumi (cooperation)’ as the whole island practices and prepares for the festival – even those who have moved further away will return home to join in.
Bountiful Harvest Lunch – Get to know, touch, and cherish the five grains harvested on Taketomi Island
Enjoy a lunch that has been made using millet, wheats, beans, potatoes, and rice, which are said to be the five grains of Taketomi Island. Before lunch, you can join in the harvesting of potatoes grown on-site. Taketomi Island has no mountains or rivers as it was formed through the raising of coral atolls, making it difficult to grow crops. As distribution was unpopular in the past, the lack of crop growth meant that there was no food to live off. It is because of this that festivals, including the Tanadui Festival, were first held. They are used to pray for plentiful harvests and the traditions are upheld to this very day. During this event, you can harvest potatoes while learning about the history and land.
The lunch plate uses French techniques to propose a fun and new way of enjoying the five grains while retaining their simple sweetness; A sweet wheat risotto, shimadōfu soup, a harvest potato Dengaku (fried potatoes cut into cubes and sprinkled with sugar), plus desserts that can be enjoyed with peanuts. This delicious lunch allows you to get to know, touch, and cherish the five grains of Taketomi Island.
Price: ¥7,260 (Per person, tax & service charge included)
Capacity: Two groups per day
Hours: 12:30 ~ 14:00
Location; Field, Dining Room
Traditional Iiyachi Making Tour in collaboration with the islanders and HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island
Iiyachi is a traditional rice cake-like food that is eaten during the Tanadui Festival. Originally the Iiyachi was made using only materials found on the island, but thanks to modern development and tourism, plus the decline of agriculture, it is now regularly made using materials cultivated on other islands. HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island has worked hard to inherit the traditional production method. This year they will be challenging themselves by making Iiyachi using both traditional methods and local agriculture, cultivating millet and azuki beans to use in the recipe. Iiyachi is made by combining the ingredients in a large Shinme Pot to boil and steam. The resulting food is then kneaded out by a group of people while it is turned with a spatula.
This is an opportunity to get up and close with the island’s traditional culture which is only visible once a year during the festive period. Iiyachi making is an important job to the islanders, overflowing with enthusiasm and commitment to the Tanadui Festival.
Date: October 7
Location: Azumaya Garden
Teedun Dress-Up Experience
Here you can try on the outfits worn by the traditional performers who participate in the Tanadui Festival. The traditional costumes are only worn during the festival and have been passed through families for generations, usually unworn by anybody who isn’t native to the island. During the experience you will be offered a commemorative photo, perfect to take home as a memory of your trip to Taketomi Island.
Price: ¥1,210 (Per group, tax & service charge included)
Hours: 10:30 ~ 12:30
Location: Yuntaku Lounge
Here the staff will introduce you to the festivals roots, the culture that started it, and the history of the island, with photos to assist. You will be taught all about the 600 year history of the Tanadui Festival and the “Kashikusaya Utsugimi Domasaru” spirit. During the program, you can also learn about daily life on the island, full of festival excitement and traditional Okinawan scenery.
Hours: 20:45 ~ 21:15
Location: Yuntaku Lounge
One Moment on the Island ~Iiyacha~
A selection of traditional Okinawan snacks will be served in the Yuntaku Lounge, offering the visitors a special moment on the island. There are two seasonings available for the sweet and simple Iiyachi: Andansuu, a sweet oil miso that is popular in Yaeyama, and shrimp salt, made from Japanese Tiger Prawns found in the beautiful oceans surrounding the island.l
Hours: 14:00 ~ 16:00
Location: Yuntaku Lounge
Tanadui Festival Breakfast
Enjoy a unique Tanadui breakfast packed full of the fruits of the harvest, with millet mixed Juushii rice, Awa Miso Andansuu, and Pindako made using garlic and octopus from the island. You’ll be wide awake with this vibrant breakfast and its auspicious menu.
Price: ¥4,235 (Per person, tax & service charge included)
Hours: 7:00 ~ 10:30
Location: Dining Room
Experience 600 years of history for yourself with this unique program!
New BT21 Cafe Coming to Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, and Okinawa
The 9th BT21 Cafe ~Relaxing Holiday~ will be open for a limited time in six venues across Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, and Okinawa. If you’re a fan of these adorable LINE FRIENDS, just take a look at the menu items and goods on offer!
Chicken and Orange Hot Sandwich: ¥1,760 (Tax Included)
Grilled Vegetable Curry: ¥1,870 (Tax Included)
Tandoori Chicken Tacos: ¥1,870 (Tax Included)
Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Bacon: ¥1,870 (Tax Included)
Pistachio and Chocolate S’mores: ¥1,540 (Tax Included)
Cinnamon Apple Pie: ¥1,540 (Tax Included)
Maple Lemon German Pancake: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
Mixed Berry German Pancake: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
Strawberry Mojito/Kiwi Mojito/Peach Mojito: ¥990 each (Tax Included)
Coffee (Iced/Hot) / Black Tea (Iced/Hot): ¥550 (Tax Included)
Pins (Random, 7 designs): ¥660 (Tax Included)
Acrylic Keyrings (7 designs): ¥770 (Tax Included) / Clear Folder: ¥440 (Tax Included)
Stickers (7 designs): ¥770 each (Tax Included) / Placemat (2 designs): ¥1,000 each (Tax Included)
Swizzle Stick (7 designs): ¥990 each (Tax Included) / Tote Bag: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
Canvas Pouch: ¥1,980 (Tax Included) / Mini-towel (7 designs): ¥990 each (Tax Included)
Bandana (2 designs): ¥1,320 each (Tax Included) / Marshmallows: ¥972 (Tax Included)
Customers who book a table in advance will receive a randomly selected A5-size clear folder and a random clear coaster for each drink ordered.
The first installment of the 9th BT21 Cafe run, ~MY LITTLE BUDDY~, began in July 2021. The menu and goods, based on cute babies and their friends, received rave reviews.
~Relaxing Holiday~ is inspired by summer and being outside with friends. Menu items look like what people may eat while camping, and the original character art features your favorite BT21 characters eating their favorite foods. Various soups and desserts are available in cute souvenir cups, and anything ordered is perfect for posting on social media!
Which menu item looks the most delicious to you?
*Images for reference only.
BT21 Cafe 9th Run ~Relaxing Holiday~
Address: SHINJUKU BOX café&space Lumine EST (B1F 3-38-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo)
Running: August 28, 2021 – October 3, 2021
Address: HARAJUKU BOX Alta (3F 16-4 Jingumae 1-chome, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo)
Running: September 16, 2021 – October 31, 2021
Address: Collabo_Index Lumine Yokohama (6F 2-16-1 Takashima, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa)
Running: September 1, 2021 – October 3, 2021
Address: Nagoya Box café&space (B1F LACHIC, 3-6-1 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi)
Running: September 30, 2021 – November 7, 2021
Address: Shinsaibashi contact (1-6-24 Kitahorie, Nishi-ku, Osaka)
Running: August 27, 2021 – September 23, 2021
Address: OKINAWA BOX café&space (Naha OPA 2F, 1-20-1 Izumizaki, Naha, Okinawa)
Running: September 3, 2021 – October 3, 2021
Official Site: https://2021-2.box-cafe.jp/
BT21 is a globally popular cast of characters from LINE FRIENDS.
*The products and menu items produced and sold by LEGS COMPANY, Ltd. are the result of an official license agreement with LINE FRIENDS Co., Ltd. and may not be reproduced or sold without permission from LINE FRIENDS Co., Ltd.
Hoshino Resort Tomamu Offers Limited-Time Salmon Themed Package
One of the largest resorts in Hokkaido, Hoshino Resort Tomamu will be offering a ‘Family Salmon Trip’ package starting on September 4, 2021. This two-day, one-night plan will be available until October 31, 2021, and features a salmon-themed room complete with salmon pajamas! The accompanying meal plan includes dishes made from different parts of salmon, complete with a challenge: try your hand at making salmon roe, and enjoy your creation at breakfast the next day! Who knew that a salmon-themed getaway was even possible?
Bath inspired by a salmon roe bowl
Salmon Roe making experience
Children’s Salmon Plate
Breakfast ‘Salmon and Roe Oyako-don’
Why the salmon theme? The source of the Mukawa River is located near the resort, and where salmon are said to migrate, leaping upstream. Starting in September 2017, the salmon travel plan was introduced to inspire visitors to enjoy this fish at peak season. During the two-day, one-night stay, guests can surround themselves with all things salmon, going so far as to feel like one themselves! This ‘Family Salmon Trip’ was launched to give children a chance to experience the fun, based on one of Hokkaido’s most beloved dishes.
The plan includes a room decorated from floor to ceiling in fishy furnishings, including salmon curtains, mugs, figures, and cushions. The bedroom is inspired by the salmon’s difficult trek up the river, with a bed frame depicting father and son bears attempting to make a catch. Children will have a blast transforming into a salmon in their special pajamas, complete with a nightcap. The whirlpool tub offers stunning views, but that’s not all–with the help of bath salts, the bathtub transforms into a bowl of salmon roe, with a new salmon fillet float to make the experience even more memorable!
Families can change into a cook’s coat and try their hand at preparing salmon roe, which will then be used in next day’s ‘Salmon and Roe Oyako-don’ breakfast. The ‘Children’s Salmon Plate’ features a collection of unique salmon dishes on a fish-shaped plate, while adults can enjoy the featured Salmon Dinner, which uses every part of the salmon, from the nose to the tip of the tail!
How do you feel about a salmon-themed family vacation?
Family Salmon Trip
Running: September 4, 2021-October 31, 2021 until check-in
Details/Reservations (up to 10 days in advance): https://www.snowtomamu.jp/
ESTINATE HOTEL Celebrates Okinawa Branch’s 6th Anniversary With Ryu Ambe Collaboration
The lifestyle hotel chain ESTINATE HOTEL’s Okinawa Naha branch will turn 6-years-old on August 7, and to celebrate, it will hold a special event in collaboration with the character designer Ryu Ambe from August 6-15. This will be Ambe’s first-ever exhibition where his work will be sold in-person.
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.
Ryu Ambe Exhibition “HELLO NEW WORLD” at ESTINATE HOTEL
Running: August 6, 2021 – August 15, 2021 @ 11:00-17:00
Ryu Ambe’s Stay Duration: August 7, 2021 – August 8, 2021
Location: ESTINATE HOTEL Okinawa Floor 1F Lounge
Address: 23-11 Matsuyama, Naha, Okinawa, 900-0032, Japan
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/estinate_hotel/
Official Website: https://estinate.com/
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)
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