Hokkaido Information Base the Lodge to Open in 2023, Invites Guests to Learn More about the Area’s Unique Attractions
20.June.2022 | SPOT
Hokkaido Ballpark F Village, a commercial space coming in 2023 and located on the south side of ES CON Field Hokkaido, will feature a unique attraction. Visitors to Hokkaido won’t want to miss checking out THE LODGE, an information center focusing on unique experiences and attractions that can only be found on Japan’s northernmost island.
THE LODGE will be located in the center of F Village, connecting the ES CON Field to the waterfront area. Guests will be able to get valuable tips about local attractions and one-of-a-kind experiences.
In addition to a showroom where visitors can discover the charms of neighboring areas, the building will also serve as a tourism hub where tenants can enjoy outdoor activities and workshops. The location hopes to create a larger sense of community, and guests are encouraged to learn more about each unique and distinct area of Hokkaido.
Materials unique to Hokkaido (Hokkaido larch, local cedar wood, Ebetsu bricks) were used to create the space, and the roof was made to reflect the local mountain range. The creators are excited to welcome guests to this warm and inviting space next year!
Hokkaido Ballpark F Village Official Site: http://www.hkdballpark.com
NAKED’s Popular Night Walk Returns to Illuminate Jozankei Onsen in Hokkaido
30.May.2022 | SPOT
The JOZANKEI NATURE LUMINARIE -WATER LIGHT VALLEY- event is coming back in 2022! The event, which shows off the natural beauty of Jozankei’s rivers, valleys, and forests, from June to October. Guests can enjoy an illuminated walk along the Toyohira River in the Jozankei area of Hokkaido and wander across the picturesque Futami Suspension Bridge.
This year, the park area at the entrance to the event has been redesigned with new lights. A 2.5-meter-high blue dome will welcome guests with an image of water, and the trees and wisteria trellises will be decorated with twinkling golden lights.
Welcome Light Lake *Image from 2021
Forest Water Ripple
Visitors will encounter a variety of unique light art as they stroll through the rich nature of Jozankei guided by the elusive kappa, known to be the guardian Gods of the region. As visitors approach, the river begins to glow while flowers bloom in this interactive art experience. By using projection mapping across the Futami Suspension Bridge and an all-encompassing light show within the canyon, the event hopes to remind visitors that nature is important and worth preserving.
How would you like to spend your summer deep in the illuminated nature of Hokkaido?
JOZANKEI NATURE LUMINARIE – WATER LIGHT VALLEY
Address: Jozankei Futami Park – Futami Suspension Bridge
(Jozankei Onsen Nishi 4-chome, Minami-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido)
Running: June 1 – October 23, 2022
June – August: 19:00-21:00
September – October: 18:00-21:00
*Tickets available for guests of Jozankei Onsen only
Official Site: https://jozankei.jp/jozankei-nature-luminarie
Rilakkuma 20th Anniversary Tour to Visit Hokkaido
Everyone’s favorite lazy bear Rilakkuma is turning 20! To commemorate this big event, Sanrio is holding a special tour that will travel around Japan. From July 13 until August 31, events will pop up in three cities in Hokkaido–Sapporo, Obihiro, and Hakodate.
Rilakkuma & Todok Collaboration Cotton Gloves
The environmentally-friendly event will offer locally designed products made from recycled materials. A special Hokkaido Ocean Cleanup will also be held with a group in Sapporo, and those participating in the event will receive a limited edition pair of cotton gloves.
Prior to the start of the event, the official Twitter account of the Rilakkuma tour (@rk_ensembletour) is running a limited-time campaign until May 29. 10 lucky people will win a magnet sticker not available for sale! To enter, just follow the account and retweet the tagged Tweet.
Anniversary Tour ~Let’s Share the Leisurely SDGs Together~
Running: July 13 – July 25, 2022
Venue: Daimaru Sapporo 7F
Address: 4-Chome-7, Kita 5-Jonishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Running: July 29 – August 9, 2022
Venue: FUJIMARU 6F Event Space
Address: 8-Chome-1 Nishi 2 Jominami, Obihiro
Running: August 13 – August 31, 2022
Venue: Kanemori Yobutsu Red Brick Warehouse Event Space
Address: 14-12 Suehirocho, Hakodate
Cut-off Date: June 5, 2022
Hokkaido Ocean Cleanup
Date: June 15, June 18 / 10:00-11:00 (Reception open at 9:30~)
Location: 51 seashores around Hokkaido
Participation Fee: Free
Hokkaido Special Site: https://www.san-x.co.jp/rilakkuma/ensembletour/hokkaido.html
Extensive Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Exhibition to Open at Sapporo Factory in Hokkaido
An exhibition focusing on the Mugen Train and Entertainment District Arcs of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba will open at Sapporo Factory in Hokkaido from July 15 until August 7, 2022.
Fans of the series won’t want to miss this huge showing of Demon Slayer materials, including a video exhibit showing off some of the best fight scenes from the film and anime series on a massive screen.
Stay tuned for more details!
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – Mugen Train Arc / Entertainment District Arc
Running: July 15 – August 7, 2022
Hours: 10:00-19:30 *Closing at 17:00 on August 7
*Admission permitted until one hour before closing time.
Venue: Sapporo Factory 3-jo 3F
Official Site: http://www.stv.jp/
Booking.com Reveals 4 Best Lodgings with Outdoor Baths for Snow Viewing
16.March.2022 | SPOT
Booking.com Japan has revealed its top four picks for the Japanese accommodations with the best outdoor baths and snow views!
Zao Kokusai Hotel (Zao Onsen, Yamagata Prefecture)
Located 900 meters above sea level and surrounded by the gorgeous natural beauty of the Zao mountains, this resort has long been renowned for its spectacular view of seasonal scenery. During winter, guests can enjoy a fully spring-fed open-air bath while gazing at the snow-capped mountains. The milky white waters of the Zao Hot Springs have high sulfur content which will improve the texture of your skin. The resort also has a bath large enough to accommodate up to seven people at a time and a private bath for families or lovers.
Midorinokaze Resort Kitayuzawa (Date, Hokkaido)
The Midorinokaze Resort Kitayuzawa is surrounded by nature and contains one of the largest open-air baths in Japan, along with 20 unique fragrant baths for guests to enjoy. In winter, the surrounding trees seem to glisten with snow, and visitors are sure to find plenty of peace and relaxation while lounging beneath the grey skies.
Akakura Kanko Hotel (Myoko, Niigata Prefecture)
This highland resort sits on a 1,000-meter peak, offering unmatched views of Niigata Prefecture. The natural hot spring flows from the inside of Mt. Myoko, with healing waters perfect for soaking in during the cold winter months. The large baths are also equipped with a sauna and deck, and those wanting to view the scenery from their room can enjoy guest accommodations with private baths as well!
Satoyama Jujo (Minamiuonuma, Niigata Prefecture)
Winning a design award for its facilities, Satoyama Jujo has a different feel when compared to most hotels and ryokan. Booking.com recommends it for travelers looking for new experiences! In the open-air bath, visitors can relax while enjoying a panoramic view of Mt. Makihata, one of Japan’s 100 most famous peaks. Guests can also enjoy the starry skies at night. This is a perfect location for couples!
Each season in Japan offers uniquely beautiful scenery. How would you like to enjoy winter in one of these luxurious baths?
Three Japanese Tourism Instagram Accounts to Follow for Travel Inspiration
07.March.2022 | SPOT
The pandemic has changed our lives forever. People have spent the last two years missing travel as they spend more and more time at home, and while many are ready to travel again, it can be difficult to know if it’s the right time to return to normalcy. To make the situation a little easier, many local tourism associations in Japan are posting images on Instagram to inspire people to give traveling another try. These three Instagram accounts are our personal favorites, and once Japan opens to tourists again, you won’t want to miss visiting these areas!
[Official Kumamoto Tourism Association] Motto, motto, Kumamoto!
Discover the charms of Kumamoto on this local Instagram account featuring photos from four unique local photographers. Many will know the area as the home of the character Kumamon. The images capture the daily lives of Kumamoto residents and include local food and gorgeous scenery. The postings also include the location of the photo and comments from the photographers, making things feel more personal.
[Official Hokkaido Tourism Association] GoodDay Hokkaido
Hokkaido is an area rich in gourmet seafood and dairy, but its spectacular landscapes are reason enough to visit. GoodDay Hokkaido shows off both the common and uncommon elements of Hokkaido life, often introducing little-known areas. Each photo is vividly colored, and followers can see different seasons at every time of day as they scroll through the feed. See the best images from Japan’s northernmost island each and every day on your smartphone!
[Ome / Okutama] Umetama
Umetama is an account that introduces places of interest in Ome and Okutama, two of Tokyo’s most scenic towns. Each can be reached in about an hour by train from Shinjuku Station. Visitors can enjoy a gorgeous day trip from the Tokyo center, with the area featuring plenty of campsites and hiking trails. There are tons of stargazing spots, and visitors are often surprised that such incredible nature is so close to Japan’s hectic capital. Those with kids will find plenty to do here, so start taking notes while you scroll through the Umetama page!
More and more young people are finding the appeal of Ome and Okutama, and the area has become the perfect relaxation spot for those seeking refuge from their busy lives. In addition, the craft beer bar Ome Beer, located near Ome Station, sells local alcohol, including Okutama’s popular craft beer ‘Vertere.’ See the lesser-known side of Tokyo on this picturesque account.
Remember how wonderful it is to travel? Hopefully, Japan opens for tourism again soon, and you can visit all of these gorgeous locales.
Hotel Made Entirely of Ice Opens in Tomamu, Hokkaido
19.January.2022 | SPOT
Hoshino Resort Tomamu, one of the largest stay-and-go snow resorts in Hokkaido, will open a hotel made entirely of ice from January 20 until February 28, 2022. The ceiling, walls, and furniture will all be made of ice, and guests can also enjoy an outdoor ice bath! In addition, a new Ice Dinner will be on offer, where visitors can enjoy a beautiful table surrounded by ice overlooking a forest of white birches while staring up at the starry winter sky.
The seamless dome-shaped ice structure is about 8.5 meters in diameter and 3.5 meters high. Sleeping bags will be provided to guests to keep them warm and comfortable until morning.
Visitors can enjoy a hot spring in the open winter air in Shimukappu Village’s Scan Portopia Yunosawa Onsen.
The aforementioned Ice Dinner features three ice-themed dishes and welcomes guests to sit at a table made entirely of ice surrounded by majestic nature.
The appetizer includes iced vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers, and cauliflower. Each is dipped in a warm garlic sauce, balancing the sweetness of the veggies, which become more sugary when cold.
The main course, Iceberg Bouillabaisse, is covered with ice. This begins to melt as the soup pot is slowly heated in front of the guests, revealing gorgeous seafood like cod and shrimp. It’s a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds!
The frozen fruit dessert mixes strawberries and kiwis with hot wine and a touch of cinnamon. Sweet and sour flavors come together to end the night on a high note.
Running: January 20 – February 28, 2022
Price: ¥28,000 per person, per night (Includes tax, service charge)
Check-in: 21:40-22:00 / Check-out: 8:00
Capacity: 1 group per day (Minimum 1 guest, maximum 2 guests)
Eligibility: Must be elementary school age or older and staying at Tomamu The Tower or Hoshino Resort RISONARE Tomamu
*Must be made at least 1 week in advance.
Shiroikoibito Park in Sapporo to Hold Chocolate Factory of Light and Love Illumination Event
Shiroikoibito Park in Sapporo will hold a special illumination event from December 27, 2021 until March 14, 2022! The ‘Chocolate Factory of Light and Love’ is perfect for couples to visit during these cooler months.
A popular event each year, the Shiroikoibito Park Illumination was cancelled last year due to the pandemic. As this event is held inside, it offers some shelter from the cold as guests wander through the 85-meter-long course. An escape game will also be held for the first time at the location, and will involve two participants attempting to solve riddles based on ‘love’ and ‘chocolate.’ The room is decorated with luxurious antique items imported from England.
Escape Game! Escape from the Chocolate Laboratory
Running: January 7 – March 14, 2022
Reservations Available at Ticket Counter
Location: Study Base – Cacao Pod
Available: February 11 – February 14, 2022 / March 12 – March 14, 2022
Hours: 10:00 until sold out
Price: ¥500 (Tax Included)
Location: Tudor House 1F Special Event Space
Dessert Set (with Drink): ¥1,700 (Tax Included)
Very Cocoa Set (with Drink: ¥1,700 (Tax Included)
Chocolate & Berries: ¥800 (Tax Included)
One-sided Love Hot Cocoa: ¥550 (Tax Included)
Beef Stew with Hokkaido Beef (served with bread or rice): ¥1,380 (Tax Included)
Chocolate Baumkuchen: ¥1,512 (Tax Included)
Where to Buy: Piccadilly Shop
On sale January 15, 2022 (Valentine’s Day Exclusive)
Select Chocolates: ¥648 (Tax Included)
Where to Buy: Piccadilly Shop
On sale January 15, 2022
Inspired by the novel ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ Shiroikoibito Park was opened to bring people together with sweets. How could guests not be happy in such a magical place?
Shiroikoibito Park ~Chocolate Factory of Light and Love~
Running: December 27, 2021 – March 14, 2022
Ticket Office Open: 10:00-16:30 *Tickets available until 16:00
Official Site: https://www.shiroikoibitopark.jp/
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Explores Tomakomai, Hokkaido in New Tour Video
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is introducing potential travelers to the charms of Tomakomai, Hokkaido in a new two-part tourism video on her YouTube channel.
In the new videos, fans can see Kyary in a new light very unlike her onstage persona. Along with her tour guides, she travels for two days around this gorgeous city on Japan’s northernmost island.
The first video begins with her visit to a Red Eagles Hokkaido hockey game, quickly followed by tons of outdoor activities like canoeing and horseback riding. The singer enjoys plenty of local dishes and captures some spectacular views of Lake Utonai.
Who is the one who invited Kyary to Tomakomai anyway? Fans will have to watch to find out. Whether living in Japan or dreaming about visiting someday, these videos are sure to inspire a future trip.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu presents Around Japan
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s Tomakomai Tour ~A Beautiful Trip to Tomakomai~
Release Date: December 16, 2021 (Part 1) ／ December 23, 2021 (Part 2)
Where to Watch: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s Official YouTube Channel
Sailor Moon Store to Open at Paseo in Sapporo, Hokkaido for Limited Time Only
Kiddy Land will be holding the “Sailor Moon store -petit-” at Paseo, a shopping center connected directly to Sapporo Station in Hokkaido, for a limited time only from December 17 to March 27, 2022.
Sailor Moon store -petit- is a traveling branch of Sailor Moon Store, which gathers all the products of Sailor Moon series. During the period, there will be rewards for purchasing the products, so take this opportunity to visit the Sailor Moon Store.
© Naoko Takeuchi
Sailor Moon store -petit-
Running: From December 17, 2021 until March 27, 2022.
Official Site: http://sailormoon-official.com/store/
Hokkaido’s OMO7 Asahikawa Resort Opens Animal Sauna
10.December.2021 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa has announced a new ‘Animal Sauna,’ inviting guests to spend time with cute animals to heal the body and soul. The sauna will be open from March 1 to May 31, 2022.
Fans of Gashapon capsule toys know that animal sauna figures are popular among sauna enthusiasts. These figures are only about four centimeters big, but during this sauna event, they will be life-sized and placed within the sauna space! These massive figures were made with the help of Bandai.
Sauna hats protect guests’ heads and hair from the heat, and sauna ponchos prevent guests from getting too cold after emerging from the space. Now, these hats feature cute animal ears, and the sauna mats are covered in animal prints as well. These will also be available to rent or buy!
The lounge space will also be transformed, and a drink bar with animal-themed glasses will help guests to rehydrate after time in the sauna. Yes, the lounge space also features life-sized animals, perfect for nature lovers.
Gashapon figures will be available to purchase on the first floor, so be sure to grab one as a souvenir!
Running: March 1 – May 31, 2022
Hours: 15:30-24:00 (Last entry 23:30)
*Only Available to Hotel Guests
Official Site: https://omo-hotels.com/asahikawa/
OMO7 Asahikawa Resort in Hokkaido Offers Polar Bear Valentine’s Day Girls’ Party Package
17.November.2021 | SPOT
Not a fan of Valentine’s Day? Want to get away from all the in-your-face romance and just have a good time with your gal pals? OMO7 Asahikawa by Hoshino Resort in Hokkaido is offering a limited-time polar bear-themed Valentine’s Day Girls’ Party package for all of February 2022. The single polar bear room, opened in November 2020, will be transformed into its Valentine’s Day version.
Valentine’s Day has been popular in Japan for many years and is a day when women give gifts to men to express their feelings. However, in recent years, it has also become a less romantic event for some–people are buying chocolate for themselves, or giving candies to friends. The polar bear room is perfect for girlfriends who just want to relax and have a good time. Why a polar bear? The Asahikawa Zoo is nearby and is an incredibly popular attraction.
The Polar Bear Valentine Room, Only Available for One Party per Day
Decorated from top to bottom in cute bears, guests can also wear matching polar bear loungewear, perfect for those Instagram shots. This will be a girls’ gathering you’ll never forget!
Polar Bear-inspired Snacks for the Perfect Girls’ Night
When girls get together, they just love to chat. But talking so much can make you hungry, so plenty of snacks will be waiting in the guest room! If you’re not in the snacking mood, they also make wonderful souvenirs.
Polar Bear Desserts, A Must-Have in Asahikawa
The area around OMO7 Asahikawa is lined with stylish cafes where you can take a break from your daily life. After enjoying the Valentine’s Room, head out into the nearby neighborhood to Fukuyoshi Cafe for some polar bear sweets. The treats are included with the price of the room, so there’s no reason to miss it!
Polar Bear Valentine’s Girls’ Party
Available: February 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022
Anime Idol Group HAKOMEN Becomes Tourism Ambassadors for Hakodate
Hakodate is one of the main cities in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. In September 2021, the city launched a new tourism initiative called HAKOMEN, an anime idol group based on historical figures associated with Hakodate. Starting November 1, the members are now official tourism ambassadors! In July 2021, the Jomon historical sites in Hokkaido and the northern Tohoku region were registered as World Heritage Sites, so what better time to promote these incredible areas?
Debut Song ‘Kimi to HAKO☆DATE’
HAKOMEN lore tells the story of incredible historical figures summoned to the present day by the Hollow Dogu, the only National Treasure in Hokkaido and on display at the Hakodate Jomon Culture Center. Forming an idol group to promote the town, the five members see the Hollow Dogu as their producer. On October 14, HAKOMEN made their debut with the song Kimi to HAKO☆DATE, which is already racking up impressive YouTube views.
Comments from the Members
Hijikata Toshizo / A Cutting-Edge Commander and Moodmaker
“I was surprised that I, a man who had mastered the way of the blade, would somehow become Hakodate’s tourism ambassador.
I will put all of my energy into promoting this place!”
Takeaki Enomoto / A Highly Ambitious Peacemaker
“I’m not even from this era, but you want me to do PR for Hakodate?!
Now that I’m here, I’ll be sure to convey some of the charms that only someone from the past would know!”
Takuboku Ishikawa / A Calm and Peaceful Lover of Sweets
“I love Hakodate so much that I moved there during my time, so I’m thrilled to promote it as an ambassador!
I’ll do my best to make all kinds of people fall in love with Hakodate!”
Matthew C. Perry / A Happy and Gourmet Scatterbrain
“Back when I showed up on my black ships, the people of Hakodate were so lovely♪
It’s such an honor to be able to work with Hakodate~ I’ll do my very best!”
Ayasaburo Takeda / An Open-Minded Big Brother Character
“As an ambassador for tourism to Hakodate, I’d love to promote Goryokaku fortress which I designed as an architect in 1855.
Of course, it’s not the only attraction Hakodate has to offer!”
Official Site: https://www.hakobura.jp/hakomen_official/