Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru in Aomori Prefecture to Hold Special Snow and Sake Event
16.November.2022 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru, a hot-spring hotel located in Owani, Aomori Prefecture, will hold a special snow and sake event from February 1 until February 28, 2022. Hotel guests will be invited to enjoy drinks before dinner with a special winter twist–under a kamakura! A kamakura is the Japanese equivalent of an igloo, and local sake will be cooled by the snow as guests enjoy a glass while taking in the gorgeous scenery.
Famed author Osamu Dazai described the seven types of snowfall found in the Tsugaru region in his work Tsugaru. To allow visits to enjoy the many different types of snow in Aomori, seven unique sakes will be prepared and depending on the snowfall each day, the sake guests are served will change. This unique experience is sure to leave an impression. Who would you like to bring along?
Tsugaru Snow Lanterns
Seven lanterns designed by Iemasa Yamahata will be placed on the inside of the kamakura. Each has a different color and pattern and each is based on one of the seven types of snow: powdery snow, large snowflakes, grainy snow, watery snow, granular snow, sleet, and crusted snow.
Tsugaru Snow Festival
Running: February 1 – February 28, 2023
Price: ¥1,000 per set (Tax Included, 20 sets available per day)
Included: 1 glass of local sake, 2 scallop snacks
Venue: Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru, Water Garden
*Only available to hotel guests.
Hirosaki and Hakodate to Begin Winter Tourism Campaign with Snow Miku Starting December 2022
The cities of Hirosaki and Hakodate in Hokkaido have announced that they will team up with Hatsune Miku’s popular iteration Snow Miku to promote tourism in the area this winter. A number of activities will begin in December 2022.
[Snow Miku x Hirohako] Collaboration Project
■Hirohako Winter Tourism Campaign Poster Featuring Snow Miku
・Period: Mid-November~February 28, 2023
・Locations: Facilities in both cities, tourist facilities, hotels, shopping areas
■Snow Miku Illustration Contest Exhibition Event
Over 50 illustrations have been submitted under the theme of Snow Miku and Hakodate / Snow Miku and Hirosaki. These will be on display through the winter!
・Running: December 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022
・Venues: Hirosaki Municipal Tourist Center (Hirosaki)
Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse (Hakodate)
■Snow Miku Photo Spot
Snow Miku panels featuring shamisen and apples from Hirosaki will be on display, while the Hakodate version will include references to squid fishing and footbaths.
・On Display: December 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022
・Locations: JR Hirosaki Station, Chuohirosaki Station (Hirosaki)
JR Hakodate Station, Hakodate Airport (Hakodate)
■Digital Stamp Rally Using the Mikunavi App
A number of panels will be installed at five checkpoints in Hirosaki and Hakodate. A total of 1,000 people–500 in each city–will win original merch including a Snow Miku mask case and decorated masking tape. All you need to do is check in!
・Available: December 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022
・Locations: (Hirosaki) Hirosaki Municipal Tourist Center, Hirosaki City Machinaka Information Center,
Hirosaki Tourist Information Center, Hirosaki Castle Information Center, Tsugaru-han Neputa Village
(Hakodate) Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse, Yunokawa Hot Spring Footbath, Goryōkaku Tower,
Hakodate Green Plaza C Block (Hakodate Lumi-Pop), Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward
■Hirohako Winter Tourism Campaign Theme Song and Music Video
The tourism theme song will get a new music video that will be broadcast on YouTube, at local tourist facilities, and on TV and radio!
・On Air: December 1, 2022~
・Theme Song: Mahou no Keshiki (Lyrics/Composition: ryuryu)
■Snow Miku Welcome Announcements to be Broadcast at Tourism Facilities, etc.
A one-minute welcome announcement by Snow Miku will air at tourist facilities!
・Running: December 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022
・Locations: Tourist areas in both cities
■Snow Miku Filters Using AR
When each barcode is scanned with a smartphone, Snow Miku will appear on the screen! Visitors can take pictures with Snow Miku to commemorate their winter trip to Hirosaki and Hakodate.
・Available: December 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022
Hirosaki x Hakodate x Snow Miku Tourism Campaign
Beginning December 2022
Enjoy a Hot Footbath Inside an Igloo with a Glass of Sweet Sake at Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps
22.November.2022 | SPOT
Starting February 1, 2023, visitors to Nagano will be able to experience an unforgettable winter experience at Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps. The Kamakura Footbath will invite guests to soak their feet in a warm bath as they sit in a traditional Japanese igloo while sipping local amazake and enjoying the snowy scenery.
Soak your Feet Inside a Hot Footbath Inside a Kamakura
During February when snowfall is the heaviest, these kamakura, or igloos, can be spotted in the hotel’s courtyard. A private footbath is available inside each structure, which will keep guests from experiencing the cold wind. According to many, having a cool body and warm feet is the perfect recipe for a good night’s sleep and good health.
Taste Amazake from a Local Brewery
Kurazukuri Amazake is brewed at Hokuan Brewery in Omachi, Nagano. Made exclusively from home-grown, expertly polished sake rice, the sweet beverage has a delicate flavor similar to wagashi. Why not warm your body from the inside out with this traditional drink?
Enjoy the Winter Landscape Illuminated by Bamboo Lights
Around each kamakura are a sea of bamboo lanterns, popular in the area. Guests can gaze out at the cold winter landscape beneath the awesome peaks of the Japanese Alps while pondering what the spring will bring.
Running: February 1 – 28, 2023
Price: ¥2,000 (Tax Included)
*Reservations are required by noon the day before.
Time Slots: 18:00-18:45 / 19:00-19:45 / 20:00-20:45
Capacity: Up to 3 guests per session
*Must be staying at the hotel.
**Bookings may be canceled due to weather.
Night Strawberry Picking Tour Opens at Hoshino Resorts Risonare Atami in Shizuoka
The scenic Hoshino Resort Risonare Atami in Shizuoka Prefecture, known for its spectacular views and hot springs, will begin hosting Night Strawberry Tours, inviting couples to pick strawberries in an illuminated greenhouse from January 6 until March 30, 2023. The event is only available on even-numbered days, and only one couple per day can participate. Beni Hoppe Strawberries are a specialty of the area, and this is the 10th event of its kind. Fittingly, guests can enjoy their strawberries with 10 unique condiments.
Enjoy Fresh Strawberries with 10 Condiments
Guests can enjoy ten unique condiments with their strawberries, including condensed milk, mascarpone, and pistachio. When the mild flavor of condensed milk is combined with savory pistachios, the fresh, full-bodied sweetness of the Beni Hoppe strawberries reaches a new level. Visitors are welcome to ask the staff for the best combinations, or are welcome to experiment themselves!
Pick Strawberries at Night in a Private, Shimmering Greenhouse
After dinner, guests will leave the hotel to begin the Night Strawberry Tour. A red carpet is laid out in the illuminated greenhouse, and those taking part in the tour will enjoy strawberry picking as they sip a glass of rose champagne.
See how Strawberries are Cultivated
Beni Hoppe strawberries are made by combining the Akihime and Sachinoka varieties. In Japanese, the name means red cheeks, and the name was inspired by the Japanese term hoppe ga ochiru*, meaning “my cheeks are falling off.” This is often used to describe food that’s extremely flavorful. These particular strawberries are award-winning, so visitors won’t want to miss this exclusive experience!
*See Shizuoka Prefecture’s official website for more information.
Hoshino Resorts Risonare Atami – Night Strawberry Tour
Running: Even-numbered days from January 6, 2023 – March 30, 2023
Price: ¥17,000 per person, reservation for 2 people (Tax Included)
Hoshino Resort Launches Oceanfront Onward Beach Resort Guam
31.May.2022 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts currently operates 56 facilities in Japan and abroad, and the company has just added another gorgeous property to the list. Starting March 30, Hoshino Resorts acquired all shares of the Onward Beach Resort Guam. Going forward, the hotel will undergo extensive renovations and will be relaunched as a Hoshino Resorts branded location. This is the fifth Hoshino property to be located overseas and the second in the United States.
The Onward Beach Resort Guam is located 10 minutes by car from downtown Tumon. At the hotel, guests can enjoy a quiet stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city, with a private beach and unrivaled views of the sunset.
The resort also boasts one of the largest water parks in Micronesia, where adults and children can enjoy themselves all day long. With plenty of chances to both relax and stay active, this is the perfect location for any travel lover!
Onward Beach Resort Guam
Address: 445 Governor Carlos G. Camacho Rd. Tamuning, Guam 96913
Facilities: Water Park, Restaurants, Shops, etc.
Official Site: https://www.onwardguam.com/hotel/
Hoshino Resort Aomoriya Holds Cherry Blossom Viewing Event Under a Cozy Kotatsu
21.March.2022 | SPOT
Hoshino Resort Aomoriya, an inn where visitors are invited to fully enjoy Aomori’s culture, will begin its Hanami Kotatsu event from April 1 until May 31, 2022. Guests can enjoy local sake while warming themselves beneath a cozy kotatsu. In the chilly Aomori spring, a kotatsu) will be set up beneath the blooming trees for visitors to comfortably view the cherry blossoms. Hot-water bottles will also be available for rent if guests can a little too cold!
April in Aomori is spring according to the calendar, but it’s still quite chilly. Nevertheless, the people of Aomori look forward to flower viewing to overcome the cold winter and enjoy the long-awaited arrival of spring.
Three Fun Additions to Make Cherry Blossom Viewing More Fun
1 A Traditional Umbrella with a Sakura Pattern
Next to each kotatsu is a row of Japanese umbrellas with cherry blossoms painted on them, spreading the pink cherry blossom imagery all around. When opened, the umbrellas are covered with cherry blossoms, making you feel as if you are under the cherry blossoms in full bloom.
2 Choose a Local Sake and Sake Cups for a Flower Viewing Sake Tower
Choose your favorite local sake and three sake cups to make a sake tower! Guests can choose from 10 Aomori sake brands, each with unique aromas and flavors.
3 Cherry Blossom Patterned Cotton-Filled Hot Water Bottle for Extra Warmth
To keep extra warm beneath the kotatsu, a cotton blanket with a cherry blossom pattern and a hot-water bottle are available for rent. Doesn’t it sound heavenly?
Running: April 1 – May 31, 2022
Hours: 15:00-18:00 (Last Entry at 17:30)
Duration: 30 minutes
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?
Snow Garden Opens at Ishiuchi Maruyama Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture
14.February.2022 | SPOT
Want something to do at a ski resort but not a fan of skiing? No problem! Ishiuchi Maruyama Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture has opened the new Snow Garden, a complex filled with cafes and activities held in transparent dome tents and terraces. Visitors can relax in an open space overlooking the gorgeous landscape without breaking a sweat. The Snow Village will be open until March 27, 2022.
Enjoy the panoramic view of the snow-covered Uonuma Plains and Niigata’s breathtaking mountains while enjoying a warm beverage and wonderful company.
Aomori’s Be Easy Brewing and UNITED ARROWS Release Collaborative Craft Beer
UNITED ARROWS has released its first craft beer in collaboration with Be Easy Brewing, located in Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture. The brew is available at the UNITED ARROWS BOTTLE SHOP, which sells select alcoholic beverages from both Japan and abroad. ‘Apple Pie Ala Mode’ went on sale starting January 2 at the UA BAR on the first floor of the UNITED ARROWS Harajuku flagship store, H BEAUTY AND YOUTH, and the California General Store.
Be Easy Brewing offers a selection of unique and constantly changing beers using ingredients found in Aomori like apples, strawberries and Tsugaru rice. From IPAs to wheat ales, the company is always experimenting with different styles. This strange collaboration was born after UNITED ARROWS expressed a fascination with the high quality and incredible taste of Be Easy Brewing’s beers.
‘Apple Pie Ala Mode’ is a Berliner Weisse with a slightly sour taste combining apple juice, cinnamon, and vanilla.
Apple Pie Ala Mode
Price: ¥770 (Tax Included)
Where to Buy: UA BAR（UNITED ARROWS Bar Harajuku 1F), H BEAUTY AND YOUTH, California General Store
※The UA BAR will serve the beer on draft for a limited time.
※There will be no lottery for in-store sales. The beer will be available to purchase starting January 2, 2022.
※Available while supplies last.
Limited Time Atami Plum Cafe Opens at Risonare Atami Resort
12.January.2022 | SPOT
Hoshino Resort Risonare Atami will open the Atami Plum Cafe from January 6 until March 11, 2022. Guests can experience the early arrival of spring beneath the plum blossoms, and at the cafe space on the top floor of the hotel, visitors can feast on a number of plum-inspired dishes.
The Atami Plum Garden, located near the resort, is one of the most famous places in Japan to see plum blossoms early. The first blossoms usually open up in late November or early December, and this event will get people excited about welcoming the warmer spring months.
A false plum tree will welcome visitors to the cafe, and the ceiling will also be covered in lavender blossoms. The tables, chairs, and garlands are all themed to welcome spring, and the terrace will feature a plum-shaped kotatsu. Guests sitting beneath it can stay warm while gazing out at the vast ocean.
The Plum Gelato Plate features three varieties made with plum pulp, jam, and paste. Why not give it a try?
Plum Gelato Plate: ¥2,000 (Tax Included) *5 available per day
Atami Plum Cafe
Running: January 6 – March 11, 2022
Hours: 10:00-22:00 (Last Order at 21:30)
*Adults Only (12 and up) after 21:00
Capacity: 40 seats
*Visitors must be staying in the hotel.
Official Site: https://risonare.com/atami/
BEAMS Starts Campaign to Highlight the Charms of Aomori Prefecture
BEAMS Japan has collaborated with 13 businesses to develop nearly 100 unique products to highlight the wonders of Aomori Prefecture. Under the title ‘BEAMS EYE on AOMORI,’ these products are now available to purchase from the BEAMS Official Online Store. They will be available at the BEAMS Japan shop in Shinjuku starting January 19, 2022.
BEAMS EYE on AOMORI Products at a Glance
BEAMS Japan travelled to Aomori to search for inspiration and to learn more about the prefecture famous for its blue skies and apple orchards. The areas rich nature and traditions come to life in this new line of merchandise, so why not enjoy some of these products for yourself?
BEAMS EYE on AOMORI
Running: December 20, 2021 – February 22, 2022
Where to Buy:
BEAMS Japan (3-32-6 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo)
January 19 – February 22, 2022
Hours: 11:00-20:00 *Hours are subject to change.
BEAMS Official Online Shop
December 20, 2021 – February 22, 2022
BEAMS Japan Taipei Pop-Up Shop
February 8 – February 22, 2022
Address: Taiwan Eslite Life Nanshi Store 1F, 14 Nanjing West Road, Zhongshan, Taipei
Special Website: https://www.beams.co.jp/special/teamjapan/aomori2/
Video Released of Winter Event at Hoshino Resort’s Banta Cafe in Okinawa
05.January.2022 | SPOT
Located in wonderfully warm Okinawa, Hoshino Resort is the perfect getaway for those wanting a warmer winter. The Banta Cafe overlooks the ocean, and from December 1, 2021, until January 31, 2022, the cafe is putting on 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 is available during the event period, serving up food perfect for eating as guests wander by the seaside. A number of Okinawan workshops have also brought local craftsmen to the site to show off their creations.
Okinawa is warm in the winter, and this event has been perfect for those wanting to avoid being chilled to the bone during the holidays. For those unable to attend, the video above was filmed using a drone and shows the incredible heart of this event. Who knew that water could be so blue?
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, giving a different impression depending on the time of day. The pavilion on the seaside terrace is also illuminated with motifs inspired by traditional Okinawan textiles.
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. This takes shadow puppets to a whole new level!
Enjoy a Lantern-Lit Night Picnic
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
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
Running until January 31, 2022
*Running every Thursday during the event period except December 23 and 30. Closed December 17-21.
Hours: 18:00-22:00 (Last Drink Order at 21:00)
*Event may be canceled in case of inclement weather.
Admission: Free admission with purchase at cafe or grill.
Official Site: https://banta-cafe.com
Discover the Art of Snow and Water at the Fifth ‘Oirase Ice Falls Tour’ in Aomori Prefecture
22.October.2021 | SPOT
The ‘Inaichō General Towada-Oirase Tourism Organization,’ a group striving for regional revitalization, has announced that the Oirase Gorge Ice Falls Tour will be available to tourists between December 17 2021 and March 6 2022. This will be the fifth year of the tour, which was first held in 2017.
Winter Oirase Waterfall Night Tour© Towada-Oirase Tourism Organization
Winter Oirase Nature Guided Tour© Towada-Oirase Tourism Organization
The Oirase Gorge, which stretches for 14km between Lake Towada and Yakeyama, lies between Aomori and Akita prefecture. The gorge is located in Towada Hachimantai National Park and has been designated a protected area.
During Winter, the mountaintop waterfalls freeze over and become powerful icefalls, decorated with icicles. Time seems to stop as the river stops flowing and the area becomes still. On this bus tour you can enjoy the silvery-white Oirase scenery during the day, or be awed by the illuminated icefall and icicles at night.
During the Night Tour, a dedicated light car runs alongside the bus to light up five spots along the Oirase Gorge, including the gorge icicles and the icefall itself. Each viewing spot has been carefully produced, using changing colors and lighting to set the scene.
Why not visit this beautiful icy scene, which can only be enjoyed in Winter?
Oirase Gorge Ice Falls Tour
Winter Oirase Waterfall Night Tour: City/Yakeyama Pickup & Drop Off Tour
December 17 2021 ~ March 6 2022 (Thursday ~ Sunday / Holiday Service)
Winter Oirase Nature Guided Tour: Shichinohe-Towada Station/City/Yakeyama Pickup & Drop Off Tour
December 18 2021 ~ February 27 2022(Weekend & Holiday Service)
※This is a daytime tour
Winter Oirase Waterfall Night Tour: Lake Towada Pickup & Drop Off Tour
December 17 2021 ~ February 20 2022 (Friday ~ Monday / Holiday Service)
Winter Lights Story Bus Daytrip
December 17 2021 ~ February 20 2022 (Friday ~ Monday / Holiday Service)
※This tour does not visit the icefall
Tickets & Tour Details: https://www.towada.travel/ja/oirase-ice-falls