“Nihonbashi Sakura Festival” will be held in Nihonbashi, Tokyo
08.February.2018 | SPOT
“Nihonbashi Sakura Festival Planning Committee” will hold an early cherry-blossom viewing event called “Nihonbashi Sakura Festival ～Aratani Deau, Nihonbashi, Yaesu, Kyobashi～” in the Nihonbashi Area of Tokyo from the 16th of March 2018 (Fri.) to the 15th of April (Sun.).
Nihonbashi has many beauty spots where cherry blossoms can be viewed such as Edozakura Street and Hamamachi Ryokudo. The event counts the 5th time this year and this year it will be held with the theme of “Artistic ni Tanoshimu Haru (enjoying spring in an artistic manner).” An artistic cherry-blossom viewing experience using the motifs of Edo Period’s art paper cutouts, an eating binge program with the theme of cherry blossoms and some linkage art events like music festivals and exhibitions will be held.
A 25m-long cherry blossom road using the motifs of Edo Period’s paper cutouts will be made and it will be called, “SAKURA TUNNEL.”
“SAKURA TUNNEL” will be created on the street of Fukutoku Shrine as a new sightseeing spot. The road is 25 meters long and it will be decorated with the petals of cherry blossoms using the motifs of a traditional craft called “Edo Kirie (paper cutouts).” The design of this venue will be supervised by the “space designer” Miki Hasegawa who has produced many illuminations such as Omotesando Illumination. Moreover, such events as “Sakura Light Up” which lights up important cultural properties like Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Honten, Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Tower and the facilities along the central street and “Nihonbashi Takarasagashi” which is a problem-solving event which will be set up all around the Nihonbashi Area, will be held.
Photogenic cherry blossom desserts and limited-time-offer established cherry blossom food stalls will be available.
“Nihonbashi Sakura Menu Walk” where cherry blossom menu items of 150 stores inside the Nihonbashi, Yaesu and Kyobashi areas will be held. You can enjoy desserts, gorgeous foods and buy daily products. Also, “Nihonbashi Sakura Yatai” will be available at Nakadori and Ukiyokoji from the 31st of March (Sat.) to the 1st of April (Sun.) where limited-time-offer original menus of established stores, hotels and commercial facilities in Nihonbashi can be enjoyed.
“Haru Ranman! Sakura Saku Nishikie” will also be held.
Various kinds of art events where you can enjoy the charms of the Nihonbashi area will be held too. On the 19th of March (Mon.), a concert titled, “Sakurano Machi no Ongakukai in Nihonbashi” produced by “Tokyo / Haru / Ongakusai” will be held. (Performances of violin, piano and sax will be held in many places in the Nihonbashi Area.) Also, The Bank of Japan Currency Museum will hold an exhibition titled, “Haru Ranman! Sakura Saku Nishikie – Nihonbashi / Edozakura Dori e Yokoso – 2018” from the 13th of March (Tue.) to the 15th of April (Sun.) where paintings of cherry blossoms like “Tokyo Shinkei Zue Nihon Hashi no Hanei” can be viewed.
Let’s enjoy these early cherry-blossom viewing events.
Review | ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM: A Magical Place Swimming With Life
ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM officially opened permanently in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, on August 28, 2020. Before that, it was simply an exhibition that was held around Tokyo which brought together over 10 million visitors throughout its run, exhibiting goldfish in a variety of breathtaking ways.
We visited ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM together with Japanese model Yuna Yabe to take a deeper dive into what lies within those doors.
ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM can be found in Nihonbashi, an area of which served as one of many places where ART AQUARIUM previously held its exhibitions. Nihonbashi is steeped in tradition and is actually the place where Japan’s goldfish culture spawned from during the Edo Period.
ART AQUARIUM was conceived and is managed by Hidetomo Kimura, an author and general producer. It’s a collaboration between art, design, and entertainment, all fused into an aquarium to create a completely unique experience. The museum has taken what was once a pop-up exhibition and expanded it many-fold, housing close around 30,000 goldfish.
The aquarium is divided into different areas each with its own unique theme that plunges visitors into a multitude of fantastical worlds. One of the must-sees when visiting ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM is the masterful Oiran works—giant goldfish bowls as pictured above—which are inspired by the red light district of the Edo Period.
Perhaps the most striking and gorgeous part of the Edo Period was Hanamachi, the districts where geisha worked. The high-ranking courtesans, known as Oiran, engaged in what was known as the Oiran Dochu, or procession of the courtesans, and this too has been captured at the museum in the designs of the beautiful fish tanks in this area.
Another unmissable part when visiting the aquarium are the Goldfish Shrines, towering fish tanks lined up like a column of water trees which make for an incredible viewing experience.
The lighting and music is ever-changing, and so transports visitors into a completely different realm every time. It can be one way one moment, and in the next instant it changes entirely.
From the second floor you can overlook the fish shrines with dynamic 3D visuals in the background. These visuals change depending on the season, so you’ll be in for a treat however many times you visit.
There are countless works of goldfish art scattered throughout the aquarium—too many to count, so your eyes will never grow tired.
Suigian Lounge – Old Pine Tree Area
ART AQUARMIUM MUSEUM even has its own dining lounge where guests can enjoy a meal while gazing at a painting of old pine trees, a cultural property of the Edo Period said to have been painted by those of the Kano school of Japanese painting. Traditional performances are also carried out on the stage for diners.
These drinks are ¥1,200 each (before tax)
Every five days, a new line-up of cocktails is served at Suigian Lounge. Japan used to be divided into 24 sekki rather than the now-used four seasons of springs, summer, autumn, and winter. These were further divided into 72 Kō, which are five days apart each. That’s where the lounge gets its idea for changing its cocktails every five days. So you’re sure to find an interesting flavour on every visit.
Kagyo Ryoran – Joy Area
Kagyo Ryoran is a separate cafe lounge at the aquarium where they serve authentic Japanese sweets in collaboration with famous confectionery shops.
From Left Clockwise: Goldfish Sarasa ¥750 / Palet D’or Cacao Soda ¥900 / Echire Butter & Cream Castella ¥800 / lohasbeans coffee Matcha Tiramisu ¥850 / Goldfish Jelly ¥750 (All Before Tax)
The cafe serves up range of tasty Japanese desserts, from traditional ones to others inspired by goldfish and some made in collaboration with other shops.
Large Plush Toys: ¥3,200 Each (Before Tax)
The aquarium event sells its own souvenirs, such as goldfish plushies in various sizes, original confections, collaborative products, and more.
“Everything was magical—the goldfish, the sounds, the lights, the atmosphere!” explains Yuna. “They have a lot of different varieties of goldfish, and the fish tanks come in all shapes and sizes, which makes for plenty of Instagram-worthy moments. And since it’s inspired by Edo culture, it has a Japanese vibe to it too. The fish are always swimming around, so no two moments are ever the same, meaning you’re offered something fresh every time you visit.”
If you’re visiting Tokyo, be sure to pay a visit to ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM.
ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM
Address: 1-3 Nihonbashihoncho, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00 (subject to change)
No Fixed Holidays
General Admission: Adults (13 and over) ¥2,300 (Tax Included) / After Dark Ticket: Adults (13 and over) ¥2,000 (Tax Included)
*Free for 12 and under
Official Website: https://artaquarium.jp/en/
*ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM is currently operating with social distancing and COVID-19 preventative measures. Special permission was granted to take these photos safely without a mask.
Japanese Chawanmushi Egg Custard Dessert Turns Into Drink in Tokyo
03.September.2020 | FOOD
Japanese food company Ninben has announced that it is extending its sales period for its drinkable chawanmushi dessert at Nihonbashi Dashi Bar in Tokyo until September 30.
Chawanmushi is a refreshing Japanese egg custard dessert that’s perfect for cooling down during the summer, and seeing as the summer heat isn’t letting down in Japan just yet, Ninben’s drinkable rendition is now available until the end of September.
Chawanmushi Drink | ¥300 (Tax Included)
The chawanmushi drink is a collaboration between the owner of Suzunari and Ninben’s Nihonbashi Dashi Bar. The drink was created to get more people enjoying the delicious taste of dashi. Exclusive to Nihonbashi Dashi Bar, which is located inside Ninben in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, the drink is being served for takeout only.
Normally, chawanmushi is eaten with a spoon, so using a straw adds an entirely new experience to enjoying the dessert. It’s seasoned with salt from Christmas Island which elevates the flavour of the egg and dashi.
It’s still hot in Tokyo, so if you’re in the city, then why not order one to cool down?
Nihonbashi Dashi Bar
Address: COREDO Muromach 1 (Floor 1F), 2-2-1 Nihonbashimuromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Official Website: www.ninben.co.jp
Tokyo’s New ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM to Open in Nihonbashi This Summer
26.July.2020 | SPOT
ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM is set to open in Nihonbashi, Tokyo on August 28, 2020. Produced by Hidetomo Kimura, the museum will be Art Aquarium’s first permanent museum which will fuse music and lighting to create a breathtaking aquarium experience
ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM will offer Art Aquarium’s biggest museum space to date, with each area having its own unique theme.
Dive into the extraordinary world of water. This area will showcase popular artworks of past events held by Art Aquarium, with artwork altered on an irregular basis from the company’s collection.
This area symbolises the modern Edo Hanamachi district, which represents the basic concept of the Art Aquarium. Feel the beautifully transient stories and gorgeous glittering world through the life of oiran.
Visitors are invited to an extraordinary world and surreal space, one with different dimensions beyond human wisdom. Is it on the ground? Underwater? In the universe? Stepping into this mysterious and overwhelming space where different worlds coexist at the same time will bring you incredibly unforgettable experiences.
Here, you can feel the Japanese aesthetics while gazing at Oimatsu, the cultural property drawn by the Kano school during the Edo period. Traditional art performances will often take place here too.
The sense of taste is most familiar to human beings among five basic human senses. Enjoy the Art Aquarium and feel the Japanese nostalgic atmosphere along with the original cuisines of the Cafe Lounge.
Souvenirs are essential for remembering the places where you have visited. Visit the gift shop and take away a piece of the dreamlike Art Aquarium world away with you.
ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM
Grand Opening: August 28, 2020
Address: 1-3 Nihonbashihoncho, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00 (subject to change)
No Fixed Holidays (Except for planned maintenance, special events, and so on)
Official Website: https://artaquarium.jp/en/
Pour Sake Into These Cups and Watch the Cherry Blossoms Bloom
23.July.2020 | FASHION
Japanese online store Fujimaki, which sells rare luxury products, released the new “Sakura no Heihai” (Cherry Blossom Sake Cup) on July 18 which has a cherry tree design on it that blossoms when cold sake is poured over it.
The cup is manufactured by Marumo Takagi, a Japanese pottery and ceramics company based in Tajimi, Gifu, which has been running for over 130 years. Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people held out on the Hanami (cherry blossom flower viewing) in Japan this year. Marumo Takagi conceived the idea for their new cup as a result of this so that people can enjoy Hanami from the comfort of their own home.
Left: Blossoms in 7 minutes with liquids near 17°C / Right: Very cold liquids cause a full bloom
Each and every cup is handmade individually, including the cherry blossom designs. The flowers bloom a faint pink when the users pours in liquid which are of a temperature around 17°C. If the liquid is very cold, the cherry blossoms take on a full bloom pattern. The white porcelain serves to emphasise the pink hues of the flowers.
The secret behind how this reaction happens lies in the tools used to draw the illustration. Seiji Takagi, the 5th generation president of Marumo Takagi, conceived the idea when he simply thought how amusing it would be to have a function on one of the company’s drinking vessels that changes as a result of temperature.
Takagi explained how the went through much trial and error to achieve their vision for the colour, something which they were more focused on than everything else in the manufacturing process.
Cherry Blossom Sake Cup (Japanese: 桜の平盃): ¥3,300 (Tax Included)
The western region of Gifu Prefecture is famous for its Japanese ceramics. It is the biggest pottery manufacturing location in Japan and has been firing up ceramics for over 1,300 years. The city of Tajimi in Gifu, where Marumo Takagi is based, has prospered when it comes to the creating sake cups. The cherry blossom sake cup comes as an innovative design and shows the true skill and art of Marumo Takagi’s artisans.
Product Page (Japanese): https://fujimaki-select.com/item/408_0001.html
Tokyo’s National Museum of Nature and Science Launches YouTube Video Exhibition On Japanese Cherry Blossoms
18.April.2020 | SPOT
National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo has posted a new series on its YouTube channel entitled “Japanese Cherry Blossoms Illustrated by Ohta Yoai, a Pioneer of the Botanical Art in Japan.”
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Ueno-based museum was forced to close its doors to the public on February 29, 2020. The museum was originally scheduled to hold the “Japanese Cherry Blossoms Illustrated by Ohta Yoai, a Pioneer of the Botanical Art in Japan” exhibition at the museum itself from March 14 to April 12, but due to the closure it was not run.
However, the exhibition planners still wanted people to see the content of the exhibition, and so they have posted three videos on YouTube to take viewers on a tour of it. The three videos, themed on “Botanical Art,” “Japanese Cherry Blossoms,” and “Ohta Yoai” are presented by Japanese botanist Masanobu Higuchi.
In the first video, we are introduced to the exhibition’s theme of Japanese cherry blossoms. We get to see examples of cherry blossom collected by Tomitaro Makino, the father of Japanese botany.
In the second video, we realm about what kind of person illustrator Ohta Yoai was, as well as botanist Jisaburo Ohwi. Both of them co-wrote the 1973 work Nihonzakura Shu (“A Collection of Japanese Cherry Blossoms”).
In the third and final video, we get to see some of Ohta Yoai’s best pieces, along with explanations of what kinds of cherry blossoms they are.
5 Must-Visit Cherry Blossom Spots in Toyota City in Aichi Prefecture For Hanami 2020
21.March.2020 | SPOT
Toyota in Aichi Prefecture is a city abundant with nature and one home to countless famous flower spots. Tourism Toyota has outlined a list of the perfect places to visit there this spring to enjoy viewing the cherry blossoms for this year’s Hanami.
Asian Fawnlily | Korankei
Korankei is a valley created by the Yodo River in Toyota, Aichi, and is said to be one of the best places in Japan to enjoy the autumn colours. In spring, an area covering 5,000m² blooms with beautiful Asian fawnlilies, dyeing the grass as a light purple carpet.
Best Time To See: Mid March – Late March
Location: Korankei, Iimori Asukecho, Toyota, Aichi
Access: Board the Meitetsu Bus bound for Yamani (矢並線) at Toyotashi Station’s East Exit, get off at Korankei (香嵐渓), and walk for 10-minutes
Official Website: https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/272/
Cherry Blossoms & Spiraea Thunbergii | Aichi Greenery Center
Every year at Aichi Greenery Center from late March to early April, the Spiraea Thunbergii, also known as Thunberg’s meadowsweet, blossom their white flowers in full along a path stretching 200 meters, which makes it look like the area is covered in snow. When the cherry blossoms bloom, their light pink flowers offer a beautiful contrast with the snowbound meadowsweet.
Best Time To See: Late March – Early April
Address: Saruta-21-1 Nishinakayamachō, Toyota, Aichi
Access: Board the Oiden Bus bound for Fujioka/Toyota Via Nishinakayama (藤岡・豊田線(西中山経由)) and get off at the Greenery Center (緑化センター)
Official Website: https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/277/
Weeping Cherry Blossoms | Kaminaka
Kaminaka is home to some incredible weeping cherry sights. Around 3,000 weeping cherry trees stretch 1km from the car park, dyeing the mountainous landscape white, red, and pink.
Best Time To See: Early to Mid April
Address: Makigahora Kaminakacho, Toyota, Aichi
Access: 27km from Shidare Interchange (枝下IC) via Sarugata Green Road (猿投グリーンロード)
Official Website: https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/225/
Weeping Cherry Blossoms | Zuiryuji Temple & Daian-ji Temple
Zuiryuji Temple is home to a weeping cherry tree that is said to be 400 years old. It is officially listed as a Natural Treasure of Aichi Prefecture. Its flowers are best enjoyed in early April when it offers a spectacular sight next to the temple gate.
Daian-ji Temple also has an ancient weeping cherry tree that is 260 years old and listed as a National Treasure of Toyota. Another row of cherry trees are located next to it, wrapping the area in gorgeous pink hues. Both of these temple trees are also lit up in the evenings, offering a different kind of beautiful atmosphere from a daytime viewing.
Best Time To See: Early April
Address: Terayama-3 Inabuchō, Toyota, Aichi
Access: Board the Oiden Bus [Kaisoku Inabu] at Toyotashi Station’s East Exit, get off at Dongurinoyu Mae (どんぐりの湯前), and walk for 10-minutes
https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/39/ (Zuiryuji Temple)
https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/697/ (Daian-ji Temple)
Wisterias | Fuji no Kairo
This 370-meter long path is known as Fuji no Kairo, or “Wisteria Corridor,” which is home to four different species of wisteria that bloom fully in the spring to the delight of those passing under it.
Best Time To See: Late April – Early May
Address: Mitsukuricho, Toyota, Aichi
Access: Board the Oiden Bus bound for Fujioka/Toyota Via Kanocho (藤岡・豊田線(加納経由)) and get off at Toyota City Hall (藤岡支所). Change onto the Fuji Bus bound for Kawaguchi/Ino (川口・飯野線), then get off at Fuji no Kairo (ふじの回廊口).
Official Website: https://www.tourismtoyota.jp/spots/detail/191/
Shirasagi Coffee: Ehime Prefecture’s Cafe Releases Springtime Cherry Blossom Menu
21.March.2020 | FOOD
Shirasagi Coffee, a cafe in Ehime Prefecture, has released a new seasonal menu full of strawberries and cherry blossoms to commemorate the spring season.
Shirasagi Coffee’s logo features a heron, a reference to a legend that says the locals of Matsuyama in Ehime noticed that a white heron healed its injured leg by bathing in the hot springs of Dōgo Onsen, one of the oldest hot springs in Japan. The cafe was renovated using furniture made from scrap wood from when Dōgo Onsen was built. It’s an artistic cafe that has garnered much attention from both locals and tourists.
Thick-Cut Natural Yeast Toast
This thick-sliced bread is provided by Panya Uzu, a bread shop also in Matsuyama, Ehime. Perfect for breakfast or lunch, it’s topped with a cherry blossom jam and mascarpone cheese cream.
Top: Cream Soda / Right: Cherry Blossom Tea Latte / Left: Cherry Blossom & Strawberry Mint Sour
This line-up of three drinks are made using seasonal strawberries grown in Ehime Prefecture.
Bavarois is a classic dessert at Shirasagi Coffee, and this one is made using matcha grown in the village of Shingu in Ehime and is coated in a cherry blossom cream.
Spring Madonna Parfait
This limited-time parfait is stacked with 12 different ingredients of varying textures and flavours, including cherry blossom, as well as Ehime strawberries, chestnuts, and matcha. It’s the culmination of Ehime’s springtime ingredients.
The cafe also serves mini parfaits, drinks and other items for takeout. Pick something out and go and observe the cherry blossoms for Hanami at Dōgo Park.
Address: 2F, 12-1 Dōgoyunomachi, Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture
Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00 (from 07:00 on weekends and public holidays)
No Fixed Holidays
Closest Station: Dogo Station via Iyotetsu
Official Website: https://shirasagicoffee.com/
*Open everyday until 22:30 from March 23, 2020
*Table reservations available on weekdays
*Breakfast-only until 11:00
Lisa Larson Designs Cute New Cherry Blossom Hedgehog Items
21.March.2020 | FASHION
An adorable new collection of items fitting for Japanese springtime have been released featuring Lisa Larson’s popular hedgehogs and cherry blossoms. Larson has an interest in Japanese culture, and has designed this line-up in time for the Hanami season.
Letter Paper Set – ¥440 (Tax Included) / Masking Tape (35mm) – ¥550 (Tax Included)
The letter paper and masking tape features cute illustrations of the hedgehogs taking a stroll amongst the cherry blossoms. A great spring gift or souvenir from Japan.
Water Absorbent Cloth – ¥660 (Tax Included) / Tea Towel – ¥660 (Tax Included)
The cloth and tea towel are perfect additions to the kitchen, whether for drying the plates, for food prep, wiping the counter, and so on. The adorable strolling hedgehogs will add a warm touch to any kitchen.
Printed Hand Towel – ¥1,540 (Tax Included)
The hedgehogs are enjoying observing the cherry blossoms on this hand towel, which is light-pink and has a gentle Japanese taste to it. The towel is made using a dyeing technique known as kata-yuzen which is used to dye fabrics for kimono in Kyoto. It’s a versatile item: it can of course be used as a kitchen towel or cloth, but also for wrapping gifts like wine too.
Mamezara Dish (Hasami Ware) – ¥1,430 (Tax Included)
The hedgehogs are in the thick of the fully-bloomed cherry blossoms on this mamezara dish, which can be used for food or placing small items like keys and accessories.
Waffles – ¥1,620 (Tax Included)
These tins, which feature Mikey and the hedgehogs, are filled with a traditional waffle confection that has been sold by Tokyo Fugetsudo since 1927. They are light and crunchy round wafers stuffed with cream.
Hanami Set 2020 (Online Orders Only) – ¥11,000 (Tax Included)
Available online only, this special set is the perfect way to enjoy Hanami in Japan this season, featuring a cute bird sake jug and more.
Celebrate the arrival of the cherry blossoms in Japan with this new line-up from Lisa Larson.
TONKACHI STORE: https://shop.tonkachi.co.jp/
Cherry Blossoms and Rape Blossoms Compete For Spring at Kusaba River in Fukuoka
19.March.2020 | SPOT
The town of Chikuzen in Fukuoka Prefecture is home to a 2km strip of cherry blossom trees which bloom their pink beauty along the Kusaba River in spring. The area sees countless people flock there during the Hanami season to see the trees in full bloom.
But Kusaba River isn’t only home to cherry blossoms; it also sees rape blossoms sprout their yellow flowers during springtime, which offers a beautiful contrast to the overhead pink from the cherry trees.
The place is lit up in the eveningsーa great chance to see the cherry blossoms in a different light at night.
Rich verdure lines the whole of Kusaba River, so be sure to visit if you’re heading to Fukuoka this spring to see the cherry and rape blossoms.
Address: 875 Hisamitsu, Chikuzen, Asakura-gun, Fukuoka
Bloom Period: Late March – Early April
Access: 5-minutes on foot from Shincho Bus Stop (新町バス停) via Nishi Tetsu Bus
Experience Hanami and Cherry Blossoms With Digital Art at FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020 – Sakura –
18.March.2020 | SPOT
FLOWERS BY NAKED is an annual flower-themed digital art event held by NAKED Inc. As part of this year’s event, FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020 – Sakura –, a special addendum event entitled “Nijo Castle Sakura Matsuri” will take place during the evenings at the World Heritage Site Nijo Castle From March 20 to April 12 this year.
FLOWERS BY NAKED is an interactive digital art experience. It has been held at Nijo Castle during the autumns of 2018 and 2019, but this will be the event’s first time being held in Kyoto during the spring season. 2020’s theme is cherry blossoms, and this will be showcased in a number of wonderful ways.
Prologue | NAKED BIG BOOK
“NAKED BIG BOOK, a monument of the beginning of this exhibition, will show collaboration works by an artist Ryotaro Muramatsu and a photographer LESLIE KEE. LESLIE KEE contained energy into photographs as the quiet expression, and Ryotaro Muramatsu reinterprets his works to dynamic photography art.”
Arrival of Spring | Kara-mon Gate (Important Cultural Property)
“Projection mapping expresses the coming of Spring on Karamon-Gate as an important cultural property.”
Flowers Wall ~ SAKURA ~ | Inner Moat
“Projection mapping of impressive sakura on the moats in Nijo-jo Castle. The landscape will transition following sakura.”
Sakura Droplets | Seiryu-en Garden
“A mystical space surrounded by real sakura where bubbles confined spring fragrance float as the sakura droplet. ”
The event is working on countermeasures against the coronavirus, such as installing disinfectants and having staff wear masks. It requests that visitors take normal measures against the infection such as cough etiquette and washing your hands. Click here for more information.
FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020 −Sakura− World Heritage Nijo-jo Castle
Running: March 20, 2020 – April 12, 2020
Opening Hours: 18:00-21:00 (Closed at 22:00)
Location: Nijo-jo Castle
Early Bird Tickets (Available until March 19, 2020) / Junior High School and Older ¥1,000, Elementary School Students ¥800
General Tickets (March 20, 2020 – April 12, 2020) / Junior High School and Older ¥1,400, Elementary School Students ¥800
*All prices above include tax. Free for preschoolers. Disability discount available.
Official Website: https://flowers.naked.works/2020nijojo-sakura/
Must-Visit Spots in Kagawa Prefecture in 2020: Cherry Blossoms, Dolphins, Bonsai & More
15.March.2020 | SPOT
Appreciation for the Seto Inland Sea in Japan is on the rise: American company Discovery named Shikoku one of its Top 10 must-visit rising locations around the world for 2020, and the city of Setouchi in Okayama has featured as a recommended travel destination in Western media. One particular location, Kagawa Prefecture, has been featured on many international travel sites as a must-visit place, including on Booking.com, Skyscanner, and REMOTE LANDS, with places such as Takamatsu, Teshima, and Shōdo Island being picked up.
Takamatsu is known as the doorstep that brings together the many islands of Seto Inland Sea. It’s a port city with great fresh food, highly convenient for travellers wanting to visit lots of different islands, and a popular region that brings together elements of Japanese culture.
Today, we take a look at some must-visit locations around Takamatsu, including a new facility opening, must-visit spots for spring to early summer, food, and more.
Shikoku Aquarium – The largest aquarium in Shikoku
Shikoku Aquarium is set to be the largest across Shikoku when it opens its doors to the public on March 20, 2020. It’s located inside Utazu Seaside Park in the town of Utazu where it will exhibit the creatures that live in Shikoku and feature the many different seaside landscapes located there. But the aquarium won’t just stop at showcasing animals, it will also be a cultural facility where you can learn about the history, culture, and natural environment of Shikoku, and there’ll be artwork perfect for the Setouchi Triennale contemporary art festival which is held around Seto Inland Sea every three years.
Address: Utazu Rinkaikoen, 4-1 Utazu, Ayauta District, Kagawa
[March 20, 2020 – September 30, 2020] 9:00-18:00
[October 1, 2020 – March 19, 2021] 10:00-18:00
[Golden Week/Summer Break] 9:00-21:00
No Fixed Holidays
Price: General (16+ Years & High School Students) ¥2,200 / Children (Elementary School Students) ¥1,200 / Toddlers (3+ Years) ¥60
Official Website: http://shikoku-aquarium.jp/
Well-Known & Little-Known-Good Cherry Blossom Spots
Kagawa Prefecture is home to many spots that offer beautiful sounds and sights throughout the four seasons. Cherry blossom season is right around the corner in Japan, so let’s take a look at some must-visit spots, both popular and little-known good ones.
Ritsurin Garden (Takamatsu)
One of the most famous historical gardens in Japan, Ritsurin Garden is home to around 320 Yoshino cherry trees, whose pink colour reflects beautifully off the lake together with the 1,000 green pine trees.
Marugame Castle (Marugame)
Marugame Castle is one of only 12 castle in Japan to have an original wooden tenshu, or castle tower, built. From the great height of the castle’s stone wall, which is the tallest in Japan, one can gaze down at 1,000 cherry blossom trees in bloom.
Around 3,000 cherry trees bloom on t he island, including Yoshino cherries, yama-zakura, and yae-zakura, which roll from the port to the lighthouse.
Asahiyama Forest Park (Mitoyo)
Asahiyama Forest Park is located on the peak of Mt. Asahi, up 238 meters high. There, you can witness 2,000 vibrant cherry blossom trees bloom in spring, including Yoshino cherries. The park’s observation deck is popular too, offering a 360° panoramic view.
Experience the world of bonsai in Kagawa, the only place in Japan which produces pine bonsai trees
Interest in bonsai trees continues to grow every year not just in Japan but overseas too. The number of people incorporating them into their lives as interior decoration is on the rise. Kagawa Prefecture is the only place in Japan which produces pine bonsai trees, the largest places being Kinashi and Kokubunji in Takamatsu. There are around 60 bonsai makers in both of these towns, so you are sure to spot some if you walk through them.
Official Website: https://takamatsu-bonsai.com/en/
The new Takamatsu Bonsai no Sato is also set to open on April 17, which will include an information centre providing information on bonsai culture in Takamatsu, and there will be workshops too. Whether you’re new to bonsai or a pro, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Takamatsu Bonsai no Sato
Grand Opening: April 17, 2020
Address: 353-1 Kokubunjichō Kokubu, Takamatsu, Kagawa
Travel to Kagawa this spring to enjoy the cherry blossoms and pay a visit to the new Shikoku Aquarium.
Top 10 Must-Try Cherry Blossom Outdoor Bathing Experiences in Japan
12.March.2020 | SPOT
Online Japanese travel website Jalan has published an article listing the Top 10 cherry blossom furo (bath) locations in Japan based on the results of a questionnaire it held.
Experiencing an outdoor Japanese bath is one thing, but it’s made even more special when coupled with the view and scent of the springtime cherry blossoms. The line-up features a list of locations praised for their scenery and the blossom of the cherry trees.
1st Place: Hotel Keikyu Aburatsubo Kanchoso | Kanagawa Prefecture
The baths at Hotel Keikyu Aburatsubo Kanchoso offer a clear view of Koajiro Bay from the hills of the Miura Peninsula. The bright blue shimmer of the ocean and the overlooking sky is made even more vibrant by the Yoshino cherry and kawazu-zakura trees that stand around the bath. It’s a tranquil spectacle as you gaze at the blue sea and enjoy your hot bath, which is full of beneficial minerals, as cherry blossom petals dance down from the trees onto the water surface.
2nd Place: Hotel Suehiro | Aichi Prefecture
This popular hotel offers a spectacular view of the ocean from the open-air rooftop bath. Around this time, the 300 Yoshino cherry trees are in full bloom down below. The common way of viewing cherry blossoms is to look up at the trees; but Hotel Suehiro offers the opposite for a unique Hanami experience.
3rd Place: Onsen Yumoto Hounoya | Nara Prefecture
Mount Yoshino is a famous cherry blossom spot as well as a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Onsen Yumoto Hounoya sits in the centre of it all, with cherry blossom trees rolling up and down all around. Enjoy a dip in the hydrogen carbonate spring water while you soak up the sights.
4th Place: Goriyaku no Yu | Chiba Prefecture
Among the mountains of the lush green city of Minamiboso lies Goriyaku no Yu. Three cherry trees bloom right in front of the open-air bath, which can be enjoy together with the striking mountains of the Yoro Ravine. Depending on the day, the petals of the cherry trees fall into the bath, dyeing it a beautiful pink.
5th Place: Fuga No Yado Chouseikan | Niigata Prefecture
Fuga No Yado Chouseikan is home to the largest open-air bath in the prefecture. It’s surrounded by 10 Yoshino cherries, which are lit up at night to create a magical atmosphere. Enjoy their full bloom together as the season for the petals’ fall begins.
6th Place: Hotel Kami no Yu Onsen | Yamanashi Prefecture
100 cherry trees can be enjoyed from the guest rooms, various baths, and inside the hotel at Kami no Yu Onsen. There are three kinds of cherry blossoms to see: the Yoshino cherry, yoshino-zakura, and yae-zakura. You can see them from the large public baths, but it’s the Hanami Furo baths that you can rent out which provide the best experience. They must be booked via telephone.
7th Place: Fujino Yamanami Onsen | Kanagawa Prefecture
This spacious open-air bath is enveloped by a gorgeous garden which blooms many different flowers through the season, including the 11 cherry blossom trees. During the day, you can enjoy the elegance of the garden, and at night it is lit up to provide a bewitching experience. The hot water is pulled from 1,800 meters below ground. The water is praised for its rich minerals which warm you from the inside.
8th Place: Awanoyu Ryokan | Nagano Prefecture
Five Yoshino cherries are planted beside this milk-coloured bubbly bath. Only in a mountainous land such as this where spring arrives late can you enjoy the cherry blossoms together with the leftover snow atop the mountains. The ryokan’s sulphur spring water contains carbon dioxide which warms the bath.
9th Place: Okayama Ikoi No Mura | Okayama Prefecture
Okayama Ikoi No Mura is a facility that offers a range of experiences, including coming into contact with animals. There are three bookable baths which offer your very own Yoshino cherry blossom tree view. The observatory deck at the facility is also popular as it overlooks the Seto Inland Sea.
10th Place: Shigisan Kanko Hotel | Nara Prefecture
Shigisan Kanko Hotel in Nara is easily reachable even from Osaka. There, guests can enjoy the full extent of the outdoors with the hot springs that reflect the mountains and the light pink Yoshino cherry trees.
These cherry tree furo baths, where even the steam of the water is dyed pink, can only be enjoyed for about half a month! So if you’re planning a trip to Japan for the spring, cherry blossoms, and Hanami, be sure to put one of these picks on your list of must-visit places.