Tokyo Infiorata 2018 to Welcome Tourists With Tokyo Themed Floral Welcome Carpets

18.February.2018 | SPOT

The Hanae Cultural Association will host the second Tokyo Infiorata from March 21st to May 27th, continuing from last year’s event.

 

東京インフィオラータ2018

When the cherry blossoms bloom and fresh verdure signals the spring, tourists from all across the globe head to Tokyo for the hanami (flower-viewing) season. Japan’s springtime scenery, which begins with cherry blossoms and transitions to sprouts of new green leaves, is part of Japan’s culture and tourism recognized around the world.

 

インフィオラータ2

Taking advantage of that, many places around Tokyo roll out ‘welcome carpets’ handmade with flowers by locals to invite people to those parts of Tokyo that aren’t considered tourist spots to welcome all tourists – from both Japan and overseas.

 

インフィオラータ

Infiorata is an event held on the first Thursday 60 days after Easter to commemorate Corpus Christi. The main highlight of the event is the handmade floral carpets created by locals.

 

東京インフィオラータ

At Tokyo Infiorata last year, approximately 20,000 “Tokyoites” attended to see the 50 welcome carpets scattered around 18 locations throughout Tokyo, beginning with Tokyo Garden Terrace Kioicho.

 

beyond2020プログラム

The event’s return this year promises to be even bigger, where it will be held in over 30 places around the capital throughout Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama. It has also been officially recognised as part of the “Beyond 2020 Program” by the Cabinet Secretariat of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

 

観光文化

Don’t miss out on Tokyo’s new cultural tourism created by the city’s locals.

 

■Information

Tokyo Infiorata 2018

Running: March 21, 2018 – May 27, 2018

Location: 30 venues around Tokyo (*Currently 27 announced as of February 15th)

       (1)Emio Shakuji Park – March 10th to March 14th

       (2)LaLaport SHIN MISATO – March 10th to March 25th

       (3)Marronnier Gate Ginza – March 12th to April 15th

       (4)Tokyo Garden Terrace Kioicho – March 21st to March 25th (*Opening ceremony venue – March 21st at 17:00)

       (5)The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho – March 21st to March 24th

       (6)Tokyo Dome City – March 21st to March 25th

       (7)Tokyo Bay Symphony Cruise – March 21st to March 25th

       (8)Iidabashi Grand Bloom – March 24th to March 27th

       (9)Ario Nishi-Arai – March 24th to April 1st

       (10)Nikke Colton Plaza – March 26th to April 6th

       (11)Ochanomizu Sola City – March 30th to April 3rd

       (12)SHIN-YOKOHAMA Prince PePe – March 31st to April 4th

       (13)Sangenjaya Furenai Square – April 1st to April 2nd

       (14)Terrace Square – April 1st to April 5th

       (15)Gotenyama Trust City – April 6th to April 8th

       (16)Hachijō-jima (Sokodo Port passenger waiting area) – April 6th to April 8th

       (17)Hachijō-jima (Hachijōjima Airport) – April 7th to April 8th

       (18)Hachijō-jima (Gallery) – April 7th to April 8th

       (19)Hachijō-jima (“Ojare” multipurpose hall) – April 7th to April 8th

       (20)NHK Studio Park – April 12th to April 16th

       (21)AKASAKA INTERCITY AIR – April 14th to April 18th

       (22)KITTE – April 14th to April 18th

       (23)Urawa CORSO – April 28th to May 4th

       (24)Tokyo Opera City – May 4th to May 8th

       (25)Keisei Rose Garden – May 11th to June 17th

       *Dates for the remaining locations are currently being prepared.

 

Homepage: http://www.tokyo-infiorata.com

 

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    09.September.2019 | BUSINESS / SPOT

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  • Gamers! Rally Your Teammates For A New Quest: TOKYO GAME SHOW

    05.September.2019 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    The TOKYO GAME SHOW is in a league of its own. It is a mecca for gamers who cannot get enough of Japanese games and entertainment. This is where Japan’s major game publishers from all kinds of platforms unite to put on an enormous exhibition. 

    This includes the opportunity to explore games that are yet to be released as well as hear new announcements about the direction developers are steering the future of gaming. There’s no lagging behind. This is a major event for the gaming industry, raking in leagues of heroes every year. 

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    For those of you who love cosplay, this event is your chance to finally meet your fantasy. The outside area of Hall 9 will have a Cosplaying Area Stage where two events will take place: a cosplay fashion show and a gathering. 

    On Saturday 14th, Hall 1 event stage will hold the Cosplay Collection Night@2019 event where participants and event staff will take over the stage in game character cosplay. Spectating is free, so feel free to watch as each cosplayer dominates the entire stage, showing off their excellent craftsmanship and skills as they walk the runway and strike a pose definitely worth saving in your highlights! 

     

    On Sunday 15th at 2:30 pm, cosplayers will take to the stage in units of two or more to put on a dance or combat show that you just cannot critically miss out on. 

     

    Schedule:

    September 14 (Sat)  From 12:00 ー Cosplay Runway  From 15:30 ー Cosplay Runway

    September 15 (Sun) From 13:30 ー Cosplay Runway From 14:30 ー Cosplay Dance and Combat Shows From 15:30 ー Cosplay Runway

    The Gathering is where cosplayers can interact with one another and have photos taken ー the perfect opportunity to send those friend requests. On September 14, a gathering dedicated to the Final Fantasy Tales Series will take place on the Cosplay Area Stage. On September 15, there will be gatherings for the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors series.

     

    Schedule:

    September 14  13:00-13:30 Final Fantasy Series Gathering  14:00-15:00 Final Fantasy Tales Series Gathering 

    September 15 12:30-13:00 Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors Series Gathering

    More information on the exhibitions, booths and events will be announced on the morning of September 12 so please check it out. 

     

    There is no better way to multi kill your time than to spend the entire day at TOKYO GAME SHOW 2019 ー get your tickets and GLHF!

  • 5 Temples in Kyoto Announce Exclusive Viewings For Their Secret Cultural Assets

    05.September.2019 | SPOT

    The history of Yamashina dates back over 1,400 years when Kyoto, then known as “Heian-kyō,” was the official capital of Japan. Located in the southeastern part of Kyoto, Yamashina is rich in history, abound with nature, and has maintained a traditional industry that has gone unbroken since ancient times.

     

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    They are as follows.

    Anshoji Temple’s Wooden Jūichimen Kannon Statue (Important National Treasure)

    Kajū-ji Temple’s Sliding Door Panel Artwork  – “Eight Views of Ōmi” & “Tatsuta River Autumn Leaves” (Important National Treasures)

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  • Kobe Readies For Rugby World Cup With Hospitable Events

    03.September.2019 | SPOT

    The 2019 Rugby World Cup is set to take place in Japan from September 20 to November 2. Many stadiums are hosting the games across Japan this year, one of which is Kobe Misaki Stadium. It is predicted that there will be many people visiting the city of Kobe for the World Cup.

    The competing teams at Kobe Misaki Stadium, also known as Noevir Stadium Kobe, are as follows: England vs USA on September 30, Ireland vs Russia on October 3, and South Africa vs Canada on October 8. An estimated 120,000 spectators will be present across the four matches, around 30,000 of which arriving from overseas.

     

    In response to the many fans set to appear in Japan’s sixth-largest city, venues are shops across Kobe are set to serve up a classic plate of Japanese omotenashi―or “hospitality―with a line-up of events and tours. Let’s take a look at just some of the exciting things the city has planned for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

     

    1. Meriken Park Fanzone in Kobe

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    2. Hospitable Events

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    MUSIC&DANCE@KOBE PORTOPIA Night 2019

    From big disco hits to rock tunes, EDM beats and groove, enjoy a feel-good late-night dance and music party at the fancy Kobe Portopia Hotel. Soak up the warm summer evening while freestyle boogieing.

    YORU-BAR ~Night Food Festival~

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    3. KOBE Experience Guided Tour

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    *All programs available in English only

    Premium Kobe beef at the almost 150-year-old restaurant Oi Nikuten

    Kobe beef is one of the three top brands of high-quality Japanese Wagyu beef. It’s the most well-known and popular type of Wagyu in Japan. With this program, you will learn various ways to enjoy Kobe beef at Oi Nikuten, a long-standing restaurant that first opened back in 1871.

     

    ▼Bookings

    https://www.viator.com/tours/Kobe/Various-ways-to-enjoy-Kobe-beef-Long-established-store/d27432-165105P24

    Experience Zen Meditation at Tenjoji Temple in Kobe City

    Immerse yourself in traditional Japanese culture with Zen meditation session at Tenjoji Temple. Learn all about the rich history of the temple with an incredible guided walk before sinking deep into meditation.

     

    ▼Bookings

    https://www.govoyagin.com/ja/activities/japan-kobe-experience-zen-meditation-tenjo-ji-kobe-city/11290

     

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    03.September.2019 | SPOT

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  • Himeji Castle Places Number 1 On Japan’s Top 20 Castles For 4th Year in a Row

    03.September.2019 | SPOT

    TripAdvisor® has just released its list of the top 20 castles in Japan from 2019 as reviewed by travellers and tourists.

    Himeiji Castle

    This is the 7th time the website has run this list. Coming in at No. 1 for the fourth year in a row is none other than Himeiji Castle, located in the city of Himeiji in Hyogo Prefecture.

    Matsumoro Castle

    Kumamoto Castle

    Moving up from 4th place to 2nd place this year is Matsumoto Castle in Nagano Prefecture, and from not ranking at all last year to 3rd place this year Kumamoto Castle. These top three castles comes as a package as they are considered Japan’s three premier castles.

     

    Kumamoto Castle is set to re-open this autumn after reconstruction work is complete. The castle suffered damages after the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes. Although time is required for the full restoration, you can still see the majestic tower keep surrounded by paling. Japanese users on TripAdvisor have commended it as a symbol of restoration and their joy with the repairs being done.

    Hirosaki Castle

    For the first time in four years, Hirosaki Castle ranks on the list in 12th place. Situated in central Hirosaki in Aomori Prefecture, the castle is a known living symbol of the Edo Period (1603-1868). Construction work has been taking place since 2015 to repair the base of the castle structure on the east side due to deterioration. In summer 2015, the castle tower was moved 70 meters without taking the castle apart to allow for work to be carried out. A moving castle is certainly a rare sight to see in Japan-and something you only imagine from a Studio Ghibli movie!

     

    The castle has been praised on TripAdvisor for how beautiful its surrounding nature is, from the cherry blossoms in spring to the red and yellow leaves in autumn. The castle can be enjoyed throughout all the seasons.

    Tsuyama Castle

    Making the list for the first time ever is Tsuyama Castle which can be found in the beautiful Kakuzan Park in Okayama. When you ascend the magnificent stone steps of the castle and turn around you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city of Tsuyama. In spring, the castle’s white watchtowers look picturesque next to the pink cherry blossom trees.

     

    From castles that have been maintained since they were first built to others that have been rebuilt from their former forms, there are countless sites to behold while in Japan. Be sure to use the Top 20 list as reference when travelling there!

  • A Magical Ice Village is Forming This Winter at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu in Hokkaido

    01.September.2019 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts Tomamu―one of Hokkaido’s leading snow resorts―is set to open a new area called the Ice Village this winter. It will run for a limited time from December 10 to March 14.

    The Ice Village spans coolly across 3.2 hectares of land and is home to 11 domes made entirely of ice. This winter-only experience has been running every year since 1998. Made to look like a real village, some of its iconic sights include the Ice Church and Ice Hotel which can be found at the very back. Everything from the towering ceilings to the walls are formed solely of ice.

     

    The main street, named fittingly the “Ice Street,” includes a cafe, gallery, shops and more, all enveloped in a chilly white world.

     

    Ice Crystal Park: A New Addition to the Ice Village to Gaze at the Sights and Scenery

    The Ice Crystal Park is frozen over with tables and chairs made of ice and has snowflakes dotted here and there, creating a true winter wonderland. Order a hot drink from the Ice Bakery & Cafe or munch on a tasty treat from the Ice Sweets Shop as you sit and gaze at the snow-covered landscape of the Ice Village while surrounded by towering white birch trees. And everyday at 19:30, a 5-minute firework show will warm up the winter sky which is best enjoyed while sitting in the park.

     

    Time: 17:00-22:00

    Price: Free

     

    Bite Down Frosty Treats at the Ice Sweets Shop

     

    It wouldn’t be a complete Ice Village without its own glacial cuisine. At the Ice Sweets Shop you can order ice cream which is made from liquid milk on an ice block. The temperature of the air coupled with the frozen coolness of the ice block causes the milk to freeze into a yummy dessert. There’s also chocolate ice bars made from hot chocolate, colourful macarons, toasted marshmallows, and more.

     

    Time: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:00)

    Price: Milk Gelato – from ¥1,100 / Macarons ¥550 / Ice Bar ¥550 / Marshmallows ¥550 (*All prices include tax)

     

    Grab a Drink From the Ice Bar

    The village even has its own Ice Bar, complete with an ice counter and ice cellar for serving sake. This year, the bar will serve an all-new original gin drink made using snowmelt from Tomamu. There are over 50 drinks to pick from, including original cocktails, whisky, and more.

     

    Time: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:45)

    Price: Original Gin – ¥1,650 / Drinks With Ice Glass – from ¥1,100 (*All prices include tax)

     

    There are many other exciting things to find at the ice village, including the Ice Hotel which you can sleep in, the Ice Atelier, and more. Have a reason to go out this winter by visiting the Ice Village in Hokkaido.

  • Transvaal Daisies & Wind Chimes Cool Down You This Summer at Kasuga Shrine in Fukuoka

    31.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Situated on the northern shore of Kyushu is Fukuoka Prefecture, a hot spot for tourists and travellers both Japanese and foreign, particularly those visiting from parts of Asia such as China, Taiwan and South Korea.

     

    When it comes to delicious Japanese food, Fukuoka is high on the list, home to a bounty of incredible restaurants. It’s the same with shopping too―there are countless stores to rummage through with shelves lined with innumerable things you’ll want to buy.

     

    But your Fukuoka experience will not be complete without a trip to one of the prefecture’s breathtaking tourist spots. Today, we are visiting Kasuga Shrine (not to be confused with Kasuga Grand Shrine in Nara), and we are joined by Japanese Instagram user Rie, who posts about her trips around Kyushu, and who has provided us with her experience visiting the shrine along with photos. You’ll find out how to get there and the must-see aspects.

    Kasuga Shrine is located in the city of Kasuga, Fukuoka. It’s about a 30-minute drive from Fukuoka city. But if you’re looking to catch the public transport, you’ll want to hop on the JR Line to Kasuga Station, or you can board the Nishitetsu Bus and get off at Kasuga (春日). The shrine is about a 7-minute walk from either of these stops.

     

    The shrine has a long history. Its origins are said to lie in Emperor Tenji enshrining the male deity Ame-no-Koyane-no-mikoto there.

     

    In the shrine grounds there is a camphor tree called “Kasuga no Mori” (The Grove of Kasuga) which is registered as a natural monument. The shrine is also home to a festival called “Kasuga no Muko Oshi” which has also been designated as an significant intangible folk cultural asset.

    But what’s been catching people’s attention recently is the flower-filled chōzuya. A chōzuya, also known as a temizuya, is a water basin placed at shrines and temples in Japan which visitors use to cleanse themselves before entering the shrine or temple.

     

    It’s more common in May and June to see hydrangeas placed in the basins, but at Kasuga Shrine they flutter in transvaal daisies♡

    The flowers were placed in there on August 19 and will remain there until September 1. During the same period, there are lots of beautiful wind chimes being strung up around the shrine ground. Their tranquil sound as the breeze blows, together with the watery flowers, are enough to make you feel cool this summer.

    If you’re looking to find more beautiful places to visit around Kyushu, Rie has plenty of recommendations on her Instagam page so be sure to give her a follow.

     

    Photos by Rie

  • Shibuya’s New Tourist Information Center is Open For Business at Night & Offers Airport Bus Service

    31.August.2019 | SPOT

    Tokyu Land Corporation has announced that Shibuya’s all-new tourist information center will be named “shibuya-san.” Located on the first floor of Shibuya FUKURAS, the tourist information and are center is set to open its doors to the public this December.

     

    Tourist Information: Where you can become a Shibuya local

    The tourist information section of the center is staffed by people from countries around the world, from Europe to Asia, most of which are non-Japanese students studying abroad. They are able to offer detailed tourist and sightseeing information for Shibuya from the perspective of a “foreigner in Japan.”

     

    The center also does away with the ordinary set-up of most tourist information centers in which you speak to someone over the counter. Instead, tourists entering shibuya-san will be greeted directly by staff and talk to them side by side.

     

    They also offer English guide books with a map produced by Time Out Tokyo. Time Out is a city guide service published in 108 countries around the world in 39 languages.

     

    Art Center: Where art brings Shibuya and the world together

    shibuya-san will be the first tourist information center in Japan to have its own art gallery. Being located right in front of Shibuya Station means that people visiting from around the world will be exposed to Shibuya’s culture through art. Focused on “Travel, City & People,” the art gallery will offer not only exhibitions and performances, but also events in which tourists can participate, as well as opportunities to talk directly with artists.

     

    Open Late: Shibuya’s nightlife propelled with the center’s night hours

    Almost all tourist information centers close in the late afternoon/early evening, but not shibuya-san. Shibuya’s nightlife is a huge part of the city’s culture, and so to make it more accessible to tourists, shibuya-san will be open until 11:00pm, offering helpful information and suggestions for getting around and enjoying yourself after-hours.

     

    shibuya-san even has its own drinks counter where alcohol is served in the evenings. Events will be held there periodically where you can meet and talk with people.

     

    Limousine Buses: Haneda Airport and Narita Airport

    The bus terminal in front of the tourist center offers regular buses and will soon offer airport limousine buses from Haneda and Narita Airport. They will serve to create a new doorstep to Shibuya at Shibuya Station’s west exit for tourists visiting Shibuya. They will begin running in early December.

     

    Whether you’re visiting Shibuya for the first time or are a returning guest, find out all there is to know about the area when shibuya-san opens this December.

  • teamLab Now Holding Digital Art Exhibition at World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto

    31.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    With the increase in number of collaborations between contemporary digital art and traditional and historical Kyoto sites, teamLab is getting in on the action with its new digital art exhibition “Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine.”

     

    We are joined by Instagrammer Macchan who recently attended the exhibition and who has provided photos for us.

     

    Shimogamo Shrine is a shrine located between the Kamo River and Mount Kōya. It was registered it as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The shrine is associated good luck in marriage and welcomes sightseers from Japan and around the world. It can be reached by the 205 Bus from Kyoto Station and getting off at either Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社) or Tadasu Forest (糺ノ森前). It’s also about a 20-minute taxi ride from Kyoto Station.

     

    This marks the third run of teamLab’s “Digitized Forest” exhibition at Shimogamo Shrine, and this year’s exhibition has been made even bigger. It is running until September 2, 2019.

    Floating by the Rōmon Gate of the shrine are spheres of light which change colour and emit various musical tones unique to the colour when touched by a person. They also react to the other spheres around them, changing to the same colour and letting out the same tone, creating a chain reaction.

    Egg-shaped orbs of light can be found dotted around the Tadasu Forest by the shrine which illuminate the trees. Like the light spheres, when the eggs are pushed they change colour and play a musical noise specific to that colour, the sound and tone spreading through the forest.

    These objects of light can also be found at Mitarashi Pond where they float on the water. The orbs shine brightly and then fade slowly as if breathing. If pushed by people or blown by the wind they will change colour and emit sound.

     

    The best part about teamLab’s art exhibitions is how visitors become part of the exhibition itself by interacting with the installations, offering a much more engaging experience than simply looking. Visit Shimogamo Shrine before the exhibition ends to see digital art meet a traditional Japanese shrine at night.

     

     

    If you’re looking for more sightseeing recommendations for Kyoto then be sure to follow Macchan on Instagram!

     

    Photos by まっちゃん

  • Kagoshima’s Sengan-en Gardens Nominated For Best Attraction in Travel & Tourism Awards

    29.August.2019 | SPOT

    Both Sengan-en, Shoko Shuseikan Museum and Satsuma Kiriko Glassworks have been nominated for “Best Attraction” in the 2019 Travel & Tourism Awards, which are held in London every year as part of World Travel Market London (WTM).

    This year marks the 40th run of WTM London, which brings together over 50,000 travel and tourism professionals from 186 countries to spread the latest tourism trends and must-visit locations around the world. The Travel & Tourism Awards is a universally recognised stamp of approval, held in front of over 500 seniors in the travel industry.

    Sengan-en, Shoko Shuseikan Museum, and Satsuma Kiriko Glassworks have been recognised and nominated for their renovation efforts which have increased tourism. They are up against six other facilities in the same category, including Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter by Warner Bros Studios.

     

    With only one entry from Japan, which location will take home the award? Japan will be watching intently for the reveal on November 5.

  • Japan’s Keio Line Releases ‘Goshuin’ Stamp Book For Tourists

    29.August.2019 | SPOT

    In response to the rapidly increasing number of foreign tourists to Japan in recent years, Keio Corporation has designed an original Keio Line goshuin stamp book which will be released at the “Central Honshu Information Plaza in Keio Shinjuku” at Shinjuku Station on September 1.

     

    A Goshuincho is a book for collecting goshuin, which are stamps or seals given at shrines and temples across Japan. Every shrine and temple has its own unique goshuin which are stamped alongside calligraphy handwritten by the staff there and then who write the date and the name of the temple or shrine.

     

    When purchasing Keio’s book, you are given a pamphlet―available in English only―featuring lots of different sites you can receive goshuin up and down the train line.

    Sites include the Buddhist temple Yakuou-in (Hachioji, Tokyo), Takahata Fudoson Kongo-ji Temple (Hino, Tokyo), Ōkunitama Shrine (Chofu, Tokyo), Jindaiji Temple (Chofu, Tokyo), and Ohmiya-Hachimangu (Suginami, Tokyo). The pamphlet also explains how to obtain a stamp as well as the correct way to worship at these locations. It also details information about train ticket discounts on the Keio Line for foreign travellers which were introduced in February this year.

    The book will also be available to purchase at Keio Rail-Land from October 14.

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