Experience Hanami in Open-Air Hot Springs at Hoshino Resorts KAI Kinugawa
25.February.2018 | SPOT
Kinugawa River in Tochigi Prefecture is about a 2-hour train or car journey from Tokyo. It’s immensely popular as an onsen, or “hot spring” site, and is close to World Heritage Sites and places of scenic beauty. The KAI Kinugawa hot spring resort at Kinugawa Onsen is offering a limited-time “Yozakura Dining” plan from April 11th to April 20th. For one night, two people can enjoy a banquet while gazing at the cherry blossom trees in the evening. You can also experience “Hanami Roten” and admire the cherry blossoms in full bloom from the site’s famous open air hot springs.
“Yozakura Dining” – admire the cherry blossoms with a springtime meal
Two people can enjoy their own private space to relish in spring dishes while viewing the evening cherry trees. The cherry blossoms cannot be seen from the regular eating spot, but in the special seats offered with “Yozakura Dining,” you can look forward to soaking in the colours of evening-time cherry blossoms illuminated with dreamy lights while sat at a table co-ordinated with the colours of spring and set with Tochigi crockery like light-coloured Mashiko ware and traditional kurobane aizome, or “Kurobane indigo-dyed” tableware. Mealtime is different and each person will be tended to individually, so there’s no need to worry about other people, allowing you to enjoy a relaxed time and atmosphere.
Time: 2 Slots – 17:30 / 19:30
Price: From ￥30,000 – Includes 1 overnight stay and 2 meals (Costs the price of one person for a room for 2 people. Service tax included.)
Reservations: 1 night for 2 people. 4 people on-site. You must book the plan 5 days in advance of the date you plan to stay.
“Hanami Roten” – behold the cherry blossoms in full bloom
At Kinugawa Onsen, you can enjoy the picturesque scenery of Japan’s four distinct seasons from the large public baths and open-air baths – from the fresh verdure in summer to the vibrant reds of autumn. The most fantastic experience of the year though is “Hanami Roten” in spring. The rows of cherry trees reflect along the surface of the water in the hot springs, granting a spectacle only observable in spring. As you raise your gaze upwards while submerged in the water, the fully bloomed cherry trees unfold before you. At night, the trees are lit up. The atmosphere changes whether you’re in there during the day or at night, offering different experiences to be enjoyed.
Time: 15:00-01:00 / 05:00-11:00 (*illuminations are turned on from sunset until 1am)
Location: Public baths
Reservations: Not required
“Haru no Yuagari Drink” – smell the cherry blossoms
Upon emerging from a relaxing bathe, you will be served “Sakura Koucha,” or black cherry blossom tea, offered exclusively in spring. Feel the call of spring while savouring the fresh taste of gentle cherry blossom fragrance.
Location: Place where you exit the bath
Reservations: Not required
Have yourself an unforgettable spring in Japan this year at Hoshino Resorts KAI Kinugawa.
Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku: The New Hot Spring Resort Hotel in Mie Prefecture
28.June.2020 | SPOT
Yukai Resort, a company in Japan which manages lots of famous hot spring resorts across the country, opened Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku in Toba, Mie on June 5, 2020.
Yukai Resort manages 29 well-established hot spring resort hotels and ryokan throughout Japan, including hotels where you can get one night with dinner and breakfast from just ¥7,500 (before tax) to ryokan where you can enjoy kaiseki meal courses, and more. All their luxury establishments feature hot springs surrounded in lush environments.
Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku opened on June 5, 2020 and is taking all of the necessary precautions against COVID-19 to protect guests and so that guests can enjoy a comfortable stay.
Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku is 10 minutes by car from Toba Aquarium and 30 minutes from Ise Grand Shrine, making it a great location to enjoy the sightseeing spots of Ise and Shima. The hotel’s concept is centred on being an “active resort” where you can get the full Toba experience with history, the sea, and activities.
The large open-air communal baths look out onto Toba Bay. The baths are designed like infinity pools, giving the effect that they are connected to the sea. Guests can enjoy a dip in the day or evening so they can enjoy both a blue sky or starry sky. There are also saunas.
There is also an indoor swimming pool with warm water, as well as foot baths, a kids play park, karaoke room, and many more fun features.
Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku also houses Yukai Resort’s first ever indoor glamping guest rooms with large tents decked with beds, sofa, carpet, cushions, and other amenities for a glamorous camping experience. There are glamping rooms with their own open-air baths that look out onto Toba Bay too, as well as both Japanese-style and Western-style rooms.
As a precaution against COVID-19, the restaurant is serving its food for takeout only until August 31, 2020. Guests can enjoy their meal in their rooms or in one of the many communal spaces. There’s plenty of health Japanese food to enjoy including sushi, Matsuzaka roast beef, eel, tuna, and more.
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.
Travel Virtually to Japan’s City of Komoro in Nagano to See Cherry Blossoms, Soak in the Onsen & More
02.April.2020 | SPOT
Komoro Tourism Bureau has developed the new “Komoro Tourism Channel” using Voicy, a news and media site which reports spoken information online. The channel focuses on the latest information with regards to tourism in Komoro, and focuses on the city’s many different hot springs.
Komoro is a city in Nagano Prefecture. Komoro Castle is home to Kaikoen Park, which was chosen as the 100 best cherry blossom spots in Japan. The city also boasts a wide variety of onsen (hot springs) which offer amazing views and numerous different bathing experiences. Komoro Tourism Channel covers all of this and more.
Komoro is about 2-hours by car via the Nerima Interchange on Kan-etsu Expressway. It’s also accessible from Tokyo via car. You can also reach it in around 24 minutes from Karuizawa Station via Shinano Railway.
Delivering the sounds of the relaxing onsen from Komoro
Komoro has eight water sources which provide water to its hot springs. The city sits 1,400 meters above sea level, from which each of its hot springs offer breathtaking views. The podcast on the hot springs, which is in Japanese, lets you feel like you’re experiencing them from your very own home. More podcasts on Komoro are planned to be released in the future, and QR codes will be implemented are various hotels and tourist facilities in Komoro which when scanned will offer voice guides to those places.
Komoro Tourism Channel: https://voicy.jp/channel/1074
The Komoro Tourism Bureau is coming up with measures to continue promoting the city during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As well as Komoro Tourism Channel, it is also releasing information on its website, Twitter page, and elsewhere.
Kaikoen Park at Komoro Castle
Kaikoen Park at Komoro Castle is a tourist hot spot in Komoro. The castle itself was chosen as one of Japan’s 100 most famous castle sites. It is also famous for the castle itself being situated lower than the town around the castle. Kaikoen Park was selected as one of Japan’s 100 best cherry blossom spots, where around 500 trees bloom Yoshino cherries, shidare-zakura, higan-zakura, and more through April every year. The “Komoro-yae-beni-share” tree is an endemic species of cherry tree to Komoro and has a deep pink colour. The park also has towering stone walls and is home to the the front castle gate.
Komoro Castle Official Website (Japanese): https://www.komoro-tour.jp/castle/
Komoro Castle Official Website (English): https://www.komoro-tour.jp/lg_en/
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.
Okinawa’s New Hot Spring Resort Lequ Okinawa Chatan Spa & Resort Opens
Lequ Okinawa Chatan Spa & Resort is the first hotel resort from Vessel Hotels. Operating on the concept of “Loving Yourself, Family, and the Town,” the hotel opened in the town of Chatan in Nakagami, Okinawa on March 1, 2020.
Rooftop Infinity Pool & Cafe/Bar
Sat atop the hotel roof is a spa which houses an infinity pool that offers an unbroken view of Chatan as well as the picturesque sunset in the evenings. There’s also a 3-meter high infinity pool, jacuzzis, and more, offering a luxurious space to relax.
Located to the side of the pool is a cafe and bar that serves a selection of original cocktails and fruity drinks as well as light food. When the sun sets and the evening settles, the pool lights are turned on, creating a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy a cup of Japanese sake or one of the refreshing cocktails while staring down at nighttime Chatan.
Vessel Hotel’s First Natural Hot Spring
Chatan Onsen hails as Vessel Hotel’s first-ever natural onsen hot spring. The water is drawn from 1,400m underground, which provides relief and relaxation from a day of sightseeing and travelling. The hot spring has towering windows, and there’s also a sauna for both men and women.
SPA SOLANI OKINAWA CHATAN – The Relaxation Salon
SPA SOLANI OKINAWA CHATAN is a “relaxation salon” which offers a Hawaiian-style spa experience using original products made using ingredients sourced in Okinawa. Oils are made with carefully-selected organic ingredients for that natural feeling. There are body treatments, messages, quick treatments, and more.
Filling Breakfasts at the Resort’s Kitchen
Vessel Hotel has brought its “Happy Breakfast Project” to Lequ Okinawa Chatan Spa & Resort. Tuck into a variety of meals prepared with Okinawan ingredients, or try one of the household classic Okinawan breakfasts. Whatever you have, you are guaranteed the Okinawan experience to start your day off.
The restaurant’s original souffle hamburger is made with a mix of Okinawan black cattle beef and Agu pork. The souffle is made in-house and prepared by the hotel guests’ hands. Food is also served in Okinawan yamuchin porcelain.
Lequ Okinawa Chatan Spa & Resort
Address: 34-2 Mihama, Chatan, Nakagami District, Okinawa
Opened: March 1, 2020
Official Website: https://www.vessel-hotel.jp/lequ/okinawa/
Fancy Cherry Blossom Notebook and Fountain Pen to be Released by PLUS and SAILOR
07.March.2020 | FASHION
PLUS Corporation and The Sailor Pen Co., Ltd. have teamed up to created a limited edition cherry blossom themed notebook, fountain pen and bottled ink set which will be released on March 16, 2020.
The set includes SAILOR’s “Professional Gear Slim” fountain pen, PLUS’s “Ca.crea Premium Cross” notebook which is perfect for writing on with the pen, and a bottle of ink.
The notebook features a gorgeous gold leaf design and a cherry blossom pink cover. The three-fold notebook is A4 size, and the durable front cover uses cross paper. The inside pages are a subtle cream colour, and the ink from the fountain pen does not leak through the pages. The pages are also smooth and level and so is nice to write on.
The pens come in two colours: pink which reminds one of cherry blossoms, and clear gold. Both pens are also glossed with golden glitter and feature a beauty cherry blossom design.
The extravagant 14k golden pen tip and lid also have cherry blossom flowers on them, as does the label of the bottled ink.
This set comes in a fitting pink gift box, making it a perfect present to stationery lovers whether to yourself, a friend, or someone starting at a new school.
Ca.crea Premium Cross x Professional Gear Slim Sakura Saku Limited-Edition Set
Release Date: March 16, 2020
Price: ¥23,000 (Before Tax)
Available: https://sailorshop.jp/ and elsewhere