【Kyoto Stroll】A Day Trip Bike Ride Around Tourist Spots Near Kyoto Station
Kyoto’s streets tell the story of Japan’s history, tradition and culture. The depths of Kyoto are something you will fall in love with when visiting this long-standing city. In this feature, models Una and Mei took strolled those same streets while calmly and wholly taking in the scenery before laid them. Please relish at your own leisure the trip of these two Kyoto girls, one that you can enjoy fully too if you have a free day.
A trip with fellow company means riding bikes!
It takes two hours and twenty minutes to arrive from Tokyo via the Tokaido Shinkansen. The first thing the two of them did upon arriving was drop by “Kyoto Eco Trip,” a bicycle rental shop just a short walk from Kyoto Station. What made them decide to kick their trip off with a bike ride was because you can get a feel the wonderful sights interwoven with historical architecture and nature against your skin even though you’re on the move. Kyoto has a lot of narrow alleyways, but if you’re going by bicycle you can come and go between them smoothly and unhinderedly. Plus, you have the advantage of being able to maneuver your way through open areas with speed too. Travelling by bicycle means you can discuss a route for your sightseeing as well, making it a reassuring option even for first-timers in Kyoto. There are 8 varieties of bikes to choose from at the shop, and since they’re equipped with an automatic assist function, you can ride around effortlessly.
It’s time to go. What kind of adventure is about to begin…?
Tō-ji Temple – home to Japan’s number one 5-storey pagoda
In 1994, UNESCO designated Tō-ji as part of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto” World Heritage Sites. It’s just a 5-minute bike ride from Kyoto Eco Trip.
The location is the last existing remnant of Heian-kyō, a former name for the city of Kyoto that translates to “Capital of Peace and Tranquility.” It was built as a national temple along with the relocation of the capital city (Heian-kyō) almost 1,200 years ago.
Tō-ji repeatedly experienced ruin and restoration due to war, and received its full-scale reconstruction under Toyotomi Hideyori in 1603.
Tō-ji has many worthy highlights, but its five-storey pagoda, which is an appointed national treasure, is symbolic of Kyoto.
The pagoda was completed in 883. It was burnt down several times due to thunder but was ordered to be rebuilt to what it is today in 1644 by Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third Tokugawa Shogun. At 54.8 meters (180 feet) high, it stands as the tallest wooden five-storey pagoda in Japan.
In spring, Tō-ji is also a famous location for cherry blossoms. Because it has so many varieties of the flower, you can enjoy them over a long period of time. The spectacular view of cherry blossoms surrounding sights around the temple, such as the pagoda and Mieido House, will move your heart. The cherry blossom season is almost upon us. I wanted to see it myself as a Japanese person while sipping some hot umekobucha (plum and kelp tea).
If it’s souvenirs you want, Otabe Honkan has it all!
The travelling duo wanted something sweet during their cycling trip, so they stopped by “Otabe Honkan.” If you’re looking to buy popular souvenirs from Kyoto, then this is the place to go. You can find the most perfect confectioneries as, whether as a treat for yourself or as a gift to family and friends, including a range of famous products such as “Otabe,” “Yatsuhashi” and “Kyo Baum.”
Here they are taste-testing while looking for their favourite picks. “Otabe” is the store’s specialty and an absolute must-buy. It’s made using koshihikari rice flour and red bean paste that’s cooked delicately with adzuki beans from the district of Tokachi in Hokkaido.
On the second floor of the shop you can see otabe being made in the factory through a glass window. You can even try tasting freshly made otabe. It’s soft, and you can enjoy the texture of the mouth-melting outside and the red bean paste. You’ll find yourself smiling without even realising.
Una and Mei purchased souvenirs as well as some sweets since they became hungry on their trip.
Tōfuku-ji Temple has the oldest hojo architecture in Japan
The next destination on the list is Tōfuku-ji, a Buddhist temple with priceless architecture where you can glimpse into the life of a Zen priest of the Muromachi Period. It traces back to 1255. The temple was founded by Kujō Michiie who prayed for a temple to be built with Buddha enshrined in it as a family temple for his grandfather, Fujiwara no Kanezane. It took 19 years before completion.
The chief priest garden (houjou) that underwent ruin was built anew in 1939 has continued to survive, transcending time and space. It is called “Tofuku-ji Temple Honbo Garden.” A houjou is where a priest resides. This garden is one of the four gardens that surrounds the chief priest’s houjou, each of which faces in each direction: North, East, South and West. It was created by Mirei Shigemori, a Japanese modern landscape architect.
The South garden uses the classic Japanese rock garden (karesansui) landscape. Una and Mei never grew tired no matter how many times they gazed at it, with its powerful large rocks and fine, detailed sand design.
In the North was a more novel design garden that designed with a checkered pattern. It reuses paving stones that you wouldn’t find in an everyday garden.
From the Tsuten Bridge you can see a valley known as ‘Sengyokukan’ where a small stream runs. This is the place people that makes people think of Tōfuku-ji’s red autumntime leaves. The bright red maple leaves that bury this location is truly a sight to behold. The winter branches that are gradually becoming dyed red had a real elegance to them.
The travel snacks bought at Otabe Honkan came in cute packaging that went perfect with the aesthetic of Tōfuku-ji, so the two of them took a photo to commemorate. They then moved onto the next location.
Wrapping up the trip gazing at the serene flow of Kamo River
The final place Una and Mei cycled to was Kamo River, a place steeped in Kyoto’s history just like the city itself. The river breeze is refreshing is you cycle along the riverbank.
The two of them parked their bikes up and had a fun girl’s chat while being revitalised by the flow of the beautiful river.
When summer rolls in, the tea shops and restaurants that run along Kamo River from Kiyamachi Nijou to Kiyamachi Gojou set up noryoyuka, balconies that look over the river, specially for the summer season. You will see the place bustling at the start of summer in the evenings – the only time it gets this busy.
Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Kyoto’s charm lies in its ever-changing face throughout the seasons, something you’ll entirely stuck on. It’s a place you will want to revisit time and time again.
Try renting a bicycle on your Kyoto trip and enjoy the city and all its sights in a light different from usual.
Model：Una& Mei Nagasawa
【Kyoto Stroll】 Two travellers, one day of tourist spots, gourmet food and activities in Kyoto!
Welcome back to MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON’s “Tokyo Stroll” series that recommends you travel destinations! Today, Hikari Shibata and Yuri Suganuma are leaving Tokyo and heading to the old capital Kyoto.
Together, Hikari and Yuri took the 07:00AM shinkansen train to Kyoto, arriving at 10:00AM. The first thing on their list was to fill up on some Kyoto gourmet! Sifting through Instagram and other SNS sites for the most popular spots, they decided to try some rare Kyoto confectionary at “Otabe Honkan”.
Having set their hearts on eating before sightseeing, they visited “Otabe Honkan”, a place they researched prior to their trip. After taking the subway to Jujo Station then walking for about nine minutes, they arrived.
They ordered according to what was popular online – “Kuchidoke Aisu” ( melt-in-the-mouth ice cream, ￥500 including tax), and the “Soufflé Sandwich” (￥162), which is new on the menu.
The melt-in-the-mouth “Kuchidoke Aisu” is an adzuki bean and milk shaved ice dessert which is topped with fluffy fresh cream and matcha. The Japanese word “ookini” (meaning “thank you” Kansai dialect) was written in matcha on the dessert – how cute! ♡
Hikari: The fresh cream wasn’t too sweet. Yummy!! Every now and then, I got a mouthful of adzuki beans. I really liked the variety of flavours ◎.
The new soufflé sandwich was made by adding velvety cream cheese to the bread dough.
Yuri: The soufflé was soooo fluffy! The cream cheese flavour and the sandwich is a match made in heaven!
Otabe Honkan works with a factory as a joint establishment. The factory produces a variety of popular brand confectionaries from different parts of Kyoto. Fresh Yatsuhashi is one of the famous products made by Otabe.
The factory also holds handmade sweet-making classes and allows visitors to the view the factory, so if you’re interested, check the link to the website below.
Off to Kyoto Tower – the symbol of Kyoto!
Stomachs full, the girls return to Kyoto Station and make their way to Kyoto Tower, which is the tallest building in Kyoto. The observation room is elevated 100 metres above the ground, and offers a stunning view of the streets. The many souvenir shops make it all the more popular with tourists.
On the 3rd floor of Kyoto Tower, there is a Makizushi sample-making event! (Makizushi: sushi rolled in seaweed with a filling). There are many classes running here that allow visitors to experience Japan to the full. Yuri and Hikari decided to try out something very unique to Kyoto. They headed to the Otabe dojo to learn how to make fresh Yatsuhashi sweets by hand.
Before preparation, they got changed into specialist clothing and then took a commemorative photo…but what is this photo really for?
To make these fresh Yatsuhashi by hand, the girls made a steamed flour dough, stuffed it with anko red bean paste et voila! The thick and chewy texture of the mochi made the kneading process hard work! Yuri and Hikari were silently working all the way through, kneading and kneading and kneading until their work was approved by their sensei.
Here’s a picture of their highly praised Yatsuhashi. Our confectionary chefs made plain Yatsuhashi, matcha Yatsuhashi and Murasaki Imo (purple sweet potato) Yatsuhashi! Now it’s time to enjoy the snacks with a tea ceremony!
Yuri: We made these ourselves and to no surprise, they’re delicious!
Hikari: The dough is chewy and has a gentle flavour!
At the end, the girls received a souvenir gift and a certificate, and with that, class had ended. Inside the souvenir package, there was the photo taken at the start of the class! This put a smile on their faces.
>>next page Go to Kiyomizu-dera
Kyoto’s most popular confectionery souvenir “yatsuhashi” is now on sale in cake form!
12.November.2017 | FOOD
Hi everyone, Shiota here from the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center.
“Yatsuhashi” is a well-recognised traditional Japanese confectionery in Kyoto. It’s delicious whether eaten raw or baked and is a popular souvenir item from there.
Today I’d like to show you a newly released product from Bijuu, a company known for its yatsuhashi, called “Kyo-Machiya Cake – Kokuto Kinako”!
Kyo-Machiya Cake is a new kind of sweet. It is made with yatsuhashi that has been kneaded with brown sugar and sponge cake made with soy flour. The cake is filled with soy flour ganache mixed with brown sugar red bean paste.
It comes in packs of four (￥760) and six (￥1,080) so they are perfect as a souvenir or gift to somebody.
*both prices do not include tax
They’re small making them nice and easy to eat. They also look like Western style cakes and come in stylish packaging.
When you open the package you are instantly hit with the sweet-smelling aroma of soy flour. And because the soy flour is dark roasted with domestic soya beans the smell is much more fragrant.
Let’s have a taste.
Mmm! Raw yatsuhashi is so chewy!
There’s lots of different flavours of yatsuhashi you can get your hands on nowadays like matcha and chocolate. But this is my first time eating brown sugar flavour. The fluffy texture of the sponge together with the chewy yatsuhashi is irresistible. I’ve never tasted anything like it.
Ellie: “So sweet! The aroma of the soy flour is to die for, it’s mouth-watering. The soy flour ganache between the sponge is sweet and very tasty. Plus the outside layer is yatshashi so your hands don’t get messy.”
People who aren’t too good with cinnamon or who can’t eat yatsuhashi might be able to get through one of these. You can enjoy eating it cold or try warming it up a little too!
If you find yourself in Kyoto and in need of a souvenir, then how about settling on a Kyo-Machiya Cake?
MOSHI MOSHI BOX staff recommends Osaka souvenirs!
Osaka is known as a popular sightseeing spot in Japan. So, when you visit Osaka, of course, you will want to buy some souvenirs. But you may wonder, what souvenir is a good souvenir to buy in Osaka.
In his article, the staff of MOSHI MOSHI BOX who love to travel, will introduce to you some recommended souvenirs which can be bought in and around Osaka Station.
“Nakanoshima Caramel Scotch recommended by our Spanish staff, Ruki.
It looks like a cookie but it is a snack which includes caramel and almonds.
The crunchy texture of scotch is superb. The blue box is very cute too.
“batondor” recommended by our Hong Kong staff Minimal
A special stick dessert with only eight sticks in a box.
The taste of the product is very thick compared to “Pockies” which can be bought at convenience stores and it has the flavor of butter. It is a great match with alcohol!
“Fueki Pudding” recommended by our Chinese-speaking staff, Banako
A pudding using the motif of the good-old Fueki paste container. The container can be used as an accessory case or interior. I am planning to buy it for my friends when I visit Osaka next time.
“Tenten Hitokuchi Gyoza” recommended by the Miss ID Semi-Finalist Midori
I always buy this product when I visit Osaka. I don’t cook at all but this gyoza (dumpling) is very easy to make.
It is recommended to put it into a pot during the cold season!
“Jagariko Takoyaki Aji” recommended by English-speaking staff, Ellie
Takoyaki is one of the most famous foods of Osaka. As you might know, Jagariko is a very popular snack among Japanese people but this flavor has a thick flavor of takoyaki.
It is fairy cheep and it is a very “Osaka-like” product which is suitable to be bought as a gift for your friends!
“Rikuro Ojisanno Omise – Yakitate (freshly baked) Cheese Cake” recommended by the curator of MOSHI MOSHI BOX Shiota.
A tasteful cheese cake famous in Osaka. You can watch the staff of the shop making cheese cakes! It is recommended to warm this cake up before you eat it. Of course, you can also enjoy the product after cooling it down inside a refrigerator.
How did you like our MOSHI MOSHI BOX staff recommended Osaka souvenirs? Please refer to this article when you are not sure which souvenir to buy. Let’s have fun in Osaka, a city which has lots of delicious food and unique items.
【Tokyo Stroll】Strolling in Okushibuya for half a day, which is a sophisticated town that is away from the hustle and bustle.
Okushibuya is the area including Kamiyama-cho, Tomigaya, Udagawa-cho which all are about a 15 minute walk from Shibuya station. This area is so calm and sophisticated compared to hustle and bustle Shibuya Scramble Crossing or Center Shopping Street, and I felt like I had matured just by walking around there. Today, I strolled around this sophisticated town which has a lot of great stores with the girl named Una.
Starting with the store named “ShuShu&JOJO”
“ShuShu” and “JOJO” are antique shops in Shibuya. They carry mostly French accessories, vintage miscellaneous goods, and collectors items in Europe. Today, we visited “JOJO” in Maruyama-cho.
There are a variety of items in this store. This store’s owner’s sibling has been living in France, and they try to find the items in the area where Japanese have hardly ever been. That’s why they carry so many things that you can’t find in the any other stores in Japan.
The recommended products are the only one items made with gemstones such as opal. Some of the rings are able to change sizes, so feel free to ask for that.
Address：14-11 Maruyama Town, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Hours：3:00PM to 11:00PM
To the interior house plant shop “NEOGREEN”
The next one visited was “NEOGREEN” which carries interior house plants such as bonsai and potted plants. They chose the best pot to match with each plats’ characteristics. Even though all of these are orthodox kinds of plants, they pick up the certain ones which has a unique and characteristic shape.
The shop appeared to be a forest in a sophisticated town, and you will be refreshed just by stepping in here. They have the “Green Awareness Bookshelf” which is selling books about plants.
All pots are made with china, not plastics, and the owner purposely pick out the one to go with the interior. Price starts from 1000yen. Why don’t you get green for yourself to get refreshed on your daily life?
Address：1-5 Green Hills Kamiyama1F, Kamiyama cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Hours：12:00PM to 8:00PM
Strolling Around Summertime Harajuku to “Gion Tokuya” Wearing a Yukata Rented at the “Moshi Moshi Kimono Salon”
It’s commonplace in Japan to dress up in yukata to attend the big summer events such as the various omatsuri (festivals) and going to see the hanabi (fireworks). But yukata are summer kimono, meaning they are to be only worn in summer, which would make wearing one as casual dress even more beautiful…
Today, we follow Mei Nagasawa, who is dressed in her favourite yukata, to go and do one of the things she likes to do in summer – drop by her favourite kakigori (shaved ice) shop.
Freely try on yukata just 5 minutes’ walk from Harajuku Station!
Mei Nagasawa had her yukata fitted at the Moshi Moshi Kimono Salon, which is produced by 夢乃屋 -YUMENOYA-. It is a recognsied tourist spot that offers yukata which combine two styles: “Taisho Roman,” which refers to the cultural style of the Taisho period combined with ‘romantic,’ and “Harajuku’s kawaii culture,” to create a new style called “Harajuku Roman.”
There’s a huge range of different designs to choose from, so you can have a fun time picking out which kimono or yukata suits you best! They will even help you put them on, style your hair, and you can take photos too, which makes it a very popular tourist spot.
People from all different countries visit the salon every single day. And if you’re stuck choosing which colour or design to go with, the staff will gladly assist you on choosing one that suits the occasion, or help you pick an obi (kimono sash) that suits you. If there’s anything that you need or want to know about kimono and yukata then they are there to help.
Mei: “I went with something that was similar to my usual outfit – something that just felt right at the time! Since I’m wearing Japanese clothes, I wanted something that had a kind of retro feel to it, since I like that kind of thing. My instinct told me that this was the colour to go with today. And the obi went with it, too!”
The salon’s hair and make-up stylist MAHO will set your hair beautifully based on you styling and hair accessory wishes. Mei didn’t have her hair put up and instead went with a soft and stylish bob.
Mei: “The colour of the yukata is sophisticated, and I want the hairstyle to bring out that Taisho Roman feel, so I went with a big ribbon in my hair that looks like an obi for a yukata!”
There’s also a wide selection of accessories to choose from to go with your yukata, including handbags, geta (Japanese wooden shoes) and more. It’s super fun to pick and choose what colours go with your yukata and find what suits you best. Mei picked out her choice of handbag and geta in just 10 seconds. And she took a commemorative photo before heading out to stroll the town!
Mei: “I chose a handbag and pair of geta with black on them to go with my hair accessory! Wearing black at your feet really brings your whole look together, so I definitely recommend it!”
“Healing power” spots – Seven recommended gardens in Tokyo where you can enjoy wonderful views
The year is coming to an end and I assume that many of you are searching for places with “healing powers.” In this article, I will introduce to you some gardens where you can enjoy superb views and feel refreshed.
Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden (Hamamatsucho)
This garden is located near Hamamatsucho Station and is close to Haneda Airport and Tokyo Tower. It is known as a former Daimyo’s Garden, or imperial garden of the early Edo period, along with Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden. Part of the charm of the garden is the large pond in the middle where people can walk around to appreciate the serene surroundings. The garden itself feels cemented in history and is a popular spot visited by company workers on their break, as well as by tourists.
Detailed information: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/47786
Koichikawa Korakuen (Iidabashi)
I would like to introduce to you Koishikawa Korakuen which is designated as the national beauty spot/historical site. The nearest stations are Iidabashi, Korakuen and Suidobashi. You can enjoy beautiful views while enjoying sceneries of shrines and temples. It is recommended that you walk around this garden since it is close to the stations noted above.
This garden was created by a servant of the historical figure Tsunayoshi Tokugawas and is known as one of the two most famous daimyo (Japanese vassal lord) gardens created in the Edo Period. The garden is designated as a national beauty spot. Many trees are planted inside the vast, bright garden and you can enjoy the beautiful scenery both in autumn and winter. The closest station is Komagome Station.
Shinjuku Gyoen (Shinjuku)
Shinjuku Gyoen is a park/garden which you can visit on foot from Shinjuku Station. It is very popular with tourists. In this garden surrounded by nature located in the center of Tokyo, you can enjoy a wonderful time while watching the tall buildings of Shinjuku. You can use this garden for family outings, picnics with friends or as a date spot.
Otaguro Park (Ogikubo)
The closest station is Ogikubo Station. This Japanese garden is a spot where you can enjoy a comfortable, Japanese-style atmosphere. Observing the different expressions of the trees throughout the year is a charm point of this park. The place is gathering popularity among local residents as a “healing spot.”
Mukojima Hyakkaen (Mukojima)
The closet stations are Mukojima Station and Hikibune Station. This botanical garden was created by an antique dealer during the Edo Period and has a different atmosphere than Koishikawa Korakuen and Rikugien since it was created based on the local culture of the Edo Period. You can view Sky Tree from the garden.
Kiyosumi Garden (Kiyosumi Shirakawa)
The building inside the garden used to be the compound of a wealthy merchant living during the Edo Period and the garden became a “kaiyu-shiki rinten” (circuit-style woods and pond). It has a fountain and a small mountain. It is a famous garden which was designated as a beauty spot in Tokyo. The closest garden is Kiyosumi Shirakawa Station.
How did you like our introduction to “healing spots” in Tokyo? Why not visit these beautiful Japanese gardens and come away refreshed and healed?
Italian Pop Trio Il Volo to Perform for Charity at Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto, Film to be Released
Il Volo, an Italian operatic pop trio known for its incredible tenors, will be the first foreign artist to be filmed at Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto. The concert will be held without an audience and will be filmed, with proceeds going to charity.
The musical trio is known around the world for its mesmerizing harmonies. Their music manages to sound modern while still channeling tradition, making them an excellent choice to perform at the center of Japanese cultural traditions in Kyoto. The group will also perform in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya.
The music video for the group’s song Grande Amore, released in 2015, has racked up over 200 million views on YouTube. Loved by fans around the world, Il Volo’s music transcends language barriers, and the group is sure to impress on their Japan tour.
Il Volo Japan Tour 2022 Live in Concert
Planning/Invite/Organization: Tate Corporation
In Cooperation with Sony Music Labels Inc., M.T. Studio
Banyan Tree Group Opens Garrya Nijo Castle Kyoto Hotel
26.June.2022 | SPOT
Banyan Tree Group, one of the world’s leading independent hospitality groups, held the grand opening of Galleria Nijo Castle Kyoto, on Friday, June 17, 2022. This is the first of the group’s hotels to open in Japan.
Located south of Nijo Castle, a World Heritage Site, and named after the beautiful winter flower, Galleria Nijo Castle Kyoto is a small, modern, and minimalist luxury hotel that offers simple guests a chance to recharge themselves.
For the grand opening, a new Wellbeing Room has been opened where visitors can experience quiet meditation.
Visitors can stroll through nearby gardens, temples, and shrines, take a tour of Kyoto’s many historical sites, or spend time in the Wellbeing Room meditating or practicing yoga to recharge their batteries away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
The French Restaurant Singular will also offer up healthy and tasty meals with a focus on local ingredients and producers.
Enjoy a visit to Kyoto in this peaceful space perfect for resting both body and soul.
Garrya Nijo Castle Kyoto
Address: 180-1 Ichinocho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
Access: 2-minute walk from Nijojo-mae Station on the Kyoto City Subway Tozai Line
Official Site: https://www.banyantree.com/ja/japan/garrya-nijo-castle-kyoto
Next-Generation Town-Walking Project NAKED GARDEN -ONE KYOTO- to Begin this Fall
The creative team at NAKED is teaming up with Kyoto City, Uji City, and Otsu City in Shiga Prefecture for a one-of-a-kind project. This fall, guests will be able to experience NAKED GARDEN -ONE KYOTO, a next-generation town-walking project blending the real world and the Metaverse together. Visitors will be able to experience Kyoto’s shrines, temples, and history in a whole new way.
NAKED has been working with the city of Kyoto since 2017, creating new cultural outreach and tourism programs. A number of nighttime events have taken place at Nijo Castle, including ‘virtual flower viewing’ in the midst of the pandemic. Last year, the DANDELION PROJECT began at Kamigamo Shrine, a World Heritage Site. The project brings guests around the world together virtually to pray for peace. Events have also taken place at Kiyomizu-dera, Heian Shrine, and Ninna-ji.
In 2022, NAKED will collaborate with Kyoto City, Uji City, Otsu City, and their respective tourism associations to create a Metaverse where visitors can enjoy Kyoto not only in the real world but also virtually. Art being experienced by visitors in real life can be reflected in the Metaverse, and experiences in the Metaverse can be enjoyed in a way that is unique to real events. As hard to describe as it may be, more details will be available on the NAKED GARDEN website when it opens this summer.
NAKED GARDEN -ONE KYOTO-
Coming Fall 2022
NAKED, INC. Official Site: https://naked.co.jp
Rhythm Game BlackStar ~Theater Starless~ Gets Collaborative Event at Toei Kyoto Studio Park
Toei Kyoto Studio Park will be holding a special collaboration with the rhythm game BlackStar ~Theater Starless~ for a limited time, from June 4 until July 10, 2022.
The Theater Starless Uzumaki Branch will be open inside the park during the event period. 26 themed cast members will even be greeting guests!
A stamp rally will be taking place along the Keifuku Randen Tram Line and during the event, a special train featuring a newly-drawn illustration of the five main characters and 26 mini-characters will be running through the streets of Kyoto!
Limited tickets will be sold for a number of collaborative events being held in the park, so be sure to grab yours while you can!
BlackStar ~Theater Starless~ in Uzumaki
Running: June 4 – July 10, 2022
Venues: Toei Kyoto Studio Park, Arashiyama Station, etc.
Official Site: https://blackstar-uzumasa.jp/
Official Twitter: @Blackstar_uzms
Kyoto Sweets Shop Otabe Rereleases Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Snacks with New Designs
Otabe, one of the most popular sweets souvenir shops in Kyoto, Otabe, is known for its delicious matcha and mini-desserts. Starting May 12, the company has released nine uniquely packaged sweets inspired by Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. The limited-edition packaging will feature popular characters from the series. Previously, the company released matcha cakes for the crossover–this time, fans can enjoy choco-an flavor!
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Choco-an
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Matcha
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Otabe (with Original Sticker)
Original Sticker: 15 varieties, 1 given at random
Focusing on the hashira from the series, fans will want to be on the lookout for their favorite character. These sweets can be bought at select stations in the Kyoto and Osaka area, major Kyoto tourist attractions, and online. In addition, matcha flavored treats will also be on sale featuring Tanjiro Kamado, Nezuko Kamado, Zenitsu Agatsuma, Hashibira Inosuke, Kagaya Ubuyashiki, and Muzan Kibutsuji.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Choco-an
Release Date: May 12, 2022
Price: ¥432 (Tax Included)
Where to Buy: Train station in Kyoto & Osaka area, Major Kyoto tourist attractions, online.
Hydrangea Parfait Featuring Local Matcha Available at Itohkyuemon in Kyoto
Located in Uji, Kyoto, matcha shop Itohkyuemon was founded in the late Edo period. Three cozy locations have just launched a Hydrangea Parfait, perfect for spring.
The shop’s main location is headquartered in Uji, which is also home to Mimuroto Temple, known for its hydrangeas. The flowery location attracts thousands of tourists during the rainy season.
The Hydrangea Parfait has been offered since 2013, now celebrating its 10th year. The popular seasonal treat features matcha hydrangea mashed sweet potatoes, hydrangea-colored jelly, leaf-shaped matcha cookies, and blueberries. Those ordering a parfait will also receive a hydrangea coaster as a gift, so why not enjoy the rainy season with something sweet to lift your spirits?
Itohkyuemon Hydrangea Parfait
Release Date: May 13, 2022
Participating Locations: Uji store, JR Uji Stationfront store, Shijo-dori store
Yunohana Onsen Resort Reveals Contemporary Art-Inspired Guest Rooms
Sumiya Kihoan, a cozy inn at Yunohana Onsen in Kameoka City in Kyoto, opened a unique new guest room on April 28, 2022. The room’s concept is “where guests can stay in the middle of contemporary art,” and was inspired by the works of internationally-acclaimed contemporary artist Yukinori Yanagi. The new room, created as part of the Art Room Project, has been named ‘Kofuu.’
The Icarus Corridor Connecting Heaven and Earth
Heavenly Bath Welcoming a Rainbow at Dusk
In-Ground Bath Featuring Oribe Glazed Ceramic
Concept Drawing of the Art Room Project by Yukinori Yanagi
The new room includes an open-air bath where guests can be transported into the world of Yanagi’s contemporary art while gazing at the gorgeous Kyoto landscape. Upon entering the inn, guests are greeted by a long corridor leading to the bedrooms, dining room, and two creative open-air baths. The space was created in collaboration with Yanagi and local artists and craftsmen, such as potter Ishii Naoto, obi craftsman Yamaguchi Genbei X, plasterer Kusumi Akira, and Japanese paper craftsman Hatano Wakaru. A delicious menu is prepared by chef Hosoi Kunihiko.
Ryokan Sumiya Kihoan
Address: Yunohana Onsen, Kameoka City, Kyoto
Room Details: https://hakutai.sumiya.ne.jp/artroom-kohoo/
Room Reservations: https://reserve.489ban.net/client/sumiya/0/plan/id/119287/stay?noSearch=1
Official Site: https://www.sumiya.ne.jp/
Kyoto’s Garden Museum Hiei Opens Limited-Time Collaboration Event with Violet Evergarden Anime Series
Kyoto’s Garden Museum Hiei has announced that it will host a collaboration event with Kyoto Animation’s Violet Evergarden anime franchise, entitled ‘A Story of Flowers and Letters,’ from May 3 to July 10, 2022.
The Garden Museum Hiei, an outdoor facility inspired by French Impressionism, sits near Mt. Hiei and is known for its incredible floral displays which change colors each season. “This scenery matches the image of the landscape depicted in the Violet Evergarden anime series, which led to the decision to hold this collaborative event,” the press release reads.
Visitors can enjoy collaboration visuals and standees that will only be available to see at the gardens. The event will also feature original merchandise, collaboration drinks, and a voice-recorded introduction to the facilities by Violet herself, voiced by Yui Ishikawa.
Violet Evergarden premiered in 2018. The main character, Violet, was trained to be a soldier and therefore has trouble expressing her emotions. In order to learn the meaning behind her commander’s final words, “I love you,” she embarks on a new path in life, writing letters on others’ behalf. A spin-off film was released in Japan in 2019, and a second film premiered in September 2020.
Violet Evergarden x Garden Museum Hiei ~A Story of Flowers and Letters~
Venue: Garden Museum Hiei
Running: May 3 – July 10, 2022
The Heike Story, INU-OH Character Concept Art on Display at Kyoto International Manga Museum
The Heike Story anime series premiered in Japan on Fuji TV’s +Ultra programming block on January 12. With character designs by Fumiko Takano, fans instantly fell in love with the show’s cast of characters, and an art book will be released soon, with preorders opening this week.
The Kyoto International Manga Museum has opened an exhibition displaying character concept art from SCIENCE SARU’s The Heike Story and INU-OH anime from April 21 to June 27. The exhibit commemorates The Heike Story‘s TV broadcast and INU-OH‘s theater opening in Japan. Fumiko Takano (The Heike Story) and Taiyo Matsumoto (INU-OH)’s character concept drawings are on display in Gallery 4.
Both titles are based on Hideo Furukawa’s modern language rendering of the classic Japanese epic The Tale of the Heike.
The Heike Story will additionally release an art book titled The Colors of The Heike Story in June. The book will feature an interview between art director Tomotaka Kubo and series director Naoko Yamada, and is scheduled for release in June. Those pre-ordering the book will receive a special gift.
©松本大洋 /2021 “INU-OH” Film Partners
The Heike Story – Fumiko Takano and INU-OH’s Taiyo Matsumoto Character Concept Art Exhibition
Running: April 21 – June 27, 2022
Venue: Kyoto International Manga Museum Gallery 4 (452 Kinbukicho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto)
Access: 2-minute walk from Exit 2 of Karasuma Oike Station on the Kyoto Municipal Subway Karasuma Line and Tozai Line
The Colors of The Heike Story
Price: ¥5,500 (Excluding Tax)
Format: A4 size, 112 pages
Publisher: HeHe / hehepress.com
The Heike Story Anime Series
Official Site: HEIKE-anime.asmik-ace.co.jp
Shoujuin Temple and THE THOUSAND KYOTO Collaborate on Special Afternoon Tea
THE THOUSAND KYOTO hotel will begin selling a special afternoon tea set in conjunction with the Buddhist Temple Shoujuin on May 9, 2022. These scrumptious treats can be enjoyed at the hotel’s second-floor cafe and bar TEA AND BAR until July 15.
This offering was made with the thought of escaping the summer heat in mind. Customers can enjoy eight kinds of sweet and savory dishes, from quiche and salmon sandwiches to scones with honey and sweet bean paste.
The entrance to the cafe will also be transformed to reflect the majesty of Shoujuin Temple.
The early summer scenery will be captured with majestic hydrangeas, which will surround guests and prove the perfect background for photos.
Guests can also go home with two traditional souvenirs. Both the kanouhimo and sange are lucky charms typically available at Shoujuin on holidays.
Shoujuin x TEA AND BAR Afternoon Tea ~Refreshing Green Tea Ceremony~
Running: May 9 – July 15, 2022 *Reservations required at least 2 days in advance.
Where: Cafe & Bar TEA AND BAR (THE THOUSAND KYOTO 2F)
Hours: First Seating 11:30~14:30 / Second Seating 15:30~18:30
Hydrangea Afternoon Tea Available at Art Grace Wedding Hills in Kyoto for a Limited Time
Art Grace Wedding Hills, a wedding venue in Kyoto, will offer a hydrangea-themed afternoon tea service from May 1 until June 24, 2022. Guests can enjoy this dreamy event each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Come taste these delectable dishes to welcome the summer season.
BLOOM ~Blooming Hydrangea Afternoon Tea~
Running: May 1 – June 24, 2022 (Available Friday-Sunday)
Venue: Art Grace Wedding Hills, Kyoto
Studio Ghibli Secrets Revealed in Kyoto Exhibition Featuring Miyazaki Collaborator Toshio Suzuki
The Toshio Suzuki and Ghibli Exhibition opened at The Museum of Kyoto on April 23, 2022.
Toshio Suzuki, a producer at Studio Ghibli, has worked with both Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata on a number of beloved masterpieces. The exhibition will feature a large bookshelf housing 8,800 of Suzuki’s publications. Many of these were published before Suzuki joined Studio Ghibli, and guests are invited to see how the producer was inspired to join the legendary studio after working as an editor at a manga magazine.
This exhibition was realized after Suzuki himself proposed the idea of exhibiting his books for the first time. At the press preview, Suzuki made a statement. “My dream was to collect all the books I’ve read over the past 70 years and display them in one room. Today, I’m so happy to stand in the middle of it. On one hand, I’m amazed by how much there is. On the other hand, I feel like there could always be more.”
©TS ©Studio Ghibli
The giant bookshelf containing 8,800 tomes was based on a brick-and-mortar store that once served as Suzuki’s ‘hideout.’ The wallpaper was designed by William Morris, a favorite of the producer since his youth. Among the many books on display, one area is lined with issues of Kinema Junpo, Japan’s oldest film magazine. Suzuki notes that he thought about throwing them out each time he moved, but luckily, he decided to keep them! Some issues are from the Taisho era and are incredibly valuable. If you want to read them yourself, you are welcome to do so at the exhibition!
©TS ©Studio Ghibli
Many of Studio Ghibli’s most famous works were born from casual conversations between Isao Takahata, Hayao Miyazaki, and Toshio Suzuki. Suzuki has played a large role in film advertising, including many of the memorable posters and ads almost everyone has seen. He has always included each film’s most inspiring song in television ads, which has dramatically increased audience attendance. After all, who doesn’t love the music in Studio Ghibli films?
What’s your favorite Ghibli film?
Toshio Suzuki and Studio Ghibli Exhibition
Running: April 23 – June 19, 2022
Closed on Mondays *Open on April 25, May 2
Hours: 10:00-18:00 *Open until 19:30 on Fridays (Last entry 30 minutes before closing)
Venue: The Museum of Kyoto 4F, 3F Exhibition Room (623-1 Higashikatamachi, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto)