7 Recommended Hot Springs in Japan to Enjoy Hanami

23.March.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

It’s still pretty chilly outside, isn’t it? Let’s take a look at locations around Japan where you can enjoy the cherry blossoms while taking a dip in the onsen (hot spring). Being able to enjoy hanami while bathing in the hot water is really a luxurious experience – it’s something everyone should try.

 

 

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“Marumine Kanko Hotel” – Fukushima Prefecture

The best part about this hotel is undoubtedly their large baths with a great view! The breathtaking panoramic view from their hot springs allows for you to enjoy gorgeous sights from season to season. Their open-air baths, which are perfect for the beautiful cherry blossom season, have separate impressive themes and designs for males and females. They also have rooms that come with their own open-air baths aimed at couples and families too.

 

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Marumine Kanko Hotel

Address: 1128 Shimoyudaira, Otomachi Ashinomaki, Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture

TEL: 0242922121

Website: http://www.marumine.co.jp

 

 

 

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“Kinranso Hanayama” – Fukushima Prefecture

You can enjoy the taking a dip in an open-air bath designed like a houseboat while soaking up the view of lush nature surrounding you. Kinranso Hanayama’s unusual baths are truly a sight to see. The baths are one with nature and offer an extraordinary experience.

 

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Kinranso Hanayama – Bandaitami Onsen

Address: 4-321 Atami Atamimachi, Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture

TEL: 024-984-2111

Website: http://www.kinranso.jp

 

 

 

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“Fuga No Yado Chouseikan” – Niigata Prefecture

This hot spring has a lot of history and has been known in the area since long ago. It opened 700 years ago and is a hot spring where you can naturally feel both nature and history. When the flowers are in full bloom, large cherry blossom trees fill your vision and spellbind you without you even realising.

 

 

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Fuga No Yado Chouseikan

Address: 4632-8 Murasugi, Agano, Niigata     Prefecture

TEL: 0250662111

Website: http://www.chouseikan.co.jp

 

 

 

“Yukemuri-no-Sato Kashiwaya” – Tochigi Prefecture

This hotel has 4 open-air baths, all of which are filled with healing water and all of which immerse you Tochigi’s lavish nature. There are separate designs for the male and female baths that are a lot of fun. Two of the open-air baths that can be reserved have giant windows with a panoramic view, allowing you to enjoy the outdoor sights to your heart’s content.

 

 

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Yukemuri-no-Sato Kashiwaya

Address: 62 Kawajionsen, Takahara, Tochigi Prefecture

TEL: 0288-78-0002

Website: https://www.kashiwaya-kawaji.jp

 

 

 

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“Hotel Kaminoyu Hot Spring” – Yamanashi Prefecture

This large public bath house has a whopping 7 different baths, meaning you can find and pick which one you like the most. This site also has the second largest tarufuro, a type of wooden barrel bath. What’s more is that you can experience Mount Fuji, a starry sky and cherry blossoms at night – all at once! This one sure is luxurious.

 

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Hotel Kaminoyu Hot Spring

Address: 17 Ryuji, Kai, Yamanashi Prefecture

TEL: 0551-28-5000

Website: https://www.kaminoyu-onsen.com

 

 

 

“Bosenkan” – Gifu Prefecture

The word “river” makes up part of the name of this hotel, referring to the existence of the nearby river that you can experience. The hotel offers a variety of plans, including one for couples as well as relaxation plan, both of which are popular. For meals, you can enjoy local beef from the city of Hida, koshihikari rice that is cultivated in Gifu’s Maze River which was selected as Japan’s best clear stream, and more. The international hit movie Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) was even the city of Takayama in Gifu Prefecture. Definitely take a trip here.

 

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Bosenkan

Address: 190-1 Yunoshima, Gero, Gifu Prefecture

TEL: 0576252048

Website: https://www.bosenkan.co.jp

 

 

 

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“Asanoya” – Hyogo Prefecture

There are two open-air baths at this hotel: “Hikoboshi” (Altair) and “Orihime” (Vega). In the women’s bath, Orihime, large cherry trees bloom gracefully overhead. The hotel also has baths for couples and families that can be reserved. They even have footbaths, so it might be nice to stop by on your way back from sightseeing to heal up those weary feet.

 

 

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Asanoya

Address: 1269 Yu, Shin’onsen, Mikata District, Hyogo Prefecture

TEL: 0796921000

Website: http://www.asanoya.co.jp

 

 

 

Did you enjoy this list? Be sure to treat yourself to some self-indulging time at one of Japan’s many hot spring locations.

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  • 7 Best Travel Destinations in Japan During Spring

    18.March.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    There are many people whose eyes are set on Japan as a travel destination for its gorgeous cherry blossoms in springtime. There are dozens of famous locations across Japan where spring gives life to spectacular scenery.

     

    Let’s take a look at some of the best travel destinations in Japan where spring is the best season!

     

    “Sashimaki Shitsugen” – Akita Prefecture

    Sashimaki Shitsugen is home to a 3-hectare wetland filled entirely with Asian skunk-cabbage. There are walkways erected across the wetland, offering the opportunity to freely admire the green carpet of vegetation. The best time to see the flowers is from the middle of April to the beginning of May, during which the “Sashimaki Mizubashou Matsuri” festival is held where local cuisine and local specialties are sold. We recommend seeing it together with Nyuto Onsenkyo, a famous hot spring village.

     

    ■Information

     

    Sashimaki Shitsugen

    Address: Tazawako Sashimaki, Semboku, Akita Prefecture

    Webpage: http://www.city.semboku.akita.jp/sightseeing/spot/04_sashimaki.html

     

     

     

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    “Hanami in Koriyama” – Fukushima Prefecture

    Koriyama is located in the center of Fukushima Prefecture, the most southernly prefecture of the Tohoku area. The city of Koriyama is known as an economically developed city since the Tohoku Shinkansen stops here. It takes about 80 minutes (7,680 yen – non-reserved seat) from Tokyo on the bullet train. It’s a suitable spot to feel Japan’s four seasons and during spring (early April to late April), cherry blossoms bloom in many places. There are places where you can view 400-year old Shidarezakura (weeping cherry trees) and along Kaiseizan Park’s cherry tree-lined road you can view almost 1,300 cherry trees in bloom including the oldest Someiyoshino (Yoshino cheery tree) in Japan.

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/93861

     

     

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    “Isumi Railway” – Chiba Prefecture

    The Isumi Railway in Chiba is popular because the track is surrounded by lush greenery. The entire length of the railway extends 26.8km, around 15km of which roll past expansive rich flower beds. You are sure to get your fresh fill of spring either by gazing from the train window or looking at the railroad off the train together with the yellow plants that line the track.

     

    ■Information

    Isumi Railway

    Address: 264 Ōtaki, Ōtaki-machi, Isumi-gun, Chiba Prefecture

    TEL: 0470−82−2161

    Website: http://www.isumirail.co.jp/

     

     

     

    “Mother Farm” – Chiba Prefecture

    Mother Farm is a flower and animal theme park in the Bōsō Peninsula, Chiba Prefecture. The seasonal plants and contact between the cute animals can be enjoyed anytime throughout the year, but when spring arrives the flowers roll out in all directions. This is a recommended destination if you’re traveling with kids!

     

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    Mother Farm

    Address: 940-3 Tagura, Futtsu, Chiba Prefecture

    Opening Hours: Weekdays 9:30-16:30 / Weekends & Holidays 9:00-17:00

    Website: http://www.motherfarm.co.jp

     

     

     

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    “Toyama Bay” – Toyama Prefecture

    From March to early June, countless firefly squids rush to Toyama Bay for egg spawning. April is the most active period for spawning, during which the firefly squids radiate their magical lights. You can admire the spectacle onboard a boat tour. The fairytale-like display of the firefly squids is a sight to behold, so roll up in April for the best viewing.

     

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    Toyama Bay

    Address: 5 Kaigandori, Higashiwasemachi, Toyama-shi, Toyama Prefecture

    Toyama Kankou Navi: http://www.info-toyama.com/tokushu/toyama-bay/

     

     

     

    “Kyoto Botanical Garden” – Kyoto Prefecture

    Kyoto Botanical Garden will hold an event titled “Sakura Light Up 2018” (March 25th—April 8th) and another titled “Sakura Sanpo” (April 13th—April 16th) where the staff of the garden will guide visitors through the garden. Enjoy numerous varieties of cherry blossoms at Kyoto Botanical Garden where 250 cherry trees will bloom inside a 7,000㎡ space. The garden is also home to a range of rare plants, so be sure to visit.

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/89824

     

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    Kyoto Botanical Garden

    Address: Shimogamo Hachigo, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto

    Opening Hours: 9am-5pm (last entry 4pm)

    [March 25th – April 8th] 9:00-21:00 (last entry 20:00)

    [April 9th – May 31st] 9:00-18:30 (last entry 18:00)

    TEL: 075-701-0141

    Website: http://www.pref.kyoto.jp/plant/

    Prices: Adults ¥200 yen / High School Students ¥150 / Junior High School Students and Younger – Free

     

    *Elderly people aged 70-years-old and above and those with physical disabilities are granted free entry.

     

    Sakura Light Up 2018

    Location: Kyoto Botanical Garden “Sakurabayashi” Area

    Date: March 25th, 2018 – April 8th, 2018

    Opening Hours: Sunset (18:30) to 21:00 (last entry 20:00)

    *The regular closing time will be changed from 17:00 to 21:00 while these events are being held (last entry 20:00)

     

    Sakura Sanpo (Walking Event)

    Venue: Areas centering around Sakura Hinsyu Mihon-en

    Date:

    [April 13th–April 16th] 13:00 to 13:45

    [April 14th–April 15th] 13:00 to 13:45 / 17:00 to 17:45

    *Due to extended opening hours in spring between April 9th and May 31st, closing times will also be extended from 17:00 to 18:30 (last entry 18:00)

    *Please gather in front of Shokubutsuen Kaikan at 13:00 or 17:00 if you would like to participate in this event.

     

     

    “Huis Ten Bosch” – Nagasaki Prefecture

    March at Huis Ten Bosch is the time when tulips are in full bloom where they hold the “Tulip Matsuri” festival. In the daytime, you can admire Japan’s many varieties of tulips – 700 kinds in fact – and at nighttime, there is a show where the tulips are lit up with an organic EL display panel. Whether you’re there during the day or at night, you will enjoy an enchanting display of flowers.

     

    ■Information

    Huis Ten Bosch

    Address: 1-1 Huis Ten Bosch-cho, Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 9:00-22:00

    Website: https://www.huistenbosch.co.jp

     

     

    Did you enjoy our pick? Be sure to tick each one off your list during your travels to Japan in spring.

  • 6 Cherry Blossom Events in Japan 2018: Festivals, Digital Art & More!

    15.March.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Have you decided where you’re going to see Japan’s cherry blossoms this year?

     

    If not, then we have you covered. Here are 5 hanami events happening this year that are a little different from usual – from more traditional festivals to others using technology like AR and projection mapping.

     

     

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    Aqua Park Shinagawa – “SAKURA AQUARIUM by NAKED”
    “SAKURA AQUARIUM by NAKED” is an experience-based hanami event that will use the latest in Tokyo’s cutting-edge entertainment to combine Japanese traditional culture, digital art, cherry blossoms and the world of the sea. NAKED is a leading creative company in Japan who will use projection mapping and artwork to depict illustrations of vividly coloured cherry blossoms using all parts of the room including the ceiling, walls and floor. Guests will be completely surrounded by cherry blossoms upon entering the aquarium.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/92366

     

    ◼︎information
    SAKURA AQUARIUM by NAKED
    Running: 3 March 2018 – 15 April 2018
    URL:http://www.aqua-park.jp

     

     

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    Gotenyama Cherry Blossom Festival

    From the Edo period, Gotenyama was used for many activities and gatherings, such as a place where successive shogun engaged in falconry, and where formal tea parties were also held. It’s an area that has bred elegant culture and has even come to become a famous place to view cherry blossoms ever since the common people of the Edo Period used it as a popular retreat. This year, the festival will combine Edo, art and technology to host a range of events and activities, such as a cherry blossom light-up show, a Gotenyama tea party, a cherry blossom bar, an AR experience, and more.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/95179

     

    ■Information

    Gotenyama Cherry Blossom Festival 2018

    Locations: Gotenyama Trust City, Tokyo Marriott Hotel, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, and more

    Address: Gotenyama Trust City, 4-7-35 Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa, Tokyo

     

    Time/Date:

    Friday April 6th, 2018 @ 11:00-20:00

    Saturday April 7th, 2018 @ 11:00-20:00

    Sunday April 8th, 2018 @ 11:00-16:00 (*some events will run until 20:00)

     

    Access: 5-minutes free bus ride or 10-minute walk from Shinagawa Station via the JR Line / 5-minute walk from Kitashinagawa Station via Keihin Kyūkō Line

    *For more details on the free bus ride to and from Gotenyama Trust City and Shinagawa Station, please visit the official homepage.

    URL:http://www.trustcity-g.com/access

     

     

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    Takato Sakura Matsuri
    Takato Sakura Matsuri is held every year in Nagano Prefecture, bringing in almost 200,000 people during the cherry blossom season. There are about 1,500 cherry trees planted inside the park, which is known as one of the 3 most famous spots for hanami in Japan. This year, the festival has teamed up with famous confectionery store Ina Sweets! They are also holding a campaign where you can get your hands on some limited-edition collaborative spring sweets.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/94437

     

    ■Information
    Takato Sakura Matsuri
    Address: Takatomachi Nishitakato, Ina-shi, Nagano Prefecture
    Running: 1 April 2018 – 30 April 2018
    Opening Hours: 8:00-17:00 / High Season 6:00-20:00
    *Last entries at 21:30
    URL:
    https://takato-inacity.jp/h29/takatoh_sakuramaturi_no_goannnai

     

     

     

     

     

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    Nihonbashi Sakura Festival    
    You can look forward to enjoying an artistic hanami at this event. This year marks the 5th run of the festival, where there will be cherry blossom inspired food, a music festival, an art exhibition and much more. The main highlight of the festival is the “SAKURA TUNNEL” that will run along the road to Fukutoku Shrine where around 100 cherry blossom lanterns will illuminate the entire street in a magical pink colour.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/88158

     

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    “Nihonbashi Sakura Festival Aratani Deau, Nihonbashi, Yaesu, Kyobashi
    Running: 16 March 2018 – 15 April 2018
    Contact: Nihonbashi Information Center 03-3242-0010 (10:00-21:00)
    URL:
    Japanese Site   http://www.nihonbashi-tokyo.jp/
    English Site    http://www.nihonbashi-tokyo.jp/en/

     

     

     

     

     

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    Kichijoji Yozakura

    The dining bar “Kichijoji SUN Tama Bar” is now holding a limited spring event where the interior of the bar is decorated with 8,000 cherry blossoms and 1,500 illuminations. Tuck into some original sweets such as the “Horoyoi Parfait” and enjoy a strawberry cocktail. Sounds nice for a girls-only get-together.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/93129

     

    ■Information
    Kichijoji Yozakura 2018 -Hikari no Kawa-
    Running: Until Mid-April 2018 (Subject to Change)

    Kichijoji SUN Tama Bar
    Address: Sakigakedai 3 Bldg. 2F, 1-1-19 Kitamachi, Kichijoji, Musashino-shi, Tokyo
    Opening Hours: 18:00-02:00 (last orders 01:30) 7 Days a Week & Holidays
    No Fixed Holidays.
    Access: 10-minutes on foot from Kichijoji Station via the JR Chuo Line and Keio Inokashira Line
    URL:http://hitosara.com/0006044876/

     

     

     

     

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    Sakura Train
    Tokyo Metro are holding a campaign where you can hop on board their trains to go and see the cherry blossoms. During the campaign, the interior of Tokyo Metro 1000 series trains on the Ginza Line will be decorated in cherry blossoms. A guide to hanami in Tokyo will be displayed at each Tokyo Metro station recommending spots and places to drop by to view the cherry blossoms. There are also spots where you can receive special bonuses by presenting the booklet.

     

    ◼︎Information
    Let’s get on Tokyo Metro for go to see the cherry blossoms! ! campaign.
    Operation period: March 12th (Mon) – April 8th (Sun) 2018
    Operation section: Ginza Line Asakusa Station – Shibuya Station
    URL: https: //metro-sakura.jp

     

    Did you enjoy our list?

    Get involved in lots of cherry blossom events in Japan and have an unforgettable spring!

     

  • 5 Hotels & Ryokan to Enjoy Cherry Blossoms: From Inside Your Room to Inside a Hot Spring!

    13.March.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    At last the warm rays of spring are gradually trickling through, and already the news is rolling in for the cherry blossoms in Japan.

     

    If you’re in Japan this spring, then take a look at some of these great hotel plans you can look forward where you too can enjoy Japan’s pink season.

     

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    HOSHINOYA Kyoto
    HOSHINOYA Kyoto, the luxurious resort operated by Hoshino Resorts where every room has a view of the river, is holding four exciting activities for hanami, the traditional Japanese custom of flower viewing. The activities are themed on a hanami sojourn deep in Arashiyama.

     

    Activities include Sakura Fune (Cherry Blossom Boat), where you can enjoy hanami from a boat; the Sakura Chakai (Cherry Blossom Tea Party) where you will be seated in view of the mountain’s cherry blossoms; and Yozakura Dinner (Evening Cherry Blossom Dinner) where you can enjoy a meal amongst the lit-up cherry blossoms. Each activity offers an engaging hanami experience courtesy of Arashiyama’s spectacular cherry blossom scenery.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/85392

     

    ◼︎Information

    HOSHINOYA Kyoto
    Address: 11-2 Arashiyama Genrokuzanchō, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto (25 guest rooms)

    URL:https://hoshinoya.com/kyoto/

     

     

     

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    Kichijo CAREN – Hokkawa Hot Spring, Higashiizu

    Kichijo CAREN is a place where you can enjoy many kinds of cherry blossoms while inside a hot spring.

    The view from “Izu Kitagawa Onsen Moon Road” which was chosen as one of Japan’s 100 famous views is absolutely gorgeous. Enjoy a romantic view from either the guest room or hot spring.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/87911

     

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    Kichijo CAREN (Higashi Izu / Kitagawa Onsen)

    Address: Kitagawa Onsen, Higashiizucho, Kamogun, Shizuoka Prefecture

    TEL:0557-23-1213

    URL:http://www.kissho-caren.com/

     

     

     

     

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    Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu

    For a limited time only, you can relish in a special hotel plan and get your fill of cherry blossoms, Japan’s signal flower for spring. Gaze at the rows of cherry trees while feeling the sea breeze against your cheeks from your room balcony and enjoy a hanami experience the Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu way.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/94598

     

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    Lodging plan; “Sakura Biyori”

    Period: 2018/03/25 (Sun.) to 04/08 (Sun.)

    Room: Executive Twin Park View (balcony is installed)

    Price: 11,500 yen~ (per person, tax and service fee are included)

    ※The price noted above is the price per person when using the twin room.

    Amenity:

    • Lunch course and cherry blossom sweets item will be offered at the Chinese restaurant Turandot Yusenkyo” (3rdfloor) on the day that you are leaving the hotel.

    ※dessert buffet (weekdays) and cherry blossom dessert plate (Saturday and Sunday) will be offered.

    ➁ Cherry blossom cocktail will be offered before eating the lunch menu.

    ➂ Late check out – 12:00 (normal check out time – 11:00)

     

    TEL:045-682-2222

    URL:https://ybht.co.jp/stay/

     

     

     

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    Hotel Okura Kobe

    This hotel is offering a special one-day stay plan where guests can stay in a suite decorated entirely in cherry blossom artwork and décor. Everywhere from the entrance to the living room and bedroom is dotted with cherry blossoms, enabling you to experience Japanese hanami from inside your room. The hotel’s café/restaurant Camelia also sells sweet cherry blossom bread.

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/93145

     

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    Hotel Okura Kobe

    Address: 2-1, Hatobacho, Chuoku, Kobe

    TEL:078-333-0111

    Access: 10 minutes on foot from JR Hanshin Line Motmomachi Station, shuttle bus service is available from Sannomiya Station (the bus route goes via “Shin Kobe Station” on Saturday, Sunday and holidays)

    URL:https://www.kobe.hotelokura.co.jp/

     

     

     

     

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    Hoshino Resort KAI Kinugawa

    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.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/93077

     

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    KAI Kinugawa

    Address: 308 Kinugawaonsentaki, Nikko-shi, Tochigi Prefecture

    TEL: 0570-073-011

    URL:http://kai-ryokan.jp/kinugawa/features/spring/index.html

     

     

     

    Did you like our pick?

    Spring is coming, so be sure to use this list on your holiday trip this year.

     

  • 6 Most Popular Cherry Blossom Spots in Tokyo for Hanami – All Within 5 Minutes From the Station!

    06.February.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    At first glance, Tokyo Metropolis may not look very green, but did you know it actually has a lot of popular spots where people go to celebrate Hanami (flower-viewing)?

     

    Let’s take a look at some of those locations. All of this places in this list are within 5 minutes of a station, so they’re easy to get to! You can use this as reference for when you’re in Tokyo.

     

     

    Inokashira Park

    Inokashira Park is popular throughout the entire year for outings. There are around 500 cherry blossom trees that line the park, 250 of which sit along the pond. You can even get inside a boat and enjoy the cherry blossoms from the water. The west side of the park is home to various types of cherry blossoms, including early flowering ones that bloom from the beginning of March. The average annual time to see them come out is between March 20th and April 10th.

     

    ◼︎Information
    Inokashira Park
    Address: 1-18-31 Gotenyama, Musashino, Tokyo
    Access: 5-minutes on foot from Kichijoji Station via the JR Chuo Line / 1-minute on foot from Inokashira Park Station via the Keio Inokashira Line
    Contact: 0422-47-6900
    URL:https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/index044.html

     

     

     

    Meguro River

    During Hanami, 800 beautiful cherry blossom trees roll 4km along the Meguro River. We recommend taking a leisurely stroll down the river while looking at the flowers. There’s plenty of stylish shops along the river too, so you can even do a bit of shopping on your walk.

     

    ◼︎Information
    Meguro River
    Access: 5-minutes on foot from Meguro Station via JR Yamanote Line/ 5-minutes on foot from Fudō-mae Station via the Tokyu Meguro Line / 2-minutes on foot from Naka-Meguro Station via the Tokyu Toyoko Line / 2-minutes on foot from Ikejiri-Ōhashi Station via the Tokyu Meguro Line

    URL:http://www.city.meguro.tokyo.jp/gyosei/shokai_rekishi/event/sakura.html

     

     

     

    阿巧さん(@achiao1987)がシェアした投稿

     

    Mori Garden – Roppongi Hills

    Mori Garden is a Japanese style garden located in the skyscraper district of Roppongi Hills. It’s also another place where you can see the cherry blossoms. The garden is also lit up at night, creating a magical and memorable scene: beautiful cherry blossoms lit up in a traditional Japanese garden. Try looking out over the garden from a high place for a collaborative view of Tokyo Tower and cherry blossoms.

     

    ◼︎Information
    Roppongi Hills
    Address: 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo
    Opening Hours: Weekdays 7:00-21:00 / Weekends 8:00-21:00
    Access: 3-minutes on foot from Roppongi Station via the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line / 6-minutes on footo from Roppongi Station via the Toei Oedo Line
    Contact: 03-6406-6000
    URL:http://www.roppongihills.com/

     

     

    Miyukiさん(@leciel_0314)がシェアした投稿


     

    Ueno Park

    One of the most popular spots for viewing the cherry blossoms is Ueno Park, drawing in tourists every year. There’s a direct connection to the park via train services. With around 800 trees, expect to see varieties including the Yoshino Cherry and Yamazakura. There’s even a zoo and a museum in the park, so you can make it a day trip.

    ◼︎Information
    Ueno Park
    Address: 5-20 Ueno Park, Taito, Tokyo
    Opening Hours: 5:00-23:00
    Access: 2-minutes on foot from Ueno Station via the JR Yamanote Line JR Keihin-Tohoku Line, JR Takasaki Line, JR Utsunomiya Line, Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line / 1-minute on foot from Keisei Ueno Station via the Keisei Main Line
    Contact: 03-3828-5644
    URL:http://www.kensetsu.metro.tokyo.jp/jimusho/toubuk/ueno/index_top.html

     

     

     

    @sayurigramがシェアした投稿


     

    Yaesu Sakura-dori
    If you take the Yaesu Exit at Tokyo Station, you will find Yaesu Sakura-dori. Despite being in the heart of the city, this place is famous as a cherry blossom location where you can see around 150 Yoshino Cherries. You can see them lit up beautifully at night, making it a popular spot for Hanami among salary men and office workers on their way back from work. The “Sakura Matsuri” is also held in April every year, a bustling cherry blossom festival with street stalls and alcohol.

     

    ◼︎Information
    Yaesu Sakura-dori
    Access: Right outside Tokyo Station across all JR lines / Right outside Nihombashi Station via the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line and Tokyo Metro Tozai Line

     

     

     

     

    Shinjuku Gyoen

    Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden was listed as one of Japan’s 100 most famous cherry blossom spots. The park is home to 1,100 cherry blossom trees spanning 65 types, allowing you to enjoy a lush selection. Part of the park’s charm is how long Hanami lasts there: because there’s so many different varieties of trees there, the bloom times are different, so it usually lasts from the end of March to the end of April.

     

    ◼︎Information
    Shinjuku Gyoen
    Address: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo
    Access: 5-minutes on foot from Sendagaya Station via the JR Sobu Line / 1-minutes on foot from Shinjuku Station South Exit via the JR Lines, Keio Line and Odakyu Line / 5-minutes on foot from Shinjuku Gyoenmae Station via the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line
    Contact: 03-3350-0151
    URL:http://fng.or.jp/shinjuku/

     

     

    Did you enjoy your list? When the cherry blossoms are in full bloom there are lots of festivals to be enjoyed around Tokyo, so be sure to check them out.

     

    Enjoy springtime Japan by getting involved with Hanami

  • Top Spring Festivals in Japan: Events in March, April & May 2018

    05.February.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Japan holds many traditional festivals and events every year. Today, we will take a look at some of the traditional springtime omatsuri and events happening in Japan from March to May.

     

    Omizutori

     

    Omizutori, or the sacred water-drawing festival, is an annual event that takes place in the Todai-ji temple’s Nigatsu-do in Nara for 2 weeks starting on March 1st. It’s a Japanese Buddhist festival that has continually taken place since the 8th century where people confess their sins before Buddha and pray for things like world peace. It’s known as the “festival that tolls the spring” as the temperature starts to get warmer once omizutori ends.

     

    Hinamatsuri

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    Celebrated on March 3rd every year, Hinamatsuri is also known as “Doll’s Day” or “Girls’ Day.” During the festival, people pray for the sound health and growth of girls which is marked by putting dolls on display wearing traditional imperial court attire from the Heian Period. Households with girls in them are decorated with peach blossoms and the family enjoy a traditional meal together. The “Hokyoji Temple” in Kyoto is also known as the “Doll Temple” as every year, between March 1st and April 3rd, dolls of women from the imperial family are displayed.

     

    Hanami

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    Towards the end of March, news about the opening and full bloom of cherry blossoms begins to roll in, beginning from the hot south region of Japan. This is known as the “Cherry Blossom Front.” Generally, hanami is a time when Japanese people go to view the cherry blossoms. There are many famous cherry blossom sites around the whole of Japan all of which are bustling with people every year. When the cherry blossoms, known as sakura in Japan, are in full bloom, you will see many people sat under the trees with friends and family enjoying food and drinks.

     

    Entrance Ceremony

     

    Makikomiさん(@mkomi51)がシェアした投稿

    The school entrance ceremony (nyuugakushiki) is one of the main events of April in Japan The ceremonies are held across schools in Japan to welcome incoming students to their new schools. April is also the beginning of Japan’s fiscal year when the nyuushashiki is held, or welcoming ceremony for new employees. Companies welcome new staff who have just graduated school. You could say that April being the start of everything is unique to Japan.

     

    Children’s Day

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    Until 1948, May 5th was known as Tango no Sekku and was a day to celebrate the growth of boys. It was renamed Kodomo no Hi, or “Children’s Day,” by the Japanese government to include boys and girls and became a national holiday. On this day, koinobori carp flags are raised outside people’s houses as the Japanese carp (koi) is a symbol of vitality and success.

     

    Kanda Matsuri

     

    折野さん(@orino0507)がシェアした投稿

    Kanda Matsuri is held annually for 6 days from the middle of May at Kanda Shrine in Chiyoda, Tokyo. The festival stands alongside Yasaka Shrine’s “Gion Matsuri” and Ōsaka Tenman-gū’s “Tenjin Matsuri” as one of 3 biggest festivals in Japan. One of the main events of the festival is the Shinkousai held from morning to night where a huge parade and gorgeous portable shrine is taken around Kanda, Nihonbashi, Marunouchi, Akihabara and more. Lots of tourists attend to see the spectacle.

     

    Did you enjoy our list? There are so many festivals and events to enjoy in Japan. If you’re coming here in spring, then make sure to experience one of the traditional ones to really get a feel for the culture.

  • Seven “experience spring” plans of “Hoshinoya” throughout Japan

    29.January.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Hoshino Resort is an accommodation brand which has more than 30 accommodations throughout Japan including “onsen” accommodations called, “Kai,” resort hotels called, “Resonale,” and Japanse-style resort hotels called “Hoshinoya.” In this article, I will introduce to you some experience-based plans to enjoy the spring season produced by “Hoshinoya.”

     

    Hoshinoya Karuizawa “Datsu Digital Taizai 2018”

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    “Hoshinoya Karuizawa” located it Nagano Prefecture, Karuizawa will hold a three-day and two-night program of enjoying the nature in Karuizawa without carrying any digital gadgets called “Datsu Digital Taizai 2018” from the 1st of March, 2018 to the 20th of July. Most people in this modern age are using PCs and smartphones daily and some of them are building up stress inside their mind. This program offers an experience of enjoying the nature of Karuizawa and playing with horses so as to release the stress of the participators.

     

    Detailed information:

    https://hoshinoya.com/karuizawa/experience/datsudigital-2018/

     

     

     

    Hoshinoya Tokyo “Tokyo / Yozakura Fune Asobi”

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    “Hoshinoya Tokyo” will hold an activity titled, “Tokyo Yozakura Fune Asobi” where participators can enjoy the night view of cherry blossoms while riding on a boat and going on a night cruise from the 25th of March to  the 10th of April. The boat will depart from Nihonbashi (bridge) which is 5 minutes by car from Hoshinoya Tokyo and pass Sumida River, Tajima Coast and Oyokogawa where they can view beautiful cherry blossoms. This is a 60- minute boat tour. The contrast between cherry blossoms and the night view of Tokyo is magical and superb. Also, participators can wear light-colored clothes and do up their hair. Let’s enjoy the night view and the cherry blossoms viewed from a boat while eating a bento box-lunch of “Shin Kaika” and drinking nihonsyu (Japanese sake).

     

    Detailed information:https://hoshinoya.com/tokyo/

    Detailed information:https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/86754

     

     

     

    Hoshinoya Fuji “Haru no Syuryoniku Dinner”

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    “Hoshinoya Fuji” located in Yamanashi Prefecture will offer “Haru no Syuryoniku Dinner” which is an experience based on a “Dutch-oven dinner” course from the 16th of March 2018 to the 30th of June. This dinner is a spring version of the dinner course that uses “venison” and “brawn” and other spring ingredients. The course is very healthy since it uses lots of wild vegetables and spring vegetables.

     

    Detailed information:https://hoshinoya.com/fuji/dining/

     

     

     

    Hoshinoya Kyoto “Takeno Yusan”

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    “Hoshinoya Kyoto,” an accommodation located in Arashiyama, Kyoto with a beautiful river-view, will hold a program called, “Takenoko Yusan” where you can harvest takenokos (bamboo sprouts), then learn how to cook them and eat them from the 25th of March 2018 to the 15th of April. In this program, you can enjoy harvesting takenokos in mountain bamboo groves where you cannot normally enter. After harvesting takenokos, you can enjoy eating dishes using the takenokos you harvested at your evening meal at Hoshinoya Kyoto. Then, on the next day, you can participate in the workshop held by the head chef of Hoshinoya Kyoto and learn how to cook takenoko. It is a program where you can enjoy learning about the harvesting of takenoko which is a standard ingredient of Kyoto cuisine.

     

    Detailed information:https://hoshinoya.com/kyoto/experience/takenoko/

     

     

     

    Hoshinoya Kyoto “Okuarashiyama no Hanami Toryu”

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    This is also a program offered by Hoshinoya Kyoto. Four cherry-blossom viewing activities will be held from the 25th of March 2018 to the 15th  of April. You can enjoy the view of Okuarashiyama by participating in the event called, “Harutsuyu no Noyusan,” an early-morning hiking where you can enjoy the view of Okuarashiyama from the observation deck, “Sakurabune” where you can enjoy the view of cherry blossoms while riding on a boat, “Sakura Chakai” where you can enjoy a tea party in front of Yamazakura and “Yozakura Dinner” where you can enjoy eating dinner in front of the lit up cherry blossoms of Okuarashiyama.

     

    Detailed information:https://hoshinoya.com/kyoto/

     

     

     

    Hoshinoya Kyoto “Mizube no Kojitsu / Haru”

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    They will hold an accomodation-based spa program “Mizube no Kojitsu / Haru” from the 1st of March 2018 to the 31st of May. “Mizube no Kojitsu” is a two-day and one-night personal spa program” based on Eastern medicine. Also, this program includes another program of learning how to make healthy Japanese desserts from artisans. Moreover, they will offer a time where the  participants can refresh their body and mind by offering herb roots/tree bark teas, acupuncture treatment and a lecture on body exercise.

     

    Detailed information:http://hoshinoyakyoto.jp/#/spa/spa01

     

     

     

    Hoshinoya Taketomijima “Iriomote Jungle Butler / Haru”

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    “Hoshinoya Taketomijima” located on Taketom Island, Okinawa will hold an activity tour which a jungle guide of Iriomote Island (a person who knows well about the island” will guide the participants around the island. The content and schedule of the tour can be decided at will with the jungle guide. You can experience the tropical jungle of Iriomote Island while staying at Taketomi Island where the traditional culture of Okinawa still remains such as red tile, shiisa (lion shaped monuments) and white sand roads.

     

    Detailed information:https://hoshinoya.com/taketomijima/

     

     

     

    Let’s enjoy the gorgeous accommodation plans of Hoshino Resort.

     

     

    ■Information

    Hoshino Resort:http://www.hoshinoresort.com/

     

RELATED ENTRIES

  • 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.

     

    About Komoro

    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

    Official Websites:

    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.

    Sweet Bavarois

    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.

    Takeout Drinks

    Mini Parfait

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

     

    Shikoku Aquarium

    Address: Utazu Rinkaikoen, 4-1 Utazu, Ayauta District, Kagawa

    Opening Hours:

    [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.

     

    ■Well-Known Spots

    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.

    ■Little-Known-Good Spots

    Megijima (Takamatsu)

    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

    08.March.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    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.

  • 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.

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