Japan Tourism Topics
1. Music lovers' new haven: stay at the new Hilton Yokohama, opening September 24, Kanagawa
The Hilton Yokohama is set to open in the vibrant Minato Mirai district of Yokohama on September 24th. The hotel will claim its space in the brand-new Music Terrace, a complex hosting the 20,000-seat K Arena Yokohama. Hotel guests can relish in the city's ambiance and the lingering notes of music, courtesy of its floor-to-ceiling windows, showcasing majestic views of Yokohama Bay. What's more, each room is equipped with high-quality Bluetooth speakers, ensuring a stay enveloped in melodies perfect for all music enthusiasts.
Drawing inspiration from the Art Deco architectural style, synonymous with the era when Yokohama was known as the birthplace of Japanese jazz, guests can witness this motif reflecting throughout the hotel. The Hilton Yokohama offers easy access to Yokohama's main attractions, such as the Yokohama Landmark Tower and Chinatown. Even Tokyo's bustling metropolitan area is just a one-hour train ride away!
2. Plunge into a crimson expanse at Kinchakuda Manjushage Park, from mid-September, Saitama
Kinchakuda Manjushage Park, located in Hidaka, Saitama, is a stunning showcase of various flowers, but the real show-stoppers are the red spider lilies (Manjushage). In autumn, these flowers cover the entire park with a layer of rich, deep red, like a vast carpet spread out for a grand, natural performance. This breathtaking scene is one of the most impressive autumn displays in Japan.
From mid-September to early October, the park becomes a magnet for over 250,000 visitors, drawn by these spectacular blooming flowers. The sight of the red spider lilies is complemented by the lively array of stalls of the Manjushage Festival, held from September 16th (Sat) to October 1st (Sun), 2023, offering delicious food, handmade crafts, and local produce, making it not just a feast for the eyes but also a celebration of the season's bounty.
The park, a 22-hectare flatland encircled by the winding Koma River, is a feast of colors that changes with the seasons, making every visit a unique and memorable experience. Being only a little over one hour away from central Tokyo, the area is also perfect for day trips.
3. See a moonlit spectacle at Sumiyoshi Taisha's Kangetsu-sai Festival (Moon-Viewing Festival), September 29, Osaka
On September 29th, Sumiyoshi Taisha transforms into a lunar spectacle as it hosts the Kangetsu-sai. This enchanting moon-viewing festival, Osaka's most representative, coincides with the Harvest Moon and honors the deity of Waka, traditional Japanese poetry, who is enshrined in the sanctuary.
The festival begins with a ceremony at the shrine's main sanctuary, followed by a series of cultural activities set against the backdrop of the rising moon. Visitors can listen to the lyrical recitation of Waka and Haiku poetry, while spectators get a chance to witness the captivating Sumiyoshi dance, performed by children.The Sorihashi bridge, known for its distinctive arch, serves as the stage for the recitations. Here, both priests and amateur poets alike deliver their verses under the moonlight. This ethereal interplay of poetry, dance, and the moon's glow against the bridge creates an emotionally charged atmosphere that attracts crowds yearning for the beauty of the mid-autumn moon.
4. Explore Japan's earliest autumn foliage at Daisetsuzan Asahidake, Hokkaido
Immersed within Japan's largest mountainous national park. Daisetsuzan Asahidake is known for its splendid autumn foliage. Asahidake is acclaimed as Japan's earliest display of autumn colors. It dons the vibrant hues of fall from late August and reaches its peak around mid-September.
Visitors can easily reach this multi-hued expression of seasonal change. A bus ride from Asahikawa Station leads to Asahidake Sanroku station, where a brief ropeway journey carries spectators to the breathtaking sight of autumn leaves unfurling at an altitude of 1,600m.
Here, visitors are treated to a vision of fall colors sprawling across the landscape. A leisurely stroll around the 1.7km Sugatami Pond Course provides an opportunity for even novices to appreciate the seasonal beauty of rowan trees and Aleutian avens (Chinguruma) shrubs. The area also has more difficult trekking routes. The nearby Asahidake Hot Springs has nine lodging options, three of which allow day trip bathing, completing an all-encompassing hiking
5. Step into history with a guided tour of Nakatsugawa-juku's timeless back alleys, Gifu
Once a bustling hive of commercial activity, Nakatsugawa-juku is positioned strategically along the Nakasendo, a road constructed over four centuries ago that connected Edo (present-day Tokyo) and Kyoto.
Led by an expert guide, visitors can embark on an immersive two to three-hour journey into Nakatsugawa-juku's captivating history. Every twisting alley is brimming with the recollections of the town's past residents, whose lives and pursuits have left an indelible mark on the town's cultural and historical fabric. Structures preserving the Edo period's ambiance line the streets, offering a stroll that feels like a trip back in time.
The tour uncovers a variety of fascinating locations, including historic buildings and other hidden treasures. The exploration is complemented by an Origami workshop and a visit to a Sake brewery, with a tasting session to savor the local flavors. The itinerary also includes a visit to a well-known Japanese sweet shop known for its chestnut confections. Chestnuts are one of Gifu Prefecture's specialty products, and Nakatsugawa is said to be the birthplace of
"Kuri Kinton" (a chestnut-based Wagashi), which is sold in many specialty shops throughout town.
・ Item 5 is based on information from JNTO Partners.
・ The above details are correct as of the time of publication, and are subject to change.
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