Noteworthy Press Releases from Japan

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1. Unlocking the Wonders of Fukui with the New Hokuriku Shinkansen Stops Opening March 16, Fukui
The Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) which ends at Kanazawa at the moment will be extended to Tsuruga from March 16th, creating new opportunities to easily visit charming places like Fukui City from Tokyo (2 hours and 51 minutes minimum). Nearby Fukui City are enchanting attractions like the Tojinbo Cliffs carved by crashing waves of the Sea of Japan, the Eiheiji, a Zen Dojo with history and tradition, the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, and more. Paying homage to the region’s connection with nature and its renowned paper crafts, Fukui Station’s architecture incorporates natural materials. Just a 15-minute walk from Fukui Station, Cherry Tree Row adorns Asuwa River with colors of petals in spring. By bus, visitors can reach Asuwa Shrine in 15 minutes to witness the stunningly large and beautiful weeping cherry tree.
Hokuriku Shinkansen Fukui

2. Soak in the Edo Atmosphere at Toyosu Senkyaku Banrai from February 1, Tokyo
From February 1st, Toyosu Senkyaku Banrai, adjacent to the vibrant Toyosu Market introduces an enticing blend of an Edo-themed three-story commercial building “Toyosu Jogai Edomae Shijo” and a hot spring spa “Tokyo Toyosu Manyo Club”. Enjoy various culinary delights that use fresh ingredients from the neighboring market such as Sushi, Ramen and more, along with an extraordinary shopping experience with fresh food at an Edo-style market. The spa, on the other hand, developed by the esteemed Manyo Club renowned for luxury hot spring resorts nationwide, features water sourced from Hakone and Yugawara hot springs and boasts a serene soak with a breathtaking view of Tokyo Bay. Operating 24 hours a day and open 365 days a year, visitors can enjoy an exciting day trip observing auctions at Japan’s most famous fish market and then relax at the Edo-themed spa. An overnight stay is also possible for an additional late-night fee.
Toyosu Senkyaku Banrai

3. A Luxurious Condominium on Ishigaki Island at Hotel Condo Vivoviva Ishigaki, Opening March 1, Okinawa
Hotel condo Vivoviva Ishigaki, situated on the gorgeous Ishigaki Island in Okinawa, opens on March 1st, offering a breezy getaway in a tranquil setting where the worries world disappears. Relax at a luxurious condominium resort that fully appreciates the beauty of the clear ocean water caressing the island’s pristine beaches and vibrant coral reefs. Emphasizing privacy and freedom, all rooms featuring a calm, modern interior design are spacious enough for families and are equipped with kitchens and other convenient amenities to enhance the experience. Buildings A and B offer fantastic ocean views and guests on the first floor can enjoy a private pool while gazing out at the amazing scenery. Hotel condo Vivoviva Ishigaki is now accepting reservations. 
Hotel Condo Vivoviva

4. Botanical Garden Hana-Biyori Addition Hot Spring Facility Opens March 6, Tokyo 
Hana-Biyori, an innovative botanical garden established by YOMIURILAND, introduces the "Kakei no Yu" natural hot spring, enhancing the overall Hana-Biyori experience centered on "Scenery, Flowers, and Cuisine." Offering a scenic open-air bath at an altitude atop the Tama Hills, guests can enjoy an unparalleled view of Tokyo. Great for couples and groups of friends wanting to spend soothing time together, the bedrock bath area is open to both men and women wearing comfortable sauna clothes. Notably, the facility hosts an Edo-style Sushi restaurant operated by Ginza ONODERA. It is the first collaboration of its kind within a hot spring establishment. The fragrant Hana-Biyori Hall dazzles with colorful flower chandeliers made with over 300 pots and creatively arranged gardens, while the Japanese garden is filled with cultural assets and about 250 cherry blossom trees, making it a fun place for the whole family to appreciate creativity and nature.
Hana Biyori

5. Witness a Spectacular Part of the Shuni-e Ceremony Featuring a Purifying Sparks at Todaiji Temple, March 1-14, Nara 
This special two-week-long Buddhist ceremony spanning from March 1st to the 14th has been held for more than 1270 years to repent to the Nigatsu-do Gohonzon for daily sins and pray for peace, a good harvest and more. Though the Shuni-e Ceremony is hosted nationwide, the most notable event takes place at Nigatsu-do, part of Nara’s famous Todaiji Temple. Every night during the period, there is a fire ceremony called “Otaimatsu.” As the torchbearers advance on the Nigatsu-do stage, purifying sparks shower upon them from massive torches that are about six to eight meters long. Drawing sacred water and offering it to Kannon after midnight on the twelfth day before the next dawn is called Omizutori, and it became another name for the Shuni-e Ceremony. The Otaimatsu starts at 19:00 (about 20 minutes) on March 1st to 11th, 19:30 (about 45 minutes) on March 12th, and 18:30 (about 10 minutes) on March 14th. Visitors may not view the practice under congested conditions. Before coming to the event, it is advised to check for updates and detailed information on the home page.
The Shuni-e Ceremony

6. Animation Fans Gather at the Tokyo Anime Award Festival 2024 - March 8-11, Tokyo
Taking place in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, from March 8th to 11th, 2024, the Tokyo Anime Award Festival (TAAF) 2024 is showing a diverse array of high-quality, original animation. In this year's Competition, there are 32 submissions from 25 countries and territories for Feature Animation and 962 submissions from 68 countries and territories for Short Animation. Among them, a total of 29 films (4 feature films / 25 shorts) were selected. TAAF continues its goal to provide opportunities for new talents, and contribute to the development of the industry, as it celebrates its 11th edition. TAAF offers screenings of various works and special events including symposiums, workshops for children and so on. Animation fans should not miss it! Please visit the official website for more details about the event and where to get tickets.
Tokyo Anime Award Festival 2024

7. Tour Five Charming Traditional Sake Breweries while Strolling the Streets of Kashima City - March 23-24, Saga 
On March 23rd and 24th, Kashima City in Saga presents an enticing brewery tour for Sake enthusiasts. This event celebrates the rich heritage of Sake brewing in the city, renowned for its pure underground waters from the nearby mountains. Rich in natural resources, the area is ideal for cultivating delicious rice and brewing Sake. Embarking on this journey, visitors can explore five esteemed breweries either on foot or by complimentary shuttle buses to compare the various flavors of each brewery’s distinctive Sake. The breweries have maintained their classic design, adding to the charm of Kashima. Indulge in exquisite Sake while engaging with skilled local brewers who have gathered a wealth of knowledge related to their craft. This unique travel experience promises an immersion into Kashima's vibrant Sake culture and history, offering a delightful sojourn for all participants.
Kashima Sakagura Tourism

8. Admire Stunning Art at the World’s First Movable Galleries at Simose by the Seto Inland Sea, Hiroshima  
Simose is an expansive art complex featuring four main sections including groundbreaking art galleries, relaxing villas by the sea, a classy French restaurant featuring the local flavors of fresh ingredients from Setouchi, and impressive architectural structures that harmonize with the natural surroundings. Inspired by Hiroshima’s shipbuilding technology and the Seto Inland Sea, the museum exhibition is made up of eight movable galleries, reflecting their colorful designs over the tranquil water. Visitors can fully immerse themselves in the art by spending the night in one of the ten alluring architectural masterpieces conceived by Ban Shigeru which are spread across two distinctive areas, the Forest Villas, and the Waterfront Villas. The open designs of the Simose Art Garden Villa welcome nature and allow for spectacular views of the sky, sea, and mountains.

9. Hands-on Experience Crafting Traditional Confections, Hinagashi, in Tsuruoka, Yamagata
Recognized as Japan's first UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy in 2014, Tsuruoka, graced by the majestic Dewa Sanzan mountains and the Sea of Japan, boasts a culinary heritage born from its unique seasonal shifts and trading ports. Journey into the heart of the city and participate in a cherished tradition with a hands-on experience crafting Hinagashi, one of Tsuruoka’s famous traditional confections. These treats have acquired a distinctive form and flavor especially in Tsuruoka, which is influenced by both Kyoto and Edo food culture. This visually stunning confection is still popular today and is displayed side-by-side with Hina dolls during the famous Hinamatsuri festival (a traditional event to pray for the healthy growth of girls). Enjoy hand-crafting your own Hinagashi under the guidance of skilled artisans, molding colorful confections into various traditional shapes, Mikan (oranges or tangerines), red snapper, and many more. After creating the Hinagashi, savor moments of tranquility by indulging in the delicate sweetness and flavors, complemented perfectly by Japanese green tea.
Hinagashi Cakes

10. Living Life on the Edge in Izumo HOTEL THE CLIFF Facing the Sea of Japan, Shimane 
On the western edge of Izumo City's Taki Town, a luxurious accommodation space WINDY FARM ATOMOSPHERE was created as a picturesque development area hosting luxurious accommodations, restaurants, and more. Above the crashing waves amidst the natural scenery of Shimane Prefecture characterized by dramatic coastlines sit Izumo HOTEL THE CLIFF. All rooms at Izumo HOTEL THE CLIFF are built into the cliffs about 10 meters from the beach and have stunning ocean views overlooking the vast expanse of the Sea of Japan. Guests can also have a relaxing soak in the jacuzzi on the spacious terrace while admiring beautiful horizon. In collaboration with GARB CLIFF TERRACE, guests can enjoy delicious food made with fresh, local ingredients while gazing out at spectacular sunsets and listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean. The restaurant boasts a unique menu that infuses a variety of ingredients and genres of cuisine.


・ Item 8, 9, 10 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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