Noteworthy Press Releases from Japan

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1. Tokyo’s Newest Global Innovation Hub: Toranomon Hills Station Tower, opening on October 6
Tokyo continues to innovate, attracting attention from businesses and travelers from around the world with the newly opened Toranomon Hills Station Tower. Conveniently connected to the new Toranomon Hills Station on the Hibiya Line and the Ginza Line with a bus terminal on the ground floor, the multi-purpose high-rise tower stands as an easily accessible gateway to Tokyo. The new building also houses the Hotel Toranomon Hills, Tokyo’s first upscale hotel from the Unbound Collection by Hyatt, and TOKYO NODE, which acts as a centerpiece for global businesses with its events hall, galleries, restaurants and rooftop garden, which provides a spectacular view of Tokyo. The TOKYO NODE HALL on the 46th floor is capable of hosting business conferences, presentations, exhibitions, and more against a beautiful cityscape backdrop.
Toranomon Hills

2. A Spiritual Journey on Miyajima: Daisho-in Temple Firewalking Ritual, November 15, Hiroshima
Miyajima Misen Daisho-in is the oldest temple on Miyajima and follows the Omuro school of Shingon Buddhism. Visit Daisho-in Temple and participate in their incredible firewalking ritual, which dates back to the Heian period (794–1185). Once the fire is lit after a series of elaborate performances featuring arrows and Japanese swords, the atmosphere fills with religious chants and traditional music. The purpose of the ceremony is to pray for the fulfillment of wishes by burning away afflictions. The burnt offering is fueled by wood on which prayers have been written and once it’s reduced to ashes, a path is made for priests and spectators to walk across. This extraordinary spiritual event is held on November 15th, as well as in spring.
Daisho-in Firewalking Ritual

3.Autumn in Tohoku enjoyed from the river: Abukuma Riverboat Cruise and Local Cuisine, Miyagi
Relax among the stunning scenery of Miyagi by taking a cruise on a traditional Japanese pleasure boat (Yakatabune) – the Abukuma Riverboat Cruise. The Abukuma River, which winds through Marumori town, is a wonderful place to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Tohoku’s foliage and unique rock formations carved out by the flow of time. In autumn (September-November), the tranquil waters reflect a palette of vibrant hues, casting a mirror image of nature's artistry. With seasonal Japanese hot pot meal plans like Imoni (taro soup), the tour offers a memorable experience in autumn. From December, guests can use Japanese heated tables (Kotatsu) to stay warm and cozy while floating down Tohoku’s second-longest river.
Abukuma Riverboat Cruise

4. Exploring Izumo, Where Japanese Mythology and Nature Converge, Shimane
Izumo, known as “the land of the deities,” shines as a breezy destination in Shimane Prefecture, blending cultural heritage and breathtaking landscapes. Home to the Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, where deities are said to convene, it exudes a sense of mystique that permeates its historic surroundings and intrigues travelers of all varieties. Explore the scenic shores adorned with wonders both natural and constructed, like the Hinomisaki Shrine (“Hinomisaki” meaning “cape of the sun”), or venture into the Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse. Looking up, the pristine, white lighthouse against the azure sky creates a striking image, rivaled only by the view of the coast from the top as the autumn season paints the landscape in warm hues. With a broad range of attractions, Izumo is a perfect stop for those with an interest in ancient Japanese mythology and nature. Visiting in autumn the Kamiarisai Festival at Izumo Taisha, which is famous with the Oshimenawa (gigantic sacred Shinto rope of rice straw), brings good fortune, because it is held when the deities gather from all over Japan.
Izumo City

5. Party with Kagoshima Locals at the Ohara Festival, November 2 – 3
The Ohara Festival, held around the Tenmonkan area on November 2nd-3rd each year, is the largest festival in southern Kyushu. The festival site covers the entire stretch along the streetcar line and hosting over 20,000 dancers. Starting from 1949, the festival features an array of events, with the highlight being the “So-odori” group dance performed to “Ohara-bushi,” a Kagoshima folk song. The city’s unique trams even join in on the festivities, adored with lights and other vivid decorations. As thunderous drums echo through the streets during the evening events, colorful dancers moving in unison under the warm festival lanterns lights create a mesmerizing spectacle. Though relatively modern, the Ohara Festival still represents the traditional spirit of Matsuri (festivals). With a joyous atmosphere that generates fabulous fun, the whole family can enjoy the Ohara Festival.
Ohara Festival


6. Craft Your Own Sake with Brewing Masters, Yamaguchi
Sake lovers should absolutely try this one-of-a-kind workshop offered by Shimonoseki Sake Brewery in Yamaguchi Prefecture, an area renowned for its excellent sake thanks to the region’s pristine water which has become increasingly popular, especially outside Japan. Take a tour through this century-old brewery, engage in a lecture about sake and participate in a tasting before blending components under the guidance of experts to create a flavor just for you. Combining education, culture and creativity, this three-part experience is a remarkable journey that provides a deeper appreciation of the art of Sake-making. Even those new to Japan’s national beverage will enjoy learning, tasting and creating their own souvenir that will be remembered for a lifetime.
Workshop of Making One-of-a-kind Sake


7. A Celestial Retreat in Mountains: Hoshifuru Village TENGU, Kochi
Experience a unique, nature-focused stay at the revitalized Hoshifuru Village TENGU in the Tengu Highlands, on the border between Kochi and Ehime in Shikoku. This elegant hotel at an altitude of 1,355 meters above sea level in the mountains under star-filled skies presents a harmonious blend of modern luxury and natural beauty with starlit guest rooms, an astronomical observatory and a planetarium that explores the vastness of the heavens. Resting atop the serenity of Tengu Highland with access to Shikoku Karst Natural Park, the starry Hoshifuru Village TENGU features hiking paths with seasonal panoramic views and allows guests to sleep beneath the clear, unobstructed night sky. Reconnect with nature and renew your mind at this hotel where you can see the stars.
Hoshifuru Village TENGU

8. Escape to Nature: Mt. Takao Autumn Leaves Festival's Seasonal Spectacle, October 28 - December 3, Tokyo
Mt. Takao, which is registered in the Michelin Green Guide as the most climbed mountain in the world, offers a scenic retreat in Tokyo’s southwest region just about 40 minutes from Shinjuku Station. If you’re ready for a break from the neon lights and towering skyscrapers, why not spend a day to celebrate the captivating beauty of autumn by visiting the Mt. Takao Autumn Leaves Festival in Hachioji, which runs from October 28th to December 3rd. With stunning fall foliage as a backdrop, the festival offers a wide range of activities and performances, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Mt. Takao’s unique charm while being surrounded by seasonal beauty. Complementing the scenery along the way to the top are cultural landmarks and food stalls with seasonal treats, and visitors can take a charming cable-car ride partway up the mountain among the autumn leaves. Making the rest of the way up to the summit rewards hikers with a wonderful view of Mt. Fuji.
Mt. Takao

9.Luxurious Immersive Experiences: Sake and Swordcraft, Shiga
With its proximity to Kyoto and Osaka, Shiga is an accessible-yet-tranquil destination that promises a unique and enriching experience. For international tourists, the premium Omi Memorial Tour offers visitors the opportunity to participate in unique, immersive activities in Shiga. Starting in the morning from the historic Kusatsu-juku, tour an exclusive exhibition at the museum, try traditional Japanese Kaiseki cuisine, test your blacksmith skills by creating your own sword, and treat yourself to the finest Omi beef chateaubriand steak. In addition to its rich history, the region’s abundance of pristine water produces exceptionally delicious local rice and Sake that visitors can try with a tour of the Ota Sake Brewery, overflowing with 150 years of history. This rare, luxury 2-day, 1-night tour package that includes these amazing activities is available on Wednesday and Friday until January 31st.
Omi Memorial Tour


10. Cultivating New Tea Experience at Kakuya Bessho, Shizuoka
High-quality Japanese tea has soared in popularity around the world, and Shizuoka is one of the top tea producing region in the country. The area’s unique geography and climate– which provide plenty of water from rain and natural springs from Mt. Fuji – create ideal conditions for both cultivating and brewing tea leaves. The Tea Pairing and Matcha Calligraphy experience at Kakuya Bessho is a new concept that blends different elements of Japanese culture. Using organic Matcha (green tea), which is sustainable as they use tea drinkable but unperfect for consumer products, instead of traditional ink, visitors can activate all senses and create a unique work of art through the soothing practice of Japanese calligraphy. Over time, the vibrant green color of the matcha transforms, adding even more charm to the piece itself. The harmonious pairing includes a seasonal Japanese meal made from local ingredients with tea brewed by a tea master who is happy to share his knowledge with curious guests.
Matcha Calligraphy


•       Items 3, 4, 6, 7, 10 are 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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