Food & Drink
Tokyo Kōenji Awa-Odori is a traditional mid-summer seasonal event tied to over 400 years of history. The main festival began in 1957 through a cultural exchange with Tokushima Prefecture, where the festival originated. In recent years, it has become a mainstay of Tokyo’s summer, featuring 10,000 dancers and a million cheering onlookers. The 2023 festival, the 64th holding of the event, will be the first festival in four years due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporters and staff have collaborated to accelerate preparations amidst an air of anxious excitement. Teams called “Ren” perform various dances to atmospheric Japanese music that combines handbells, hand drums, taiko drums, flutes, and shamisen, making for an incredible scene.
You can now view this traditional Japanese performance in a laid-back atmosphere from a special, premium space that includes food and drink. You will also receive a bottle of a unique, original beer from the craft brewery “& BEER,” originating from Kōenji Temple.
Living with Shimanto River, the “Last Clear Stream”: Exploring the Symbiotic Relationship between People and Rivers through Dragonflies and River Fishing
'- Special Content (1): World’s first nature reserve for dragonflies
Until recently, it had been believed that leaving extraordinary natural environments alone was enough to keep them in good condition. Efforts at Dragonfly Nature Park, however, have evidenced for the first time in Japan the legitimacy of human intervention when it comes to maintaining a diverse ecosystem in the satoyama (woodlands/mountains near populated areas). The park conducts ecological maintenance work systematically throughout the year such as managing the water level and vegetation at the Dragonfly Pond. The park is also constantly conducting ecological surveys both inside and outside of the protected area. In this particular tour, participants will have the special opportunity to accompany Mitsutoshi Sugimura, executive director of Shimanto Dragonfly Park and Shimanto River Gakuyuu Hall Akitsuio and an expert that has been involved in dragonfly conservation for many years, on an ecological survey. Over the course of the tour, participants will learn about changes in the environment, as well as information about and the background behind the nature of Shimanto City and its conservation efforts.
Visits by Crown Prince Akishino: The nature reserve has twice received visits from Crown Prince Akishino due to Sugimura’s capacity as president and honorary president of World Wildlife Fund Japan (WWF-J). His communications with the Imperial Household are ongoing, with books written by him being delivered to the household through the WWF at the time of publication.
'- Special Content (2): Experience traditional river fishing as passed down through generations at Shimanto River
The Shimanto River is divided into separate fishing grounds held by individual fishermen, with the general public not permitted to fish in these grounds. The river is also home to many traditional fishing methods passed down through the generations that require traps to be changed depending on the season. Fishing is also closed during certain periods for conservation purposes, with fishing only permitted during the open season.
Observe the passion with which top Korean and Tokyo City Ballet dancers engage in their lessons and the intensity of their stage rehearsals, which rival their actual performances. This tour, led by the artistic director and instructors at the Tokyo City Ballet, will give you a glimpse into the normally inaccessible side of ballet performances.
This special tour will deepen participant understanding and heighten their interest in ballet through commentary from the artistic director of the Tokyo City Ballet.
Participants will be given access to areas that are normally off-limits, such as parts of the stage, the dressing room, and costume room, allowing a glimpse at the particulars of preparation before a ballet performance.
Participants will also be able to enjoy Japanese cuisine with top Korean and Japanese ballet dancers (dressed in breathtaking kimono) while taking in the beauty of the Happō-En Japanese garden, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary. This very special experience will be topped off with exhibits displaying costumes and stage photos that are not usually accessible to the public, as well as a talk session, autograph event, and commemorative photos taken with the dancers themselves.
Multi-Day Tour by Helicopter for Wealthy Foreign Tourists, Featuring Michelin-Starred Restaurants and Luxury Traditional Japanese Inns/Hotels
The idea behind the tour is that the novelty and special nature of the event will attract this target demographic. TripAdvisor, the leading OTA overseas, offers a variety of tours, but no tours that utilize helicopters to take participants around accommodations and restaurants. Using a helicopter gives this tour a sense of novelty. The tour can also be marketed as a special experience, as it can be tailored to meet the specific preferences and needs of wealthy foreign tourists. For instance, some tourists tend to favor ostentatious, extravagant experiences, the interior of the helicopter could be decorated with gold balloons for such a tour group.
Additionally, ARILA Inc. conducts over 300 helicopter tours a year and would be able to form partnerships with many airports and helicopter operators. This collaboration between ARILA Inc. and Gurunavi—a company with strong ties to the restaurant industry—also allows us to offer dinners for these wealthy foreign tourists at restaurants where they would normally be unable to get a reservation. This event will also appeal to foreign tourists through the inherent attractiveness of the various sightseeing destinations in Kyoto and Kumamoto Prefectures.
Experience life as a castle lord in Odawara, the largest castle town in the Kanto region: A healing gastronomic journey
(1) Castle Lord Plan
A castle lord experience utilizing Odawara Castle and Odawara Castle Park. Samurai retainers will welcome guests as the lords of the castle. There are also plans to offer a ninja experience or ninja demonstration show themed on the Fuma ninja clan associated with Odawara. In addition, for the first time ever, guests will be able to actually stay overnight at Odawara Castle. Guest can either take a leisurely tour of Odawara Castle or enjoy panoramic views of Odawara City from the castle tower. Immerse yourself in the charms of Odawara Castle as its feudal lord.
(2) Retreat Plan
Enoura Observatory has been planned, prepared, and executed over the course of many years by contemporary artist Hiroshi Sugimoto, who conceived the idea of a museum that doubles as an observatory amid the tangerine fields of Enoura. Guests are invited to experience Zen meditation and enjoy a performance of ancient Japanese court music in this breathtaking venue, spending some time in this truly special space to relax and inwardly reflect. Naturally, guests can also enjoy Sugimoto's own works and art collection in this privately rented space. Accommodations are also available at the Enoura Rimon Retreat, a retreat resort nestled high in a citrus grove, and the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa.
(3) Gastronomic Plan
An abundance of fresh fish is caught each season in the fishing grounds of Sagami Bay. Experience morning fishing in Sagami Bay and enjoy Japanese cuisine prepared with ingredients caught in the bay. The restaurant is located in the Former Residence of Gokichi Matsumoto, built about 100 years ago and designated as a historical landmark by Odawara City. Enjoy the gastronomic delights of Odawara in a space steeped in the history of Japan. Overnight accommodation will be provided at Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa.
Japan’s first-ever exclusive early-morning opening of a national park public trail & environmentally-conscious national park tour
Because of Japan’s geography as an island nation surrounded by the sea and steep mountains,
nature has long been an object of worship in Japanese culture, and there is a long history of people harmonizing with and living in close proximity to nature.
The Alps Sangakukyo area in particular has seen people build their lives among the 3,000-meter-high peaks of Japan’s Northern Alps.
This relationship with the environment has also influenced the history of local architecture and folk art in the Matsumoto city area.
This tour is designed to provide visitors with opportunities to learn about and experience the relationship that Japanese people have with nature, as well as their traditional culture.
Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the special way of life people have created within the breathtaking natural landscapes within the national park.
Highlights of the tour include the first-ever early-morning mountain biking experience on a public trail in a Japanese national park, a hands-on trail maintenance session, and woodworking and lacquering using local natural materials.
The tour will conclude with a dinner made from local ingredients, providing participants with one last taste of the region’s strong ties with nature.
Program to attract wealthy Thai tourists with a special experience-based plan to watch Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo home games
At Sapporo Dome, a dome stadium unlike any other, participants will enjoy a Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo match, whose roster includes Supachok, a member of the Thai national team.
Prior to the game, guests will be able to tour the players' lockers and experience penalty kicks on the pitch—something not permitted during normal games—and will be served meals prepared by Chef Nobu Shimokuni, one of Hokkaido’s leading chefs, using ingredients unique to Hokkaido.
After the game, guests will have the opportunity to interact with Supachok and take a private tour of Shiroi Koibito Park, one of Hokkaido's leading tourist facilities. A priceless experience is guaranteed.
*Content will vary depending on the course.
From the late 18th to the early 19th century, Unzen Onsen was a popular summer resort destination for Westerners and other foreigners living in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The foreigners who visited the Unzen hot springs, which was rich in natural beauty, created a new way to spend time: the summer resort. Wake in the morning to the soothing sounds of birdsong and hear the hot springs bubbling up like the heartbeat of the earth. For many years, Unzen Onsen has been reviving the zest for life in all who visit. This open-air restaurant offers an elegant way to spend your time by the Unzen seaside.
Both of these have their roots in China, but toward the end of the Edo period, these cultures fused together to become leading forms of traditional culture in Japan. For the first time in Japan, the Japanese cultural experience of "Japanese Bonsai and Sencha Tea Experience: Pastime of the Literati" has been realized as a tourism revival program with novel high-value-added content. The cultural figures (bunjin) of the late Edo period lived in style, enjoying poetry, literature, calligraphy, painting, and bonsai.
On the first day, at Jogenji Temple of the Soto sect of Buddhism, the temple gate of which was constructed in 1777, participants can become bunjin themselves and drink sencha tea prepared by the successor of the Baisaryu Sencha tea school. In the afternoon, they will attend a lecture on the appeal of bonsai and ways to enjoy the hobby from a bonsai master with extensive experience, and try their hand at caring for bonsai themselves. Participants will experience the chic, elegant world of the literati of the time, while deepening their understanding of Japanese culture. On the second day, participants will visit one of Japan's leading bonsai gardens in Nagoya City to see the best of Japanese bonsai, including introductions and explanations of famous bonsai trees and high-end bonsai pots. This will be followed by a garden visit to chat with a private bonsai enthusiast. Finally, participants will visit a progressive bonsai garden to further appreciate bonsai and try their hand planting in bonsai pots. On the third day, visitors will depart for various destinations. (Optional) Visit a workshop making Tokoname-ware ceramics, one of the Six Ancient Kilns of Japan. Meet the potters and shop for high-end bonsai pots.
Three packages will allow visitors to experience all the charms of Saga Prefecture, centered on a premium experience watching an official soccer match of the Sagan Tosu club, based in the city of Tosu in Saga Prefecture.
(1) Saga Prefecture Tour x Sagan Tosu Official Game Viewing Ticket
In addition to the unique Sagan Tosu game-watching experience, enjoy the best of Saga with a combination of content unique to Saga, such as Tosu Premium Outlets, activities in Yobuko, the Saga International Balloon Fiesta, and a special glamping experience.
(2) Sagan Tosu hospitality seats
A hospitality experience package for official Sagan Tosu games. Enjoy a premium game-watching experience not available anywhere else, including an exclusive lounge where visitors can enjoy food and beverages made with local produce from Saga Prefecture, activities such as an on-pitch walk after the game, and original merchandise souvenirs.
(3) Ticket sales with souvenirs
Certain tickets will be accompanied by specialty products from Saga Prefecture. Tickets not including souvenirs are also available.