On par with Matsue Castle (designated National Treasure) and considered the heart of Matsue City’s tourism is the MATSUE WATER TERRACE. For a limited period of three months between September and November 2023, visitors to Matsue can enjoy views of the Horikawa Pleasure Boats drifting leisurely down Hori River, various shops, such as Karakoro Plaza, and cafes and bars from the comfort of “waterside terrace seat” located in the Katahara/Kyoten water embankment area. During the day, you can relax while gazing at the boats that drift down the historic Hori River; during evenings, delight in the beauty of the area lit-up spectacularly thanks to the designs by lighting designer Shiho Nagamachi. What’s more, various restaurants and bars in the area have decided to come together to create an area of communication and social exchange, with a special take-out menu and plenty of opportunity to interact with the people around you. We hope that this limited-time MATSUE WATER TERRACE becomes a hub of both interaction as well as water tourism in Matsue City. MATSUE WATER DINING (an evening outdoor restaurant) will also be held for a two-day period.
The Kondo, a National Treasure and the heart of World Heritage Site Ninnaji Temple’s religious architecture, will be surrounded by a sea of clouds created with a special mist device, transforming the area into an ethereal and captivating space. In addition to showcasing the beauty of Ninnaji Temple at night, this event will give visitors the chance to enjoy the illumination of Niomon Gate and the five-story pagoda (both Important Cultural Properties), the Chokushimon Gate (a Registered Tangible Cultural Property), and other culturally significant structures.
Furthermore, the Kondo’s Godai Myoo (the Five Great Wisdom Kings) Wall Paintings – religious paintings that are usually not open to the public – will be available to view for the first time in five years. Visitors will be able to appreciate both the serene atmosphere of the temple grounds and the intricate esoteric Buddhist paintings of the Godai Myoo at the same time.
About One Ariake Art Festival 2023
One Ariake Art Festival is a walk-through art project that allows visitors to discover the charms of the region while walking around the Ariake Sea. The theme for the festival is "Composition of Local Resources." The objective is to create new experiences, products, and value by combining arts, crafts, sports, food, sake, tea, and other things unique to the areas around the Ariake Sea, which have been nurtured over a long period of time. Through cultural experiences and nature conservation activities only available here, visitors can fully enjoy the charm of the region.
Okinawa Churaumi Wedding is a service where couples can rent out Churaumi Aquarium and hold a special wedding surrounded by Okinawa's waters, something that is not normally possible. The service includes a wedding ceremony held in front of the Kuroshio Sea tank, where you can watch a school of whale sharks and reef manta rays glide through the water, and photoshoots in the beautiful outdoors of Okinawa. This is a one-of-a-kind experience focused on people living in East Asia. The package includes photography at each location (data will be provided), dress and suit rentals for the bride and groom (one for each), hair and makeup, and on-location assistance. Since this package does not require any advance preparation nor do participants need to bring anything with them, it can be easily incorporated as part of a trip to Okinawa. In addition to couples, we can also accommodate large groups including children, family members, and friends. We can also arrange after-parties and photo shoots at other locations within Okinawa Prefecture to create your own ideal wedding.
Kawazu SAKURA x WASABI Premium Tourism Home of the new Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival and the famous wasabi-don (wasabi rice bowl)!
(1) Kawazu SAKURA x WASABI Premium Tour
This tour features the Suruga Bay Ferry + Mt. Fuji Taxi from Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport or JR Shizuoka Station during the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival. Experience the towering 3,776 meter height of Mt. Fuji from a ferry, and try harvesting mizu-wasabi, a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage, in an area usually not open to the public.
(2) Premium experience at the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Terrace, only in Kawazu
Enjoy special moments on a charming terrace for some Kawazu cherry blossom viewing and carefully selected Kawazu cuisine. You will be waited on by the famous Dancers of Izu.
(3) SAKURA & WASABI Premium Accommodation Plan
A premium dining and accommodation plan featuring Kawazu cherry blossoms, local wasabi, etc. has been planned by accommodation facilities exclusively for this season.
(4) Creating tourism content as the home of the wasabi-don (wasabi rice bowl)
Grate on your own wasabi to sample the flavor and excitement of world-class mizu-wasabi from Kawazu, a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage.
Flourishing from the Muromachi period (1336–1573) to the early Edo period (1603–1867), the World Heritage site “Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and its Cultural Landscape” was a renowned silver mine.
Experience the culture and lifestyle in two traditional towns, Omori and Yunotsu, as well as a limited-time opening of the Okubo Mabu Mine Shaft, the largest in Iwami Ginzan, which is usually closed to the public. Feel the value of World Heritage site “Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and its Cultural Landscape” through an accommodation plan that combines kominka old traditional houses (Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings) with small luxuries.
Experience Heian culture in a program themed around prayer and elegance at the captivating Saiku historical site ～Enchanted Saiku: A Spiritual and Aesthetic Experience～
The main feature of this program is the Saiku firelight Noh performance held on Saturday, November 4 and Friday, February 2. A special stage will be set up in the reconstructed buildings from the Heian period in Saiku Heian-Era Park on the site of the Saiku National Historic Site, with special performances of Saiku-related Noh theater to be held. In November, a stylish projection mapping event called Saiku Heian Emaki 2023 will be held at the same location for two days, before and after the Noh performance. Enjoy an evening of Heian-themed art that varies from Noh theater. Every Saturday and Sunday from November to January, various Heian pastimes (ban-sugoroku, kai-awase, ceremonial kimono dressing, bows and arrows, etc.) can be enjoyed here. Visitors can also try out the sokaren palanquin of the Saio princesses. High value-added tours that combine well with the main Noh performance viewing include (1) a mini-tour with a Japanese historian of the Emado ruins and Take Shrine, both of which are connected to Noh performances; (2) special commentary on Noh performances by Yoshimasa Kanze; (3) a Saiku Terroir Culinary Evening, showcasing the ingredients and cuisine of this land where the capital stood for 600 years; and (4) a journey back in time to the Heian period at the Hotel Saio-no-Miya, named after the Saio princesses. On New Year's Eve, the annual Taina event is held here to ward off demons from the Heian period. Visitors can take part in the Hyakki Yagyo procession dressed as demons (Japanese-style cosplay) to ward off evil spirits. Following this, there will be a special New Year's tour to see the first sunrise at Oyodo Beach, which appears in the famous book The Tales of Ise.
Celebrating the 4th World Kyudo Championship in Nagoya: Martial arts tourism exploring the history and culture of Nagoya
This special tour program allows visitors to experience the true history and culture of Nagoya in some of its premier spots. At Nagoya Castle, visitors can tour the Honmaru Palace after normal closing hours, while at Atsuta Shrine, visitors can worship at the Kagura-den prayer hall and other special areas are normally inaccessible. At The Tokugawa Art Museum, visitors can disassemble and reassemble Japanese swords and handle matchlock firearms. Also available is a hands-on workshop at Yamakatsu Senko Dyeworks, which has kept traditional Nagoya kuromontsuki-zome dyeing techniques alive since the Edo period. Try your hand at dyeing a washcloth with a family crest of your choice. Several special programs that cannot be experienced on regular private tours have been made available, such as a lecture on the spirit of martial arts by the 22nd head of the Yagyu Shinkage-ryu school, who served as a swordsmanship instructor for the Owari Tokugawa family. A total of 12 types of full-day or half-day bus tours combining these special experiences are available from February 24 to 28, 2024, just before the 4th World Kyudo Championship in Nagoya. Take this opportunity to experience the history and culture of Nagoya and the fighting spirit of Japanese martial arts.
Participants can enjoy Ainu and Japanese culture to their heart's content with this tour. They can also take part in special events at the State Guest House and Akasaka Palace in Tokyo's Minato-ku(tentative),
and at Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park in the town of Shiraoi, Hokkaido.
Ainu Dance and State Guest House Visit: Indulge in Ainu culture in a luxurious state guest house and watch a traditional Ainu dance performance.
Guests will also enjoy a special meal prepared by a renowned chef.
Noh Performance at Upopoy: Visitors will watch a Noh performance at Upopoy, which serves as the crossroads of Ainu culture and traditional Japanese performing arts.
Come discover the richness of Japanese culture.
Special event tours within Upopoy Park: Visitors will get to enjoy special events
held in collaboration with the upcoming Sapporo Snow Festival while immersing themselves in Ainu culture within Upopoy Park.
In a collaboration between Okinawan traditions and beautiful ocean waters, this tour program can only be experienced here on Kume Island.
Experience precious Kumejima-tsumugi silk fabric, an Important Intangible Cultural Property of high artistic merit, handmade by artisans, and have an expert dress you in it. While wearing Kumejima-tsumugi silk fabric, visit sightseeing spots around Kume Island and learn about Okinawa’s food and traditional culture. Try your hand at weaving Kumejima-tsumugi silk fabric, stroll through old streets, take photos framed by beautiful sea waters, and visit the spectacular ruins of Uejo Castle, a National Important Cultural Property known as the Machu Picchu of Kume Island for its 360° panoramic views.
The Uezu House, a National Important Cultural Property, is the oldest historic private residence in Okinawa. With a wooden structure unique to Okinawa, it has withstood the wind and rain for 400 years, and offers magnificent panoramic views. Although the home is currently closed to the public, it will be accessible as a part of this tour.
In the deluxe plan, visitors will enjoy a unique Okinawan variation of tea ceremony called bukubuku tea at the Uezu House. This special tea ceremony imparts a sense of the mystical energy of the Ryukyu Islands.
A special dining course will also be served. Enjoy exquisitely fresh oysters, prawns, and "sea grapes" (a seaweed delicacy), which is grown in sea water about 612 meters deep, and available only on Kume Island. Visitors will enjoy a gastronomic experience using an abundance of Kume Island tuna and other local ingredients.