Project to create a lively waterfront space in Sawara, said to have once thrived more than Japan's former capital Edo - Sawara riverbank: Fun, joyful, and delicious all year round Gorgeous My Night Cruising... All types of riverbank fun
The river surface and riverbanks of Ono River of Sawara, a Japanese Heritage and Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings, will be used as a special event site and lit up with lanterns to allow visitors to enjoy an atmospheric Edo-style nightlife. The event will offer night cruising with dinner on a boat, festival and traditional cultural experiences to connect with the pride of the townspeople, a night market along Sawara riverbank, and a workshop on traditional fermented food.
1) Weekend night cruising: A dinner cruise on the boat with a tiered lacquered box of French cuisine, local sake, special musical performances, night talks, etc.
2) Traditional cultural experience & special dinner: (1) Experience of pulling a float and dinner at a special seat that offers a view of the grand night festival / (2) Kiri-e paper cutting craft to connect with the charm of the townscape / dinner with a town guide to enjoy the night view / (3) Tour of local sake & beer breweries and dinner with a night view / (4) Live traditional performing arts and special dinner
3) Ono River Night Market: (1) Bar hopping / (2) Starry night market / (3) Street night stalls
4) Fermented food workshop: A workshop to enjoy cooking and learning fun facts about fermented food.
5) Japanese Heritage Event: (1) Digital stamp rally of Sawara's constituent cultural properties / (2) PR exhibition of the four Hokuso cities and three shrines in eastern Japan
Following the path of the Oyama Pilgrimage's history, visitors can experience traditions that have continued since the Edo period. This special overnight tour offers a modern take on Japanese culture, eliminating language barriers by providing an interpreter guide for each group.
Participants in the Noh Kyogen experience will wear Noh masks and costumes while receiving instruction in Noh Kyogen theatre from the Yamamoto family of the Okura and Kanze schools, which have long-standing links with performing arts in the area. Visitors can enjoy the experience of ascending a Noh stage, which is normally off-limits to visitors, under the guidance of professionals.
During the visit to Oyama Afuri shrine, visitors will don traditional garb and carry large wooden swords over 4 meters in length. A special cable car will carry visitors to the shrine for a formal visit outside of normal operating hours.
Visitors will also enjoy a special dinner at Teahouse Sekison, which was awarded two stars by the Michelin Green Guide Japan, where they can savor local cuisine while enjoying night-time views from the lower shrine partway up the hill.
At night, visitors can bask in the atmosphere of the Edo period in the old shrine approach area and enjoy Edo-era games, such as hanafuda (traditional playing cards) at the shukubo lodging, as well as Japanese sake, which has earned many fans overseas.
For overnight stays, each group can rent a single shukubo, a Shinto-style lodging, and enjoy opportunities to interact with local residents, including hospitality provided by a leading priest.
Other optional content includes a fire-offering ceremony experience at Oyama Dera Temple, home to a Buddhist statue designated a National Important Cultural Property, a scroll-transcribing experience at the shukubo lodging, an Oyama tofu-making experience, and more. This special tour allows visitors to experience Edo traditions right up until checkout.
Kumamoto Reconstruction Tourism project to convey the traditions and origins of Kumamoto Castle's history and culture, as well as the current state of the castle's restoration efforts
This is a special high-value-added experience that gives visitors a chance to experience the culture of the Hosokawa clan using Kumamoto Castle as the main site. Kumamoto Castle has 13 nationally designated important cultural properties and is a symbol of Kumamoto Prefecture and its citizens, as well as a landmark for tourists.
After it is closed to the general public, Kumamoto Castle will be rented out to visitors for a guided tour of the restoration efforts by masonry craftspeople who will tell the real story of the reconstruction efforts, along with a special dinner in the castle tower to provide an enjoyable experience where visitors can really learn about the culture and history of Kumamoto Castle with all five senses.
•Dining in the castle tower at Kumamoto Castle
•A dinner experience limited to three groups of two people (six people in total) on the top floor (4th floor) of the castle tower at Kumamoto Castle after the castle is closed.
•Kumamoto Castle boardwalk cocktail party
•A chance to enjoy Kumamoto's local sake and snacks while overlooking the illuminated castle tower at the special tour passage (the boardwalk) temporarily set up during the restoration work at the closed Kumamoto Castle.
•Guided tour of the ishigaki (stone wall) restorations
•Focusing on Kumamoto Castle's biggest attraction, the ishigaki, visitors can get detailed explanations about the restoration status of Kumamoto Castle while accompanied by a guide specializing in ishigaki.
•Guided tour of the castle tower at Kumamoto Castle
•A guided tour of the castle tower at Kumamoto Castle after the castle is closed, which is not usually offered to the general public.
•Kumamoto Castle samurai experience
•Samari armor experience •Katana experience
This year, the President’s prize, the highest award in the Authentic Shochu and Awamori Category of the Kura Master competition, went to a shochu called Aokage from the Yanagita Distillery in Miyakonojo.
Miyazaki Prefecture is one of Japan's leading producers of shochu and continues to be number one in Japan in shipments of authentic shochu.
However, Miyazaki Prefecture is not only known for its spirits. Visitors can also enjoy unique gourmet foods such as Miyazaki Beef, which is characterized by its superb meat quality and fine texture, and ripe mangoes grown right in Miyazaki. Both of these foods are a perfect match with Miyazaki shochu.
In recent years, Miyazaki Prefecture's natural wonders have also attracted attention from travelers. The "Cliff Diving World Series" competition, a high dive event held at tourist attractions around the world, was held at Takachiho Gorge in August 2023.
Takachiho is famous for its shrines associated with Japanese gods and its mystical scenic spots. Yokagura, a traditional form of dance which has been preserved and passed down by the villagers of Takachiho, transports visitors back to a time when the gods walked among us! Surrounded by the forests, beautiful air, and the quiet murmur of clear streams, this is the perfect place for making authentic shochu. Another shochu called Takachiho has also won over many fans around Japan and the world.
We hope you will take this opportunity to experience great pairings of shochu, gourmet food, nature, and tradition that can only be experienced in Miyazaki.
A unique shochu distillery and Miyazaki's rich nature await you.
Immersive cultural tourism driven by the traditional Japanese performing art of bunraku puppet theater
The National Bunraku Theatre in Osaka is the country's center of bunraku puppet theater, one of Japan's traditional performing arts.
Bunraku is a performing art in which three aspects come together to visually express the story of a ballad drama—a narrator explains the scenes and emotions of the characters, a shamisen player expresses the mood and emotional development of each scene, and a single puppet is manipulated by three puppeteers.
Bunraku's themes often focus on the impermanence of the world and the affairs of humanity, and its stories remain deeply moving even today.
In 1955, bunraku puppet theater was designated an Important Intangible Cultural Property of Japan, and in 2008 it was registered as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Japan by UNESCO.
In conjunction with performances in November 2023, projection mapping will recreate bunraku scripts, which are placed on the floor during performances, and interactive content in the lobby will allow visitors to manipulate virtual puppets. During this period, tours will include strolling through Osaka and tasting its culinary delights, as well as a bunraku puppet theater experience. Visit Osaka and experience the traditional Japanese performing art of bunraku alongside the renowned cityscape and culinary culture of Osaka.
Newly developed experiential content and tours that showcase the potential of Japan's art, traditional performing arts, culture, and other tourism resources will be made possible through Tokyo Gendai, the first large-scale international art fair held in Japan. In addition to Yokohama, where the art fair will be held, there will be authentic content and special experiences offered in Tokyo, Odawara, and Kyoto with experts in contemporary art and Japanese art and culture, including experiences in undisclosed cultural properties and areas that are not usually open to visitors.
All content has been created exclusively for this special occasion and the participants. In Yokohama, where the art fair is held, there will be a special Noh performance and flower offering performance at the famous Sankeien Garden, as well as a tour of the popular cultural arts institution BankART1929. In the surrounding area of Odawara, there will be chartered private visits to art sites created by world-renowned Japanese artists. In Tokyo, for more stimulating and one-of-a-kind content, a special viewing of the world premiere will be held along with the commissioning of a new work to world-class pianists and artists. In Kyoto, all experiences are private visits reserved exclusively for the participants, offering various forms of experiences to contextualize Japanese culture, history, traditions, and arts. The program includes visits to temples, shrines, and gardens, special viewings at art museums, special viewings of contemporary art (commissioned work), visits to artists' studios, and special gallery exhibitions.
Special experience that utilizes a cultural asset: “Stay at the Sankeien Garden” “Cruising immersive theater” is an immersive performance onboard a ship that utilizes the space along the water
For one night only, stay in an Important Cultural Property and a city-designated Tangible Cultural Property (the inside of which is normally closed to the public) and enjoy the Sankeien Garden, a nationally designated scenic beauty spot, all to yourself.
- Experience accommodation in a city-designated Tangible Cultural Property in Sankeien (covering an area of approximately 175,000 meters-squared), which comprises the Outer Garden (gaien), which was first opened to the public in 1906 and features a landmark three-storey Muromachi period (1336–1573) pagoda relocated from Tomyo-ji Temple in Kyoto, and the Inner Garden (naien), which combines an old building and garden used as Hara Sankei's private garden. This program provides accommodation (one-night, two meals) for up to two groups of maximum four people per group.
- Dates: From Tuesday, October 31, to Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Premier cruise entertainment ~ Japan’s first "cruising immersive theater" ~ Premium performance for two days only
- Japan’s first waterside "cruising immersive theater" in areas such as “Yoshida Shinden,” the cornerstone of Yokohama’s development
- While taking a cruise down Ooka River and Nakamura River, experience the history and culture of Yokohama through the story of the origins of Yokohama told via an immersive performance
- The performance stages are all public spaces (onboard a ship, pier, or bridge, or in a town near the water, etc.)
- Performance by the dance company DAZZLE, a top tier Japanese immersive theater group, which has achieved many large-scale and regular performances
- Dates: From Friday, October 13, to Saturday, October 14, 2023
- Number of performances: 12 (six performances per day over two days)
- Start times: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m., and 9 p.m.
Special admission to Japan Heritage Ushiku Chateau’s Main Building Revival Banquet to be enjoyed in its large hall
There will be an event to experience the 140-year history of Japanese wine as “lived history” held at the National Important Cultural Property Chateau Kamiya Former Winery (commonly known as Ushiku Chateau) in Ushiku City, Ibaraki Prefecture. Chateau Kamiya Former Winery is the setting for "140 Years of Japanese Wine," a Japanese Heritage recognized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.
In the large hall of “Ushiku Chateau’s Main Building,” which is normally closed to the public, you can experience a recreation of the type of banquet where the statesmen and leading figures of the Meiji period’s “Civilization and Enlightenment” days would relish in drinking wine. With musicians performing live, a butler service, first-rate dining, and more, this “aristocrat banquet” is will be an evening unlike any other.
The Japanese wines have all received word-wide acclaim, and the wine connoisseurs in attendance will introduce the history and culture of Japanese wine, the winemaker’s way of life, and so on.
NAKED, INC., the company that is responsible for event planning and direction, is a creative company that has created various flower- and nature-themed creative events such as Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden Spring 2023 and NAKED FLOWERS, a nighttime light installation at the World Heritage site of Nijo Castle in Kyoto.
Fall leaves and light—illumination brings out their natural beauty by night.
This event goes beyond simply lighting up the garden to create a complete new world with projection mapping and sound evoking the atmosphere of Shinjuku Gyoen
Visually appealing food and beverages centered around "fall in Japan" as the theme will be available
A health-conscious menu, including vegan options, with a focus on environmentally friendly and sustainable practices, including less plastic use
Safety and security based on new normal practices
Designed as a safe space, with lanterns to naturally provide distance and extensive measures to prevent crowding, close contact, and accidents, both inside and outside of the venue
Discount! Gero Hot Springs at night “GERO Pura” ~Meal included! Choice plan to experience everything~
You can choose with 5,000 yen! Choice plan “GERO Pura”
Package details: Tickets for local bar 3,000 yen + other experience fees 2,000 yen (Gassho village entry ticket + local art experience + goheimochi rice cake tasting + bus ticket)
- Special autumn foliage light-up event at Gassho village, which is usually closed, to enjoy a festival atmosphere;
- 3,000-yen meal coupon ticket to enjoy local cuisine and alcohol at traditional restaurants and bars in the hot spring town;
- Local arts activities that change weekly, such as a Japanese drum performance or a geisha performance unique to the hot springs culture at the Shirasagi-za Theater in Gassho village;
- Yukata, which are commonly worn when walking around Japanese hot springs. Enjoy the autumn foliage light-up event at Onsen-ji Temple;
- Shuttle bus from the hot springs town to Gassho village.