Japans Seasons In Photos April Lovely Cherry Blossoms

first_imgCherry blossom inspired sweets like sakuramochi, flavored with sakura leaves, are one of the seasonal treats often enjoyed during the hanami picnincs. The reason why cherry blossoms are so dear to the locals lies in their delicate features and their short-livedness. They bloom when the first spring breeze begins to soften the coldness of the previous season. Their appearance is always surprising and always more brilliant than any expectation.More than anything, the locals know that the cherry blossoms will be around only for about a week so they’ll use any moment they can spare to take in their beauty. Japan’s Cherry Blossoms In 2019 – Forecast And Best Spots! Cherry blossoms are often illuminated at night, being called yozakura. The transparent beauty of sakura at night is a truly impressive view that makes one wish they would last forever.The best time to take pictures of yozakura is at dusk before it gets completely dark. April – The Season of Cherry Blossoms and New BeginningsBoth the academic and the fiscal year begin in April in Japan. For many, this means the start of a new life, full of hopes and expectations.The sight of the cherry blossoms gives everyone the courage to embrace the new beginnings. They are like a delicate cheering squad sent in by nature to lift up our spirits, inspiring us to look upward and ahead. Read also 9 Cherry Blossom Flavored Items You Should Try This Spring! The parks and riverbanks that have cherry trees get decorated with bonbori (colorful festival lanterns) inviting the passersby to stop by and enjoy the views.Sakura matsuri (cherry blossom festivals) usually have stalls offering light foods and beverages. So how about tasting some of the local treats while viewing the sakura? Read also Popular Festival Food In Japan Read also Read also Read also Hanami is the general name for picnics under the cherry blossoms. It’s one of the things that the locals look forward to the most in early spring.The hanami food can be a simple bento (boxed lunch) or a more elaborate menu with various dishes, depending on how many participants there are. 6 Picturesque Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots In Northern Japan Getting a little tipsy during hanami is considered acceptable. After all, one’s heart is filled with joy at the sight of the cherry blossoms and with sadness at the thought that they would soon scatter.This aspect of the cherry blossom viewing has been sung in old poems so it has deep cultural roots, to which the dizziness only helps one relating to.Night Cherry Blossoms Sakura Matsuri – The Cherry Blossom Festivals 12 Best Night Cherry Blossom Views – Magical Illuminations! The branches heavy with cherry blossoms in full bloom look like clouds hovering over the streets and rivers of the cities. It’s a sight that inspires awe and appreciation for nature’s beauty. The 44 Best Cherry Blossom Spots All Around Japan – 2019 Guide Japan’s Cherry Blossoms In 2019 – Forecast And Best Spots! Cherry Blossom Season – The Most Anticipated Time of the Year April, the season when cherry blossoms, or sakura, bloom in central Japan, is one of the most awaited times of the year. Hanami – A Picnic under the Cherry Blossoms Photos by Monami IText by Ramonalast_img read more

FreshBrewed Tokyo Craft Beer YYG Brewery And Beer Kitchen

first_imgY.Y.G. operates a beer pub with a brewery located alongside on the first floor, as well as a restaurant on the seventh floor. People who want a drink can head to the pub, while people whose objective is food should head to the restaurant. What Is Y.Y.G. Brewery & Beer Kitchen? Enjoying deep-rooted popularity among locals, the brewery and beer kitchen is visited by a wide range of customers, from office workers on their way home to groups of young women and couples. Recently Y.Y.G. has seen an increase in international visitors, as well.center_img Y.Y.G. Brewery & Beer Kitchen is eight minutes away from Shibuya Station on foot, situated in a quiet residential area.last_img

Japanese Encyclopedia Beer Garden

first_imgBeer gardens are located on the rooftops or terraces of department stores, hotels and other buildings. They are places where you can sit at tables and enjoy various kinds of beer and other drinks alongside seasonal light meals.These summer limited events are an annual tradition in Japan. So synonymous with summer are they that as soon as the season draws near, you will start to see posters advertising various different beer gardens cropping up around town, in stations and even on trains.The Beer Garden SystemThe systems used at beer gardens vary by shop. The most popular system has a fixed charge with a set time limit, where within the time limit you can drink as much as you like. Some beer gardens have both all-you-can-eat and drink service, others are pay per dish places and still others have all-you-can-drink service but you can bring your own food to enjoy.The menus available at beer gardens also differ by shop, but in general they strongly feature foods that are easy to eat such as wieners, French fries, yakitori (grilled chicken) and so on, while all-you-can-eat shops and set course restaurants have menus offering Japanese, Chinese and Western dishes. In recent years there are even beer gardens that have dessert courses, with all-you-can-eat sweets along with their many varieties of beer.As the competition regarding the uniqueness of service between beer gardens is fierce, choosing the best one to visit is part of the fun of these summer specials.What Kinds of Beer Garden are there?Beer gardens can be found in cities all across Japan. In large cities where tourism is thriving, a lot of effort has been put into making beer gardens that truly stand out against the rest. Let’s take a look at some of them.The largest beer garden in Japan is Hokkaido’s Ōdōri Kōen. Large scale preparations are needed for this beer garden as it has 13,000 seats available in total plus plenty of standing room too. Rather than being held on one business alone, this beer garden runs the length of an entire street and has booths manned by different breweries, each offering their own particular drinks and foods. There are shops selling both domestic and international brands here.You can make seat reservations here, or there is standing space in front of each booth, making it possible for you to do a beer-crawl down the street instead. There are live music performances to dance to, costume contests and even comedians onstage, making this an event to enjoy more than just the beer at.Tokyo’s Mt. Takao Beer Mount is a mountain top beer garden at a 500 meter elevation from which you have an incredible view of the city below. 3 Michelin Star possessing Mt. Takao offers impeccable views and an all-you-can-eat buffet with Japanese, Chinese and Western foods to choose from (a 2 hour time limit). And not only beer, but wine, cocktails, shōchū, highballs, and soft drinks are available here, making it a safe place to bring the whole family. There are also staff on hand who speak English and Chinese, making it possible for non-Japanese speakers to fully enjoy themselves too.The Tokyo Bay Booze Cruise is a cruise tour (2600 yen) on a 5000 ton giant ship. The Booze Cruise is all-you-can-drink as soon as the ship embarks on its route. There is a restaurant to eat in, courses to reserve, and other special services that can be purchased in advance – all of which make this an incredible trip to take around the bay. Whether on deck or within the ship, there are event stages, relaxation spaces, restaurants, private rooms and decks with beautiful night views all available to cruise participants.Within Osaka’s Rinku Gate Tower building is the Beer Garden Patio 28, which is the highest beer garden in Japan, standing at 138 meters from the ground. Taking place on the 28th floor, from this beer garden you can enjoy drinking as you watch planes take off from the Kansai International Airport. Only four groups are permitted on the patio at any given time, and groups are replaced as others leave; each group has an all-you-can-eat and drink time limit of 110 minutes. Their most popular dish is the grilled steak which is prepared right before your eyes by a chef from a famous hotel. And for a limited time, high-quality dishes such as foie gras and crab can be added to the menu as well.As beer gardens everywhere are exceptionally popular, for those that attract a particularly large crowd, making reservations in advance is advisable if not mandatory.Recommended articlesStave Off The Summer Heat At Five Tokyo Beer Gardens!Taste Fresh Beer At Asahi Beer Hakata BreweryWhat’s In That Can? A Guide To The Taste of Japanese BeersEnjoy Superb Meat and Craft Beer at Yona Yona Beer WorksSummer Staple: 5 Best Places For Shaved Ice In Tokyolast_img read more

Kameda Shuzo A 260Year Old Brewery Producing Sacred Sake Part 1

first_img Required Time 1 hour. If one takes the plant tour, 2 hours. Business Time 09:00-18:00. Open year around. Telephone number 047-097-1116 Accepted Credit Cards WiFi Not Available The Shinto ritual of “Hosai” (rice harvest festival) held at the suki-saiden fields. (Photo courtesy of the Kameda Shuzo Co. Ltd.)On November 23rd of each year the Niname ceremony is held at Meiji Shrine to thank the gods for an abundant harvest. For this ceremony, Kameda produces the sacred sake (“omiki” or “shinshu”) from the newly harvested rice of the suki-saiden fields located west of Kamogawa city. During the harvest of these fields, special Shinto rituals are conducted to bless the harvested rice. “Taruzake” or sake stored in wooden barrels has a woody tang and is used special ceremonies.Kameda, in addition to providing sacred sake for various Imperial family events, also had the distinction of supplying its “omiki” or “shinshu” sake for the wedding of the famous Sumo Grand Champion (Yokozuna) Takanohana, and “furumaizake” (sake created for special occasions) for Imperial family events such as the birthday celebration of Princess Aiko, the daughter of the Crown Prince and Princess.Visit the Brewery and Taste Kameda Sake!Hopefully, the fascinating history of Kameda brewery has piqued your interest in their sake brands. Learn more about Kameda sake by reading the second part of our article on Kameda brewery: Kameda Sake Brewery – Diversifying For The Future (Part 2). Japanese white crane feeding in the suki-saiden fields.In 1981, on the occasion of the Grand Festival of Meiji Shrine, the Kamogawa Society for the Veneration of Meiji Shrine was founded emphasizing the need to both preserve and convey on to the future generations the dignity of the “suki-saiden” rice fields of Kamogawa. The suki-saiden fields, located near Kameda, remain as the symbol of a precious historical legacy of sake brewing in the Kamogawa region. Stone monument in the shape of a rice kernel designating the suki-saiden fields as one of the “100 famous rice fields of Japan”.In addition to the suki-saiden fields, sacred fields near Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture, were designated as “yuki-saiden” which produce a sacred sake called “okuroki”. In a rural area of Chiba’s southern Boso Peninsula there is a small sakagura (sake brewery) named Kameda Shuzo, which has been producing its homegrown brand of “jizake” for over 266 years. Languages Japanese Nearest station JR Awa-Kamogawa Station Entrance to the small park commemorating the suki-saiden rice fieldsThese sacred fields are still used and are part of the Suki-saiden Public Park, located about a 10 minute drive along Prefectural Road 34 west of Kamogawa, not far from Kameda Shuzo. Monuments mark the location as suki-saiden fields and also as one of the “100 famous rice fields of Japan”. VISA,MASTER Kameda Shuzo Chairman, Mr. Yoshi Kameda (8th generation), still actively involved in the operations at 91 years of ageKameda’s historical roots date back to 1751, when a Buddhist mountain priest (yamabushi) named Yukan Takijoin brewed “nigorizake” (*2) as a religious offering. The second and third generations were priests, Eisen Myorakuin and Eiko Myorakuin. The Kameda family became the 4th generation to operate the brewery. For generations after that, Kameda has continued to brew ritual sake and is the one and only licensed supplier of sacred oshiroki sake to the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo.*2… “Nigorizake” translates roughly “cloudy or murky sake”. Unlike other sake varieties, it is not filtered to remove impurities or grain solids resulting from fermentation and has a milky, cloudy appearance.Producing Sacred Sake for Shinto Rituals Access JR trains and bus. Kameda Shuzo Co. LtdView Map Mr. Yuji Kameda (right), the 9th generation president of Kameda Shuzo Co. LtdPresident Kameda stated that the number of sakagura and sake production itself peaked in 1978 and that at the moment about 80 percent of the sake producers are having difficulties staying in business. He noted that there used to be nine sakagura in the Kamogawa area and Kameda is now the only sakagura remaining. The “shochu boom” that started in the 1980’s has drawn away sake drinkers with its less expensive prices. Currently, there are about 1,400 sakagura in Japan and about twenty large-scale, mass production sake companies. Most of the sakagura produce from 200 to 1,000 kiloliters annually.History of Kameda SakeKameda, a small family business and now managed by the 9th generation president, Yuji Kameda (60), besides producing a wide variety of national and international award winning jizake, it also produces shochu (distilled from grains or vegetables) and other liqueurs. However, Kameda brewery also continues to play an important role in producing a special sake used in Shinto ceremonies called “oshiroki” for Meiji Shrine in Tokyo. Over the years it also provided sake for Imperial ceremonies such as Daijosai (*1).*1… Daijosai, literally “Great Thanksgiving Festival,” is one of the first Shinto rituals held upon the enthronement of the new Emperor. For the Daijosai, two special rice paddies are chosen and purified by elaborate Shinto rituals. The families of the farmers who are to cultivate the rice in these paddies must be in perfect health. The rice is grown, harvested, and stored in a special Shinto shrine as the embodiment of a kami or divine force. Some of this “divine” rice is used to brew sacred sake or oshiroki. Taruzake (sake barrels) of oshiroki placed on the Shinto altar (kamidana) within Kameda’s brewery.In 1871, Kameda was selected to produce the sacred sake “oshiroki” for the Daijosai ritual and continues to this day to be the sole purveyor of oshiroki to Meiji Shrine. The traditional Shinto ritual Daijosai was being performed upon the accession to the throne of Emperor Meiji. Fixed holidays Closed only on New Year’s Day. Website http://jumangame.com/ | Kameda Shuzo Kameda Shuzo Co. Ltd. in Kamogawa, Chiba PrefectureJizake literally means “regional or local sake”, and is sake brewed by independent sakagura located in the rural countryside of Japan using local rice and water. It’s not brewed through mass production techniques, but using age-old traditional methods under the watchful eye of the sakagura’s brewmaster or Toji.Jizake brands are extremely popular due to their unique taste, hues and bouquet. It should be pointed out that the Japanese do not commonly use the word “sake” but “Nihonshu” to refer to the liquor distilled from rice. View InformationKameda Shuzo Co. Ltd {“map_code”:{“pin”:[{“title”:”35.70892350561136,139.73243239101566″,”code”:”35.708856, 139.73241540000004″},{“title”:”329 Naka, Kamogawa City, Chiba Prefecture 296-0111″,”code”:”35.1311752, 140.02303099999995″}],”center”:”35.1311752, 140.02303099999995″,”zoom”:”11″,”latitude”:”35.1311752″,”longitude”:”140.02303099999995″}} Address 329 Naka, Kamogawa City, Chiba Prefecture 296-0111 Special wooden box for shipping the sacred sake to Meiji Shrine.Rice used for this festival must be produced based on strict Shinto and Imperial Household rules and rice fields are selected through ritual divination. For the 1871 Daijosai, rice fields in the Kitakomachi village of Kamogawa, Chiba prefecture, were selected and designated as “suki-saiden” or sacred rice fields for the production of rice to be offered during the Daijosai festival. Kameda used rice from these fields to produce “oshiroki”. Menu/Pamphlets in Other Languages Japanese You May Also Like:Want To Adopt An 800 Year Old Rice Paddy? The Charm Of Oyama SenmaidaFrom Sake To Wine – A Guide To Japanese Alcoholic BeveragesFukumitsuya Sake Brewery in Kanazawa – Learn How Premium Sake Is Made!last_img read more

5000 Swans Visit Niigatas Lake Hyo And Historical Suibara Daikansho

first_imgAs autumn brings cool winds and begins to change the color of the leaves, the swans journey from Siberia, Russia to Agono City in Niigata.Lake Hyoko is about a three hour trip from Tokyo by bullet train and local trains. It is a spot known for the annual visits of over 5000 swans around November. During the colder seasons, you can witness the swans taking off from the white, snow-covered land.If you walk about ten minutes from Lake Hyoko, you will reach the Suibara Daikansho, which was a spot where nengu (*1) was collected during the Edo period.This time we would like to feature Lake Hyoko and Suibara Daikansho to experience Japan’s nature and history at once.*1 Nengu: a type of Japanese tax that people paid from the eleventh to the eighteenth century.Lake Hyoko: A Collaborative Winter Scene of Snow and Swans Photo courtesy of: Agono City Park Administration OfficeLake Hyoko is located in Agono in Niigata and it is known as the lake where the swans come. In 2008, it became registered under the Ramsar Convention to protect and manage the wetlands.The swans begin arriving early October and by the end of November, they reach about 5000 birds; all of which have migrated from Siberia and Southern Karafuto to spend the winter.Here are four recommended ways to watch the swans in Lake Hyoko.last_img read more

Tokitarazu Enjoy Refined Japanese Cuisine And A Special Time In Tokyo

first_imgA majority of the dozens of types of alcoholic drinks prepared at Tokitarazu are made in Japan. They not only include sake, which is also famous internationally, and Japanese whisky, but also Japanese-made champagne, liqueur, and more. Of course, these drinks have an outstanding compatibility with the restaurant’s food.If it comes to sake, we recommend Nanbu Bijin, Hakurakusei, and Mizubasho. There are few restaurants that carry Hakurakusei after a strict quality control check, so definitely do try tasting this brand here.* Some international alcohol brands are also available.English-Speaking Chefs And Staff For example, Tokitarazu’s Special Lunch Course “Felicity” (2500 yen) is served for lunch. It is a set that comes with two appetizers, sashimi, chicken or beef, five-grain rice, soup, and dessert, making it a very generous menu item.Many of the menu items at Tokitarazu, including this course, use seasonal ingredients and focus on cuisine that is high in protein and low in calories.* The sashimi toppings will vary depending on the season. Picture courtesy of TokitarazuThe menu at Tokitarazu is based on the kaiseki cuisine (a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner) originally served at tea ceremonies. That is why it is filled with attentiveness for the guests who will be consuming it. Picture courtesy of TokitarazuA counter, tables, high tables, and private seats are available at Tokitarazu so that customers can choose their seating according to the setting and purpose of their meal. In the atmosphere created by the wooden interior, it’s almost as if you can feel the sense of security that you feel when you’re at home.The interior has a proper sense of distance that isn’t too narrow nor wide. Even if you’re leisurely enjoying your food by yourself, you can drink together with the people sitting next to you. Please spend your time as you like.We recommend the high tabled seats. Surprisingly, it appears that these seats were specially made for the physiques of international customers. The high tabled seats will be out on the open terrace on days with good weather. The front of the restaurant is lined with cherry blossom trees, so you can enjoy your meal while viewing the flowers in the spring. Sponsored by TokitarazuWritten by Kayano Oyama Enjoy a Carefully Selected Menu of Japanese Food When it comes to enjoying yourself at a restaurant, pleasant conversations with the chef and staff come to mind. If you learn about the charms of the menu and the secret behind its ingredients, then your food might taste even more delicious.Tokitarazu is a restaurant created with international visitors in mind. An English menu is available at the restaurant and the staff, including the chefs, are proficient in English. When you’re thinking of having your friends visiting Japan from overseas or guests tasting traditional Japanese cuisine or having them drink Japanese alcohol, then all those requirements will be met at Tokitarazu.Savor the Best of Japanese Cuisine at Tokitarazu!Tokitarazu serves their food at a reasonable price in comparison to the typical kaiseki cuisine restaurant so that international visitors can easily try kaiseki cuisine. Those who wish to try eating genuine Japanese food, but are a little worried, can visit with ease.If you want to spend a special time in Japan, then please visit Tokitarazu in Tokyo’s Hiroo area. Tokitarazu View InformationrestaurantTraveler Friendly InformationTaberukoto (Traveler Friendly Information): TokitarazuWhat Is Taberukoto?Making dining out in Japan enjoyable for travelers.Taberukoto is an information platform for international visitors to help them during their stay so that they are able to enjoy eating out anytime and anywhere in Japan. It is also a support service to help restaurants prepare to receive international customers and become traveler friendly. Picture courtesy of Tokitarazu”Eating with your eyes” is a Japanese expression that means enjoying not only the taste but also the appearance of food. All the dishes at Tokitarazu can be best experienced by enjoying them with your eyes too.Arita ware is used for almost all of the tableware in the restaurant with each menu item elegantly arranged onto these wares. Please also pay attention to the beauty of the tableware and its compatibility with the food.Japanese Drinks That Go Well with the Food Picture courtesy of TokitarazuThe front of Tokitarazu will change completely come nighttime. It’s as if the restaurant is absorbing you into its faint glow.An Interior with a Relaxed Atmosphere The restaurant is a six minute walk from Hiroo Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line. When you pass through the shopping district at the front of the station, walk along the quiet tree-lined avenue and a Japanese-style building will come into view. This particularly eye-catching restaurant is Tokitarazu. Sake barrels are placed to the side of the entrance. Photos of various Tokitarazu menu items courtesy of TokitarazuWashoku, or Japanese cuisine, is currently registered as a world cultural heritage. However, there are several hurdles that international visitors must overcome if they wish to eat genuine Japanese food.For example, established traditional Japanese restaurants are not cheap and are difficult to make reservations at even for Japanese people. There are also times when it is necessary to bring along someone who can speak Japanese to have a relaxing meal as many of these restaurants are not accustomed to serving international customers.Among the traditional Japanese restaurants that shouldn’t be missed out by visitors to Japan, Tokitarazu is one restaurant that we can confidently recommend for their services.Tokitarazu – A Special Time That’s Hard to Part with“Tokitarazu” means to “not have enough time” in Japanese. Just as its name describes, you’re able to spend such a special time at the Japanese restaurant Tokitarazu that it becomes difficult to part with once you’re finished with your meal.The secret of Tokitarazu lies in the hospitality that is unique to Japan. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the restaurant.Tokitarazu – A Japanese Presence in a Vibrant City Street When we visited, it was the beginning of spring. As such, a cherry blossom petal was placed on top of the rice, which was of a special type called gokoku-mai (*1).Every menu item has been prepared with an emphasis on the best of the natural flavors of a variety of fresh ingredients. For example, the chicken Tatsuta-age (*2) uses shio koji (a seasoning of malted rice, salt, and water) to draw out a balance between the sweet and saltiness and to soften the fibers of the meat.*1 Gokoku-mai: cooked rice that is a mix of five grains. It has a flavor that you wouldn’t be able to taste with just white rice and has a rich texture.*2 Tatsuta-age: a type of deep-fried dish. Ingredients such as chicken are marinated in seasoning, then coated in potato starch before frying. Beautifully Arranged on Arita Ware Tokitarazu – Famous for Their Genuine Japanese Foodlast_img read more

Kamakurabori Assembly Hall See Exquisite Kamakura Carvings

first_imgWorks from 1868-1926From 1868 to 1926, Buddhist ritual implements and other items produced by Buddhist monks entered the Kamakurabori landscape. This is the period wherein the basis for modern Kamakura lacquerware grew. Works from 1603 – 1868These are some of the extant items from 1603 to 1868. During the culturally rich times of the Edo era, Kamakura lacquerware also grew in prosperity and daily use items and tea utensils made in this method were introduced to the public. You can discover more about the fascinating world of Kamakura lacquerware at the Kamakurabori Assembly Hall, located in Kamakura city. It is an institute where you can use, learn about and even make Kamakura lacquerware. The facility has a museum, classrooms, and from 2016, a cafe where you can enjoy coffee or vegetarian lunches made from Japanese produce according to Buddhist teachings.On the first floor is the cafe and shop, the second and fourth the Kamakura lacquerware classrooms, and the third is where you will find the Kamakura Lacquerware Museum. In two articles we will cover all of the Kamakurabori Assembly Hall; in this article we will focus on the museum and introduce the classes available there.Read also:Enjoy A Buddhist Lunch At Cafe Guri In The Kamakurabori Assembly HallEncounter the Works of the CraftsmenYou can head to the museum by going to the elevator located at the side of the entrance on the first floor. Go to the third floor and check-in by purchasing an admission ticket (300 yen). Actually, Kamakura lacquerware is made by multiple craftsmen: one who prepares the base shape of the wood (to be a plate, bowl or other object), one who engraves the design and one who applies the lacquer.Learn About the History of Kamakura LacquerwareNow let’s continue on and look at the displays on the history of Kamakurabori. The items on the right, towards the front were made between 1926 and the present.At the Kamakura Lacquerware Museum, the newest pieces are displayed in the front of the museum, so that the further you go back in the museum, the older the pieces become. It is set up in this way so that you can not only see the differences in design but also the usages of the items according to various time periods. Let’s start with the modern pieces and make our way back through time.First, there are ones made between 1926 to the present. Thanks to the post-war economic growth Japan experienced, Kamakurabori became more of a business than it was in the past. Many of the pieces created during this period have quite modern designs and appearances.center_img Kamakurabori, an engraving and lacquerware handicraft, has been produced and passed down through the generations in Kamakura, Kanagawa prefecture for centuries. It is a type of Japanese traditional manufacturing called ‘mokucho saishitsu’, wherein a carved wooden base is finished in lacquer. This art form has been around since the Kamakura era (1185-1333), when the samurai class claimed governmental power in Japan.Depending on the engraved design in the wood, the lacquer creates depth in the piece, and depending on the lacquer, the engravings come to life with beautiful contrasts of light and shadow.Learn About Kamakura Lacquerware at the Kamakurabori Assembly Hall Basic forms of Kamakura lacquerware from 1185 – 1333Thanks to the influence of the Song Dynasty (10th-13th centuries) in China, a great number of Buddhist ritual implements and other items were produced and the techniques gradually grew and developed in Japan. The Muromachi period (1333-1573) is generally felt to be the time in which the Kamakura lacquerware tradition was established.By looking back through the ages and comparing these items to the modern ones, you can truly appreciate the brilliant, showy impressions that these new pieces have. The designs of these modern pieces are far more consistent and more novel than their predecessors. Thanks to this museum you can truly come understand just how Kamakurabori has grown and adapted over the years into the technical art form that it is today.On the second and fourth floors of the Kamakurabori Assembly Hall there are classrooms where you can take part in a class to make Kamakura lacquerware for yourself. English assistance is not available in these classes, however there are several non-Japanese speaking participants in these classes. If you wish to make a reservation or ask any questions regarding these lessons, please send an email (in English) to kyoudoukumiai@kamakuraborikaikan.jp.In the hopes of introducing more people into casually using Kamakura lacquerware in their daily lives, as people once did, the staff of the Kamakurabori Assembly Hall are making every effort to spread awareness of these works around the world. Why not stop by this fascinating place on your next trip through Kamakura and see these handicrafts up close?Read also:Enjoy A Buddhist Lunch At Cafe Guri In The Kamakurabori Assembly HallInformationKamakurabori Assembly HallAddress: 2-15-13 Komachi, Kamakura City, KanagawaHours: 1st, 2nd and 4th floors 9:30-17:00, 3rd floor 9:30-17:00 (last entry 16:30)Closed: Mondays (if a national holiday, the next day is closed, refer to website for details); Culture class closed in summer and New Year’s holidaysWi-fi: AvailableCredit cards: –Other Languages: -Nearest Station: Kamakura Station, JR Yokosuka Line or Enoshima DentetsuAccess: 5 minute walk from east exit of Kamakura Station.Price Range: Free (3rd Floor Museum has an admission fee)Phone Number: 0467-25-1500Homepage:Kamakurabori Assembly Hall (Japanese) Upon entering the museum you will first be introduced to how Kamakurabori is made. There is an informative video showing the craftsman’s techniques too.last_img read more

Himeji Castle History Scenic Highlights And Access

first_imgThe castle has had several structural alterations since construction began in 1346, leading to its current appearance. Himeji Castle underwent reconstruction at various points since the 1950s, which brought it to its present-day state. However, the main keep that was erected in 1609 still stands today, which gives the castle even greater historical value.A World Heritage SiteHimeji Castle was registered as Japan’s first World Heritage Site in December of 1993. Some of the reasons given for its certification were:・Its elegant exterior, made with white mortar・The design’s integration of all sorts of Japanese wooden construction techniques・The well-balanced arrangement of the castle buildingsAlso Known as the “White Heron Castle” (Shirasagi-jo)There are various theories about how “The White Heron Castle” got its nickname, but the simplest explanation is that Himeji Castle’s shining white structure looks like the eponymous Japanese bird.While other places like Osaka Castle may have white walls, Himeji Castle’s exterior almost gleams, giving it a noticeably elegant facade. Not just a pretty building, the castle also serves as a formidable fortification, and there is no end to the line of visitors who come to see the White Heron Castle’s charms.Matsumoto Castle (or the Crow Castle) in Nagano is the complete opposite of Himeji Castle, with an all-black exterior.Even More Beautiful After RepairsThe repairs to Himeji Castle’s main castle tower finally finished in spring 2015.The large-scale repair project took five and a half years to complete, and the newly-painted walls and roof shine with a new brightness. The beautiful castle presents a perfect photo opportunity, so take a picture in the courtyard when you visit Himeji.Basic Information About Himeji CastleHimeji Castle is open all year round, except on December 29th and 30th.Operating hours in spring (4/27-8/31): 9:00 – 17:00 (gates close at 18:00)Operating hours in other seasons: 9:00 – 16:00 (gates close at 17:00)Admission: 1000 yen for adults, 300 yen for children (elementary, JHS and SHS students)Queue Tickets During Peak TimesThe Himeji Castle grounds, and the keep in particular, can get very crowded during sakura season, summer vacation, Silver Week and other peak travel periods. For that reason, tower queue tickets are handed out to visitors before entry. 15,000 tickets are handed out before the daily cutoff. Without getting a queue ticket, you cannot go inside the keep, though you can still tour the grounds. If you absolutely must see the keep interior, go early in the morning.Himeji Castle Highlights What Is Himeji Castle?Himeji Castle, a Japanese national treasure registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site, is located in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture. The castle is about a kilometer away from Himeji Station. Since tourists coming from Osaka and Kyoto by train can reach Himeji in about an hour, it is possible to explore the castle and the Himeji area on a day trip around the Kansai area.With an exterior so white it seems to shine, Himeji Castle boasts great popularity with Japanese and international tourists for its elegant appearance. For this article, we have compiled historical information about the castle, notable highlights, and how to get there.Table Of Contents:1. The History Of Himeji Castle And Its Other Names2. Basic Information About Himeji Castle 3. Himeji Castle Highlights4. Himeji Castle Seasonal Events (Seeing Flowers And Fall Foliage)5. Getting To Himeji Castle From Himeji Station (via bus or taxi, or on foot)The History Of Himeji Castle Beginning with the keep, the largest building on the grounds, Himeji Castle features various highlights like the massive Hishinomon Gate and the Nishinomaru Garden. Nishinomaru Garden offers a prominent view of the keep, making it a perfect photo spot. Check out our Over 400 Years Of History – Himeji Castle, The Pride of Japan article for more information.Himeji Castle Seasonal EventsHimeji Castle Hanami (Sakura Viewing) This explains how to get to the castle from Himeji City’s main hub, Himeji Station.By BusCatch a Shinki Bus from the north exit of Himeji Station and get off at Himeji-jo Otemon-mae. It takes three minutes and costs 100 yen. From the bus stop, it’s a five minute walk to the castle.On FootIf you have some time, walk over to the castle on foot. You can see the castle clearly from the north exit, so just walk straight down the main street toward it. The stroll is about a kilometer, and takes roughly 20 minutes.By TaxiGet a taxi from the stand by the south exit. It will take about ten minutes and can cost from 740 to 970 yen.** This article is current as of January 2016. Himeji Castle View Informationcenter_img Koko Garden, adjacent to Himeji Castle, is a famous place to see the fall foliage. After the sunset, the garden is illuminated, placing the autumn leaves in contrast with Himeji Castle in the background.Projection MappingIn recent years, Himeji Castle has put on projection mapping shows in early December. Nishinomaru, the O-Kiku water well, Bizenmaru, the Sangoku Moat and other spots around the castle are the stage for original projection mapping performances that feature people connected to the castle and aspects of its history. You can enjoy vivid dramatic scenes through the magic of 3D.From Himeji Station to Himeji Castle With approximately a thousand trees of several varieties, including Yoshino cherry trees and weeping cherry trees, Himeji Castle was selected as one of the top 100 places to see sakura in Japan. The pink petals look very pretty set against the backdrop of white castle walls.Himeji Castle Foliage Watchinglast_img read more

Discover A New Kyoto 5 Things To Do At Kyoto By The

first_imgThere are 230 funaya homes in Ine. Thirty of them continue to be the homes of active fishermen. Although fewer fisherman reside here than in the past , the traditional scenery and structures of the area remain preserved.The waves are very gentle and it has been said that dolphins sometimes stray into the dock waters. The first spot is Amanohashidate, famous for its scenic views.The stretch of lands resembles a bridge along the sea This road was given the name “Amanohashidate,” which describes its appearance in Japanese.Amanohashidate was chosen as one of Japan’s Three Scenic Views (three views considered to be the most beautiful in Japan) alongside Miyajima, Hiroshima and Matsushima in Sendai. Visitors can go to Ine to discover a traditional Japanese way of living.Here, you’ll find a village lined with boat houses (funaya) that face the sea. Fishing boats are docked at these funaya. A feature of silk crepe is the slight unevenness of the cloth’s surface.By having this unevenness, it makes it difficult for wrinkles to form and also gives the fabric a soft appearance. Pictured above is a white silk crepe, but a rich, deep color can be achieved by dyeing the fabric. You will find oiled sardines and black soybean sweets, which are some staple souvenirs of the region. Fish are also roasted here and can be enjoyed on the spot. Picture from Near Kyoto! Amanohashidate – How To Enjoy One Of Japan’s Three Scenic ViewsTry crossing Amanohashidate if you have extra time! A refreshing avenue of trees, made up of approximately 8,000 pine trees, stretches along the entire 3.6 kilometer- (2.2 miles) length.If you walk at a leisurely pace, the course will take roughly about one to one and a half hours to complete. Rental bicycles (Japanese) are also available on both banks, so you can enjoy bicycling, too. It takes about 20 minutes to cross the sandbank by bicycle.AmanohashidateAddress: Kasamatsu Park Kyoto, Miyazu, Ogaki 75 Google MapAccess: Take the JR Limited Express Hashidate (bound for Toyooka) from JR Kyoto Station. Get off at Amanohashidate Station (approximately 2 hours and 5 minutes, 4,600 yen)Official Website: http://www.amanohashidate.jp/lang/en/Read also Various fish including sardines, horse mackerel, squid, and Pacific bluefin tuna can be caught in the sea right in front of the house. The captured fish are placed into a net on the side of boats, as pictured above, and are cooked for dinner.Ms. Yamada told us, “Ine children grow up diving into the sea and eating freshly caught turban shells and abalone from an early age.” We felt very envious when we heard this! 2. Encounter Traditional Fisherman Lifestyle in Ine For this article, we were given the visited the home of Ms. Yamada, a resident of Ine.As pictured, the house is built to allow a fishing boat to be docked inside the home. Kurotani is a quiet village with a small river that runs between its homes.The village has short daylight hours due to being surrounded by mountains while it is covered in snow during the winter. This intense cold and clean river water help create very strong and high-quality Kurotani washi paper. The Tayuh Textiles ShopKimonos may be very high-end items, but you will also find reasonably-priced accessories made with Tango silk crepe in stores.If you wish to see where and how Tango silk crepe is manufactured, you can participate in a free tour by applying on Tayuh Textiles’ website (Japanese). The guided tour will be in Japanese, but you’ll be able to watch silk crepe being made up-close and see the impressive loom weaving machines through this tour. Picture courtesy of Kurotani Washi Cooperative AssociationPaper is a necessary item in our daily lives. Kyoto’s Kurotani area makes Kurotani Washi, a Japanese washi paper, in a traditional method. Add colors and decorations to create your very own original washi paper! The papermaking experience is 1,000 yen and takes place from Monday to Friday.Kurotani VillageAddress: Kurotani Washi Kaikan-mae bus stop Google MapAccess: Take the Aya Bus (Kurotani Line) from the south exit of JR Ayabe Station, then exit at Kurotani Washi Kaikan-mae (about 30 minutes, 400 yen) and walk for 3 minutesOfficial Website: https://kurotaniwashi.kyoto/?page_id=450Kurotani Washi Craft VillageAddress: Kyoto, Ayabe, Tokura, Nabatake, Kaketo 31 Google MapAccess: Take the Aya Bus (Kanbayashi Line) from the south exit of JR Ayabe Station, then exit at Tokura (about 20 minutes, 300 yen) and walk for a minute5. Stunning! Feel Tango Silk Crepe We recommend going on the 25-minute boat ride that circles around the Ine sea. During the ride, you can view Ine’s boat houses from the sea. Seagulls follow the boat and you can feed them. They come flying very close, making it an exciting experience. The ride is 680 yen for adults and 340 yen for children. It operates every thirty minutes on the hour and half hour.The village itself is enjoyable even on a day trip, but we suggest staying in a funaya guesthouse to fully experience the area. There are seventeen guesthouses in Ine. Some offer immersive activities, including going out to the sea, fishing, and cooking and enjoying what you’ve caught yourself. For details, please check the tourism association’s website.Ine FunayaAccess: Take the Tankai Bus from JR Amanohashidate Station, then exit at the Ine bus stop (about 1 hour, 400 yen)Official Website: http://www.ine-kankou.jp/english/Read also Dinner changes daily and uses local vegetables. During our visit, we had a stew made with freshly harvested vegetables, and chicken from nearby Hyogo Prefecture. The dish was flavored with only salt and kombu kelp. The simple preparation brought out the flavors of the ingredients. We also recommend a farm stay. You can try plenty of freshly harvested vegetables and ingredients while immersing yourself in the traditional Japanese lifestyle!You’ll find fourteen guesthouses operated by farmers in an area called Ayabe. For this article, we visited Poka Poka Farm. The owner, Mr. Kushida, is originally from Tokyo. However, he moved to Ayabe, determined to join the agriculture industry, and opened his guesthouse in 2017 while working as a farmer. Amanohashidate Travel Guide – Enjoy A Day Trip From Kyoto With Beautiful Views In the river, there was a woman working. The bark of a plant called paper mulberry, which will become material for the paper, is stepped on and cleaned in the river. Expert skill is required in order to completely clean the bark.Kurotani washi paper is entirely made by hand like so from the processing of its raw materials to the manufacturing of the paper. The final part of the meal is zosui (rice porridge) made with the flavorful broth from the vegetables and chicken. It is garnished with sesame seeds grown by Mr. Kushida.This dish is truly delicious! The rich fragrance and flavor of the sesame seeds taste great with each ingredient.Mr. Kushida smiled as he told us, “Please come back as often as you’d like. Treat this place as if this were your own home.”There are also several other farm stays in Ayabe, so you might find yourself with a growing number of places you can call home!Poka Poka FarmAddress: Kyoto, Ayabe, Kamiyatacho, Hishiro 8 Google MapAccess: Take the Aya Bus (Nishiyata Line) from the south exit at JR Ayabe Station, then exit at Kamiyatacho-Seigo (about 20 minutes, 300 yen). After alighting, walk for 5 minutes. There are four buses per day (7:57, 12:57, 15:57, and 18:17). Pickup from Ayabe Station is also possible if you contact Poka Poka Farm beforehand.Official Website: https://pokapokanouen.jimdo.com/ (Japanese)List of Ayabe Farm Stays: https://www.ayabe-kankou.net/english/hotel.html4. Make Kurotani Washi Paper What is Kyoto by the Sea?What comes to mind when you think of Kyoto? Do you imagine famous temples like Kiyomizudera and Kinkaku-ji Temple? Have you heard of Fushimi Inari Shrine and Arashiyama?The appeal of Kyoto doesn’t end with these popular spots, though. “Kyoto by the Sea,” a region in northern Kyoto prefecture facing the ocean, has been gathering popularity in recent years.There are many things to experience exclusive to this area, including Amanohashidate, one of Japan’s famous locations with beautiful views, Ine, a village lined with houses of fishermen bordering the sea. You can also participate in farm stays and try washi paper making. Come to discover the charms of a new, unique side of Kyoto.1. Let Amanohashidate Take Your Breath Away Many residents of Ine have two homes. Daily routines, like eating meals, take place in their mountain-side home (left) while their seaside home (right) acts as a boat garage and a detached home for when relatives come to visit.You can take a walk in the village, like pictured above, for yourself, but please be mindful of making noise as there are residents in these homes. Ine – A Small, Quiet Fishing Town In Kyoto Amanohashidate has observatories on both of its shores. The picture above is of Kasamatsu Park, an observatory park located on its north shore.When you’re at the observatory, take a look at Amanohashidate between your legs, as shown above. It’ll look as if a bridge is stretching all the way up to the sky! The town of Yosano is one of the main manufacturers of Tango silk crepe. On Yosano’s Silk Crepe Road, you’ll find a collection of historical buildings reminiscent of when the town flourished due to Tango silk crepe from during Edo and Showa periods.One of these buildings is the Bito Family Residence, which you can tour inside (pictured on the top left and right). The amount of Tango silk crepe manufacturers havs decreased over time, but you can still hear the sounds of the loom machines even till this day by walking down Silk Crepe Road.Tayuh TextilesAddress: Kyoto, Kyotango, Amino, Asamogawa 112 Google MapAccess: Take a taxi for 5 minutes from Amino Station on the Kyoto Tango RailwayOfficial Website: http://www.tayuh.jp/ (Japanese)Tour Application Form (Japanese): http://www.tayuh.jp/inspection/form.htmlSilk Crepe Road Former Bito Family ResidenceAddress: Kyoto, Yosa, Yosano, Kaya 1085 Google MapAccess: Take the Tankai Bus from Yosano Station (Kyoto Tango Railway), exit at Silk Crepe Road (about 20 minutes, 200 yen), then walk for 5 minutesOfficial Website: Silk Crepe Road http://www.uminokyoto.jp/course/detail.php?cid=27 (Japanese)Venture to Kyoto by the Sea Kyoto by the Sea is where you can explore a lesser-known region with beautiful scenery and old traditions while enjoying Kyoto.Have fun encountering this unique side of Japan’s cultural capital!In cooperation with Poka Poka Farm, Kurotani Washi Craft Village, Tayuh Textiles, Former Bito Family Residence, Kyoto by the Sea DMO, ENGAWA Co., Ltd. A lift will take you up to Kasamatsu Park. Near the lift platform at the bottom are many souvenir shops. Warp and weft threads being woven together by machine. In cooperation with: Tayuh Textiles Co., Ltd.The reason behind the uneven fabric comes from its manufacturing process.Wefts with added torsion (twisted threads) and straight warp threads are alternately weaved together. The finished fabric is then washed to shrink the threads. This creates a unique, uneven surface. Silk crepe is brocade fabric that is used in clothing such as kimono. Tango silk crepe made in the Tango area, located in northern Kyoto, is characterized by its full, soft-to-the-touch texture and extremely high quality.The fabric is very popular as it was used by the Empress as a kimono sash and by world-famous brands in their products. 3. Enjoy a Special Meal at a Farm Stay Kurotani Washi Craft Village is where you can experience the entire handmade process of making Kurotani washi paper. Here, you will be thoroughly taught the process of papermaking.last_img read more

High in the Nagoya Sky Oasis 21 the Glass Plaza

first_imgNagoya, the capital city of Aichi Prefecture. Following Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka, Nagoya has the fourth highest population in Japan.There are lots of buildings in Nagoya such as, Nagoya Castle and Atsuta Shrine, where you can really feel the Nagoya of times past. In stark contrast to these traditional buildings, Nagoya also features many popular tourist destinations that emphasise modern architecture and techniques, such as the Nagoya City Science Museum and the SCMaglev and Railway Park. Today, let’s take a look at Oasis 21, a floating glass plaza in the middle of Nagoya city which was constructed in 2002.While you are wandering around Nagoya, this giant building just comes into view, and its intriguing shape really makes you want to get to the top. You have to try it, at least once!Right next to the Nagoya TV TowerAt the mention of a shopping district in Nagoya, everyone will either think of the area around Nagoya Station or Sakae Station. Oasis 21 is near Sakae Station.Also near Sakae Station, is the Nagoya TV Tower, which is very much a symbol of Nagoya. Oasis 21 is located right next to the TV Tower, so if you head in that direction you can easily find it.Journey to the top of Oasis 21!Oasis 21 is designed so that you can get to the topmost plaza. There are two ways to get up: stairs or elevators. We personally think that the stairs are the better option, as you can enjoy watching the light reflections and twinkling water from beneath as you work your way up.You can only partially see it in the lower part of this photo, but near Oasis 21 is a place called Sunshine Sakae, which has a Ferris Wheel. If you want to see Nagoya from an even higher vantage point, we recommend checking out this Ferris Wheel, as it’s quite close by.You can see the characteristic glass roof of Oasis 21 from below when you take the stairs.Arriving at Spaceship AquaAt long last, you arrive at the top. This area is officially known as Spaceship Aqua.From Spaceship Aqua, you can see Nagoya TV Tower, and take in the calming breeze. The characteristic top layer of the roof at Oasis 21 is covered in a flowing, veil-like sheet of water which reflects light to create countless glittering ripples.Additionally, Spaceship Aqua is pointed in the direction of Nagoya Castle.Events beneath the SpaceshipThe lower section of Oasis 21 is known as the Galaxy Platform, and is a multi-purpose events stage.The Galaxy Platform has a very open atmosphere, due to the natural light flowing in through the ceiling overlapping with the beautiful blue floor.In ConclusionSo what do you think?Nagoya city features not only historical buildings, but also modern-day buildings like Oasis 21, which cater to every kind of traveler who may pass through.Not only that, but Nagoya also features a food culture unlike any other in Japan, so you should definitely sample some of the local cuisine.InformationOasis 21Address: 1-11-1 Higashisakura, Higashi-ku, Nagoya, AichiClosest Station: 3-minute walk from Sakae Station on either the Higashiyama Subway Line or Meijousen Subway LinePhone: 052-962-1011Website: Oasis 21last_img read more

Japanese Culture At Mt Daisen In Tottori Celebrating 1300 Years Of History

first_imgPhoto courtesy of the Daisen Tourism OrganizationOn the nights of June 2nd and September 30th, 2018, around 1000 to 2000 people will take part in a parade along the path between Daisen Temple and Ogamiyama Shrine’s Okunomiya. All the parade participants will be holding with torches in their hand. There are several highlights to visit in Daisen including the Shoji Ueda Museum of Photography where the works of a world-famous photographer from Tottori are on display. Please read the article The Tottori Daisen Tour – From Fine Cuisine To Museums for more details. Photo courtesy of KOMOREBITOHere, you can enjoy cuisines made using local ingredients with dishes like the Daisen Herb Chicken. This dish is a local specialty of Daisen made by mixing herbs into the chickens’ feed in order to increase the flavor of the meat.KOMOREBITOAddress: Tottori, Saihaku, Daisen, Mt. Daisen 45-5Official Website: https://www.komorebito.com/en/ Photo courtesy of Tottori PrefectureYonago, Tottori is a city located a three hour distance by bullet train and limited express from Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima. Mt. Daisen, which towers over the city nearby, has been called “Japan’s Oldest Mountain of the Gods” since ancient times both for its beautiful appearance that resembles that of Mt. Fuji, and as an object of worship to the locals.In 2018, the Mt. Daisen 1300 Years of History Celebration will be held at Mt. Daisen.In this article, we’ll introduce to you noteworthy events, food, and sightseeing spots in the area. We’ll also introduce how to access the event venues, so be sure to check it out!Table of Contents:1. What Is the Mt. Daisen 1300 Years of History Celebration?2. How to Access Mt. Daisen in Tottori3. Food You Can Enjoy Before and After the Celebration4. Stay at a Hotel and Enjoy the Hot Springs5. Recommended Sightseeing Spots in TottoriWhat Is the Mt. Daisen 1300 Years of History Celebration?Daisen Temple, located at the center of Mt. Daisen, flourished as a Shugendo (a Buddhist sect that worships nature) and Shinto place of worship since its establishment in 718.Although the sect was briefly in danger of abolition in the latter half of the nineteenth century, it has now once again become a spiritual home for many people as a religious and healing center surrounded by rich nature.In celebration of 1300 years since Daisen Temple’s establishment, several events, including Shinto and Buddhist rituals and services, musical concerts, stargazing tours, and more will be held from May to November during the “Mt. Daisen 1300 Years of History Celebration”.We’ll introduce two noteworthy events through which you can experience the traditional culture of both Japan and Tottori here in this article.Recommended Event No. 1The Parade of Torches – Experience Tottori’s Ancient History Photo courtesy of Kumezakura Brewery Co., Ltd.Daisen-G Beer Weizen, a local beer that can be found at GAMBARIUS, is an amazing beer that was chosen as the best beer in the World Beer Awards 2011. If you’re visiting Daisen, then be sure to try this beer.GAMBARIUSAddress: Tottori, Saihaku, Hoki, Maruyama 1740-30Official Website: http://g-beer.jp/gambarius/ (Japanese)Stay at a Hotel and Enjoy the Hot SpringsNear the Daisen event venues are hotels such as Daisen View Heights (Japanese), Hotel Daisen Shirogane, and Daisen White Palace (Japanese).However, it might be difficult to secure reservations at these hotels due to the many visitors coming on the day of the events. If this happens, be sure to include the Yonago City area in your search for hotels on Booking.com or Rakuten Travel. Visit the “1300 Years of History Celebration” at Mt. Daisen, Tottori Photo courtesy of Kumezakura Brewery Co., Ltd.BIERHOF GAMBARIUS is also conveniently located near the event venues of Mt. Daisen and reachable by bus. Photo courtesy of KOMOREBITOThere are several restaurants where you can enjoy gourmet foods within walking distance from the event venues of the Parade of Torches and the Daisen Wagasa Fantasy Nights. For example, you can have dinner while enjoying a beautiful sunset at the café KOMOREBITO. Photo courtesy of the Daisen Tourism OrganizationDid you know that Tottori prefecture is actually an area famous for wagasa (Japanese umbrella) production? In August and September of 2018, the path to Ogamiyama Shrine’s Okunomiya will be illuminated by 100 Japanese umbrellas. Photo courtesy of Tottori PrefectureYonago, the nearest city to Mt. Daisen, can be accessed in about three hours from Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima by bullet train or limited express. The city can also be easily accessed by plane, bullet train, or limited express from Tokyo and Fukuoka.For details, please read the article Tottori Prefecture: Access From Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka And Hiroshima.How to Access the 1300 Years of History Celebration VenueTo access Bakuroza, the venue of the Parade of Torches, or Ogamiyama Shrine’s Okunomiya, the venue for the Daisen Wagasa Fantasy Nights, take the Nihon Kotsu Bus bound for the Mt. Daisen Area from the bus terminal in front of JR Yonago Station for about 50 minutes. You can also take the Daisen Loop Bus or a taxi for about 30 minutes.For details on the Daisen Loop Bus, please check out Tottori’s official website (Japanese) or this MATCHA article. You can also check the tourist information center (Japanese) in Yonago Station for information.Both the Parade of Torches and the Daisen Wagasa Fantasy Nights events will end at around 21:00. During the period of the Daisen Wagasa Fantasy Nights, visitors can return to Yonago by taking the temporary Daisen Loop Bus that departs at either 20:30 or 21:30.However, be sure to rent a car or call a taxi during the period of the Parade of Torches as there won’t be any temporary buses during that time. For information on taxis in the Mt. Daisen area, please refer to the Yonago Tourism Association’s website.Food You Can Enjoy Before and After the CelebrationTottori is surrounded by rich nature and is a treasure trove of delicious Japanese food such as Wagyu beef, seafood dishes, and more. Photo courtesy of Kaike Onsen Ryokan AssociationIn Kaike Onsen, you can also enjoy swimming at the beautiful beaches in the area in addition to soaking in the hot springs. For details on hotels at Kaike Onsen, please check out the Kaike Onsen Ryokan Association’s official website.Recommended Sightseeing Spots in Tottori Photo courtesy of Kaike Onsen Ryokan AssociationFor those who love hot springs, we’d like to recommend Kaike Onsen, a popular hot spring area about a 50 minute bus ride from Daisen. Photo courtesy of the Daisen Tourism OrganizationMt. Daisen was once an active volcano and was revered since ancient times as a mountain where the fire god resided. Through the Parade of Torches, a ceremony held as a prayer for the safety of mountain climbers, we are able to experience the magnificent atmosphere this area has held during its long history.The Parade of TorchesEvent Schedule: June 2nd, 2018 From 19:30 / September 30th From 19:30Venue: Daisen, Mt. Daisen 40-1 Bakuroza Event Venue *nearby Daisen TempleOfficial Website: http://tourismdaisen.com/feature/natsuyama/ (Japanese)* Stage events and the Mt. Daisen Gourmet Food Festival are also scheduled to be held from around 16:00 until 21:00.* Near the venue, there will be counter where participants can receive their torches. The counter will be open until 18:00. However, the area will close once they run out of torches. Recommended Event No.2Daisen Wagasa Fantasy Nights – The Beauty of Tottori’s Tradition! Photo courtesy of the Daisen Tourism OrganizationThe Japanese umbrellas to be installed here are made by Tottori craftspeople in the image of the landscapes found during each of the four seasons around Mt. Daisen. You’ll surely be able to experience the magical atmosphere even more deeply when you gaze at the scenes designed on each of the umbrellas.The Daisen Wagasa Fantasy Nights are so popular that lines form an hour before the event begins, so we recommend visiting early.Daisen Wagasa Fantasy NightsEvent Schedule: August 10th-13th / August 24th-26th / September 22nd-24th 19:30 – 21:30Venue: Tottori, Saihaku, Daisen, Mt. Daisen 1 near Ogamiyama Shrine’s OkunomiyaOfficial Website: http://tourismdaisen.com/feature/14/ (Japanese)* Visitors who are junior high school age and older are required to pay a 300 yen admission fee. Entry tickets will be sold from 17:00 on the day of the event.* Nearby restaurants will be serving special dishes during the period of the Daisen Wagasa Fantasy Nights.For details on other events than the Parade of Torches and the Daisen Wagasa Fantasy Nights, or on events to be held on Mt. Daisen in 2019, please check out Tottori’s official Facebook and the official Daisen Tourism website!You’ll also be able to enjoy yourself more comfortably by wearing long sleeves, long pants, and shoes that are easy to walk in. Be sure to also bring along insect repellent spray.How to Access Mt. Daisen in Tottori Photos of the Tottori Hanakairo Flower Park (above) and Tottori Sand Dunes (bottom left) courtesy of Tottori Prefecture You’ll also find Tottori Hanakairo Flower Park, Japan’s largest flower park, and Mizuki Shigeru Road, a road related to the manga “GeGeGe no Kitaro”, in western Tottori when you travel a bit farther from Daisen.The Tottori Sand Dunes, one of Tottori’s most popular sightseeing spots that rivals that of Mt. Daisen, is located in eastern Tottori.You’ll also be able to enjoy Mt. Mitoku, where the national treasure Sanbutsuji Temple Nageiredo Hall is found, along with the “Detective Conan” Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory in central Tottori!For details on these spots, please check out our page for Tottori here.If you wish to learn more about Tottori Prefecture, then be sure to also check out Tottori Prefecture’s official website (http://www.tottori-tour.jp/en/)!Sponsored by Tottori Prefecturelast_img read more

Take The Romantic Sagano Rail To See Early Summer In Arashiyama Kyoto

first_imgSightseeing in Kyoto is usually associated with touring around historical buildings. But after visiting the temples and shrines of the city, what do you usually do? While Kyoto is famous for sightseeing spots and historical remains, if you want to enjoy some beautiful and tasteful scenery, we recommend the north-western area of Kyoto: Arashiyama. In this article, we would like to introduce the best way of visiting Arashiyama: the Sagano Romantic Train.Sagano Romantic TrainPassing through Arashiyama, the Sagano Romantic Train connects Sagano and Kanmeoka via a 25 minute leisure ride. On the train, even wearing a kimono does not look out of place. This is Kyoto for you: a beautiful blend between the old and the new.From the window of the train, you will see the valley whose landscape changes with the seasons. Even on the train, you can embrace the nature of Sagano.Inside the train are warm, inviting wooden chairs that give it a distinctly nostalgic atmosphere.The red and yellow exterior looks retro and cute too. It is very popular with visitors from all over.From the train you can see people river-rafting.When you arrive, you are welcomed by several pottery statues of tanuki, or raccoon dogs.Friends, families, couples, and even solo travelers can enjoy the Sagano Romantic Train. The train ride is only 25 minutes long, which is the perfect length to enjoy your ride. You may want to ride on it again when the sakura are in full bloom and during the fall when the maple leaves change color.Wander Around ArashiyamaThe Path of BambooAfter getting off at Arashiyama Station, the whole crowd is sure to start moving towards the Path of Bamboo. The path leads you deep into the bamboo wood; it is the path that Kyoto is proud of and it attracts people all over the world. Even during the hottest of days, you can feel the soft breeze drifting between the bamboo.This is also a nice spot to wander around in while wearing a yukata. The bamboo path is wonderfully ventilated – which makes it the best spot for a Japanese summer.Togetsu BridgeJust like its bamboo forest, Togetsu Bridge is an important symbol of Arashiyama. Crossing over Katsura River, the bridge spans 155m. It was first built 1200 years ago and hence is a very historical bridge. It was destroyed once during a strong flood and so the bridge you see nowadays was actually rebuilt in 2001. The bridge is a perfect spot to view the dynamic Arashiyama and Katsura River.Yuba Tofu CuisineTofu cuisine, the signature cuisine of Arashiyama. During hot days, cool down yourself with their refreshing ice cream.It will surely help heal your dry throat. Reward yourself after a long walk under the sun!How to Buy Tickets for the Sagano Romantic TrainYou can buy the same-day tickets at any Sagano Romantic Train station or Midori-no-madoguchi of the JR West Japan; they are 620 yen for adults and 310 yen for children. All seats on this line are reserved, and may be sold out during peak holiday times. To learn more, please refer to the official website.Summers in Japan are boiling hot. Come to Arashiyama to refresh yourself and get in touch with the beautiful nature of land.InformationSagano Romantic TrainAddress: Kyoto, Kyoto, Ukyo, Saga TenrujiAccess: 1 minute walk from JR Saga Arashiyama StationCredit cards: Cash only for same-day ticketsOfficial Site: Sagano Romantic TrainRead also:Sample Legendary Murasawa Beef At Otsuka In Arashiyama, KyotoMonkeying Around In Arashiyama – Beautiful Views And ActivitiesEnjoy Kyoto To The Fullest! A Two-Day Sightseeing Itinerarylast_img read more

Access From Skytree And Sensoji Temple Three Bathhouses In Asakusa

first_imgJakotsuyu’s rotemburo are built so that you can experience a Japanese-like quality to them.The garden pond that can be seen from the rotemburo in the men’s bath is also known for having koi fish. Chairs are also prepared so it would be nice to look at the koi fish while sitting if your body has gotten a little too hot in the baths.The water in the pond falls from above like a waterfall. The sound of the water falling is very pleasant to the ear. This is an especially popular bath at Jakotsuyu.The Japanese Interior of the Women’s Bath Jakotsuyu, located a seven minute walk from Senso-ji Temple, is a bathhouse with a history that has continued from the Edo period. The baths use a black-colored natural hot spring called Kuroyu.It is also complete with bathhouse-like facilities like a wall painting of Mount Fuji, denkiburo (*1), saunas, and rotemburo (outdoor bath), so we recommend this location to those that are experiencing bathhouses for the first time.*1 Denkiburo: a type of bath where small electric currents run through the water. It is effective for recovering from fatigue and other symptoms. Watch the Koi While Soaking in the Men’s Bath Go to a Japanese Bathhouse After Sightseeing in AsakusaBathhouses have long been a staple of daily life in Japan. As a result, Japan’s unique bath culture, which includes details such as murals of Mount Fuji and entrance noren (curtains), have remained strong even in modern public baths today.There are several popular bathhouse spots in the Tokyo sightseeing areas Oshiage, where Senso-ji Temple and Tokyo Skytree are located, and Asakusa. We’ll introduce three of our recommended bathhouses from these areas.Read AlsoEveryone Bathing Together?! Travelers Check Out A Japanese Public BathBath Culture In Japan: What Every Visitor Should Know Ahead Of Time1. Jakotsuyu: A Bathhouse from the Edo Period Usage of the baths by overseas visitors have also been reportedly on the increase since around 2006. As a result, the ticket machines are available in English, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese, for a total of four languages.The bathhouse is also complete with amenities such as shampoo and body soap provided by the bathhouse and rental towels (a small towel is 30 yen plus tax while a large is 60 yen plus tax). You can casually enter the baths without having to worry about bringing anything with you.An all-in-one set (140 yen plus tax) that comes with a towel, razor, and toothbrush in a handbag is also sold by the bathhouse.Those with tattoos can also enter the baths, making this a bathhouse that is also easy to use for overseas tourists. There are also other great services such as being able to use cellphone chargers for up to 20 minutes per person.Jakotsuyu does not provide luggage storage, so we recommend going to the bathhouse after storing your belongings with services such as coin lockers. Jakotsuyu View Informationspa The atmosphere in the rotemburo of the women’s bath is slightly different. It is characterized by walls that mimic that of shoji (sliding doors) and an interior decorated with plants.High powered jets (*2), body jets (*3), and denkiburo are available in both the men’s and women’s baths so all guests can enjoy their bath no matter where they are.*2 High powered jets: a bath designed to vigorously shoot hot water from a device installed inside the bathtub.*3 Body jets: a bath designed to shoot hot water from all directions.Complete with Services For Non-Japanese Speakerslast_img read more

Want To Try Crispy Jumbo Melon Bread Head To Asakusas Kagetsudo

first_imgThe clump of dough that started out no larger than a fist at first, after the fermentation process, grew larger than the size of an open hand. It seems that the secret to the large size and fluffy texture is a long fermentation period at low temperatures.Finally, the most outstanding feature is the crispy outside blended with the soft, fluffy insides. The outer layer is made of a sort of cookie dough, and the bread has a subtle sweetness that you wont grow tired of. Due to its large size, at first you might think that you wont be able to get it all down, but once you bite into it, and it just melts in your mouth,by the time you realize it, you’ve managed to eat the whole thing. There’s no doubt that you’ll get hooked once you take that first bite. The shop’s current owner, it’s third owner, has studied the process of fermentation, and came up with this specialty bread.The prices are 1 bun for 200 yen, and 3 for 500 yen. Kagetsudo typically puts out 2000 melonpan a day, and are usually sold out by the evening. The only way to assure that you’ll be able to get one, is to go and buy it earlier in the day. As a summer seasonal item, they also sell Ice Cream Melon Bread, which is the same jumbo melon bread with ice cream in the middle, going for 400 yen a piece.Savor Sweets in a Soothing Japanese-Styled SpaceYou can eat the melon bread on the benches outside of the first floor, but for travelers we recommend taking some time out in the cafe space on the 2nd floor. After going up the stairs, there’s going to be a space for you to remove your shoes. Upon entering the cafe, there’ll be a Japanese-styled room with tatami mats covering the floor. It’s a very calm atmosphere, where you can take some time to relax. From the fish tank with the goldfish, to the painted sliding doors, this store’s attention to fine Japanese details is not to be overlooked. There is also an display featuring Japan-made souvenirs chosen by the staff. The display features items such as chopsticks and coin purses all neatly laid out; origami kits which can be used to make cute ornaments seem to be quite the hot commodity.In Japan, anmitsu (a jelly-like dessert featuring fruits and sweet red bean paste), and zenzai, are considered sweets. In Kagetsudo, they feature a Japanese sweets menu, where you can get such deserts with green tea included, for around 700 yen. The author tried the most popular Cream Anmitsu (750 yen).We’ll have this one with some brown sugar syrup. Beneath the fruits there is some red bean paste and agar, which is a jelly-like substance produced from algae. The read bean paste, agar, and zenzai’s (*1) shiratama are all made in-house. Kagetsudo was established in 1945 in Hachijo-jima, and was originally a Japanese sweets shop. Having had 70 years as a sweets shop to it’s name, you can’t help but nod in agreement to the time-tested recipe. It’s definitely a traditional kind of taste.*1 Zenzei: a sweet soup made using soy beans; shiratama are a type of dumpling made using rice-flour.There’s also a shaved ice and ramune menu available, which is just perfect for the summer season.If You Come to Asakusa, Take a Quick Break at KagetsudoIt’s been 15 years since Kagetsudo started up in Asakusa. There are now two locations in Asakusa, as well as one location in Kyoto, and one in Yokohama. In addition, there are plans to have another location open in Asakusa this fall.There’s a reason why Kagetsudo has been loved by its patrons for so long. There are tours conducted in the Asakusa area every day, and it seems like Kagetsudo is one of the spots where guides take their groups to take a break. Thanks to word of mouth from the tour guides, this store gained popularity among tourists. Kagetsudo, a spot where you can take a break in a Japanese-styled space. If you’re sightseeing in Asakusa, make sure to stop by this hot spot!InformationAsakusa Kagetsudo Main StoreAddress: Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa 2-7-13Hours: from 9:00, closes when sold outClosed: Irregular (see website for details)Access: 10-15 minute walk from Asakusa Station, in Nishi Sando Shopping Street EntrancePhone: 03-3847-5251Website: Asakusa Kagetsudo Crispy on the Outside, Fluffy on the Inside: The Secret Behind Kagetsudo’s PopularityEarly in the morning, a wonderfully sweet aroma makes its way round the arcade town close to Sensoji Temple. As it turns out, the source of that aroma is the Jumbo Melon Bread from Kagetsudo. Melon bread is a Japanese original pastry; one of the outstanding characteristics of this sweet is the net-like pattern on the outer layer. Japanese people are very familiar with melon bread, and it’s really far from rare. Despite this fact, plenty of customers come day after day looking to get their hands on Kagetsudo’s “Jumbo Melon Bread”. What could be the secret to their popularity?Kagetsudo’s melon bread’s first distinctive feature is, its size. It’s a bit larger than your average melon bread.last_img read more

Selling wellness in premium cabins on ultralonghaul flights

first_imgAs airlines continue on the path towards ever-longer flights, they are also expanding their work to focus on passenger health. Earlier this year, Qantas expanded its partnership with the University of Sydney to include testing with medical wearables on board as its Perth-London flight beds in, while this week Singapore Airlines says it is working with US health spa chain Canyon Ranch to develop menus for its soon-to-restart flights between Singapore and Newark.I’m old enough to remember when the most wellness-focussed items one could expect to find in business class were a little pot of jojoba face cream and a morning smoothie. Times have certainly changed, with Canyon Ranch creating menus (or “Wellness Cuisines”), guided stretching exercises on the seatback inflight entertainment, and “rest and relaxation, which includes sleep strategies designed to help customers in all cabin classes improve the duration and quality of rest, as well as specific light settings in providing better cabin ambience for rest and relaxation.”Some of this is self-preservation: if an airline can demonstrate that it has recommended to passengers that they stretch and move around the cabin, however impractical that may be on a modern airliner, it may be able to reduce its liability for damages in the event of medical issues like deep vein thrombosis.New generations of aircraft like the A350 have lower cabin altitudes, but is that enough for “wellness”? Image: Singapore AirlinesSome of it is around reassuring those passengers who look at the timescale for the flight — eighteen hours and forty-five minutes — and wince at the idea, even in business. If the experience can be made to feel like a health farm, with massages and facials and swimming pools and all, perhaps it can’t be all that bad.Canyon Ranch operates two “destination spa resorts” in the United States, as well as spas in Las Vegas hotels and on cruise ships. Much of the release feels more than a little woo-woo — if the new menus are “nutrition-focussed”, one has to wonder on what the previous and ongoing menus focus — but the idea is an interesting one.Wild Caught Prawn Ceviche and LavoshFresh Orange, Cucumber, Grapefruit, Cilantro, Scallions, Bell PeppersSeared Organic Chicken and Zucchini PappardellePasta Cut Zucchini, Parmesan, Braised Tomatoes, Lemon Vinaigrette, Micro BasilLemon Angel Food CakeBlueberry ToppingLox Eggs BenedictWhole Wheat English Muffin, Chive Cream Cheese, Smoked Salmon,Organic Egg Omelette, Yogurt HollandaiseI have to say that even Singapore Airlines couldn’t persuade me to try a ceviche in the sky, especially catered from the dismal New York area airports.I love the idea of eggs royale on a plane, but the idea of hollandaise after 18 hours gives me some pause. Image: Singapore AirlinesQantas’ business class menu, for its part, looks like this:Tuna poke salad with sesame soy dressingSeared Cone Bay Barramundi with herb garlic potatoes, broccolini, lemon, olive and almond salsaPoached egg, kale, quinoa, grilled haloumi, pistachio and green tahini dressingSmoked salmon, soba and raw zucchini noodles with ponzu dressingRoast English beef with Yorkshire pudding, peas and onion gravyI imagine that the hearty beef with yorkshire puddings is not part of a wellness regime, of course. And Singapore Airlines took pains to note that it will continue to offer its regular menus alongside the Canyon Ranch ones.The Smoked salmon, soba and raw zucchini noodles with ponzu dressing will fly on Qantas from Heathrow. Image: QantasBut it strikes me that both airlines need to look at their lighter, snacking offerings as well as the wellness-icon-marked headline dishes. Too often, a between-meals snack is a “chocolate or crisps” option.I flew Newark-Changi on Singapore Airlines’ old A340-500 a few weeks before they closed down the route five years ago, and the experience was much like any other longhaul SQ flight with another “rinse and repeat” of the meal-movie-snooze programme on my internal washing machine. By the end of it I didn’t need a full breakfast, but would have welcomed more flexibility with a large range of lighter options, which wouldn’t have needed to be particularly revolutionary in their contents, but which could have been combined into a more substantial meal for those passengers who might have wanted it.But no matter how many complementary wellness principles airlines include, travelling twenty-odd hours in one shot isn’t good for you, no matter how many kale and quinoa smoothies you inhale or crushed wheatgerm facial mists you spray on yourself. Are airlines overpromising the feel-good factor as a result?I love zucchini noodles, but is this Canyon Ranch dish of chicken and vegetables overselling things a bit? Image: Singapore AirlinesRelated Article:Design for long-haul travel: aspirational flyingDelta Air Lines wants you to sweat it outPodcast 038: Farm to tray table, how inflight food is evolving#PaxEx TV: Indian carriers face off for foodies in the skyFarm-to-terminal trend continues with OTG’s new Newark arrivalAs severe food allergies grow, is air transport doing enough?United takes fresh approach to airport lounge foodlast_img read more

Press Release US voters concerned about voting system integrity Unisys

first_img2018 Unisys Security Index: Lack of Control over Internet Security Drives ConcernsThe 2018 Unisys Security Index surveyed more than 13,000 consumers in 13 countries, including more than 1,000 in the U.S., in August and September 2018. It gauged their attitudes on a wide range of security-related issues and attributed an index to them. The index is a calculated score from zero to 300 based on concern about eight specific issues within the categories of national, financial, internet and personal security.The new survey shows that consumer security concerns in the U.S. go far beyond the integrity of mid-term voting, with the U.S. score remaining at its second-highest level since the survey began 11 years ago. The index reached its highest level last year but dropped slightly this year by six points on a scale of 0 to 300, with 300 representing the highest level of concern. The U.S. index is now at 163, still considered a serious level of concern and the highest among the six developed* countries in the survey.In all countries, the survey also found that security concerns are higher among younger people, those with lower incomes and women. In the U.S., the survey found 21 percent greater concern among 18-34-year-olds than respondents aged 45-65. U.S. respondents with lower incomes reported 16 percent more concern than higher-income respondents. Unlike in most countries, there was little difference in the U.S. with regard to the level of security concern reported by women compared to men.More specifically, survey respondents expressed the highest concerns around the subjects of identity theft (part of the personal security category), with 61 percent saying they are “very or extremely concerned,” and bankcard fraud, with 59 percent saying they are “very or extremely concerned.”“These results suggest that consumers view the internet as scarier than earthquakes, terrorism and wars, largely because they feel they have little control over how to address bad actors leveraging internet-enabled technologies,” Patterson said. “These concerns make it imperative for government agencies and companies that serve consumers to do everything possible to make the online experience safer and more secure, starting with implementing a zero-trust security model.”About the Unisys Security IndexUnisys has conducted the Unisys Security Index – the only recurring snapshot of security concerns conducted globally – since 2007 in order to provide an ongoing, statistically-robust measure of concern about security. The index is a calculated score out of 300 covering changing consumer attitudes over time across eight areas of security in four categories: national security and disaster/epidemic, in the National Security category; bankcard fraud and financial obligations, in the Financial Security category; viruses/hacking and online transactions, in the Internet Security category; and identity theft and personal safety, in the Personal Security category. The 2018 Unisys Security Index is based on online surveys conducted August 19-September 3, 2018 of nationally representative samples of at least 1,000 adults in each of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, the U.S. and the UK. The margin of error at a country level is +/-3.1 percent at 95 percent confidence level, and 0.9 percent at a global level.About UnisysUnisys is a global information technology company that builds high-performance, security-centric solutions for the most demanding businesses and governments on Earth. Unisys offerings include security software and services; digital transformation and workplace services; industry applications and services; and innovative software operating environments for high-intensity enterprise computing. Nearly one in five (19 percent) Americans “will not vote” or “have a high likelihood” of not voting in November’s mid-term elections, with concerns over outside actors compromising the country’s election voting systems the cause, according to the new 2018 Unisys Security Index™.The only recurring snapshot of security concerns conducted globally, the 2018 Unisys Security Index also shows that 18-to-34-year-olds are the least likely to vote in the mid-terms, with more than one in four (26 percent) reporting that they “will not vote” or “have a high likelihood” of not voting.Nearly nine in 10 respondents – 86 percent – express concerns over the prospect of U.S. election voting systems being compromised by outsiders, according to the survey. Only about 40 percent of registered voters traditionally participate in mid-term elections, according to FairVote, meaning security concerns could drive this total even lower, particularly among younger voters.“The lack of trust in our voting election systems as exposed by the 2018 Unisys Security Index potentially undermines confidence in America’s democratic system,” said Tom Patterson, chief trust officer of Unisys. “The U.S. needs to build on progress made in preparation for this mid-term election cycle, while factoring in that younger voters are the ones expressing the highest levels of concern over the integrity of the process. I am confident that our country will be able to address this dynamic.”last_img read more

Press Release Passenger Experience Week prepares for lift off

first_imgThe global travel and tourism industry is one of the most dynamic economic powerhouses on the planet. It not only creates jobs, but connects businesses to markets, drives exports, is a catalyst for prosperity and generally helps people enjoy better lives worldwide. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) estimates that the sector accounts for 10.4% of global GDP and 313 million jobs, making it one of the largest contributors economically in the world. The connectivity provided by international air and rail transport is one of the key factors in facilitating its growth.It is estimated that over half of international tourists travel by air, meaning aviation plays a crucial role in supporting one of the globe’s most important economic sectors. And according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), it contributes an enormous €2.3 trillion with more than 120,000 flights taking off daily – transporting more than 10 million passengers worldwide.It’s clear that the aviation sector is thriving, and the global rail market is also in a period of growth according to the 2018 Worldwide Market for Railway Industries Study. Since 2016, its value has grown from €169 billion to €183 billion, with the rate outstripping forecasted growth of 2.3% two years ago, to 2.8%.This strong growth has resulted in changes across the air and rail sectors with a greater focus on improving customer satisfaction levels through innovations in onboard service and environments. For example, a new raft of commercial aircraft models from leading manufacturers Airbus and Boeing has forced airlines to refine the offering they provide to passengers, while developments in onboard catering and cutting-edge technology are attracting passengers to travel operators that have a modern and unique approach to travel. The key to sustaining this success lies in being aware of – and acting on – key trends without being outmaneuvered by competitors.The spotlight is on passenger experienceThis year’s Passenger Experience Week, taking place in Hamburg from 1-4 April 2019, brings together four leading events that aim to provide ideas, inspiration and solutions for air, rail and cruise buyers looking to improve the experience they offer to their passengers. Comprising Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE); Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS); and the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC), the series of events will showcase the latest cabin interiors, in-flight entertainment and connectivity, passenger comfort, catering, retail offerings and technology software that will ultimately transform the experience passengers receive on a plane, train, coach or cruise ship.Over 950 exhibitors will be on hand throughout the week to showcase their innovations to 18,000 attending industry professionals. Of these, more than 2,000 will be VIP guests – leading decision makers representing the world’s major air and rail operators – looking to find those unique, new-to-market products that will set their business apart from the rest. Face-to-face buying, selling and networking will dominate proceedings across the Hamburg Messe throughout the week.Learning from industry visionariesMarking the start of Passenger Experience Week 2019, the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) will bring together thought leaders from across the global aviation, rail and cruise sectors, who will share new ideas and discuss the next steps in the evolution of the passenger experience from onboard environments to services.Delegates joining this year’s conference on 1 April will be able to hear speakers from Airbus; Seymourpowell; Diehl Aviation; Panasonic Avionics Corporation; Collins Aerospace; and Passenger Experience Week supporting organisation, International Air Transport Association (IATA).Opening the conference, Joe Leader, Chief Executive Officer of the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and International Flight Services Association (IFSA), will provide the inside track on the strategies that will deliver more competitive cabins. He will offer insight on how to deliver greater value for passengers and improve revenue for airlines; the transformative approaches to making the journey better; and how to integrate new technologies and tools every step of the way.Following the day’s keynote sessions, three breakout streams will focus the discussion on key trends shaping the future of the industry – The Competitive Cabin, Digital: The New Reality, and Revitalising the Journey.The Competitive Cabin stream will help delegates understand how suppliers are innovating products and services to deliver a better passenger experience and increase revenue. The session will explain the importance of technology collaborations in creating innovative interiors solutions that enhance the journey of all travellers – including those with mobility, visual or hearing impairments.With a digital revolution underway in the travel sectors, Digital: The New Reality will explore the importance of integrating technology across the entire journey to create a seamless and connected environment. Speakers will explore the role of automated and digital/mobile self-service; how biometric technologies are opening up opportunities through airports and on aircraft; and how the food and retail experience onboard can be digitalised to improve engagement and passenger enjoyment.In the final stream, Revitalising the Journey, speakers will address how new sensory technologies can help passengers navigate their journeys. From sensory touchpoints – sonic branding, voice technologies, haptic feedback – to augmented and virtual reality, delegates will learn more about the opportunities to improve experiences, while tackling new challenges in cabin design. Sessions will encourage delegates to rethink both the physical and onboard experience, from understanding how biometric technologies, such as facial recognition, are transforming passenger experiences in a world of self-service; to the opportunities to deliver outstanding personalisation, helping passengers to arrive at their destinations feeling relaxed and refreshed.20 years of cabin innovationWith the global aviation industry going from strength to strength, it’s no surprise that the airline interiors industry is also booming. The market for aircraft interiors is predicted to hit €13.9 billion by 2020 according to market research by Industry Arc, thanks to a dramatic surge in air travel and the accompanying upturn in passenger expectations as a result.For two decades, AIX has played a pivotal role in helping the world’s premier airlines source the latest cabin innovations, technologies, inflight entertainment and connectivity solutions that have transformed their offerings and helped turn them into the leading global players they are today. The 2019 instalment sees the exhibition reach its 20th anniversary with a celebration of the cutting-edge innovation that is continually propelling the industry forward.More than 500 businesses – including industry players both, large and small – will showcase their latest products and services aimed at enhancing the cabin, in-flight entertainment and connectivity onboard. These include materials suppliers such as Zotefoams, a world leader in cellular materials technology, which is confirmed to showcase its ZOTEK F foam. The material is manufactured from specialist PVDF engineering polymers to meet the exacting standards of aviation manufacturers. Helping to improve inflight hygiene, Mankiewicz will present its second-generation interior paint featuring antimicrobial effective additives. Its ALEXIT PureGuard paint contains special chemicals that hinder the spread of mould and unpleasant odours, helping to reduce the microbes and bacteria which accumulate over the course of a flight.And, with the industry’s leading seat manufacturers present, attendees will be able to discover the latest seat configurations from Safran SA; Recaro Aircraft Seating GmbH & Co. KG; STELIA Aerospace; and Adient Aerospace, which will showcase its Ascent Business Class at the show. Molon Labe Seating will also join the line-up, revealing the launch customer for its S1 staggered short-range economy class seat.Visitors can also explore mock-ups of the new Boeing 777X – the largest and most efficient twin-engine jet in the world. The cabin interior, which will be on display at AIX 2019, is inspired by the comforts and conveniences of the 787 Dreamliner, with larger windows, a wider cabin, new lighting and enhanced architecture – all of which will be custom-tailored for a unique in-flight passenger experience.  The 777X is one of many topics explored by Boeing’s Blake Emery and PJ Wilcynski on the newly launched PAX Week Views podcast. The podcast brings together a host of leading industry experts from across the aviation, rail and cruise sectors to share their thoughts on the future of the passenger experience industry. It is now available to download or stream via iTunes or Spotify here: http://bit.ly/2BopFfhAirline buyers looking for suppliers to support Maintenance, Retail and Overhaul (MRO) operations, will find a host of businesses that will be demonstrating the importance of cabin refurbishment services. Exhibitors, including Delta TechOps, Etihad Airways Engineering and Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance, will explain how they deliver the highest quality interior maintenance and refurbishment of seating, monuments – comprising galley, lavatory, closets, overhead bins and sidewall panels – IFEC solutions and unit load devices (ULDs).What’s on at AIXIn addition to the smorgasbord of innovations on display on the show floor, there will be a whole area dedicated to the very latest developments in inflight entertainment technology. According to IATA’s 2018 Global Passenger Survey, people now prefer to watch digital content on a seatback device (54%) rather than a personal device (36%).This technology and more will be presented in The IFEC Zone, which aims to keep visitors abreast of the latest developments in inflight technology solutions. It will feature everything from servers and OTT systems to 5G and VR, with more than 100 leading providers of state-of-the-art entertainment and communications solutions on display, including AirFi BV, Astronics, Panasonic, SITA OnAir, Thales and Kontron.Demonstrating how cinematic Virtual Reality (VR) can transport premium passengers to their own private movie theatres, SkyLights will reveal how operators can set themselves apart from the competition and enable passengers to enjoy the latest releases in 3D, 2D and 180° VR with its AlloSky VR Headset. Bluebox Aviation Systems will highlight the latest innovations in tablet-based and wireless IFE solutions including its Bluebox aIFE – an accessible IFE solution for passengers with sight loss that Virgin Atlantic launched in December 2017; while Gogo, the in-flight internet company, will demonstrate its next-generation satellite technology for global in-flight connectivity: Gogo 2Ku.Meanwhile IFEC technology will, for the second year, be recognised in the Crystal Cabin Awards, enabling visitors to quickly identify the most innovative new launches. Eight categories in total will be awarded, all of which celebrate innovation in the aircraft cabin. Innovations across the eight categories will be on display, with winners announced in the CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre.Held within the theatre, the CabinSpace LIVE Seminar programme, offers a place for attendees to listen and learn from industry leaders, and discover the latest challenges and trends impacting the industry. Curated to help airlines grasp the opportunities and navigate the challenges posed by the ever-evolving air travel industry, this year will feature free-to-attend forecast sessions exploring a wide range of hot topics. The rapid evolution of connectivity, IFEC and tools for engagement; the outlook for the aircraft interiors industry; and IFC trends in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) will all be covered.Airbus BizLab, a global aerospace accelerator, will also lead a panel discussion on the future of flight, questioning how factors such as demographic and economic growth, tourism trends, oil prices and the development of new and existing routes help shape air transport mobility. With a particular focus on innovation in aircraft interiors, a panel will discuss how global macro trends can change the future of aircraft-based mobility, moderated by Reymound Buckman, Airbus BizLab Campus Leader in Hamburg.As ever, there will be plentiful networking opportunities at AIX, focused particularly on helping to develop strong working business relationships between airlines and suppliers. The Airline Club Lounge, exclusively reserved for members of airlines, bizjets and lessors, is designed to provide a space to escape, relax, work or network away from the show floor.Serving up innovation at WTCEFor the past two decades, AIX has become the global meeting place for airlines to source innovative technologies and solutions to improve the passenger experience. In more recent years, it has been joined by sister exhibition, the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE), which has also grown significantly in its own right to become the leading global event for travel catering, onboard retail and passenger comfort.This year’s instalment, which sits alongside AIX at the Hamburg Messe in halls A1-A3, is set to be one of the biggest to date, thanks to continued demand for the very best onboard experience the world’s leading airlines, rail companies and cruise liners can provide.Indeed, according to Global Industry Analysts Inc., the worldwide market for in-flight catering services is projected to reach €15.5 billion by 2020, driven by ever increasing – and demanding – passenger traffic and an abundance of service innovations by airline operators. And with more than five million meals served onboard flights each day, it’s no surprise that businesses are looking for new and innovative ways to improve their onboard offerings and attract new customers.Many airlines are already switching things up when it comes to their catering. Take Emirates for example, which has announced it is building a vertical farm to grow food for its meals with less impact on the environment. Meanwhile, Delta Airlines is trialling a new three-course meal plan served with sparkling wine; Air France has added a new ‘healthy’ meal option to it’s a la carte menu, while conversely, Swiss Air has added new hot cheese fondue to its menu. Whatever the innovation, its clear there is a place in the market for new ideas when it comes to onboard catering, and this year’s WTCE is the place to find them.What’s on at WTCEThe free-to-attend exhibition houses over 350 suppliers of onboard products and services, including more than 180 dedicated to food and drink. These include The Barilla Group, which will showcase its dedicated line of Italian food solutions for foodservice professionals under its most famous and well-loved brands, Barilla and Mulino Bianco. Cuisine Solutions, an industry leader in the expert development and manufacturing of premium, fully cooked foods using the sous-vide method, will also be present, demonstrating its slow-cooking technique that was pioneered and perfected by its Chief Scientist Dr. Bruno Goussault.WTCE will once again present visitors with a host of new products for complimentary in-flight and buy onboard menus from cheeses to chocolates. Companies such as Brazzale Spa, the oldest Italian family business in the dairy and cheese-making industry; Butlers Chocolates, Ireland’s premier family-owned firm dedicated to the craft of exceptional chocolate-making; and Dr. Schär Group, the European leader in gluten-free products, will all present the latest food and beverages suitable for onboard consumption.Visitors can also see products from a broader range of categories including hygiene, transport and logistics, packaging, travel retail, passenger comfort and toys and games, with many launching products that have never been seen before. This year, visitors will have the opportunity to view products from the full spectrum of airline and rail suppliers – large and small – including LSG Group, Matrix, Bayart Innovations, dnata and gategroup, as well as those from more than 100 new exhibitors that have not previously launched into the industry.The New Exhibitor Village gives companies that are new to the industry the opportunity to reveal their services or products to more than 200 international airlines and rail operators. With a dedicated, stand-out area on the show floor, participants will benefit from a unique platform to market their innovations.Companies already signed up to showcase their products in the Village include Belberry Preserves, Belgian-based purveyors of fruit preserves; Chum Fruit Snacks, 100% healthy fruit snacks featuring the simplest purest ingredients; Farmhouse Biscuits, biscuits baked from traditional, old-family recipes; Nature Frais, an agri-food company which specialises in the cutting of fresh vegetables and fruits; and frozen bread producers Novepan.Elsewhere, there will be a selection of designated areas to enable visitors to easily identify products and services that are of interest to them. Giving airtime to brand new products will be the What’s New Onboard showcase that will feature products and innovations launched to the market in the past 12 months or less.The growing Focus on World Travel Retail will return to Hall A4 to showcase products that can help drive revenue opportunities onboard. In the cut-throat travel retail industry, operators need that all-important competitive edge to set their business apart from the rest and win customers. Exhibitors taking part this year include Schäfer Travel Retail GmbH, a supplier with more than 10 years’ experience supplying a wide selection of brands and products to over 60 airlines and 40 airports worldwide; Chateau d’Esclans Whispering Angel, a leading producer of a renowned range of Côtes de Provence rosés; Lemonaid Beverages, fairtrade lemonade made from fresh, organically grown ingredients; MeMento, a blend of distilled aromatic waters filled with the scents of the Mediterranean; and Gebr. Heinemann, one of the top players on the international travel retail market. Visitors will also have an opportunity to sample new products and engage with other attendees at the Gebr. Heinemann networking bar.The Spotlight on Travel Apparel feature, sponsored by Egret Aviation and MODUS, will return to the exhibition’s central entrance to showcase the latest onboard clothing. Operators looking to update their brand or source new uniforms will find plenty of inspiration and ideas in this area. Further examples of the latest uniforms, crew luggage and travel accessories can be found on the show floor, with new companies CREATION & IMAGE Paris, GATE8 Luggage, OX’BRIDGE and Sky Soles joining the exhibition.Also providing visitors with unrivalled inspiration for their air, rail and cruise operations will be this year’s Taste of Travel Theatre. Run in association with Onboard Hospitality magazine, presentations and live demonstrations – delivered by leading consultants, industry experts and award-winning chefs will aim to educate the audience about the future of the sector, encourage them to think about current and upcoming trends and urge them to understand how they can best enhance the passenger experience. Taking place across all three days of the show, the sessions will focus on a diverse range of trends including sustainability, packaging, food waste, pre-ordering and wellbeing.Sustainability in the air is one of the current industry hot topics and will feature prominently in this year’s Taste of Travel programme. Matt Rance of MNH Sustainable Cabin Services will lead this important debate in a session entitled Sustainable Thinking as he examines how suppliers and airlines can work together to provide cradle-to-grave thinking for onboard products.Phil Chadwick, editor of Packaging News magazine, will also chair a debate around the challenges of plastic and sustainability onboard, in a session entitled Less Plastic in the Air. Taking a look at current hot packaging innovations, a further session entitled Best Sustainable Packaging will invite five exhibitors to give a quick-fire pitch to three expert judges on how their solutions are the most environmentally friendly.Wellbeing is another hot topic that is sure to provoke lots of lively debate in the Taste of Travel Theatre. Tied to this is the theme of gut health, which will be addressed by Marc Warde, culinary consultant to the airline rail and cruise industries, as he explores the new generation of meat-free, gluten-free and allergy-friendly meals suitable for health-conscious passengers. Ariane Van Mancius of Now/New/Next will also examine the habits and hang ups of passenger eating habits in her session entitled ‘How Generations Y and Z eat’. She will look at the influences of these ‘new kids on the block’, and in particular how the rules are being re-written through social media and Instagram.Other themes that will be covered include ‘Dine on Demand’ by Werner Kimmeringer and Craig Devoy of Yates+Partners; how consumers are using technology to personalise their food, health, travel and lifestyle by Mariette Abrahams of Mariette Abrahams Consulting; ‘Pre-ordering’ by Delta Airlines Executive Chef Christian Hallowell; and a session on ‘Best Rail Dining in Europe’ by two members of the Junior National Team of AKC (Czech Chefs Culinary Association) who will also demonstrate the latest dining concepts on Czech Railways. In celebration of its centenary year, representatives from British Airways will also present some of the airline’s new menus along with samples.Returning to facilitate meetings on site, WTCE’s Business Meeting Hub provides the perfect place to do business at the show. Private meeting rooms will be available, enabling VIP airline and rail attendees to arrange meetings with existing or new suppliers. Also aiding relationship building is the improved My Event tool that allows visitors and exhibitors to pre-arrange meetings, so they can maximise time spent at the show.Embracing the digital revolutionLaunched last year to great acclaim, the Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS) event will provide a new way for the aviation and rail sectors to improve passenger experience by bringing together some of the world’s most exciting and technologically advanced solutions. This year, the show is back, bigger and better, and ready to provide the perfect platform to showcase game-changing technologies to the world’s leading airlines, airports and rail operators.What’s on at PTS?Trends in technology impact all industries and travel is no exception. To stay competitive, the industry is turning towards the latest solutions to offer customers a better travel experience.Artificial Intelligence (AI), biometrics, blockchain, machine learning and Virtual Reality (VR) are all transforming the way people travel and developments in these areas are showing no sign of slowing down. And with airlines preparing to increase investment in IT by 3.6% as a percentage of their revenue, now couldn’t be a better time for the second edition of PTS, where it will move from the A Halls to Hall B4 Upper of the Hamburg Messe.The move positions the show closer to the popular In-flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) Zone in the co-located Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) and demonstrates the growing importance of big data analytics, machine learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) solutions in personalising the passenger experience and delivering innovative in-flight entertainment services.Exhibitors at this year’s event will be showcasing a whole range of products, from ancillary revenue optimisation systems, CRM and Ecommerce Systems to IT solutions and mobile apps. These include Aviget Ltd, a technology start-up developing multi-platform chatbots, that helps airlines improve customer engagement. It enables passengers to get an instant answer to any question, book a flight, check-in online, get flight status alerts and even rebook cancelled flights without the need for human interaction. Also exhibiting at PTS, ECR Retail Systems, one of the oldest mobile EPoS providers in the UK, will demonstrate its in-flight mobile point of sale (MPoS) systems; TouchStar OnBoard Retail will introduce attendees to NovoStar, a software solution that facilitates the sale of in-flight duty free, catering and ancillary products; while Black Swan, will return to highlight the importance of data-driven passenger experience software solutions.In addition to the revolutionary technology on show at this year’s PTS, there will be a new feature taking centre stage with the aim of generating further cutting-edge innovation at the event. The Pax Tech Hack – Passenger Experience Week’s first ever Hackathon – will see teams of international developers, designers and marketers battle it out to create revolutionary new solutions that will improve the end-to-end passenger journey.With backing from the official supporting organisation, International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Pax Tech Hack will kick off with a selection of challenges that are currently facing the travel industry. Participating teams will be given just 48 hours to develop a functional concept, with a strong practical application, that will utilise new technologies to tackle issues and help shape the future of the global passenger experience industry.With the first two days of the hackathon devoted to non-stop development, the teams will then be given an opportunity to present their working concepts to judges on the show floor on the final day of PTS. With an audience of passenger experience professionals from airline and rail operators watching on, the winning team in each challenge will receive €5,000.This year’s event will include an exciting free-to-attend educational programme – the PTS Seminar Theatre. A host of industry experts will introduce and explore the latest smart solutions and innovative technologies, data tools and digital solutions that will transform the travel experience. The focus will be on how to enable more seamless and connected experiences, create new business models and increase engagements.Luke Miles, Co-founder and Creative Director of New Territory, will run a workshop on ‘Using emerging technologies to provide truly bespoke passenger experiences.’ The session will explore how airlines can offer more bespoke onboard services at both ends of the plane and achieve continuity between classes. He will present a suite of emerging technologies and examples that are shaping the future of the passenger experience and encourage discussion on the next steps for integration by operators across the air, rail and cruise industries.Speaking about the session, Luke commented: “I’m absolutely delighted to be taking part in this year’s PTS Seminar Theatre. The industry is fast approaching a turning point, which will see the passenger experience undergo a technologically-driven period of advancement. The topics covered in the programme – biometrics, bespoke onboard services and blockchain technology amongst others – will be central to this shift and I’m looking forward to hearing the ground-breaking ideas presented.”A further session titled ‘Flying in 2025 – a holistic approach to passenger engagement’ will be led by Dr. Stathis Kefallonitis, Founder and President of Branding.aero and Noesis Analysis labs. This interactive panel discussion will highlight the perspectives of aircraft manufacturers, technology providers, catering and culinary experts, behavioural scientists and passengers, providing a unique viewpoint on future passenger trends.It will also explore the deployment of the latest technological capabilities, focusing on the role of new aircraft and cabin designs; data analytics, augmented reality, co-branding, collaborations and new product development; passenger-journey customisation and passenger engagement via behavioural and biometric analyses.In another session, Anne De Hauw and Anne-Celine Donkersloot, from IN Air Travel Experience, will take part in a discussion on ‘Transforming the travel ecosystem: Why today’s digital travelers need you to be there’ beyond the flight’, while a session on blockchain technology will evaluate the potential opportunities and challenges that the burgeoning technology can offer the travel sector.Also under the spotlight, sessions will explore the power of biometrics and how it can remove stress and bottlenecks from the travel journey, for passengers and operators alike. Here, Pierre Charbonneau, Director, Passenger Experience & Facilitation from International Air Transport Association (IATA) – Passenger Experience Week’s supporting organisation – will join a panel to discuss One ID, IATA’s visionary concept that introduces a collaborative identity management solution, meaning passengers need to confirm their identity just once, eliminating repetitive ID checks at security, border control and the gate. And finally, during ‘Digital Visionaries’, industry-leading chief digital and passenger experience officers will present exclusive insights on how they are transforming passenger/traveller engagement within their organisations.Katie Murphy, Portfolio Director at Reed Exhibitions, said: “We’re delighted to return to Hamburg this April to mark the 20th anniversary of AIX and the continued growth of co-located events, World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo, Passenger Technology Solutions and the Passenger Experience Conference.“More than ever, we’re seeing a clear need for collaboration and cross industry pollination as operators look to transform the passenger experience and learn from best practice across the industry. And, with digital technologies connecting services on the ground and in the air, our four events will help the aviation, rail and cruise sectors transform the passenger experience by sourcing the most innovative products and services and learn from the brightest minds from across the travel industry.”Passenger Experience Week 2019 returns to Hamburg from 1-4 April comprising Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE), Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS) and the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC). The four leading events in one location – the Hamburg Messe – share one goal: to shine a light on the latest innovations and services available to enhance the travel experience and improve the onboard comfort and wellbeing of passengers.About Passenger Experience WeekFour leading events – the Passenger Experience Conference, Aircraft Interiors Expo, World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo and Passenger Technology Solutions – one week, one destination. Delivering content, driving innovation and developing connections to transform your business. Showcasing the latest in cabin interiors, in-flight entertainment and connectivity, onboard technology, passenger comfort, catering and travel retail to create the ultimate passenger experience. Taking place 1-4 April 2019 in Hamburg, the events attract more than 18,000 visitors including 2,000 buyers and decision makers from major full service, regional and charter airlines and rail operators and offers the opportunity to meet face to face with suppliers and manufacturers covering the full spectrum of the industry.About Reed ExhibitionsReed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in over 30 countries. In 2016 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 38 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customer across industries.last_img read more

C Grace Finding a grace note

first_imgby Tracy Davisphotographs by Tim LytvinenkoIt must be jelly,” sang Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, circa 1942, “’cause jam don’t shake like that.” It seems poor form to contradict Mr. Miller on anything jazz-related, but the fact is that jam does shake like that during the open jazz jams at Raleigh jazz bar C. Grace. The bar’s craft cocktails require lots of shaking too, so really, the place is practically aquiver.To see, hear, and taste what’s shaking at C. Grace, one must first find it. The first hint to C. Grace’s speakeasy nature is the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it black awning over plain stairs leading down from Glenwood South into a … basement? Step inside, and bam, it’s a whole new world. A sublimely dark, luxe, jazz-infused world.“I like low light and dark places,” says owner Catrina Godwin, and C. Grace has an abundance of both. Named for her daughter, Catherine Grace, the bar pairs shadows with chandeliers, red brocade walls with candlelit café tables. Stretching back for what feels like half a city block, its plush velvet booths and lamp-lit corners are perfect for conversation.In contrast, its main bar is an unadorned workhorse. “We don’t have seven or eight vodkas to choose from,” says head bartender Beren Houck. “We’ve got two. Because we have these.” He points to the tools of his trade: bitters and syrups, absinthe, vermouths, and liqueurs – all the potions that can elevate a drink into an experience.But the very best cocktail at C. Grace is a musical one: The open jazz jams served up three Tuesdays a month. “It’s my favorite night of the week,” Godwin says. “You never know what the combinations will be.” It all depends on who walks through the door.Godwin credits Houck with helping to get the jams started, and both point to talented locals who’ve made them thrive: Court Stewart, who plays piano and keys and helps to run the jams; and trumpeter Al Strong, one of the masterminds behind Durham’s The Art of Cool music festival.On any given Tuesday, the musicians most keen to play are easy to pick out of the crowd. They seem to almost levitate as they wait. Even the set of their shoulders suggests a need to play right now. They all get a turn, and there’s an easygoing pattern to it. They trade places, share instruments, and swap the lead in the songs, most of which are jazz standards and American Songbook classics.The audience is diverse in all respects, the single common thread being that these folks are snappy dressers. There’s denim, sure, but also men in suits and women in dresses, a smattering of berets and sans-irony waistcoats. There’s even a fellow wearing a full-on Charlie Brown striped T-shirt, and nothing says jazz like a Charlie Brown T-shirt.They’re here for cocktails and camaraderie as well as music, so it’s not a “listening room” atmosphere. Plus, the musicians onstage are having their own musical conversation, playing for themselves and each other as much as for the crowd.“It just works,” Godwin says.A group of women sipping from elegant flutes have a hushed exchange – who’s first? Yes, people show up to sing, too. Their designee makes her way to the stage, confides that she’s never done this before, and proceeds to slay Route 66. Encouraged by an appreciative crowd, she stays for another song. Then it’s someone else’s turn, and on it goes.Tempted to tote your instrument in with you? For those inclined to participate as well as partake, Houck suggests coming in to check out a jam or two first, and talking to the regulars. And, he advises, keep in mind that it’s a jazz jam, after all. “Just take the name to heart.”Learn more at cgracebar.comlast_img read more

Slims The best worst bar

first_imgby Tracy Davisphotographs by Jason DailThe grittiest rock & rollers ain’t in it for their health, which they tend to prove by looking their best when it’s very dark and very late. That’s true for the clubs and bars they play in, too, which is why I’m a little surprised that on a recent sunny afternoon, Slim’s – which opened its doors in 1999 and ranks as Raleigh’s oldest living rock & roll bar – looks downright … pretty.Turns out, today’s mysterious loveliness is coming from a massive stock of Fireball whiskey installed three-deep and nine-wide on a single shelf. The bottles catch the light slanting over Wilmington Street and cast an amber glow that makes everyone in here look vaguely angelic, though I’m guessing they’re not. This is Raleigh’s best dive bar, after all, and “We’re the best worst bar!” is a Slim’s rallying cry.The tipoff is the floor and the bathrooms, which are a fright. But who cares? Aren’t we all shiny in some ways, a little scruffy in others?  That’s how it is with Slim’s, and that’s why it’s Raleigh’s Everyman bar.True GritAsk owner Van Alston where Slim’s shines brightest, and he’ll explain that it’s a value thing. “Our drinks are cheaper, plus we pour them strong. Can you double the inexpensiveness?”  He ponders, decides. “Yes, that’s what we do.”Alston moved to Raleigh from Greensboro in 1981 to attend N.C. State, where he studied for seven years before conferring upon himself a degree in beer. The decision has served him well. He’s good at bars, having owned a slew of them over the past 20 years; now he’s holding steady at a comfortable three, including Mojoe’s Burger Joint and The Cave, over in Chapel Hill. He’s still a loyal Wolfpacker: the Cave’s location vexes him kind of a lot.Of them all, he loves Slim’s best. “I’d rather make a little and stay here forever than do something different elsewhere.”When Alston talks about why that is, the fact that Slim’s is a brick and mortar business doesn’t factor in much. He’ll tell you about the people who work there, the musicians who come to play, and the diverse crowd that claims Slim’s as its own.Check out the affectionate snark of the staff biographies on the Slim’s website, penned by either Alston or his nephew Matt Alston (a former Slim’s barkeep himself). Obviously, Alston not only has full confidence in his people, he thinks they’re fun to hang with. Otherwise, why all the holiday parties, to which we’re all invited?There’s Slimsmas (usually in July, “right about the time the world needs a really good Christmas party”), Slimsversary (on April 15, celebrating Slim’s opening) and Slimspocalypse, the rationale for which Alston no longer recalls. “We sort of make them up on the fly,” he explains.And, there’s music, almost nightly, which covers all bases: acoustic Americana one night, death metal potent enough to make your ears bleed the next. Since the venue’s capacity is 100, you can be as close to the action as you like, whether that’s for an up-and-coming band or for bona fide rock stars like Shovels & Rope who sell out a show in minutes and play this tiniest of venues just because they like it. Alston offers generous booking terms to bands but still keeps the cover charge low, so Slim’s offers a win-win for both musician and fan. Bands that go from little to big – like American Aquarium –  tend to remember things like that.In his self-deprecating way, Alston sums it up by saying that what makes Slim’s tick is “the absence of things that suck.”  This may be true, but that’s not all.This is Van’s placeAlston’s longtime friend Ashley Christensen knows her way around a bar. In addition to her flagship restaurant Poole’s, she owns four venues within a few steps of Slim’s front door, each providing the finest of libations. Ask Christensen to name her favorite bar, not only on this street, but the planet? Slim’s, she’ll say, which also serves as “the office” in the AC-Restaurants world.“Slim’s has it all,” Christensen says. It’s “a proper watering hole, not pretentious, where you can get a quality drink.”  From a seat at the bar, early on a Friday evening, she gestures to the dark stretches of quieter space; there’s a pool table upstairs, and out back is the most smoker-friendly, anti-fern-bar patio in the history of man.“You can choose to disappear and digest your day, or hang with friends,” whatever it is that you’re after. What Christensen’s after, and what she and others find here, is more than a drink. “This is Van’s place.”She emphasizes each word, making the point that Slim’s is what it is because Alston wants it to be this. “When you share what you do best, with those you appreciate most?  That’s special,” she says. “Slim’s belongs to me more than anything I could ever own.”That’s because what Slim’s also serves up, free of charge, is community. Local musicians gather when their peers take to the stage, the kitchen and wait staff from downtown restaurants come by after work, and there’s still room for banker and lawyer types.People who spend next to no time in their own hometowns, like the roadies working big shows at Walnut Creek and PNC Arena, treat it like their hometown bar. Christensen brings her visiting chef friends; the roadies bring their colleagues, too. Do I regret not stopping by Slim’s after the Boss played PNC? I do. As one of Raleigh’s smallest and skinniest bars, Slim’s occupies a pretty big space.Slims: 227 S. Wilmington St.; 919-833-6557; slimsraleigh.comSlim’s Cheerwine shotAs told by Van AlstonI really wanted a cocktail that tasted like Cheerwine. It’s my favorite beverage in the world. So I tasked Matt Alston and Mark Connor with coming up with this drink. I estimate that they spent $3 million in the development of this drink. I would come in to the bar, and one would be working, the other drunk. I’d look for a tab; there wouldn’t be one. Just a bunch of scratch marks under “Cheerwine Project.” With straight faces, they would tell me they were working hard on the project. Well, finally one night about midnight I get a call. Mark and Matt are excited. “We’ve got it. Get down here, NOW.” “Got what?” “Cheerwine. Dude. It’s perfect.” I rolled out of bed and damned if they didn’t have it nailed. Tastes exactly like Cheerwine. And, I might add, worth every penny of the “development” costs.1 ounce Sailor Jerry Rum(or any spiced rum, but we use Sailor)1 ounce AmarettoA dash of GrenadineShake over ice, strain into a rocks glass.Add: Equal parts Coca-Cola and Sprite until the glass is 3/4 full.That’s it. Now you drink it.last_img read more

Spotlight Venetian Views

first_imgVittore Carpaccio (Venetian, c. 1465 – 1525/1526 ), The Flight into Egypt, c. 1515, oil on panel, Andrew W. Mellon Collection 1937.1.28by Liza RobertsWhen N.C. Museum of Art curator of European art David Steel and his colleague Lyle Humphrey began work on the extraordinary Glory of Venice: Renaissance Paintings 1470–1520 exhibit secured by NCMA director Larry Wheeler, they knew the art was spectacular. Major altarpieces, private secular and devotional paintings, and portraits – including 20 masterpieces on loan from Venice’s Gallerie dell’Accademia and several from North American institutions, including the NCMA – are remarkable to behold. Together, they represent the South’s first exhibition of paintings from the hub of Renaissance art in a key period of cultural growth for the city.Steel and Humphrey wanted to tell that broader story, putting the art in the context of Venice’s emergence as a robust center of intellectualism and trade, with flush capital sources and a booming entrepreneurial climate that enabled the new technology of printing to flourish. As printed books and typography turned Venice into a center of printing, Steel and Humphrey say, painting followed.“You can’t show Venetian Renaissance painting and not show the development of printing,” Humphrey says. Steel agrees: “It’s the means by which humanism spread.” Printing made knowledge of the ancient world, myths, philosophy, and the works of greats like Ovid and Dante accessible as well as portable. “This is what people were talking about,” Steel says. “This became the subject matter of art.”And so the show will display leaves of ancient books that inspired Renaissance painters alongside the paintings themselves. “We fleshed out the culture that produced the paintings,” Steel says. Humphrey says the harmony makes for a greater whole: “I love the dialogue between paintings and books.” But the incandescent art necessarily steals the show: “The paintings are still really the stars,” Steel says.March 4 – June 18; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesdays – Sundays except 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Fridays; $18, $12 ages 7 – 18, free for ages 6 and under; 2110 Blue Ridge Road; ncartmuseum.org/exhibitionslast_img read more