Posts tagged with "Japan"

Japan, JNTO, 360 MAGAZINE

JAPAN’S TOP FESTIVALS IN 2020

With the arrival of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo next summer, Japan is preparing for record numbers of tourists from around the world in 2020. Despite the high number of tourists heading to Japan, Japanese matsuri, or festivals, offer travelers an opportunity to escape the crowds and experience Japan’s rich cultural heritage alongside locals. A number of the country’s top matsuri will take place over the summer, allowing travelers heading to Japan for the Olympic and Paralympic Games an opportunity to experience Japanese traditions while traveling outside of Tokyo. 

Hifuri Kamakura Festival, Akita Prefecture, Tohoku

Taking place in the small farming town of Kakunodate, the Hifuri Kamakura Festival celebrates the Lunar New Year. Locals and tourists alike take part in the purification ritual, which involves twirling basketball-sized sacks of coal composed of rice straw above the head with rope. This tradition originated as a means for locals to rid themselves of evil spirits that may plague the year’s harvest, but today, the festival offers an opportunity for old friends and neighbors to catch up.

February 14, 2020

Kyokusui no Utage, Fukuoka Prefecture, Kyushu

Held at the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, this annual festival recreates an aristocratic tradition from the Heian period. Poets dressed in Heian-style 12-layer kimonos sit amongst plum trees at the shrine and compose poems on narrow strips of paper, all while sipping from cups of sake that can be found floating down a man-made stream in the shrine’s garden. The poems are read at a recital later in the day. 

March 2020

Ningen Shogi, Yamagata Prefecture, Tohoku

90% of Japanese chess pieces, or shogi, are produced in the city of Tendo. Every year, as the cherry blossoms bloom, locals and travelers gather to watch a human chess game, or shogi battle, in Maizuru Park, where two professional chess players compete with humans dressed as samurai in place of chess pieces. The festival also features taiko (Japanese drum) performances and delicious local food specialties like yakisoba noodles and takoyaki fish balls. 

April 2020

Noboribetsu Hell Festival, Hokkaido

Noboribetsu is home to the famous Jigokudani, or “Hell Valley,” a volcanic crater locals believe resembles “hell on Earth,” due to the steam and boiling water that bubble out of small crevices in the frozen ground from the nearby volcano. This natural phenomenon also inspired the local villagers to start the tradition of the Hell Festival. Dressed up as yukijin, playful demons who protect the nearby hot springs, locals launch 24 fireworks into the air while three demons ritualistically beat drums. 

Thursday and Friday nights, June-July 2020

The Gujo Odori Dance Festival, Gifu Prefecture, Chubu

One of the most important dance festivals in Japan, the Gujo Odori Dance Festival consists of ten dances with corresponding songs, the most famous being “Kawasaki.” Originating over 400 years ago, this celebration is held over 32 nights, with the height of the festival, known as Obon, taking place from August 13-16, 2020. Based in the small riverside town of Gujo-Hachiman, locals and tourists dance together in a big circle all through the night to commemorate their ancestors.

July 13-September 7, 2020

Lotus Festival, Miyagi Prefecture, Tohoku

Instead of cherry blossoms, pink lotuses are the star of Lake Izunuma-Uchinuma, which transforms into a floral paradise each summer. The lake is so full of the perennials that visitors can barely see the water’s surface. Lake Izunuma Uchinuma is an incredibly popular destination for couples in the summer as travelers can take a romantic boat ride through the lotus blossoms. 

July-August 2020

Saijo Festival, Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku

A spectacle of lights, the Saijo Festival is a breathtaking festival with the main attraction being Danjiri, giant wooden floats, and mikoshi, portable shrines. Both are brought from local neighborhoods to float on the Kamo River. The main event takes place on October 16, when the Danjiri are assembled into a line on the river banks, allowing for the mikoshi to be moved across the banks to the Isono Shrine. 

Mid-October 2020ABOUT JAPAN NATIONAL TOURISM ORGANIZATION (JNTO)

As the official tourism board of Japan, JNTO is involved in a wide range of promotional activities to encourage international travelers to visit Japan. Through a variety of campaigns and initiatives, JNTO is inspiring more American travelers to visit Tokyo, Kyoto and beyond, and is raising awareness of Japan in the lead-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

For more information, visit us on our WebsiteFacebookInstagramTwitter, and Google+.

*Photo credit: Locals performing the purification ritual
(© Semboku City)

G-shock, casio, armon hayes, 360 MAGAZINE

Rui Hachimura × G-SHOCK

G-SHOCK has welcomed Rui HachimuraWashington Wizards power forward and 2019 first round draft pick to Team G-SHOCK.

Hachimura, who became the first Japanese player ever drafted in the first round, is a great match for the brand, as they both represent absolute toughness and the ability to tackle new challenges.

Hachimura had this to say about the partnership: “I have thought the G-SHOCK was cool ever since I was a kid. I loved the watches and always wore one while I was in school. I am pleased and excited to partner with the brand. This season is the most important in my basketball career, and I plan to face every game with the same toughness as the G-SHOCK.”

MIYAGI, Japan, 360 MAGAZINE, Geoffrey Weill

JAPAN’S MIYAGI PREFECTURE

The “Land of Contrasts” Is the Gateway to the Lesser-Known Tohoku Region


Dubbed the “Land of Contrasts,” Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture is characterized by its bustling capital city of Sendai, the picturesque islands of Matsushima Bay, the coastal landscape and world-class seafood of Sanriku, the rice fields and vibrant wetlands of northern Miyagi, and the iconic crater lake, “snow monsters” and Fox Village at Mount Zao.


Known as the gateway to the lesser-known northern Japanese region of Tohoku, Miyagi is easily accessible via 90-minute bullet train ride from Tokyo, and by regular direct flights from all major Japanese cities, as well as from Seoul, Shanghai and Taipei. The highlights of this largely undiscovered corner of Japan include:


MATSUSHIMA BAY


A quick day trip from Sendai, the Matsushima Bay area is renowned for its legendary temples, coastal landscapes and islands, and delicious local seafood. At the very heart of the region is the 400-year-old Zuiganji Temple, which was built as the family temple of the founder of Sendai and has been designated a National Treasure. From there, travelers can explore the traditional Japanese gardens at Entsuin Temple, visit sake breweries and sample matcha at a local tea house. And of course, the main draw of Matsushima Bay are the 260 pine tree-topped islands, accessible by foot or boat, that dot the bay. And to top it all off, travelers can taste their way around the Shiogama Fish Market, just a short car ride away from Matsushima Bay (where they can even make their own sushi bowl or grill their own seafood).

SENDAI


The capital of Miyagi Prefecture and the largest city in the entire Tohoku region, Sendai is a major transit hub for the region, accessible by air, ferry, train and bus. The “City of Trees,” as it is known, is thus the starting point for most journeys throughout Miyagi and the Tohoku region at large. Though a busy metropolis, Sendai is known as much for its access to nature and its hiking, camping and skiing as it is for its world-class restaurants, shopping and nightlife. And two of the area’s most historic hot springs (or onsen) are just on the city’s outskirts, at Akiu and Sakunami.


MOUNT ZAO


One of Japan’s most magnificent natural areas, the Zao region of southern Miyagi Prefecture is most famous for its iconic Mount Zao, featuring a colorful crater lake at its summit and, in wintertime, the mysterious “snow monsters” (the strange phenomenon created when freezing cold fronts from Siberia transform the mountain’s massive fir trees into snow- and ice- covered creatures). But beyond the famed deep-powder slopes of the mountain, the Zao area offers a wealth of excursions in other seasons, including immersion in samurai culture at Shiroishi Castle, the unique experience of communing with furry creatures at Fox Village, viewing thousands of cherry trees along the Shiroishi River at Hitome Senbon Zakura in springtime, and hiking and mountain biking through the fiery fall foliage in the autumn months.


SANRIKU COAST


Characterized by dramatic cliffs, hidden coves and abundant marine life, the Sanriku Coast has become a sought-after destination for seafood lovers and adventure travelers. Particular areas of interest include the utterly unique Cat Island Tashirojima and the holy island of Kinkasan, home to the Koganeyama Shrine, where wild deer roam freely and are regarded as messengers of the gods by Shinto priests. The Sanriku Coast is also considered a symbol of recovery, as the area suffered heavy damage in the 2011 tsunami. Each town along the coast has established memorials and museums to commemorate the disaster – one of the most affecting of which is the former Onagawa Police Station, an overturned ruin of a building that was torn from its foundation and dragged onto a nearby boat pier, where it still stands as a memorial.


NORTHERN MIYAGI


A vibrantly colored and naturally diverse destination year-round, the area of northern Miyagi is known for its natural wetlands, which fill with thousands of migratory geese and swans during wintertime and then dry up and are carpeted by fields of wild lotus flowers in summertime. And at Mount Kurikoma in the western part of the region, avid hikers are drawn to its fields of alpine wildflowers, dramatic autumn foliage and unkai (sea of clouds).


To know more about Miyagi Prefecture, go to: https://visitmiyagi.com.

Stephen Friedman, 360 MAGAZINE, Ovation TV

STEPHEN FRIEDMAN

Was born in South Africa, with his European heritage coming from France and Latvia. He started surfing at the age of 11 and by 16 he turned pro and started traveling the globe and competing on the world surf tour. After 5 years competing full time, injury halted his career, but it wasn’t long before he was scouted by some of the world’s top modelling agencies and was on the road travelling full time again appearing in numerous campaigns and commercials worldwide.

Establishing his name in the South African media, they labeled Stephen as ‘the next big thing’ that will come out of South Africa. To all the media Stephen has appeared in all over the world, Cosmopolitan Magazine voted Stephen as one of the 101 hottest men alive of the world in their annual poll. But he really made his mark in the television and film industry by creating, producing and selling his first title – (“The Blueprint”) – to Fox Networks at the age of 23.  A subsequent move to London resulted in the founding of his company Save Your Day Films, as he slowly started to make his mark in the TV and film industry as an exciting Producer to look out for. He Just Wrapped up filming season 2 of his successful series Chasing The Sun that he once again appeared in front of the camera as the host and as the Executive producer alongside Ovation TV and Journy backing his series.

Now days he is based between LA and London. He is currently busy with several other TV series that are in production named Model Kitchen, World Unknown, Here I Come, as well as 2 kids TV series Found Home Farms and an animation series named Jaye the Psychologist Dog. With even more titles he has lined from factual, scripted, kids and even a feature film, the next few years are going to be an exciting time for him and his production company Save Your Day Films. To sum up Stephen, he gets to push his own swing in life.

C/o Stephen on Ovation TV.

UNIQLO, 360 MAGAZINE, kids

UNIQLO – ‘Rise Again’

The latest collection from the famed Japanese artist titled “Rise Again” employs his distinctive typographic treatments in a range of uplifting messages, aligning perfectly with LifeWear’s ethos as a unique vehicle for people to express themselves. In addition, men’s items have been added to the launch due to popular demand from the previous SS19 collection.
 
The FW19 designs retail from $14.90 – $29.90 and will be available in a full run of adult & kids sizing. The collection will be available in UNIQLO stores worldwide starting on September 20th.

Travelers Are Looking for Adventure

When it comes to adventure travelers, China is an untapped market totaling USD $8.2B per year, according to new research from Bannikin Travel and Tourism, a leading travel consultancy based in Toronto and Hong Kong. The China Adventure Tourism Market Study, which surveyed more than 300 Chinese travelers over the age of 18 who had taken a trip in the past year, determined that 16.3% of respondents ­­— 23.49 million people — chose an adventure trip for their last holiday. For a market with outbound tourism numbers continuing to see double digit growth, this means there are considerable opportunities for adventure travel brands looking to expand their product offerings for Chinese adventurers.

“This report delves deep into who Chinese adventure travelers are—their planning habits, income, spending habits and dream destinations,” said Natasha Martin, managing director of Bannikin Asia. “We’ve never had better insight into how to market towards the Asian travel market and break into one of the largest tourism spends out there.” The 2019 study found that 2.7% of departures could be categorized as ‘hard adventure,’ while 13.6% pursued ‘soft adventure’ experiences. Though Chinese consumers do not necessarily associate adventure travel with risk-taking activities, such as rafting or mountain biking, they do associate it with remote destinations that can be perceived as exotic and potentially dangerous.

The survey was sent with the objective of discovering how many Chinese travelers actively seek-out adventure while on vacation. Here are the report’s main findings: The total adventure market size for China (based on accommodation spending only) is USD $8.2B per year. Adventure travel spend from China represents 0.64% of total international tourism spend. The top destinations for adventure travelers were United States, Thailand, Australia and Japan.Time in nature, camping and backpacking are some of the most popular activities for Chinese adventure tourists. 72% of Chinese adventure travelers spend between 4-10 days abroad, lower than Western adventure travelers. Bannikin Travel & Tourism runs a leading travel trade development satellite office in Hong Kong, with a team of Asia market experts to assist destinations and tour operators on how to tap into the burgeoning Asia adventure marketplace.

UNLOCK JAPAN’S GOLDEN SEASON

SHINING ADVENTURES FOR JAPAN’S GOLDEN SEASON

Savour the magic of Japan’s golden season in parks of autumnal colour and streets lit with twinkling lights.

From snow-draped temples, sensational shopping and warming winter cuisine, discover Kyoto and Tokyo’s best-kept secrets with Four Seasons.

BOOK NOW

Gaze at golden ginkgos and experience warming cuisine as twinkling lights bring Tokyo to life.

Marvel at tranquil illuminated temples and snow-topped shrines before savouring Kyoto’s winter gourmet delights.

Fall in love with two cities this golden season, with just one bullet train connection.

Learn More

Lexus ES, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, Seabrite Beach, NJ

Lexus ES 350 F Sport

By Flore Chaumont × Vaughn Lowery

Lexus just released their new ES 350 and it’s now available in over 90 countries. The entire skeleton and skin of the previous Lexus ES has been redefined to attract a broader audience – scoot over empty nesters. Coupled with its F Sport package, the new Lexus ES is destined to attract a much more youthful and active generation. So, we decided to take it on an impromptu road trip from Manhattan to Maryland and all the hot spots in between during this summer’s blistering heat wave.

Koichi Suga, General Manager of Lexus Design Division, describes it as the most aggressive change for the emblematic ES. And indeed it is, the car now comes across as being more boisterous and bold. From the outside, the car has distinctive features which are unique to the F Sport trim. The 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, the dual integrated exhaust outlet, the F Sport badging as well as the low hoodline and long shoulders really make this car appear track ready. The inside reveals the same vibe, with aluminum pedals, Hadori sword wave-patterned aluminum appointments, red double stitching and red race-inspired interior seats. The 3.5L V6 24 Valve DOHC engine produces 302 hp and 287 lb-ft torque. Although it’s front-wheel drive, engineers managed to capture the emotional response of driving a rear-wheel drive vehicle. And, with 25 mpg (combined city/hwy), you can spend more time driving and less time at the pump.

Lexus has been traditionally known for the quietness of their ride. With active noise deadening technology and sound insulating wheels (which absorbs impact and vibration on the tires), the car is extremely silent, even while in sports mode. However, for the diehard car enthusiasts, there’s a setting to amplify exhaust notes. Overall, the drive is orgasmic; and one can easily cruise in it for long periods of time, feeling comfortable and pampered with ventilated heat/cool front seats. We practically lived inside the cabin when temperatures reached over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, this year’s extra two inches of wheelbase allows backseat passengers to have additional legroom.

At $44,635, one would expect a manufacturer to sacrifice quality during the fabrication process. Contrary to one’s expectations, most materials used feel supple and soft, from the steering wheel to the dashboard. There are also three different types of woods incorporated in the overall interior design, including a matt bamboo finish, a nod to Japanese culture and heritage. An apparent step forward from its predecessor which was full of peeling plastics.

In addition, the car is well-equipped with innovative technology. The ES features a an animated gage cluster, a trackpad with tactile sensors as well as a sleeker instrument board. Tech savy drivers will be pleased to pair it with Apple CarPlay, Siri Eyes Free or Google Voice CTRL. Our favorite is Lexus Enform which is an intuitive system that allows you to speak to a live agent to obtain an address and have it sent directly to your vehicle’s infotainment system. The representatives are accessible 24/7 and help you stay alert if you succumb to driver’s fatigue while on a lengthy trip. This came in handy while we were in traffic or already in route to a location. Not to mention, all the safety technology is standard: blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and lane departure assist.

In short, the all-new 2019 Lexus ES 350 F Sport has a bodacious body that contantly turns heads and a 10-speaker Lexus premium sound system to make them nod.

Experience amazing.

G-SHOCK, Neo Tokyo, 360 MAGAZINE

NEO TOKYO

CASIO G-SHOCK INTRODUCES ALL-NEW NEO TOKYO SERIES

Line-Up Includes 4 New Models with All-Black Bezels and Striking Color Accents

Today, Casio G-SHOCK announces the all-new, “Neo Tokyo” series of men’s timepieces. Inspired by the colors of the futuristic metropolises of classic anime films from the 1980’s, the four new watches boast blacked-out bezels with yellow, red, and blue hands as dial accents to represent the city’s lights.

The series is made up of G-SHOCK’s most popular digital and analog-digital models, featuring updated styles from the DW6900, GA140, GA700, and GAS100 line ups.

The GA140BMC-1A boasts a large case design reflective of the new GA140 series, with an updated dial that includes an analog speed indicator sub-dial and LCD displays at both 6 and 12 o’clock. Boasting an extra-large case is the GA700BMC-1A, which comes with a front-facing LED light button and 3D bold hands to provide ease of use from day to night. Arriving in a mid-size digital model, the DW6900BMC-1A comes in one of the original G-SHOCK case shapes and has a built-in multi-function alarm and flash alert.

As the fourth timepiece and part of the Tough Solar GAS100 collection, the GAS100BMC-1A comes with the line’s classic stainless steel bezel, showcasing a simple design that goes well with a wide range of fashion styles. The large case size and double Super LED light provides maximum visibility in low light conditions. A video has been created to showcase the features of the new Neo Tokyo series – watch here: http://bit.ly/NeoToyko.

In addition, the GAS100 timepiece comes equipped with Tough Solar self-charging capabilities, ensuring its longevity.

Each watch in the series also boasts G-SHOCK technology such as:

  • ●  Shock Resistance
  • ●  200M Water Resistance
  • ● Stopwatch
  • ●  Countdown Timer
  • ●  12/24 Hr Time Formats

The DW6900, GA140, and GA700 models retail for $99 each, and the GAS100 model will retail for $150, and will be available for purchase starting this September at select G-SHOCK retailers including Macy’s, G-SHOCK Soho Store, and gshock.com.

About G-SHOCK 

CASIO’s shock-resistant G-SHOCK watch is synonymous with toughness, born from the developer Mr. Ibe’s dream of ‘creating a watch that never breaks’. Over 200 handmade samples were created and tested to destruction until finally in 1983 the first, now iconic G-SHOCK hit the streets of Japan and began to establish itself as ‘the toughest watch of all time’. Each watch encompasses the 7 elements; electric shock resistance, gravity resistance, low temperature resistance, vibration resistance, water resistance, shock resistance and toughness. The watch is packed with Casio innovations and technologies to prevent it from suffering direct shock; this includes internal components protected with urethane and suspended timekeeping modules inside the watch structure. Since its launch, G-SHOCK has continued to evolve, continuing to support on Mr. Ibe’s mantra “never, never give up.” www.gshock.com/home

About Casio America, Inc. 

Casio America, Inc., Dover, N.J., is the U.S. subsidiary of Casio Computer Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of consumer electronics and business equipment solutions. Established in 1957, Casio America, Inc. markets calculators, keyboards, mobile presentation devices, disc title and label printers, watches, cash registers and other consumer electronic products. Casio has strived to realize its corporate creed of “creativity and contribution” through the introduction of innovative and imaginative products. For more information, visit www.casiousa.com/home.

AUTUMN ART COLOURS × PARK HOTEL TOKYO

Autumn ART Colours Exhibition Scheduled at Park Hotel Tokyo to Offer Hospitality Guests a Season of Japanese Aesthetics

Park Hotel Tokyo announced on June 28 that it will hold an art exhibition titled “Daisuke Kagawa Art Exhibition – A Visitor from Afar in Autumn -” from September 2 to December 1, 2019.Park Hotel Tokyo welcomes our hospitality guests with the form of “arrangement”, one of Japan’s aesthetic values, expressed through the medium of art. A series of art exhibitions are held representing the four seasons of Japan. In this 30th exhibition as part of this initiative, “ART colours”, works of Daisuke Kagawa will be exhibited to express “autumn,” symbolising a condensation of the views of nature held by ancient people in Japan.

 

Twice a year, once each in spring and autumn, there is a period when the sun rises from true east and sets in true west. These seasons have long been familiar in Japan as the equinoctial weeks. During this time in autumn, people give thanks for the blessings of nature while venerating ancestors. It is a time for worshiping the sun, with prayers for the coming year’s harvest. The “Visitor from Afar” in the title is a term that refers to natural phenomena or things (i.e., the gods) that exceed human knowledge, coming from an eternal and faraway world. It is said that this became folk tradition, and that the people of Japan have welcomed visitors with reverence, cultivating methods of warm hospitality.

Daisuke Kagawa is an artist who draws on his own sensibilities and knowledge to create works that express the workings of “Visitor from Afar”. He drew attention with the production of an Artist Room called “Jomon” in the Park Hotel Tokyo’s Artist in Hotel project in 2017. The exhibition this autumn will deepen this Kagawa-style “Jomon” world. Here, “Visitors from Afar” await guests at the Park Hotel Tokyo.

During the exhibition period, guests can enjoy an original cocktail and dessert that complement artworks at the ART Lounge. In the evening, powerful images with a motif of exhibited artworks will be projected on the 30-meter-high wall.

 

Park Hotel Tokyo General Manager Takayuki Suzuki said:

“Autumn is also a time when we pray for a plentiful harvest after the scorching hot summer. I look forward to being able to meet with the blessings of Japan and feeling of gratitude that arrive with the golden light of autumn here in Tokyo.”

 

Park Hotel Tokyo Art Project Director Yoshitomo Fujikawa said:

“The work is modern, but it has an atmosphere that serves as a vivid reminder of ancient Japan. This exhibition likens the hotel to autumn through the work of artist Daisuke Kagawa, which enables one to catch a glimpse of Japanese identity.”

 

Enjoy a tranquil and rich autumn, with its balanced days of equal daytime and night, together with works of art that summon a deep-seated awareness of nature, at Park Hotel Tokyo.