The 5 Best Plum Blossom Viewing Spots In The Tokyo Area

first_imgHave you ever heard of Bunkyo Ume Matsuri? It is unique festival experience in Tokyo.The festival takes place on the grounds of Yushima Tenjin. During the festival, many students visit the shrine and pray for their successful exams. A popular place for plum blossom since medieval times, this shrine in the Bunkyo ward still draws significant crowds.It is the busiest on the weekends when the beautiful blossoms are accompanied by performances of traditional Japanese music and stage arts.I highly recommended it for a peaceful and a quiet afternoon at the famous shrine against the backdrop of beautiful plum blossoms. Yushima Tenmangu View Information3. Kameido Tenjin – Famous for Plum Blossom and Wisteria Kameido Tenjin is also known as the Shitamachi no Tenjin-sama, Tokyo’s downtown, old-school Tenjin shrine.There are around 200 plum trees around the shrine, as the deity (god or goddess) enshrined here, is said to have loved plum blossoms. Visit the shrine in late February to mid of March to see them in full bloom.With Tokyo SkyTree in its background, it is a captivating view with the pink and white blossoms framing the SkyTree.The famous arched bridge and the grounds are abloom with all kinds of flowers. This is why it’s also known as “Tenjin shrine of flowers”.Visitors often come to the shrine to pray for academic success, happy households or safe driving. Kameido Tenjin Shrine View Information4. Hanegi Park – Enjoy the Setagaya Plum Festival Japanese plum trees offer a special treat with beautiful and fragrant flowers. Tokyo is home to some of the most impressive plum groves in the country. It is just incredible to see their utmost beauty while you still count the days until spring.Let us introduce you the best spots to see plum blossoms in the Tokyo area.1. Shiba Park – Tokyo Tower Framed by Plum Blossoms Shiba Park also hosts a two-day festival every year to celebrate the plum trees blooming with performances of traditional Japanese music and tea ceremonies. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can see both pink and white blooms on the same branch.Here you can take a relaxing walk along the plum blossom covered garden trails with friends and family. Zōjōji Temple View Information2. Yushima Tenjin – Plum Blossoms on Shrine Grounds People throughout the world are familiar with the famous Japanese cherry blossoms. Numerous cherry blossom festivals are held each year. However, before the cherry blossoms emerge, another beautiful tree graces the island of Japan.Plum blossoms, also known as Ume in Japanese, are delicate flowers that start to bloom in February. The blooming plum trees are known and loved in Japan as the first sign of spring. When they start to bloom the weather tends to still be cold but plum blossoms remind everyone that the winter is going to end soon.center_img Odawara Ume Matsuri is an incredible Japanese early spring festival, held in Odawara city. This is one of the most popular yearly events in Kanagawa prefecture. It celebrates one of the top plum blossom viewing spots in Japan.If you are not convinced, how about combining the view of Mt. Fuji with 35,000 blooming plum trees? The image alone makes a trip to Odawara worth it!The festival is held every year between February and March. The entire area is covered in crimson, pink, and white blossoms, and the faint fragrance of plums floats in the air.A walk through the area will take 30-40 minutes. while you are walking you will pass multiple photo spots. Don’t forget to use the opportunity to get some amazing photos.You can even enjoy plum-related delicacies at the nearby cafeterias and food stands.On the weekends during the festival period, many events featuring horseback archery, the Kotobuki Lion Dance, folk dancing and taiko drum performances are being held.The Odawara Ume Matsuri 2018 is scheduled from February 3rd until March 4th, 2018. Sogabessho plum festival tourism organizations View InformationEnjoy the Early Signs of Spring!Japanese plum blossom symbolizes vitality, hope, and renewal. Even though they are lesser known than the famous Japanese cherry blossoms, they are nothing short of beautiful.How about giving plum blossom viewing a try?It is still very cold during the plum blossom season, so don’t forget to wear a warm jacket when you enjoy your day amidst the beautifully intricate plum blossoms. Happy viewing!You May Also Like:Celebrate The Coming Of Spring At The Odawara Plum Festival!View Elegant Plum Blossoms In Tokyo!Plum Blossoms – The Original Japanese Sign Of SpringPlum, Cherry, and Peach Blossoms – The Differences Between Them Hanegi Park is known as one of the best places in Tokyo to view plum blossoms. The park is located in Setagaya and it is home to about 650 plum trees.The Setagaya Ume Matsuri (Setagaya plum festival) is held here for about month every year, usually from early February to mid-March. It is a great place to take a walk and enjoy the blossoms. The festive atmosphere and various events make the experience very lively.You can participate in outdoor tea ceremonies, and watch traditional Japanese music events.The Festival features plum-related snacks, music performances, haiku (a traditional form of Japanese poetry) readings and free servings of matcha tea.The Setagaya Ume Matsuri 2018 is scheduled for February 2nd until March 4th, 2018. Hanegi Park View Informationpark5. Odawara Ume Matsuri – Celebrate Spring with a Mount Fuji View Shiba Park in Tokyo’s Minato ward is built around the Zojoji Temple. Another peculiar feature of the park, apart from the plum blossoms, is the view of the Tokyo Tower in the background.Shiba Park is home to around 70 purple and white plum trees. The view of the stunning Japanese landscape alongside the plum blossoms is breathtakingly beautiful.last_img read more

Three Things Youll Want to Be Careful of When Exploring Kyoto

first_imgWhat is the Key to Sightseeing in Kyoto?The most important thing that you need to make sure to be careful of while exploring in Kyoto is to choose the right route. It is very important to decide where to visit in which order.If you choose a route like “Fushimiinaritaisha → Kinkakuji (Golden Pavillion) → Ginkakuji → Arashiyama”, you’ll be in big trouble! If you check it in the Kyoto sightseeing map, you can easily find your way, but you’ll have to go back and forth so many times with that kind of route. It will make you waste your time and money.Then how can you go sightseeing in Kyoto in the most efficient way possible? In order to do so, we will introduce you to three things that you should be careful of.Part 1: Clockwise or counterclockwise?In fact, famous shrines and temples are lined up around the outer circle of Kyoto. Actually, in the heart of the city, there are a number of sightseeing spots such as Nijo Castle and The Imperial Palace, but if you want to visit as many places as possible, let’s take the route around the outer circle.For example, when you go clockwise by centering the Kyoto Imperial Palace, you can find the following spots:Fushimiinaritaisha → Kiyomizu Temple → Yasaka Shrine → Chion Temple → Nanzenji → Heian Shrine → Ginkakuji.On the other hand, you can find the following by going around conter-clockwise. Azuma Temple → Tenryu-ji → Arashiyama → Saga → Ninna-ji → Ryuanji → Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), if you go north, you can also find Shimogamo Shrine.Area of Saga/Arashiyama is the area where you want to spend more than a day at because there are so many fascinating shrines and temples. However, most of them are located on the left side of Kyoto City, we’ll introduce them as part of the counter-clockwise route.If you want to visit Nijo Castle and Uzumasa movie village, the counter-clockwise route will be better.Part 2: Do you know and understand the means of transportation?In order to get around in Kyoto city, trains, buses and taxis should be your main means of transportation. Depending on the destination, you might only be able to get there by train, bus or taxi. Therefore, it is important to get to know which transportation is best to take to reach your destination. If not, you may encounter the situation that even though you had bought a one-day bus ticket, you only took the trains and did not use the ticket at all. In order to avoid this situation, you need to conduct a good research before your journey.Part 3: Let’s make use of the taxis.photo credit: MShades via photopin cc“I want to visit as many shrines and temples as I can, in the most efficient way possible. But at the same time, I want to save on transportation costs.” In this circumstance, we recommend you to take a taxi. If you try to visit all the places by bus, it will require a lot of time because the public buses have to stop at every stop on the route and it does not necessary mean that you can take a seat when you are so exhausted by walking around the city. When you catch a taxi which is running on the road, it will not cost you too much. (You have to pay a premium if you ask to reserve a guided taxi from the hotel.) By considering the required time and money, the most convenient way is actually a taxi. Moreover, in Kyoto, there are taxies with the logo of four leaves clover which we Japanese believe that it will bring us happiness. You can also enjoy the process of finding a taxi. As we explained, you can visit many interesting places by choosing your route in advance and follow the route plan. In case you have the specific places that you really want to visit, you should plan the route by starting at that place and combining other spots nearby.last_img read more

7 Handy Travel Items From hands At Tokyu Hands

first_imgThanks to the blend of materials used, tabigi can be washed at night and will be completely dried by the next morning, and are very comfortable to wear during your journey as well.TabigiPrices: T-shirts 1600 yen, underwear 1400 yen, pocks 1400 yen (all + tax)5.Folding UmbrellaParticularly in the spring and fall in Japan you run the risk of getting caught in an unexpected shower, so having a portable umbrella on your trip is a really good idea. These small and light umbrellas have become quite popular overseas as well.hands+ Mini Folded Umbrella 47cm with PouchPrice: 3300 yen + taxColor: Others Available6.PonchoIf you are planning on traveling in areas where an umbrella might be awkward to carry, or have some particularly active plans in mind, then we recommend one of these handy ponchos instead. You can use it in many situations even after your travels have ended.hands+ PANTONE PonchoPrice: 3300 yen + taxColor: Others Available7.Light Suitcase While securely holding your suitcase closed, this colorful belt also makes your suitcase look cool!hands+ PANTONE Suitcase BeltPrice: 1600 yen + taxMaximum size in use: 170cm × 5cmColor: Others available4. TabigiIf you find that you need some extra clothing, or that you want to rinse out your underwear in your hotel, it might not be fully dried by the morning, which can be really uncomfortable or very inconvenient. In those situations, you might be better off with some tabigi. This is a folding umbrella that comes with a pouch so you can put the wet umbrella in it and back in your bag when you are out and about. One of the main appeals of Japanese goods is their convenience. Through numerous improvements and innovations, easy to use stationery, handy kitchen gadgets and plenty of cleaning tools that save time have come about. These different items are all quite popular with visitors from overseas as well. Tokyu Hands, the variety store giant, has their own selection of handy gadgets, known as the hands+ series.What’s “hands+”?hands+ is an original series independently developed by TOKYU HANDS. With more than 400 items, it has an extensive lineup ranging from daily necessities to stationery.This series is created by experienced staff who can judge the quality of the goods, and many of the ideas used to make this series are inspired by conversations that the staff have with actual customers.Traveling in Japan with hands+ Travel!Specialized in handy goods for traveling, the hands+ Travel series is the most popular set in the hands+ collection. In this article, we will introduce you to 7 of their most useful goods.1.Drink HolderHave you ever have difficulty carrying your water bottle around with you when you travel? This item is for just such a situation!center_img Made from durable rubber, this belt can be used on almost any size suitcase, and even if you have heavy items like laptops in your bag, this belt will keep it securely in place.hands+ PANTONE Bag Tomeru BeltPrice: 1300 yen + taxMaximum size in use: 44cm × 5cmColor: Others available3.Suitcase BeltThe suitcase belts from hands+ Travel are a bit different from others you might have seen. This suitcase is very light and easy to carry, and is an excellent idea when you find that you have purchased too many souvenirs to fit in your luggage as is. All you need to do it hang it off the grip of a suitcase, and it becomes a convenient drink holder, perfect for when you want to carry one of the many different and exciting drinks you can purchase while on vacation in Japan.hands+ PANTONE Carry HandPrice: 1100 yen + taxColor: Others available2.Bag Tomeru BeltHave you ever had your carry-on or a side bag fall off the top of your suitcase? This belt is designed to stop that from happening again. Not only is it light, but the suitcase rolls about smoothly thanks to the high quality casters made by Hinomoto, a Japanese company carefully selected by the hands+ staff.Costing under 20,000 yen, this suitcase is perfect for short trips, carry-on and more.hands+ Light Suitcase Frame Type 74LPrice: 18,000 yen + taxSize: 70cm × 49.5cm (length + height + width: 147cm)Capacity: 74LWeight: 4.6kgColor and Size: Others AvailableStart Traveling in Japan with Tokyu HandsThere are many more handy travel goods in the hands+ collection. If you want to make your journey even more convenient, then we recommend stopping by Tokyu Hands first, so that you can pick up everything you will need to travel in comfort.To learn more about Tokyu Hands, please check out our special feature and read the Complete Guide To TOKYU HANDS too.InformationTokyu Hands Shibuya BranchAddress: Tokyo, Shibuya, Udagawa-cho 12-18Hours: 10:00-20:30Closed: NoneWi-Fi: Available on 7A and 5A floorsCredit Cards: AvailableNearest Station: Shibuya StationAccess: Walk straight towards the north from JR Shibuya Station Hachiko Exit. On the left hand you will see Seibu A and B towers. Turn left between them, and go along Inokashira-dori. On the right side, you will see Tokyu Hands ahead of youPhone: 03-5489-5111Website: Tokyu Hands Shibuyalast_img read more

Chasai Ito Roppongi Authentic Matcha And Japanese Cuisine In Tokyo

first_imgChasai Ito – A Hidden Haven of Japanese Cuisine in Roppongi Chasai Ito is unique in that it allows diners to try making and mixing their own matcha from powdered green tea and hot water. For 820 yen (without tax), you will receive a set that includes seasonal Japanese sweets along with all the items necessary to make matcha.The powder is high-quality and comes from Uji, an area in southern Kyoto renowned for aromatic, full-bodied matcha. Colorful pouches and a trove of other items line the shelves. Any of these goods would make a thoughtful present for a loved one or fun memorabilia for yourself.Coupon for a Free Okiagari-koboshi – Get a Traditional Japanese Doll Chasai Ito is open on weekdays from 11:30 – 19:00 for lunch and teatime, serving gorgeously prepared Japanese food and sweets. The restaurant focuses on gozen set meals, which come with various side dishes and chazuke, or tea poured over rice. The restaurant provides a chance for visitors to try this normally hard-to-find cuisine and tea culture in an elegant and warm environment, in the middle of Roppongi.Much of the high-quality ingredients, like the tsukemono pickles and all of the matcha here come from Kyoto, as the owners have close ties to the region. Kyoto is known for its rich vegetable agriculture and tea, making the offerings at Chasai Ito truly special. Visitors who show the coupon below to the staff at Chasai Ito are eligible to receive one okiagari-koboshi, a Japanese doll that stands upright by itself, free of charge. These dolls are designed as common Japanese characters and are small enough to fit in your pocket.MATCHA CouponUse this coupon to receive one okiagari-koboshi free of charge.*Show this page to a restaurant staff of Chasai Ito to receive one free okiagari-koboshi. Please note that the coupon may not be valid depending on the inventory. Chasai Ito sells an affordable and high-quality matcha kit (3,800 yen without tax) with a teacup, matcha powder, and bamboo whisk in the souvenir area, which would allow you to continue to make matcha for yourself after visiting which would make a nice gift for a loved one or to yourself. The matcha in this kit is also from Uji.Save Room for Dessert! Suggested Japanese Sweets Picture courtesy of Chasai ItoFor more Japanese sweets, guests can also try the soba dango parfait. The mochi is made from soba flour used in buckwheat noodles, and the vanilla ice cream is topped with mitarashi glaze and sauce from rice flour. Be sure to let yourself indulge in this delicious and original Chasai Ito dessert.Oshiruko, a sweet red bean soup with mochi typically eaten in colder months, is another popular choice.Take Home Traditional Souvenirs To make the chazuke, first top the rice with the condiments, like wasabi and green onion, and other dried seasonings (Picture 1). The colorful chazuke topping (Picture 2) is arare, or crispy rice crackers.After adding the condiments and toppings, simply pour the broth over the rice to the level you desire. Use the wooden spoon provided to scoop up the rice and enjoy the different mesh of flavors and textures.Make Your Own Matcha One of the most popular lunch choices is the Wappa Gozen (1,100 yen without tax) set, containing a variety of seasonal dishes, tamagoyaki (Japanese-style omelet), seafood, meat, and vegetables. It gets its name from the circular wappa bento box used.The bento box adds a playful element of surprise, recreating the experience of opening a packed bento lunch made ordinarily by a parent or loved one in Japan. Tokyo Travel Guide: The Political And Sightseeing Capital Of Japan Picture courtesy of Wasai TsumugiAnother special feature of Tsumugi is the extensive beverage menu, which includes highly-ranked Japanese sake from throughout the country. The drinks along with the carefully prepared meals here are sure to create a special night.Hours and Accessing Chasai Ito and Wasai Tsumugi Each gozen set above comes with a generous helping of rice, which can be enjoyed while eating the different dishes and with miso soup, but also for chazuke (broth poured over rice) to create a savory, soup-like rice. Chasai Ito also offers free refills of rice and miso soup, ideal for guests with larger appetites. To eat the warabi mochi, scoop the clear mochi and goldfish shapes into the white dish. Top it with roasted soybean powder (kinako), then pour some of the kuromitsu brown sugar syrup on top. The mochi is velvety-soft, and pairs well with the rich kinako and sweet syrup.center_img Diners can also satisfy their sweet tooths with the traditional confections on the menu. One of the most popular items is the homemade warabi mochi (*1) (740 yen without tax) designed like a goldfish scooping game, typically seen at Japanese festivals. It is a whimsical take on this classic dessert.*1 Warabi mochi is a Japanese dessert consisting of rice flour dumplings and roasted soybean powder. After you finish your meal and sweets, be sure to go over to the souvenir corner. Visitors will find a curated selection of high-quality gifts and souvenirs, including dolls, cosmetics, loose leaf green tea, and a matcha-making set. Roppongi Travel Guide: Enjoy Stylish Days And Exciting Nights In Tokyo Wasai Tsumugi – Go Downstairs for Evening Japanese Kaiseki Picture courtesy of Wasai TsumugiWhile Chasai Ito is only open during the day, visitors wanting a serene, memorable dinner experience can go to Wasai Tsumugi, a restaurant on the basement level with kaiseki, a high-class multi-course Japanese meal. The restaurant has a refined and cozy Japanese atmosphere, with six counter seats and one table to accommodate guests.The course meals here are created by the chefs for customers based on price, starting from 6,000 yen and up. Reservations are required, and the entire restaurant space will be rented out to you when you make a reservation. To make the matcha, first pour the hot water from the kettle into the mug. Use the bamboo whisk with brisk, zig-zag motions to mix in the matcha with the water. The tea is ready when it is frothy. It may take more time and physical movement to complete the process than you think! Picture courtesy of Chasai ItoHanakago Gozen (2,500 yen without tax) is a set meal that comes in a gorgeous flower basket. This is a voluminous option that allows you to try many different ingredients and dishes.As this set meal takes time to prepare, it is recommended to call the restaurant in advance with a friend who can speak Japanese. Chasai Ito is open from 11:00 to 19:00, with lunch served 11:30 – 15:00. The restaurant is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays, so make sure your visit is on a weekday. Wasai Tsumugi is only open on a reservation-basis between 17:00 and 23:00 on weekdays.The location of Chasai Ito and Wasai Tsumugi is in a quiet residential area of Roppongi, located around six to seven minutes walking from Roppongi-itchome Station on the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line. It is also convenient to go to the restaurant from Roppongi Hills, a major shopping and entertainment facility in the area.Savor Atmosphere-Filled Meals in RoppongiLocated in the heart of Japan’s largest metropolis, Chasai Ito provides a refuge from the business of the busy city with traditional and unique dishes, matcha you can make yourself, and a relaxing environment for a reasonable price.Be sure to visit when in Roppongi to catch your breath and experience a slower, rare pace in Tokyo. Chasai Ito View InformationcafeWritten by Jasmine OrtliebSponsored by Rokusaikyo Co., Ltd.Read also Picture courtesy of Chasai ItoThe Taichazuke Gozen (1,800 yen without tax) is a recommended selection made with fresh sea bream, one of Japan’s delicacies. The well-prepared fish is full of flavor and texture. Diners who like seafood are highly recommended to try this exquisite lunch.A Delicious Way of Eating Rice – How to Prepare Traditional Chazuke Lower-right picture courtesy of Chasai ItoChasai Ito is a Japanese restaurant and cafe nestled in the back alleyways of Tokyo’s lively Roppongi area. With a reasonably-priced menu including traditional Japanese dishes, matcha you can make yourself, and wagashi sweets, visitors can enjoy authentic and delicious food in a peaceful setting.Continue reading to learn about this lesser-known spot to immerse yourself in a classic Japanese environment and take a break from the bustle of the Tokyo metropolis.Recommended Japanese Dishes – Beautiful Gozen Meals and Savory Chazuke Mohri Garden In Roppongi – Taking A Break From The City In The Citylast_img read more

Kanazawa Sightseeing The Perfect TwoDay Itinerary

first_imgDay 1 Daytime: Higashi Chaya District From The Three Beautiful Gates Kanazawa Castle Is Famous ForJapan’s castles are known for their towering tenshukaku towers (*1), but Kanazawa Castle doesn’t have one. Since Kanazawa Castle’s tower was burned down in 1602, it has never been rebuilt. At present, the gates and stone walls have become the main attractions. We recommend you visit this castle as it’s a little different from others. Kanazawa Castle is about a 10-minute walk from Kenrokuen.*1 Tenshukaku: A tower built at the center of a castle. During battle, it was used as a control tower, as well as footing for shooting arrows and guns.Day 2 Morning: Samurai Residences Day 1 Afternoon: Kenrokuen Garden From (JTB Tour) Tour World Heritage Site Shirakawa-gō, Kanazawa and HidatakayamaThe Higashi Chaya District is an area where the old traditional townscape can still be found. Shops selling traditional Kanazawa crafts as well as souvenir stores line the streets, which are always bustling with customers and visitors. There are also many cafes and sweets shops, where you can rest and enjoy some delicious matcha tea. From Omicho Market, Higashi Chaya District is about 30 minutes away on foot.Read also: (JTB Tour) Tour World Heritage Site Shirakawa-gō, Kanazawa and Hidatakayama4 Things to Do in the Historical City of Kanazawa, Ishikawa Day 1 Afternoon: Kanazawa Castle From (JTB Tour) Tour World Heritage Site Shirakawa-gō, Kanazawa and HidatakayamaKenrokuen Garden is a magnificent Japanese-style garden, designated as one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. What’s so special about Kenrokuen is that nature that can be enjoyed here throughout the year. For example, 200 red and white plum blossoms as well as 420 cherry blossoms of 20 different types bloom in the spring. In the summer, visitors will enjoy the green of the plants as far as the eye can see, and the wet fresh grass during the tsuyu rainy season is also fascinating and beautiful.The garden is colored in red leaves in the fall, and at the same time the yukitsuri begins for the winter. Yukitsuri is a technique that protects trees from heavy snow. At Kenrokuen the approximately 240 trees with yukitsuri create a wondrous sight. To learn more about Kenrokuen, check out this article as well: Kanazawa’s Kenrokuen: One of the Three Great Gardens of Japan.From the Higashi Chaya District, you get on the loop bus heading in the Kenrokuen direction from the nearest stop, which is Hashibacho, or you can also use the Hokuriku Rail Road Bus. The ride takes about 5 minutes. Get off at the Kenrokuenshita/Kanazawajo bus stop.Read also: Kanazawa’s Kenrokuen: One of the Three Great Gardens of JapanThe Three Beautiful Gates Kanazawa Castle Is Famous For From Try Kanazawa Omicho Market’s Fresh Foods!On the morning of your first day in Kanazawa, we recommend you start your stroll around the city at Omicho Market. Omicho Market is a market that offers various local foods, and it is often called the “Kitchen of Kanazawa”. If you’re going to wake up in Kanazawa, we highly recommend having breakfast at Omicho Market. Omicho Market is a 15 minute walk from Kanazawa Station.Read also: 4 Things to Do in the Historical City of Kanazawa, IshikawaTry Kanazawa Omicho Market’s Fresh Foods! If you want to see Kanazawa’s traditional sights, head to the Buke Yashiki Ato – The Samurai Residences. It’s a site where samurai used to live. There are people living there today as well. If you walk down an alley that is lined with houses, you might be able to get a feel of the Edo period. There are also a museum and candy shop in the area.Day 2 Daytime: Kanazawa 21st Century Museum The Kanazawa 21st Century Museum is known for its contemporary architecture, and is also a popular sightseeing spot. Another characteristic of this place is the “public zone”. In the public zone, visitors can enjoy a unique work of art called the “swimming pool”, as well as a restaurant and other facilities. The public zone is open at night, so you can enjoy another special atmosphere different from that of the daytime. Many events are also held here.The Kanazawa 21st Century Museum is a 15-minute walk from the neighborhood of samurai residences.Day 2 Afternoon: Kanazawa Noh Museum Enjoy Famous Kanazawa Spots In 2 DaysKanazawa in Ishikawa prefecture is a city with a rich history and a well-preserved traditional atmosphere. It is a very popular sightseeing spot and attracts many visitors every year. Today, we’ll be introducing a recommended two-day itinerary for enjoying the best of this special city.Read also: How To Travel To Kanazawa From Tokyo, Osaka Or KyotoThe Three Beautiful Gates Kanazawa Castle Is Famous For4 Things to Do in the Historical City of Kanazawa, Ishikawa(JTB Tour) Tour World Heritage Site Shirakawa-gō, Kanazawa and HidatakayamaDay 1 Morning: Omicho Market The Kanazawa Noh Museum (Kanazawa Nougaku Museum) is a museum associated with the Noh theatre practiced by the Kaga Hosho school, which flourished in Kanazawa. This traditional art is also designated an Intangible Cultural Heritage. Noh masks, costumes, and other valuable items related to this traditional performing art are on display here.The Kanazawa Noh Museum is just 1 minute away from the Kanazawa 21st Century Museum on foot.Kanazawa is a city where visitors can find and experience old and precious Japanese traditions. Use the information in this article to enjoy the historic Japanese culture preserved here to the fullest!Recommended articles:The Three Beautiful Gates Kanazawa Castle Is Famous For4 Things to Do in the Historical City of Kanazawa, Ishikawa(JTB Tour) Tour World Heritage Site Shirakawa-gō, Kanazawa and Hidatakayama“Art Avenue” in Kanazawa – Traditional and Contemporary Public ArtFive Souvenirs To Check Out At The Kanazawa Station MallOnly in Kanazawa – The Tsuzumi Gate and Hospitality DomeRenovated 118-Year Old Machiya – Guesthouse Shiro, Kanazawalast_img read more

Rainy Season In Japan Regional Breakdown And Travel Tips

first_imgRead also Sendai’s hero, Date MasamuneSendai and Kanazawa have the same rainy season schedule. Once the rain is over, it will be time for the Sendai Tanabata Festival.Usual timing: Starts around June 12, ends around July 252018: Started around June 9, ending date not July 14Aomori (Northern Tohoku): Mid-June Read also The Rainy Season in Japan – When Does It Start? Tsuyu (Rainy Season) – Japanese Encyclopedia Okinawa is known for its beach resort areas.Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture in Japan, experiences the rainy season the earliest. While it has quite charming beaches, don’t forget your rain gear if you plan to visit during May or June.Usual timing: Starts around May 9, ends around June 232018: Started around June 1, ended around June 23Kagoshima (Southern Kyushu): Late May Perfect For A Rainy Day! Kohama Shotengai Shopping Street In Osaka Japan’s Rainy Season 2019: Travel Tips And What To Wear Fukuoka’s Famous Nakasu Yatai StreetFukuoka, a popular sightseeing destination in Kyushu, is visited by the rainy season in the first half of June. Some of its famous yatai street stalls may close during heavy rain.Usual timing: Starts around June 5, ends around July 192018: Started around June 5, ended around July 9Hiroshima (Chugoku Area): First Half of June If you’re traveling somewhere, you’ll want to know what the weather is like. One thing to note about travel in Japan is tsuyu, the rainy season.The rainy season spans from May through July, and there will be many cloudy, rainy days during this time. The timing of tsuyu varies by region, usually with Okinawa in early May, and Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka in early June.Continue reading to see when the rainy season begins and ends in the area you’re visiting. We will start from the south, where tsuyu comes and goes earliest, so use this as a reference when you travel to Japan. If it’s rainy, you may not be able to see the scenery you were hoping for, or outdoor events may be canceled, so make sure to incorporate this into your travel plans.Note that Hokkaido and the Ogasawara Islands do not experience a rainy season. Kagoshima’s symbol, SakurajimaKagoshima, on the southern tip of Kyushu, is rich with nature and also known as an onsen resort area. The rainy front coming from Okinawa splashes down in late May.Usual timing: Starts around May 31, ends around July 142018: Started around June 5, ended July 9Fukuoka (Northern Kyushu): First Half of June Rainy Season in Japan by RegionWeather can ruin the best-laid plans. If you absolutely want to only travel on sunny days, you might want to avoid coming during the rainy season.Reference: Japan Meteorological Agency Nagoya Castle and its famous shachihokoIn Nagoya, we recommend checking out indoor attractions like Nagoya Castle and the Tokugawa Art Museum during the rainy season.Usual timing: Starts around June 8, ends around July 212018: Started around June 5, ended around July 9Tokyo (Kanto/Koshin’etsu): First Half of June The Aomori Nebuta Festival, one of Japan’s Three Great FestivalsOnce rainy season in Aomori finishes, it will soon be time for one of the famous Aomori Nebuta Festival.Usual timing: Starts around June 14, ends around July 282018: Started around June 11, ended July 19How to Enjoy Japan’s Rainy Season You can get an unbroken view of the Kyoto cityscape from KiyomizuderaThe ancient capital of Kyoto can be difficult to explore in the rain, which comes in June, but the rain-drenched temples and shrines have their own unique majesty.Usual timing: Starts around June 7, ends around July 212018: Started around June 5, ended around July 9Nagoya (Tokai Area): First Half of June Okinawa: First Half of May Read also 3 Fun Ways To Enjoy The Rainy Season In Japan The Tsuzumi Gate in front of Kanazawa StationKanazawa and the surrounding areas get a late start to the rainy season.Usual timing: Starts around June 12, ends around July 242018: Started around June 9, ended around July 9Sendai (Southern Tohoku): Mid-June Read also Tokyo Best 5 Hydrangea Spots – The Joy Of The Rainy Season Read also Picture from Hydrangea Festival In Toshimaen: A Flower Paradise In The Rainy SeasonThe weather in June might be mostly cloudy and it might rain a lot but this shouldn’t stop you to enjoy your trip to Japan.How about buying a nice Japanese umbrella and go to a hydrangea festival? The hydrangeas bloom during the rainy season, gracing the gardens and parks with their vivid blue and purple colors.There are several hydrangea festivals held in Tokyo or other major cities, with Kamakura being an especially destination for those who wish to relish these flowers. The Genbaku Dome relays the tragedy of the victims of nuclear weapons to the presentHiroshima and Fukuoka, along with most of western Japan, get their rainy seasons around early June.Usual timing: Starts around June 7, ends around July 212018: Started around June 7, ended around July 9Kyoto (Kinki Area): First Half of June For other tips on how to enjoy the rainy season please refer to the article below. Japan’s Rainy Season 2019: Travel Tips And What To Wear On long weekends, tourists flood to Asakusa TempleTokyo has many exciting things to do during rainy season, like checking out the hydrangeas and buying goods to handle the rain.Usual timing: Starts around June 8, ends around July 212018: Started around June 6, ended around June 29Kanazawa (Hokuriku Area): Mid-June The rainy season is the best time to visit museums and galleries, but also covered arcade shopping streets (shotengai) where you can sample delicious local food. Celebrating The Flower Of Tsuyu: Hydrangeas At Their Peak In Kamakura Tokyo’s Everyday Life In Suginami – Nostalgic Shopping Streets With A Youthful Vibe Summer In Japan – Weather, Clothing And Travel Tips For June-Augustlast_img read more

Nijo Market in Sapporo Hokkaidos Delicious Foods in One Place

first_imgAnything produced in Hokkaido is delicious! That’s what the Japanese believe. The crab and salmon caught in Hokkaido especially makes everyone’s mouths water.All the delicious foods found all over Hokkaido gather together in Sapporo, the biggest city in Hokkaido. The biggest market in Hokkaido is Sapporo Central Wholesale Market and the Sapporo Curb Market where ordinary people can enjoy shopping is right next to that. The market is full of visitors and locals who are seeking seafood and vegetables produced in Hokkaido.Nijo Market is located in the center of Sapporo. The Sapporo Curb Market is 20 minutes away from Sapporo by train, but you can easily walk to Nijo Market.If you want to just take a look into the market, Nijo Market is our recommended place to visit.What is Nijo Market?Nijo Market first opened in the early Meiji period when fishermen who worked at Ishikari beach started selling fresh fish.At that time, various fish markets were found along the Sosei River, which flows in the center of Sapporo, and soba restaurants, dining bars, and vegetable shops started opening in the same area, all of which became the foundation of Nijo Market. The market has been loved by locals for over 100 years.Hunt for Crab, Shrimp and ScallopsSince the market is located in the center of Sapporo, Nijo Market attracts visitors who are looking for crabs, shrimp and scallops caught in Hokkaido. In addition, Nijo Market is known as a gourmet spot because it has buildings full of unique restaurants, in an area known as Noren Yokocho.Tips for Enjoying Nijo MarketWhen you visit the market for the very first time, you may not know what you are meant to do when someone randomly speaks to you. So here are some tips to help you fully your trip to the market.First, make sure to try the food samples that are recommended or offered to you. Most of the food sold at the market can be sampled before making a purchase. Ikura, or salmon roe has a different flavor depending on which shop sells it, so having a taste of the different varieties and finding the best one for you is a good idea.If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. You can ask how to choose and send an item overseas or back to your hotel/home. You may also want to ask if they have any tips when it comes to preparing the foodstuffs too. The market will be crowded from about 8 AM to 11 AM, so avoid the rush hours and visit the market in early morning.Lastly, if you are going to purchase crabs, it is recommended to buy the live ones from the fish tank. If you get a living crab, you may even want to take a picture with it. If you are buying pre-cooked crabs, you should choose the heaviest ones you can, as they will have more meat and will taste even better.Visit Nijo Market!Sapporo has several markets, but Nijo Market is easy to access from the city center. By visiting this market full of crabs and other famous specialties, you will find yourself surrounded by the authentic atmosphere of Hokkaido.Visit Nijo Market when you are in Hokkaido!Recommended articles:Sapporo – 10 Destinations to Visit in Hokkaido’s Largest City!Ways To Travel From Tokyo To Hokkaido! A Thorough ComparisonHokkaido Exclusive: 5 Must See FestivalsInformationNijo MarketAddress: Sapporo, Chuo, Minami Sanjo Higashi Itchome to Higashi NichomeHours: Market 7:00 – 18:00 / Restaurants 6:00 – 21:00 (depending on restaurants)Closed: Open 365 daysNearest station: Odori StationAccess: 15-minute walk from Odori station of Metro Nanboku, Tozai and Toho linesPhone number:011-222-5308Official Website:Nijo Marketlast_img read more

Complete Asakusa Station Guide – Get To Sensoji Temple From 4 Stations

first_imgAsakusa, SKYTREE, Odaiba All In A Day! An Introductory Guide To Tokyo The Tobu ticket gates are located on the second floor. First, exit out of the gates, then go down the stairs in front of you. There is a tourist information booth at the bottom. After doing so, you will exit out onto a large street pictured in the background of the photo above. Turn left here and you will see Kaminarimon to your right.You can also go outside by taking the elevators from the Toei Asakusa Line. If you want to use the elevators, exit out of the other Toei Asakusa Line gates (A1, A2). Exit A2-b is the elevator. After exiting the elevator, cross the road diagonally to your right and head straight for about five minutes to arrive at Kaminarimon.Toei Asakusa Line Elevator Location Google MapFrom Tobu Asakusa Station Once you’ve exited Exit A4, proceed straight to your right. Here’s what it looks like after coming out from Exit 1. Tsukuba Express Asakusa StationAkihabara, Tsukuba Tobu Asakusa StationNikko, Kinugawa Onsen Toei Asakusa Line Asakusa StationNarita Airport, Haneda Airport, Oshiage (Skytree), Shinagawa (Shinkansen) Original Author: ochiai keiichiThis article is a rewritten version of an article originally published on July 19, 2015. Station NameMajor Stations on the Same Lines There will be a covered sidewalk once you’ve turned. Please continue straight down this sidewalk. You will see Kaminarimon at the side of the road (left) after walking for about five minutes.Master Asakusa Station!Asakusa Station is complicated due to its four stations. However, these stations are very convenient for getting to different places once you get used to them.Tokyo is filled with slightly confusing stations like Asakusa. You can ensure your travels go smoothly by gathering information on both your departure and arrival stations beforehand!Read also This is the gate you’ll see immediately after exiting Platform 2 of the Ginza Line. The nearest exit to Kaminarimon is Exit 1. Walk Above The Clouds at Tokyo SKYTREE® in Oshiage! These are all referred to as Asakusa Station. Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station is the only station located a slightly further distance away and is a ten minute walk to gate of Kaminarimon at Sensoji Temple. The other three stations are a three- to five-minute distance away from the temple.Ginza Line Asakusa Station Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station is, as mentioned above, located slightly further away from the other stations. There may be few people that use this station for sightseeing, but you can reach Akihabara from this station in four minutes (210 yen).Accessing Kaminarimon From These Four Stations Tobu Line Asakusa Station is located inside a shopping center (pictured) called EKIMISE. Enter the center from the first floor front entrance and go up the escalator to find the ticket gates.The Tobu Line is useful for traveling to Nikko. Take the Limited Express Kegon for about one hour and 20 minutes (2,500 – 2,800 yen, varies by limited express) to Nikko. To reach to Kinugawa Onsen, take the Limited Express Kinu for about 2 hours and ten minutes (2,600-2,990 yen, will vary on the limited express). Please purchase your limited express tickets at the ticket office on the first floor.For details on tickets, refer to Tobu’s official website. http://www.tobu.co.jp/foreign/en/.The tourist information booth is also located on the first floor of Tobu Asakusa Station. You can also ask any questions you have and receive advice here too. The Asakusa Tourist Culture Information Center is also located in front of Sensoji’s Kaminarimon.Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station Walk straight outside and cross the traffic light to your right. After you’ve crossed the street, continue left. Ginza Line Asakusa StationUeno, Nihonbashi, Ginza, Omotesando, Shibuyacenter_img To the left of the stairs are elevators as well as coin lockers. If you are carrying luggage you can leave it here. Once you do so, you’ll come upon an intersection of a large street (Kaminarimon Street). Turn left here. You will see signs like the one pictured above. The entrance to Tobu Line Asakusa Station is on the first floor of EKIMISE. These are the ticket gates of the Toei Asakusa Line. The nearest exit to Kaminarimon is Exit A4. There are two Toei Asakusa Line gates, so be sure to head to the A4 gate.After going through the gates, follow the signs that say “A4.” Go down the stairs once while you are underground and then go upstairs once more. After walking up the stairs, Exit A4 will be on the other side. The Asakusa Line might end up leading you slightly far from Sensoji Temple if you exit out of the wrong gate. If that happens, please follow the area maps like the one pictured above.Tobu Asakusa Station We will now introduce how to access Kaminarimon, located at the entrance of Sensoji Temple, from each station.From Ginza Line Asakusa Station Follow the signs and go up these stairs. KaminarimonAsakusa is a must-visit sightseeing area in Japan. There are likely many people that come to the area to see Sensoji Temple or shop at Nakamise-dori Shopping Street.Asakusa Station is the closest station to major destinations including Sensoji Temple. However, there are actually four stations that are named Asakusa Station. In this article, we’ll explain in detail the differences between the Asakusa Stations and how to get to the famous Kaminarimon of Sensoji Temple from each one!The Four Asakusa Stations The first bar established in Japan Kamiya Bar, (written in Japanese, pictured above on the right) is at the corner. Turn right at this corner, then continue straight for two to three minutes and you’ll arrive at Kaminarimon.From Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station To get to Kaminarimon from Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station, go out Exit A1 (Kokusai Dori – International Street), then head left. Continue along the large street (Kokusai Dori) for about five minutes. If you are going to Narita, Haneda Airport or to Shinagawa, where the Tokaido Shinkansen is, then Toei Asakusa Line will be convenient for you to use. It is connected to the Ginza Line underground.The line is marked by its scarlet line color and the letter A. Asakusa Travel Guide: Savor The Past In The Historical Center Of Tokyo Ginza Line Asakusa Station is one of the easiest stations to use. Ueno Station, Ginza Station, and Shibuya Station are located along the Ginza Line, making it convenient for access to other major stations in Tokyo. The line is marked by its yellow line color and the letter G.Toei Asakusa Line Asakusa Station Family Mart, a convenience store, will be located in front of Exit 1. Continue straight down the sidewalk to you’ll see Kaminarimon to your right after walking for about one minute.From Toei Asakusa Line Asakusa Station Four Asakusa Stations Toei Asakusa Line connects to other private railways (Keisei Main Line, Keikyu Main Line). Depending on the train, the station can be used to travel to both Narita or Haneda Airport without any train transfers.If you wish to travel to Narita Airport, it will take approximately one hour to Narita Airport Station (for 1,290 yen) by the Airport Limited Express bound for Narita Airport. If heading to Haneda Airport, it will take approximately 35 minutes to reach the International Terminal Station (620 yen) by the Airport Limited Express bound for Haneda Airport International Terminal.Toei Asakusa Station is also a three minute ride (180 yen) from Oshiage Station, which is close to Tokyo Skytree.last_img read more

A tale of two herringbones and a sleeper seat

first_imgI try to keep an eye on the Chinese market whenever possible: after all, it’s going to be the largest in the world in the not too distant future, and it has a number of unique characteristics that make its context a thought-provoking one.After politicking around the certification and delivery of two Airbus A350-900s, Air China and Sichuan Airlines took their first of the plastic fantastics this month. Just how delayed were they? Well, the aircraft have been sitting in Toulouse for so long that some of the Airbus photos I noticed when selecting from the gigabytes Airbus shot, are dated 7 September 2017. There’s a 7/9/7 joke in there somewhere, but a year’s delay to 8/8/18 is astounding — especially at a time when cabins are aging faster than ever before.Indeed, they were clearly sitting there so long that the regular interiors photographers (whose names many close observers of the industry will recognise) started getting very arty indeed with their shots.You know the photographer has too much time on their hands when the table hinge gets its own shot. Image: AirbusI for one am delighted, not least because it makes it easier to figure out which company manufactured which product, but it’s not ideal for PaxEx or for the bottom lines of either Airbus or the airlines.I for one love a good bit of armrest bokeh… Image: AirbusOn to the seats, where both carriers chose outward-facing herringbone seats, which are on balance pretty much the best you can get in the sub-suite space these days. That more of the relatively lower-priced Chinese carriers are offering this level of seating now is notable: both because they become compelling options for international travellers, and because the local market passengers who choose them by choice will now expect something similar from international carriers.Neither airline revealed which products they are, but the design language has some suggestions.Rockwell Collins’ Super Diamond has the screens positioned flat ahead of the passenger with the tray table sliding out from underneath it.Zodiac Aerospace’s Cirrus, meanwhile, has a swing-out mechanism for both monitor and table.Super Diamond’s geometrical polygons on the armrest away from the aisle are also a handy reference point.I’m struck by just how different the material and finish choices from the two airlines’ interiors look in the images, too.Air China has clearly invested more in the interiors look and feel, with an attractive modern moquette to the seat fabric and carpets, textured materials on the vertical and horizontal structures of the seats, and the all-important mood lighting scene ability that’s shown off in the photos.Air China’s choices create a modern and attractive interior. Image: AirbusIt’s not clear whether Sichuan Airlines has mood lighting turned off or if it wasn’t programmed for the snaps taken almost a year ago, but what is clear are the decades-old styling choices.The base seat is fine — and I’m glad to see a legrest — but more detailed thought is required at Sichuan Airlines. Image: AirbusYawnworthy beige thermoplastics, passé basic fake wood and a blue leather cover that not only looks worse than other airlines were installing ten years ago but will also be also sticky and uncomfortable when seated for long periods of time just don’t cut it.Frankly, it’s most striking that neither the airframer nor the seatmaker were able to persuade the carrier into something a little better.With a fantastic panda paintjob on the outside of the aircraft, it strikes me that more attention needs to be paid to the interior as well.Turning to the shorter haul end of the market — aboard 37 Shenzhen Airlines Boeing 737 MAX aircraft — the carrier has chosen the Recaro CL5710 recliners, but in a very deep-reclining, legrest-enabled cradle sleeper configuration.“It is the only business class seat for short and medium-haul routes that is electrically adjustable and approved for Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft,” says Recaro, and with quite a lot of dual fleeting going on in Chinese skies that’s certainly a selling point.The look and feel’s nothing to write home about, but the base product on Shenzhen Airlines is very impressive. Image: RecaroBut taken together with the investment from longhaul carriers, is this the start of a substantial uptick in the passenger experience within the Chinese market? Is it time for some airline soft diplomacy, or a realisation that other airlines within what China perceives to be its sphere of influence are eclipsing its own carriers? I’ll certainly be watching for more data points in this most fascinating of markets.Related Articles:Three-abreast widebody Super Diamond offers next-gen business optionZodiac talks next-gen Cirrus with ergonomic and storage updatesAmerican goes Super Diamond but dresses it like CirrusRecaro CEO talks BYOD, catalogs and the death of angled lie-flatsPress Release: Shenzhen rolls out connected cockpit across A320 fleetlast_img read more

How smooth is a Gulfstream

first_imgSmooth flight is critical to a comfortable ride. Top quality furnishings, broadband connectivity and detailed design count for nothing if your bizjet’s ‘bumpy’. It’s a quality Gulfstream seldom mentions, but looking ahead to next month’s NBAA show in Orlando, we asked, “How smooth is a Gulfstream?”A business jet is a carefully considered investment for the majority of operators. It’s a crucial enabling tool that has to perform as specified, typically delivering senior individuals or executive teams over considerable range. There’s an expectation that the cabin will facilitate work and deliver high-quality rest in equal measure. In short, a bizjet ought to deliver its passengers prepared and refreshed, ready to justify its investment.Creating a space suitable for the disparate needs of work and rest within the confines of an aircraft cabin presents a unique aesthetic and engineering challenge, the solutions to which Gulfstream epitomizes in its range of large-cabin jets. But comfort ultimately relies on a complicated characteristic less obvious than a sumptuous cabin – ride quality.It’s a parameter achieved through aircraft performance, careful engineering, finely honed aerodynamics and efficient soundproofing, among other factors. And it’s a quality Gulfstream takes very seriously yet rarely, if ever, discusses. Perhaps there’s an assumption among its sales team that customers take the quality of a Gulfstream’s ride for granted? In fact, the company invests heavily in testing ride quality and works in detail with its Customer Advisory Board, demonstrating smooth flight capability in the lab and then proving it by flying some of the industry’s most experienced passengers.Steve Cass, vice president, sales development and support, confirms: “We go through rigorous ground and flight testing to develop and verify the comfort of our cabins, including measuring vibrations and vertical accelerations in-flight. Gulfstream uses an iterative and multidisciplinary design process that includes hundreds of engineers and thousands of hours of laboratory and flight testing.”The recently certified G500 exemplifies the process, employing the latest technologies to optimize passenger comfort, speed, range and efficiency. Which is good to know. But how does it fly? “A key driver to providing a smooth ride is to fly at very high cruise altitudes, where the air is less dense and the probability of turbulence lower,” Cass explains.“The G500 typically flies 4,000ft to 10,000ft higher than other business jets or commercial airliners. It also has the latest fly-by-wire flight control system, which dampens out the effects of turbulence more quickly than the mechanical flight control systems found on older-generation business jet aircraft.He continues, “The control laws and responsiveness of the flight control system are just two of many parameters that affect ride quality. Other important parameters include wing flexibility, the size and shape of the wing, the size and location of the control surfaces, the weight and inertia of the aircraft, the aero-elasticity of the structure, and the aircraft’s speed and altitude.”The G500 is barely in service, of course, but Gulfstream has in excess of 850 G550, G650 and G650ER aircraft flying with customers around the world and proving their ride quality every day. What do these users say about how the manufacturer’s jets fly? Predictably, Cass reports: “Our customers have been very complimentary of the quality and comfort of our cabins.”But then he points to a less obvious Gulfstream application that really proves the point.“Several of our large-cabin jets are used for medical evacuation flights. Beijing 999 recently took delivery of a G550 and signed an MOU for a G650ER. This new aircraft will revolutionise inflight medical care with onboard equipment to sustain and stabilise critically ill patients. It will also be equipped for doctors to perform minor surgeries in flight – you need an incredibly smooth, stable aircraft to support that type of mission,” says Cass.Gulfstream delivered this G550 to Beijing Red Cross Emergency Medical Center on 25 July. Now the organisation is looking to add a G650ER, equipped for inflight surgery. Image: Gulfstream Aerospace CorpRelated Articles: What’s new in a bizjet cabin near youGulfstream G500 cabin to cosset passengersWill London Stansted to New York LaGuardia in a Gulfstream be bliss?Simulating the G650: FlightSafety International talks shopStage is set. Will Qatar’s Gulfstreams see commercial connections?Press Release: TrueNorth Simphone selected for G650 completionlast_img read more

Ann Goodnight collects art and North Carolina benefits

first_imgby Catherine Kimrey Breedenphotographs of Ann Goodnight by Nick PironioAt first glance, Ann Goodnight could be mistaken for any elegant woman seated fireside in the Umstead Hotel’s art-filled lobby on a wintry day. But as she settles in for a wide-ranging conversation at the hotel she built, it’s clear that this philanthropist, patron of the arts, and advocate for education reform is without peer.Her work to support and improve public education policy in North Carolina is well documented. “My husband and I are products of public education,” she says, “and feel that it is important that today’s students have the same opportunity to succeed.” Her husband of 48 years is Jim Goodnight, founder of Cary-based analytics software giant SAS, who also advocates for strengthening public education at all levels, from pre-K through high school, and at the community college and university levels. “Education is the best investment we can make for the future, for children, and for economic well being,” Ann Goodnight says. As secretary of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, she has the influence she needs to make a difference.And though her role as a collector of art is less well known, it’s also one with a major civic impact.When Goodnight began collecting art years ago, she sought the advice of Larry Wheeler, director of the North Carolina Museum of Art. She wanted to do more than acquire museum-quality work to decorate her walls. She wanted to give it to the state, too.“Jim and I came up with the idea that we would work in coordination with the museum in acquiring a collection that we will bequeath to them. That way we get to live with the beautiful art, and the museum will benefit in the future.”But the museum – and by extension the public – doesn’t have to wait, because a number of the Goodnights’ major pieces are already on display.John Trumbull, The Surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, 1787–1794, Oil on canvas, 14 3/4 x 21 15/16 in., North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, Promised gift of Ann and Jim GoodnightAmong them is John Trumbull’s Study for The Surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. John W. Coffey, the museum’s deputy director and curator of American and modern art, describes Trumbull as “the most celebrated painter of American history,” and says that “this study is likely the one that the artist gave to Thomas Jefferson. It is the only one of Trumbull’s history paintings that remains in private hands.” The others are in museums or hang in the rotunda of the U. S. Capitol.The Goodnights chose to focus on American art “out of their own deep respect and love for the artistic heritage of this country,” Coffey says. “Great ideas are often best conveyed through memorable works of art. Jim and Ann understand that. Their collection, when it comes to the museum, will profoundly affect the way we present the American experience.”He points out such masterpieces as George Bellows’ Dock Builders; Robert Vonnoh’s Grez; Childe Hassam’s Isles of Shoals, Appledore; and others. All of these are on view in the museum courtesy of the Goodnights, as is Claude Monet’s Waves at the Manneporte. The Monet is an anomaly in the collection since it is the only work not by an American painter. It does have an American connection, however, since the original owner was the great American portrait painter John Singer Sargent.A common theme throughout the Goodnight collection is an emphasis on nature. This can be traced directly to Ann Goodnight’s discerning eye. “I like atmospheric, uncomplicated art,” she says.Developing an eyeWhen her three children were small, Goodnight volunteered at NCMA and believes this is where her interest in the visual arts began. She remembers well how her collection got its start: “When Jim and I were living in our first home we bought some unsigned antique oils from the 17th and 18th century that were by itinerant painters.”  She still has those pieces.Today, one of Goodnight’s favorite and most prized paintings is Weather Side by Andrew Wyeth. She explains that it is a detailed depiction of the house in Maine that is central to Wyeth’s famous painting, Christina’s World, of a girl crawling up a hill. Weather Side is on loan to NCMA and is headed to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., this spring where it will be featured in a special exhibit: Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In.Andrew Newell Wyeth, Weather Side, 1965, Tempera on composition board, 38 x 27 3/4 in., North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, Promised Gift of Ann and Jim Goodnight“Weather Side is one of Wyeth’s major paintings,” says NCMA director Wheeler, “and one that any museum would love to own.”In addition to paintings, Goodnight also has an avid interest in sculpture. “We are enthralled with the idea of the museum having a sculpture garden,” she says, visibly brightening, then sharing the news that she and her husband have acquired a new sculpture that will arrive at the museum in May. “You can get the details from Larry.”Wheeler expands: The Goodnights have acquired Wind Sculpture II, a monumental outdoor work by the noted British artist Yinka Shonibare. It will be shipped from London and integrated into the NCMA’s Museum Park in the spring.Goodnight’s affinity for sculpture is also evident on the corporate campus of SAS. Her favorite among the 20 or so large-scale pieces that she has selected and placed there is Fanfare, a 20-foot tall, bright-red, painted-steel work commissioned from Canadian artist Anne Allardyce. “I like its color, its Asian look, the way that it glows at night, and its uplifting and soaring presence in the middle of the campus,” Goodnight says.Although she is intimately involved with SAS’s art selection and acquisition, Goodnight describes her primary role in the corporation as heading up its overall philanthropic mission. She also had the major role of creating Cary’s world-class Umstead Hotel and Spa.She was hands-on with that project, just as she is hands-on selecting and curating her art. The extent of Goodnight’s involvement is clear when she describes how she had mock-ups of guest rooms constructed before they were built, and how she had the hotel relocated, literally, across a busy street from its original site – on the day before the actual construction began. The final site, adjacent to the SAS campus, allows for a naturally secluded parking area; the original site would have required underground parking.The hotel itself is an integrated expression of her artistic vision. Goodnight travelled to quarries in Galveston, Texas, to select the exterior limestone that seamlessly blends the structure into the environment, and she installed a significant collection of painting, sculpture, and pottery throughout the hotel and grounds. Her pride in this collection is obvious as she escorts a visitor around the property, pointing out particular pieces and discussing the artists who created them.A story about the collection’s centerpiece, an elegant blown-glass sculpture she commissioned from renowned artist Dale Chihuly, is a favorite. Only after its completion, she says, did Goodnight learn the serendipitous fact that Chihuly called the style of the graceful, flowing piece Ardea Figura, and that Ardea refers to a genus of large, strong-flying herons. Chihuly was unaware that Goodnight had named the hotel’s five-star restaurant Herons.Goodnight is eager to give credit to every artist represented in her hotel’s collection. She is enthusiastic about each of them and knows the story behind all of their works. One that she singles out is Lynn Boggess, a West Virginia painter whose work she admires for the Impressionist way he portrays art in nature. She describes Boggess’ technique of using thick layers of paint, shaped with a cement trowel, to pull viewers into the scene. Several of his works are on display.Goodnight also draws attention to the hotel’s large collection of pottery. Ben Owen III, a third-generation artist from North Carolina’s distinguished Owen family of potters, is widely represented, as is Mark Hewitt, a potter from England who lives and works in Pittsboro. Though she is enthusiastic about the accomplishments of the artists she champions, she is modest about her own, and eager to credit others with helping to achieve her goals. The proud mother of two daughters and a son, and the grandmother of three, Goodnight deflects attention.“I have no formal education in the arts,” she says when asked about her involvement with NCMA, where she is also a member of the board. She credits the museum with “nurturing” her interests in the visual arts.“Don’t let her modesty fool you,” says the NCMA’s Wheeler. “She already had the interest in and enthusiasm about art before getting involved with us. She believes in the integration of the arts into education, the community, and the workplace.”last_img read more

A life inspired

first_imgEve Kakassy HobgoodChris Marlow: Help One Nowby Settle MonroeChris Marlow has a saying: “A life interrupted is a life inspired.”For Marlow, that interruption happened in Zimbabwe in 2007 when a young boy living in a makeshift orphanage beside an old gas station approached him and asked for help. He asked Marlow if he could work for food. The boy had not eaten in days. Marlow looked around at the swarms of other hungry children, many the same ages as his own young daughters at home. Their needs seemed too great, and he thought he had nothing to give that could actually help. He also had a busy travel itinerary to keep for his work as a pastor and real estate business owner. He told the boy: “No.” But the boy’s simple question never left him. And it would be the last time Marlow would allow an overwhelming need, a sense of helplessness, or even a busy schedule to keep him from acting.Today, almost nine years later, Marlow’s Raleigh-based nonprofit organization, Help One Now, is changing the lives of thousands of children and families across the world. The group brings education and healthcare to orphaned and vulnerable children and communities in eight developing countries: Haiti, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Peru, Congo, Dominican Republic, and South Africa.Help One Now does its work by partnering with local leaders in every community it serves. Marlow is proud of the organization’s ability to remain almost invisible to the people who receive its help. “A Haitian mother who sends her child to the school we helped fund will most likely never have heard of Help One Now,” he says. “The school was built by Haitians and is run by Haitians. This maintains and promotes dignity and purpose in the local communities. There is power in that.”Justin Morgan, a friend of Marlow’s and the pastor of Raleigh’s Church on Morgan, has traveled to Haiti and witnessed the group’s impact.Morgan reports, “They are absolutely moving the needle around the world, town by town, and in so many sectors from education to healthcare, job creation to meeting basic needs. But the locals are the heroes in the development story they’re telling.”Local leaders are also the organization’s bedrock. Marlow has built the organization around the belief that a community thrives under great leadership from within, and with authentic partnerships. He says he seeks out effective local leaders who are already motivated and engaged in the fight against extreme poverty. These men and women lead the charge, and Help One Now comes alongside them to equip, serve, and help fund their efforts.For example, Jean-Alix Paul is a successful Haitian pastor, businessman, and the president of a philanthropic organization, Esprit de Vérité. Paul knows that the best hope for his country lies in access to solid education for its youth. In the impoverished border town of Ferrier, Haiti, for instance, the children are some of the country’s most vulnerable. Child trafficking and child labor are rampant there.Prayers before mealtime at the community table in Haiti’s Ferrier Village. Children there live in small homes in groups of 4 or 5 with a house mother, two bedrooms, and a common/living room. The whole comunity gathers for meals. Photo by Brennon Bloemendaal, Help One Now.Under Marlow and Paul’s leadership, and after years of planning, researching, and fundraising, Help One Now completed the first phase of Ferrier Village in 2013. Ferrier Village includes five homes, a community center, a water cistern system, and a security wall. The 25 rescued children who now live in Ferrier Village enjoy nutritious meals, a warm home, counseling, and access to quality education. Most importantly, for the first time in their young lives, they are safe.Help One Now’s reach is expansive. Since its beginning in 2009, the organization has helped place over 200 orphans into 24-hour care facilities. It has served 3,000 children at risk for starvation, abandonment, or trafficking, providing them with food and other daily necessities. Of those vulnerable children, 2,000 are currently enrolled in high-quality schools. The organization has also built two schools from the ground up and partnered with 13 other schools in five countries, including Peru, Haiti, Uganda, Ethiopia, and South Africa.Vast needMarlow acknowledges that the statistics of extreme poverty can be overwhelming to contemplate. In a country like Haiti, where 77 percent of the population lives in poverty and the adult literacy rate is below 50 percent, it is easy for someone who might like to help to feel paralyzed by the scope of the country’s problems.Part of Help One Now’s mission is to equip ordinary people with simple and practical ways to become part of the solution. Marlow says people who want to help can sponsor an individual child or host a garage sale for orphans, or even travel with the organization on a “vision trip” to witness and experience the needs in one of the communities that Help One Now serves.“Human capital is our greatest resource,” he says. “We just need to ask ourselves, ‘What problem do I see?’ and ‘what unique skills or talents do I have that might help solve it?’ The people of Raleigh care deeply about the problems of the world. And they are creative, motivated, and highly capable to help solve them.”Marlow has an eye for finding those passionate and effective leaders to join his efforts here as well as across the globe.Children at play in Haiti’s Ferrier Village. Photo courtesy Ken Nussbaum, Help One Now.Had to actWhen he was working as a pastor and running several real estate businesses, Chris Marlow never imagined that he would one day lead an international nonprofit. But when he returned from that trip to Zimbabwe in 2007, burdened by the devastation, poverty, and a young boy’s plea, he knew he had to act.His background in ministry coupled with his executive experience provided the knowledge necessary to get the organization off the ground. But it took more than that to grow a nonprofit in the floundering economy of 2009. It took an unwavering focus and a contagious zeal.Marlow attracted investors and partners, and eventually turned a $1,000 investment into an organization with a $2.2 million annual budget and a significant international impact. That same zeal and focus has led the organization to maintain 40 percent annual growth. Marlow is hopeful that this growth will continue. Help One Now is aiming for a 2016 budget of around $3 million. Contributions from businesses, churches, and private donors have fueled the growth.But it’s not just finanical contributions that make a difference, Marlow says.  In a shrinking world, where the concept of neighbor stretches far past the person next door, he says every ordinary person can be a part of the movement to end extreme poverty.“We need educators, businessmen and women, artists, and writers. While we certainly need people who can give money, we also need people who can write business plans, train doctors and teachers, and for people to just share our story.”Today, that little boy’s simple ask for help is being answered as communities across the globe break free from the cycle of poverty.Because when Marlow’s life was interrupted, he responded with “Yes.”For more on Help One Now, go to helponenow.orglast_img read more

Head in the Clouds

first_imgModern dance meets traditional disciplineby Jessie AmmonsWhen the Portuguese discovered Taiwan off the coast of China in the 16th century, they were said to have called it Formosa, or beautiful isle. Their initial exclamation of beauty inspires a modern dance performance in Chapel Hill March 6.Also called Formosa, the work by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre will be energetic and ethereal. The dance troupe produces simultaneously delicate and explosive choreography by integrating ancient movement arts into its modern dance playbook, including Qigong, martial arts, and ballet. For Formosa, evocative staging adds to the mix: shapes and colors meant to suggest mountains, rivers, and tsunamis. The dance was commissioned by Carolina Performing Arts for this one-time performance, the kind of mind-bending and genre-bending show worth beholding.7:30 p.m.; $25; carolinaperformingarts.orglast_img read more

High Country Firs

first_imgWatauga County tree farmer brings trees, wreaths, and other holiday arrangements to Raleigh City Farm.by Catherine Currin  |  photography by Julie Leonard Keith Chesnutt will be back this season selling Christmas trees at Raleigh City Farm. He’s been at it for six years, selling trees and handmade wreaths from Watauga county. “Growing up in the mountains of North Carolina, I knew lots of folks that grew trees,” he says. “My 8th grade basketball coach, Rob Hunt, was a small tree farmer and father of one of my close childhood friends. They always talked about how much fun it was to sell trees, so I thought I would give it a try. I called up Rob, he agreed to front me the trees, gave lots of advice, and High Country Firs was born.” Chesnutt is a recent graduate of N.C. State Veterinary School, and says he loves celebrating this time of year. “A Christmas tree or wreath symbolizes the spirit of the holiday season. It is the perfect way for friends and family to celebrate the reason for the season.” Starting November 23, you can find Chesnutt, along with his family, friends, and dog Jedd, providing Person Street with holiday spirit.  High Country Firs will sell trees, wreaths, and other holiday arrangements at Raleigh City Farm from November 23 until inventory sells out, Monday-Thursday 3-8 p.m. and Friday-Sunday 9 a.m. — 8 p.m.last_img read more

Broughton High School Celebrates its 90th Anniversary

first_imgTravis Long Historical highlights abound. In 1935, Henry Watson Moore wrote a class song for his graduation. It went on to become Broughton’s alma mater. The popular Queen of Hearts Dance began in 1943 in an effort to raise funds during World War II. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke in the auditorium in 1957. Twelve years later, the auditorium was destroyed by fire. In 1989, the 3,000 seat Capital Stadium opened. And, in 2009, former President Barack Obama visited the school. Needham B. Broughton High School turns 90 this year. Established in 1929, it is the oldest of 27 high schools in Wake County. And, at a current student body population of over 2,100 students, continues to operate from its original building designed by architect William Henley Deitrick on the corner of St. Mary’s and Peace Streets. Broughton is a nationally-regarded magnet high school with a Global Studies and Language Immersion/International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. The graduation rate is 88 percent and it ranks in the top 50 percent of public schools in the state for Reading and Language/Arts Proficiency and math proficiency. Photo from the first Broughton yearbook. Courtesy News & Observer Archives As part of the school’s ongoing celebration, The Needham B. Broughton Capital Foundation is throwing a big birthday bash on March 23. Proceeds from the event will help fund supplemental programs across Broughton’s broad academic curriculum. The event is sold out, but alumni, parents and friends of the school are encouraged to donate (insert link to website) to the program.center_img The Capitals celebrate 90 years as a Raleigh learning institutionby Katherine Poole | photos courtesy News & Observer archives Notable Caps alumni include: Juston Burris, current cornerback for the New York Jets; John W. Coffey, art historian, author, deputy director for collections at the North Carolina Museum of Art; David Connell, bassist for The Connells; Lelynd Darkes, hip hop artist; Lauren Kennedy, Broadway actress; Pete Maravich, former Louisiana State University and NBA basketball player; Burley Mitchell, former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court; Reynolds Price, author; Jerome Robinson, former basketball player at Boston College and current player for the Los Angeles Clippers; Webb Simpson, PGA Tour golfer and 2012 U.S. Open Champion; and Anne Tyler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author. courtesy News & Observer/Tegan Johnston In honor of its 90th, we thought we’d share a few smart facts about Raleigh’s venerable learning institution. Go Caps!last_img read more

Around town with… Lindsay Rice of Vita Vite

first_imgIn this series, we poll our in-the-know friends on what they love to see, do, eat and more in the Triangle. Lindsay Rice, owner of Vita ViteWine lover and owner of Vita Vite in Raleigh and North Hills, Lindsay Rice isn’t shy when it comes to spilling her favorite places around downtown. Not only is Lindsay a wine aficionado, but she’s frequently traveling the globe exploring her love for art. Between ice cream at Kilwins and special happy hours at Cortez, she has recommendations for everyone. What are your favorite spot(s) downtown? Brunch at Capital Club 16, dinner at Royale and shopping at Flourish Market.Where do you go when you’re feeling a ‘treat yourself’ day?Kilwins has become a guilty pleasure now that we have a location in North Hills. If I’m downtown, I go to Bittersweet.Justin Kase ConderWhat’s your hidden gem in Raleigh?Apero: a great little spot for drinks tucked away in City Market.Tough decision, Char-Grill or Snoopy’s?Snoopy’s!What’s your go-to coffee shop and usual order?I make myself a flat white at home every morning. If I get it out, it’s a dirty chai from Hereghty.What’s your favorite place for a weekday happy hour?Oyster happy hour at Cortez.Keith IsaacsIs there anything else in town that you love and want to share?I’m always drinking wine at Vita Vite, so I love having beer when I’m out and about. Neuse River Brewing and Crafty Beer Wine & Spirits are two of my favorites.last_img read more

Cloris Leachman Gets Candid In New PETA ProVegetarian Holiday Ad

first_imgAs families prepare their holiday menus, Oscar winner Cloris Leachman cuddles up to a rescued turkey named Frank in a brand-new ad for PETA that proclaims, “Give Thanks and Go Vegetarian.”Now, she’s challenging everyone to join her: “Step out of your dark shadow. Be a little progressive. If you wouldn’t eat a dog, why would you want to eat a turkey?”In an exclusive video interview with PETA, Leachman — who’s been acting for more than 70 years — credits her longevity to meat-free eating. “You can discover it for yourself, but I’m ninety-f***ing-two and I’m coming on ninety-f***ing-three, and I haven’t eaten meat for a long, long time,” she says. “There’s no reason to eat animals. When you’re eating one, you think, Ew, I’m eating [someone who] just lost his life to me.”PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat ” — notes that in addition to sparing many animals every year immense suffering on factory farms and the decks of fishing boats, going vegetarian lowers a person’s risk of suffering from heart disease, cancer, and obesity. It also drastically reduces one’s carbon footprint.Leachman is a longtime PETA supporter whose previous campaigns include a “Let Vegetarianism Grow on You” ad in which she wore a cabbage gown.last_img read more

London Attack 4 Dead and 40 Injured

Toronto – The death toll from yesterday’s brazen attack on UK Parliament stands at four, including the attacker. The 40 injured during the melee span ten nationalities.Londoners awoke with resolve this morning, determined to crack on with life as they know it, in spite of yesterday’s attempt to strike fear into one of the world’s greatest cities.Speaking in front of Parliament Thursday morning, Prime Minister Theresa May assured Londoners there is no reason to believe further attacks are imminent. She did, however, acknowledge that the terror alert has been set to its second-highest level until further notice. May also revealed that police investigators have searched six addresses and made eight arrests in the cities of Birmingham and London in the first 24 hours of the investigation.The suspect was known to police to be have been “inspired by international terrorism” but only as what May called a “peripheral figure.” His name had come up at one point during an MI5 investigation but no further details have yet been released. The suspect is confirmed to have been British-born. May stated that he had come within a mere 20 yards of Parliament before being stopped by police. His identity has not yet been publicized.Police presence will be stepped up across the country in light of yesterday’s events, which claimed the life of 48-year-old police officer, Keith Palmer, stabbed to death by the attacker in the line of duty. The Prime Minister praised Palmer’s bravery and sacrifice, calling him “every inch a hero.”The attack, which appeared at first to be two separate events, has now been established to have been carried out by a single, lone-wolf attacker. After plowing through scores of pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, the attacker made his way toward Parliament, armed with a knife.Before he could make it inside the buildings, the attacker was spotted by two uniformed police officers and confronted. In the course of trying to stop the attacker, officer Keith Palmer was killed. The attacker proceeded and was eventually stopped just short of the Parliament buildings by two more police officers who attempted to stop him. When it became clear the suspect wasn’t going to stop the officers fired their weapons and the attacker was killed.Wednesday afternoon London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, had a message for those who would attempt to disrupt the calm of his city, “You won’t succeed, you won’t divide us, we won’t be cowed by terrorists.”Describing Wednesday’s scene in her morning address, Prime Minister May acknowledged both the horror and the valour of the events, “yesterday we saw the worst of humanity, but we will remember the best.” She closed her comments saying that the best way to respond to terror is in “millions of acts of normality,” praising the millions of Londoners carrying out their normal routines Thursday morning. read more

YOUR GUIDE TO GETTING THE BEST CELEBRITY SELFIES AT TIFF

Login/Register With: It’s Saturday at 10:03 a.m. You walk into your local King West coffee shop for the usual (chocolate croissant and an oat milk latte) when something infinitely more divine than Parisian pastry crosses your path. Wait, is that…?! No, it can’t be. Oh, but it is: Creed star Michael B. Jordan is standing in line ahead of you. You realize he must be in town for TIFF. You’re Jordan’s biggest fan and you’d really love a selfie with him that you can show your future children together. What do you do?Such major celebrity sightings are commonplace during the first half of September as the Toronto International Film Festival takes over the city and stars like Jordan roll in to promote their films. This year, the Just Mercy star is expected to be joined by Hollywood royalty like Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez and Meryl Streep at the festival. But while it’s tempting to run over to your favourite star’s dinner table and squeeze in beside them on the banquette, famous people are human beings, too, and they would like to swallow that bite of tuna maki before indulging your selfie request, thankyouverymuch. Here’s your guide to getting the very best—and least disruptive—celebrity selfies at TIFF 2019.1. ASK NICELY (YOUR MOM WAS RIGHT—MANNERS ARE EVERYTHING)“Ask respectfully, and refrain from shouting,” advises Erin Richards, founder and lead publicist of Hype PR who has worked with TIFF regulars like Idris Elba, Aaron Sorkin, Jessica Chastain and Jason Sudeikis. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Twitter read more

BIANCA ANDREESCU SAYS DRAKE FINALLY MESSAGED HER AND REVEALS WHAT HE SAID

Advertisement Rap superstar Drake has finally reached out to Bianca Andreescu to congratulate her after she called him out for not messaging her after winning the U.S. Open.Earlier this week, Andreescu appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and recounted the congratulatory messages she had received from famous Canadians like Shania Twain, Steve Nash and Justin Trudeau.However, she ended the interview by calling out Champagnepapi, Drake’s Instagram handle, saying she was waiting on him to pick up the phone. Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement “Drake messaged me by the way,” Andreescu said near the end of her press conference back in Toronto today.“Here I am,” Drake said followed by a smiling emoji. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Bianca Andreescu laughs after reading a message from rapper Drake.(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette) Twitter read more