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Kyoto Winter Special 2008

The Kyoto Winter Special 2008 is a winter promotional event (December 2007 - March31, 2008) with events to make your winter trip to Kyoto even more enjoyable. During this time there will be special admission to normally restricted heritage sites, special winter events such as Arashiyama Hanatouro and Higashiyama Hanatouro.
The city of Kyoto started this two events in 2003 to promote tourism in March and December when Kyoto had much less visitors than the city expected. Hanatouro in Japanese ԓH) literally means "Flower and lighted path". Hundreds of lanterns are placed along walkways in Higashiyama(during March) and Arashiyama(during December).

sRԓH Arashiyama Hanatouro Dec8 ~ Dec17
Against the backdrop of Saga Arashiyama magnificent natural setting, its riverfronts, bamboo forests, and historic cultural heritages, the 5.2km path from Horin-ji Temple, over Togetsukyo Bridge, through the Tenryu-ji Temple area, and down past the small bamboo forest, will feature combination of ground lanterns and ikebana artwork. The surrounding temples, shrines, and cultural facilities will hold special viewings and illumination events, and there will also be exhibitions of unique art by Kyoto art students, as well as Japanese music performances and mini-concerts. This will be one of many beautiful events in early winter.

sRԓH Higashiyama Hanatouro Mar14 ~ Mar23
Higashiyama, with its white walls and trees reflecting dim lights, elegant flames coloring the temples and shops, and brimming with all the charms of Kyoto, will be the setting for the Higashiyama Hanatouro. From Shoren-in Temple in the north, past Yasaka Shrine, to Kiyomizu Temple in the south, 4.6km of walking paths will be adorned with ground lanterns and ikebana artwork are lit up. During this time there will be various events, with traditional arts on a special stage. The surrounding temples and shrines will hold special viewings and illumination events.

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Best flight deals to Sapporo, Okinawa and Fukuoka

This is one of the longest running good deal offered by Japan Airways Co. (JAW) using Skymark airlines flights. Price to Okinawa starting at ¥ 23,800, to Sapporo starting at ¥ 18,800 and to Fukuoka starting at ¥ 20,800. It striped down to the most basic by offering you just return ticket and accomodation with nothing fancy for its basic plan. You have to pay additional to get breakfast included for certain hotels. It is like a "budget carrier" concept where you pay for what you need unlike full-fledge carrier will dump in everything and you might be paying for things that you actually don't need.

You are allowed up to a maximum of 21 days stay. 1 night accommodation is included for the first night, you can choose to extend the accommodation for the entire length of stay or simply for just the first night. Prices quoted were for twin occupancy and single occupancy is also available. Optional car rental is also available. You can purchase this plan even 5 days before your trip. Not advisable because take up rate is very high. Departure on Fridays and Saturdays sell out fast.

Pic top : Kirara pack Okinawa,
Pic bottom : Kirara pack Sapporo, Fukuoka, Kobe

Where to make reservation: sadly you won't find them in your usual JTB, NTA or KNT chain stores but quite a number of smaller vendors do have them. Of course you can always turn to their official website for online reservation (a bit disappointing though but still work). Again in Japanese only.

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