Thursday, July 5, 2018

Fuji Rock '18 Stages

Fuji Rock offers a lot of different venues for different performances and music genre. You will have the option on which performances would you prefer to watch or which music genre would you like to listen to. Every stage has its own theme and the audience capacity for each varies. Musicians would sometimes put on impromptu performances on the different Fuji Rock stages. But of course you wouldn't want to miss the big names and big production at the main stage, The Green Stage. Please see different stages at the Fuji Rock below:

1. Green Stage

The Green Stage is the Fuji Rock main stage which can accommodate about 40,000 people. It is the main venue for performance of famous artists and musicians. Big names and big production are usually held on this stage. Green Stage can be reached on foot by 3 to 5 minutes from the OASIS area. In this area you will find facilities suck as Priority Rest Tent, Wheel Chair Space and First Aid Tent. There are also large screens installed so that you can see the performers from different angles.

2. White Stage

With a capacity of about 15,000 people, the White Stage is the second stage where great bands perform in a beautiful scenery surrounded by trees. On this stage, artists from all genres perform. White Stage is located 5 to 10 minutes on foot from the Green Stage. In this area you will find facilities such as Large Screen Monitor and First Aid Tent.

3. Red Marquee

Located adjacent to the Oasis Field, Red Marquee is the only indoor stage at Fuji Rock with a capacity of 5,000 spectators. The stage hosts performances from the young artists to the veteran ones. There are dance performances and DJ's from around the world playing from night 'til dawn.

4. Field of Heaven

With a capacity of 5,000 spectators, Field of Heaven is an outdoor stage in the woods located 10 to 15-minute walk from the White Stage. Surrounded by forest, this stage brings out a unique atmosphere at the Fuji Rock. Special lighting and a mirror ball will be place at night creating a magical ambience. The stage is environmentally friendly as it uses electricity generated from bio diesel to reduce CO2. The facility in the area includes First Aid Tent.

5. New Power Gear Stage / Gypsy Avalon

A small stage of about 1,000 people, this stage offers a friendly ambience where you could enjoy up close and intimate performances from artists. The stage is located in a corner of New Power Gear Field / Avalon. It is environmentally friendly which uses an electricity generated from bio diesel and solar power.

6. Naeba Shokudo

Located in the Oasis area, the Naeba Shokudo turns into a hot stage during the night where you can catch a surprise band performances while drinking a glass of local sake.

7. Mokudo Tei

Surrounded by trees along the boardwalk that connects the White Stage and the Field of Heaven, Mokudo Tei is a small outdoor stage where there might be surprise appearances of Green Stage artists. The stage uses electricity generated from bio diesel and solar power. This is definitely a recommended stage for those who would like to enjoy music surrounded by nature.

8. Café de Paris

Inspired by the "Moulin Rouge" cabaret in Paris and its outstanding historical background, this stage is a venue for performances of pole dances and various unique international entertainers. Café de Paris is about 5-minute walk from the Field of Heaven.

9. Pyramid Garden

Located through the Pyramid Gate next to the tour bus stop, Pyramid Garden is Fuji Rock's best kept secret dedicated to tour bus participants. It is a popular hidden campsite area at Fuji Rock where families can relax and enjoy the surroundings. The areas is a relaxing space where time flows a little slower than elsewhere in the festival. Featuring the Pyramid Garden stage and organic café, Pyramid Café, this hidden gem is perfect for families. There are also various workshops and yoga sessions. Furthermore, there is also a sauna inside the symbolic pyramid. There are also surprise artist appearances on the stage.

10. Crystal Palace Tent

A tent located at the Palace of Wonder , close to the entrance gate, the stage features spectacular art deco, bars with stages set up in a flight of terraces surrounding a purple wooden dance floor. Crystal Palace tent is a venue for well-selected local and international bands and DJs.

11. Rookie A Go-Go

Also in the Palace of Wonder, Rookie A Go-Go is an outdoor stage for new artists. Selected rookie bands looking forward to become a big star in the future perform from midnight on the stage.

12. Day Dreaming and Silent Breeze 

If you want to enjoy pleasant breeze and scenery at Naeba summit then Day Dreaming and Silent Breeze is the perfect stage for you. you can ride the world's longest super gondola, "Dragondola", and see the amazing greenery in Naeba. Performances at Silent Breeze include radio exercise, picture story show and jump rope. At Day Dreaming, on the other hand, you can enjoy dance beat from chill out music. Coming up to this area will complete your Fuji Rock experience.

* To get to Day Dreaming and Silent Breeze, walk to the boarding area from the Red Marquee. Ride the Dragondola for 1,500 JPY per adult, children are free of charge.
* Caution: The last gondola return trip is at 16:30.
* Please make sure to purchase a ticket at the Ticket Booth located at the entrance of the Red Marquee before boarding. Red Marquee can be reached by walking directly from the campsite.

13. Blue Galaxy

Blue Galaxy appeared in the forest as a blue tent that replaces the "World Restaurant" in 2017. This year the tent will feature world's famous record collector, Jim West, spinning tunes from the 50's and 60's; DJ Salam Unagami who continues to bring the music and food culture of India and the Middle East to Japan, and other unique DJs. The area is decorated by Candle JUNE who also produces the Pyramid Garden. The area has also a bar and restaurant which make the Blue Galaxy a convenient spot.

14. Unfairground

This year's Fuji Rock provides a lot of fun to all spectators and the only adult mobile amusement park in the world, Unfairground, is coming to add more fun. Unfairground will bring special presentation of installations and graffiti, circus performances and music. Unfairground will showcase music by Glastonbury venues, The Acid House, The bangin' Slain Carousel and Jags Kooner's Acid lounge with the scene set with sculptures from the Unfairgrounds own Ringmaster Sam Haggerty.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Plan your trip to the Fuji Rock, Nagaoka Fireworks Festival and Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale

I believe many of you are now excited about the Fuji Rock this coming July because it's the 20th year of Fuji Rock since it was moved to Naeba. Most of you have already prepared for the festival and have done bookings for accommodations, transportation and the festival tickets and for those of you who haven't made arrangement yet, please let us know how we may help you. 

The Fuji Rock Festival will be held from 27 - 29 July 2018. There will be a pre-concert activity on the eve of the 26 July so come early and participate in the activities. Here's the artist line up for the 3-day Fuji Rock Festival.

The line up of artists coming to the Fuji Rock
The Fuji Rock Festival '18 will end on the night of 29 July 2018.

After you have fully enjoyed the Fuji Rock, you might want to go to a fireworks festival in Nagaoka on 1 - 3 August 2018 . The Nagaoka Matsuri is an annual fireworks festival held in Nagaoka, a city located 25 minutes from Yuzawa by bullet train. The festival will feature one of the largest fireworks displays in Japan which will take place around the Shinano River. Here is the schedule of activities during the festival:
1 August - Traditional dancing and shrine float parades
2 August - Fireworks show
3 August - Fireworks show

Fireworks display along Shinano River in Nagaoka

The festival has been held at the beginning of August every year in Nagaoka for over 70 years, inspiring people around Japan and the world.

Yuzawa is the final destination from Nagaoka during the festival so better book your hotel in Yuzawa for the Nagaoka Fireworks Festival. Please let us know if you need any assistance on booking, we will be glad to help you.

Also this summer, you might want to visit the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale 2018. It is one of the world's largest international art festivals held every three years at the Echigo-Tsumari region encompassing Tokamachi City and Tsunan Town. Work of art are dotted all around the area and can be enjoyed all year round. The Triennale has presented and developed artworks representing the relation between humans and nature, spanning form the wisdom nurtured by local people to co-exist with nature to technologies and civil engineering methods developed over generations to cultivate rice fields and changes of river flows for producing rice. 

Art display at Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale
The Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2018 will be held from 29 July to 17 September 2018. 

Therefore after you have enjoyed the Fuji Rock and before going to the Nagaoka Fireworks Festival, you might want to spend sometime at the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale to maximize your time and fully enjoy your stay in Japan. 

Please let us know if you need help on booking your accommodations and transportation to the different events above. We will be glad to provide assistance.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Canoeing, Stand Up Paddle Boarding and Camping in Lake Daigenta

At Canyon Daigenta. located in Yuzawa, Canoeing is one of their outdoor events. They have a nice small lake where you can row around with rented boat. The lake has a very clean water coming from the mountains which are all around with greenery. You will see fish that follow you while you row around the lake. The scenic canyon also contains camp grounds and hiking trails. Summer and Fall seasons are the best times where most people go to Canyon Daigenta.

Daigenta Area Map

The Canyon Daigenta is 15-minute drive from Echigo-Yuzawa with a scenic view of greenery all around on the way to the place. It's Summer time and therefore it's a good season to go and do outdoor activity.

The road towards Canyon Daigenta 

Today was a bit cloudy with some rain shower but it was still perfect to do canoeing at Daigenta. As soon as we arrived at the location, we immediately went to the information to register and pay the fee for the canoeing. We were then led by the guides toward the lake which was for about 3-minute walk. We were then given instruction about the wearing of life jacket and the do's and don'ts of canoeing. After 5 minutes of instruction giving we were provided of a boat with a paddle and we were ready to go. The guides were at the vicinity with their boats to check on us for support and guidance. We did the canoeing for about 40 minutes and the experience was delightfully relaxing.

The path towards the lake Daigenta

The greenery around the lake.

Canoeing at the Lake Daigenta

Canoeing at the Lake Daigenta
Aside from canoeing, Canyon Daigenta is also offering Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP). Lake Daigenta is just a perfect place to do  SUP. The water is flat and calm which paddlers both beginners and experts would enjoy.

Visitors preparing to do SUP at Lake Daigenta
You can also camp out at Canyon Daigenta. They have varieties of tent with different sizes if you need one. Alternatively, you can bring your own. The camping area is wide and perfect for families and group of friends who would like to enjoy camping in nature.

Camping ground at Canyon Daigenta

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Preliminary preparation on the use of electronic money at the Fuji Rock!

At Fuji Rock, you can use various electronic money inside and outside the venue with nearly all eating and drinking establishments and shops accept them; there are very few who don't. Within the venue, Rakuten Edy and Nanaco can be charged. If you use other card, please make sure to charge in advance before coming to the venue.

Advance Preparation

It is necessary to pre-register and set up your credit cards and various mobile phones (Apple Pay, Osaifu-Ketai). If you have a compatible card and corresponding model, then you can set it up easily for free. Let's check the corresponding company card!

iD compatible card issuing company (in alphabetical order)
* AEON Bank * NTT Docomo  * Orient Corporation * Credit Saison *JFR Card *Cedyna *Softbank Payment Service *Daiwa House Financial *Persona *Pocket Card *Sumitomo Mitsui Card *UC Card *Japan Post Bank *Life Card * VJA Group
[As of the end of May 2018]

The details of iD compatible card company is here.
The details for Apple Pay (iD) setup is here.

QUICPay compatible card issuing campanies (in alphabetical order)

* APLUS *American Express *Epos Card *Orient Corporation *Credit Saison *KDDI Financial Service *JCB Group *Shuzugin Saison Card *Jacks *SBI Sumishin Net Bank *Cedyna *Seven Card Service *Seven CS Card Service *Daiwa House Financial *Takashimaya Credit *Toyota Finance *West Japan Railway Company *Nissenren *Viewcard *Mitsubishi UFJ NICOS *UCS Card *UC Card *Rakuten Card *Resona Card *YJ Card *KDDI Prepaid Card *Mizuho Bank (Debit Card)
[As of the end of May 2018]

The details of the card companies that support QUICPay is here.
The details for setting up Apple Pay (QUICPay) is here.

During the event, we will also support Apple Pay's setup at the "iD, QUICPay" booth at the venue. Please visit us.

Available electronic money

* Kitaca *PASMO *TOICA *manaca
*ICOCA *SUGOCA *nimoca *はやかけん

Pre-payment (charge is required for your IC card, various mobile phones and smartphone. If you choose Osaifu-Keitai, you can charge the set up from credit card.

How to charge electronic money?
Rakuten Edynanaco | suicaWAON

How to use electronic money

Pay with Smartphone

1. Set up your Smartphone in advance.
2. Please pre-register and install Osaifu-Keitai, Apple Pay, Google Pay - whichever is compatible with your smartphone.
3. When paying, tell the payment method to the staff and hold the smartphone to the reader.
4. Payment complete!

Pay with IC Card
1. Prepaid type is charged to the IC Card in advance.
2. When paying, tell the payment method to the staff and hold the IC card over the reader.
3. Payment complete!

* Rakuten Edy and nanaco can be charged at the venue. If you use other cards, please charge in advance before coming to the venue.

* Payment with electronic money and cash cannot be combined, therefore please confirm the remaining charge beforehand.

* There may be times (about 1 to 2 minutes) wherein the terminal can not be used due to the center communication timing.


* [iD] logo is a trademark of NTT Docomo, Inc.
* [QUICPay] and [QUICPay+] are registered trademarks of JCB Co., Ltd.
* [Rakuten Edy] is a trademark or registered trademark of Rakuten Edy Co., Ltd.
* [Rakuten Edy (Rakuten Eddy)] is a Rakuten group's prepaid type electronic money service.
* [nanaco] is a registered trademark of Seven Card Service Co., Ltd.
* [Suica] is a registered trademark of East Japan Railway Company.
* [WAON] is a registered trademark of AEON Co., Ltd.
* [Kitaca] is a registered trademark of Hokkaido Railway Company.
* [PASMO] is a registered trademark of PASMO Corporation.
* [TOICA] is a registered trademark of Tokai Railway Company.
* [manaca (Manaca)] is a registered trademark of Nagoya Railroad Co., Ltd. and MIC Co., Ltd.
* [ICOCA] is a registered trademark of West Japan Railway Company.
* [SUGOCA] is a registered trademark of Kyushu Railway Company.
* [nimoca] is a registered trademark of Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co., Ltd.
* [Hayakaken] is a registered trademark of Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau.
* [Apple Pay] is a trademark of Apple Inc. registered in the United States and other countries.
* [Google Pay] is a trademark of Google LLC.

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Camp Book 2018

Kandatsu - a popular ski resort in Yuzawa where you can enjoy fine powder snow on a winter time is also the venue for this year's new music event which Pod Snowsports sister company went to. The music festival is called "The Camp Book".

First held in Kitakaruizawa in 2017 attended by 3,000 people, the Camp Book is a campus music festival where adult and children come together to listen to cool music while spending time in nature. This year, the event was held in Kandatsu on 9 - 10 June 2018 with the theme, "Be in Campus, Learn Together and Play Together".

The Camp Book is a venue where you can dance as you like, laugh with friends, eat as much as you want and sleep on your favorite time. There's always a child in us where we can learn something important from the Bestplay. At the Camp Book, everyone camps out.

During the festival, there was a market area where a lot of nice shops selected by "The Camp Book" were installed. There were special food booth utilizing local ingredients and night outdoor cinema with live sound from the main stage. There were local and international musicians who performed at the event which made the festival more enjoyable.

In addition, there were workshops and kid's space where both young and adult can enjoy. There are indoor and outdoor activities for everyone.

You can find below the timetable of the different activities held during the event.

The 2-day festival was a lot of fun. We camped out at the hilly ground of Kandatsu Ski Resort surrounded by fresh green with a refreshing cold winds. We had spent a wonderful time in nature together with family and friends bringing out the child in us. We have enjoyed listening to the music played outdoor and ate our favorite food while spending time in nature.

Kandatsu Ski Resort is located in Yuzawa. It is about 10-minute drive from the Echigo-Yuzawa station. We went to the location using a private car but the resort offers a shuttle bus ride from Echigo-Yuzawa station.

We arrived at the venue in the morning of Saturday and we were welcomed by the organizers of the event upon entering the site. We were provided a wristband upon registration as a proof of being participants to the event. After the registration, we started to walk to get to the campsite. There was a transportation provided for those who brought a lot of stuff going up to the campsite but we decided to walk and climbed up the site for about 20 minutes.

Upon arrival at the campsite, we looked for space to install our tent and we stood up our tent at the upper part of the hill where we could see everyone below. We have had fun while building our own tent like all other participants did.

The activities started in the afternoon. There were live performances at the three different stages at the Camp Book namely The Park, The House and The Yagura. The Park was the main and bigger stage where live band performances were held while The House were for music and dancing activities and The Yagura was for acoustic performances and other activities.

The indoor activities included Ping Pong where many sports enthusiast went to play while others enjoyed the outdoor wall climbing. The children enjoyed the kids area where they could play while others joined the different workshops such as wood cutting, drawing, painting and a lot more.

There was a kid's space for children to enjoy bicycle riding and a space to enjoy and discover the tricks of Kendama, a traditional Japanese skill toy.

There were shops especially chosen by the Camp Book organizers which feature locally made products and services. There was a mobile bookstore where you can buy some of your favorite reading books and there was a wedding store. A real wedding ceremony of a couple was held at the event which was witnessed by the participants.

And of course, the food will always be a part of the event. Selected locally made food products were featured on the stall provided by the organizers where you can buy your favorite food and delicacies.

The night of the event was spent slow through a film viewing at the Park and a TCB Disco at The House until the early morning featuring some of the great DJs locally and internationally.

The indoor and outdoor activities continued during the second day of the event. There were live performances at The Park and The Yagura which were enjoyed by both young and adult participants of the event.

We started to uninstall out tent before lunch time and left the venue around 3 in the afternoon. The Camp Book 2018 was a lot of fun and we hope to participate again in the next year's festival.