Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Japan's First Budget Airline Chooses Kansai As Its Home

It's true.  The frugal citizens of Kansai can now rejoice!  The light magenta colored airline that goes by the name of "peach" will begin its domestic service flying out of Kansai International Airport (KIX) next March followed by an international route to Seoul from May.  Who knows, with a little luck maybe this will be the start of a greater trend towards linking peach with destinations outside of Asia like North America and/or Europe.  

As the sharp eye consumers of Kansai are the hardest to please in the country and possibly the entire world, this news is music to everyone's ears.  Now for the next step.  How will peach stack up against the other more established carriers flying out of KIX?  If Australian budget carrier Jetstar Airways is any indication, things are looking on the up and up.

Related articles:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cafe Ateya @ Mount Rokko

Cafe Ateya is what I would call the gateway to hikers and the like before they ascend to the higher altitudes of Mount Rokko.  Not prepared for hiking, Cafe Ateya was my final destination on this day but it was a trek nonetheless.  

Located about 25 minutes by walk from Hankyu Ashiyagawa Station into the mountains, it was a nice change of scenery from the concrete jungle that I am exposed to day in and day out in Osaka.  The walk up to Cafe Ateya, also known as Rokko-san Cafe, was pleasant seeing the massive Western and Japanese style homes lining the street.  

Unable to tell from the attached video clip, Cafe Ateya is located in what one would call a shallow cave that can seat 10 people maximum.  With the manager of the cafe changing every Saturday and Sunday on a rotating schedule, the menu changes just as much.  With a variety of home-cooked meals and alcoholic/non-alcoholic drinks available as well, one can definitely get some R&R before heading up the mountain or heading down to complete one's journey.

For those of you not into hiking, paying a visit to Cafe Ateya is recommended to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city where one can breathe in the life of the great outdoors.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ritz-Carlton: Osaka, Tokyo and Now...Kyoto

Yes, that's right!  Scheduled to be ready in spring 2014, The Ritz-Carlton will open its third property in Japan at the former imperial capital of Kyoto as reported in the Mainichi Daily News (for the original article please check here).

Based on the success of the hotel's properties in Osaka and Tokyo, The Ritz-Carlton is looking to expand its presence in the top tourist destination outside of Tokyo to cater to wealthy Kyoto residents and lure would be luxury travelers to Kyoto.

Even though we are still several years away, it will be interesting to see how The Ritz-Carlton's existence affects the hotel industry in Kyoto.  Many of us residing here in Kansai will be watching these developments closely.