October 2017

Bunka no Hi

As you already know, at the luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we love discovering the hidden details of Asian culture, and furthermore its celebrations. That´s why today we are taking you to Japan to celebrate its famous Bunka no Hi.

Culture Day, also known as Bunka no Hi, is a national holiday held annually in Japan on November 3 for the purpose of promoting culture, the arts, and academic environment. It was first held in 1948, to commemorate the announcement of the post-war Japanese constitution on November 3, 1946. This festivity replaced Tenchō-setsu, a holiday held in honour of the birthday of Emperor Meiji.

As Bunka no Hi´s main purpose is promoting arts and several fields of academic activity, local and prefectural governments pick this day to celebrate art exhibitions, cultural festivities and parades.

Every year, the prestigious Order of Culture, presided by the Japanese Emperor, rewards those who have contributed to Japanese science, art and culture over the past year. The awards are not restricted to Japanese citizens; the competition is open for everyone and besides receiving the prize, the winner also receives a lifelong pension.

During Bunka no Hi, different types of events are held to spread the Japanese culture to everyone. Schools, high schools and universities have exhibitions and activities on what they called bunkasai or “cultural festivity”.

Are you planning an autumn getaway? In November enjoy incredible days in Zen paradise. The 5 stars resort Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa offers its guests, courtesy of the hotel, a wonderful program of activities designed to enjoy a full Asian experience.

Chinese cooking techniques

When it comes to travelling and Asian food, we never say no. Today from the luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we are taking to China to fin out which are their main cooking methods. Are you coming?

We find different techniques to cook in Chinese gastronomy; there are about 40 and 50 cooking techniques. Which are the most common ones?

Stir-frying. The main cooking utensil is a wok. Food is tossed in a little hot oil in a wok over high heat. All ingredients are thinly sliced or cubed. Due to this cooking technique food is crunchy inside out.

Shallow-frying. It also uses the wok. This cooking method uses less edible oil than deep-frying and lower heat than stir-frying. Shallow-fried dishes are usually rather tender inside, appearing golden or slightly burnt outside.

Deep-frying. It is the same cooking technique that European cuisine uses. It uses much more edible oil than stir-frying and cooks over high heat. It is considered one of the healthiest cooking techniques.

Steaming. It is necessary to have bamboo steamers for this cooking method. They can be stacked one on top of the other, allowing several kinds of foods to be cooked at once. It is considered one of the healthiest cooking techniques. One of the most famous steamed dishes is dim sum.

Red-cooking. This technique is used primarily for cooking a tougher cut of meat or poultry. Meat is browned in large quantities of soy sauce. The sauce adds flavour and a reddish-brown colour to the meat, which is very characteristic in many traditional and popular Chinese dishes.

Feel a taste of summer in autumn. At Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa it is still possible to enjoy magical evenings outdoors. We suggest having dinner at the In Black terrace for enjoying a journey into the heart of Asia´s tropical jungles. Are you joining us?

Japanese chopsticks

As you already know, at the luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we love discovering new secrets of the Asian continent. Today we want to take you to Japan to tell you about Japanese chopsticks, their origin and their use. Are you joining us?

Chopsticks or hashi were introduced in Japan, coming from China, in the seventh century. Unlike Chinese chopsticks, Japanese ones are longer, their body is more polished and they are sharp pointed. At first, they were just used during religious ceremonies, but later on, as they were increasingly used, they became the official eating utensils.

But, why is so important eating with chopsticks in Japan? Food in Japan is a sign of its culture and its search for harmony in colours and flavours. Japanese people consider metal alters the harmony of the flavours of the dishes. That´s why, rarely, flatware or cooking utensils are made of metal.

The most used chopsticks in Japan are wood ones; reused chopsticks, such as the popular waribashi or disposable chopsticks. Traditionally, they were made of bamboo. Currently, it is common to see plastic or wood chopsticks, although there are other materials for their manufacturing. We can differentiate several types of chopsticks based on their shape and material.

The four cultures that are still using chopsticks as eating utensils at the moment: China, Japan, Korea and Thailand; have their own type of chopstick.

If you visit the 5 stars resort Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa don´t miss our Asian Cookshow, a workshop where you will discover the differences and nuances between the different cooking methods in Asia.

Tirta Empul Temple

Today at the luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we are travelling to Indonesia to discover one of its most famous temples: Tirta Empul Temple. Are you joining us?

Tirta Empul Temple is a Hindu temple located in Bali. It is one of the most visited temples in the island. It is located, specifically, in Tampak Siring.

Tirta Empul means “holy water spring” in Balinese. Its waters are believed to have healing powers. People visit the temple to become purified and attend different religious ceremonies.

The temple was built in 926, during the Warmadewa dynasty. According to the legend, Tirta Empul Temple was created by Lord Indra, who after being poisoned by Mayadanawa, pierced the earth to create a fountain of immortality to revive his forces. From then on, Balinese people believe the temple´s waters have magical healing powers.

Precisely, the main attraction of the temple is its big stone poo. Thousands of believers come here, from all over the island, to be purified. The water of the temple, which flows through the 12 fountains across the pool, comes from Pakrisan River.

Pilgrims who visit Tirta Empul Temple always perform the same ritual. First, they do offerings in the inner courtyard known as “mandala madya”, and later they take a bath to become purify in the pool.

The ritual consists in wet their faces three times, drink water three times and dip their heads under the water. This ritual has to be done in 10 of the 12 fountains located along the pool. These two water jets are reserved for offerings to the deceased.

All the visitors have to wear a sarong, which can be got in the temple before entering the pool.

This autumn escape to Southeast Asia in the Mediterranean. If you visit our 5 stars resort Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, you will be able to enjoy 7 spectacular Asian-style outdoor pools. Are you coming?

Best spots to see autumn leaves in Japan

Autumn has arrived at the luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, but good weather doesn´t leave us in the Mediterranean. And how about continuing our route around the Asian continent? We suggest an ideal autumnal plan for nature lovers: a tour around the best gardens and parks to enjoy autumn in Japan.

One of the most traditional pictures of autumn in Japan is, without a doubt, its leaves turning red. This is known as kōyō or momiji. Leaves start turning yellow, orange, red and violet with the arrival of the cold season; a nature show worth seeing and one of the most representative activities of the Japanese autumn.

Which are some of the best spots to enjoy momiji?

Showa Kinen Park. Located in Tachikawa, Tokyo, offers huge green spaces, which include 1,500 cherry trees gather into 31 different species. It is especially beautiful in autumn, when its ginkgo trees turn into yellow and gold.

Koishikawa Korakuen Garden. Located in the heart of Tokyo, it is one of the most beautiful gardens in the city. It is, together with Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden, the only gardens built during Edo Period that still remain in Tokyo. The garden has many maples and ginkgo trees, which become beautiful during momiji.

Rikugien Garden. Also located in Tokyo, this park is very popular due to its maples forest, which makes it the ideal place to enjoy the colourful leaves of autumn. During momiji, the park opens until 9 p.m. and it is lighten up in a special way during these nights.

Have you ever seen a hotel inside an Asiatic garden? If you visit the luxury resort Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, don´t hesitate to lose yourself in its speectacular tropical gardens.

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