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A couple of new inns in Kusatsu Onsen / Japanese Hot Springs

A couple of new Onsen inns called “Yuyado Mawata-no-yu Tokinoniwa” and “Oyado Toji-no-yu Konoha” will open soon in Kusatsu Onsen.
Kyoritsu Maintenance Co. is one of the leading managing companies for dormitories for singles and students. The Kyoritsu also runs 22 Japanese inns in Japan. Their additional two different style Japanese inns in Kusatsu Onsen are going to start business on July 15, 2010.

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Free Internet access to be made available at Narita airport

Free Internet access to be made available at Narita airport
AP - Jun 25, 2010

Narita International Airport Corp. said Thursday it will provide a free Internet connection service in one of its two airport terminal buildings from July 17 when a new high-speed train service commences. After clearing immigration, passengers will be able to use five desks to access a local area network with personal computers that can connect to wireless LAN services. The new Narita Sky Access train service will reduce the journey time between central Tokyo and the airport to less than 40 minutes. (AP)

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The Native Place Tour of The Tale of Genji / Vol. 44

Introduce Jurin-ji Temple (Narihira-dera) in Oharano Area.
Jurin-ji is also known as Narihira-dera, in memory of the Heian-era poet Ariwara no Narihira - legendary lover and hero/author of Tales of Ise.

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The Native Place Tour of The Tale of Genji / Vol. 43

Introduce Yoshimine-dera Temple in Oharano Area.
Founded in 1029 by the priest Gensan, Yoshiminedera was bestowed imperial rank by Emperor Go-Ichijo in 1034. It is the 20th temple on the Saigoku Kannon pilgrimage.

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The Native Place Tour of The Tale of Genji / Vol. 42

Introduce Shoji-ji Temple (Hana no Tera) in Oharano Area.
Established in 680, Shoji-ji is famous for its hundreds of cherry trees. The Heian-era poet-priest, Saigyo had a hut in its grounds.

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The Native Place Tour of The Tale of Genji / Vol. 41

Introduce "Oharano".
Lying south-west of the old city of Kyoto and on the slopes of Mount Oshio, Oharano is the scene of an imperial procession and a hunt in the Royal Outing chapter of The Tale of Genji.

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The Native Place Tour of The Tale of Genji / Vol. 40

Introduce "Lake Biwa".
Lake Biwa and the mountains around it are mentioned several times in The Tale of Genji. Otsu, where the Osaka Barrier was once located, is at the southern end of the lake.

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The Native Place Tour of The Tale of Genji / Vol. 39

Introduce "Toto - Enryaku-ji Temple on Mount Hiei".
Toto is the east precinct of Enryaku-ji Temple on sacred Mount Hiei, northeast of Kyoto.
 Its main buildings include the Konpon Chudo (Main Hall), Amida Hall, Monjuro, Kaidan-in (Ordination Hall) and Daikodo (Great Lecture Hall).

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Kabuki and Noh taking center stage in manga

Kabuki and Noh taking center stage in manga
Asahi - Jun 19, 2010

Manga about Kabuki and Noh have attracted wide audiences, even inspiring some readers to see these traditional performing arts for themselves.

Readers can identify with the true-to-life young heroes in the comics, which present a world often considered highbrow and unapproachable in an easy-to-understand way.

"Kunisaki Izumo no Jijo," which has run in the Shonen Sunday weekly comic magazine since January, is a comedy centered on the escapades of Izumo, a handsome boy from a family of Kabuki actors, his childhood friend and fellow actors. ...

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Gion Matsuri (祇園祭り) / Yamaboko float details

The floats in the Yoiyama Parade are divided into two groups, Hoko and Yama, and are collectively called Yamaboko (or Yamahoko).
There are 9 of the larger Hoko (long pole or halberd) which represent the 66 spears used in the original purification ritual, and 23 of the smaller Yama which carry life-size figures of famous and important people.

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Gion Tatsuri (祇園祭り) / History

This festival originated as part of a purification ritual (goryo-e) to appease the gods thought to cause fire, floods and earthquakes.
In 869, the people were suffering from plague and pestilence which was attributed to the rampaging deity Gozu Tennō (牛頭天王).

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Gion Matsuri / Schedule of events

For Kyoto People, "Gion Matsuri (祇園祭り)" is starting July 1 and ending July 31, every year.
Following is a list of selected events of Gion Matsuri every year.

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Gion Matsuri (祇園祭り) / Kyoto

The Gion Festival (祇園祭, Gion Matsuri) takes place annually in Kyoto and is one of the most famous festivals in Japan. It spans the entire month of July and is crowned by a parade, the Yamaboko Junkō (山鉾巡行) on July 17.

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Creature a myth, but diamonds are forever

Creature a myth, but diamonds are forever
Asahi - Jun 12, 2010

AIZU-WAKAMATSU, Fukushima Prefecture--Coming face-to-face with a dragon, one would expect to be overwhelmed. But not like this.

Although they had been told what to expect beforehand, workers carrying out renovations at Tsuruga-jo castle in this mountainous city in Fukushima Prefecture were awestruck when the castle's huge shachihoko ornaments were lowered from the castle tower roof. ...

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Whether covered or brazen, tattoos make a statement

The Atlantic - Jun 10, 2010
My neighbors are farmers. They regularly bring us cabbages, cucumbers, bitter melon, tomatoes, eggplants, persimmons, and other local specialties, and their arrival on our doorstep with a box of fresh-picked produce is as much an announcement of the changing seasons as the color of the sky or warmth of the wind. Our conversations often turn to rain, mulch, tools for tilling, and fruit yields from the old but still-productive trees they tend. They offer advice on reviving my stunted tomatoes, and we debate the relative merits of baseball caps for working the fields under the hot sun as opposed to the traditional straw kasa. None of this would be remarkable except that we live in the middle of Yokohama, a progressive city of 3.6 million people, and our houses are so densely packed that they almost touch. My neighbors are Japanese urban farmers, and have been for decades. Urban development in Japan often leaves small farm plots, rice fields, and other rural features intact while houses and apartments spring up all around them. (theatlantic.com)

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Frank Lloyd Wright's Japan

Frank Lloyd Wright's Japan
Wall Street Journal - May 27, 2010

For Frank Lloyd Wright, Japan was a muse and possibly a savior. The architect's love of ukiyo-e woodblock prints is well-known. But his 1917-22 residence in Japan, where commissions such as the Imperial Hotel helped revive his flagging career, is not so widely documented. Nor is his huge influence upon generations of Japanese architects. So a tour of Wright's Japan -- the place where he regained a foothold on the way to becoming "the greatest American architect of all time" (according to an American Institute of Architects survey) -- offers fascinating insight into this eccentric genius. (Wall Street Journal)

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Presence of sake grows in diplomacy

Refer to Japan Times News dated June 4, 2010.
The title of the article is "Presence of sake grows in diplomacy", and I'm interested in.
Sake or saké (pronounced /ˈsɑːkiː/ or /ˈsɑːkeɪ/ in English) is a Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice.
This beverage is called sake in English, but in Japanese, sake (酒) or o-sake (お酒) refers to alcoholic drinks in general. The Japanese term for this specific beverage is Nihonshu (日本酒), meaning "Japanese sake".

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Mindless? Sure. Fun? Endlessly

Mindless? Sure. Fun? Endlessly
Yomiuri - Jun. 4, 2010

Ikuko Kitagawa / Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer
Sex and the City 2
3 out of five stars

Dir: Michael Patrick King
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon

Make sure you dress fabulously gorgeous (or gorgeously fabulous) when you head to the theater to welcome back New York's four best known gals--Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. But if you base your outfit on 2008's hit Sex and the City, you may find yourself dressed inappropriately for this sequel.

These four women spent more than a decade searching for their significant others, all the while enjoying sex, love and fashion, before settling into stable lives in which they go by names such as "Misses" and "Mom." (Except, of course, for Samantha, who has opted out of that life all together.)…

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A Cozy Seaside Inn, New Annex Kinokuniya

Kinokuniya Japanese Inn is located in a small seaside town, Kyonan in the Southern Boso Peninsula. Kyonan is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, backed by greenery hills of the Boso Peninsula to the east and faces to Tokyo Bay to the west. You will find a cozy typical Onsen amid of residences in the seashore.

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Street crossings are like a battle scene from ‘Braveheart’-Shibuya crossing

The scramble street crossing outside of Shibuya station is easily the world's busiest, with a thousand people running into the middle of the street, weaving together in a huge organic mass.

The scramble perfectly summarizes the essence of Tokyo's true tourist landmarks: not old buildings, but lots and lots people coming together in celebration of culture.

Read more: 50 reasons why Tokyo is the greatest city in the world /
CNNGo.com: http://bit.ly/2FMUw7

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