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Cool Japan / Kyoto aiming to get some royals to return

Kyoto aiming to get some royals to return
Japan Times - Mar , 2012
(Good old days: Tourists view the Old Imperial Palace in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, last April 6.)

When the Imperial family moved to Tokyo at the beginning of the Meiji Restoration in 1868, after more than a millennium in Kyoto, many in the ancient capital were convinced the Emperor was just embarking on a long visit and would someday return. Now, more than 140 years later, Kyoto's top political and business leaders are working to have at least some members of the Imperial family take up residence here again. The reasons have less to do with romantic dreams of the past and more to do with modern concerns ranging from safety from natural disasters to the strengthening of Kyoto's role domestically and abroad as the center of traditional Japanese culture. (Japan Times)
Agencies at odds over cancellation fees for overseas tours
Yomiuri - Mar 16, 2012

The Japan Tourism Agency and the Consumer Affairs Agency are at an impasse over when travel agencies can start charging cancellation fees for overseas tours--with the former proposing they be incurred within 90 days before departure, and the latter insisting the current 30 days is sufficient. The two agencies are unlikely to reach a conclusion by the end of this month as initially hoped on the change, which would require a revision of the standard terms and conditions in the Travel Agency Law, observers said. (Yomiuri)

Train museum fetes first year, record turnout
Japan Times - Mar 16, 2012

(End of the line: Visitors view a 300 Series bullet train earlier this month at the
SCMAGLEV and Railway Park in Nagoya. The 300 Series will be retired Friday
before the Japan Railway Group releases its spring train schedules Saturday.)

A museum showcasing steam locomotives, bullet trains and a magnetically levitated train marked its first anniversary this week with an unexpected attendance record of 1.09 million visitors. After opening on March 14, 2011, the museum drew an average of 5,000 visitors on weekends and holidays, and about 2,600 on weekdays. The museum was initially aiming for about 600,000 visitors in is first year, JR Tokai said. (Japan Times)

Japan tourism still suffering one year on from quake
The Australian - Mar 13, 2012

Japan's tourism industry is still hurting a year after the tsunami and nuclear disaster, international industry officials said, warning business was only likely to get fully back on track next year. Japan saw a 28 per cent fall in the number of visitors arriving in the country in 2011 compared with a year earlier, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) said, predicting a full recovery by mid-2012. But, amid posters stating "Japan, Rising Again. Thank you for Your Support", Japanese travel industry representatives at the ITB Berlin tourism fair, one of the top industry gatherings, were more cautious. (The Australian)

By TS on Mar 19, 2012
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Author:T. SATOH