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Cool Japan / Sky Tree releases individual bookings

Sky Tree releases individual bookings
Yomiuri - Mar 23, 2012

Individual ticket reservations for the Tokyo Sky Tree, the world's tallest free-standing tower, which will open to the public in two months, became available on Thursday. About 8,000 people can visit the tower in Sumida Ward, Tokyo, each day. It is possible that reservations will exceed capacity, travel agency sources said. If this occurs, people who reserve tickets will be granted admission at random. (Yomiuri)
Japan's snow monkey park a real splash
ny1.com - Mar 23, 2012

In the Japanese Alps, where hot springs are so popular, you just might be surprised to see whose taking a dunk. Bathing in an "onsen", a traditional hot spring, is one of the top cultural activities when visiting Japan. It's so relaxing you can instantly unplug from all the monkey business in your life. But in one part of Japan, submerging in hot springs is nothing but when you visit the Jigokudani onsen, the home of the adorable snow monkey.(ny1.com)

Tokyo museum exhibits $250 million Pollock masterpiece
Japan Times - Mar 22, 2012

A masterpiece by U.S. artist Jackson Pollock titled "Mural on Indian Red Ground" is being exhibited at a Tokyo museum after being kept in Iran since the 1970s. The Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art is holding an exhibition of Pollock (1912-1956), including the work on loan from the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art that is valued at $250 million. (Japan Times)

A century later, Washington's cherry blossoms are a coup for Japan
canada.com - Mar 20, 2012

A century before cultural diplomacy became a buzzword for governments around the world, Japan scored a spectacular success - Washington's cherry blossoms, which have become one of the U.S. capital's top tourist attractions. First planted in 1912 on central Washington's then barren Tidal Basin, the gifts from Japan each year now draw more than one million visitors who revel in the famously short-lived beauty of the blooming pink and white cherry petals. (canada.com)

Special anti-terror squad to guard Haneda Airport
Japan Today - Mar 18, 2012

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department will station a special anti-terror security unit at Tokyo International Airport in Haneda. From April 3, the unit will be deployed to guard the airport's international terminal. The move comes in response to the increasing number of international flights coming in and out of Haneda Airport, which, it is feared, will make it vulnerable to terrorist groups targeting international airports, officials said, TBS reported Saturday. (Japan Today)

Station renamed after Sky Tree
Japan Times - Mar 18, 2012

A station on the Tobu Isesaki Line was renamed Tokyo Sky Tree Station on Saturday, as it is the nearest rail stop to the world's tallest tower. The former Narihirabashi Station in Sumida Ward, operated by Tobu Railway Co., is undergoing major renovation work in anticipation of a surge in passengers heading to and from Tokyo's newest tourist attraction, which is set to open to the public May 22. (Japan Times)

Facial ID system mulled to speed up airport immigration
Japan Times - Mar 18, 2012

The Justice Ministry is considering introducing a facial identification system at airports to automate and speed up immigration procedures, officials said Saturday. The ministry will begin test demonstrations as early as this summer. According to the plan, the system first would be used for Japanese travelers, while authorities continue to fingerprint foreign nationals as part of counterterrorism efforts, they said. (Japan Times)

1,000 train enthusiasts bid farewell to 300 series shinkansen
Japan Today - Mar 17, 2012

(300 Series Shinkansen] 引退迫る"300系"ひかり 夕暮れの米原駅 2011.8.7)

About 1,000 train enthusiasts gathered on the platform at Tokyo Station at 10:47 on Friday morning to see off the last 300 series shinkansen service for Shin-Osaka. The 300 series, which debuted in 1992 under the Nozomi name, were considered revolutionary when they were introduced. Their top speed was 270 kilometers per hour, meaning they could cover the distance bewtween Tokyo and Shin-Osaka in 150 minutes. (Japan Today)

Whale-hunting town plans huge marine dude 'ranch'
Asahi - Mar 17, 2012

A Japanese town known--and internationally criticized--for its hunting of whales and dolphins plans a huge dude "ranch" to promote tourism and research on the ecology of these mammals. Under the plan, small cetaceans, such as Risso's dolphins, short-finned pilot whales, false killer whales and common bottlenose dolphins, would be kept in a 28-hectare closed-off section of Moriura Bay in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture. (Asahi)

By TS on Mar 26, 2012
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Author:T. SATOH