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Nara to set hill on fire for good harvest

Nara to set hill on fire for good harvest
Japan Times - Jan 14, 2011

Even though Nara's 1,300th birthday party is over, the action continues. The annual yamayaki (grass- burning) festival is scheduled for Jan. 22 and will take place on Mount Wakakusa in central Nara. It should be quite a spectacle. The ritualistic burning of the 342-meter-tall hill dates back to the Edo Period (1603-1867), when people reportedly started torching the grass due to the widely-held belief that ghosts would haunt them if they didn't. (Japan Times)
News photo
(This fire: Nara firefighters control the flames. / NARA CITY TOURIST ASSOCIATION)

Tokyo Station boasts popular cuisines from across Japan
AP - Jan 13, 2011

A shopping area serving a number of popular cuisines from across the nation has opened in JR Tokyo Station, attracting many travelers passing through a major railway entrance of the Japanese capital. The Gransta Dining area was launched in December coinciding with the full opening of bullet train services linking Tokyo and Aomori on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line. The facility features 16 shops, including those offered by well-known Italian restaurant Al che-cciano in Yamagata Prefecture and beef tongue specialty restaurant Rikyu in Sendai. (AP)

Where do Japanese women travel?
newsonjapan.com - Jan 12, 2011
http://newsonjapan.com/html/images/articles/women_travel.jpg

What with the global recession making the price of living go down dramatically in some of the world's most expensive cities, it's becoming a lot easier to travel to places like London, Paris and New York on the cheap. What with the popularity of these destinations on the rise among Japanese travellers, especially among women, there are new rules to follow for making your money go further in each city. (newsonjapan.com)

21st-century temples adopt new formats
Yomiuri - Jan 8, 2011

A drum-shaped concrete building stands out among tile-roofed temples in Shitaderamachi, an area of Tennoji Ward, Osaka, not far from the Namba entertainment district. The modern building is the main hall of the Otenin temple, known as the "theater temple." Otenin is the unique subtemple of Dairenji temple, which stands right next door. Dairenji chief priest Mitsuhiko Akita, who used to be a video producer, came up with the idea of constructing the building in this shape. The main hall was built in 1997. The building is equipped with sound and lighting equipment and is open to the public as a theater with an audience capacity of 140. Performances are held almost every week. About 30,000 people, mainly young people, use the hall annually. (Yomiuri)

ANA reopens Narita-Jakarta route
Japan Times - Jan 8, 2011

All Nippon Airways Co. resumed flights Friday between Narita airport and Jakarta after closing the route in 1998 in the wake of the Asian currency crisis the year before. "We hope the new service will be used for both business and tourism," said Akira Okada, a member of ANA's board, at a ceremony in the morning. ANA will operate seven round-trip flights a week on the route and now serves four Southeast Asian cities. (Japan Times)

Japan rebuilds ancient castle
Channel NewsAsia - Jan 7, 2011
Honmaru Goten in Kumamoto.

There are more than 100 castles in Japan, and almost all of them were originally built for static defence. Most of them have become decrepit over time. But there's an effort to rebuild some of the more important ones, such as Honmaru Goten, one of Japan's three strongest citadels in Kumamoto, southern Japan. The only construction on the palace ground that survived Japan's last great civil war, the Seinan War of 1877, was the Udo Yagura. (Channel NewsAsia)

Yamagata's Zao ski resort courts Asian tourists
AP - Jan 7, 2011
http://www.snowworkers.com/files/resort_logos/Zao_Onsen_Ski_Resort.jpg

Commercial establishments at the ski resort in the midst of the Zao mountains in Yamagata Prefecture are hard at work trying to attract Asian tourists as the number of Japanese skiers declines. Staff are learning foreign languages and trying to acquire skills to better serve the needs of foreign customers in hopes that they will also lure back Japanese tourists after polishing their customer- service skills. (AP)

Haneda's nighttime services falling short with travelers
Japan Times - Jan 7, 2011
News photo
(Making do: Passengers try to sleep on chairs in Haneda airport's international terminal.)

Opening up Tokyo's Haneda airport to more international flights was supposed to make a lot of sense for travelers. But only open since October, the new international terminal has already sparked a raft of passenger complaints, particularly about the lack of amenities late at night and early in the morning, including inexpensive public transportation and even free shuttle bus service between terminals. (Japan Times)

See stars at Roppongi Hills
Japan Times - Jan 7, 2011
News photo
(Star-gazing from the hills: Visitors walk through the Sky Planetarium at Mori Tower
in the Roppongi Hills area of Tokyo.)

Feel like gazing at the stars but not in the mood for withstanding cold temperatures for hours outside? Head for Roppongi Hills instead. Set up on the 52nd floor of the Mori Tower in the Roppongi Hills shopping/ housing complex is a temporary planetarium called "Sky Planetarium," which accurately shows the positions of thousands of stars. Unlike regular planetariums, where visitors take seats to gaze at star-projected ceilings, the organizers have turned the gallery into a three-dimensional universe, where visitors can walk through and get a feel of what it is like to traverse a universe full of stars. (Japan Times)

Porpoise protectors invite people to boat tours
AP - Jan 5, 2011

An ecological group studying local populations of the vulnerable finless porpoise has been calling on people to take part in its survey tours in the Seto Inland Sea in western Japan. The group in Setouchi, Okayama Prefecture, has studied the population and biology of the sea mammal called "sunameri" in Japanese off the city's Ushimado area under a five-year project through 2014. (AP)

Five of Asia's top ski resorts
CNN - Jan 3, 2011
The Yongpyong Resort in South Korea offers a wide variety of winter sports, including skiing from mid-November to early April.
(The Yongpyong Resort in South Korea offers a wide variety of winter sports,
including skiing from mid-November to early April)

Thanks to bouts of winter storms off Siberia, the Niseko resort area ranks among the snowiest resorts in the world. It's also one of the few ski resorts in Japan with boisterous nightlife, which perhaps explains why it's the most popular ski destination in Japan among Aussies. Regulars rave about skiing into chest-deep dry powder without resistance. Niseko is also famous for off-piste and night skiing. Niseko has four ski resorts, each with separate, but interlinked, ski areas. The terrain adds up to 2,191 acres and can be accessed with one ski pass. (CNN)

Multiple-entry visas to be issued to individual Chinese tourists
AP - Jan 3, 2011

The Japanese government has decided to issue multiple-entry visas to individual Chinese tourists, probably from summer, with an aim to encourage repeat visitors with high purchasing power, its sources said Monday. Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara and Japan Tourism Agency chief Hiroshi Mizohata have already started talks to introduce the system so Japan can take in more money from tourists, the sources said. (AP)

By TS on Jan 18, 2011
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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。