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Japan: Some like it raw

Japan: Some like it raw
tribune.com.pk - Jan 16, 2011

Before I went to Japan, I never imagined myself eating live shell fish, raw oysters and octopus. I have visited so many Asian countries, but somehow never worked Japan into my travel plans. I suppose it is a country that Pakistanis associate with durable cars, electronic wonders, and little else. If we stretch our minds a bit, stereotypical Japanese kimonos or fans might be added to the list. Recently, I was fortunate enough to visit Japan and live for several weeks in the midst of its unique mix of ultramodernity and ancient ways, including the most complicated hi tech toilets I've ever encountered. (tribune.com.pk)

(Japan is about a whole lot more than snazzy electronics.)

Ice dome accommodates guests in Hokkaido resort
AP - Jan 16, 2011

A hotel room made of ice, including a bed, table and other furniture also made of ice, began accepting guests over the weekend at a resort in Hokkaido, northern Japan. The "ice hotel" facility, housed inside a dome made of ice at the Alpha Resort Tomamu in the village of Shimukappu, accepts one pair or group per day during a month-long operation period through Feb. 15. The winter temperature is as low as minus 18 C in the village and guests are supposed to sleep in sleeping bags inside the ice hotel room where the temperature is around minus 3 C. (AP)

Samurai archers tug at the strings of Japan's heart
Washington Post - Jan 16, 2011

Japan's Dosun Festival archery contest is a pleasant Sunday outing for residents of the Miura peninsula. They load kids into strollers, pack bento lunches and make the long hike down a wooded trail to Araihama Beach to watch as athletes dressed as samurai ride armored horses at top speed along a black-sand beach to fire arrows at squares of brittle wood. Held every spring in a coastal village south of Tokyo, the contest at first resembles a sort of Japanese Renaissance Faire, with archers wearing anachronistic hardware: 13th-century costumes of silk robes, animal-pelt skirts, cloth shoes and ribbon-tied hats. The arrows have wooden turnip-shaped heads instead of sharp points. (Washington Post)

Soul searching in Osaka
Mainichi - Jan , 2011
Tourists pose for a snapshot on a well-known bridge over the Dotonbori River in Osaka. (Mainichi)
(Tourists pose for a snapshot on a well-known bridge over the Dotonbori River in Osaka.)

Osaka, the third largest city in Japan after Tokyo and Yokohama, boasts a long history of economic prosperity. It is the most important metropolis in western Japan, often contrasted with Tokyo in the east. Before the modernization of Japan, Osaka used to be called "the kitchen of the nation," reflecting its status as the center of the rice trade. The track record of excellence continued well into recent history. The Osaka Expo held in 1970, for example, is still regarded as the epitome of the postwar growth of Japan. (Mainichi)

Foreign visitors to Japan hit record-high 9.44 mil. in 2010
AP - Jan 14, 2011

The number of foreign nationals arriving in Japan last year rose 24.6 percent from a year earlier to a record-high 9,443,671 due to the economic recovery in Asia and the relaxation by Tokyo of visa regulations for Chinese tourists, government data showed Friday. First-time travelers to Japan also reached an all-time high of 7,919,678, up 29.4 percent from 2009, the Immigration Bureau of the Justice Ministry said in a preliminary report. (AP)

Nara to set hill on fire for good harvest
Japan Times - Jan 14, 2011
News photo
(This fire: Nara firefighters control the flames.)

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)

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 10, 2011

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)

By JS on Jan 25, 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。