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Tohoku summer festival program still on track

Himeji Castle and the richness of Kansai
moderntokyotimes.com - Jun 28, 2011
http://moderntokyotimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/himeji2.jpg
(Himeji Castle)

The Kansai region is the heart of Japan because you have so many places which are rich in history and the diversity of the region is amazing. Kobe is a lovely city because the city is well designed and the surrounding area is very beautiful. The city of Osaka is the economic powerhouse in Kansai and this city is vibrant and ultra-modern and ranks easily within the top ten commercial cities in the world (ranked 7th). Also, Awaji Island is very close and this island adds to the stunning diversity of Kansai and is a pleasant holiday destination. Kyoto and Nara are famous because of being former capitals in Japan and the essence of Buddhism remains strong within stunning architecture. The city of Nara is the cradle of high culture in Japan. Meanwhile Himeji and Wakayama are blessed with magnificent castles and Himeji castle dominates this city and in Wakayama you have so many places to visit and Koyasan and Kumano are stunning. (moderntokyotimes.com)
Tohoku summer festival program still on track
Yomiuri - Jun 30, 2011
http://gabuchan.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/nebuta-matsuri-one-gp.jpg Kanto Matsuri - Akita, Akita http://www.japantravelinfo.com/userfiles/image/tanabata%20matsuri.jpg
(Aomori Nebuta Matsuri / Akita Kanto Matsuri / Sendai Tanabata Matsuri)

Despite struggling with recovery and reconstruction efforts following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, the Tohoku region will go ahead with its summer festival program this year. Some of the festivals will be downscaled due to the impact of the March 11 disaster, organizers said, but added they want to attract as many tourists as possible to the region also affected by the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. Tohoku's three big summer festivals--the Aomori Nebuta Matsuri, Akita Kanto Matsuri and Sendai Tanabata Matsuri--will go ahead as per usual years. (Yomiuri)

Retired warplanes to be displayed at Ibaraki airport to attract visitors
Kyodo - Jun 29, 2011

Two retired Air Self-Defense Force aircraft were moved Wednesday to Ibaraki Airport, northeast of Tokyo, from the adjacent Hyakuri Air Base to be put on public display for an exhibition aimed at attracting visitors to the airport. It will be the first time that an RF-4 surveillance aircraft is put on public display outside the ASDF base, together with an F-4 fighter, according to air base officials. The exhibition begins July 23. (Kyodo)

Boosting Japan's flagging tourism
Japan Times - Jun 29, 2011

In 2010, a record number 8,612,000 tourists from abroad visited Japan - up 26.8 percent from 2009 - and it was hoped that more than 10 million tourists would visit this year. But the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters dashed this hope. The news is not all bad, however. China recently lifted restrictions on visits to Japan with the exception of Fukushima Prefecture. Chinese tourists have begun once again to visit Kyushu, Kansai and even Tokyo. Even so, it is unlikely that there will be a surge of foreign tourists in coming months. In March, 352,800 visitors from abroad entered Japan - just half the corresponding number the previous year. (Japan Times)

Japan's travel agencies offer long summer vacations
Wall Street Journal - Jun 27, 2011

Japan's campaign to save energy is finally letting overworked salarymen and women to take advantage of summer in a way that has long eluded them: a long vacation. Spurred by the atypical vacation schedule prompted by the rearranged work hours this summer, major travel agencies in Japan are offering a burst of long vacation packages. Mainstream travel agency JTB group is offering a series of domestic and international long-term travel packages that are between 14 and 30 days long. But their campaign was inspired by an 11-year-old survey report by the Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare on what people say they do when they get time off. Based on this survey, the ministry proposes a two-week "L Rest," that's 'L' as in long enough to allow people to think about their life-another 'L'-away from work. (Wall Street Journal)

Travel writer gets intimate with Japan
Japan Times - Jun 28, 2011
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/images/photos2011/fl20110628wwa.jpg
(On the move: Beth Reiber, who has written the "Frommer's Japan" and "Frommer's Tokyo"
guidebooks for more than two decades, speaks at a hotel in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward recently.)

Freelance travel writer Beth Reiber knows Tokyo inside out - maybe much more than most Tokyoites. Reiber, who lives in Lawrence, Kansas, has for more than 20 years updated the Japan and Tokyo versions of the Frommer's guidebooks - one of the best-selling series of guide books published in the United States. "I've been to about 50 cities and towns in Japan. I know Japan better than my own country," she said. (Japan Times)

Japan designates 3 northeastern areas as foreign tourist spots
Kyodo -

世界遺産に平泉(岩手県)ユネスコが登録決定(11/06/26)

平泉中尊寺

The Japan Tourism Agency said Monday it has added three areas in disaster-hit northeastern Japan, including a town in Iwate Prefecture with historic assets that was recently listed as a UNESCO World Heritage cultural site, as designated regional tourism spots where it expects foreign visitors to increase. The designation of Hiraizumi in Iwate Prefecture, Sendai and Matsushima in Miyagi Prefecture, and Aizuwakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture comes after the agency chose 11 locations in other regions of Japan in April, when it postponed selection in the Tohoku region to assess the outlook for reconstruction following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. (Kyodo)

Tokyo, old and new
Japan Times - Jun 26, 2011

The bridge at Nihonbashi, a symbol of old Tokyo, has had a hard time in the modern age. A bridge was first built there in 1603, the first year of the shogunate in Edo, and the present stone bridge in the Meiji Era, in 1911. Still bearing the marks of the wartime firebombing of Tokyo by American forces in 1945, it is overshadowed by an expressway built directly overhead for the Tokyo Olympics of 1964 and by later high-rise buildings. In April, the 100th anniversary of the bridge was lost in the aftermath of the March 11 disaster. The new symbol of Tokyo, the Sky Tree tower, seems to be faring better. Although suffering a delay of two months due to disaster-related shortages, it will open not too long after schedule, in May of next year. (Japan Times)

Japan's Hiraizumi decided as World Heritage site
Kyodo - Jun 26, 2011
News photo
(The Golden Hall of Chusonji Temple, a historical site in the Hiraizumi area of Iwate
Prefecture, is shown in this 2005 photo. Hiraizumi and the Ogasawara Islands off
Tokyo have been recommended for listing as UNESCO World Heritage sites.)

The Buddhist temples and landscape in the ancient town of Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture, in northeastern Japan, have won approval as a World Heritage cultural site at an ongoing UNESCO meeting in Paris, Japanese government officials said Saturday. Hiraizumi becomes Japan's 12th World Heritage cultural site, according to the decision by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's World Heritage Committee, and follows endorsement of the Ogasawara island chain in the Pacific south of Tokyo as the country's fourth natural heritage site. (Kyodo)

Ogasawara island chain named as World Heritage site
Kyodo - Jun 25, 2011

小笠原諸島 世界遺産登録決定

Japan's Ogasawara island chain, a habitat for rare animals and plants in the western Pacific, was named Friday by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, Japanese government officials said Friday. The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's World Heritage Committee authorized the registration of the group of about 30 islands, about 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo, which is a home to many indigenous species as it has never been connected to a continent. (Kyodo)

Madame Tussauds and Legoland owner Merlin moves into Japan
telegraph.co.uk - Jun 24, 2011

Merlin Entertainments intends to open a Madame Tussauds in Tokyo in October this year, with a Legoland Discovery Centre to follow in the spring of next year. Merlin, which is owned by a private equity consortium, said it would spend \1.2bn developing the Legoland site. The new Madame Tussauds will be Merlin's fourth in Asia, complementing existing sites in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Bangkok. The company is also planning a further site in Sydney, to open in 2012. (telegraph.co.uk)

Travel firms offer long stays / Extended tours promoted as firms increase summer vacation days
Yomiuri - Jun 24, 2011

Travel agencies are promoting long-stay trips ahead of this year's summer vacation, as major companies decided to extend vacations in order to save electricity. Travel agencies want to revive demand for tour packages, which was cooled following the March 11 earthquake, but reservations are sluggish so far because many small and midsize companies have not decided on summer vacation schedules. According to a major travel agency, the most popular travel packages are two- to three-night stays for domestic tours and five- to six-night stays for trips overseas. (Yomiuri)

Lady Gaga on Japan: It's safe, food's great
AP - Jun 23, 2011

レディー・ガガが都内で会見「美しい日本に来てもらいたい」


http://www.entertainmentwallpaper.com/images/desktops/celebrity/lady_gaga06.jpg

Lady Gaga says that if you want to help Japan recover from its tsunami disaster, come visit. The flamboyant pop star, in Tokyo this week for a benefit concert for tsunami victims, said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press that she's making a point to get out and enjoy the city and its food, and that her fans should do the same thing. "I can't say enough to people all over the world that the majority of Japan right now, Japan in general, is very safe," she said. "It's fine to come here. It's beautiful." (AP)

Tokyo, the megacity that works
AFP - Jun 22, 2011

On a satellite image of the Earth at night, there is no brighter spot. Greater Tokyo, home to an astonishing 35 million people, is by far the biggest urban area on the planet. The most amazing thing about it, say its many fans, is that it works. Although Tokyo dwarfs the other top megacities of Mumbai, Mexico City, Sao Paulo and New York, it has less air pollution, noise, traffic jams, litter or crime, lots of green space and a humming public transport system. American writer Donald Richie, who first came to Tokyo in 1947 and recently published the coffee table book "Tokyo Megacity", has dubbed Japan's massive capital and primary city the "livable megalopolis". Many visitors marvel at the politeness and civility that, along with the nation's wealth, have helped Tokyo avoid the pitfalls of other big cities that have become polluted, noisy and dangerous urban nightmares. Amid the neon-lit street canyons, thoroughfares for millions every day, small shrines and quaint neighbourhoods survive as oases of tranquility, largely shielded from blights such as graffiti and vandalism. (AFP)

Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Kyoto, Japan's ancient capital
Reuters - Jun 17, 2011

Kyoto, Japan's ancient capital, is a laid-back counterpart to Tokyo that was first established more than a thousand years ago. Far to the west, it is a good place to forget the current capital's woes. Kyoto's wide avenues follow a grid pattern that invites easy walking, one of the best ways to explore. Strolls reveal a modern city, but one where traditional touches -- a tiny shrine, upswept temple roofs -- are never far away. FRIDAY 6 p.m. - Walk through one of the hanamachi, or geisha districts, and you may see a geisha or apprentice geisha heading out for the evening. Sightings of these women in elaborate kimono, thick white makeup and gleaming hair are especially likely in the Miyagawa-cho district, where taxis line up to whisk the geisha away to engagements at exclusive traditional restaurants. (Reuters)

English 'anime' map compiled to attract foreign tourists
Kyodo - Jun 17, 2011

The Japan National Tourism Organization said Friday it has compiled an English-language map that introduces tourism spots and theme parks related to Japanese "anime" as part of efforts to attract more foreign tourists. Museums and tour spots listed by the Japan Anime Map include Tokyo's Koganei, which is related to director Hayao Miyazaki's popular animation film, "Spirited Away." The colorful map also introduces the culture of "otaku" -- obsessive fans of anime and video games -- by showing photographs and captions of main otaku districts across Japan including Tokyo's Akihabara. (Kyodo)

Japan's stark truth
The West - Jun 15, 2011

The volcanic landscape of Japan means there are many hot springs and these have long been developed into onsen. By definition, onsen use water heated naturally underground and produced from geothermal springs. There is a legal definition, in Japan, that the water of an onsen must contain at least one of 19 designated chemical elements, including radon and metabolic acid and be 25C or warmer. The most common are sulphur onsen, sodium chloride onsen, hydrogen carbonate onsen and iron onsen. The water in Kuttari Onsen, which is next to East Taisetsu National Park and looks down on Kuttari Lake, contains alkaline sodium. (The West)

Japan struggles to attract tourists
Washington Post - Jun 15, 2011

Japan's travel agencies used to base their campaigns on postcard images: plates of sushi, geishas, white-capped mountains. Buses docked every afternoon along the main shopping streets in ritzy Ginza, depositing Chinese tourists who thronged department stores with Mandarin signs and ATMs from Beijing-based banks. The government designated 2011 as a benchmark year for tourism, hoping for the first time to exceed 10 million international travelers. Now, the Japan National Tourism Organization posts radiation levels from around the world on its Web site. (Most days, Seoul has twice the background radiation that Tokyo does.) In April, the number of tourists visiting Japan was down 62.5 percent from the same month last year, and a comparable decline is expected for May, though statistics have yet to be released. (Washington Post)

Japan: a culinary voyage
nationmultimedia.com - Jun 15, 2011

Tucked away in a remote, mountainous valley, Shirakawa-go is known for traditional farmhouses in the thatched, A-frame style called "gassho-zukuri". Looking out over the village, the green rice paddies are pockmarked by these rustic and lovely straw-roofed cottages standing against the Japan Alps. The local authorities, it's said, have worked hard to maintain the natural surroundings, making it possible to imagine bygone life in the Hida hills. "The name "Gassho" means prayer-hands," says our guide, as we stroll around the village. "When the Japanese look at those huge A-framed, steeply slanting roof, they think of two hands joined in prayer." You could and should sleep in the village, as some of the thatched cottages do double duty as inns. Unfortunately, we can't stay overnight because the historical town of Takayama is waiting along with its cows, bearers of the famous Hida beef. Our arrival in Takayama excites the whole town, as we are the very first group to visit Takayama since the powerful earthquake in March. The mayor, the local minister and the chief of tourism treat us like guests of honour. One the town committees even kneels down on the stage, and sings the town's anthem. (nationmultimedia.com)

Sakai: Ageless gem of Japan
Manila Bulletin - Jun 12, 2011

Sakai, one of the oldest and fastest-growing cities of Japan, might be said to have much in common with gems, its age and constant refinement making it more fascinating over the years. Known for being one of the most successful countries in the world, Japan maintains its hidden treasures in the same way that a jewel craftsman might, often looking to improve upon the smallest of flaws. Unknown to many, Sakai is the fastest expanding territory in Japan, as it includes most of the southern and eastern Osaka and Nara prefectures. Even with this frenetic pace of development, however, the area keeps much of its history intact. Rich in Japanese culture and heritage, Sakai has grown into a dominant position, becoming one of the Japanese government's elected cities in April 2006 and making it well-known as the country's fastest-rising industrial city. (Manila Bulletin)

The Great Snow Walls of Japan
Bangkok Post - Jun 12, 2011

They can't be "seen from space" like the Great Wall of China and they don't embody so much historical importance as the Berlin Wall, but these Great Snow Walls of the Japanese Alps are no doubt way, way cooler! Measuring up to 20 metres in height, these steep banks of accumulated snow flanking the mountain road at Murodo on Mount Tateyama in the northern part of the Japanese Alps, are part of the many highlights of the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route. Starting from the Tateyama railway station in Toyama Prefecture on the west side, the alpine route takes you through the high mountains all the way to the east side of the ranges at Ogizawa bus terminal in Nagano Prefecture. This exciting route is one case that the phrase "getting there is half the fun" really rings true since to complete it you need to change to different modes of transportation along the way, ranging from cable cars and highland buses to pillar-less ropeways and trolley buses that run through long tunnels. (Bangkok Post)

Maglev station sites announced
Yomiuri - Jun 9, 2011

Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) has announced candidate sites for stations along the planned linear motor Shinkansen line between Tokyo and Nagoya, but negotiations with local governments over station construction costs could possibly derail the plans. JR Tokai aims to start constructing the Tokyo-Nagoya route in fiscal 2014 as the initial stage of the planned maglev Chuo Shinkansen line that eventually will connect Tokyo and Osaka. Ongoing environmental impact assessments also will be a factor in deciding the exact locations of the stations. (Yomiuri)

10 reasons to visit Japan this summer
eturbonews.com - Jun 6, 2011

Most of Japan is back to normal following the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on 11 March. Many parts of Japan, including popular holiday destinations such as Hokkaido, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Mt. Fuji, Nagasaki and Okinawa, incurred no disruption to infrastructure and everything in these areas has continuously operated as normal. Tokyo is back to normal with trains once again running like clockwork, water safe to drink and the beer and yogurt shortages now over (yes, there were temporary shortages due to packaging factories having been in the earthquake-hit region!). (eturbonews.com)

Visitors' footsteps mute famous 'singing' floor
Yomiuri - Jun 4, 2011

A unique corridor of Yogenin, the Buddhist temple in Kyoto known for its links to Go, the eponymous heroine of an NHK period drama, is now on the verge of losing its well-known feature, chirping sounds similar to those of a small bird that are produced as a visitor moves through the corridor. The wood-floored corridor in the main hall of the temple in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, is called the "uguisu-bari no roka" (nightingale corridor). Since January, when the period drama depicting the vicissitudes of the life of Go (1573-1626), a niece of warlord Oda Nobunaga and wife of shogun Tokugawa Hidetada, started, the temple has been overrun with throngs of sightseers. (Yomiuri)

Korea, Japan, China to develop tour routes
Korea Herald - May 29, 2011

Top tourism policymakers of Korea, Japan and China have announced on Sunday that they will jointly develop the 10 best tourism routes by linking travel packages in the region. The plan is part of their long-term strategy called "Tourism Vision 2020" to boost regional tourism and establish a risk management system, especially since natural disasters such as the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan have prompted worries in the region's tourism industry. (Korea Herald)

By TS on Jul 9, 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。