The travel industry is stepping up efforts to cash in on Mt. Fuji's listing as a UNESCO World Heritage site, which is expected to create "special demand" just as the summer holiday season nears.
East Japan Railway Co., in collaboration with Fujikyuko Co., will halve the fares for foreign visitors who travel by its trains and buses from Tokyo's 23 wards to the fifth station on Mt. Fuji from July 1. A similar campaign last year sold 1,600 tickets.
"We hope to improve on that figure this year," a JR East official said.
On Sunday, Prince Hotels, Inc. launched a special accommodation plan for 15 rooms at the Prince Hakone in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, that offer a view of Mt. Fuji. The room charge, 22,300 yen per night per person, is about 20 percent lower than the regular price. The "223" figure represents a play on the Japanese pronunciation for "Fujisan" when represented as numerals.
A record high 13.5 percent of existing housing units in Japan were vacant as of last Oct. 1, up 0.4 percentage point from five years earlier when the survey was last conducted, the government said Tuesday. (Kyodo)
McDonald's Holdings Co. (Japan) apologized Tuesday for a recent scandal over chicken meat provided by a Chinese producer, promising to do "whatever it takes" to ensure the safety of food on its menu. (Kyodo)
Coverage of Hyogo prefectural assemblyman Ryutaro Nonomura's July 1 televised tantrum is finally winding down in the mainstream media. But on the Internet, where a YouTube video of his press conference registered over 2 million views in just two days, it's still going strong. (Japan Today)
During her first court hearing at the Tokyo District Court last week, Kasumi Tochinai, a former employee at staffing agency Pasona who has been charged with possession and use of stimulant drugs, came up with a few creative explanations for how she could have tested positive for illegal chemicals in her system. (Tokyo Reporter)
A series of anonymous murder confessions were posted on the popular 2channel Internet forum Saturday evening, prompting police to investigate their possible link with the death and dismemberment of 15-year-old Aiwa Matsuo in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture. (Japan Times)
Eleven people died, one person remains unconscious and two are missing after water-related accidents across Japan over the weekend, police and Fire and Disaster Management Agency officials said Monday. (Japan Today)
The results of a poll to pick the 16 singers who will perform on the next single by SNH48, the Shanghai-based sister group of the hugely popular all-female pop group AKB48, were released over the weekend at an event that drew more than 3,000 fans. (Japan Times)