Multilingual guide app launched for Imperial palaces -- May 17
The Imperial Household Agency on Tuesday started free distribution of a guide app that supports six languages for visitors to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo and the Kyoto Imperial Palace.

The app, which can be downloaded to smartphones and tablets, offers audio guides in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, French and Spanish.

Covered by the app are a total of 82 facilities at the Imperial Palace and its East Gardens in Chiyoda Ward and the palace in Kyoto. It also offers 223 photos and graphics.

Using the Global Positioning System, the app informs users on a pop-up window that guide services are available when they approach any of the facilities.

宮内庁が皇居・東御苑などの入園者のために開発した音声ガイドのアプリの運用が16日から始まりました。 対象となる施設は皇居一般参観コースと皇居・東御苑、京都御所で、アプリはスマートフォンやタブレット端末があれば世界中どこでもダウンロード可能です。
News sources:, ANNnewsCH
Mar 23
Railway fans have flocked to Kyoto for a debut of new train cars that will take tourists to the ancient Enryaku-ji Temple in Mount Hiei. (NHK)
Mar 23
The Legoland Japan Hotel and Sea Life Nagoya aquarium built next to the Legoland theme park in Nagoya. (Japan Today)
Mar 22
After months of cold weather, which brought the heaviest snowfall in four years to Tokyo back in January, the days finally began warming up in the capital last week, with sunny skies and temperatures reaching highs of 22 degrees Celsius (71.6 degrees Fahrenheit). (
Mar 22
Many foreign tourists to Japan often wonder why public transportation, especially in areas of Tokyo renowned for their nightlife, is so limited after the last trains of the night. (Kyodo)
Mar 21
Japan saw an estimated 2,509,300 visitors from overseas in February, up 23.3 pct from a year earlier, the Japan National Tourism Organization said Tuesday. (Jiji)
Mar 20
A Somei-Yoshino cherry tree being monitored in Kochi reached full bloom on Monday, the Metrological Agency said. (Japan Times)
Mar 20
The refurbished interior of the "Tower of the Sun" was opened to the public on Monday for the first time since the major artwork by the late Taro Okamoto became a symbol of the Expo '70 world's fair in Osaka. (Japan Times)
Mar 18
Japan's Meteorological Agency announced on Saturday the official start of Tokyo's annual cherry blossom season. (NHK)
Mar 18
Workers have replaced a lightning-damaged shachihoko roof ornament on a castle in Inuyama City, central Japan. (NHK)
Mar 17
Japanese authorities have lowered volcanic alert levels for the 2 peaks of Mount Kusatsu-Shirane in Gunma Prefecture, more than 7 weeks after the volcano erupted. (NHK)