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Mar 15 Akita shinkansen train receives farewell
A Series E3 Komachi bullet train departed from East Japan Railway Co.'s Akita Station in northern Japan on Friday morning in the final service of this type of train on the line. (Jiji Press )
Mar 13 Cherry Blossom Report for 2014
A report issued by the Japan Weather Association is the long-awaited first sign of spring and means that cherry blossoms will start to bloom all over Japan in the coming weeks. (akihabaranews.com )
Mar 12 Japan to ease permanent residency requirements for experts
The Japanese government adopted at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday a bill to ease requirements for permanent residency in order to encourage foreign workers with a high level of expertise to settle in Japan. (Jiji Press )
Mar 10 Skymark Airlines to introduce the Airbus A330 and super-mini skirt flight attendants
Skymark Airlines, one of the Japanese LCC (Low-Cost-Carrier) airlines, is going to start running the Airbus A330-300 on May 31. Skymark is the first Japanese airline to buy the A330-300. (akihabaranews.com )
Mar 08 Japan's tallest building Abeno Harukas fully opens in Osaka
Japan's tallest skyscraper, the 300-meter Abeno Harukas, fully opened Friday morning in Osaka, western Japan. (Global Post )
Mar 06 Osaka tests Tokyo's dominance with Japan's tallest skyscraper
Japan's tallest building will open tomorrow in Osaka, as Asia's third-biggest metropolitan economy aims to lure tourists and stem businesses from moving to Tokyo. (BusinessWeek )
Mar 06 Japan to offer bullet train with footbath
Bathing is a ritualised and highly-prized activity in Japan and the footbaths are intended as places for passengers to relax rather than to clean their feet. (khaleejtimes.com )
Mar 05 Kerama Islands designated 31st national park
Japan's Environment Ministry has designated a group of islands in Okinawa Prefecture as a national park. The Kerama Islands in southern Japan are known for diverse and concentrated coral formations and clear blue waters. (NHK )
Mar 03 Nara torch ceremony heralds arrival of spring
An annual torch ceremony heralding the arrival of spring has begun at Todaiji Temple in the ancient Japanese capital, Nara. (NHK )
Mar 03 ANA finally starts in-flight Wi-Fi access on March 1
ANA, One of the major Japanese airlines, has announced that they are finally going to start offering in-flight Wi-Fi access, provided by OnAir of Switzerland, on March 1. (akihabaranews.com )
Feb 28 JR Tokai seeks approval to increase Tokaido shinkansen train speed
Central Japan Railway Co (JR Tokai) has applied to the transport ministry for approval to increase the speed of trains on the Tokaido shinkansen line from 2015. (Japan Today )
Feb 27 Jesus in Japan: The dodgy documents that reimagine Christ's life
Remember the part at the end of the Bible where Jesus sneakily avoided crucifixion and headed to Japan to become a rice farmer? And who could forget how his younger brother ended up being crucified instead, in a case of the old switch-a-roo? (slate.com )
Feb 25 Fukushima to host Tokyo Girls Collection
Tokyo Girls Collection, one of the biggest fashion events in the nation, will be held in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, on April 29, the event organizer has announced. (The Japan News )
Feb 25 Statues of sacred bird gilded at Kyoto temple
Statues of a mythological sacred bird at a Kyoto temple received a coating of gold leaf as they were restored to what they may have originally looked like nearly 1,000 years ago. (NHK )
Feb 24 'Secret' Japanese bar sues foodie website over unwanted publicity
AN exclusive Japanese bar is suing a foodie website, arguing that unwanted publicity from a review is damaging the establishment's operational strategy of being hard to find. (news.com.au )
Feb 24 Plans announced for mega tourist complex in Tokyo
The Tokyo metropolitan government has announced plans for a mega-tourist complex in Tokyo's Toyosu district, the relocation site for the Tsukiji wholesale market currently housed in Chuo Ward, Tokyo. (The Japan News )
Feb 22 Japan issues travel alert for Ukraine
Japan's Foreign Ministry is warning Japanese nationals in Ukraine and those planning to travel there not to go near sites of anti-government demonstrations. (NHK )
Feb 20 Foreign visitors to Japan at record high in January
A record number of international travelers visited Japan last month, thanks to a sharp increase in visitors from Asian countries. (NHK )
Feb 19 Inside Hadaka Matsuri, Japan's naked festival
If you like a cheeky festival then Hadaka Matsuri, aka Japan's naked festival is for you. (news.com.au )
Feb 06 Sapporo snow festival opens
An annual snow festival has opened in Sapporo, the capital of Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido. (NHK )
Feb 04 Making a bean scene
Actor Junichi Okada, star of NHK TV's year-long period drama "Gunshi Kambei," scatters roasted soybeans at an annual bean-throwing festival marking setsubun at Naritasan Shinshoji temple in Narita, Chiba Prefecture, on Monday. (The Japan News )
Feb 03 Utsunomiya regains gyoza title
Utsunomiya became the biggest spender on gyoza per household in 2013, retaking the top spot from Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, after falling behind for the first time in 2011, according to Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry data. (The Japan News )
Feb 01 Guidelines on foreign language signage in Japan
The Japan Tourism Agency has devised guidelines to improve signboards and make them easier to understand for foreign visitors. (NHK )
Jan 31 Jumbo jet's last Japanese flight fully booked
Aviation fans in Japan have rushed to get a seat on the Boeing 747's final domestic flight scheduled for March 31st. (NHK )
Jan 31 Japan hopes for influx of Lunar New Year tourists from China
Chinese tourists are expected to troop to Tokyo this weekend in celebration of the Lunar New Year. Also known as the Spring Festival in other Asian countries, this coming Friday is the first day of the New Year celebrations and with a weeklong public holiday following that, throngs of Chinese travelers are expected to take advantage of the celebration. (eturbonews.com )
Jan 31 Nagasaki lights up for the Chinese New Year
Enjoy the Chinese New Year celebration in style at the Nagasaki Lantern Festival 2014, which kicks off on Jan. 31 and runs for two weeks in the city's Chinatown and surrounding areas. (Japan Times )
Jan 30 Japan is by far the most popular Asian country on Street View
Japan is attracting all of the attention when it comes to Google Street View - the service that provides 360-degree images of locations, landmarks and cities - in Asia. That's according to data released by Google for the first time today. (thenextweb.com )
Jan 27 Giant snow sculptures in Japan
Artists from Japan's Self-Defense Forces are creating giant snow sculptures for a festival in Hokkaido. (wtvy.com )
Jan 26 Annual burning mountain festival held in Nara
A traditional burning mountain festival has been held in the ancient Japanese capital, Nara. (NHK )
Jan 26 Japan about to ease tourist visa restrictions for Indians
India and Japan on Saturday noted that there is a high potential to be explored in the area of people-to-people exchanges between India and Japan and expressed their intention to make utmost effort for the expansion of exchange of peoples in various fields. (eturbonews.com )
Jan 25 A-bomb dome to be reinforced against quakes
The Hiroshima municipal government has decided to reinforce the Atomic Bomb Dome, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, to cope with possible strong earthquakes. (The Japan News )
Jan 25 Cherry blossoms likely to bloom at usual time
Cherry blossoms are expected to bloom at about the usual time or earlier this spring from Kyushu to Kanto and in Hokuriku because temperatures are expected to be temporarily higher than usual in February, according to a weather information firm. (The Japan News )
Jan 24 Fee to be collected from Mt Fuji climbers
Local governments plan to start collecting admission fees from people climbing Mount Fuji in central Japan this summer. (NHK )
Jan 24 JAL to increase international flights from Haneda
Two major Japanese airlines are to provide more international flights from Tokyo's Haneda airport. (NHK )
Jan 22 Drill held to transport flu patient from airport
Quarantine officials have conducted a simulated emergency response to an airline passenger who arrives in Tokyo exhibiting symptoms of a virulent new strain of influenza. (NHK )
Jan 20 AirAsia prepares Japan discount airline after split with ANA
AirAsia Bhd. (AIRA), Southeast Asia's biggest budget carrier, is close to restarting plans for a Japanese unit after a partnership with ANA Holdings Inc. unraveled in June, Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes said. (Bloomberg )
Jan 19 Japanese cuisine promoted in Germany
Japan's government has promoted Japanese food at a reception in Berlin, Germany. (NHK )
Jan 18 Japan to recommend industrial revolution sites as World Heritage
The Japanese government decided Friday to recommend that legacies of Japan's industrial revolution in the Meiji era be inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. (Jiji Press )
Jan 18 Over 10 million visited Japan in 2013
The Japan National Tourism Organization says the government's annual goal of hosting 10 million foreign visitors was achieved last year for the first time. (NHK )
Jan 17 Huge ice wall in Yatsugatake mountains
A massive naturally-made ice wall is drawing photographers to a ravine in the Yatsugatake mountains, north of Tokyo. (NHK )
Jan 16 Giant-cup tea ceremony at Nara temple
Buddhist monks in Japan's ancient city of Nara have brought in the New Year with a tea ceremony using giant cups. (NHK )
Jan 16 Japan allows multiple-visas for Myanmar
Japan has issued multiple-entry visas for Myanmar nationals, as part of efforts to increase Myanmar visitors to Japan and expand bilateral exchanges, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said. (Bangkok Post )
Jan 15 Abenomics shrinks Japan's tourism deficit
A warm hug from a life-sized Hello Kitty recently startled a Thai tourist at Narita airport near Tokyo. The furry embrace, marking Yu Pha Da Pha Tra Prasit as Japan's 10 millionth visitor in 2013, points to one of the very few bright spots in the latest trade data. (Wall Street Journal )
Jan 13 Rainbow waterfall
Visitors to the Fukuroda waterfall in Daigo, Ibaraki Prefecture, enjoy the fantastic scenery of the colorfully lit frozen waterfall, which is considered to be one of Japan's three most famous waterfalls. (The Japan News )
Jan 11 Race to become 'lucky man for 2014'
About 1,500 men tested their running skills at a shrine compound in Nishinomiya, western Japan, in a race to become the "lucky man of the year." (NHK )
Jan 10 Business people pray for New Year prosperity
Crowds of people in western Japan are paying their respects to Ebisu, the god of commerce, to pray for a good year for their businesses. (NHK )
Jan 09 Japan marks record high 11.25 million foreign visitors in 2013
Foreign visitors to Japan totaled a record high 11.25 million in 2013, up 2.08 million from a year earlier and topping the 10 million threshold for the first time, according to preliminary data released by the Justice Ministry's Immigration Bureau of Japan. (Kyodo )
Jan 08 Travel agency sets up space tour subsidiary
A travel agency has set up a subsidiary that will help send tourists into space. (The Japan News )
Jan 07 New Yomiuri building opens
The new headquarters of The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings and The Yomiuri Shimbun opened in Otemachi, Tokyo, on Monday. (The Japan News )
Jan 05 Planes, trains full as return rush clogs transport
The return rush from the New Year's holidays continued to peak Saturday as people coming back from hometowns or vacation spots swamped airports, highways and train stations nationwide. (Japan Times )
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