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JAPAN TRAVEL GUIDE
Feb 14
Reserved seats on the first train on the extended Hokuriku shinkansen line, which will go into operation on March 14, sold out at in 25 seconds on Saturday. (Japan Today)
Feb 12
Tokyo's Ginza district is in the midst of a redevelopment rush. In neighboring areas facing Tokyo Bay, condominium towers have been built one after another, and major facilities for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are also planned. (The Japan News)
Feb 10
World-class skiing; Japan's largest national park; even ice hotels. For those who are looking to experience Japan outside of Tokyo or Kyoto, Hokkaido remains a prime destination. Indeed, as the last major island to be settled by the Japanese, Hokkaido arguably stands out from the rest of the nation in everything from topography to daily life. (rocketnews24.com)
Feb 09
Some 2,800 people got their first ride on the new Hokuriku shinkansen line on Saturday and Sunday. They were chosen by lottery from more than 216,000 applicants for pre-opening test rides in both directions, JR officials said. (Japan Today)
Feb 09
People in Japan will offer local sightseeing tours to foreign passengers enduring a long wait for connecting flights at Narita Airport near Tokyo. (NHK)
Feb 07
The spectrum of autumnal colours is startling. Deep reds bleed into vibrant magenta through to a gentle pink. Bright, summery oranges fade into amber and finish as a striking gold. A dark, wintry pine becomes emerald, then lime and finally a bright apple green. (The West)
Feb 06
New W7-series cars for the Hokuriku Shinkansen line arrive at JR Kanazawa Station on Thursday morning shortly before a test-ride event. (The Japan News)
Feb 06
Many of you might have fond memories of summers spent cooling off on a backyard water slide (and possibly not-so-fond memories of friction burns). (rocketnews24.com)
Feb 05
Sapporo City has kicked off its annual snow festival in northern Japan, drawing a large crowd of both domestic and international tourists. (NHK)
Feb 05
Narita airport authorities plan to establish a special lane intended to decrease the amount of time spent in the airport for individuals visiting or leaving the country for conferences, meetings or other time sensitive activities. (Japan Today)
Feb 03
Virgin Atlantic Airways ended its flights linking Britain and Japan on Sunday, a quarter century after the start of the service. (The Japan News)
Feb 01
Horyuji temple raised admission fees in January to cover maintenance costs amid a steady decline in visitor numbers since the ancient site was added to the World Heritage list in 1993. (Asahi)
Feb 01
Thousands of hungry people are enjoying a local delicacy at a festival in Ishikawa Prefecture. (NHK)
Jan 30
Tokyo Disneyland often refers to itself as "The Kingdom of Dreams." But while all those costumed performers, parades, and fireworks might seem like something out of a dreamlike fantasy, Disney fans in Japan are having to deal with a stark economic reality, as this spring admission at both Tokyo Disneyland and its sister park Disney Sea are set to jump for the second year in a row. (rocketnews24.com)
Jan 30
Endangered specimens of plants are set to go on display at an arboretum in Kyoto this April, with the installation of a special greenhouse that will allow for the housing of rare species. (insidejapantours.com)
Jan 29
A new batch of special Suica cards to mark the 100th anniversary of the opening of Tokyo Station went on sale Wednesday. (Japan Today)
Jan 29
Unseasonably high temperatures in Hokkaido this week are affecting preparations for the famous Sapporo Snow Festival, which will be held from Feb 5-8. (Japan Today)
Jan 28
Obviously, if you love sushi, Tokyo is probably your number one foodie vacation destination, but Tokyo is a big place! There are plenty of excellent sushi restaurants-and plenty of great ones at that. But for seriously fresh sushi, there might be no better place than right off the boat. (rocketnews24.com)
Jan 27
With a growing number of Japanese subculture shops cropping up in the area, Tokyo's Ikebukuro district has emerged as something of a "holy land" for female "otaku" geeks, collectively known as "otome" (maiden). (Asahi)
Jan 26
Across Japan, numerous temples and shrines are undergoing preparations for the start of spring, with the flowering of the plum trees in February being a major date in the nation's calendar. (insidejapantours.com)
Jan 24
The city of Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture, home to the impressive Toshogu Shrine and its famous evil-averse monkeys, is a popular choice for day trips from Tokyo, what with its World Heritage sites and easy train connections. (rocketnews24.com)
Jan 23
As tourists visit Japan in increasing numbers, mobile phone operators are moving to tap the market by providing better Wi-Fi services. (Japan Times)
Jan 23
Universal Studios Japan is formally opening its new Attack on Titan attraction on Friday. "Attack on Titan The Real" is part of the Universal Cool Japan event (along with Evangelion, (rocketnews24.com)
Jan 23
Foreign visitors have been visiting Niseko, an international ski resort area in Hokkaido, at a record-setting pace this fiscal year. (The Japan News)
Jan 21
On a recent weekday, the quaint Ichibangai Shotengai shopping street in Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture, was crowded with foreign tourists savoring a popular local sweet. (Asahi)
Jan 21
After travelers from abroad surged nearly 30% last year, Japan is set to welcome more than 15 million in 2015. (Nikkei)
Jan 20
The estimated number of foreign traveler arrivals in Japan in 2014 jumped by around 3 million from the previous year to a record 13.41 million, boosted by a weak yen and relaxed visa requirements, the government said Tuesday. (Kyodo)
Jan 19
Although we just told you about why Japan is an unpopular tourist destination, if you are planning on visiting in 2015-and we really recommend you do!-there are some landmark events going on that you might want to consider as you make your plans. Here's our list of five places you'll want to visit in Japan in 2015. (rocketnews24.com)
Jan 19
Although the Japanese yen has declined in value vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar, the good news is that the falling cost of petroleum on world markets is enabling international carriers to reduce the special fuel surcharges levied on their routes, J-Cast News (Jan 16) reports. (Japan Today)
Jan 18
The third terminal at Narita Airport near Tokyo, for use exclusively by LCCs, or low-cost carriers, has been shown to the media. The new terminal will open in April. (NHK)
Jan 17
The Sapporo Snow Festival, organized by the city government and the Sapporo Tourist Association, started all the way back in 1950, when a group of local high school students was assembled to sculpt six snow statues in the city's Ōdōri Park, a place which in previous winters had typically been used only for the dumping of snow cleared from the surrounding streets. (nippon.com)
Jan 16
Tokyo police are asking foreign visitors arriving at Haneda Airport to help step up security following the terror attacks in France. (NHK)
Jan 15
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is considering changing the design of the pages of Japanese passports in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (Japan Today)
Jan 14
Last year, the Disney film "Frozen" was an enormous hit in Japan. The characters now feature in their own parade which kicked off at Tokyo DisneyLand in Chiba Prefecture on Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Jan 10
Japan will ease requirements for issuing multiple-entry visas for Chinese people from Jan. 19, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. (The Japan News)
Jan 08
Japan's government and ruling party officials have rolled out a plan to open up new sections of bullet train lines earlier than planned. (NHK)
Jan 05
Ginza, Tokyo's posh shopping and entertainment district, has delighted visitors for over a century with high-end shops selling everything from jewelry and clothing to sweets and stationery. (Japan Times)
Jan 04
The Japanese government is expected to execute bilateral civil air transportation agreements with Cambodia and Laos later this month. Tokyo hopes the agreements will increase visitor traffic from the two countries as well as promote investment and trade. (Nikkei)
Jan 03
People across Japan are returning home after visiting family or taking vacations during the New Year holidays. Trains and planes are crowded on Saturday as the holidays draw to a close. (NHK)
Jan 03
Early risers visiting a town in central Japan have been treated to the spectacle of a dazzling sun rising from behind the peak of Mount Fuji. (NHK)
Jan 03
Low-cost carrier Peach Aviation is looking to add more hubs, possibly choosing from among airports serving Seoul, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City. (Nikkei)
Jan 03
The long-awaited world's first One Piece amusement park will be arriving on March 13 2015 in Tokyo! (rocketnews24.com)
Dec 28
The annual New Year's exodus began Saturday as travelers packed airports and railway stations to head for their hometowns or other places to spend the holidays. (Japan Times)
Dec 26
Moves are afoot to restrict climbing on Mount Fuji as part of efforts to preserve the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. (Asahi)
Dec 25
Although the continuing eruption of Mount Aso is hurting tourism, including the cancellation of accommodations in the surrounding area, local businesses are trying to lure visitors back, even promoting the view of the smoking mountain. (Asahi)
Dec 25
Ujigamijinja shrine, a World Heritage site, held a ceremony Dec. 24 to celebrate the return of sacred deities to its main hall following year-long restoration work. (Asahi)
Dec 23
The number of foreign visitors to Japan this year has exceeded 13 million for the first time ever, the transport and tourism ministry said Monday. (Jiji Press)
Dec 23
The total number of passengers to pass through Japan's Narita Airport near Tokyo since its opening in 1978 has topped 900 million. (NHK)
Dec 21
With the number of visitors to Japan expected to surpass 13 million for the first time in 2014, attracting visitors to tourist spots away from big cities is a major challenge to overcome for the achievement of the government target of 20 million visitors in 2020. (Jiji Press)
Dec 20
Architect Kingo Tatsuno appears to have breathed his youthful experience in Europe into his design of Tokyo Station, which marks the centennial of its opening on Saturday. (The Japan News)
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