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JAPAN TRAVEL GUIDE
Nov 30
The Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center in the Asakusa district, a popular tourist destination in Taito Ward, Tokyo, ranked 14th among the 20 best free tourist spots in Japan that visitors felt were worth going to, according to this year's ranking released by the world's largest travelers' review site, TripAdvisor. (The Japan News)
Nov 29
Convenience store giant Seven-Eleven Japan will soon exempt foreign visitors from paying the consumption tax at certain locations. (Nikkei)
Nov 29
With 2014 winding down, it's time to make plans for the new year holidays. For many people in Japan this means finding a place to watch the first sunrise of the year, or hatsu hinode; a common custom of the season. (rocketnews24.com)
Nov 28
Tokyo police say a growing number of foreign tourists are being overcharged after being targeted by touts in one of the capital's major entertainment districts. (NHK)
Nov 28
The number of flights between Australia and Japan will increase after Qantas ­Airways was granted a coveted peak-time slot at Tokyo's Haneda Airport, which is much closer to the city's centre than ­Narita Airport. (afr.com)
Nov 28
Japan's travel agencies are expanding services for online reservations of flights, hotels and restaurants in hopes of capturing demand from the record numbers of foreign leisure travelers. (Nikkei)
Nov 28
Earlier this year we introduced our readers to Japan's fox village, an open-range zoo home to dozens of adorable foxes so tame that they'll walk right up to you to say hi. (rocketnews24.com)
Nov 26
Free Wi-Fi will be arriving at Tokyo's major subway stations next month, allowing passengers to get connected via a simple user registration process through a special app. (Asahi)
Nov 25
Winter resort operators here are scrambling to quash rumors at home and abroad that a recent earthquake caused serious damage to their ski hills and facilities. (Asahi)
Nov 25
The Japanese government is to ease conditions for multiple entry visas issued to independent Chinese tourists. (NHK)
Nov 20
The number of visitors to Japan in January-October grew 27.1 percent from a year before to 11,009,000, already topping the full-year record of 10,363,904 marked in 2013, an estimate by the Japan National Tourism Organization showed Wednesday. (The Japan News)
Nov 20
We've got some good news; steady snow has been falling in Niseko since last week, pretty intensely further up the mountain. (SkiJapan.com)
Nov 20
Airbus's newest jetliner has arrived at Tokyo's Haneda Airport and will run demonstration flights. (NHK)
Nov 19
Japan's Justice Ministry has decided to introduce a facial recognition system at airports as early as fiscal 2017 to speed up immigration control, ministry officials said Tuesday. (Jiji Press)
Nov 15
Airlines are increasingly offering overnight flights from Haneda Airport here as travelers seek to pack their weekend trips with more daylight hours for less money. (Nikkei)
Nov 15
Tourists at Mount Fuji experienced the magnificent spectacle of the sun setting behind the summit. (NHK)
Nov 14
World-famous Kiyomizudera temple in Kyoto's Higashiyama Ward was bathed in hundreds of lights Nov. 13 to show off the warm fall colors gracing the grounds a day before the start of its annual autumn night viewings. (Asahi)
Nov 14
Lucky people in Japan have gone 500 kilometers per hour in rides on a magnetically levitated train. (NHK)
Nov 13
Aoshima (青島), which is incorporated into Ozu City, Ehime Prefecture, is a small, unpretentious island in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan (which one of our English-language correspondents has covered extensively). However, the 0.5 km² island does have one unique claim to fame-it's known as a paradise for cats and cat lovers. (rocketnews24.com)
Nov 12
The soft yen is prompting more Japanese to travel within the country rather than going abroad for the upcoming year-end and New Year's holidays. (Nikkei)
Nov 11
Unsure whether they could find halal food in Japan, a group of Muslim school teachers from Malaysia went so far as to prepare their own breakfast before departing. (abcnews.go.com)
Nov 09
We're only a few minutes into our climb up one of Yamagata Prefecture's holy mountains, Mount Hojusan, and already our pace has slowed considerably. Our destination is Risshakuji Temple, more colloquially known as Yamadera (literally: "mountain temple"), a far-north outpost of Tendai Buddhism since 860. (Japan Times)
Nov 07
Recently Rakuten Travel announced its top 10 list for the best local trains around the country. (rocketnews24.com)
Nov 05
Japan's government says it will release detailed information on suspected Ebola patients spotted at its quarantine stations after their blood and other samples are ready to be transferred to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases for testing. (NHK)
Nov 05
Peach Aviation plans to restore service this winter to where it was before the Japanese budget carrier was forced to slash flights amid a pilot shortage. (Nikkei)
Nov 04
Wielding a Japanese sword-like long kitchen knife, Kiyoshi Kimura slices a big bluefin tuna into delectable pieces in a sushi restaurant in the Tsukiji Outer Market in Tokyo, delighting his customers. (Asahi)
Nov 04
Progress is being made in plans that would allow flights of large aircraft to and from Haneda Airport to fly over the center of Tokyo. (The Japan News)
Nov 03
Approaching its 100th anniversary in December, the red brick building of JR Tokyo Station in the Marunouchi business district is a symbol of the capital that continues to defy the high-rises around it with its classical architecture and stately appearance. (Japan Times)
Nov 02
Officials in Japan have put the finishing touches to a track that will carry Shinkansen bullet trains between the main island of Honshu and Hokkaido prefecture in the north. (NHK)
Nov 01
International visitors to Japan spent 1.46 trillion yen ($13.2 billion) in the first nine months of 2014, up 40% on the year and surpassing the 2013 figure of 1.41 trillion yen. (Nikkei)
Oct 31
The Tokyo metropolitan government on Friday reopened all of Yoyogi Park, 57 days after dengue-carrying mosquitoes were found there. (Japan Today)
Oct 31
Visitors took in the beautiful scenery of a former official residence of emperors in Kyoto on Thursday. (NHK)
Oct 31
Oriental Land will double the size of a popular section at Tokyo Disneyland and add a new section at Tokyo DisneySea as part of major investments through fiscal 2023, aiming to lure more guests. (Nikkei)
Oct 28
Parts of Hokkaido experienced the first snowfall of the season on Tuesday morning. (Japan Today)
Oct 27
Hyogo prefecture is the only prefecture on the main island of Honshu that has a coastline both to the Pacific Ocean and to the Sea of Japan. With some 8,400 square kilometres, it ranks 12th and its 5.6 million inhabitants make it the seventh largest prefecture. (mydigitalfc.com)
Oct 25
Two rarely shown painted "mandala" that depict the Buddhist universe will go on public display at Toji temple, a World Heritage site, on Oct. 31. (Asahi)
Oct 25
Japan's Meteorological Agency is warning that a volcano may erupt in the Kirishima mountain range in Kyushu. Mount Ioyama straddles the southwestern prefectures of Kagoshima and Miyazaki. (NHK)
Oct 24
Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan will introduce a system to relay volcanic alerts issued by the Meteorological Agency to hikers' cell phones on Mount Fuji. (NHK)
Oct 24
Confectionery maker Ezaki Glico Co. on Thursday unveiled a new giant electronic billboard in downtown Osaka featuring its signature image of a runner with his hands in the air. (globalpost.com)
Oct 24
Crowds here cheered as rows of huge torches lit up the night skies during the millennium-old Kurama Fire Festival on Oct. 22. (Asahi)
Oct 23
The number of visitors to Japan in January-September totaled 9,737,300, up 26.0 pct from a year earlier, an estimate by the Japan National Tourism Organization showed Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
Oct 22
Health minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki said Tuesday his ministry has strengthened anti-Ebola measures by obliging travelers arriving from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to report on their health conditions, even if they have had no contact with people infected with the deadly disease. (Kyodo)
Oct 22
There's a new spot that's gaining popularity for a day out with the boys: Tokyo Disneyland. (rocketnews24.com)
Oct 21
A Yamagata Prefecture aquarium recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records for its outstanding jellyfish exhibit plans to set up a partnership with the Berlin Zoological Garden, one of the world's largest zoos, by the end of this year. (The Japan News)
Oct 18
Japan will designate Tomioka Silk Mill, a UNESCO World Heritage site, as a national treasure, following a recommendation from a government panel on Friday. (Jiji Press)
Oct 16
A snowcap was observed on the peak of Mt Fuji on Thursday morning for the first time this autumn. The snowfall came three days earlier than last year, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. (Japan Today)
Oct 15
Hakone Tozan Railway's first new train in 25 years made a trial run ahead of its debut and amid hopes for a surge in tourists to scenic areas along the line southwest of Tokyo. (Asahi)
Oct 15
More foreign tourists are coming to Japan, and going shopping. And this surge in foreign cash is changing the face of the nation's retail industry. (Nikkei)
Oct 15
A new-series train of the Hokkaido Shinkansen, which is set to open in March 2016, was shown to the public for the first time in Hakodate, Hokkaido, on Monday. (The Japan News)
Oct 15
A quiet train station in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, has become a mecca for train spotters, known as "tet-chan" in Japanese. (Japan Times)
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