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JAPAN TRAVEL GUIDE
Apr 30
West Japan Railway Co. opened the nation's largest railway museum to the public in Kyoto on Friday. (the-japan-news.com)
Apr 30
It's the first day of spring holidays in Japan, when people travel in droves to more leisurely destinations. But this year, many were seen heading southwest for the quake-hit area of Kumamoto Prefecture. (NHK)
Apr 30
The Tokyo metropolitan government is planning to make the capital's busiest rail station more user-friendly ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. (NHK)
Apr 29
The annual "Golden Week" holiday exodus has begun in Japan. (NHK)
Apr 29
One of the major expressways in Japan's earthquake-hit southwestern region of Kyushu fully reopened on Friday. (NHK)
Apr 28
The Environment Ministry plans to permanently allow cat cafes to stay open until 10 p.m. from June, extending a temporary measure after finding the later hours make little difference to the animals' stress, ministry officials said Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Apr 28
The Kyushu Shinkansen is now operating along its entire route after a 13-day suspension triggered by the earthquakes in southwestern Japan. (NHK)
Apr 27
SkiJapan.com is pleased to announce an exciting addition to our Japan winter season - HAVEN Niseko – a brand new boutique luxury chalet-hotel for the 2016/17 accommodation selection, reflecting the heart and soul of Niseko. (SkiJapan.com)
Apr 26
The Hokkaido Tourism Organization has revised a booklet on bad manners aimed at Chinese tourists after a local resident said it assumed Chinese lack common sense. (Japan Times)
Apr 25
The last Tsukiji Market festival will be held in its current location in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, on May 3, ahead of the wholesale market's relocation to the Toyosu district in Tokyo's Koto Ward later this year. (the-japan-news.com)
Apr 25
The Sunshine 60 Observatory in Toshima Ward, Tokyo, reopened on Thursday with the new name Sky Circus Sunshine 60 Observatory following recent renovations. The facility now also features new rides. (the-japan-news.com)
Apr 22
Dutch-themed amusement park Huis Ten Bosch has unveiled plans to open a "robot kingdom" featuring over 200 automatons on the premises in July, part of a long-term strategy to revolutionize Japan's anemic service sector. (Nikkei)
Apr 21
Kumamoto Castle has been opened to the media for the first time since it was damaged by powerful earthquakes that struck Kyushu Island in southern Japan. (NHK)
Apr 21
More than 2-million foreign travelers visited Japan in March, the highest number ever for a single month. The amount of money they spend in the country is also increasing. (NHK)
Apr 20
A major Tokyo-based taxi company applied early this month to the transport ministry to reduce its minimum taxi fare to ¥410, aiming to attract passengers even for short distances. (the-japan-news.com)
Apr 19
Kumamoto Airport in quake-stricken Kyushu reopened to commercial flights on Tuesday, but it is unable to offer security checks and baggage handling, so planes are leaving empty. (Japan Times)
Apr 19
Passengers from Taiwan have entered Japan without going through immigration, after they were mistakenly taken to a domestic arrival gate. (NHK)
Apr 18
The operator of the Kyushu shinkansen bullet train line says the major earthquakes in southwestern Japan have caused extensive damage to tracks and stations. (NHK)
Apr 15
Festival floats cross a vermilion lacquered bridge near cherry trees in full bloom on the opening day of the Takayama Spring Festival on Thursday in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture. (the-japan-news.com)
Apr 14
In this episode, John travels to Kagoshima prefecture on the bottom of Kyushu to visit this unique style of onsen. It's call "suna mushi onsen" (砂むし温泉) in Japan. This style of Volcanic Sand Bath is only in Ibusuki, Kagoshima. (ONLY in JAPAN)
Apr 13
Japan's tallest Ferris wheel will begin operating July 1 at a commercial complex in Osaka, western Japan, according to its operator Ferris Wheel Investment Co. (Japan Today)
Apr 13
Universal Studios Japan opened new attractions based on the "Harry Potter" film franchise on Wednesday, aiming to log another year of record traffic. (Nikkei)
Apr 12
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to introduce new boat services with an eye toward the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in the city. Officials are hoping to conduct a trial of them this summer. (NHK)
Apr 12
Visitors to Japan may soon be able to forget the hassle of having to change money - with the launch of a new system enabling fingerprints to be used as currency. (telegraph.co.uk)
Apr 08
Thousands of people are enjoying the annual cherry blossom viewing at the Japan Mint in Osaka, western Japan. (NHK)
Apr 08
A Japanese railway operator plans to assign alphanumeric codes to hundreds of stations in and around Tokyo later this year. It is an effort to make it easier for foreign visitors to use the trains. (NHK)
Apr 07
Kawachi Fujien, a Kitakyushu garden known for its "wisteria flower tunnels," will limit the number of visitors for the first time from April 23 to May 8, when the flowers are expected to blossom. (the-japan-news.com)
Apr 07
The Japan Tourism Agency has compiled measures to be taken by ryokan inns and bath facilities to reduce the number of cases in which foreign visitors are refused admittance to bath facilities because of their tattoos. (the-japan-news.com)
Apr 06
The Kyoto Imperial Palace has opened to the public for its annual spring showing. (NHK)
Apr 05
Tokyo-based major taxi operator Nihon Kotsu Co. applied to the transport ministry on Tuesday to revise its minimum taxi fare to 410 yen for about one kilometer from 730 yen for 2 kilometers, hoping to attract demand for close-distance travel. (Jiji Press)
Apr 05
The newly-renovated feudal-era Himeji Castle was the most popular fortress destination in Japan last fiscal year. (NHK)
Apr 05
Japan's largest expressway bus terminal opened at the south exit of East Japan Railway Co.'s Shinjuku Station in central Tokyo on Monday. (the-japan-news.com)
Apr 05
The famous Kabukiza theater in Tokyo will offer more dates with 3 shortened kabuki performances a day. It's an effort to attract foreign visitors. (NHK)
Apr 04
Revelers carried giant phalluses through the streets of Kawasaki on Sunday to worship the humble penis and fertility in one of the world's most unusual festivals. (Japan Times)
Apr 03
Over time, international travelers' willingness to experience certain parts of local culture can change remarkably. Not so long ago, it wasn't unusual for visitors to Japan to feel squeamish about eating raw fish or baffled at the idea of waiting in line for a lowly bowl of noodles, but now most would argue that your Japan experience isn't complete without sampling the country's amazing sushi and ramen. (Japan Today)
Apr 02
The Yokohama Convention and Visitors Bureau (YCVB), which is very active in boosting the number of foreign tourists to their city, has recently produced a set of four videos to draw attention to the city as a major tourist destination and heighten awareness about its attractions. (Japan Today)
Apr 01
Cherry trees in Tokyo and other cities in Japan are in full blossom -- a sign that spring has arrived. (NHK)
Apr 01
The Japanese government is introducing 15 symbols to mark police boxes, hotels and other facilities on foreign tourist maps. (NHK)
Apr 01
A meandering path appears on a snow-covered mountain in Tateyama, Toyama Prefecture, as snow removal work begins on the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route ahead of the start of the sightseeing season in mid-April. (the-japan-news.com)
Mar 31
The government said Wednesday it aims to double the annual number of foreign visitors to Japan to 40 million in 2020 from the current 20 million. (the-japan-news.com)
Mar 31
One of the pillars of the government vision to attract more foreign tourists is the relaxation of conditions for issuing visas to tourists from China, India, the Philippines, Russia and Vietnam. (the-japan-news.com)
Mar 30
Cherry blossoms are drawing crowds to the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo. (NHK)
Mar 30
Keisei Electric Railway Co. said Tuesday that it plans to introduce tablets equipped with a multilingual translation app for the increasing number of foreign visitors to Japan at 65 of its stations, beginning Thursday. (Japan Times)
Mar 29
Six Japan Railways Group companies plan to allow foreign tourists to buy the highly coveted, economical Japan Rail Pass even after they land in Japan. (Asahi)
Mar 29
The operator of Narita International Airport near Tokyo on Monday unveiled fast lanes to allow selected foreign passengers pass smoothly through immigration. (Jiji Press)
Mar 28
A NAO humanoid robot serves a customer at the foreign exchange counter of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ's Narita Airport branch in Narita, Chiba Prefecture. (the-japan-news.com)
Mar 28
The someiyoshino cherry trees are blooming in Osaka, which means the hanami season is upon us. Cherry blossom viewing is also becoming popular with foreign tourists, who are visiting Japan in record numbers. (the-japan-news.com)
Mar 27
The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has released a new promotion video in English, highlighting the law enforcement work and efforts toward tackling terrorism and crime. (Japan Today)
Mar 27
A poplar tree which became a famous tourist attraction on farmland in Biei, Hokkaido, was cut down in late February by its exasperated owner, who had grown sick of unwelcome visitors trampling his fields. (Japan Today)
Mar 26
The Imperial Palace's usually off-limits Inui Street was opened to the public on March 25 for a large crowd of cherry-blossom viewers who arrived a bit too early. (Asahi)
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