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JAPAN TRAVEL GUIDE
Jun 20
Japan has become world-famous for its incredibly polished customer service, which isn’t something you’ll find only at premium-priced hotels and leisure resorts. Just about any shop or restaurant you go to in Japan, right down to convenience stores and fast food joints, will be staffed by courteous clerks and servers. (rocketnews24.com)
Jun 18
Train buffs and railway officials have attended the launch of a luxury sleeper train journey from Osaka Station. (NHK)
Jun 18
In Yamanashi Prefecture, the top producer of wine made only from grapes grown in Japan, three cities have come together to create a plan for a wine resort. (Japan Times)
Jun 16
Irises are in full bloom in a mountainous area in Saitama Prefecture, near Tokyo. (NHK)
Jun 11
Japan Airlines' hanger and exhibition areas open to the public on a reservation bases, collectively called Sky Museum, topped the rankings of popular tourist spots in Tokyo, the metropolitan government's Transportation Bureau has said. (Jiji)
Jun 10
The enactment of the minpaku home-sharing law in the Diet's upper house Friday removes the regulatory uncertainties surrounding renting private dwellings as temporary accommodations, possibly opening the door for dramatic growth of a new industry in Japan. (Nikkei)
Jun 08
The Universal Studios Japan theme park in Osaka plans to add a new area featuring Nintendo characters and worlds, which was unveiled at a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday. (Japan Times)
Jun 07
The rainy season appears to have started in wide swaths of eastern, central and western Japan, the weather agency said Wednesday, warning of downpours and natural disasters during the roughly six-week period. (Japan Times)
Jun 07
Japanese Princess Mako, a granddaughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, visited on Tuesday the Taktsang Palphug Monastery in Bhutan, a Buddhist temple complex built on a cliff some 3,100 meters above sea level. (Jiji)
Jun 07
East Japan Railway has decided to install security cameras on all cars on the Yamanote Line, which circles central Tokyo. (NHK)
Jun 03
The number of foreign tourists who traveled on cruise ships to Japan hit a record high in 2016, thanks mainly to more budget tours from China. (NHK)
Jun 02
Aichi Prefecture said Thursday it will build a theme park based on an anime by director Hayao Miyazaki with the aim of opening it in the early 2020s. (Japan Times)
May 31
A record number of foreign tourists visited Japan last year, but they stayed mainly in big cities. Government officials now plan to boost inbound tourism further by attracting more travelers into the countryside. (NHK)
May 30
Japan Airlines will launch routes linking Narita International Airport with Melbourne and Kona, Hawaii, in September. (Japan Times)
May 30
Japan ranked 15th in the world in terms of the number of visitors from abroad last year, a government white paper said Tuesday. (Jiji)
May 29
An ancient ball game known as "kemari" was staged at a major shrine in Nara. The event held at Kasugataisha shrine is named "Manyo-kemari". (NHK)
May 29
While the number of foreign tourists to Japan increases, operators of bathhouses and other such facilities are perplexed, after the government approved a written statement that said access to public bathing facilities should not be restricted just because customers having tattoos, at a Cabinet meeting in February. (the-japan-news.com)
May 27
With the aim of revitalizing its tourism industry in the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, Fukushima Prefecture is teaming up with neighboring Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures to establish a so-called "Diamond Route" to serve as an inbound tourism route linking major sightseeing spots. (the-japan-news.com)
May 27
A former juvenile prison in the city of Nara in western Japan, built in 1908 and designated as an important cultural asset, will be converted into a hotel, the Justice Ministry said Friday. (Jiji)
May 26
Outdoor theme park Legoland Japan on Thursday started selling one-day family tickets that offer discounts of up to 25 percent in response to complaints about higher fees compared with other parks. (Japan Times)
May 25
I hope you're hungry because we're about the go on a street food eating binge on Hiroshima's amazing island, Miyajima. (ONLY in JAPAN)
May 25
There's never a bad time to visit Japan's former capital, but May is an especially good time. (rocketnews24.com)
May 24
Budget carrier Peach Aviation is set to become Japan's first airline to accept bitcoin as payment for tickets. (NHK)
May 24
Tokyo's Ueno Zoo said Tuesday it will suspend the public viewing of giant panda Shin Shin from Thursday as chances of her pregnancy have increased. (Jiji)
May 22
An annual event to taste the regional fish specialty of katsuo, or bonito, was held in Kochi Prefecture, western Japan, on Sunday. (NHK)
May 21
Air temperatures surged across Japan on Sunday, hitting 35.3 degrees Celsius in Tatebayashi in the eastern prefecture of Gunma. (Jiji)
May 21
Tourists were given a rare treat Sunday when Kyoto's Nishi Honganji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site, opened its centuries-old Karamon gate for the first time in 34 years. (Japan Times)
May 21
People across Japan sweated it out in summer-like conditions, with temperatures on Saturday surpassing 30 degrees Celsius in some areas. Most observation points recorded their highest temperatures of the year. (NHK)
May 20
Work to restore the main tower of Kumamoto Castle was shown to media on Friday, about one year after a series of earthquakes struck Kumamoto City, western Japan. (NHK)
May 20
Japan topped the 2017 world skiing destination rankings, replacing New Zealand, Australia's International Traveller magazine has said. (Jiji)
May 20
The estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan this year exceeded 10 million on Saturday, crossing the threshold at the fastest pace on an annual cumulative basis, Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner Akihiko Tamura said Friday. (Jiji)
May 17
The number of regular international flights to Japan is expected to reach a record 5,169 per week this summer, according to the Japanese transport ministry. The increase may boost spending by foreign visitors as well as overseas trips by Japanese travelers. (Nikkei)
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-japan-news.com)
May 17
Having heard that Tsukuba Kasumigaura Ring Ring Road, an about 180-kilometer-long cycling course in Ibaraki Prefecture, became even more visitor-friendly this spring, I tried out a section about 40 kilometers long between Sakuragawa and Tsuchiura. (the-japan-news.com)
May 15
About 500 people wearing ancient costumes and hollyhocks paraded through the streets of Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto. The procession is part of a traditional festival that attracts thousands of visitors every year. (NHK)
May 13
Japan's Meteorological Agency says it appears the annual rainy season has begun in Okinawa and the Amami islands in the southwest. (NHK)
May 13
Tours using "restaurant buses" that allow participants to enjoy cuisine and visit farms that produced food used in the meals, as well as sightseeing spots, are catching on in Japan about a year after the service was launched in the city of Niigata in April last year. (Jiji)
May 12
Japanese makers of models are showing their latest products at a trade fair in Shizuoka City. (NHK)
May 12
Making payments with integrated circuit-embedded cards in Japan is expected to become easier for visitors from abroad as efforts have begun to introduce contactless payment systems that are globally common. (Jiji)
May 10
The Japanese government will consider measures for safe driving of go-karts permitted to run on public roads following an increase in the number of accidents involving the vehicles, transport minister Keiichi Ishii said Tuesday. (Jiji)
May 08
Double-decker trains are to disappear from Japan's Shinkansen networks. (NHK)
May 07
Heavy congestion is reported on Japan's roads, railways, and airlines as people return from their hometowns and domestic travel destinations at the end of the Golden Week holidays. (NHK)
May 06
A UNESCO advisory body has made a recommendation to put the island of Okinoshima, an ancient religious site in Japan, on the World Heritage list, the country's Cultural Affairs Agency said Friday. (Jiji)
May 06
A sightseeing trolley that runs through a picturesque gorge in Toyama Prefecture, central Japan, has begun operating for the season. (NHK)
May 03
An aquarium in the city of Toba, Mie Prefecture, put on exhibit on Tuesday a male "Ise-ebi" Japanese spiny lobster 10 times heavier than normal. (Jiji)
May 02
Sunny beaches in Japan's southern prefecture of Okinawa have been drawing tourists from across the country since the start of spring holidays. (NHK)
May 01
Hundreds of people enjoyed participating in Inari festival's kunaijunko on Sunday as five mikoshi were paraded through the streets of southern Kyoto. (newsonjapan.com)
May 01
East Japan Railway Co's new luxury sleeper train, the Train Suite Shiki-shima, providing a cruise experience with a modern Japanese taste, makes its debut Monday. (Japan Today)
Apr 30
Historic buildings and artifacts in Nikko, north of Tokyo, are taking on a new glow during the spring holiday season. (NHK)
Apr 28
Mount Sakurajima had its first major eruption in nine months on Friday, sending a plume of ash high over Kagoshima Prefecture, the Meteorological Agency said. (Japan Times)
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