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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)
Mar 26
A new express bus terminal in central Tokyo will open early next month. The new facility will have the most arrivals and departures in all of Japan. (NHK)
Mar 25
The opening on Saturday of the Hokkaido Shinkansen Line, a high-speed railway connecting Hokkaido with Honshu via an undersea tunnel, will be the culmination of an epic project 42 years in the making. (Japan Times)
Mar 24
Japan's National Police Agency has decided to test a higher speed limit on some sections of the Shin Tomei Expressway and the Tohoku Expressway, NPA officials said Thursday. (Jiji Press)
Mar 22
A computer system malfunction forced Japan's All Nippon Airways to cancel more than 120 domestic flights on Tuesday, affecting some 16,000 travelers, the carrier said. (Japan Today)
Mar 22
Cherry blossoms in Tokyo are officially in bloom, the Japan Meteorological Agency said Monday, in one of the most anticipated announcements of spring. (the-japan-news.com)
Mar 22
The Queen Elizabeth enters Osaka Port on March 22. (the-japan-news.com)
Mar 22
Japan aims to more than double the annual number of foreign visitors to national parks in the nation to 10 million by 2020, Environment Minister Tamayo Marukawa said Monday. (Jiji Press)
Mar 22
Photos of a dimly lit Uji Bridge at night, sacred horses walking on the front approach to the shrine, artists performing court music and dance. (Japan Times)
Mar 21
With Japan determined to increase the number of foreign tourists to the country by 2020 when it hosts the Olympic Games, the government plans to maximize the use of cultural assets at 200 spots nationwide to spark visitors' interest in Japanese history and culture, a draft of the government's new plan showed Sunday. (Japan Times)
Mar 21
Mindful of the importance of tighter immigration control ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the Japanese government will start using a facial recognition system at airports to strengthen its ability to catch terrorists trying to sneak into the country. (Nikkei)
Mar 21
East Japan Railway Co.'s flagship sleeper train Cassiopeia completed its last run from Tokyo to Sapporo on Sunday. (Japan Times)
Mar 20
UNESCO has added the Kuchinoerabu Island in southwestern Japan to its list of biosphere reserves, known as UNESCO Eco Parks in the country, the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO said Sunday. (Jiji Press)
Mar 20
Residents of Fukuoka city in western Japan and Nagoya in the center of the country are welcoming the arrival of the first cherry blossoms in the country. (NHK)
Mar 20
When was Kyoto first called Kyoto? With the relocation of the nation's capital by Emperor Kanmu in 794, the new capital was established as Heiankyo. But it was often called by other names such as "kyo," "keishi" and "kyo no miyako." (the-japan-news.com)
Mar 19
A business association in Tokyo's Nihonbashi district is getting ready for cherry blossom season by decorating the area with pink lights. (NHK)
Mar 17
The town of Biei in central Hokkaido used to be deserted during the winter, but lately it's been attracting many foreign tourists with attractions that have made it a popular cold-weather destination. (Asahi)
Mar 17
The number of foreign tourists visiting Japan increased 36% from a year earlier in February, lifted by Chinese visitors even amid the yen's climb against the yuan. (Nikkei)
Mar 17
The Japan Tourism Agency decided Wednesday to ask operators of accommodation and other resort facilities to allow foreign visitors with tattoos to use spas. (Jiji Press)
Mar 17
The estimated number of visitors to Japan in February increased by 36.4 percent from a year earlier to 1,891,400, marking the second-highest monthly total ever, the Japan National Tourism Organization said Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Mar 17
FUJIYOSHIDA, Yamanashi Prefecture--Clear skies hot on the heels of a freak snowfall had camera buffs and sightseers flocking to a park here March 15 to grab a magnificent shot of a pagoda with Mount Fuji in the background. (Asahi)
Mar 15
Two congregations of ancient tombs 10 kilometers apart will be made easier to reach in one day with a new bicycle rental service. (Asahi)
Mar 15
The Japanese government has put together a framework to regulate rentals of vacant rooms in private residences to travelers, aiming to tackle a chronic hotel shortage while addressing public complaints. (Nikkei)
Mar 15
The government plans to use the State Guest House, also known as Akasaka Palace (see below), and the Kyoto State Guest House as venues for private sector projects such as receptions for international conferences and corporate events. The facilities are currently used mainly to accommodate state guests. (the-japan-news.com)
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