Japan to recommend festivals for UNESCO list
NHK -- Mar 03
Japan's government is to recommend that UNESCO put 10 of the country's traditional community festivals on its list of intangible cultural heritage.

The government plans to make the recommendation to the UN agency this month, saying that the festivals help bring communities together.

The festivals are held in different parts of Japan, but all feature people wearing masks and costumes of folklore gods, and paying surprise visits to their neighbors as part of seasonal celebrations.

One of the best known of the events is the Namahage Festival in the Oga district of Akita Prefecture, in which young men dressed as demons pay frightening visits to children at night.

Another festival, in Kagoshima Prefecture, has already been registered as an important national intangible asset.

Japan's bid last year to put the festivals on the list was set aside by UNESCO, as the number of applications from countries exceeded the limit of 50.

News source: NHK
Dec 07
Narita International Airport near Tokyo is looking to ease congestion at one of its terminals. (NHK)
Dec 03
Inui Street in the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo was opened to the public on Saturday, in time for the autumn foliage season. (Jiji)
Dec 01
Local restaurants, souvenir shops and even some temples and shrines are hoping to cater to foreign guests with an international custom yet to be adopted in Japan: letting customers pay their bills with credit cards instead of cash. (Japan Today)
Nov 29
The latest edition of the Michelin guide for Tokyo is due out on Friday with 82 new restaurants, including five new two-star establishments and 23 entities garnering single stars, Michelin said on Tuesday. (Japan Times)
Nov 28
From a television commercial that gives a humorous twist to a theme park’s impending closure to hotels staffed by robots, tactics to capitalize on company outings, and ads featuring Japanese pop idols and actors — theme parks in Japan are squeezing their creative juices to attract more first-time visitors and repeaters through avant-garde ways. (Japan Times)
Nov 27
A new Tokyo Bay amphibious bus tour was launched Monday to service the expected influx of foreign tourists drawn to the city ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. (Kyodo)
Nov 26
Railway fans have gathered in western Japan to see a steam locomotive get chugging again for the first time in 44 years. (NHK)
Nov 25
Japan appeals to different people for different reasons. Some visit for the history or the food. Many stay for the martial arts, while others keep coming back for a dose of manga, anime and video-game culture. Still others come to enjoy the land — the huge span of scenery from the north of Hokkaido to Okinawa in the southwest, and the sharp changes such places undergo with the revolutions of season. (Japan Times)
Nov 19
The Phoenix Hall of Byodoin temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, glows at night during a trial illumination on Friday. (the-japan-news.com)
Nov 17
Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui sought support for the western Japan prefecture's bid to host the 2025 World Exposition at a general meeting of the Bureau International des Expositions in Paris on Wednesday. (Jiji)