Licensed private lodgings top 10,000 in Japan, concentrated in cities
Japan Times -- Nov 21
The number of licensed private lodgings for tourists in Japan topped 10,000 in early November, but the facilities were concentrated in urban areas, the Japan Tourism Agency said Tuesday.

Since a new law legalizing "minpaku" lodgings took effect in June, private home rentals in Japan have continued increasing by over 1,000 per month from 2,210 in the first month on the back of a growing number of foreign tourists.

As of late October, there were 3,444 lodgings in central Tokyo's 23 wards, followed by 1,211 in Sapporo and 1,055 in the city of Osaka. Lodgings in the three popular tourist destinations accounted for nearly 60 percent of the total number of 9,726 in Japan at the time, according to the agency.

On the other hand, the number of private lodgings registered in rural areas remained small, with only five in Akita, six in Fukui and eight in Yamagata prefectures.

News source: Japan Times
Feb 19
Visitors to a village near Mount Fuji and its residents were rewarded with a dazzling spectacle on Monday. (NHK)
Feb 18
People are enjoying the first signs of spring at an annual plum flower festival at the Kairakuen garden in Mito City, north of Tokyo. (NHK)
Feb 17
The Royal Express is coming to Hokkaido, but if you can't wait, it's already running in the Tokyo area. (soranews24.com)
Feb 16
Reservations for travel overseas are surging for this year's 10-day Golden Week period, during which the Imperial succession is set to take place, according to a JTB Corp. official. (Japan Times)
Feb 16
A fire broke out at a warehouse in Tokyo on Tuesday afternoon leaving three men dead and another man injured, while some flights at nearby Haneda airport were also disrupted by the incident. (Kyodo)
Feb 15
Bullet train ticket machines have stopped working in many parts of Japan. (NHK)
Feb 13
As spring approaches in Japan, the country's weather forecasters face one of their biggest missions of the year: predicting exactly when the famed cherry blossoms will bloom. (straitstimes.com)
Feb 10
A cold snap hit Tokyo and its surrounding areas Saturday, causing cancellations of more than 100 domestic flights to and from the capital. (Japan Times)
Feb 09
People in Sapporo shivered through frigid conditions on Friday as the city recorded a daytime high of minus 10.1 degrees Celsius, making it the first time in 40 years that the mercury has failed to reach minus 10. (NHK)
Feb 07
Nara Park in Nara Prefecture is famous for its 1,000-plus-strong shika (native deer) population. These deer, considered to be messengers of the gods, are a national treasure and a protected species within the city’s limits, due to their sacred connection to Nara’s Kasuga Taisha Shrine. (soranews24.com)