Iconic Japanese bridge to shine on all year as a tourist lure
Nikkei -- Jan 09
A bridge linking two of Japan's main islands will light up almost every night starting in fiscal 2020 as neighboring communities hope to draw more visitors with a million-dollar view.

The Great Seto Bridge -- actually several bridges connecting the nation's largest island of Honshu with Shikoku -- can currently turn on its lights just 80 days a year for a total of 300 hours under an agreement with the Environment Ministry.

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics approaching, operator Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway Co. set up an expert panel last July with neighboring Kagawa and Okayama prefectures to review the limit. They decided on a new schedule that December.

The bridge will be illuminated almost every night except July 7, when it will save energy for Cool Earth Day.

The lights will switch on at sunset. They will generally turn off at 10 p.m. from May to August and at 9 p.m. for the rest of the year. The lights will shut down earlier on certain days to facilitate astronomical observations.

In all, the Great Seto Bridge will be lit up 900 to 1,000 hours annually.

The idea is to help attract more tourists to the area. Kagawa Prefecture expects 2.74 billion yen ($25.2 million) in additional economic activity from the new schedule, while Okayama Prefecture sees 2.08 billion yen.

News source: Nikkei
Apr 01
Calls are growing for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to declare a state of emergency to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus before it is too late. (Japan Times)
Apr 01
Japan is planning to place an entry ban on foreign nationals from an additional 49 countries and territories as the coronavirus pandemic expands. (NHK)
Apr 01
With the recent passing of Japanese comedy legend Ken Shimura due to complications of a COVID-19 infection, everyone has been looking back on his many accomplishments in music, comedy, and entertainment in general. (soranews24.com)
Apr 01
A Japanese government panel says Tokyo would become unable to function as the country's capital in about three hours if a large-scale eruption of Mount Fuji were to occur. (NHK)
Apr 01
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a second man over the alleged rape of an intoxicated woman inside a vehicle in Shinjuku Ward two years ago, reports TV Asahi (Mar. 30). (tokyoreporter.com)
Apr 01
Over a career in Japan spanning 21 years, Osaka-based English language teacher Steven Thompson has taken 10 days of paid sick leave across two occasions when he caught the flu. (Japan Times)
Apr 01
The Japan Tourism Agency says the number of overnight stays by foreign guests in February was 40.4 percent lower than in the same month last year. (NHK)
Apr 01
Japanese transport minister Akaba Kazuyoshi says public transport will continue to operate even if a state of emergency is declared to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. (NHK)
Apr 01
Japan's retail sales in February rose 1.7% from the previous year to 11.2 trillion yen, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Tuesday. Drugstore sales surged 18.9%, as consumers scrambled to buy face masks, toilet paper and other health and hygiene products in response to the new coronavirus outbreak. (Nikkei)
Mar 31
Tokyo is bracing for the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Over the past week, the capital has seen a surge in infections and now has the most cases among the country's 47 prefectures. (NHK)