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Sep 04
Kyoto is no small town. Its population is 1.5 million; its metro system is extensive; it has 23 Starbucks. Nonetheless, it's quaint-and after a few days of temple hopping, urbanites craving a taste of the big city would do well to hop the commuter rail to Osaka, just 30 minutes away. Japan's second-largest metropolis is well known for its food and for that most American of pastimes: baseball. (cntraveler.com)
Sep 03
Automated facial recognition tests are underway at Narita and Haneda airports to cut lines at passport control. The trials began Aug. 4 and will end on Friday. (Japan Times)
Sep 03
Japan will create dedicated areas at Haneda Airport to handle customs procedures for passengers on business jets, slashing the time required to three minutes from up to 30. (Nikkei)
Sep 02
Japan on Monday relaxed a ban on the use of electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets in flight, following similar moves by the United States and the European Union. (Japan Today)
Sep 01
SkiJapan.com has been nominated for the award of World's Best Ski Tour Operator by the prestigious World Ski Awards in Austria. (SkiJapan.com)
Aug 30
A new kind of walking tour has been gaining popularity in Tokyo, Osaka and other big cities, with participants visiting entertainment districts and areas where day laborers live to see high school girls solicit men at night and observe homeless people's life on the streets. (The Japan News)
Aug 27
East Japan Railway and West Japan Railway have announced a new Shinkansen bullet train line will open on March 14th next year. It will link Tokyo with Kanazawa on the Japan Sea coast. The voyage will take about 2-and-a-half hours. (NHK)
Aug 27
Japan's infrastructure ministry decided Tuesday to boost the functions of "Michi no Eki" rest areas along major roads to make them centers for tourism, disaster prevention and social welfare. (Jiji Press)
Aug 25
Tours of the Diet Building have not lost any of their popularity, with visitors this year expected to exceed 900,000 for the third consecutive year. One reason for this popularity may be that the tours are free. (The Japan News)
Aug 24
Rare "monocoque" bus models manufactured during the Showa era (1926-1989) have been drawing attention around the nation. (The Japan News)
Aug 24
The number of Vietnamese tourists visiting Japan in the first six months of this year has surged 50 percent year on year, a tourism association has reported, citing a significant reduction in tour prices to the East Asian country. (tuoitrenews.vn)
Aug 24
Visitors to a summer resort in central Japan are being treated to the sight of a field of sunflowers in full bloom. (NHK)
Aug 20
The estimated number of visitors to Japan in July rose 26.6 pct from a year earlier to 1,269,700, the highest figure ever for any month, the Japan National Tourism Organization said Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
Aug 20
Reflecting the ongoing economic recovery, the number of domestic travelers is expected to hit a record this summer, with many recently retired baby boomers hitting the road. (The Japan News)
Aug 20
East Japan Railway Co., or JR East, announced new plans on Tuesday for three train lines linking Tokyo International Airport at Haneda and key stations in the Japanese capital by building a new underground station and tunnel. (Jiji Press)
Aug 18
Trains were packed, flights full and highways congested on Sunday afternoon as the Obon holiday return rush peaked in Japan. (Japan Today)
Aug 17
The new Japanese unit of Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia plans to pick Central Japan International Airport (Centrair) in Aichi Prefecture as its main hub, AirAsia Japan President Yoshinori Odagiri said in a recent interview. (Japan Times)
Aug 16
Struggling low-cost carrier Skymark Airlines has announced drastic restructuring plans that include ending all its flights from Narita, cutting other domestic routes and raising fares, some by as high as 70%. (Japan Today)
Aug 15
Narita Airport Quarantine is strengthening measures to prevent the Ebola virus from entering Japan, in light of the deadly outbreak in parts of West Africa. (The Japan News)
Aug 14
In an attempt to prevent bird strikes, or birds flying into the engines of aircraft, Narita Airport has begun working with a professional falconer to conduct a series of tests in an effort to prevent such incidents. (Japan Today)
Aug 14
With the aim of deterring hijackings, Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department has started deploying plainclothes officers carrying guns on direct flights between Tokyo International Airport at Haneda and the United States, it was learned Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
Aug 13
Fireworks, the sound of cicadas and shaved ice desserts are some of the seasonal traditions this time of the year in Japan. But summer isn't quite complete without the news of dreadful traffic congestion that takes place during the country's Obon holiday period. (Wall Street Journal)
Aug 13
The Japanese government has decided to waive visas for Indonesian tourists visiting Japan, which is expected to be effective next year, and in return, the Indonesian government will do the same for Japanese tourists visiting Indonesia, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said Tuesday. (Nikkei)
Aug 12
Government officials and lawmakers from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party are considering lifting a ban on dance clubs, music venues and some bars operating past midnight, an LDP source said Tuesday, following a failed attempt to revise the relevant law in June. (Kyodo)
Aug 12
The Fukui Prefectural Government is launching a tourism campaign in commercial complexes and stations around the country that makes the most of the prefecture's renown as a base for dinosaur fossil excavations. (Japan Times)
Aug 09
Japan's weather agency on Saturday issued its highest alert as typhoon Halong barreled toward southwestern Japan, warning of heavy rains and strong winds from a storm that has grounded more than 470 flights. (Japan Today)
Aug 08
Japan will ease restrictions on the use of electronic devices such as smartphones on aircraft next month, the transport ministry said Thursday. (Jiji Press)
Aug 08
All Nippon Airways launched the world's first regular flight service using a Boeing 787-9 passenger jet Thursday. (The Japan News)
Aug 07
The Great Buddha statue in the ancient capital of Nara, western Japan, has been cleaned in an annual mid-summer ritual. (NHK)
Aug 05
Tests for a facial recognition system were launched at two international airports in the Tokyo area on Monday, as part of efforts to smooth immigration control procedures going into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (Jiji Press)
Aug 05
The transport ministry has decided to request that airport business operators voluntarily run criminal background checks on employees before issuing entry permits to restricted areas at airports. (The Japan News)
Aug 05
In response to a growing number of Muslim visitors, Japan will survey the nation's halal certification process to help ensure that halal food offered by domestic restaurants complies with Islamic tenets. (Nikkei)
Aug 05
About 80 trees are at risk of falling down and damaging cultural properties in the UNESCO World Heritage-designated "Shrines and Temples of Nikko," due to rotten trunks or other problems, according to a recent survey. (The Japan News)
Aug 04
Seeking romance worthy of a fairy tale, young women from across Japan visit Imamiyajinja shrine here in Kyoto's Nishijin district to buy a lucky amulet that might help them snag a rich husband. (Asahi)
Aug 04
The Nihonbashi district prospered as Japan's financial and trade center after shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu moved the capital to Edo, the old name for Tokyo, in the early 17th century. (Japan Times)
Aug 03
One of Japan's biggest summer festivals has kicked off in the northeastern city of Aomori. (NHK)
Aug 02
The Japanese unit of Chinese budget carrier Spring Airlines Co. opened three Japanese routes Friday following two postponements caused by training delays. (Japan Times)
Jul 31
Tokyo sightseeing bus operator Hato Bus Co. said Wednesday it will offer more of its popular bus and boat tours to famous "haunted" places with a professional storyteller. (Japan Times)
Jul 29
People prayed for good health as they walked through a giant wreath at a temple in the ancient capital of Nara. (NHK)
Jul 28
Japanese officials plan to call on local banks and convenience store chains to install automated teller machines that accept bank and credit cards issued abroad. (NHK)
Jul 27
An express train service from Narita International Airport to Kawaguchiko Station in Yamanashi Prefecture near Mount Fuji began on Saturday. (Japan Today)
Jul 27
A tank re-creating the conditions in the sea near the Kerama Islands in Okinawa Prefecture is now on display in front of the Sony Building in Tokyo's Ginza district. (The Japan News)
Jul 27
Four hundred rail fans had an opportunity to take a look at the inside of a rare, almost mythical, version of the bullet train nicknamed "Doctor Yellow" for the first time ever Saturday. (Japan Times)
Jul 24
Colorfully decorated floats have paraded through the streets of Japan's ancient capital Kyoto in the climax of the monthlong Gion Festival. (NHK)
Jul 24
The end of the rainy season is typically marked by the staging of summer festivals around the nation. Though such festivities were once suspended in areas hit by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, local people are again putting on their festivals, with some festivities similar to pre-disaster days. (The Japan News)
Jul 23
The estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan in the first half of 2014 hit a record high of 6.26 million thanks to the yen's weakness and increased international flights at Tokyo's Haneda airport, a government body said Wednesday. (Nikkei)
Jul 22
Excitement is building as the month-long Gion Festival, one of the nation's most celebrated festivals, prepares over the next few days to revive a tradition for the first time in 49 years. (Asahi)
Jul 22
As geisha numbers continue to dwindle, performers in western Tokyo's Hachioji are stepping out of the shadows of their private "floating world" and into the public domain. (Asahi)
Jul 22
As comedian and noted lover of cinnamon rolls and burritos Jim Gaffigan famously said, going whale watching is kind of boring. It's a handful of hours of waiting around, a brief glimpse of "something I wouldn't even watch on television," and then your most likely drunk tour captain whisking you back to shore in time for happy hour. (rocketnews24.com)
Jul 19
A capsule hotel catering to those who take early morning flights is scheduled to open Sunday in a parking garage adjacent to Narita International Airport's Terminal 2. (Japan Times)
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