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JAPAN TRAVEL GUIDE
Nov 15
Shinjuku station, which is massive and overwhelmingly crowded, is in itself very confusing. Find the right exit, and that confusion sometimes deepens rather than subsides. (stripes.com)
Nov 13
Japanese cities are fantastic places to explore with children, but if this column has proven anything, it's that I like to get away from urban centers whenever I can. (Japan Times)
Nov 12
There's really never a bad time to visit the ruins of Takeda Castle. A frequent entry on lists of Japan's best castles, the 353-meter altitude of the mountaintop site, located in the city of Asago in Hyogo Prefecture, provides it with breathtaking views of the surrounding terrain. (Japan Today)
Nov 12
The Environment Ministry will introduce new measures to draw more foreign tourists to Japan's eight national parks by 2020, when the country will host the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, ministry sources said Saturday. (Kyodo)
Nov 12
Skiers and snowboarders from Japan and abroad have enjoyed their first run of the season at a slope on Mount Kurodake in Hokkaido, northern Japan. (NHK)
Nov 12
UDON!! A hot bowl of noddles in Tokyo always hits the spot on a cold day. Instead of ramen, let's go for UDON, which is both healthier (don't eat too much tempura!) and more fun to eat. (ONLY in JAPAN)
Nov 10
Some of Japan’s most iconic places to see the autumn leaves are now off-limits to photographers. (rocketnews24.com)
Nov 09
One of the most enjoyable aspects of rail travel in Japan is the variety of melodies that can be heard at station platforms just before carriage doors close and trains make their departures. (Japan Today)
Nov 08
With the number of visitors to Japan rewriting record highs, Tokyo police are busy dealing with surging amounts of lost belongings for foreigners, Jiji Press has learned. (the-japan-news.com)
Nov 07
Hay! Godzilla! Aren’t you a little far from home out here in the field? (rocketnews24.com)
Nov 03
Rather than stick to traditionally famous sightseeing destinations in Japan such as Hakone and Nikko, an increasing number of foreign tourists are taking in unusual sights that even local residents may not be aware of. (the-japan-news.com)
Nov 02
The Justice Ministry said Tuesday business travelers from 67 countries and regions can now avoid long lines when entering Japan by using automated gates to pass immigration checks at four of the country’s major international airports. (Japan Today)
Nov 01
Since Halloween has fallen on a Monday this year, many of the celebrations took place over the weekend, with the people of Tokyo turning out in force. (insidejapantours.com)
Oct 31
A low-priced bus service linking Narita International Airport and Osaki Station in Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo, for ¥1,000 to ¥1,200 was launched Monday. (Japan Times)
Oct 31
Japan's tourism ministry says the number of foreign visitors to the country this year exceeded 20 million on Sunday for the first time. This surpasses last year's record of about 19.7 million. (NHK)
Oct 30
Authorities geared up for the Halloween weekend this year by setting up pedestrian zones and pumpkin-themed trash bags, but the expected horde of vampires and zombies were nowhere to be found in the face of cold weather and rain throughout Friday. (tokyoreporter.com)
Oct 28
Juho Tuomainen from Finland recently debuted as the first foreign rickshaw puller in the Arashiyama district of Kyoto. (the-japan-news.com)
Oct 27
Mount Fuji, Japan's highest peak, has been capped with snow for the first time this season. (NHK)
Oct 25
Having witnessed the massive influx of young people to the area around Shibuya Station in Tokyo on Halloween last year and the year before, the Metropolitan Police Department this year is planning to make the streets in the area partially vehicle-free. (the-japan-news.com)
Oct 24
Maple, mountain ash and other trees are awash in autumn colors Monday on Haccho Dejima, a small peninsula that juts into Lake Chuzenji in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture. (the-japan-news.com)
Oct 23
Don't be frightened! In Japan, bath houses are everywhere, but none are as mystical as Dogo Onsen. (ONLY in JAPAN)
Oct 23
The 68th Annual Exhibition of Shoso-in Treasures, introducing the gorgeous Tenpyo culture that thrived in the eighth century, opened at the Nara National Museum in Nara on Saturday. (the-japan-news.com)
Oct 22
Airbnb and the coastal city of Kamaishi in northeastern Japan signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday to join hands on tourism promotion, marking the first such partnership in the country for the American facilitator of short-term home rentals. (Nikkei)
Oct 21
Japan's transport ministry is investigating a case of a Samsung smartphone emitting smoke at an airport in western Japan earlier this week. (NHK)
Oct 20
The number of visitors to Japan hit a record high in September due to brisk tourism from China and South Korea. (NHK)
Oct 19
Tokyo and Kyoto have been picked as the world's best and second best cities outside the United States, the U.S. travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Oct 19
A Japanese private think tank has ranked Tokyo in 3rd place in its evaluation of the world's major cities. Tokyo overtook Paris to make it into the top 3 for the first time. (NHK)
Oct 18
The Japanese government has banned passengers from bringing a specific model of smartphone aboard planes. (insidejapantours.com)
Oct 17
Police are ramping up their vigilance at train stations, temples and shrines amid an increasing presence of alleged Peeping Toms in Kyoto's major tourist areas. (Japan Times)
Oct 15
Japan as a whole may be attracting record numbers of foreign tourists, but a report by McKinsey & Co. indicates that the four major historical regions of Nara, Kamakura, Nikko and Ise Shrine are almost unknown among Western tourists. (Japan Times)
Oct 13
A main building of a castle in Kumamoto has been opened to media for the first time since strong earthquakes hit the southwestern prefecture in April. (NHK)
Oct 12
First thing you have to do when you visit Japan? Prepare yourself. Prepare yourself for an incredible experience in one of the weirdest and most wonderful places on Earth. ()
Oct 12
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has reprimanded All Nippon Airways (ANA) after one of its aircraft prepared to take off even though one passenger was still standing because there was no seat for him. (Japan Today)
Oct 12
Japan's weather bureau said on Tuesday that it estimated that a La Nina weather pattern has emerged and that there was a 60 percent possibility that the phenomenon would last through the winter months December to February. (Japan Today)
Oct 09
Still reeling from a series of earthquakes beginning in April, Kumamoto Prefecture is once again experiencing nature's fury, this time in the form of Mount Aso's eruption Saturday. (Japan Times)
Oct 09
Shuzenji, an onsen (hot-spring) town in the heart of the Izu Peninsula, is a little piece of heaven. Nestled in the densely wooded hills of Shizuoka Prefecture, its collection of baths, guesthouses and shops line up on either side of the rushing Katsura River, with historic temples, shrines and bamboo groves in the surrounding forests. (Japan Times)
Oct 08
An explosive eruption occurred on Mt. Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, early Saturday, spewing volcanic ash 11,000 meters into the sky, the weather agency said. (Kyodo)
Oct 07
If you’re looking to attract attention and positive feelings to a product or organization in Japan, one of the most tried-and-true methods to is to have cute anime girls endorse it. (rocketnews24.com)
Oct 07
The first snow of the season has fallen on the plains of Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido. (NHK)
Oct 07
The iconic tower of the 1970 Osaka World Expo will be open to the public for 2 days later this month. (NHK)
Oct 06
Japanese weather officials are advising caution about strong wind, high waves, and heavy rain in eastern and northern Japan. (NHK)
Oct 06
Ancient Japan may have been far more cosmopolitan than previously thought, archaeologists said Wednesday, pointing to fresh evidence of a Persian official working in the former capital of Nara more than 1,000 years ago. (Japan Times)
Oct 05
Manhole covers normally are used to stop the unwary from falling into a sewer, but some municipalities are utilizing them for other purposes, such as to publicize local specialties and characters. There are even tours of manhole covers. (the-japan-news.com)
Oct 04
The Environment Ministry is planning to designate the Amami Islands in southwestern Japan as the country's 34th national park, government sources said Monday. (Japan Times)
Oct 04
Clear winners and losers were evident in the Japanese theme park market during the April-September half, with Universal Studios Japan logging record-high visitor numbers as Tokyo Disney Resort's facilities endured a 0.3% slump. (Nikkei)
Oct 03
The Environment Ministry will start a model project in fiscal 2017 to help local governments and communities that host hot springs to draw up therapeutic travel plans that combine bathing, local cuisine and outdoor activities. (Jiji Press)
Oct 03
An annual squid festival in Japan's northern island of Hokkaido is drawing visitors of all ages with its tasty squid dishes. (NHK)
Oct 02
The Tokyo waterfront is not generally on a tourist's list of must-see attractions, but the Tokyo metropolitan government wants to change that. Private companies also are attempting to promote tourism in areas along Tokyo Bay. (the-japan-news.com)
Oct 01
East Japan Railway Co. and Tokyo Metro Co. are among six railway operators that have created an English railway map to help tourists reach major sightseeing spots in and around Tokyo. (Japan Times)
Sep 29
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Wednesday that it will test a service allowing visitors from abroad to make payments only with their fingerprints at popular tourist spots. (Jiji Press)
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