TRAVEL

Dec 18
The number of foreign visitors to Japan this year topped 12 million. This was due to the weaker yen and national attractions. (NHK)
Dec 18
Central Japan Railway Co., known as JR Tokai, said Wednesday it has started to build underground stations at two terminals for a magnetically levitated train line linking Tokyo and Nagoya, with the aim of starting service in 2027. (Kyodo)
Dec 16
Japan seems to have the right mix for developing a vibrant short-term home rental market: a rapidly growing tourism industry, a cheap currency and – unlike many countries – 8 million vacant homes. (Reuters)
Dec 11
Japanese telecom company KDDI says it will offer free Wi-Fi service to meet the needs of the increasing number of foreign visitors in Japan. (NHK)
Dec 11
The Tokyo Customs department on Wednesday said it plans to tighten its inspection procedures for illegal drugs as the number of travelers and packages is expected to increase for the Christmas-New Year period. (Japan Today)
Dec 11
The foreign ministry is planning a network of facilities for promoting Japanese culture abroad, beginning with three it hopes to open in Los Angeles, London and Sao Paulo during fiscal 2016. (Nikkei)
Dec 10
You like noodles, right? I sure do. Especially soba noodles. And Kyoto’s Honke Owariya is famous for its soba noodles. That, and being very, very old. (Kotaku)
Dec 09
Toho Shrine sits practically at the foot of Narita’s smaller B runway, which was completed in 2002 despite passionate opposition from the local community who feared even more noise and traffic from increased plane capacity. (rocketnews24.com)
Dec 09
The making of fukudama, or lucky balls, is peaking in Kyoto’s Gion district. (The Japan News)
Dec 06
As part of measured steps toward greater openness, a department of the Imperial Household Agency on Friday guided academics and reporters around a hitherto off-limits megalithic burial mound near Osaka Bay. (Japan Times)