A new facility for tourists opened at Hakone-machi port on the lakeside of Lake Ashi in Hakone, Kanagawa pref. on this Jan.23rd. The name of this new establishment is “Hotoriya”(means; a shop on a lakeside ) and is a commercial complex of ”wa-cafe”(/traditional Japanese style cafe) and sourvenir shops.
Hotoriya’s nickname is “Chaya-honjin”(means;cafe-style main local guest house ) because the building has a figure of an old main local guest house of hundreds of years ago where high-class samurai warriors stayed when Hakone was an important check point of travelers to monitor and control people by the Tokugawa Shogunate. Eating facilities and sourvenir shop to provide a variety of local food, beer,and other sorts of sourvenirs are in the establishement. Some of those shops are directly run by the operarion company of this facility, Hakone Sightseeing Cruise Co.,ltd.(http://www.hakone-kankosen.co.jp/foreign/en/index.html) and some are branch shops of renowned old major shops from Hakone and other neighboring areas. And from the cafes, you may enjoy magestic and panoramic views of Mt.Fuji and Lake Ashi.
The open hours of souvenir shops on the 1st floor is daily 9:30-17:00 and cafes on the 2nd floor is daily 10:00-16:00.
I wrote about the large monitor-vision PR clips of Fushimi-inari Grand Shrine in Kyoto on my previous post. And that big Shinto shrine of the most popular tourists’ destination among foreign tourists in Japan also began a new service for foreign visitors there this year. That new service is a”multilingual audioguide”.
This service comes in four languages of Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean. This is available when you prepare your own smartphone or similar correspondence devices and download special guiding application software at one of nine spots in the shrine’s precinct where you can get a QR code for this app. And a wifi service availablity is necessary on the premises.
The number of total foreigners that visited Japan in 2015 was about 19.74 million and marked the record-high in history of Japan, announced by Japan National Tourism Organization on this Jan.19th. This number is an increase by 47% compared to that of 2014, which was 13.41 million. This increase might mainly be caused by relaxation of visa systems, duty free systems, improvements of lcc services, and alleviations of political tenses with some Asian countries. The No.1 natinal is Chinese in this statistic.
The total revenue from inbound industry in 2015 was also the record-high with 3.4771 trillion yen, which exceeded the last highest number of 2.0208 trillion yen of the previous year.
Fushimi-inari Grand -Shrine in Kyoto is the No.1 popular tourists’ destination among foreign visitors in Japan. The shrine ,which is the head shrine of all Inari-shrines of about 30,000 nationwide, is also the most popular destination for a Hatsumode, the first visit to a Shinto shrine or a Buddhist temple in a year, with about 2.7 million visitors for new year holidays. This shrine set a large monitor-vision sysytem in its precinct for its public relations clips.
This big screen clip service was conducted Dec.31.2015-Jan.4. 2016.
Keiichi Ishii, the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport. and Tourism (MILT) declared that the total number of foreigners visiting Japan thsi year as of Dec.19 has exceeded 19,000,000 on Dec.22nd. (http://www.mlit.go.jp/en/index.html)
The number 19 million is already higher than the total number of the visitors in the year 2014 which was 13,41 million and reflects the rapid ongoing growth of the number of foreigners in Japan. This year 2015, the total number in the first half of year was 9,14 million and the verocy seems accelerating.
The sources of the growth are something like the week Yen rate, relaxiations of visa systems, the expansions of objects of duty free items for foreign tourists, and so forth. The Japanese government now has decided to increase the total budgets for tourism related arrangements from this year’s 10,390 million yen to 24,550 million yen (+14580 million yen). This abrupt and huge increase implies the huge expectation of the government of the growing inbound markets and revenues created by the related industries.
The Word of The Year 2015 hosted by U-CAN was announced on Dec.1st and two words were chosen. One of them is “Triple Three” and the other is “baku-gai”(/ explosive shopping).
The first one is a great titles of a baseball player who has achieved “a batting average of 300 or higher, 30 or more home runs, and 30 or more base stealings in the same single season”. To achieve this is so difficult that only eight players have achieved this title during the 80 years of the Japanese pro-baseball history and the last one was made in 2002. However, this year two players have achieved the remarkable title for the first time in 13 years, namely Yuki Yanagida of Doftbank Hawks and Tetsuhito Yamada of Yakult Swallows.
And the second word “baku-gai” or “explosive shopping” is a nickname of the current phenomenon of huge or even binge shopping done by Chinese tourists in Japan. This year the number of Chinese tourists visiting Japan has increased so rapidly and a lot of them enjoy shopping at comodity stores, electric appliance stores, restaurants and so forth. At the award’s ceremony of the Word of The Year, Luo Yiwen from China, the president of LAOX, one of the major home appliance store chains popular among foreign visitors including Chinese “explosve shopping customers” received the award on behalf of the the baku-gai phenomenon. The store chain prepares a various services for those customers, such as providiing chinese speaking staffers. The situation is expected to maintain and satisfy even more foriegn tourists to Japan.
At Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto, “The Kanji of The Year” was released. The kanji or the Chinese character of this year is “安”(Ang, meaning safe, secure, or stable ). The kanji of the year is chosen according to the result of public advertisements and announced by the mastermonk of the temple.He drew the kanji in the traditional calligraphical manner on the white paper.
This character being chosen might be reflected by people’s wishes for safety, security, stability, peace in society.
The “Inui-dori “(Inui Street) in the Imperial Palace in Chyoda-ward, Tokyo was temporarily open to the public Dec.5-9th. (http://www.kunaicho.go.jp/event/inui.html)
Totally, 202,820 people visited the street on the five open days with 28,000-45,000 visitors each single day. The Imperial Palace in Chiyoda-ward is now a quite popular tourist destination visited by tourists including foreigners, even though the open area are limited. The popularity might increase even more from now on.
A Japanese artist’s paper cutout works’ exhibition is currently being held at a gallery in Shanghai China Nov.25- Dec.6th. The host is Shu Kubo, a well-known paper-cutting artist.(http://www.shu-kubo.com/) He was a cultural coordinater of Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2009.
The event has been facilitated by the Japan Culture Communication Center of Shanghai University of Science and Technology. And the Japanese consul-general in Shanghai and other influential people in China and Japan were invited to the opening ceremony of the event. 72 paper-cutting works are exhibited at the event, which depict Japanese scenery, landscapes, parts of culture and so forth to represent and convey images, atmosphere,and concepts of Japan to enhance and expand understanding those attractions to Chinese people. Actually, the art of paper-cutting was first introduced to Japan from China about 1,200 years ago and developed in a unique way in Japan since then. So, this art is expected to work as a “bridge” to bind the two nations together, strengthening goodwill and rapport there. Kubo says, the power of this art will work for those purposes so well.
November 29th is the “Good Meat Day” which is a designated (not as an official) day for meat. This is because “29/11″ can be pronounced as “ii niku” which means “good meat” in Japanese. This event day ‘s concept was establied by the Yoriyoki MiyazakiBeef Council (Miyazaki council of strategies for producing better quality MiyazakiBeef) to promote the brand meat goods consumption produced in Miyazaki.(http://www.miyazakigyu.jp/en/)
One year ago in 2014, a young female idol group, Chubbiness,who had debuted on November 29th 2013, was apoointed as the “Ambassador of the Good Meat Day” and carried out plans to promote meat consumption of such as beef steak.(http://avex.jp/chubbiness/)
A special charity event of runing called “Santa Run” was held in the Osaka Castle Park in Osaka City on Nov,29th.(http://osakacastlepark.jp/) Abou 10,000 runners joined the event and every runner run being clad in a Santa Clause costume.
The revenue from this event will be donated to medical facilities to help about 800 children suffering diseases.
The 44th Tokyo Motor Show was held Oct,29-Nov.8 at Tokyo Bigsight.( http://www.tokyo-motorshow.com/en/)
A lot of new type cars were shown and attracted visitors.
With the concept of ” Earth Lifestyle”, the brand “Arch & Coach” has opened.
The ever first store opened on October 23rd at AEON mall Shijounawatoshi in Osaka.
Arch & Coach Living Shop
Arch & Coach Living interior
We had many customers with the great help and support from the staffs. I appreciate everyone who took park in this.
Arch & Coach goods
Arch & Coach cashier
I promise to keep pursuing the best for the Japan’s Earth Lifestyle” shop. I appreciate everyone’s warm support.
Arch & Coach
President Kurita Makoto
We have four distinct seasons in Japan. Each season has its own attraction. I highly recomend you to visit Japan in Autumn as well as spring. The weather is not too hot nor cold. You can enjoy comfortable temperatures. You can have delicious food since autumn is harvest season.
The special symposium, “Movie Campus” of “the 12th Movie Week of Agency for Cultural Affairs” is to be held at Kaguraza in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo on this Oct.24th. (http://bunka-cho-filmweek.jp/symposium.html)(http://www.walkerplus.com/event/ar0313e123255/) (http://www.bunka.go.jp/english/)
The Week is Oct.22-25 at the above avenue. At the event well-known movie directors and personalities particiate in panel discussions and “Gamera vs. Barugon”(1966, Daiei),an old special effect Japanese monsters movie will be run.