Archive for 'Old and New Cultural Scenes in Japan' Category

resurrection of classic trains in Kinugawa

By TERRY - Last updated: 土曜日, 4月 30, 2016

Tobu Railway announced  its project of  adopting classic trains in Kinugawa hot spring resort in Tochigi pref. in next summer 2017(http://www.tobu.co.jp/foreign/en/).

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The types of planned trains are SL(steam locomotive) and DL(diesel locomotive). Those old types “retired” from service about 50years ago, but a lot of people still love those good oldies with nostalgic passions. Tobu decided to carry out this reinstatement in order to attract tourists to draw them in Kinugawa overcoming a bad image of the area caused by overflow of the river there last year ue to storms. the trains will run between Shimoimaichi station and Kinugaw-aonsen station (about 12.4km)on KinugawaLine. Each train will have capacity of about 400 passengers and 140 round travels a year at maximum.

 

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The Tokyo Olympics’ emblem selected

By TERRY - Last updated: 土曜日, 4月 30, 2016

The new official emblem design of theupcoming Tokyo Olympics 2020 have been chosen and released on April 25th.

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The design is based on Kumi-ichimatsu-mon, a traditional Japanese art design of  checkered pattern which became popular and prevalent im the Edo period about 300 hundred years ago. The adopted design was created by an designer Asao Tokoro.

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The design consists of  various shaped tetragons each of which represents a deffirent culture, nation, people and the total shape represents the diversity and unity of those defferent things and beings. The color is deep blue and the design is thought to be usable for various items and goods such as posters and shirts.

 

 

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“Hyakudan Hina-matsuri” at Meguro-gajoen

By TERRY - Last updated: 月曜日, 3月 28, 2016

Lots of events related to Hina-matsui (Girls’ Day’s festivals) were held nationwide in Japan on the March 3rd, the Girls’ Day.  One of the popular events was  the “Hyakudan Hina-matsuri”(/ hina doll decoration event on one hundred stairs ) at Meguro-gajoen in Tokyo (Jan.22-Mar.6).(http://www.megurogajoen.co.jp/event/hinamaturi/)

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This year, for the first time  traditional Hinadolls from three prefectures in Tohoku region, namely,Iwate,Miyagi,and Fukushima were decorated and exhibited.

 

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Tokyo Marathon 2016 and Friendship Run

By TERRY - Last updated: 月曜日, 2月 29, 2016

Tokyo Marathon 2016 was held on Feb.28th. (http://www.marathon.tokyo/en/) This time the marathon was the tenth and more than 36,000 people joined the big event. The start point of  the square in front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Office Buildings in Shinjuku, Tokyo was covered with the runners and specutators.

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And  the forerunner event “Tokyo Marathon Frienship Run 2016” was also held on Feb.27th. (http://www.marathon.tokyo/news-media/news/news_000056.html)

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In the Friendship Run, 919 foreign runners and 530 Japanese runners joined.  The public speeches at the opening ceremony were made in both Japanese and English and the international friendship atmosphere was around.  In addition, three other forerunner events of  press conferences of Men’s elite Athletes, Women’s elite Athletes, and Wheelchair Athletes were held on the same day of 27th.

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popular chocolates for the Valentine’s Day 2016

By TERRY - Last updated: 月曜日, 2月 29, 2016

St.Valentine’s Day on Feb.14th is a popular  practice among young people.   Some websites  carry out  rankings of  top popular chocolates.

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Most of  top popular chocolates are deluxe foreign ones such as Bvlgari’s   “Saint Valentino 2016 Lui e Lei” (http://gourmet.bulgari.com/shop/default.aspx), Jean-Paul Hevin’s  、“LES PIEDS SUR TERRE, LA TÊTE DANS LES ÉTOILES (http://www.jph-japon.co.jp) ,and other European brands.

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a new hotel open near Ueno station

By TERRY - Last updated: 月曜日, 2月 29, 2016

A new hotel “Life Tree” opened near Ueno station, which is one of the oldest and hub stations in central area in Tokyo on this Feb.2nd.(http://www.lifehotels.jp/ueno/)

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It takes about 5 minutes to Ueno station from the new hotel. The station area is home to a lot of  popular tourists’ destinations such as traditional Japanese-western restaurants,  Ueno park, the most popular cherry- blossom veiwing spot in Tokyo,  Ueno Zoo, art museums, national museums, Kaneiji temple, Ame-yoko old shopping street,and so forth.   And  ueno is close to other popular areas, such as  Asakusa, Ginza, Yanaka and others.

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Setsubun, soybean-scattering festival at temples

By TERRY - Last updated: 月曜日, 2月 29, 2016

Setsubun, a winter-closing day’s festival when people scatter roasted soybeans to dipel evil and becon good fortune is popular and that scattering -bean festivals were held on  Feb.3rd nationwide.

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For example, the festival hosted at Ikegamihonmonji temple in Tokyp on that day was viewed by a lot of visitors  of over 10,000 there.

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“Hotoriya”,a new cafe-and-sourveir shop in Hakone

By TERRY - Last updated: 日曜日, 1月 31, 2016

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.

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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.

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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.

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Fushimi-inari Grand Shrine began multilingual guide services

By TERRY - Last updated: 日曜日, 1月 31, 2016

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”.

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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.

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Number of foreign visitors to Japan in 2015 marked record high

By TERRY - Last updated: 日曜日, 1月 31, 2016

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.

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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.

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Fushimi-inari Grand Shrine’s big monitor-vision

By TERRY - Last updated: 日曜日, 1月 31, 2016

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.

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This big screen clip service was conducted  Dec.31.2015-Jan.4. 2016.

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The foreigen tourists’ number exceed 19 million

By TERRY - Last updated: 土曜日, 12月 26, 2015

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)

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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.

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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.

 

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The Word(s) of The Year 2015

By TERRY - Last updated: 土曜日, 12月 26, 2015

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).

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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.

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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.

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The Kanji (Chinese character) of the year

By TERRY - Last updated: 金曜日, 12月 25, 2015

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.

 

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This character being chosen might be reflected by people’s wishes for  safety, security, stability, peace in society.

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Imerial Palace Inui Street temprorarily open

By TERRY - Last updated: 金曜日, 12月 25, 2015

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)

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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.

 

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