Archive for 'Travel' Category
A new skyscraper of commercial and office complex opened in Kyobashi, a central area so close to Tokyo station and Ginza on Nov.25th. This is “Kyobashi Edogrand” that is 170m high and has 32 floors groend and 3 floors underground, provided with 34 renowned shops of foods and stuff. (http://www.edogrand.tokyo/en)
Kyobashi Edogrand consists of newly built part of the higher rises and old Meijiya Kyobashi Building which has old history. This facility’s building project started 15 years ago as a redevelopping plan of the area led by owners of shops and lands of the area to reinvigorate the old office and shopping streets. The building has the state-of-the-art technology of quakeproof systems to keep things very safe and secure. the new building is expected to draw a lot of attention from people both in Japan and overseas.
JR group announced their new policy of starting tentative sales of Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) from the next March for one year even after foreign tourists arriving in Japan on this 11th. (http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/)(http://japanrailpass.net/en/index.html)
JRPass is a very convenient pass service that is able to be received only by a short- stay foreign tourist to Japan. You can buy various JR train and bus service tickets at discounted prices using this pass. If you would like to get one, you have to buy a coupon of the pass from your tarvel agents in your own countries before you leave for Japan and you will have to exchange the coupon at Japanese airports or majoy JR stations after you have arrived in Japan. Currently, you cannot buy the pass after you have aarived in thsi country, but in order to increase international visitors to Japan for inbound industry, JR has decided to change its policy for a while and, now starting the new service of avilability of the pass even after your arrival in Japan March 2017- March 2018. The transporting services for foreign travelers to Japan is highly expected to improve due to this big change.
The reasons of this postponement are environmental conditions, costs, and questionable points in the plan. according to Koike. Now the relocation time will be in Feburuary 2017 ,but sources have not been solved and the real moving time has not been decided yet. Meantime, people can enjoy visiting the world’s biggest fish and other foods market in the central part in Tokyo.
A tour course in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo has changed its policy and now you don’t have to book prior to the date in advance anymore. The Imperial Household Agency declared and actually started this new policy since this June 25th. (http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/english/index.html)
Now you can make a on-the-day booking for the tour and the palace started hosting such a tour even on Saturdays (the tour used to be available on only weekdays). In addition, the number and capacity of the tour has increased; a current-day registration is available twice a day for the both of the two tours. One is for the tour in the morning (starts at 10:00am) and the other is for one in the afternoon (starts at 1:30pm). The capacity for current-day registration is 300 people, while that for advance registration is 200 people. One tour takes about 75 minutes. It is supposed this new policy is arranged in order to increase foreign visitors to the palace as a part of promotion of inbound tourism . Actually, about 60% of the visitors to the palace are foreigners. So, the government is pareparing for starting recoreded guiding services coming in various languages as well.
Tsukiji market,one of the biggest food markets in the world, is nowadays worldwide famous as the central market of Tokyo dealing fish, vegetables, commodities, and having cafe, restaurants, and stuff. The management of the market declared the market’s opening time for lay visitors to the fish, fruit and vegetable market sections to change. Currently, the opening time is 9:00am and is going to be 10:00am on and from the coming July 1st.
However, the opening time of other facility sections and corners, such as restraurants, sourvenir shops, and others will remain the same as the current one of 9:00am. Some main functions od the market are going to rerelocated to Toyosu this November, so, visiting some sections at the market at Tsukiji is highly advised before the relocation.
Barak Obama, the current US president visited Hiroshima, the very place that the first atomic bomb exploded in human history on May 27th during the period of the G7 Summit held in Ise-Shima as I write in the previous post here. He now has become the very first incumbent US president that visited the historic damaged area in the history after 71 years have passed since the end of WW2.
G7 Summit was held on May 26th and 27th in Ise-Shima area in Mie pref.(http://www.mofa.go.jp/index.html)
The top politicians of the seven countries got together at 10:45 at the entrance to the Ise Shrine, where Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun who is believed to be the highest deity and an ancestor to the Japanese emperors in the Japanese mythology is enshrined. And the top dogs of the states together planted trees in token of the paramount meeting of powers.
The venue of the meeting Ise-Shima has been a very popular tourists’ destination over hundreds of years as a holy area related to the imperial house. Some say Ise-Shima is the spiritual home to the Japanese, and actually a lot of Japanese visit the area for sightseeing or for their religious faith. And main venue of the Summit is in Kashimajima Island that is a small island area known as one mecca of pearl industry of Japan. Some of my relatives live on that island running pearl processing business. All those areas are quite beautiful and worth visiting. The Summit was held for the two days and the politicians discussed the world economy and how they can improve inbalance and disparities and other issues among zones and countries in the world. We hope a lot of people even from outside of Japan come to Ise-Shima to enjoy the beautiful scenery, the historical atmosphere and human industry there.
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/).
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.
Central, northern,and eastern parts of Kyushu, such as Kumamoto, Ohita, and Fukuoka were hit by series of earthquakes mainly of the one of M6.5 on April 14th and the one of M7.3 on 16th. Some parts have been seriously damaged and temporarily more than 110,000 people evacuated(now the number is about 36,000). Toshihiko Aoyagi, president of JR Kyushu made a remark upon seeing off the first bullet train to complete the total resumption in which he said, “We have now successfully regained our daily landscape again for the first time in two weeks. We hope this resumption of our railroad services will be so helpful for rebuilding Kumamoto.”
JR Hokakido and East Japan launched the Hokkaido Shinkansen(/Hokkaido Bullet Trains) services on this Mar.26. And with this, Alll the four main lands of Japan are now directly connected by the Bullet Train services. (http://hokkaido-shinkansen.com/)(http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/index.html)
The bullet train services between Tokyo and Shin-aomori(/new Aomorri, in Aomori prefecture in Tohoku region in the mainland) launced in 2010, and now the new services between Shin-aomori and Shin-hakodatehokuto started, which finally connected the mainland and Hokkaido island. With this completeion, Tokyo to Shin-hakodatehokuto takes now 4 hours and 2 minutes at fastest (used to take about 5 hours and 30 minutes), and Shin-aomori to Shin-hakodatehokuto one hour and one minute at fastest(used to take about one hour and 50 minutes) . 10 round travels are provided between Tokyo and Shin-hakodatehokuto and one round travel between Sendai and Shin-hakodatehokuto by “Hayabusa”( a nickname of a type of the new trains) a day and one round travel between Morioka and Shin-hakodatehokuto, and one round travel between Shin-aomori and Shin-hakodatehokuto by “Hayate” a day as well.
A major department store chain “Lumine” opened its new commercial facility complex called “NEWoman” at the south exit of Shinjuku station Tokyo on this Mar.25. (http://www.newoman.jp/)
This new facility showed up in one of the busiest areas in Japan consists of 5600㎥of 6 floors and 2000㎥ of three floors just above the station areas connected to a part of the station facilities. NEWoMan provides about 100 shops and expected to make 20- billion- yen revenue in its first year. Foods , cosmetics, fashion shops, cafe, a daycare, clinics, an event hall ,and so forth are there and mainly targetting working generations of females in thier 30-40s.
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/)
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.
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.
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.
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.