Archive for 'Travel' Category

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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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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Majibu won the grandprix of “Wakatabi” of JTA

By TERRY - Last updated: 水曜日, 9月 30, 2015

Japan Tourism Agency (JTA)(http://www.mlit.go.jp/kankocho/en/index.html) released the results of  “Wakatabi”(/ a young travel), the awards to recognize people or businesses that have made efforts to promote travels of young people on Sep. 16.  The winner of the grandprix is Majibu (/マジ☆部, a serious club), a platform of  application for various services for young people to enjoy  travels and related pleasures.(https://majibu.jp/). The platform is run by Recruit Lifestyle (http://www.recruit-lifestyle.co.jp/english/).

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The ceremony of the Wakatabi Awards was hosted at the venue of the Japan Stage of “Toursim Expo Japan 2015” at Tokyo Bigsight in Tokyo on Sep.25. (http://t-expo.jp/en/)

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Hokkaido Shinkansen’s grand opening next March

By TERRY - Last updated: 水曜日, 9月 30, 2015

JR Hokkaido and JR East Japan jointly announced on Sep. 16 that  they were going to launch the remarkable new services of  the Hokkaido Shinkansen (The Bullet Train services in Hokkaido )  on March 26th 2016.

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The hisotorically new services of the Hokkaido Shinkansen will provide totaly 13 round-trips of  “Hayabusa”and “Hayate” cars between Tokyo and Shin-hakodatehokuto (about 146km) on a daily basis.  10 out of them will be for the full distance and one for Sendai station-Shin-hakodatehokuto station, one for Morioka station- Shin-hakodatehokuto, and one for Shin-aomori station- Shin-hakodatehokuto station. The “E5 series” of JR East and the “H5 series” of JR Hokkaido will be used as the cars of the new lines.   The will include economy classes , Green Cars’ and the Grand-Place seats.

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Hotel Okura’s renewal construction plan

By TERRY - Last updated: 月曜日, 8月 31, 2015

The main building of Hotel Okura in Tokyo is going to be closed at the end of thsi August and a reconstruction will take place which will have finished by the coming spring in 2019 in order to meet the timing of preparation for the Tokyo Olympic games in 2020. (http://www.hotelokura.co.jp/tokyo/en/)

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The current main building of 11 floors with 408 guest rooms will be replaced by two new buildings of  41 floors and 16 floors with 510 guest rooms due to  decrepitude.  The current one was open n 1962, two years before the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964 as its preparatory inflastructure and now the new ones will be created as a preparation for another Tokyo Olympics in 2020. However, a lot of  people including foreign celebrities who have stayed at the hotel are reluctant to accept the reconstruction and against the plan of  demolision because  of  their sweet memories with building of  the beautiful conbinations of traditional Japanese artistic  and western modernism.  Famous writers,  foreign monarchs, well-known business people and so forth enjoyed the lavish stays at the hotel in the past 50-year history and some of those influential foreign visitors  even conduct protest sign-in campaigns against the demolision plan.  The culturally important asset of the hotel building might be spared and might be preserved in some other way due to the passions of  those who love those works and facilities.

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At any rate, the hotel will remain open in business operation even during the reconstruction utilizing its annex building.

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9,140,000, the record high number of foreign tourists to Japan in a half year

By TERRY - Last updated: 土曜日, 7月 25, 2015

JNTO (http://www.jnto.go.jp/) announced  the number of foreign tourist to Japan of 9,140,000 in the first haf year of 2015 (Jan.-Jun.) marked the record high.

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The number of 9,140,000 is a 46% increase compared to the number which had marked the record high at the same timing last year.  The number of Chinese tourists,who are of the top number, hasincrease by 2.2 times compared to the number last year at the same timing.   Shigeto Kubo, the Commissioner of Japan Tourism Agency gave comment that the total number of  foreign tourists to Japan in the end of this year 2015 would have reached about 18,000,000.

 

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Visit Japan Asia Travel Mart 2015

By TERRY - Last updated: 月曜日, 6月 15, 2015

Visit Japan Asia Travel Mart 2015 is being held Jun.12-21(familizarization trips on Jun.12-21, business negotiation events on Jun.16 and 17, and work shops on Jun. 16) at Makuhari Messe in Chiba City Chiba pref. (http://www.vjatm.jp/en/index.html) (http://www.m-messe.co.jp/)(http://www.mlit.go.jp/kankocho/en/index.html)(http://www.jnto.go.jp/)

 

 

 

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This big event of inbound tourism always becomes so popular and visited by a lot of  foreign buyers, travel agents, and local suppliers, sellers,such as municipalities, bus companies, hotels, guide associations, and so forth.  This time 250 buyers are officially invited to the event from 11 countries of China,Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore,Malaysia,Indonesia, Vietnam, The Philippines, and India. The host, Japan Tourism Agency and JNTO expect to have more  visitors and energetic promotions and negotiations to take place which are to trigger more momentum in that industry.

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“Blood Blockade battlefront” Character store opens at Tokyo station

By TERRY - Last updated: 火曜日, 6月 9, 2015

A temporary character goods store, or a “chara-pop store” of “Blood Blockade battlefront”(/血界戦線, Kekkai Sensen), a popular manga and anime work will open Jun.16-Jul.31st on the B1 floor in “Tokyo Eki Ichibangai(Tokyo Station First Street)” , the biggest station basement shopping arcade zone of Tokyo.(http://kekkaisensen.com/)

 

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This manga and anime work is a fantasy about an imaginary world where the human world and and a fantasy world exist together and describing stories of a secret order.  To the work, such a chara-pop store is the first one and is going to sell relating goods to the work. The store will prepare wagons at selling stages and also provide special lottery services whose special goods are available only there.

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LAOX SHINJUKU Main Store Opening

By TERRY - Last updated: 火曜日, 6月 9, 2015

Laox, a major home electric appliance tore chain opened a new store in Shinjuku, Tokyo on Jun.6th. (http://www.laox.co.jp/)(http://www.laox.co.jp/en/)

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The new store is located on 3,4,and 5th floor of JTB Shinjuku Kyodo Building  near Shinjuku Station, which is the busiest commercial area in Tokyo. The store space is about 2140 ㎡ and the management expects mainly Chinese and Islamic tourists for huge shopping visits.

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The store provides wide range of goods, such as PCs, TVs, watches, cosmetics, video games, goceries and so forth. The opening cerempony was held on the opening day and a famous Taiwanese actor, Lin Chi-ling  turned  up and did promotion of the new store, saying, Laox chain is a well-known and popular duty free and home electric appliance chain even in China. She showed  a Chinese character calligraphy, “美 ”(/beauty).

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Tokyo Governor announces launching “Omotenashi Tokyo”

By TERRY - Last updated: 日曜日, 5月 31, 2015

Masuzoe Tokyo Governor hosted a regular press conference at the Tokyo metropolitan Government and announced the government launched a plan of volunteer city guide services called “Omotenashi Tokyo” to help foreign visitors to Tokyo as a part of special services in preparation for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in 2020 on this May 29th. (http://www.metro.tokyo.jp/ENGLISH/index.htm)

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Masuzoe also introduced and showed the blue uniform of  Omotenashi Tokyo, the volunteer city guide groups.  He told he had impressed by the Korean volunteer guides’ warm services he had received during his stay in Soul, Korea. The Korean volunteer guides wore red uniforms and now he has chosen “blue” ones for the Tokyo guide groups, expressing the similar hospitality of the volunteer guides.  He says  he expects the new system’s volunteer guides will be a good help speaking foreign laungages for foreign tourists to Tokyo.   Omotenashi Tokyo will start its services on Jun. 19 at Shinjuku station West Exit area and area of Ueno station, with about 1,000 enrolled member guides who are housewives, students and others that meet conditions such as a ceratain English proficiency. The services hours are 11:00-17:00 on Friday,Saturday,and Sunday and services will expand to 10 venue areas withen 5 years.

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The first Tokyo My Matsuri at Ueno park

By TERRY - Last updated: 水曜日, 4月 29, 2015

The first Tokyo My Matsuri was held April.25-26 at Ueno park, which is quite famous as one of the best sites to appreciate beautiful cherryblossoms in spring in Tokyo. (http://tokyo-dance.jp/yousu)

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This was a dancing festival and competitions of children’ dance teams supported by educational organizations and local commericial associations. About 50 teams joined the event and two teams of “SAKADO WINDS” and “dancecompanyREIKA組” won grandprix.  I wass there on the 26th and ate some food at  stall shops in the venue, The atmosphere there was quite lively and a lot of people were enjoying the festival. The second Matsuri is going to be held in Shinjuku on Oct.3-4.

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Foreign visitors to Japan Record high in March

By TERRY - Last updated: 水曜日, 4月 29, 2015

The monthly number of foreigners visiting Japan achieved the record high in this March, reported JNTO(Japan National Tourist Organization) on April 22nd.  The number reached as many as 1,526,000 which marked a  45 % increase of  the number of  the same month last year. The March’es number also prevailed the number of  last month which was 1,380,000 and maked the record high which was also the first time to mark a number over 1.5 million.

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The sources of this drastic increase are said to be the weak yen, relaxed visas systems, expanding scopes of  duty free items, and so forth. The no.1 nationality to have come to Japan is Chinese (338,000, +83.7%), No.2 is Taiwanese(278,000, +33.2% ), and No.3 is Korean(268,200, +39.6%). The monthly numbers of visitors from HongKong, Vietnam,US,Canada,UK,and Germany  recorded high as of one month respectively.

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Tokyo Marathon 2015 held, with about 36,000 participants

By TERRY - Last updated: 土曜日, 2月 28, 2015

“Tokyo Marathon 2015” was held on Feb.22 in Tokyo. (http://www.tokyo42195.org/2015en/)  That was the 9th of the annual events with about 36,000 participating runners.

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The course covered some central parts of Tokyo starting at the front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building.  Iidabashi~Hibiya Park~Shinagawa(turinig point)~Ginza~Azumabashi(turning point)~Toyosu(the Tokyo fish market is moving in here)~Tokyo Bigsight.

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The runner of the Marathon Men finished first was Endeshaw Negesse from Ethiopia with the time record of 02:05:59 and that of Marathon Women was Birhane Dibaba from Ethopia at 02:23:15.  The first runner of Marathon Wheelchair men was Kota Hokinoue from Japan at 01:30:21 and that of Marathon Wheelchair Women was  Wakako Tsuchida from Japan at 01:46:28. There were some other categories of marathons in the event, all of which were popular. More than 34,000 runners successfully finished the total courses.

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Miyu Koike’s fan event of the first visit to Meiji Shrine

By TERRY - Last updated: 金曜日, 1月 30, 2015

A young female idol Miyu Koike, who has become popular especially due to a TV show called “God Tongue”(http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/god/), hosted a special fan- meeting event  of  the first visiting of the year to Meiji Shrine in Harajuku Tokyo on the Jan. 3rd.(http://koikemiyu.cm-ent.jp/)

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She sings “Nakimushi Princess”(/Crybaby princess) that is the theme song of “Anime mashite”, a TV show of featuring anime information.(http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/animemashite/index2.html) So, noe she is a popular singer and idol of subculture. This time she prayed at one of the most popular shinto shrine with a lot of  fans of hers for good luck fo the new year.

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Tokyo Station celebrated its centennial anniversary

By TERRY - Last updated: 火曜日, 12月 30, 2014

Tokyo Station, which is one of the symbols of Tokyo and Japanese modernization, in Chiyoda-ward Tokyo near the Imperial Palace, celebrated its centennial anniversary on this Dec.20th. (http://www.tokyostationcity.com/100years/)

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At 9:40am on the 20th,  JR East (Japan Railroads East) started sell the 100th anniversary Suica, the IC passes but suspended  the event due to the too many people people rushing there.

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However, two days later, JR east annnounced to sell them again so that everyone that wanted the passe can purchase it.  After the completion of the renewal construction of its building, that station has became even more popular and accepts huge number of visitors including tourists.

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