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Josh Grisdale and Accessible Japan: Helping Disabled Visitors Follow Their Travel Dreams

Canadian-born Josh Grisdale has used a wheelchair since he was four years old. For the past decade, he has been living and working in Japan, where he gained citizenship last year. His website Accessible Japan encourages disabled tourists to visit the country by providing information on accessibility and reviews of attractions.

Tokyo Hotel to Introduce Auto-Delivery Robot (News)

Tokyo, Sept. 14 (Jiji Press)—A hotel in central Tokyo on Thursday unveiled an autonomous robot that will be used to deliver goods to guest rooms, slated to be in service from October for the first time in Japan. The Relay delivery robot makes its debut in the Shinagawa Prince Hotel near Tokyo's Shinagawa Station in October 2017. Items placed in its carrying compartment are automatically delive…

Japan to Promote Active Tourism Use of Traditional Buildings (News)

Tokyo, Sept. 6 (Jiji Press)—Japan's tourism ministry plans to urge local governments to set ordinances to exempt historic buildings, such as kominka (traditional folk houses), from the building standards law, to better promote the use of such structures for tourism. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism will compile guidelines, including know-how for making such ordinance…

Mario Mimics Hit the Road in Shibuya (Japan in Photos)

Maricar go-karts line up in the streets of Shibuya, Tokyo. The company offers the opportunity to drive its rental vehicles dressed as Mario, Luigi, and other video game characters, a popular service with international tourists. However, Nintendo is not happy about the use of its intellectual property. It filed a suit with the Tokyo District Court in February, seeking to bring an end to the ser…

Alex Kerr: A Taste of a Better JapanKiyono Yumi (Interviewer)

Alex Kerr has spent more than a decade restoring traditional houses in remote parts of Japan and using them to revive local economies. In recent years, he has written acerbic critiques about the destruction of the Japanese landscape, rooted in his expert knowledge of East Asian arts and culture, and continues to work to develop a new approach to Japanese tourism that will tap the potential of the nation’s rich traditions and help to keep them alive for future generations.

88 Anime “Pilgrimage” Sites Picked in Japan (News)

Chiba, Aug. 26 (Jiji Press)—The Anime Tourism Association has announced 88 locations closely related to Japanese animation works, including the central Japan city of Hida, Gifu Prefecture, tied to the Kimi no na wa (Your Name) blockbuster movie. Based on votes from around the world, the public-private group also picked Hakodate in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaidō, Aizuwakamatsu in Fukush…

Tourism Hopes Growing after Honda’s Transfer to Mexican Soccer Team (News)

Tokyo, Aug. 25 (Jiji Press)--Popular Japanese professional soccer player Honda Keisuke's move to Mexico from Italy has companies in his country's tourism sector looking to score. Honda hit the back of the net in his debut for CF Pachuca on Tuesday in the first division of Mexico's soccer league, after he moved to the club in July following his departure from AC Milan in Italy's Serie A. Bett…

Japan to Urge “Ryokan” Operators to Separate Lodging from Meals (News)

Tokyo, Aug. 16 (Jiji Press)—The Japan Tourism Agency plans to urge Japanese-style ryokan operators to set separate fees for stays and meals, agency officials said Wednesday. The initiative is aimed at meeting demand from foreign travelers staying for long periods who want to make the most of Japanese food culture, dining at a variety of restaurants, and at boosting room occupancy rates for ryok…

Deepening Summer: Ancient Trees in the Season of HeatTakahashi Hiroshi

As the summer sun beats down, the broad crowns of Japan’s old-growth trees cast long, cooling shadows across the forest floor. The shade of kyoju offer a welcome respite from the season’s heat, soothing the body and spirit. Below we visit three woodland titans during the peak of summertime.

Fifth Series of Manhole Cards Released (News)

Tokyo, July 31 (Jiji Press)—A fifth series of collectible "manhole cards" will be released on Tuesday, including designs from Aomori, Kumamoto and Ōita Prefectures for the first time. The upcoming batch will contain 52 unique designs of manhole covers from 50 municipalities in 28 prefectures, including designs depicting Aomori's Nebuta Festival, Kumamoto's Higo tsubaki (Japanese camellia) and Ō…

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