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The Issue of Hospitality at the Tokyo ParalympicsSakurai Seiichi

After visiting Brazil as the vice-chair of the Japanese national team at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Sakurai Seiichi says that smiles on the faces of local residents were a key to the Games’ success. Will Japan be able to welcome visitors from around the world with the same warm hospitality at the 2020 Games in Tokyo?

Utility Poles Removal to Revive Old Townscape in Kyoto (News)

Kyoto, Feb. 8 (Jiji Press)—The city government of Kyoto, western Japan, and local residents are stepping up their efforts to remove utility poles from a main street in the Pontochō traditional entertainment district in a bid to re-create an old townscape. Utility poles and wires detract from the historic atmosphere in Pontochō, Kyoto. January 30, 2017. (© Jiji) The city government started w…

Free Apps for Life and Travel in Japan

Whether a tourist or a resident in Japan, there are a large number of smartphone apps that make life easier. This article includes apps for traveling, finding restaurants, and staying safe.

Sapporo Snow Festival Opens (News)

Sapporo, Feb. 6 (Jiji Press)—The sixty-eighth annual Sapporo Snow Festival opened on Monday, putting on display a total of 200 snow and ice sculptures at three sites, including Ōdōri Park at the heart of Sapporo, capital of Hokkaidō, northernmost Japan. Exhibits at the main Ōdōri Park site include five large snow sculptures, including one featuring characters from the popular game Final Fantasy…

Mount Takao: A Natural Treasure Nestled in Western Tokyo

Mount Takao’s proximity to central Tokyo and easily climbed slopes are factors that make it the most visited mountain in the world. Yet, many tourists fail to widely explore the mountain and miss many of its natural and cultural charms. Find out more about the peak in our guide.

Per-Visitor Spending Drop Highlights Challenges on Japan Tourism Promotion (News)

Tokyo, Jan. 17 (Jiji Press)—A drop in per-person spending by foreign tourists in 2016 has highlighted challenges Japan needs to overcome to meet its goal of achieving 8-trillion-yen spending by them, pundits pointed out Tuesday. The 2016 total spending by visitors to Japan, including that on shopping and eating out, rose 7.8% from a year before to ¥3,747.6 billion, marking the highest ever leve…

Japan to Cultivate “Second Kyoto” Tourism Destinations (New)

Tokyo, Dec. 31 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government plans to pick 10 municipalities across the county to carry out intensive landscape development, aiming to create "Second Kyoto" tourism destinations ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Through the initiative, the government hopes to attract tourists from abroad to not just major cities including Tokyo and Osaka but also provincia…

Three New Pop Culture Tourist Spots in Tokyo (360˚ Panorama)Somese Naoto (Photographer)

Tourists from around the world are flocking to Tokyo. Along with the city’s established tourist sites are many pop culture destinations. Here we take a 360° panoramic look at three spots that have captivated many foreign visitors.

Tokyo Taxi Starting Fare to Fall to ¥410 from January 30 (News)

Tokyo, Dec. 20 (Jiji Press)—Japan's transport ministry said Tuesday that it will lower the taxi starting fare to ¥410 from the current ¥730 mainly in central Tokyo from January 30, 2017. The starting fare will stand at ¥410 for 1.052 kilometers, compared with the current ¥730 for 2 kilometers. The ministry hopes to stimulate demand for casual short-distance rides from tourists to Japan and e…

Japan’s Christmas Lights for 2016 (Photo Gallery)

In the chill of winter, a Japanese romantic ideal is walking with a loved one through a spectacular light display. From simple beginnings a century ago, Japan’s biggest displays are now very large indeed.

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