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JAL Ties Up with Japanese Private Lodging Website Operator (News)

Tokyo, Feb. 8 (Jiji Press)—Japan Airlines said Thursday that it has formed a capital and business alliance with Hyakusenrenma Inc., a minpaku private lodging website operator. The tie-up with the Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture-based minpaku broker is aimed at increasing demand from foreign tourists for flights to local cities in Japan at a time when an increase in the number of Japanese passengers c…
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Hakkōda Mountain Snow Trees Defaced with Graffiti (News)

Aomori, Jan. 17 (Jiji Press)—Famous snow trees in the Hakkōda mountains in Aomori, northeastern Japan, part of the Towada-Hachimantai National Park, have been smeared with graffiti in fluorescent pink spray paint, it was learned Wednesday. Part of the graffiti found on the frozen snow-covered trees and nearby ground reads "Happy Birthday" in English and Chinese letters, according to Hakkōda Rop…
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New Trend in Inbound Tourism: Back to Basics with “Minshuku”Himeda Konatsu

Minshuku around the nation are attracting fewer Japanese customers, but they are popular among non-Japanese tourists, for whom the human connection and the flexibility they offer are major selling points.
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Number of Visitors to Japan Hits Record 28.7 Million in 2017 (News)

Tokyo, Jan. 16 (Jiji Press)—The estimated number of visitors to Japan in 2017 rose 19.3% from the previous year to 28,690,900, hitting a record high for the fifth straight year, the Japan National Tourism Organization said Tuesday. The result reflected a rise in the number of visitors from other parts of Asia, including China, Taiwan and South Korea, thanks partly to an increase in flights oper…
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Niigata Company Keeps Local “Geigi” Culture Alive (News)

Niigata, Jan. 10 (Jiji Press)—Niigata-based Ryūto Shinkō, the first Japanese company to train and dispatch geigi traditional female entertainers to event venues, has marked the thirtieth year since its establishment. Geigi, also known as geisha or geiko, working for the company perform dances and play music at party halls in the city almost every day. Geigi affiliated with Niigata's Ryūto S…
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Japan to Introduce Departure Tax in April 2019 (News)

Tokyo, Dec. 1 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government and ruling coalition decided Friday to introduce a departure tax of ¥1,000 per person in April 2019 in order to secure funds for tourism. The planned tax, to be imposed on both Japanese and foreign nationals who exit the country via air and sea, will be included in the ruling bloc's fiscal 2018 tax reform package, which will be compiled on Dece…
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Unlimited Bus Ride Pass Offered for Foreign Tourists in Hokkaidō (News)

Sapporo, Nov. 13 (Jiji Press)—Two bus companies have started to sell unlimited ride passes for foreign tourists in the Tokachi area of Hokkaidō, northernmost Japan. The passes allow visitors to hop freely on and off route buses in the area and are seen securing transportation convenience for the increasing number of visitors from overseas. Some 113,000 foreigners stayed at least overnight in…
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Japan to Attract More People to Snow Resorts (News)

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—The Japan Tourism Agency plans to launch model projects in early December to consider ways to attract more people, including foreign tourists, to the nation's snow resorts amid the declining skiing and snowboarding population. The skiing and snowboarding population in Japan fell by some 40% to 7.4 million in 2015 after peaking at 18 million in 1998. The decline apparently …
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Toward Safer Roads for Foreign Rental Car Drivers

The number of foreigners renting cars in Japan has surged in recent years. With the number of accidents involving foreign drivers increasing in popular tourist destinations, the Japanese government has set its sights on trying to curb car accidents.
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JR Group Firms to Operate Joint Across-Japan Luxury Train Tour (News)

Tokyo, Oct. 17 (Jiji Press)—The seven Japan Railways Group companies said Tuesday they will offer a special across-Japan sightseeing tour plan using 24 select trains including the Cassiopeia overnight limited express, whose regular operations ended in March last year. The joint project is one of events to mark the 30th anniversary of the privatization of the Japanese National Railways, through …
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