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Robotic Phone to Be Rented to Visitors to Japan (News)

Tokyo, March 22 (Jiji Press)—Railway operator Keikyū Corp., electronics maker Sharp Corp. and two other companies said Wednesday they will join hands in a rental service for a robot-shaped mobile phone, "RoBoHoN," mainly targeting visitors to Japan. RoBoHoN, released by Sharp last year, will be available for rent at Tokyo International Airport at Haneda from April 25. The handset can take pi…

Yōmeimon Gate Reopens to Public at Nikkō’s Tōshōgū Shrine (Japan in Photos)

The Yōmeimon gate at Tōshōgū Shrine in Nikkō, a UNESCO World Heritage site, reopened to the general public on March 10, 2017, after four years of extensive repairs. Some 500 sculptures were restored on the structure, one of the most prominent buildings of the sprawling shrine, which is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shōgun of the Edo period (1603–1868). (© Jiji)

Japan Govt Adopts Bill to Allow “Minpaku” Private Lodging Biz (News)

Tokyo, March 10 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government adopted at a cabinet meeting Friday a bill to set rules on the emerging minpaku business, which makes vacant rooms in private homes available as accommodation for tourists, particularly from abroad. The bill, if enacted, will officially lift a ban on such business across the country. "We hope to offer a variety of accommodation services to…

Visitors to Hiroshima Peace Museum Hit Annual Record (News)

Hiroshima, Feb. 24 (Jiji Press)—The number of visitors to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in fiscal 2016 has already hit a record annual high, the operator said Friday. The number of visitors in the fiscal year ending March 31 has already exceeded the previous one-year record high of 1,593,280, marked in fiscal 1991, said the operator of the museum in Hiroshima Prefecture. So far in fiscal 2…

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…

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