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Latest News

  • Wednesday, 17th December 2014
    In Japan Travel News,

    Tourists given a head-up on Japanese cultural rules

    Tourists visiting Japan for the first time are being advised on how to stay on the good side of the locals.
     
    With the country having welcomed a record ten million people last year, and with prime minister Shinzo Abe expressing his desire to see this annual number rise even higher as Japan gets ready to host the Olympics in 2020, prospective visitors are being given a heads-up on how to mind their manners.
     
    The 'do's and don'ts', have been drawn up by the Thai Embassy in Japan but most of which are nevertheless relevant for travellers from other countries, and aimed at ensuring guests in the country don't offend local sensibilities.
     
    For instance, the guide educates visitors on how Japanese people tend to behave (and how they like others to behave) while using lifts in hotels or other buildings.
     
    According to the local diplomats, tourists should always remember that the first person into a lift should hold the doors open for others and, more importantly, should always be the last one to leave.
     
    Similarly, visitors are reminded that when using any of the countless escalators in Japan, they should always stand on the left and walk on the right, with the notable exception of the Kansai region in the very middle of the country where the opposite is the case.
     
    Other rules released by the embassy and then translated into English tourists by the Associa

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  • Wednesday, 10th December 2014
    In Japan Travel News, Japan Entertainment News,

    Toho promises new Godzilla film

    Godzilla fans have another film to look forward to, Japanese film studio Toho has promised, following the success of the latest Hollywood remake featuring the scaly beastie.

    The company had promised that its previous take on the franchise - entitled Godzilla Final Wars - would be the last, but its latest statement indicated that advances in computer technology since 2004 had contributed to its decision.

    Godzilla was last seen stomping through the streets and leaving destroyed cities in his wake in the US-produced revival directed by Gareth Edwards, which was released earlier this year (May 2014) to mixed reviews. It took more than $500m (£321m) worldwide, and a sequel is already in the works, to hit our screens by 2018.

    Tohu is hoping to beat the US director to the next film, however, with a tentative release date of 2016 in place. The company still owns the rights to Godzilla and has launched the Godzilla Strategic Conference (Godzi-Con) - a committee aiming to reboot the Godzilla brand - headed by veteran producer Taichi Ueda.

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  • Wednesday, 10th December 2014
    In Japan Travel News, Japan Entertainment News, Japan Travel News,

    Shinkansen debuts in Hokkaido

    Japan's northern island of Hokkaido has become the latest to receive the Shinkansen bullet trains, with the first service tested by the Hokkaido Railway Company earlier this month on the newly created Hokkaido Shinkansen Line.

    The test saw the train cover the 35 kilometer distance at a speed of just 30 kilometers per hour through rough weather. Eventually, the network will be connected to Tokyo, allowing people in southern Hokkaido to travel to the capital in just four hours and ten minutes, travelling at 260 kilometers per hour.

    The eye-catching designs for the new carriages that will carry people on this journey were unveiled back in April, as well as the nicknames for the services - Hayabusa and Hayate.

    During the experiment, which took place last week, train cars spent three hours travelling to and from a depot in the town of Nanae and the city of Hokuto, with workers monitoring whether any power glitches occurred in the transmission from the overhead lines.

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  • Wednesday, 10th December 2014
    In Japan Travel News, Japan Entertainment News, Japan Travel News, General Japan News,

    Royal Family pays tribute to Hiroshima memorial

    Japan's Imperial Family honoured the thousands of people who died in the detonation of the atomic bombs in 1945 on Thursday (December 4th), with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

    The visit, ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War next year, saw the Imperial couple lay white chrysanthemums in front of a cenotaph containing the names of the 292,325 victims of the world's first nuclear attack.

    After paying tribute at the park, the pair went onto the Yano Orizuru-en nursing home, which was set up to house survivors of the catastrophe. They met and talked with a number of residents, as well as mayor of Hiroshima Kazumi Matsui.

    "You have truly been through many days of hardship, and I deeply sympathise with you," the Emperor told 86-year-old Ayako Nagao, who travels between schools and imparts her experience of the tragedy to students.

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