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  • Friday, 2nd October 2015
    In Japan Travel News,

    Japan to test self-driving taxis on public roads next year

    Self-driving taxis could become a common sight on the roads of Japan, as tests are being given the go-ahead for next year.

    The country is keen to show off its technological capabilities when it hosts the Olympic Games in 2020 and it is thought the vehicles could help with transport issues in Tokyo.

    Tests will initially be carried out in the city of Fujisawa, not far from the capital, and the social media and gaming company DeNA Co is looking for around 50 people to take rides in the taxis for trial purposes.

    The firm is not the only one to be developing driverless technology, with Uber and Google also working on such projects.

    Hurdles to overcome in putting such vehicles on the road include the Road Traffic Act, which states there must be a person in the driver's seat of moving cars.

    As the government is backing the testing, it may seek to overturn this legislation in order to show the world how Japan is leading the way in such areas.

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  • Thursday, 1st October 2015
    In Japan Travel News, Japan Travel News,

    Business Insider recommends best little-known destinations in Japan

    Many people who travel to Japan head to the likes of Mount Fuji, Tokyo and Kyoto, as these locations are recognised as popular and with plenty to offer. There is more to Japan than these, however, and Business Insider recently set out to find some hidden gems that will get visitors to the country off the beaten track.

    Using the social media platform Quora, the publication asked the question: "What are some of Japan's best kept secrets?" The response was overwhelming and it compiled a list of the top seven places not mentioned in many guidebooks that are definitely worth visiting.


    Heading to the quiet town of Narai-Juku to the west of Tokyo is like stepping back in time, as everyday life has changed little in this corner of the Nagano Prefecture for centuries. Traditionally, Narai-Juku was used by merchants on the Kiso Way, as they travelled between Kyoto and the place formally known as Edo, which is modern-day Tokyo.

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  • Wednesday, 30th September 2015
    In Japan Travel News, Japan Travel News, General Japan News,

    Chubu Airport helps visitors get online with SIM vending machine

    A prepaid SIM vending machine has been installed at Chubu Centrair International Airport, helping those arriving into Japan to get online.

    The machine has been set up by NTT Communications Corp and sells prepaid SIM cards for use in unlocked phones or SIM-free handsets.

    Two options are available for accessing mobile internet, with the first retailing at 3,450 yen (£18.90) for one week's usage and the second priced at 4,950 yen for a fortnight.

    Purchasing a SIM from the machine will only allow for use of the internet, as they are not fitted with a voice call function.

    SIM-free smartphones and Wi-Fi routers can also be obtained from the machine, allowing visitors to buy everything they need to stay connected during their trip to Japan.

    The machine features English and Chinese language options and only accepts credit cards, as opposed to cash. Visitors will find it in the arrivals lobby of the airport.

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  • Tuesday, 29th September 2015
    In Japan Travel News, Japan Travel News, General Japan News, General Japan News,

    Japan nominates diplomat for UNESCO's Memory of the World Register

    Authorities in Japan have put forward the name of a diplomat who helped rescue 6,000 Jews from the Holocaust for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO's) Memory of the World Register.

    Chiune Sugihara was working as an acting consul in 1940 in Lithuania when he helped thousands of Jews to avoid being persecuted by the Nazis.

    His actions, which included issuing visas for humanitarian reasons, went against the orders of the then government in Japan.

    The modern administration has now filed an application for Sugihara to be added to the Memory of the World Register in honour of his heroic work.

    In March the application will be finalised and the UNESCO advisory board will decide whether to add the diplomat's name in the summer of 2017.

    Documents recording Sugihara's work have been kept in his hometown of Yaotsu in Gifu Prefecture, central Japan up until now, but have been selected to help boost the application.

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