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  • Thursday, 3rd September 2015
    In Japan Travel News,

    See Hiroshima prefecture from a cat's perspective

    The latest instalment in Japan's obsession with cats has seen one prefecture create a way of viewing its streets online from a feline perspective.

    Think Google Street View for cats and you will come close to the idea that has been put in place in the Hiroshima prefecture.

    Viewers can explore the shops and restaurants around the city of Onomichi from the height of a cat as opposed to a car using the new facility.

    The cat in question is said to be a fluffy feline by the name of Lala who will make the perfect tour guide for anyone new to the area.

    A spokesman for Hiroshima tourism, said: "We were seeking to introduce a different way to look at our cities and offer a view of the streets that wasn't available before."

    Cats are beloved throughout Japan, but the port town of Onomichi has a special connection with them and is known to have a large number of feline residents.

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  • Wednesday, 2nd September 2015
    In Japan Travel News, General Japan News,

    Loos through the ages celebrated at new toilet museum

    Japan is well-known for incorporating new technologies into its toilets, but visitors can now trace the evolution of the loo at a new attraction.

    The Toto Museum in Kitakyushu goes back over a century to offer exhibits that range from the basic to the complicatedly futuristic.

    Toto is a leading toilet manufacturer in Japan and put its first model on the market in 1914. The heated seats and intricate rinsing mechanisms it now offers may be worlds apart from the original design, but it is still a trusted name in the country.

    No fewer than 950 of the company's products are on show at the museum, which is located in the north of Kyushu Island, where the firm is based.

    A history of Japan can be traced through its toilets, with even a number that were installed at the State Guest House in Tokyo and used by visiting foreign dignitaries going on display.

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  • Tuesday, 1st September 2015
    In Japan Travel News, General Japan News, General Japan News,

    Iconic Hotel Okura closes its doors for the last time

    Anyone planning a trip to Japan will have to seek alternative accommodation to the iconic Hotel Okura, as the 1960s landmark in Tokyo has hosted its final guest.

    Scheduled for demolition at the end of September, the heavyweight of Japanese modernist design will no longer see guests welcomed by attendants in traditional kimono dress.

    The Hotel Okura has changed very little since it opened in 1962 and it is this that has apparently led to its downfall.

    An Okura spokeswoman told news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP): "It is difficult for us now to provide a top Japanese hotel due to the building's age."

    Over the years, the hotel hosted movie stars and world leaders, with the president of the USA Barack Obama having stayed at the building as recently as 2009.

    Okura's iconic status was only increased when it appeared in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice.

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  • Wednesday, 26th August 2015
    In Japan Travel News, General Japan News, General Japan News, Japan Sports News,

    Japan given Olympic Stadium deadline

    Japan has been given a deadline to complete its new Olympic stadium.

    A top official at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) urged ministers to ensure that the National Stadium in Tokyo was completed by January 2020. Speaking in the Japanese capital, John Coates, IOC vice president, urged the country's senior Olympic delegates to meet the deadline so that tests can be run before the Games start in August of the same year.

    This would be a revision of the previous timeline which gave Japan until April 2020 for the handover. Mr Coates stressed the importance of an earlier completion date so preparations could get underway for the opening ceremony and the various scheduled to take place in Tokyo's National Stadium.

    The IOC vice president told reporters: "The stadium has to be available for ceremonies and rehearsals. They need to have the handover to the organizing committee by January 2020."

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