5 years on from the tsunami

On March 11th 2016, it was exactly five years since the earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan's northern coast. To mark this anniversary, this March at Inside Japan Tours is all about Tohoku: looking back on its troubles, celebrating its charms, and taking stock of how far the region has come in the past five years.

To read all about this beautiful region, including first-hand accounts of the disaster and recovery, visit our dedicated tsunami page:

The Japan Tsunami 5 Years On

Latest News

  • Wednesday, 24th August 2016
    In General Japan News,

    Japan?s first Muslim hotel opens to the public

    A hotel aimed at attracting Muslim visitors has opened at the foot of Mount Fuji in Japan.

    The accommodation takes the specific needs of the followers of Islam into consideration, providing a prayer room and an entirely halal menu.

    Sitting at the bottom of Japan’s most famous mountain at the beauty spot near Lake Kawaguchi, it offers stunning views, as well as a tailored experience.

    Traditional dishes have been adapted to ensure that pork is not used, with beef and unfermented seasonings featuring heavily instead.

    Prayer mats are also on hand and each of the rooms in the Syariah Hotel Fujisan in the Yamanashi Prefecture town of Fujikawaguchiko has an arrow pointing out the direction of Mecca.

    Shigeru Yamashita, president of the hotel operator, told the Japan Times he had renovated the vacant house and made it into a hotel for Muslims, as an increasing number of tourists to the area are coming from Indonesia and Malaysia.

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  • Tuesday, 23rd August 2016
    In General Japan News, Japan Travel News,

    Orlando Bloom in Japan to promote new Dreamliner route

    Actor Orlando Bloom has been in Japan promoting a new route between London Heathrow and Tokyo’s Narita Airport.

    The flight, which will be serviced by a 787-9 Dreamliner, is being operated by British Airways and represents a comfortable way to travel to the country.

    Bloom was joined by a selection of the airline’s crew at the Kaminarimon monument outside Sensoji temple in the Asakusa district of Tokyo.

    As well as a photo call with the iconic plane, the new route was marked with a Q&A session with the Lord of the Rings actor.

    He spoke about his career, love of travel and the fascination he had with Japan as a country and its culture, reports Japan Today.

    At the British Airways launch event, which included VIPs and specially invited guests, Bloom even went to the effort of speaking some Japanese.

    He added that he would like to learn more of the language, but already has a handful of useful phrases under his belt.

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  • Friday, 19th August 2016
    In General Japan News, Japan Travel News, General Japan News,

    Kyoto artisan gin distillery gets production license

    The first dedicated artisan gin distillery in Kyoto could soon be creating its signature tipple after being awarded a production license.

    Batches of KI NO BI, which means The Beauty of the Seasons, could soon be released from the Kyoto Distillery and in the hands of gin lovers across Japan.

    Using a traditional dry style of manufacture, but with a distinctively Japanese twist, KI NO BI will be distilled, blended and bottled entirely in Kyoto.

    This will make it a wonderful gift or souvenir of the refined city, which was once the capital of the country.

    Alex Davies, head distiller, said: “To create our gin, we will be mastering not only the science of distillation as others have done before, but also the age-old art of blending.

    “We will break down the botanicals in our gin into six different categories: base, citrus, tea, herbal, spice and floral and will then distil these separately before blending them back together again.”

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  • Wednesday, 17th August 2016
    In General Japan News, Japan Travel News, General Japan News, General Japan News,

    Japanese opposition frontrunner slams Abenomics

    The candidate most likely to become the leader of Japan’s main opposition party has spoken out about prime minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies.

    Renho, who goes by her given name, could head up the Democratic Party and become its first ever female leader.

    She has said that Abenomics has stalled and that the country’s politicians need to start putting people ahead of corporations.

    The Democratic Party is much in need of a facelift, after three years in power handed a landslide victory to Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party in 2012.

    That spell of government was characterised by infighting, unkept promises and backtracking on some of its headline policies.

    Now, Renho, a former TV presenter, aims to change the party’s reputation and present a clear opposition to Abe and his style of government.

    She told Reuters: "It has become clear during the past three years that trickle-down policies aiming to enrich exporting firms by engineering a weak yen and fiscal spending focused on public works have reached their limits.

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