Wednesday, 31st December 2014
In Events In Japan,
Commentators can't wait for 2015 in Japan
As we enter 2015, members of the travel industry are getting increasingly excited about what the year has to offer Japan.
Some have highlighted new transport links and infrastructure promised by the legendary Shinkansen network. Others are looking towards entertainment, with what is possibly the final Evangelion film slated for release. Still others can't wait for a royal visit this February when the country will play host to a future British monarch.
This is, of course, the expected arrival of Prince William, who is scheduled to visit Japan during his highly publicised trip to Asia that will also see him experience China - although fans of the monarchy will be upset to note that Kate will not be accompanying him due to her late stage of pregnancy.
Tourists lucky enough to be travelling to Osaka in August 2015, meanwhile, have something else entirely to look forward to, as the famous Dotonbori Canal will have a segment transformed into a swimming pool. The move was inspired by the victory celebrations practised by supporters of the local Hanshin Tigers baseball team, which involve diving into the water whenever their team wins.
Entertainment fanatics will undoubtedly be looking forward to the next - and possibly final - Evangelion film. The anime has supporters across the globe, and while creator Hideaki Anno is refusing to say this will be the last we will see of his masterwork, the next incarnation has been billed as "the culmination of 20 years’ worth of groundbreaking animation".
Fans of Japan's ultra efficient transport system will be pleased to note the arrival of a brand new Shinkansen line that will allow travellers from Tokyo to extend their trips by bullet train all the way up to coastal Kanazawa and vice versa. Previously, visitors to the city had to change onto a local service at Nagano.
Also worth looking forward to is the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, which is set to make a dramatic debut in 2015. Jointly developed by Mitsubishi, Toyota, and Fuji Heavy Industries, it will take to the air for the first time this spring, and has already made headlines around the world for being Japan’s first domestically produced airliner since the financial failure of Nihon Aircraft Manufacturing’s YS-11 - discontinued over four decades ago.
Throughout the year, the country will also be commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two. Some of its public officials even started the year with announcements relating to the fact, with both Emperor Akihito and prime minister Shinzo Abe emphasising the importance of peace and the remembrance of all who fought for it.
Naturally, some parts of the nation - including the nuclear bomb detonation sites in Hiroshima and Nagasaki - will be particularly poignant places to be this year, and particularly during the actual anniversaries of the explosions.