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

  • Friday, 22nd July 2016
    In Japan Entertainment News,

    Vote opens to choose 88 manga pilgrimage spots

    A vote is underway to find a definitive list of 88 sites across Japan that all manga aficionados should visit.

    The poll has been set up by Kadokawa Corp, a comic book publisher, with a vested interest in tourists turning manga locations into pilgrimage spots.

    Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, chairman of the company, announced the vote and said he hoped it would help to promote tourism to Japan.

    He added: “Some 2,000 fans from around the world have already cast their votes online in the last couple of days.

    “If you would like your favorite spots to be one of the 88 pilgrimages, vote now!”

    The results of the Anime Tourism 88-Stop Pilgrimage project will be announced in the Newtype magazine by the end of the year, as the publication is a partner in the initiative.

    Sites to be featured are real-life places that have provided the backdrops for love affairs and space warfare in the fictional escapades of anime characters.

    Read More >

  • Wednesday, 20th July 2016
    In Japan Entertainment News, General Japan News,

    New hot springs resort opens in Tokyo

    A traditional hot springs resort known as a ryokan has opened in the Tokyo district of Otemachi, bringing a level of luxury and relaxation normally reserved for the countryside.

    Hoshino Resorts Inc, which has launched the property today (July 20th), now has five of these resorts scattered across Japan.

    Ryokans are typical inns with stunning Japanese design features, such as tatami mat floors, hot springs and delicious fresh seasonal cuisine.

    They are usually found in scenic areas by the sea or in the mountains, but bringing the concept to Tokyo offers an oasis in the heart of a bustling city.

    Hoshinoya Tokyo was designed by architect Rie Azuma, who has a longstanding relationship with the hospitality brand, having designed all of its ryokan resorts.

    Bringing the concept to Tokyo has meant adapting traditional ryokan designs while maintaining the most important elements.

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  • Tuesday, 19th July 2016
    In Japan Entertainment News, General Japan News, Japan Entertainment News,

    Japan is braced for launch of Pokemon Go

    As Pokemon Go fever takes over the world, Japan has been left waiting for the app to be launched in the home of the franchise.

    Up until now, would-be Pokemon hunters in the nation have been left frustrated, but according to those in the know, that is about to change.

    It is thought that Pokemon Go will be unleashed on Japan tomorrow (July 20th), adding it to the list of more than 30 countries where the game can be played.

    Pokemon Go is a collaboration between Nintendo and Niantic, neither of which have confirmed that the title will be available this week.

    John Hanke, chief executive officer at Niantic, recently told Forbes that the reason for delaying the app’s launch in Japan is down to the infrastructure and ensuring it is ready.

    After all, demand for Pokemon Go, which has already outstripped the likes of Twitter and Tinder for popularity, is likely to be very high in Japan.

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  • Monday, 18th July 2016
    In Japan Entertainment News, General Japan News, Japan Entertainment News, General Japan News,

    Japan gains another UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Authorities in Japan have had their application to add a site to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List approved.

    The decision was made yesterday (July 17th) by the committee in Istanbul to add an art museum in Tokyo and 16 other associated buildings to receive the honour.

    All of the structures were designed by Swiss-French architect Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known as Le Corbusier.

    Despite being spread across seven countries, the buildings are considered as one UNESCO World Heritage Site and are seen as innovative and an important stepping stone on the road to modern architecture.

    The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo’s Ueno Park was opened to the public in 1959 and was designed to represent renewed diplomatic ties between Japan and France in the wake of World War II.

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