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  • Thursday, 26th February 2015
    In Japan Travel News,

    Japan encourages Chinese tourists off the beaten track

    Chinese tourists have been flocking to Japan for years, with the country's proximity proving to be a major factor since some parts of China are closer to it than Beijing. However, recent relaxation in Japanese visa regulations and a weak yen have resulted in more Chinese visitors to the country than ever before.

    2014 saw 2.4 million people make the trip across the East China Sea to experience Japan's rich mixture of history, culture and urban lifestyle - an 80 per cent rise. While the aforementioned weak yen allows for a more affordable afternoon of shopping in Akihabara or Harajuku, the Japanese consulate in Shanghai has also been responsible for an on-the-ground campaign push that it claims aids diplomatic relationships between the two nations.

    Although the government will no doubt welcome the news of so many Chinese tourists given its target to reach up to 20 million visitors by the 2020 Olympics, the industry is having to adapt its campaign to encourage tourists to visit less popular tourist spots.

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  • Thursday, 26th February 2015
    In Japan Travel News, Events In Japan,

    Universal Studios Japan casts spell over record visitor numbers

    Universal Studios Japan (USJ) in Osaka is continuing to work its magic, with record visitor numbers at the park following the grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter last July.

    The attraction, which is based on the adventures of JK Rowling's famous boy-wizard, has been credited with pulling in more than 11 million theme park enthusiasts in the fiscal year of 2014/15.

    USJ first opened in March 31st 2001 and attracted 11.02 million visitors in its first fiscal year of operation, but the figure has remained unsurpassed since - at least until now.

    The Wizarding World attraction is said to have brought an additional two million Harry Potter enthusiasts to the theme park. It was constructed to the tune of £260 million and opened last year in July to huge fanfare with actors from the film Tom Felton and Evanna Lynch hosting an opening ceremony. Author JK Rowling reportedly visited the day before the grand opening with her family.

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  • Thursday, 26th February 2015
    In Japan Travel News, Events In Japan, General Japan News,

    'Donki' to accept foreign currency

    Popular Japanese discount store Don Quijote will start accepting foreign currency in a drive to cater to an increasing number of tourists visiting its shops, the management announced last week (February 19th).

    The chain, which is often fondly referred to as 'donki' by regular users, will accept Chinese yuan, Taiwanese dollar South Korean won, Thai baht and the Hong Kong dollar in an attempt to appeal to visitors from neighbouring countries in Asia.

    In addition, visitors from Europe will be able to pay for items bought at their 'donki' with euros while American tourists will be able to use the US dollar without changing into yen, in what has been described as the first service of its kind in Japan.

    The first Don Quijote stores to accept foreign currency will be those in the Tokyo districts of Shinjuku, Shibuya, Roppongi, Ginza, Akihabara and Ueno, with shops in Kanagawa, Osaka and Hiroshima prefectures set to follow shortly.

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  • Thursday, 26th February 2015
    In Japan Travel News, Events In Japan, General Japan News, Events In Japan,

    Prince William arrives in Japan

    Britain's Prince William has arrived in Japan today (February 26th), with a packed itinerary that will see the royal visit a host of venues for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as a technology-based event in the capital's Roppongi district.

    The Duke of Cambridge received tea on arrival complete with an almost sacred dance-like ritual completed at Hama Rikyu Gardens in the capital. He was not accompanied by the Duchess of Cambridge, however, as she is too heavily pregnant to travel.

    William was met by governor of Tokyo Yoichi Masuzoe at Haneda Airport where he was escorted straight onto a boat that took him on a whistle-stop tour of the 2020 Olympic Games venues currently under construction.

    Other notable stops on the Duke's tour include visiting the northeastern region of Fukushima where an enormous tsunami devastated settlements, with many thousands dead or relocated due to the tragedy.

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