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【News from the Japanese Archipelago】

post date : 2017.07.13

Tokyo Caravan in Nijo-jo Castle, Kyoto


As a part of the Kyoto Culture Program 2016-2020, which is promoted by the entirety of Kyoto, the city of Kyoto in partnership with the city of Tokyo is hosting Tokyo Caravan supervised by actor, playwright, and director, Hideki Noda, in Nijo-jo Castle.

This encounter between Tokyo Caravan and Kyoto, will be a performance not yet seen within the World Heritage Site, Nijo-jo Castle.


●Date: Sat. September 2, 2017 – Sun. Sept 3, 2017

            Performance starts at 7pm (Anticipated finish time 8pm)

●Venue: Specially installed stage in front of Ninomaru Goten Palace (National Treasure), Nijo-jo Castle (World Heritage Site)

●Application Period: Tue. July 18, 2017- Sun. August 13, 2017

●Details: Kyoto Culture City Project website

               Tokyo Caravan website

●Applications & Inquiries: Kyoto Itsudemo Call Center TEL: 075-661-3755 FAX: 075-661-5855


Please use the following website to apply:




247th Shimin Kyogen-kai (Special Summer Vacation performance for families to enjoy)


The city of Kyoto is the sponsor of this long running Kyogen-kai. Based on the cooperation of the Shigeyama Troupe from the Okura School, Kyoto City holds the Kyogen-kai four times a year so that the residents of Kyoto can experience Kyogen. This special summer vacation performance will be held during the summer holidays and this program is especially recommended to families and those who are new to Kyogen.


Date: Wed. August 9, 2017 Performance starts at 2pm


For Inquiries: Kyoto Art Center Tel: 075-213-1000




【Nara Prefecture】Nara Tokae Festival 2017

With as many as 20,000 candles arranged by volunteers in Nara Park surrounded by extensive tracts of nature, including World Heritage sites such as Kasuga Grand Shrine, Kofukuji Temple, and Todaiji Temple, this event will be held for 10 days from August 5 to 14, 2017 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.


Toka means a flower-shaped lump of wax formed on the tip of a candlewick. It is considered to bring good luck, and is where the name of the festival, Tokae, comes from.


The Nara Tokae Festival began in 1999 to attract more tourists in summer. There are a number of time-honored events relating to fire in Nara. People in the old days lit fire to offer prayers to the gods. To pass on their prayers to the next, candles are lit during the Nara Tokae Festival, where people wish for world peace and the welfare of humanity.


The festival has become very popular in recent years, attracting more than 900,000 visitors every year.


Nara has a long history that is different from other parts of Japan, with night being quiet and dark. As such, the view of candles lit up in Nara Park is fantastic and something nostalgic and warm. Visitors can refresh themselves and enjoy the scenery that is different from the daytime.


Those who wish to light a candle at the Nara Tokae Festival can participate in a designated area by paying 500 yen. The money can be used for purchasing candles for the next year. Your candle light will then be a source for many candles for the following year. The lights are handed down in this way.


Please visit Nara to enjoy a magnificent view that can only be seen during the Nara Tokae Festival.


Contact:NPO Nara To-kae no Kai

URL: (Japanese only)



【Kawasaki City】Doraemon x CoroCoro Comic 40-Year Anniversary Exhibition! ~For Children and “Grown-up” Kids alike~

The magazine “CoroCoro Comic” was first published in 1977 by the Shogakukan Corporation, but it would never have come into creation if it weren’t for Doraemon. In order to commemorate the magazine’s 40-year anniversary, the Fujiko・F・Fujio Museum will look back over the history of Doraemon and CoroCoro Comic, exhibiting selected original drawings and also presenting the opinions/comments of different editors and assistants who have worked for the magazine. The Museum Café and the Shop will also offer various limited edition dishes and goods especially for this exhibition.


■ Dates: Saturday, July 8th 2017 ~ Monday, January 15th, 2018  ※tentative schedule
■ Location: Fujiko・F・Fujio Museum
■ Website:

■ Inquries: Fujiko・F ・Fujio Museum Tel: 0570-055-245
Citizens’ and Cultural Affairs Promotion Office, Citizens' and Cultural Affairs Bureau Tel: 044-200-3713

※ Visitors to the Fujiko・F・Fujio Museum must reserve tickets in advance for a designated date. Tickets are available at all LAWSON stores across Japan.



【Chiba Prefecture】 Sawara Grand Summer Festival

  The Sawara Grand Festival, which is held in both summer and fall, is designated as a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Asset. In July, the Yasaka Shrine Gion Festival features gallant performances of dashi floats.
  The dashi floats glide through Sawara, which is called “Little Edo” and has been nationally designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings. They brush against the eaves of buildings as they are pulled along to unique melodies called “Sawara-bayashi,” a form of festival music known as one of Japan’s three great styles of Hayashi music. These magnificent dashi floats, created by famous doll makers during the Edo and Meiji Periods, are decorated with exquisite Kanto-style carvings and larger-than-life figures, which are the largest in Japan. These dashi floats are valued as cultural assets.
  The highlight of the festival is performances of the “Nonoji-mawashi” (a way of turning the dashi floats around in a manner that resembles the way the hiragana symbol for “no” is written) and other special turning styles. See one of Chiba’s most prominent festivals at its best as the locals show off their technique and power.


Date: Friday, July 14 – Sunday, July 16, 10:00-22:00

Place: Honjuku district (around Yasaka Shrine), Sawara, Katori City

Access: 10 minutes on foot from Sawara Station (JR Narita Line)
*Parking will be available near the Tonegawa River. A shuttle boat (fee required) will transport visitors from the parking lot to the festival area.



  Katori City Commerce & Tourism Division (0478-54-1111)

  Suigo Sawara Tourism Association (0478-52-6675)

Chiba Prefecture International Affairs Division TEL:043-223-2436






【Sendai City】Ruins of the Great East Japan Earthquake: Sendai Arahama Elementary School have been opened to the public.


It is Sendai city’s goal to never again let people fall victim to tsunami, to pass on the lessons we have learned, and to convey the real threat of tsunami to future generations. For these reasons, the ruins of the Arahama Elementary School building, along with other records, will be preserved, and opened to the public.


Please see the following websites for more information:


■Ruins of the Great East Japan Earthquake: Sendai Arahama Elementary School (SENDAI Towards a Disaster-Resilient and Environmentally-Friendly City Website)


■Ruins of the Great East Japan Earthquake: Sendai Arahama Elementary School (Sendai City Official Website)


■Brochure about Ruins of the Great East Japan Earthquake: Sendai Arahama Elementary School (PDF:1,487KB) (Sendai City Official Website)


○Inquiries: Disaster-Resilient and Environmentally-Friendly City Promotion Office, City of Sendai

Telephone: +81(0)22-214-8098

Fax: +81(0)22-214-8497




【Chiba Prefecture】Ichinomiya Chiba Open 2017


Ichinomiya's Tsurigasaki Beach, venue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Paralympic Surfing Competition, prepares for the World Surfing League Women's QS 3000 and Men's QS 6000 Ichinomiya Chiba Open 2017 that will be held May 22nd to the 28th. A total of 190 world-class athletes will compete in the hopes of taking part in the World Championship Tour. It’s a great opportunity to catch professional athletes in action.


Place: Tsurigasaki Beach (Torami, Ichinomiya Town)

Date: 5/22 (Mon)-5/28 (Sun) (Finals on 5/28)

*In the case on inclement weather, the competition may be extended to 5/29


Inquiries: Chiba Prefecture Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Division

Tel: 043-223-2369





Chiba PrefectureA Digital Pamphlet for Visitors to Japan


Chiba Prefecture has made a digital pamphlet highlighting 30 travel routes and nearly 250 tourism sites within the prefecture that have been made popular through social media. Facing the Tokyo Olympic Paralympic Games and the growing number of tourists from abroad, the guide aims to increase tourism within the prefecture.


The pamphlet introduces a wide variety of popular locations within Chiba Prefecture including routes for Naritasan Shinshoji Temple and the surrounding area, Sawara City’s Edo Townscape, Katori-jingu Shrine, and routes filled with the nature wonders of Minamiboso.


  • The Digital Pamphlet can be found here:




  • Inquiries: Chiba Prefecture Tourism Planning Division

TEL: 043-223-2415 FAX: 043- 225-7345


【Sendai City】Sendai DRR Newsletter Vol.1&2 Has Been Issued.


Having experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake, Sendai City once again realized that cities are exposed to a variety of disaster threats. Based on the lessons learned from this disaster, The City of Sendai is proceeding to build a ‘Disaster-Resilient and Environmentally-Friendly City,’ which will be prepared for threats from future disasters and climate changes.

Sendai City issues a Sendai DRR Newsletter to share experiences and lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake experienced in Sendai and the Tohoku region, convey measures for preventing and mitigating disasters by various stakeholders, and introduce the initiatives that Sendai is implementing in its efforts to become a ‘Disaster-Resilient and Environmentally-Friendly City.’

You can find the first and the second edition of the newsletter below.


Please see the following websites for more information:


Newsletter Vol.1 (pdf file)

Newsletter Vol.2 (pdf file)

Towards a Disaster-Resilient and Environmentally-Friendly City


○Inquiries: Disaster-Resilient and Environmentally-Friendly City Promotion Office, City of Sendai
Telephone: +81(0)22-214-8098  Fax: +81(0)22-214-8497



【Chiba Prefecture】The Charm and Attraction of Chiba in Video


As the prefecture looks forward to the Tokyo Olympic Paralympic Games, Chiba Prefecture has released a second installment of the "Chiba Prefecture Image Enhancement Video" in an effort to increase the number of international tourists and entice international training camps to visit Chiba.


The video introduces the allure of Chiba Prefecture by expressing the seasonal wonders of the prefecture with dynamic aerial footage including the "2016 Chiba Aqualine Marathon" and "Byobuga-ura Cliffs."


Both the 30sec and 2min versions of the video can be found on the Chiba Prefecture Homepage.


○Chiba Prefecture Image Enhancement Video


○Inquiries: Chiba Prefecture Press and Public Relations Division  TEL: 043-223-2265  FAX :043-227-0146




 【City of Kobe】Runner Applications for the 7th Kobe Marathon open Thursday, April 6


The Kobe Marathon Committee announced that it is accepting applications for the 7th Kobe Marathon to be held on Sunday November 19. The concept of Kobe Marathon is “Thanks and Friendship”. It is one of the biggest Japanese marathons, and takes place in Kobe, which recovered from the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. The course has a beautiful view, surrounded by the mountains and the sea, and the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, the world’s longest suspension bridge, marks the turning point. Kobe’s delicious beef is world-famous, and the city is renowned in Japan for its cakes and pastries. . Kobe is located near Osaka and Kyoto, so it is ideal for sightseeing before and after the Kobe Marathon.


【Official Entry Application Websites】

Japanese: English: coming soon


■ Runner Entry Enquiries: JTB Sports Station  Email: TEL: +81-6-6260-5090

■ Contact Details (Japanese only): Kobe Marathon Executive Committee Secretariat

TEL: 078-325-1430 Office Hours: 9:30 - 17:30 Japan Standard Time (GMT+9)      




【Kawasaki City】The Japan Open Air Folk House Museum introduces a multilingual audio guide 


The majority of houses on exhibit at the Japan Open Air Folk Museum were originally built around 200-300 years ago, seven houses of which are officially designated as “Important Cultural Properties”. On the s special occasion of the 50th anniversary, we launch a new smartphone app to act as an audio guide for visitors. By downloading this special app, you will be able to listen to an audio guide while viewing a layout map of the museum, precious older pictures, and check information regarding events. In addition to this app, please also refer to the brochures located in the museum, which are available in 10 different languages.


【Smartphone app】

■How to Use: Download the app for free at either the App Store or Google Play Store

■Languages Available: Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean


■Languages Available: Japanese, English, Chinese (simplified and traditional), French, Korean, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Filipino, Thai (coming soon)   * You may download from the following website:


■ Inquiries: Japan Open Air Folk House Museum  TEL: 044-922-2181

■ Cultural Properties Section, Kawasaki City Board of Education  TEL: 044-200-3305

Official Website:




Chiba PrefectureDeveloped a new technology that makes it possible to determine the species of fish just by checking water


A research group based in the Natural History Museum and Institute, Chiba, has developed a new technology that can determine fish species by analyzing a cup of water. This method analyzes environmental DNA, which is suspended in the water column and is released from fishes through mucus, feces, etc. This groundbreaking technique enables researchers to monitor a diverse range of fishes over a wide area in a short period of time without special knowledge on fishes in that area. Under traditional methods, such as observing fish by diving or catching them, it was impossible to achieve this kind of monitoring. By applying this technique, researchers are expected to discover more unknown fish species. For example, the research group has used this method to discover two new deep-sea fish species (known as Mirror Belly genus Monacoa) off the coast of Australia.


■ URL:  (Japanese)

■ Inquiry:Natural History Museum and Institute, Chiba

■ Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences,

TEL:043-265-3111 (+81-43-265-3111)  E-mail :




【Yamanashi Prefecture】6th Issue of Local PR Magazine “Yamanashi Tekuteku” Released


6th issue of “Yamanashi Tekuteku” has been released to introduce unique local resources and various attractions and charms of Yamanashi Prefecture in depth. The theme of the 6th issue is “Great Politician: Takeda Shingen”, reporting on his excellent state management and the historical sites associated with him.  


■URL (information available in Japanese only)

■Inquiries: Yamanashi Prefectural Government Public Relations Division  055-223-1339




[Niigata City] International Exchange Concert by Young Musicians


In collaboration with the Swiss-based “Ayame Foundation” that supports music education, Niigata City will be holding an international exchange concert by young musicians. 


<Commemorative Concert for the 98th Anniversary of the Friendship between Japan and the Principality of Liechtenstein/ The 12th SWISS WEEK 2017 Mathis Bereuter Piano Recital>

   Date: March 18, 2017 (Sat) 15:00 Performer: Mathis Bereuter (from Germany)

<9th International Exchange Concert by Young Japanese and Korean Musicians 2017 “Baroque Trio”>

 Organizer: Young Japanese and Korean Musicians Exchange Committee 

  Date: March 26, 2017 (Sun) 15:00  Performers: HanNa Lee, Shio Ohshita, HyeonHo Jeon

■Venue: Niigata City Akiha Ward Cultural Center

■Tickets: General Admission 2,500 yen *A ticket for both performances is 4,000 yen (1,000 yen discount)

■Contact:  Niigata City Cultural Policy Division TEL:025-226-2565, FAX:025-230-0450




[Yamanashi Prefecture] ”Sports Camp Guide YAMANASHI, JAPAN ” Now Launched

We are happy to announce that our new sports camps website aimed at foreign athletes, ”Sports Camp Guide Yamanashi, Japan ” was opened on January 19th, 2017. It can be accessed using the URL below. This homepage provides a wide range of information that will be necessary when choosing a location for sports camps, starting with summaries of the sports facilities in Yamanashi Prefecture, its location next to the Tokyo Metropolis, its brilliant nature, its fortunate weather, its support system and messages from top athletes who have links to the prefecture. We in Yamanashi Prefecture have created this website to provide more sports related information than ever before, and so we hope that you will keep it active, and use it often.


■ Website:
■ Facebook:
■ Language: Website: Japanese / English    

PDF data of each sports facility: English / Spanish / Portuguese

Digital pamphlet: Japanese / English / Spanish / Portuguese / French
■ Inquiry: Yamanashi Sports Camp Support Desk   

Yamanashi Pref. International Strategy Office: +81-(0)-55-223-1545




[Chiba Prefecture] The 2020 Olympic Surfing Venue will be in Chiba!


The International Olympic Committee officially announced that the town of Ichinomiya’s Tsurigasaki Beach, located in southern Kujukuri, will be the venue for the first-ever official Olympic surfing competition as part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Many national and international events have been held on Tsurigasaki Beach, and it is a favored location by many surfers. This event is in addition to the already three Olympic (Taekwondo, Fencing, and Wrestling) and four Paralympic (Wheelchair Fencing, Taekwondo, Goalball, and Sitting Volleyball) events scheduled to be held at Makuhari Messe. A total of eight events from the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held in Chiba Prefecture.


■ URL:

■ Inquiries: Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Division    TEL:043-223-2428 FAX:043-225-4467 




[Kyoto City] Special Exhibition of Commercial & Technical Schools in the Modern Times of Kyoto


The population of Kyoto decreased on a massive scale due to upheaval at the end of the Edo Period and the start of the Meiji Period. In the early Meiji Period, Kyoto was revived through the strengths of human resources created through education, such as with the establishment of Bangumi Elementary School and then later with the striking development of commercial and technical schools. This exhibition features historical materials from some of the schools that supported the development of modern Kyoto, such as one of the commercial schools (now Nishikyo High School), as well as some of the technical schools (currently Rakuyo Technical High School, Fushimi Technical High School, and Kyoto Kogakuin High School), revealing a look at what schools and students were like during this period.   


Opening Period: Sat. December 17, 2016 – Tues. March 14, 2017

Venue & Inquiry: Kyoto Municipal Museum of School History (TEL: 075-344-1305)

For more information: (Japanese only)




[Kyoto City] Announcing the launch of the Clematis Website, a place to search for Kyoto Visitor Hosts-Kyoto City Certified Interpreter Guides 


In December of 2015, Kyoto City and the Kyoto Convention & Visitors Bureau started an educational program to prepare individuals to become Kyoto certified interpreter guides called Kyoto Visitor Hosts, who can convey in a foreign language the deeper meanings of the many attractions within Kyoto City. In September of 2016, a website called Clematis was launched for overseas tourists and tourism operators to search for available Kyoto Visitor Hosts. On the website, you can search by date and preferred language and receive results with guides that match your needs. The website also allows you to directly contact and consult guides directly with any questions you might have.



Inquiries: Kyoto City Industry and Tourism Bureau, Tourism and MICE Promotion Office Tel:075-746-2255





 [Chiba Prefecture] A New type berry, the “CHI-BA+BERRY”


“CHI-BA+BERRY” is a new strain of strawberry, which Chiba Prefecture has had under development for a long time. “CHI-BA+BERRY” is large, sweet, juicy, and has a slight tanginess that makes it just right. The new berry also has a high resistance to the major strawberry fungal disease known as “powdery mildew.” The “CHI-BA+BERRY” is now being produced on about 50 strawberry farms across Chiba Prefecture. Strawberry picking, where you can pick the sweet and ripe “CHI-BA+BERRY,” can be enjoyed starting from January and through the spring.


■ Major strawberry picking farms (Japanese only)


■ Contact: Chiba Prefecture Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Department, 

Distribution and Marketing Division     TEL 043-223-2963  FAX:043-227-8307




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