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【News from the Japanese Archipelago】

post date : 2016.06.22

【Nara Prefecture】 Project to Commemorate 1300th Anniversary of Abe no Nakamaro’s Visit to Tang China(June 25, 26)


The coming year marks 1300 years since Abe no Nakamaro crossed the sea as a Japanese envoy to Tang China in 717. The Japanese missions to Tang China made a distinguished contribution to the development of Japan by bringing the culture of the Tang Dynasty, including a political system based on legal codes called ritsuryo, back to their homeland. In recognition of their great efforts, this event features theatrical and music performances portraying the dreams and aspirations of the young envoys who left home for a faraway country.
■ Venue: Heijo-kyo History Museum     ■ Dates: Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26, 2016
■ Admission: free (Admission to Heijo-kyo History Museum is free on both days.)

■Website : (information available in Japanese only)

■Contact : Heijo-kyo Site Project Promotion Office, Nara Prefecture(Phone:0742-27-8945 )




【Yamanashi Prefecture】 3rd Issue of Local PR Magazine “Yamanashi Tekuteku” Released


3rd issue of “Yamanashi Tekuteku” has been released to introduce unique local resources and various attractions and charms of Yamanashi Prefecture in depth. In this issue, with the theme, “Visit the Textile Road that leads to Mt. Fuji!” we report on young textile workers and textile design researchers.


■URL: (information available in Japanese only)

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




City of KyotoKac Performing Arts Program / LOVERS


One of the most important works by the late Teiji Furuhashi ‘LOVERS’ will be showcased in an exhibition held in conjunction with the Archival Research Center of Kyoto City University of Arts. Teiji Furuhashi was a leading member of the artist group DUMB TYPE whose performances bring together artists from various genres. As well as the exhibition, recordings of DUMB TYPE works will be shown allowing the audience to think from many perspectives the possibilities of performing arts.


■ Details: (Japanese only)

■ Date: (Fri) July 9 - (Sun) July 24, 2016 10am -8pm *July 14-16, close at 5pm

■ Location: Kyoto Art Center, Auditorium *Entry is Free and the Kyoto Art Center is open every day

■ For Inquiries: Culture and Arts Planning Section of the Culture and Arts City Promotion Office, Kyoto City Culture and Citizens Affairs Bureau (TEL: 075-366-0033)




【Kagawa Prefecture】 The Announcement of the Launch of the Website


G7 ICT Ministers’ Meeting was successfully held on 29th and 30th April 2016 in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture. Through this experience, we will promote and develop our ICT policy further, and try to increase the number of tourists and visitors and stimulate regional communities through an international MICE promotion policy. We would like to introduce our website which contains the attractions of Takamatsu, Kagawa along with what’s happened at the ICT ministers’ meeting.


■ URL:

■ For further information: Exchange Promotion Division, Kagawa Prefectural Government

   TEL: (087)-832-3380  E-mail:




【Nara Prefecture】 Musik Fest Nara 2016 (June 11 to June 26)


Musik Fest Nara, started with the wish to revitalize Nara, is marking its fifth anniversary. For this year, some temples and shrines have been added as new venues. Various kinds of concerts, both free and paid, will be held at many different venues including temples, shrines, art museums, cafes and hotels. Furthermore, as a concert commemorating the fifth anniversary, a large-scale outdoor jazz concert will be held at Toshodaiji Temple. During the event period, there will be as many as 300 performances, and Nara Prefecture will be totally covered with music.


■ Details : (Japanese only)

■ Contact : Musik Fest Nara 2016, Reception Office  (Nara Prefecture)   +81-742-24-3300 




【Kyoto City】 Gion Festival Zero Garbage Initiative 2016


The Gion Festival Zero Garbage Initiative will be carried out at the venue of the Gion Festival, in order to reduce garbage and littering. Reusable tableware will be introduced to food stalls and Eco-Stations will be set up along the streets to collect reusable items and garbage. Volunteers will help the Initiative. Under the Initiative began in 2014, the amount of garbage fell to 42 tons (8 tons of which was recyclable garbage) compared to the amount of 2013 (57 tons, 1 ton of which was recyclable garbage), despite the increase of the number of visitors by 120,000.


■Activity Period: (Fri-Sun) July 15-17, 2016 and (Thurs-Sat) July 21-23, 2016

■Inquiries: Waste Reduction Promotion Section of the Recycling Society Promotion Department,

Kyoto City Environmental Policy Bureau Tel: 075-213-4930 FAX: 075-213-0453

Website: (Japanese only)




 【Chiba Prefecture】    Multilingual Guides for Shopping and Eating


Chiba City, where seven events of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place, has created a multilingual website called the Chiba Omotenashi Shopping Guide to make eating, shopping, and visiting Chiba City a smoother experience for tourists who don’t speak Japanese. Visitors can browse the list of stores, or search for what they want, such as vegetarian and halal options, and also use a foreign language point-and-speak guide. With these resources in their repertoire, vendors can show tourists Chiba City hospitality despite language barriers.


■Languages:  Japanese, English, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Malay,  Arabic  (15 languages )



Chiba City Tourism Promotion Division  TEL: 043-245-5066

Chiba Prefecture, International Affairs Division  TEL: 043-223-2255   E-mail:




【Nara Prefecture】 Nara Marathon 2016 (December 10-11, 2016)  Application Information

Started as a commemorative event of the 1300th anniversary of the Nara Heijo-kyo Capital, the seventh annual Nara Marathon will be held this year. The course includes the Heijo-kyu Palace Site and World Heritage shrines and temples. The runners are provided with zenzai (sweet azuki-bean soup with pieces of rice cake), and the exuberant cheering from the residents captures the hearts of the runners from Japan and overseas.


□ Online Application (first-come-first-served basis)
People outside Nara Prefecture: 8 p.m. on June 15 (Wed.) to June 20 (Mon.)

□ Via Dedicated Application Form (by lottery)
People outside Nara Prefecture: June 15 (Wed.) to 29 (Wed.)


■ Details: (currently Japanese only)
■ Contact:  Nara Marathon Executive Committee (Nara Prefecture)   +81-742-81-8752




【Kyoto City】 NEW INCUBATION 8 - Ryusuke Ito x Yumi Nakata Exhibition


This is an exhibition series that features works produced by a young artist and a veteran artist. This time, the exhibition opens with everyday items combined to create spectacular scenes of science fiction animation and movie special effects. The installation by both artists utilizes different media, such as painting, photography, video, and 3D modeling, combined to disturb the viewer’s sense of scale, perspective, and reality.


■ Date: Fri June 10- Mon July 18, 2016 (7/18 is a National Holiday) 10am- 8pm* 

*July 14-16 the exhibition will close early at 5pm for Gion Festival

■ Location: Kyoto Art Center, North Gallery and South Gallery   ■ Free Admission

■ Sponsor: Kyoto Art Center, in cooperation with Kodama Gallery, Higashiyama Artist Placement Service

■ Contact: Kyoto Art Center  Tel: 075-213-1000  URL:  Email:

Culture and Arts Planning Section, Culture and Arts City Promotion Office, Culture and Citizens Affairs Bureau, City of Kyoto




【Yamanashi Prefecture】 Fujisan World Heritage Center Will Open on June 22nd, 2016.


Fujisan World Heritage Center will open on June 22nd as the source of information about Mt. Fuji, the World Cultural Heritage Site. At the center of the museum, 1/1000-scaled paper object of Mt. Fuji has been installed so the different colorful scenery of Mt. Fuji can be projected on it. We also introduce the beginning of Mt. Fuji, the history of the mountain worship, art and literary works inspired by Mt. Fuji, and so on.


■ Opening hours 8:30 am – 5:00 pm    *It may change during summer season. Museum is closed on 4th Tuesday every month.

■ Admission JPY420 per adult.

■ Address 6663-1, Funatsu, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minami-tsuru-gun, Yamanashi Pref.

■ Website

■ Inquiry

Yamanashi Pref. World Heritage Mt. Fuji Division: +81-(0)-55-223-1316

Fujisan World Heritage Center: +81-(0)-555-72-2314




[City of Kawasaki] Exhibition: The Okinawa That Taro Okamoto Loved (April 23 – July 3, 2016)


The Taro Okamoto Museum of Art is holding an exhibition in order to consider what Okinawa meant to Okamoto, by introducing a number of photos taken by Okamoto himself in Okinawa as well as his works from before and after his visit. Taro Okamoto traveled to Okinawa to conduct field work in 1959, and later he published his impressions from this trip in a book called “Wasurerareta Nihon – Okinawa Bunkaron ” (The Forgotten Japan – Discussions on Okinawan Culture).


■  Exhibition Period: April 23rd  (Sat.) – July 3rd (Sun.)   Closed: Mondays and on Friday, May 6th

■  Museum Hours: 9:30 – 17:00 (Admission Ends at 16:30)  

■  URL:

■  Inquiries: Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, Kawasaki   044-900-9898

Citizens' and Cultural Affairs Promotion Office, Kawasaki City 044-200-3713




[Chiba Prefecture]  Enhancing the image of Chiba Prefecture through video


Chiba Prefecture has produced a video introducing the prefecture in order to attract training camps and invite more foreign tourists for the upcoming 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. In each of the two versions (30 seconds long and 2 minutes long), seasonal images of Japanese beauty—spring cherry blossoms, summer fireworks, autumn festivals, and so on—are accompanied by music. The videos are available on the Chiba Prefectural website.


■Chiba Prefecture PR video:


Chiba Prefecture Government Office, Press and Public Relations Division

TEL: 043-223-2265  FAX: 043-227-0146




【Kyoto City】First in Japan! Foreigner-Friendly Taxi Stand trial has started!


The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in cooperation with the taxi industry has established Foreigner-Friendly Taxi stands in Kyoto at the JR Kyoto Station Central Entrance (available 9:00am-5:00pm) and at the Shinkansen Hachijo Entrance (available 24hrs).


All drivers of the Foreigner-Friendly Taxi have had training in foreign languages; the taxis accept credit cards and IC cards, and have enough space for more than 2 suitcases. No additional fee is required.


Although the taxis give priority to foreigners, they are also available for people with large luggage and others. 



■For inquiries:Tourism and MICE Promotion Office, Industry and Tourism Bureau, Kyoto City

TEL: 075-746-2255




【Yamanashi Prefecture】Smartphone Tourism App “FUJISAN ACITIVITIES” Available for Foreigners


In order to assist visitors to enjoy beautiful nature Yamanashi has to offer including Mt. Fuji and experience various programs, we have started smartphone tourism app. It provides information of tourist spots with pictures, navigation function with travel times and routes, and information on free Wi-Fi spots around the area (Supported OS:i OS, Android OS, free of charge).


■ Name:「FUJISAN ACTIVITIES」Yamanashi Official Guide by NAVITIME

■ Languages:Japanese, English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Korean, Thai, Indonesian

■ Main Services:Information on tourist spots, nearby facilities information (free Wi-Fi spots, ATM, and information centers), navigation functions, tourism brochures, and language assistance 

■ Download URL   iOS:

Android OS:

 ■Inquiries: Yamanashi Prefectural Tourism Department Tourism Promotion Division 055-223-1557




【Oita Prefecture】 Synchronized Swimming in Hot Springs? A New PR Video is Launched !


Oita Prefecture, which takes first place in Japan with both its number of hot springs and volume of spring water,  has released a new promotional video, “SHINFURO: Synchronized Swimming in Hot Springs”, combining Japanese hot springs and synchronized swimming.


■ Onsen Capital Oita Website:



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