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【News from the Japanese Archipelago】

post date : 2016.09.30

[City of Kyoto]  Opening of the “Mukashi Mukashi Aru Tokoro ni – Kyouzai toshite no Mukashibanashi” Exhibition


Momotaro is currently a well-known tale. It has often been featured in school textbooks and children’s books since 1887 (Meiji 20). Old tales, such as Momotaro, have been presented together with various artists’ charming illustrations, so that children can enjoy and feel a close connection while reading. This exhibition introduces various teaching materials featuring old tales as their subject matter. How did children receive these tales over the years? This exhibition takes a look back at these changes.  


Date: Fri October 7- Tue December 13, 2016

For more Details: (Japanese only)

Location & Inquiries: Kyoto Municipal Museum of School History TEL 075-344-1305 




[Chiba Prefecture]   The Chiba Aqualine Marathon 2016  (October 23


The Chiba Aqualine Marathon, which is run on the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line across Tokyo Bay, will be held on Sunday, October 23rd in Kisarazu City. This year in addition to the full and half-marathon competitions, the Aqua-Line will also host a wheelchair half-marathon. Seventeen thousand runners, including athletes from the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games and over 450 international athletes, will race through Chiba this fall. There will also be a variety of exciting events to cheer on runners, such as Hula dancing and Japanese drum performances.


■ Date: Sunday, October 23, 2016 9:55-16:00

・Wheelchair half-marathon; starts at 9:55  ・Full and Half-marathon;starts at 10:00

■ Details:  

■ Inquiries: Chiba Aqualine Marathon Planning Committee ( Chiba Prefectural Board of Education)  

TEL:043-223-4107 FAX:043-222-7590 




 [Nara Prefecture] The Okuyamato Yu-Yu Sai Festival 2016 (October 1-2)


The Okuyamato Yu-Yu Sai Festival will be held in Yoshino-cho this year.  The town is blessed with history and natural beauty. It is also a member of the association of the Most Beautiful Villages in Japan. 


Dates: October 1 (Sat.) - 2 (Sun.)

Venues: Ise Kaido road in Kamiichi (October 1) and Yoshino Federation of Wood-Industry Cooperatives Yoshino Elementary School (October 2)

■URL: (Japanese only)

■Inquiries: The Secretariat of the Okuyamato Yu-Yu Sai Festival Council  TEL: +81-744-48-3015 (Weekdays: 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) 




[Yamanashi Prefecture] 4th Issue of Local PR Magazine “Yamanashi Tekuteku” Released


4th 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, “Creating New Possibilities: the Power of Japanese Washi Paper”, we look at the artisans of hand-made washi paper and the business people pursuing its new potential.


■URL:  (information available in Japanese only)

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




[Chiba Prefecture ] Shuttle Bus Service from Narita Airport to Attractions in Chiba Prefecture


A new service will bring together Narita International Airport and various tourist sites in Chiba. Highway buses will run round-trip from Narita Airport along routes to Kamogawa and Choshi.  Buses will run from September 17th to October 31st. Home to abundant nature and a deep cultural heritage, with autumn comes delicious food and traditional festivals to Chiba.  Passengers traveling with Narita Airport can use the bus free of charge on the days they arrive at and depart from the airport. Take advantage of this special offer and experience the wonders of Chiba!


■Date: Saturday, September 17th–Monday, October 31st, 2016

■Routes and Bus Fare:  *All routes stop at all three terminals of Narita Airport.

①Narita Airport–Kamogawa (via Ohara, Onjuku, Katsuura), 1000 yen for adults

②Narita Airport– Choshi (via Sawara/via Asahi), 700 yen for adults

  *Half price for elementary school students.  Free for preschoolers.

  *Free for Passengers using Narita Airport on the day they arrive/depart

■Reservations: Advance booking is required on the following webpage:

■Inquiries:Chiba Prefecture Transportation Planning Division  

TEL: 043-223-2063  (Japanese only)  E-mail




 [Nara Prefecture] Bus Tour Packages to Experience Nara (for Foreign Tourists)


Nara prefecture offers paid bus tour packages for foreign travelers. The courses are best suited for those who want not just sightseeing, but also to experience something special with a professional tour guide.


①  Every Tuesday: Course A. Jiko-in Zen Temple and Scenic Sights in Nara in Season

Make matcha green tea and relax while viewing a beautiful Japanese garden.

②  Every Thursday: Course B. Taima-dera Temple and Sumo Experience

Enjoy tracing an image of Buddha, wearing mawashi and trying sumo wrestling in the ring.

③  Every Friday: Course C. Miwa and Asuka

Pick fruits in season, visit the birthplace of sake brewing, and enjoy tasting five kinds of sake at abrewery.


■ Media Inquiry: Nara Tourism Improvement Dept., Nara Prefectural Government  TEL: +81-742-27-8051




[City of Kawasaki] The Railway Art Museum” is Now Open (Taro Okamoto Museum of Art)


Okamoto Taro was an artist with many ties to railways, such as his role in designing the official medals made to commemorate the privatization of the Japanese National Railways organization. This exhibition will be an opportunity to re-examine the railway systems that have already captured the imagination of so many—this time from the perspective of art. We will look at such aspects as the shape of the train carriages themselves, formed to meet specific functional needs, as well as the varied urban/natural scenes that play backdrop to the railroad tracks. There will also be related events such as miniature steam locomotive rides and it will be an exhibition that all ages can enjoy!


■ Details (Japanese only)

■ Period: July 16th (Sat.) ~ October 10th (Mon.) 9:30 A.M. ~ 5:00 P.M. (Entrance until 4:30 P.M.)

■ Closed: Mondays (Excluding July 18th, September 19th, and October 10th) and the day immediately following a national holiday

■ Inquiries:  Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, Kawasaki   044-900-9898 / Citizens' and Cultural Affairs Promotion Office, Citizens' and Cultural Affairs Bureau, Kawasaki City   044-200-3713




[Nara Prefecture] Light-up Promenade Nara 2016


Since the 1988 Silk Road Exposition in Nara, Light-up Promenade Nara has been organized as an event to showcase summer nights in Nara. This year the light-up event will be held for 72 days from Saturday, July 16 to Sunday, September 25, and will include World Heritage sites and historic buildings such as Ichi-no-Torii Gate of Kasuga Taisha Shrine, the five-storied pagoda of Kofukuji Temple and the Great Buddha Hall of Todaiji Temple. During the event, Kofukuji National Treasure Museum will be open for extended hours at night. The dry-lacquered standing statues of the eight deities including Ashura will be lit by LED lights to make their facial expressions and other details clearly visible.


■ Period:Sunday, July 16 - Sunday, September 25, 2016

7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. in September)

■ Venue: The five-storied pagoda of Kofukuji Temple, Todaiji Temple (Great Buddha Hall, Inner Gate, Great South Gate, Kagami-ike Pond), Ichi-no-Torii Gate of Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Nara National Museum (Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall and Buddhist Art Library) Ukimido Hall, Heijo Palace Site Suzaku-mon Gate, Sarusawa-ike Pond, Yakushiji Temple (A total of nine sites)

■Contact : Light-up Promenade Nara Organizing Committee Secretariat(Nara Park Office, Nara Prefecture)

Phone : +81-742-27-8677  Website : (in Japanese)




[Nara Prefecture] Tour of Nara Mahoroba 2016


The Tour of Nara Mahoroba is an annual cycling event that was started in 2013, in which participants canenjoy the nature and history of southern and eastern parts of Nara Prefecture. On Sunday, September 18, the 4th Tour of Nara Mahoroba will be held in Kokoro-no-mori Sogo Fukushi Koen (park) in Uda City as the main venue. It will include three events: Cycling Tour, Cycle Carnival, and the new event, Grass Cycle Race.


■Contact : Official website of the Tour of Nara Mahoroba

■Website :




【Kobe City】  19 non-Japanese Kobe PR Ambassador scheme


The Kobe PR Ambassadors are non-Japanese people who live, work or study in Kobe with a passion for the city, who share their experiences and promote Kobe in English via social media and online. Kobe PR Ambassador posts are shared through the official Kobe PR Ambassador Facebook and Twitter accounts.


■ Ambassador profiles:

■Official accounts: FB  Twitter
■Contact Details:Kobe City Government PR Department     

TEL: 078-322-5013   FAX: 078-322-6007   email:




【Chiba Prefecture】  Four Cities in the Hokuso Region Designated “Japan Heritage” Sites


 The story, “An Edo Travelogue through Four Hokuso Cities(Sakura City, Narita City, Katori City, Choshi City): Feel the Edo Period in Hokuso Townscapes”, which encompasses the cultural assets of four cities and retains the atmosphere of the Edo Period, has been recognized as the first “Japan Heritage” site in Chiba. From the Edo Period to the Meiji Period, these four cities supported the lifestyle and economy of Edo (now Tokyo), which was home to over 1 million people at the time. This history remains in places like the samurai residence in Sakura City, the road to Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple in Narita City, the merchant town in Sawara(Katori City), and the Tokawa Fishing Port in Choshi City. Even today, visitors to these cities can feel like they’ve traveled to the Edo Period.


■Japan Heritage: Places rich in local history and character that help tell the story of Japanese culture and tradition recognized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.


(information available in Japanese only)

■Inquiries: Chiba Prefectural Board of Education, Cultural Education and Properties Division

TEL:043-223-4082   E-mail




【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:




 【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:




【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




[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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