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【News from the Japanese Archipelago】

post date : 2016.08.25

[Kyoto City] World Forum on Sports and Culture


This forum was created as a kickoff event leading up to the Rugby World Cup 2019, Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the Kansai World Masters Games 2021. It is an opportunity to raise the level of communication internationally, while creating a link with tourism, on the basis that sports and culture make international contributions to tangible and intangible heritage. In Kyoto, the opening ceremony and general culture meeting will be held at the Rohm Theatre Kyoto.


Date: September 19 (Wed) & 20 (Thurs), 2016 (Kyoto)  Location: Rohm Theatre Kyoto, etc.

Hosts: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan Sports Agency

Co-Hosts: City of Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, etc.

For more information: Please visit

Inquiries: Kyoto City Culture and Citizens Affairs Bureau, Culture and Arts City Promotion Office,

Culture and Arts Planning Section      Tel: 075-366-0033




 [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




[Kawasaki City] Ningyō-Jōruri at Traditional Japanese Folk House (September 18, 2016)


A Ningyō-Jōruri performance (Traditional Japanese Puppet Play) will take place at the Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum in a traditional Japanese private residence first built in the Edo Period and designated as an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese Government. There will also be explanations of Ningyō-Jōruri for first-timers as well as a chance for the participants to learn how the puppets are operated. (*The performances/explanations are available only in Japanese; however, there will be leaflets handed out to participants on the day of that summarize the performance in English.)


■ Time & Date: ① 12:30 P.M.- 2:00 P.M. and ② 2:30 P.M. - 4:00 P.M. on Sunday, September 2016

■ Venue: Kawasaki Municipal Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum 

■ Details:

■ Inquiries: Kawasaki Municipal Japan Open Air Folk House Museum Phone: 044-922-2181

Board of Education Cultural Properties Section Phone: 044-200-3305




[Kyoto City] Continuous Change – Murals Enjoy New Life at Nijo-jo Castle (July 15 - September 19)


This exhibition introduces famous murals repurposed for use in the Ninomaru-goten of Njio-jo Castle, which came from other buildings to replace the original murals.


■ Exhibition Period:July 15, 2016 (Fri) - September 19, 2016 (Mon/Nat. Holiday)

■ Location: Nijo-jo Castle 400th Anniversary Gallery

■ Details:   (Japanese only)

■ Inquiries: Nijo-jo Castle Office Tel: 075-841-0096




[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] The 15th Hill Climb Oodaigahara 


The bike racing is set on a driveway on Mount Oodaigahara in the Yoshino-Kumano National Park, designated as one of Japan’s best 100 mountains. From the base of the mountain, participants climb a steep hill. The course has a stunning view of the Omine mountain range and the Omine Okugake-michi Road, which is registered as a World Heritage site.


■ Dates: Reception: Saturday, September 10, 2016, Racing: Sunday, September 11, 2016

■ Registration Period: Friday, July 1 to Wednesday, August 10, 2016

■ Venue: From Kawai, Kamikitayama Village, Yoshino-gun, Nara Prefecture to the Oodaigahara parking lot

【Event Official Website】 

【Kamikitayama Village Official Website】

■ Entry Inquiries:

Contact : Administration Office for Hill Climb Oodaigahara (on the Sports Entry website)     

Phone : 0120-711-951 (toll-free)

10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (except Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays)

■ Event Inquiries:

Contact : Administration Office for Hill Climb Oodaigahara

Phone : +81-746-82-9007

8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (except Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays)




[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




【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:




【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:




【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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