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【News from the Japanese Archipelago】

post date : 2017.04.12

【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 Kawasaki】Experience all of Asia in Kawasaki!

~ Kawasaki—City of Music: 2017 Asia-Exchange Music Festival & Kawasaki Asian Festa to be Co-hosted! ~


Over the course of two days, musicians active around Kawasaki will paint the city with the ethnic music and dance of a number of Asian countries, including Japan, Korea, China, Thailand, and Mongolia.  There will also be a variety of events held in such places as the restaurants of the shopping district, where you can drop by and enjoy a taste of Asia. This spring, why don’t you come join us in Kawasaki to listen, watch, eat and enjoy two days of Asian ambiance!


2017 Asia Exchange Music Festival

Date and Time: April 22rd (Saturday), and 23rd (Sunday), 2017 12:00~17:00

Venue: Around Kawasaki Station

Website (Japanese Only):

Point of Contact

Kawasaki—City of Music:

2017 Asia Exchange Music Festival Executive Committee Secretariat

c/o “Kawasaki—City of Music” Promotion Council

TEL: 044-544-9641   FAX: 044-544-9647


Kawasaki Asian Festa

Date and Time: April 22rd (Saturday) and 23rd (Sunday), 2017 11:00~18:00

Location: Area surrounding Kawasaki Statio

Website (Japanese Only):

Point of Contact: 

Kawasaki Asian Festa Executive Committee Secretariat

c/o Commerce Promotion Section, Industrial Promotion Department, Economic
and Labour Affairs Bureau, City of Kawasaki

TEL: 044-200-2352   FAX: 044-200-3920




【City of Niigata】About the International Friendship Stage in Niigata City


As a part of Niigata City’s Celebrations for its 10th Anniversary of being a designated city, Niigata has invited cultural groups from its sister and friendship cities that will perform for the International Friendship Stage. Come and see the traditional dance and music performances as they add to the beauty of Niigata in spring.


■ Date: Sunday, April 9th, 2017

Session 1: 1pm (oors open at 12:30pm)   Session 2: 4pm (Doors open at 3:30pm)

*Each session will have the same performances

■ Performances

Ballet (Khabarovsk, Russia)/Folk Dance (Vladivostok, Russia)

Guitar (Nantes, France)/Traditional Music (Ulsan, Korea)

■Venue: Niigata Citizens Plaza 

■Contact Niigata City Foreign Affairs Division TEL:025-226-1673


For more information about the International Friendship Stage see the link below:




【Nara Prefecture】Nara Tourism Promotion Campaign will kick off in Tokyo at April 17, 2018.


Nara prefectural government will host a wide range of tourism promotion events to celebrate the completion of the restoration of Kon-do (Golden Hall) at Kohfukuji Temple this year. The official completion ceremony at the temple will be held in October, 2018. As an opening act of this campaign, we will organize this special event for travel agencies and media so that we can introduce Nara’s hottest tourism resources, including tourism associations, temples and shrines, and accommodations, and to offer ideas when creating travel products in Nara. English-speaking staff are available at this event. Nara has a long history, great culture, magnificent nature, believes, techniques, and thoughts that locals have been passed down for 1300 years. We especially would like to promote unknown attractive places in Nara through this campaign, titled ‘See Nara only through your heart’, and hope to increase tourists who stay in Nara and to revitalize local economies.


■ Day & Time : at 13:30-17:15 on April 17 (Mon)

■ Venue: Shinagawa Intercity Hall

■ Contact: Tel 0742-27-8553 (Nara Prefectural Government Tourism Promotion Division)




 【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)      




【City of Kyoto】Exhibition Who Is This Person? Portraits Displayed at School


At municipal schools and kindergartens in Kyoto City, paintings donated by alumni artists have over time come to be displayed, and many of the paintings are portraits. These portraits depict teachers and important figures, who often appear in textbooks, and each has a vivid expression on their face. This exhibition displays various kinds of portraits from school collections that will compel viewers to ask “who is this person?”


■ Exhibition Period: March 18 (Sat.) - April 11 (Tues.) 2017

■ Website:

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




【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




 [Kawasaki City] "The 20th Exhibition of the Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art"


Taro Okamoto was a pioneer, forging the path to a new generation and constantly seeking out fresh challenges in his life. The Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art was founded to celebrate those artists who—in the spirit of Okamoto—use their unfettered point of view/way of thinking in order to deliver those unpleasant truths that modern society most needs to hear. On this, the 20th occasion this award’s presentation, we received 499 individual applications, from which we selected 26 individuals (groups) to receive the prize. At "The 20th Exhibition of the Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art", we will have all 26 of these individuals’ (groups’) work on display. Please come and enjoy these ambitious pieces, which push the boundaries of what it means to be art.


■ Period of the exhibition: Until April 9th, 2017 9:30 a.m. ~ 5:00 P.M. (must enter by 4:30 p.m.)
■ Closed: Mondays (excluding March 20th); March 21st (Tues.); March 22nd (Wed.)
■ Details:
■ 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




[Kyoto City] Traditional Industry Day 2017


Vernal Equinox Day (Shumbun no hi) has been designated as “Traditional Industry Day” in Kyoto and there will be many related programs and events on the days surrounding it. Please see the official website for more information.


Main Events

■ Kimono de Odekake  Free of Charge  (March 1 - 31)

Those who wear kimonos are able to enter some cultural/tourism facilities for free. (A free entry ticket from the official guidebook is necessary. The guidebook is available on the following website: )

■ Kyoto City Traditional Industry Day at Miyakomesse (March 18 - 20)

Exhibitions, demonstrations and workshops will be held for free of charge.

■ Kimono x Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, Irodori Concert (March 20)

A concert for people wearing kimonos will be held. The admission fee is 2,000 yen.


■ For more information: Kyoto Traditional Industry Day Official Website

■ For Inquires: Kyoto City Industry and Tourism Bureau, Commerce and Industry Department,

Traditional Industries Section   Tel: 075-222-3337




[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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