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What’s New in Japan for 2020
- There are many reasons that so many visitors flock to visit Japan every day, from delicious cuisine such as Sushi and Yakitori, to tradition and culture such as Shrines, Temples, and castles, and of course pop culture like Anime and gaming. In 2020 the Olympic and Paralympic games will be coming to Japan and as a result the country is seeing a huge amount of new attractions, festivals, and other changes. If your interests are cultural, we will give you the scoop on where you can stay in a historical castle, where you can see the best art exhibitions and when famous Shrines will finish their current renovations. If you’re looking for excitement, we have the details on what’s new in Tokyo Disneyland and Osaka’s Universal Studios Japan. If you don’t mind traveling a bit, we can even lead you to the world’s largest Godzilla, also new in 2020. To make sure you make the most of your Tokyo 2020 trip, read on! Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games 2020 Tokyo will be taken over by the Olympic (July 24, 2020 – August 9, 2020) and Paralympic (August 25, 2020 – September 6, 2020) Games in 2020. This means that the city is seeing a slew of upgrades to athletic facilities, such as a new national stadium, new stores, transportation, and much more. Visitors can expect a futuristic vision in the 2020 games as Japan intends to use cutting edge technology (such as robotics) to make sure Olympics fans in Tokyo and beyond can all join in on the spectacle. Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games 2020 New national stadium Please note that there will be changes in Japan’s usual national holidays due to the Olympics. Marine Day and Sports day will be moved to July 23 and 24 while Mountain Day to August 10, the day after the closing ceremony. The aim of this change is to reduce traffic congestion, but it can also affect opening and closing hours in stores and restaurants. National holidays due to the Olympics Exciting New Worlds Coming to Tokyo Disneyland and USJ (Universal Studios Japan) ― Tokyo Disneyland New Fantasyland In 2020 Tokyo Disneyland will be expanding with its ‘New Fantasyland’ based on the world of Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast. Adults can enjoy a hefty dose of nostalgia as they stroll through Belle’s village which will include Maurice’s Cottage and Gaston’s Fountain (but likely no sheep). The ‘Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast’ will take place in the castle itself. The area will also feature Disneyland’s first full scale indoor theater, the Fantasyland Forest Theater. Over in Tomorrowland visitors can spend time with adorable Baymax on ‘The Happy Ride with Baymax’. New Fantasyland The Happy Ride with Baymax ― Universal Studios Japan Super Nintendo World Universal Studios Japan in Osaka has been extremely secretive about its new expansion, Super Nintendo World. Newly released images seem to indicate that there will Mario Kart and Yoshi themed rides and an area dedicated to Donkey Kong. The new expansion will be open to the public before the start of the 2020 Olympics so look forward to having your own Mario Party in USJ! Super Nintendo World Super Nintendo World Futuristic Aquariums, Miniature Theme Parks, Godzilla and More! ― Shikoku Aquarium 四国水族館 in Kagawa In March 2020 the Shikoku Aquarium will officially open its doors. This “Next-Generation Aquarium” has a theme of showing off the wonder of Shikoku’s waterscape so visitors can enjoy not only observing fish but also seeing how they act in their natural habitats and how they change with the seasons. This aquarium will also feature a Shark Shadow Aquarium, where you can see the large shadowy profiles of Hammerhead sharks as well as a large dolphin area which promises a spectacular sunset over the Seto Inland Sea. Shikoku Aquarium ― Small Worlds Tokyo in Tokyo In Tokyo a new type of theme park is set to open, Small Worlds Tokyo will be home to miniature areas based in reality and fantasy. Feel like a giant by passing through the Gulliver tunnel and then take your time enjoying the Sailor Moon, Evangelion, Global Village, Space Center, and Kansai International Airport models. It’s not just viewing though; advanced 3D mapping is available so that you can join your favorite area and make items to display as well. It’s set to open April 25, 2020 and will make the perfect indoor adventure if you are caught in rainy spring weather. Small Worlds Tokyo Evangelion Area ― Itsukushima Shrine’s O-torii Gate 厳島神社 in Hiroshima Popular sightseeing place and UNESCO World Heritage Site Itsukushima Shrine has unfortunately been covered by scaffolding for renovation as of June 2019. These repairs are expected to take one year so visitors can expect this beautiful floating Shrine to be fully viewable by summer 2020. Itsukushima Shrine’s O-torii Gate ― DMM Kariyushi Aquarium DMMかりゆし水族館 in Okinawa Okinawa, already famous for its wealth of natural beauty, will be opening a new aquarium in April 2020, the DMM Kariyushi Aquarium. Their focus will be blending art installations with underwater environments to create a new type of aquarium enjoyment. It’s not far from Naha airport so it is much more easily accessible than the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, which is good news for those who have limited time on the island. DMM Kariyushi Aquarium DMM Kariyushi Aquarium ― Okinawa Kokusai Goodwill Street 国際通りのれん街 in Okinawa Over in Naha the street known as “the miracle mile” is set to get some new editions as the site of Mitsukoshi welcomes the new Okinawa Kokusai Goodwill Street. Those who are interested in the varieties of Japanese cuisine available in Okinawa will love the new food court and shoppers are sure to be delighted by the variety of shops. All of the stores will open in February 2020. Okinawa Kokusai Goodwill Street ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
- 18. January. 2020
Unmissable Autumn Leaf-viewing spots in Japan
- Spring is one of the most popular sightseeing seasons in Japan, with the blooming of the cherry blossoms. But autumn is another attractive season in which colorful leaves attract tourists from near and far. Generally, the green leaves transform into reddish hues from late September to early December, but it all depends on where you go in Japan. We’ve outlined a list of the best spots around the country and their peak seasons so you can start planning your autumn Japan trip. Kyoto:The most unmissable city There are many reasons why Kyoto's autumn leaves are among Japan’s most beautiful. The mountains and rivers that surround the city create wide temperature variations between the morning and night, as well as providing adequate moisture. As there aren't many tall buildings in the city, the trees also receive a significant amount of sunlight to help them grow. Together with the blessing of abundant temples and shrines, the ancient city's autumn season is particularly alluring for visitors.Read moreThe best autumn color spots in Kyoto for 2019 ・Tenryuji Temple A 15-minute walk from Arashiyama Station takes you to the Tenryuji Temple, where the dynamic landscape of Mount Arashiyama and its spacious garden will steal your breath. The temple grounds open at 7:30 am between November 10 and December 2, so early-risers should seize the opportunity if they wish to capture this tranquil garden view. Tenryuji Temple ・Enkoji Temple Originally chosen as the site of a school to nurture priests, artists and writers, the Enkoji Temple was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1601. It’s renowned for its moss garden, Jyu-gyu no Niwa, which contrasts dramatically with the deep-red fallen leaves. Enkoji Temple ・Tofukuji Temple Founded in 1236 by Kujo Michiie, the great statesman of the Kamakura period, the Tofukuji Temple is one of the oldest and largest temples in Kyoto. The temple grounds are planted with around 2,000 maple trees, which are best viewed from the Tsutenkyo Bridge. Tofukuji Temple Kamakura:A beautiful combination of changing leaves and traditional temples ・Meigetsuin Temple The Meigetsuin Temple is famed for the mystical view of its garden from the circular window of the main hall. It’s particularly attractive during the fall foliage season, as well as during June when tourists flock to see its colorful collection of hydrangeas. Meigetsuin Temple ・Zuisenji Temple Slightly off the beaten track, the Zuisenji Temple is nestled in a valley near Kamakura. Owing to its mountainous setting, visitors can see the autumn leaves from early to late December. The temple grounds are planted with various trees and shrubs, such as plum, winter cherry, and wisteria, which entertain visitors throughout the year. Zuisenji Temple ・Hase Temple Nighttime illumination events aren’t as common in Kyoto as in Kamakura, but at the Hase Temple, you can enjoy the radiant maple trees illuminated after dark. If you’re visiting during the day, the spacious temple grounds feature an observatory offering panoramic views of Yuigahama Beach, as well as a 9.18-meter-tall wooden Kannon statue and a Kannon Museum. Hase Temple Hiroshima:Maple is the signature tree ・Sandankyo Gorge Sandankyo Gorge is around 16-kilometers long and boasts a number of breathtaking attractions, such as waterfalls, boulders, and deep pools, which can be explored on boat tours and along the hiking trails. The gorge is one of the most popular maple leaf spots in Hiroshima, and visitors can refresh themselves in this abundant natural setting. Sandankyo Gorge ©NAVITIME JAPAN. 旅行ガイド 楽しい旅をサポートする、便利なお役立ち情報をお届けします。
- 23. October. 2019
Spectacular Autumn Festivals
- In addition to the stunning changing color of the leaves (koyo), autumn in Japan means festivals. There’s a wide range up and down the country to choose from, but we’ve highlighted three that should be high on your list of things to experience while you’re in Japan. Let’s start off with a festival that is renowned for being one of the most dangerous in Japan. Don’t let that put you off though as it is truly one of the most exciting Japanese spectacles to see firsthand. Nada no Kenka Matsuri (Nada Fighting Festival) is held every year on October 14 and 15, and has grown in popularity over the years, attracting over 150,000 spectators to a makeshift arena near Mt Otabi in the town of Shirahama.There is a lot to see on both days, but it is the main event on the 15th that everyone comes to witness, and we recommend securing a seat early as it gets very busy. There are seven teams in the contest. The teams represent different neighborhoods in the region and are made up of local men and boys wearing loincloths. They carry elaborately decorated portable shrines that they then proceed to jostle, smash, and bash into each other as they try to topple each other’s shrines. Add into the mix shouting participants, wildly cheering spectators, constant drumming, and stalls selling food and drinks, and you have an event that is unlike any you might have seen before. Kurama Fire Festival Kyoto has a number of spectacular festivals but let’s turn up the heat for this one which is listed in the top three most ‘eccentric’ festivals in Japan. The Kurama Fire Festival takes place every year on October 22 at the Yuki Shrine, located in the mountains to the north of Kyoto. It dates back over a thousand years when the emperor at the time moved the Yuki Shrine to a safer location during a war. The main event begins at 6pm when 3 meter tall kagaribi (bonfires) are simultaneously lit in front of people’s houses. Children carrying pine torches lead the parade, in fact the festival was used for a time as a rite of passage for children. These children are followed by the adult members of the procession who carry much larger torches, each weighing over 80 kilograms.…the villagers in the procession are all shouting, so the fainthearted should take note!In addition to the excitement that comes with naked flames, the villagers in the procession are all shouting, so the fainthearted should take note! At 8pm the crowd visits the Yuki Shrine to offer a prayer and then two mikoshi (portable shrines) are carried through the streets, beautifully lit up by the torches and sparks they give off. The festival ends around midnight, though the locals will continue celebrating through the night, so please check the timetable and leave enough time to make the last train out of Kurama Station. If you are thinking of attending our advice is to get there well before the 6pm start as it is getting more and more popular each year. You should also bring something warm as it can get pretty cool in the mountains, even with all that fire! Takayama Autumn Festival After the hustle and bustle of the first two festivals on the list, we thought it best to end with one that is a little more serene. Hida Takayama is a beautifully preserved traditional Japanese town in Gifu prefecture, and a favorite with both domestic and international sightseers. In autumn however it becomes even more of a must-see destination as it plays host to one of Japan’s three most beautiful festivals, the Takayama Autumn Festival. Held every year on October 9 and 10, the festival is thought to be around 400 years old and features colorful costumes, traditional music and marionette performances. The highlight of the festival however is the procession through the town of eleven exquisitely decorated floats (yatai), handcrafted by local artisans.…the floats continue their journey while being lit up by around 100 lanterns.The procession extends into the evening when the floats continue their journey while being lit up by around 100 lanterns. With the backdrop of the town and surrounding countryside, it provides an assortment of stunning shots for any photographers in the crowd. The floats wind their way through the town to the Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine where a solemn ritual brings the festival to a close. festival There is very strong participation from the locals who take a great deal of pride in their picturesque town and this unique festival. If you can’t make it during the autumn there is also a Spring Takayama Festival, and though the rich autumn colors are absent at this time, it more than makes up for it with the sakura (cherry blossoms) as a backdrop. ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
- 23. March. 2017
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Hyogo Main Areas
Hyogo prefecture stretches from the north coast to the south coast on the western end of the popular Kansai region, encompassing verdant mountains, urban beaches, and fantastic historical sights. The prefecture's main attractions lie along the south coast at Kobe, the prefectural capital, a pretty harbor city best known for its production of the renowned Kobe beef, and Himeji, the home of Himeji Castle, one of the country's most beautifully preserved feudal castles, perched magically atop a hill.
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