'conan' Featured In Yamaguchi's Crime-solving, History Tour

'Conan' featured in Yamaguchi's crime-solving, history tour

YAMAGUCHI--Yamaguchi Prefecture officials are enlisting the help of boy detective Conan Edogawa to attract puzzle-loving tourists and offer a history lesson for the would-be crime solvers.

The tour in the westernmost prefecture on Honshu offers clues at sites closely associated with the Meiji Restoration, the event that replaced the feudal Tokugawa Shogunate with the modern national government and brought an end to the Edo Period (1603-1867).

Pay A Premium To Travel On Keihan Electric This Summer

Pay a premium to travel on Keihan Electric this summer

OSAKA--Passengers using Keihan Electric Railway Co.'s express train service between Osaka and Kyoto will be able to travel in style this summer.

All 40 seats in its Premium Car are reserved and come with a reclining function and an electric outlet to recharge smartphones and other devices. Most seats are equipped with tables that can accommodate laptop computers.

A Mountain Of Azaleas

A mountain of azaleas

The Yomiuri Shimbun About 3,000 azalea trees are in full bloom in the garden of Hotel de Yama in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Saturday. Many tourists enjoyed the display of red, pink, purple and white flowers, with Mt. Fuji in the background, a seasonal delight of early summer.

Guide Shares Sweet Stories From Skytree

Guide shares sweet stories from Skytree

The Yomiuri Shimbun Today marks the fifth anniversary of the opening of the 634-meter-high Tokyo Skytree, located in Sumida Ward, Tokyo. The number of visitors to the tower's observation decks is expected to reach 30 million by the end of this fiscal year.

Since the opening, observation deck guide Koto Sakai, 31, has witnessed various human relationships develop on the tower. On a weekend in mid-May, she snaked her way through the crowds and approached a family on the Tenbo Deck, the tower's first observation floor.

Limited Express Train Car With Kyoto-inspired Design Unveiled

Limited express train car with Kyoto-inspired design unveiled

Keihan Electric Railway Co. unveiled to the media on Friday a car on its limited express train in western Japan, with a design inspired by the scenic beauty of the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto, in a bid to lure more foreign travelers.

Starting Aug. 20, the new vehicle of the eight-car commuter train will run through Kyoto and Osaka, two popular tourist destinations. The new car, with a stylish red- and gold-colored exterior, can accommodate 40 people on fully reclining seats, all equipped with power outlets.

Dazzling Moss Phlox Lends Flower Power To Hokkaido Park

Dazzling moss phlox lends flower power to Hokkaido park

OZORA, Hokkaido--Visitors to a park here in northern Japan will be tickled pink at the dazzling sight of "shibazakura" (moss phlox) in full bloom this week.

The flowers, in red, purple and white as well as pink, are set to reach their peak after May 18 at Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park, located in northeastern Hokkaido, near the Sea of Okhotsk, according to the park management's forecast.

Penguin Chick Charms Crowds At Aquarium

Penguin chick charms crowds at aquarium

A baby penguin is being shown to the public at Sumida Aquarium in Tokyo Skytree Town in Sumida Ward, Tokyo.

The Magellanic penguin born on April 19 has been attracting visitors to the facility. The offspring of father Karin and mother Cocktail, it is the sixth penguin bred in the aquarium.

Two Cities Jointly Summon Gigantic Monster To Lure Tourists

Two cities jointly summon gigantic monster to lure tourists

SHIMONOSEKI, Yamaguchi Prefecture--In northern Kyushu and neighboring Yamaguchi Prefecture, a couple of cities are banking on the threat of a humongous sea monster to boost tourism.

Is the place you want to visit where a "kaiju" monster rises menacingly out of the sea and people flee for their lives?

Sales Skyrocket Unexpectedly For Unlimited Rail Pass In Shikoku

Sales skyrocket unexpectedly for unlimited rail pass in Shikoku

TAKAMATSU--Sales of the unlimited All Shikoku Rail Pass for the main island in western Japan far exceeded expectations following a price change and the opening of a direct air route from Hong Kong.

Shikoku Railway Co. (JR Shikoku) sold 18,476 of the passes last fiscal year, nearly double the total the previous fiscal year and representing an increase in revenue of 70 million yen ($615,000).

More Fun Traveling Alone: Go Where You Want, When You Want

More fun traveling alone: Go where you want, when you want

"I want to do my own thing when I travel" and "coordinating my schedule with a friend is complicated" are just two of the reasons why more and more people are traveling alone. If you lack the confidence to go alone, however, don't worry. The travel industry offers tours especially for solo travelers, as well as ways to make solo trips efficiently.

Once you experience solo travel, you can get hooked like Yukiko Nishikawa, 67, of Higashiosaka, Osaka Prefecture, who has enjoyed traveling on her own over the past decade.

Taking Shizuoka Green Tea Beyond Its Blind Consumption

Taking Shizuoka green tea beyond its blind consumption

The people of Japan will likely need little introduction to the green tea cultivated, packaged and brewed in Shizuoka.  Prefecture and drink have become a default pairing in the minds of a nation, and not without good reason.  Plantations and people combine here to handle production for nearly half of Japan’s green tea.  

It’s an impressive boast considering the humble beginings when, during the 13th century, Buddhist high priest Shoichi Kokushi on his return from China, pushed tea plant seeds into the earth of the Abe River basin, in the Ashikubo region of Shizuoka.  In doing so, Kokushi quite literally planted the seeds of a product, tradition, and culture that would help spearhead Japan’s post-WWII economic recovery, and become an integral part of life in the country.