Ryokan-style Cruise Ship To Debut On Seto Inland Sea

Ryokan-style cruise ship to debut on Seto Inland Sea

ONOMICHI, Hiroshima Prefecture--A floating inn will make its maiden voyage in the Seto Inland Sea on Oct. 17.

The Guntu, a ryokan-like passenger liner whose guest rooms are made mainly of wood, is 81.2 meters long and 13.75 meters wide and has a gross tonnage of 3,200 tons.

Hitachi Train Launch In Britain Marked By Delays

Hitachi train launch in Britain marked by delays

Jiji Press LONDON (Jiji Press) — New high-speed train cars manufactured by Hitachi Ltd. made an embarrassing debut in Britain on Monday, hit by delays and broken air conditioning.

The first service, which had Transport Secretary Chris Grayling on board, departed 25 minutes later than scheduled and arrived 41 minutes late due to technical problems, according to BBC and other media reports.

Convenience Store Chains Use Machines In Place Of Humans

Convenience store chains use machines in place of humans

Leading convenience store chains have found a way around their labor shortages: Eliminate the need for workers in certain services.

FamilyMart Co., which runs the second most convenience stores in Japan, has set up special vending machines that offer rice balls, sandwiches, salads and sweets.

Awajishima Island Offers Free Ev Hire In Green Tourism Drive

Awajishima island offers free EV hire in green tourism drive

SUMOTO, Hyogo Prefecture--Tourists can save on transportation costs while helping cut emissions on Awajishima island, where a two-seater electric mini vehicle is available to hire, free of charge, to get from one sightseeing spot to another.

The Awamobi EV is available at three hotels and a spa facility for up to six hours a day until the end of November.

Oldest Bengal Tiger In Japan Dies

Oldest Bengal tiger in Japan dies

The oldest Bengal tiger in Japan has died at age 24, or the human equivalent of around 100, at a zoo in the western Japanese city of Okayama, zoo officials said Saturday.

Hiro, a male of the endangered species, had been unable to stand up since Thursday morning. The tiger was found dead Friday night, with the cause seen as natural.

Tokyo Station--dutch Side Gets A Facelift, And Unusual Ramen

Lisa's In and Around Tokyo: TOKYO STATION--Dutch side gets a facelift, and unusual ramen

When I first encountered the kanji "yae," I couldn't fathom what "eight heavies" could mean. Then it dawned on me that it means eightfold, like the cherry blossom. How poetic!

Oh, and my favorite karaoke song, "Midare Gami" by Hibari Misora, uses the kanji in a touching, heartfelt way: "In the spring my obi goes around my body twice, but in the autumn thrice." No metabolic syndrome here.

Sulfur Cosmos And Mount Fuji Offer Fall Photo Op In Yamanashi

Sulfur cosmos and Mount Fuji offer fall photo op in Yamanashi

YAMANAKAKO, Yamanashi Prefecture--About 5 million sulfur cosmos are peaking at a flower park here, offering a perfect photo opportunity for a sea of breathtaking flowers in fall-like colors and Mount Fuji set against wisps of clouds.

Yuri Yoshimoto, a company employee, visited Yamanakako Hananomiyako Koen on Sept. 30 to take pictures of the striking vista and post them on her Instagram account.

Iconic Orange-colored '103' Osaka Train Makes Final Journey

Iconic orange-colored '103' Osaka train makes final journey

OSAKA -- Japan Railways (JR)'s classic orange-colored "103 series" train made its last trip on the Osaka Loop Line here on Oct. 3 -- attracting a multitude of fans who came to bid the train farewell.

The iconic train made its debut in 1969, but dilapidation has meant that the "103" trains have gradually been replaced by more modern-looking "323" trains from December 2016 onward.

Autumn Paints The Prettiest Picture At Mount Tateyama

Autumn paints the prettiest picture at Mount Tateyama

TATEYAMA, Toyama Prefecture--Autumn's canvas is at its brilliant best at Mount Tateyama, a popular sightseeing paradise in the Hida mountains that are called Japan's "Northern Alps."

Mother Nature's palette in the Murodo area of the mountain, located 2,450 meters above sea level, is dominated by the yellows of plants like "iwaicho" and "hakusanbofu" and the reds of "chinguruma" and "waremoko."

Seven Stars Train's New Rail Odyssey Revealed By Jr Kyushu

Seven Stars train's new rail odyssey revealed by JR Kyushu

FUKUOKA--Despite an eye-popping 1.55 million yen ($13,840) for the best berths, every seat on the revamped super-luxury sleeper train Nanatsuboshi (Seven Stars) service through the Ao region is expected to be filled.

Kyushu Railway Co. (JR Kyushu) excluded the region from service after the series of earthquakes that ravaged Kumamoto Prefecture in April last year.

Lisa's In And Around Tokyo: Izu Peninsula--georia Geopark

Lisa's In and Around Tokyo: IZU PENINSULA--Georia geopark

On a recent day trip from Tokyo to Izu Peninsula, I saw many signs pointing to geopark sites like Jogasaki and Omuroyama. I didn't know what a geopark was, but I gathered that it had something to do with the land, as "geo" means Earth.

I followed a sign to Omuroyama and came to a peculiar green hill that looked like an upturned bowl. There were no trees growing on it, and the formation seemed out of place and just plain weird.

Drifting Helps Fukushima's Tourism Industry Back On Track

Drifting helps Fukushima's tourism industry back on track

NIHONMATSU, Fukushima Prefecture--Tourism may be struggling here with the radiation scare, but no such worries apply to the thousands of daredevils from all around Japan and beyond who flock to the racecourse dubbed drift driver's "holy place."

Nestled in a dense forest at the foot of Mount Adatarayama, Ebisu Circuit is a large multicourse motor race track complex. The circuit is one of a few race courses to allow drifting, as the sport wears down the track's surface.

Roller Coaster Malfunction Leaves 30 People Stranded At Osaka's Usj

Roller coaster malfunction leaves 30 people stranded at Osaka's USJ

A popular roller coaster at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka ground to a halt Friday leaving around 30 ride-goers suspended in the air, some for up to 30 minutes, before they were safely extricated, the theme park operator said.

No injuries were reported to those stranded on the Jurassic Park-inspired Flying Dinosaur roller coaster, according to the movie theme park in western Japan.