You can see some parts of the making process by clicking on this video. Just look at the determination in everyone’s eyes – it was the first time for everyone, so they were fully devoted to making a perfect sushi roll.InformationMineoka Iki-IkikanAddress: Chiba, Minamiboso, Oi 681-2Hours: 09:00-17:00Closed: MondayPrice: 500 yen to 2000 yenPhone Number: 0470-46-8611Website: Mineoka Iki-Ikikan (Japanese) To the Mineoka Iki-Ikikan!This time we visited Mineoka Iki-Ikikan in Minamiboso, Mineoka, Chiba prefecture, near Tokyo.You can get there from Shinjuku, Tokyo, in about two hours by car, and you’ll be surprised to see how much this area differs from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo; it is surrounded by vast natural lands, mountains and rivers, to this day.Minamiboso City, where our destination, Mineoka Iki-Ikikan is located, is well-known for its spacious range-style horse breeding and used to have many farms created during the Sengoku Period (end of the 15th century-end of the 16th century), mainly for raising war horses.After the Sengoku Period, dairy farming came to be popular and widely practiced in this area. After 1728, when three white (milk) cows were imported from India, Mineoka district started breeding more and more livestock. That led to the manufacture of milk and dairy products and is now believed to have become the starting point of dairy farming in Japan.Today you can experience a whole variety of activities at Mineoka Iki-Ikikan in Minamiboso, such as:• Farming experience (feeding animals and baby animals with milk, milking the cows, tasting fresh milk)• Ice-cream-making (making ice cream with milk, eggs, and sugar, then cooling it with ice and salt)• Butter-making (making butter by filling a bottle with ice and fresh cream, then shaking it)• Tofu-making (making tofu with soybeans produced in Chiba prefecture)• Making soba (buckwheat) noodles (making your original soba noodles using buckwheat powder, flour, and water)• Harvesting bamboo shoots (from May to the beginning of June)• Dyeing with plants (using plants from the nearby mountains to dye handkerchiefs)• Water gun-making (making water pistols and trying them out on a stream)and much more.Cutting Rice Stocks Barefoot in a Rice FieldWe took on the rice harvesting task as soon as we set foot in the Chiba prefecture.As there was a lot of rain the day before our big adventure, we had to take our shoes off before stepping into the rice fields, as we were instructed to do by the locals who led this whole activity.Both the Japanese participants and exchange students gladly took their shoes off, rolled up their pant legs, and slowly entered the slimy rice field, and all that while noisily shrieking – this video will show you that entertaining moment.Everyone had the same reaction to feeling their feet entering the gooey rice field. It was a real challenge to try and cut the rice as our feet sank deeper into the moist field with each step we took.It took as little as ten minutes to get the hang of it, so eventually, we managed to harvest a lot of rice. Although you could also see grasshoppers, spiders, and other small insects hiding in the field, everyone was engrossed in their work and just kept cutting down those stalks of rice without noticing any of it.Behold the Superb Rice-Harvesting Speed of the Exchange Students!If you take a look at the video down below, you will be able to see how efficiently everyone’s progressing with the harvesting. Still, it seems as though the Japanese students (who originally came as support) were left behind by the ever-so-capable international students.This photo serves as proof to show how neatly the whole process went.Students from Japan and all over the world, new to this experience, stood in the mud side by side and gave it their all to collect the tasty rice.We were amazed to witness and be part of such a co-operative activity, where everyone worked together and overcome their beginner’s insecurity, combining their strengths and giving it their best.When all was over, everyone was sincerely thankful and happy for this extraordinary opportunity to create such a precious memory.Making a Thick Sushi Roll Together Finally, we also partook in the makizushi-making activity. This special type of sushi, which is an unusually thick rolled sushi, used to be served during ceremonies when a large number of people has gathered, such as at weddings, funerals, and the like. It is somewhat different in shape when compared to the usual sushi served in restaurants, and has motifs such as flowers, depicted in it, just like the photo shows.To be able to master this craft-like culinary technique, it is not enough just to put the right ingredients together – one must also keep close attention to the shape of the roll and to all of the fine adjustments while making it. It is more demanding than it looks, and it takes a bit of time to complete the task. As Japan sees the end of the hot and humid summer and welcomes the autumn breeze accompanied by the lively sound of the crickets, on a nice day in September, we head out to experience the harvesting of rice, one of Japan’s most important staple foods.Although we were born and raised in Japan, we have never tried this so very common and much-needed work for ourselves – rice harvesting.With technology getting more and more advanced by the day, it is no wonder that nowadays this arduous work is done by machines, but it is also well-known that before these machines were invented, people used to cut the stalks by hand. It seemed to us that it would be an altogether different and exciting feeling to tackle the important job of harvesting the rice that we eat daily by hand, so we decided to take part in a harvesting experience.We also wanted to let other people experience this extraordinary activity too, so we invited some exchange students currently studying in Japan to join. We couldn’t wait to discover what kind of rice harvesting adventure lay ahead!
You Have Arrived at Your Destination: “Notojima Aquarium”You’ll arrive at “Notojima Aquarium” after about 50 minutes of cycling. It’s about 1km past the gate pictured above. What do you do when you go to an onsen?Of course, the first thing you’ll want to do is relax and soak in the hot springs. Most people eat local dishes and delicacies while recovering from their built-up fatigue when they travel to onsen.However, eating and soaking in these hot springs isn’t the main appeal of onsen. Japanese onsen are often surrounded by museums, farms, and other sightseeing spots. What makes an onsen trip special are the activities you engage in before or after you actually get to the hot springs.Today, we’ll introduce some of the unique geographical features, sights, and activities that are unique to Wakura Onsen in Ishikawa Prefecture.Take a Spin on Your Bike around the BayWakura Onsen is located close to Notojima Island, renowned for its seaside leisure activities. On a good day, you can hang out at Notojima Island and get back to Wakura Onsen easily by renting a bicycle.Wakura Onsen’s Tourism Bureau lends out bicycles to tourists. You can choose from a variety of bicycles based on your plans.This is a bike modeled after the Hokuriku Shinkansen’s “Kagayaki” train.This bike is convenient for cycling around town.This bike is equipped with gears for activities like mountain climbing.They also lend out bike helmets for safety. Rent one with your bike and ride safely.Now we’ll show you Notojima Island’s “Notojima Aquarium.” Since we knew we were going to ride up and down a lot of hills, we chose a bicycle with gears. The weather was so nice that you could see all the way to Notojima Island.Over Notojima Island Bridge We Go!You need to cross a long bridge called Notojima Bridge to get from Wakura Onsen to Notojima Island. I’m sure you can see how large the bridge is just by looking at the photo above.At 1050m long, Notojima Bridge is the longest bridge in Ishikawa Prefecture (as of August 2015). Let’s cross to the beautiful Notojima Island!We’ve arrived at the entrance to Notojima Bridge. Notojima Island is flanked by the grand Nanao Bay (七尾湾) on both sides.In Japan, bicycles can travel on the same roads as other vehicles. Just to be safe, though, you should get off your bike and walk along the sidewalk.This is the middle of the bridge. The view looks all the more gorgeous since we’ve been walking so much. The wave-less bay is quiet, leaving only the comforting sound of the breeze to reach your ears. This would be a good spot to take a group picture.Arriving at Notojima IslandThe road is paved once you get to Notojima Island, but there are a lot of hills. Even with a bike with gears, you’ll probably have to stop and catch your breath. If you’re planning on coming here by bike, choose clothes and shoes that are easy to move around in.Of course, after you climb a hill, you’ll be rewarded with a slope. There are times when going downhill will be just as difficult as going uphill, so use your brakes when things get a little too speedy and enjoy the scenery Notojima Island has to offer.Now Arriving at “Michi no Eki: Notojima Kouryuu Marketplace”After about 30 minutes of cycling on Notojima Island, you’ll arrive at “Michi no Eki: Notojima Kouryuu Marketplace” (道の駅 のとじま交流市場). We recommend taking a quick break here.Notojima Kouryuu Marketplace is in the middle of the island, next to “The Notojima Glass Art Museum” (能登島ガラス美術館) and “Notojima Glass” (能登島ガラス工房). There are also restaurants serving cuisine with local ingredients. We recommend you pick up some homemade tsukemono or farm-fresh produce as souvenirs.Cross the Street to “The Notojima Glass Art Museum”Across from “Michi no Eki: Notojima Kouryuu Marketplace” is “The Notojima Glass Art Museum.””The Notojima Glass Art Museum” was established in 1991 and displays over 400 glass structures crafted by artists around the world. There are exhibits that introduce you to different types of glass works, and there are even workshops where you can craft your own glassware. “Notojima Aquarium” houses over 40,000 aquatic creatures of 500 species, consisting mostly of fish and other sea animals around Notojima Island, such as the whale shark. There are special events like dolphin shows, sea lion shows, penguin walks, and otter feeding times. You can even feed or touch some of the wildlife in this interactive aquarium.Picture from: Notojima Aquarium HPPicture from: Notojima Aquarium HPPicture from: Notojima Aquarium HPYou’ll need about an hour and a half to two hours to be able to see everything in the aquarium. Since it takes about 2 hours to get to and from Wakura Onsen, you should free up about 5 hours if you also plan on stopping by the glass art museum.It would be a good idea to not make any plans outside of going to the aquarium.The Fun Doesn’t Stop Even When You Get Back to Wakura OnsenAfter you get back from Notojima Island, let’s look around Wakura Onsen.There are plenty of ways to recover from the exhaustion built up from going to and from Notojima Island, like boiling eggs or soaking in a foot bath.InformationNotojima AquariumAddress: Ishikawa-ken, Nanao-shi, Notojima Kyoku-cho 15-bu 40Business hours: (March 20-November 30)09:00~17:00(December 1-March 19)09:00~16:30Closed: December 29-31Wi-fi: N/ACredit cards accepted: N/AJapanese level required: N/AOther languages offered: English, ChineseNearest station: Wakura Onsen StationAccess: 30 minutes by bus from Wakura Onsen, 50 minutes by bikePrice range: Regular (high school and above) 1,850円Middle school and below (above 3 years old) 510円Phone number: 0767-84-1271Official website: Notojima Aquarium
Photo: Japan Taiko FoundationThe pleasant rhythm and the powerful appearance.You’ll definitely want to bang on or even touch these drums, but there usually isn’t much of a chance. Release your stress, play along to music, or play it with the ones you love.This is when “Taiko no Tatsujin” will make your dreams come true.What is “Taiko no Tatsujin”?”Taiko no Tatsujin” is a game where you hit the drum that is set in front of the screen. It is a music and rhythm game.There are many songs that are divided by genre into eight different folders. The eight genres includes J-POP, anime, vocaloid, classic, game music, and Namko Original.The newest version of Taiko no Tatsujin 14 includes 175 songs! You can play different songs every time!Challenge Yourself with Hidden Command!The basic rule of how to play the game is to hit the drum when you see a musical note to the rhythm. When you see a red one, hit the middle. When you see a blue one, hit the side.After you choose a song, choose the level. There are three levels; “easy,” “normal,” and “difficult.” Try hitting the side of the drum for “difficult” and…? Many people think games are for one person to play by themselves on a T.V. or smartphone. Therefore, I would like to introduce you to Game Centers!Game Centers have big screens, loud volume, and a unique atmosphere! One of the games that everyone enjoys (children to adults) is the “Taiko no Tatsujin.”Warming Up the Festival! Wadaiko (Japanese drum)What is your image of a Japanese festival?The first few things that come up to my mind are Yukatas, scooping goldfish, cotton candy, and wadaiko. Wadaiko is an important factor in a Japanese festival because it heats up and makes the festival fun! You will find men wearing a headband, playing these drums at Japanese festivals! There it is! The hidden command, “Oni!” (level above difficult)A Game Families Can Play Together!If you choose a song that can be supported by your father or your mother, the parent and child can play using each drums with a cost for only one person.As you can see, Taiko no Tatsujin can be played by a beginner to pro. If you come to Japan with your family, try playing it with your parents!Who Can Get Higher Score? The Battle Starts NOW!There are battles where confident players battle each other. Not only the score is important in this game, but the amount of times you can hit the drum in a certain time also counts.The amount of hits you can make in one second. Not possible for a human being… You’ll never know the maximum number of hits you make, but if you try, your score will definitely increase!So, put your soul into that drum stick and lets start hitting!
Buy Osaka Souvenirs Before the Shinkansen Ride For those looking to experience comedy in Japan, look no further than Omoshiroi Koibito. The name of these cookies, Omoshiroi Koibito, is perhaps a playful spin-off of the Shiroi Koibito, popular vanilla and chocolate sandwich-style cookies from Sapporo. How To Travel To Osaka From Tokyo Taro Sable are sable (French butter cookies) shaped like Kuidaore Taro, one of Osaka’s cutest mascots. These tasty, light cookies have a crisp texture, a buttery flavor, and a mild level of sweetness. This adorable box contains ten individually packaged cookies. Shopping at JR Shin-Osaka Station is convenient for users of the JR Pass and those riding the bullet train. Different souvenir shops are inside the ticket barriers, making it a stress-free area to finish your shopping after you’ve gotten your train ticket.This article introduces ten food souvenirs and gifts that can be purchased at JR Shin-Osaka Station. Each is representative of Osaka’s culinary creativity and playful personality, and will bring a smile to family, friends, and coworkers.1. Takoyaki Pringles – Classic Chips with a Kansai Twist Takoyaki Pringles are a great choice with their familiar brand name and appearance. They look like conventional potato chips but have a distinct savory and slightly sweet aroma. Flavored with typical takoyaki ingredients – tangy sauce, mayonnaise, pickled ginger, and bonito flakes – these chips have a satisfying, takoyaki taste. These senbei are great for anyone who likes rice crackers, but is looking to try something new. Okonomiyaki senbei have all the right ingredients and flavor of a traditional Japanese and unique Osaka snack.9. Pucho – Cute Hello Kitty and Shinkansen Chewy Candy Even if the cookies get eaten up quickly, the bright yellow tin can be reused, making a lasting Osaka memento and thoughtful gift.4. Kushi Katsu Kataage Potatoes – Crunchy and Tangy Chips Pucho are chewy candies flavored with sweet, often fruity flavors popular throughout Japan. The candies pictured above come in a set five featuring Hello Kitty and different bullet trains in the western Japan region, including Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima. They are all grape flavored.The Hello Kitty and representative packaging for each candy are simply adorable, and Pucho are a classic candy that will delight all who try them. As the candies are small, they are easy to store in suitcases.10. Takoyaki Ramune – An Osaka-Style Fizzy Drink Kushi Katsu Kataage are potato chips flavored with sweet and sour sauce used on kushi katsu (deep-fried meat, vegetables, and other ingredients on skewers), another well-known, local Osaka specialty. These chips are also made by Calbee, the Japanese food manufacturer mentioned above. This ramune, a classic, soda-like carbonated beverage in Japan, is flavored like takoyaki with a sweet and slightly savory sauce taste. It is surprisingly easy-to-drink and tastes similar to cola. The beverage is slightly sweet and has a faint savory, spicy aftertaste. It is a refreshing beverage, great for summer or any time you want to cool off.The bottle is a traditional ramune bottle with a ball at the top. However, the bottle is plastic and not glass, making it lightweight and convenient to stow in luggage.Must-Have Souvenirs at Shin-Osaka StationBefore leaving Osaka for your next destination, be sure to pick up some classic souvenirs filled with the personality and uniqueness of this western Japanese metropolis.Be sure to look for the items listed above for great mementos and gifts in Osaka!Read also Another creative, Osaka-only treat is Tako Patie, a combination of savory takoyaki and sweet pie crust. The bar is topped with seaweed, mayonnaise flavoring, and savory takoyaki sauce. The base of the crunchy stick is pie crust-like, flavored with caramel. There are also walnuts in the bar that add a yummy crunchy texture. Many people put Osaka, the lively metropolis in Kansai, on their must-visit list in Japan. Along with sightseeing and discovering local Osaka cuisine, souvenir shopping is an entertainment form of its own and not to be missed. Many of Osaka’s food souvenirs, in particular, reflect the city’s reputation as Japan’s kitchen, with unique and delicious flavors, providing surprises and fun when browsing and later tasting the snacks you’ve purchased. Read also The chips have a noticeable crunch and a tangy flavor that tastes just like kushi katsu sauce. Each chip is slightly small in size. The box contains 8 easy-to-distribute chip bags. Okonomiyaki Senbei is a traditional senbei, or Japanese rice cracker, topped with ingredients of okonomiyaki, a savory pancake-like dish considered to be one of Osaka’s soul foods. The senbei is crispy, like a conventional rice cracker, but has a taste very similar to okonomiyaki. Small in size, they are quite cute and look like miniature okonomiyaki. 5. Omoshiroi Koibito – Cookies with Osaka Humor The bar tastes like takoyaki at first, but the sweetness from the pie and caramel are also pronounced, creating a blend of two different flavors. Tako Patie comes with eight individually-packaged bars, so be sure to share it with friends with adventurous tastebuds.8. Okonomiyaki Senbei – An Easy-to-Eat, Miniature Savory Pancake 6 Dishes From Osaka That Will Satisfy Your Heart And Stomach In Japanese, “omoshiroi” means interesting. In accordance with its name, these cookies have an unusual savory flavor in their creme filling, coming from fragrant soy sauce. The result is a cookie that tastes like mitarashi dango, a traditional Japanese sweet with a slightly salty flavor. The filling is sandwiched between two gaufre, or thin, crisp waffle cookies. These cookies are a great gift for anyone with slightly unusual taste. One box contains 16 cookies.6. Takoyaki Jagayanen – Traditional Osaka Flavored Potato Snacks Takoyaki Jagayanen have a characteristic, local flavor with a strong pickled ginger aroma and taste. These potato snacks contain other takoyaki seasonings, giving them a savory, salty taste. They are similar to the Calbee Jagabee mentioned above, but are slightly more spicy from the ginger. Jagayanen are sold in single cups and make a tasty personal snack.7. Tako Patie – An Unusual Sweet and Savory Treat The chips have the delicious crisp of a high-quality potato chip combined with just the right amount of takoyaki-flavored seasoning. They come in a package of three Pringle cans, so you can split them among friends and family, or keep them for yourself and savor them slowly.2. Takoyaki Jagabee – Crispy Osaka-Flavored Potato Snacks Read also 25 Fun Things To Do In Osaka – Museums, Food, Nightlife, And Shopping Takoyaki Jagabee is a crispy, fried potato snack made Calbee, a major Japanese food manufacturer, known especially for their potato chips and potato-based snacks. These Jagabee, shaped like small french fries, are seasoned lightly with takoyaki flavors and seaweed flakes. They are cooked until crispy and airy, and have a nice crunch.The size above comes with five individually packaged snacks that are petite in size, ideal for a quick recharge at work or at school. They are also easy to give out to relatives and friends.3. Taro Sable – A Tasty and Adorable Mascot Cookie A 2-Day Osaka Trip Itinerary – Things To See, Experience, And Eat Osaka Complete Guide: Travel Tips, Dining, Shopping, And More
Have you heard of the hexagonal tower floating in the middle of Shinobazu Pond?It’s actually part of a temple in Ueno Park. Today, we’ll tell you more about a structure that stands out even in Ueno Park, the Bentendo Temple.Modeled After Biwa LakeBentendo Temple is modeled after Chikufujima Island’s Hogon-ji Temple floating in the middle of Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest lake. Benzaiten, summoned from Hogon-ji Temple, is worshipped here.When it was first built, Bentendo floated in the middle of the pond just as Chikufujima Island did in the middle of Lake Biwa. The increasing number of visitors meant that boats couldn’t transport passengers in a timely manner, and this resulted in the stone bridge built over the pond.What does the “Benten” in “Bentendo” Stand For?The “Benten” of “Bentendo” is derived from the name of the goddess enshrined there, “Benzaiten”.Praying to Benzaiten is said to grant good fortune in areas such as academic studies, arts, property, and relationships. You can reap those same benefits at Bentendo.Let’s Pay a Visit to Bentendo!Bentendo is the hexagonal building in Ueno Park that can be recognized even from above. There are plenty of signs in the park that will lead you there. Since it’s in the middle of Shinobazu Pond, it should be easy to find as long as you head in that direction.At the entrance, there is a platform called a kouro where you can place incense. Pop 100 yen into the box and light the incense to refresh both body and mind.This is what Bentendo looks like from the front. Since Bentendo is a temple, visitation methods are the same as other temples. It doesn’t look very hexagonal from this angle, so stop around the other side to see all of its angles. This is what Bentendo looks like from the back. It’s easy to see every one of its six beautiful angles.Look at All of the Unique Monuments around Bentendo!Many monuments surround Bentendo. This is the “Monument of Glasses”. If you wear glasses, this is a must-see.Next, we have the “Monument in Memory of Fugu”. Say a quick prayer here if you’re planning to eat some fugu.This is the “Tower of Gratitude to Suppon”. Suppon, or soft-shelled turtle, is a relative of the turtle that is also an ingredient used in Japanese cuisine. This tower-shaped monument was erected in honor of the suppon consumed by mankind.This is the Kitchen Knife Grave. Kitchen knives beloved by chefs around the world are enshrined here.One of the more noticeably larger monuments is the Bird Grave. Like the fugu and suppon monuments, this one was erected in honor of the fowl consumed by humans.Unique buildings call for unique monuments. Bentendo Temple is a well-kept secret for visitors outside of Japan.InformationBentendo TempleAddress: 2-1 Uenokoen, Taito-ku, TokyoNearest station: JR Ueno StationKeisei-Ueno StationToei Oedo Line/Tokyo Metro Chiyoda, Yushima StationAccess: 10 min on foot from Ueno/Keisei-Ueno stations7-min on foot from Yushima StationPhone number: +81(0)3-3821-4638Official Website: Toueizan Kaneiji Official Site (Japanese)
Send Packages from JapanJapan Post’s service is one of the best in the world. Packages very rarely get lost, and a domestic package usually only takes up to two or three days to arrive.If you use EMS in Japan, you can cheaply send parcels internationally. EMS can track your packages, so it’s convenient when sending souvenirs back to your home country.Also read:Where To Find Free Wi-Fi In Japan – Japan Connected-Free Wi-FiBasic Information Regarding Japanese CurrencyHow to Use EMSPackages sent using EMS, which is short for Express Mail Service, are given the highest priority in international mail, so EMS deliveries are faster than other types of international mail. Furthermore, it offers lower prices than non-Japan Post businesses which handle international mail.Where EMS DeliversEMS delivers to 120 countries worldwide, including America, Europe, China, Korea and Oceania. EMS services deliver to almost every country that has many travelers who visit Japan.Check this site for more information about what countries are within the delivery radius.What You Can Send Via EMSYou can send up to 30 kg of documents and standard food items via EMS. You cannot send paper money or flammable items. A complete list of restrictions is available here.How To Use EMSTo send a package via EMS, first:・Get an EMS envelope from a post office if you’re sending documents or small items.*EMS envelopes are free.・For larger items, you will need to place them in a cardboard box and get an EMS label affixed to the package.The label needs:・The sender’s name and address, and the recipient’s name and address.・A numbered and itemized list of the contents, and their approximate value.Fill these in and give your package to the staff. They’ll let you know the cost of shipping, which you can then pay at the counter.EMS PricesEMS shipping destinations are split into four regions, and shipping prices are determined by region and weight.・Asia・Oceania – North America – Central America – Middle East・Europe・South America – AfricaFor example, if you want to send a 1 kg package to Taiwan, which is part of the Asia region, you’ll have to pay 2100 yen (for 1 kg).If you want to send a 1 kg package to the US, which is part of the North America region, you’ll have to pay 2900 yen (for 1 kg).If you want to send a 1 kg package to France, part of the Europe region, you’ll have to pay 3200 yen (for 1 kg).Incidentally, these are the prices for sending a 10 kg package to each region.Asia……10,500 yenOceania……14,500 yenEurope……16,600 yenSouth America – Africa……27,700 yenThe further away from Japan the destination, the more the price creeps up.EMS TrackingEMS packages can be tracked.By going to the Delivery Status Confirmation page on Japan Post’s website and entering the 13-digit confirmation code, you can check on your package.The confirmation code is the 13-digit number you receive at the service counter after you pay for shipping.EMS Can Also Ship Refrigerated PackagesBy using Cool EMS, you can internationally ship items which require refrigeration, like fruit and seafood.There are two kinds of Cool EMS: refrigerated, which can cool up to 15 kg at 0 to 10℃, and frozen, which can cool up to 10 kg at -15℃ and below.However, Cool EMS shipping is restricted to certain countries, including Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam and France. Cool EMS packages are sent out every Tuesday, so if you want to keep a package cold, take it to the post office on Tuesday.EMS CompensationIf you send a package via EMS and it is received damaged or deficient, you can make a reimbursement claim.If the value of your package is under 20,000 yen, there is no additional charge.For every 20,000 yen after that, you can pay another 50 yen per 20,000 yen to raise the amount of money that the claim will cover.Also read:Where To Find Free Wi-Fi In JapanWhat You Should Know About Japanese Pay Phones In An EmergencyBasic Information Regarding Japanese Currency
About KagoshimaKagoshima Prefecture, located on the island of Kyushu, is blessed with a warm climate and beautiful greenery and is known for its volcanoes and outlying islands such as Sakurajima, Amami Oshima, and Yakushima.Kagoshima is made up of two peninsulas and its many outlying islands. The western peninsula is known as Satsuma Peninsula and is home to Kagoshima City. On the eastern side lies Kagoshima bay, sandwiched between Sakurajima and the Osumi Peninsula. Otherwise, you can take a 4-hour south-bound ferry from the port of Kagoshima to Yakushima Island or a 80-minute plane ride to Amami Oshima Island.This article will list different sightseeing spots by area, but for more comprehensive information on touring Kagoshima, see our article Kagoshima Travel Guide: 32 Sightseeing Spots, Local Food, and More!32 Sightseeing Spots in KagoshimaKagoshima City1. Sengan’en Park (Isoteien)Sengan’en Park (Isoteien) is a large park in Kagoshima City. Originally the site where the Shimazu Family, rulers of the Kagoshima Region, had their estate, now it is a place where many visitors come to see the beauty of the surrounding flora.Inside the park, visitors can see a palace built in the Shoinzukuri style of architecture as well as the amazing front gate that has been used for shooting period TV dramas as well as various ruins of former structures scattered around the park grounds. The park also has plenty of flowering trees such as cherry and plum that springtime tourists can come and see, though the biggest draw may be viewing Sakurajima, a symbol of Kagoshima, from the eaves of the palace.Address: Kagoshima, Yoshinocho 9700-1Phone: 099-247-1551Hours: 8:30 am to 5:30 pmClosed: Open year roundEntrance Fee: Adults 1000 yen; Children 500 yenWebsite: Sengan’en Park2. Shiroyama Shiroyama is a 107 meter tall hill located within the city limits. Known for its connection to the famous Samurai Saigo Takamori (upon whom Ken Watanabe’s character in The Last Samurai was based), the area is host to a large number of visitors and is also known as a nice getaway spot for locals to take a load off and relax.With a promenade for visitors to take a relaxing stroll along, those who make it to the top of the hill can view the whole of the city as well as Sakurajima from a viewing platform, the view extending even to Kaimondake Mountain on clear days.Known for its spectacular nighttime view, we recommend visiting this area in the evening.Address: Kagoshima, Shiroyamacho3. Terukuni ShrineTerukuni Shrine, located at the foot of Shiroyama, enshrines the spirit of the 28th head of the Shimazu clan, Shimazu Nariakira. Built in the mid-18th century, visitors are sure to be impressed at its scale.Visitors to the shrine may be privy to witnessing a Japanese wedding ceremony, and during the event held every July called Rokugatsuto, lanterns line the shrine grounds, making it a must-see if you find yourself in Kagoshima during the summer.Address: Kagoshima, Terukunicho 19-35Phone: 099-222-1820Hours: 8:30 am to 5:30 pmWebsite: Terukuni Shrine (Japanese)4. Statue of Saigo Takamori Science aficionados looking to see science exhibits close up should definitely check out the JAXA Uchinoura Space Center. This launch complex, located in southern Kagoshima, rests on the coast of the Pacific Ocean and has sent off several rockets and satellites starting with Osumi in 1970 and other asteroid research probes such as the Hayabusa.Visitors are welcomed to the JAXA Unchinoura Space Center free of charge where they can see facilities such as launch platforms and the enormous parabolic antenna from a moving tram. At the adjacent science center, one can view exhibits on the inner workings of rockets and the history astrological inquiry as well as models of rockets and other satellites.Address: Kagoshima, Kimotsuki, Kimotsuki, Minamikata 1791-13Phone: 050-3362-3111Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pmClosed: Typically open year round (subject to change)Entrance Fee: Free of chargeWebsite: JAXA Uchinoura Space Center (Japanese)23. JSDF Kagoshima Airbase ArchivesAt the JSDF Kagoshima Airbase Archives, located within the grounds of the present day Maritime Self Defense Force airbase, visitors can view exhibits on the former Japanese Navy.In addition to this, the 1st floor of the archives features information on the current status and activities of the modern day Japanese Navy. Providing a broad range of information from the former Navy to the present day Self Defense Force, this is a place for those interested in military studies and national defense to dig deep into history.Address: Kagoshima, Kanoya, Nishihara 3-11-2Phone: 0994-42-0233Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pmClosed: December 29 through January 3Entrance Fee: Free of chargeWebsite: JSDF Kagoshima Airbase Archives (Japanese)Yakushima, Amami Oshima, and Tanegashima24. Yakushima’s Jomon Cedar Takachiho Farm is a farm located on the border between Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures. Open to the public as a tourist spot, here visitors can come and see the many animals that the farm houses have.With a viewing platform located on the farm’s grounds, one can catch a view of Mt. Kirishima from here. The farm is also host to a number of restaurants and shops, some of which serve the farm’s famous ice cream.Address: Kagoshima, Miyakonojo, Yoshinomotocho 5265-103Phone: 0986-33-2102Hours: April through October: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm; November through March: 9:00 am to 5:00 pmEntrance Fee: FreeWebsite: Takachiho Farm (Japanese)Osumi Area21. Kanoya Rose GardenKanoya Rose Garden, located near Kagoshima Bay, is Japanese largest rose garden. At over 8 hectares in size, it boasts 35,000 roses in total.Sporting the park’s own original species, the Princess Kayano, as well as other rare wild roses from the Asian mainland, the garden also features English roses, hybrid tea roses, making for a delightful springtime stroll for visitors.Address: Kagoshima, Kayano, Hamadacho 1250Phone: 0986-40-2170Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pmClosed: Mondays (if a national holiday, then the following day) and New Year’s (Park is open every day of the week during the Kayano Rose Festival)Entrance: Regular 620 yen; High School and Younger 110 yenWebsite: Kanoya Rose Garden (Japanese)22. JAXA Uchinoura Space Center In 1868, the Tokugawa Shogunate that had ruled the country for over 250 years was toppled, paving the way for the Meiji Government to be formed. The period between the fall of the Tokugawa and the rise of the Meiji Government is known as the Meiji Restoration. One particular region that played a key role in the Meiji Restoration is Kagoshima itself.At the Museum of the Meiji Restoration, a place where the merits of the people of Kagoshima are remembered, is a must-visit for any history buff interested in diving into the conflict that occurred as Japan entered into the modern age.Inside the museum, visitors will find films, dioramas, and even robotic and other high-tech exhibitions on display. In the Restoration Experience Hall located on the 1st floor, patrons can even see a performance using robots of two of the city’s most important figures, Saigo Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi!For more information on the Museum of the Meiji Restoration, see our article: Japan’s Modern History At A Glance – Museum Of The Meiji RestorationAddress: Kagoshima, Kajiyacho 23-1Phone: 099-239-7700Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (last entry at 4:30 pm)Closed: Open year roundEntrance Fee: Adults (High School and older) 300 yen; Children 150 yenWebsite: Museum of the Meiji Restoration9. Kagoshima AquariumThe Kagoshima Aquarium is the largest of its kind in Kyushu. With over five floors of exhibitions, each floor is home to a plethora of leisurely swimming aquatic critters. Truly a sight to behold!In the amusement shop located on the 1st floor, visitors can pick up plushes and sweets that make for great souvenirs. With plenty of original products only available at the museum, be sure to check it out.Address: Kagoshima, Honkoshinmachi 3-1Phone: 099-226-2233Hours: 9:30 am to 6:00 pm (last entry 5:00 pm); Open until 9:00 pm on holidays such as Golden Week, Obon, Christmas Eve, as well as Saturdays, Sundays, and other Public Holidays during Summer Vacation.Closed: First Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of December. Open regular hours during New Year’s.Entrance Fee: Adults 1500 yen; Elementary and Junior High School Students 750 yen; 4 and Under 350 yenWebsite: Kagoshima Aquarium10. Hirakawa ZooAt Kagoshima’s Hirakawa Zoo located in the suburbs of the city, visitors are privy to such rare animals for Japan like the koala, the popular white tiger, and serves as home to 140 other types of fauna.With plenty of flora in the park as well, visitors are also welcome to visit the park’s foot bath hot spring and amusement park, making it a perfect place to spend the day with your family.Address: Kagoshima, Hirakawacho 5669-1Phone: 099-261-2326Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (last entry 4:30 pm)Closed: December 29 through January 1Entrance Fee: High School and older 500 yen; Children 100 yenWebsite: Hirakawa Zoo11. Kagomma Furusato Yatai MuraWhile it may be a mouthful, Kagomma Furusato Yatai Mura is a facility that houses over 25 different food stands or “yatai”, all serving different kinds of Kagoshima delicacies.At these stands, visitors can partake in dishes prepared with famous Kagoshima ingredients such as sweet potato shochu (distilled liquor) and Berkshire pork, Kagoshima sashimi, Kagoshima ramen – the list goes on and on of Kagoshima specialties. With staff who speak the thick drawl that is Kagoshima dialect, this place is not lacking at all in terms of local flavor.Though primarily open at night, some stands also offer lunch, and at just a five-minute walk from Kagoshima Station, it’s the perfect place to drop in and check out the city’s delicious dishes.Address: Kagoshima, Chuocho 6-4Phone: 099-255-1588Website: Kagomma Furusato Yatai Mura12. SakurajimaSakurajima is an active volcano located at the heart of Kagoshima prefecture. A beloved symbol of the region, it is a compound volcano made up of a northern, central, and southern mountains. Standing 1,117 meters tall (at the northern peak), and having an area of 80 km² and a circumference of 52 km, as of January 2015 nearly 4,600 people call the area directly around the volcano home.The volcano has frequently been active even in recent years, and even today you can see it spewing out smoke, with volcanic ash to be found in the surrounding area.Sakurajima can simply be viewed from afar in Kagoshima, but seeing the mountains, volcanic ash, and the lava fields first hand is certainly worth a trip. The island is also home to delicious crops and relaxing hot springs.Visitors can travel to Sakurajima via a 15-minute ferry across Kagoshima Bay.Chiran and Ibusuki Areas13. Chiran Peace MuseumThe Chiran Peace Museum exhibits historical artefacts relating to deceased Kamikaze pilots, members of the Japanese military during World War II who are known for their suicide attacks against American warships during the Battle of Okinawa and other conflicts during the war. As there was a base for these pilots in the nearby region, the museum serves to teach visitors about the lives of the pilots while also illustrating a will for peace on earth.The museum houses fighter planes from the war as well as letters and documents detailing the thoughts of kamikaze pilots. The museum was built in the hopes that, through understanding of the horrendous tragedy that occurred, people will come to know the value of peace and the value of life.Address: Kagoshima, Minamikyushu, Chiranchokori 17881Phone: 0993-83-2525Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (last entry 4:30 pm)Entrance Fee: Adults 500 yen; Children 300 yenWebsite: Chiran Peace Museum14. Chiran Samurai Residence GardenThe Chiran Samurai Residence Garden, located in the city of Minamikyushu, is an area where homes of former samurai from the Edo period exist today. With seven homes standing within the garden’s confines, the beauty of this area has been recognized by the government of Japan as being of particular cultural merit.In addition, nearby to the garden one will find the “Little Kyoto of Satsuma” (Satsuma being the name of the Kagoshima of old). Taking a stroll through this area is sure to transport one back in time to the Kyushu of old.Address: Kagoshima, Minamikyushu, Chiranchokori 13731-1Phone: 0993-58-7878Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pmClosed: Open year roundEntrance Fee: Adults 500 yen; Children 300 yenWebsite: Chiran Samurai Residence Garden15. Kaimondake Volcano Mt. Kirishima is a volcanic mountain range spanning the border between Kagoshima and Miyazaki Prefectures. The tallest peak is that of Karakunidake at 1,700 meters, with the next tallest being that of Takachihonomine at 1,574 meters and is a mountain range renown for its majestic beauty.Mt. Kirishima remains active to this day and is Kyushu’s foremost hot springs area, not to mention a popular destination for mountain climbers.20. Takachiho Farm The Tanegashima Space Center is the largest rocket launching platform in all Japan. With a science center located on site, visitors can even check out a real 50 m rocket!With several viewing platforms located within the center’s grounds, visitors can see the beauty of nature juxtaposed against the pinnacle of human technology. There are also free tours (though an appointment is necessary) held, so if you are interested, be sure to check out their website to sign up.Address: Kagoshima, Kumage, Minamitanecho, Kukinaga, MazuPhone: 0997-26-2111Hours: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm (during July and August, 9:30 am to 5:30 pm)Closed: Mondays (If Monday is a national holiday, then the following day. Open every day in August), New Year’s (December 29 through January 1), May close sporadically for rocket launchEntrance Fee: Free of ChargeWebsite: Tanegashima Space Center (Japanese)Kagoshima Hot SpringsKagoshima is sprinkled with a plethora of hot springs. Make sure you rest your weary body at one of the prefecture’s relaxing bath houses.1. Hot Springs in Kagoshima CityIn the heart of Western Japan’s volcanic chain lies the city of Kagoshima.With around 270 natural hot springs, this area of Japan is one of the most prominent, with the quality and variety of different hot springs available being a particular note of interest. With facilities and ryokan lodges offering stays for guests, the area also has bath houses as cheap as 300 yen and even some free foot bath facilities available to the public.Though staying at a lodge complete with a hot spring bath achieves the pinnacle of a relaxing stay, simply resting one’s feet in a foot bath after a long day of sightseeing is rejuvenating in and of its own right. One such foot bath is located a 10-minute walk from Tenmonkan in Kagoshima City’s shopping district at a place called Dolphin Port where you can wash your feet in the hot water free of charge.Dolphin Port FootbathAddress: Kagoshima, Kagoshima city, Honkoshinmachi 5-4Hours: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm (July and August until 10:00 pm)Website: Dolphin Port Footbath (Japanese)2. Kirishima Hot SpringsAt the foot of Mt. Kirishima lie the many hot springs of Kirishima. With around nine different hot springs burbling up from the ground, each as their own distinct water for visitors to enjoy.There are also several hotels and ryokan lodges located around the area, some with stone rotemburo open air baths. Kirishima is one place that hot spring lovers owe it to themselves to check out.Address: Kagoshima, Kirishima, Makizonocho, Takachiho3. Ibusuki Hot SpringsThe coastal city of Ibusuki is home to a number of hot springs where visitors can gaze out at the vast expanse of the ocean as they bathe. The panoramic view of the ocean from one of Ibusuki’s rotemburo baths beautifully contrasts the sea against the sky.Also, the natural heat of the hot springs warms the sand nearby, allowing for sand baths as well. At Saraku, an establishment specializing in sand baths, visitors can come relax in the warm sand as they listen to the soothing sounds of the ocean. Become one with nature and feel the healing effects of hot springs in Ibusuki.SarakuAddress: Kagoshima, Ibusuki, Yunohama 5-25-18Phone: 0993-23-3900Hours: 8:30 am to 8:30 pm (closes at 9:00 pm)Closed: Open year roundWebsite: Saraku Floating 350 km to the southwest of Kagoshima is Amami Oshima Island. With its warm climate and tropical flora, the island is also blessed with clear blue seas and white sand beaches.Known for the traditional crafts of mud dying (dorosome) and Oshima tsumugi weaving, the island also boasts fresh seafood and chicken among its delicacies.For information on getting to Amami Oshima from Tokyo, see our article: Amami Ōshima – A Paradise Only Two-And-A-Half Hours Away Enveloped in nature’s splendor, Yakushima Island became Japan’s first World Heritage site in 1993.The island’s Jomon Cedar Tree is the largest cedar tree native to the island and is said to be nearly 7,000 years old. Seeing the tree’s rugged exterior will leave any visitor in awe of its long history and strong prowess.As the journey to see the Jomon Cedar requires a trek ranging from 8 to 12 hours, visitors will need to be prepared. However, guided tours are available that offer rental equipment.For more information on the Jomon Cedar, see our articles: Yakushima – Trekking To The Ancient Cedar Tree (Part 1) and Yakushima – Trekking To The Ancient Cedar Tree (Part 2).Address: Kagoshima, Kumage, YakushimachoHours: 5:00 am to 6:00 pm (Arakawa Mountain Climbing Bus hours)Closed: During severe weather such as typhoons or in cases of blocked roadways25. Yakushima Fruit GardenYakushima Fruit Garden is located in southern Yakushima and is home to 2,000 fruit trees. With tropical plants and other southern fruits, visitors can find all sorts of juicy, delicious treats in store for them here.At the Kajitsuan rest station, visitors can taste and purchase freshly picked bananas, mangos, pineapples as well as an assortment of jams, sending their taste buds off to a land of pleasant climes.Address: Kagoshima, Kumage, Yakushimachochukan 629-16Phone: 0997-48-2468Hours: Year roundEntrance Fee: Adults 500 yen; Children 250 yen26. KuchinoerabujimaKuchinoerabujima is a small island floating off the western coast of Yakushima and is surrounded by luscious greenery and active volcanos.Blessed with natural hot springs, the island features a number of places for visitors to take a dip. Visitors can take a 1 hour 40 minute ferry ride from the Miyanoura Port off Yakushima to the island, but the trip is definitely worth it for those looking to relax.Address: Kagoshima, Kumage, Yakushimacho, Kuchinoerabujima27. Amami Oshima The Statue of Saigo Takamori, located a short 10 minute walk from Terukuni Shrine, is devoted to the samurai who who worked to bring Japan into the modern age. Built in the man’s hometown 50 years after his death, this impressive statue towers 8 meters into the sky.This copper statue was sculpted by the same artist as the famous Hachiko statue located by Shibuya Station in Tokyo. Saigo’s formidable presence, the man draped in military garb, is made even more impressive by the towering mountains situated behind him.Address: Kagoshima, Shiroyamacho 4-365. Kagoshima Castle (Tsurumaru Castle Ruins) Kaimondake Volcano is an active volcano located in the Ibusuki area. Standing at 924 meters, the gentle slope of the mountain and its flat top have led it to be dubbed the “Mt. Fuji of Satsuma.”With tours at only 2 hours to the top, even novice mountain climbers can visit Kaimondake’s peak. From the top, travelers are witness to a view of Kirishima, Sakurajima, Lake Ikeda, Yakushima, and other points of interest.Address: Kagoshima, Ibusuki, Kaimon16. Lake IkedaLake Ikeda, located in Ibusuki, is Kyushu’s largest lake. The lake, formed over time from the active volcanoes of the region, boasts a circumference of 15 km.With shores adorned in a variety of flowers that bloom throughout the different seasons, the lake serves as a popular place for locals to jog and ride bicycles. In January, the whole area is enveloped in yellow as the rape blossoms bloom, making it a true sight to behold!Address: Kagoshima, Ibusuki, Ikeda17. Kagoshima BayKagoshima Bay, located to the south of Sakurajima, is sandwiched between the Satsuma Peninsula and the Osumi Peninsula. The bay is also known to locals as Kinko Bay.You’ll cross Kagoshima Bay if you’re taking a ferry from the Satsuma Peninsula to Sakurajima, and if you’re lucky you may just happen to see some of the dolphins that call the bay home coming up for a breath!Address: Kagoshima, Sakurajimayokoyamacho 61-4 Sakurajima Ferry, Kagoshima Bay Ferry TerminalPhone: 099-293-2525Website: Kagoshima BayKirishima Area18. Kirishima ShrineBuilt hundreds of years ago, Kirishima Shrine is the largest of all Shinto shrines in Kyushu. Though it has been destroyed in the wake of an eruption at Mt. Kirishima, the shrine was subsequently rebuilt, the main structure of the shrine being noted by the government as an important cultural landmark.The shrine is purported to provide good fortune in terms of national tranquility; peace and prosperity within the household; thriving business; and safe transit.Address: Kagoshima, Kirishima, Kirishimataguchi 2608-5Phone: 0995-57-0001Hours: Open all hours to the public. To request prayer services, office hours are from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm.Closed: Open year roundEntrance Fee: Free of chargeWebsite: Kirishima Shrine (Japanese)19. Mt. Kirishima For MATCHA Readers Only! 5% Discount Coupons!MATCHA’s readers benefit from a 5% discount service on their purchase of activity tickets from the Voyagin website. Upon performing your online payment, please insert the discount coupon code “voyaginmatcha”. You will receive a 5% discount on your purchase! (This service does not apply for Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea) Purchase tickets from Voyagin here21% OFF Amami Island 3D2N Stay—Amazing Culture & Nature Tour 28. TanegashimaTanegashima is one of the many outlying islands to the south of Kagoshima. A lush island full of greenery, the island is home to artefacts dating back to the Paleolithic era.We recommend enjoying both the natural scenery and water sports available on this island. Another point of interest is the Tanegashima Space Center where rockets are sent into space.A flight from Kagoshima Airport to Tanegashima Airport takes about 40 minutes, while a high speed boat from the Southern Honko Port of Kagoshima to Tanegashima’s Nishinoomoteko port takes about an hour and a half.29. Tanegashima Space Center Kagoshima Castle (the Tsurumaru Castle Ruins), is located in a corner of the city where the town’s castle once proudly stood. Originally known as Tsurumaru Castle, it was built in 1602 and burned down in 1873, though its stone walls and moat still remain as a reminder of the strength of the Shimazu clan.Also located within the castle grounds is a statue of princess Tenshoin Atsuhime and the castle ruins house historical documents and artefacts, making it a must-visit for history buffs.Address: Kagoshima, Shiroyamacho 7-2Entrance Fee: Free6. Ishibashi Park Ishibashi Park is a park located in Kagoshima City.This park houses Ishibashi Memorial Hall, a museum that displays the history and bridge building technology for the stone bridges, built during the Edo period, that line the Kotsukigawa River which runs through the middle of the city.Of these bridges, the largest of the 3 remaining structures is the Nishidakyo Bridge, the largest of all, which was used by locals for 150 years before it was eventually moved. The area below the bridge is now available for children to play and is beloved by locals as a place to rest and relax.Address: Kagoshima, Hamamachi 1-3 (Ishibashi Memorial Hall)Phone: 099-248-6661Hours: Ishibashi Memorial Hall – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (until 7:00 pm in July and August), closed Mondays and on December 31. The park is always open.Entrance Fee: FreeWebsite: Ishibashi Park7. Xavier ParkFrancisco Xavier, a Jesuit monk known for traveling to Japan to spread the word of Christianity as well as to introduce foreign culture, came to Japan in 1549 and is said to have spent nearly a year living in Kagoshima. Xavier Park was established on the 400th anniversary of the monk’s coming to Japan and houses a statue of the man himself and a memorial plaque.Incidentally, there was also a Christian church built during the Meiji period in the Terukunicho district of the city named after and built in honor of the man. While this church was lost during the war, a portion of the sanctuary and some rebuilt portions of the church exist today.Both serve as symbols of Christianity’s beginnings in the Land of the Rising Sun.Address: Kagoshima, Higashisengokucho 4-98. Museum of the Meiji Restoration
The Famous Seven Lucky Gods of Asakusa! (Or Is It Nine?)Meet Seven Lucky Gods!Everybody ought to have some wishes he or she would like to be granted – health, love, business or money, and probably many others. But did you know that in Japan there are a lot of gods who would be glad to fulfill your wishes? The most famous among them is the Seven Gods of Fortune, or the Seven Lucky Gods.The term “Seven Lucky Gods” apply to seven deities named Daikokuten, Ebisu, Bishamonten, Fukurokuju, Hotei, Jurojin, and Benzaiten. Each of them has his or her own different field of “wish-fulfilling work”, and is in charge of a particular type of wishes. Unfortunately, there aren’t many shrines where all of them are enshrined, and usually, only one god is a deity of a particular Shinto shrine or temple. That is why you have to go to seven different shrines and temples if you want to pay a visit to these seven deities of fortune.Still, it is believed that he or she who visits all seven shrines and temples where these gods dwell in the right order, will be bestowed with great fortune! This trip is often called the Seven Lucky Gods Pilgrimage.Here’s a Secret Revealed – Nine Gods Are Gathered in Asakusa!You can undertake a pilgrimage even here, in Asakusa, where these seven deities are affectionately called the Famous Seven Lucky Gods’ Dwellings of Asakusa by the loving locals. However, since Fukurokuju and Jurojin have each two shrines, if you devote yourself to visiting every of the Lucky Gods’ shrine and temple, you will have to make rounds to nine different locations.Introducing the Famous Seven Lucky Gods’ Dwellings in AsakusaNow, let us introduce these famous places in Asakusa where the Seven Lucky Gods dwell. We will present the name of the shrine (or the temple) together with the name of its enshrined deity.Sensoji Temple (Daikokuten)Daikokuten takes care of people’s wealth, the abundance of crops, and such. He is usually presented standing on top of two bags of rice, and the place where he resides is the well-known Sensoji Temple.InformationSensoji TempleAddress: Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa 2-3-1Phone Number: 03-3842-0181Nearest Station: Asakusa Station (various lines)Access: 5 minute walk from Asakusa Station of Tobu Railway Isesaki Line, Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Tsukuba Express or Toei SubwayWebsite: Sensoji Temple (Japanese)Asakusa Shrine (Ebisu)Ebisu reigns over the fields of medicine, sake brewing, fishing, and the prosperity of business. He is the only deity that originated in Japan and is enshrined in Asakusa Jinja (Asakusa Shrine).InformationAsakusa ShrineAddress: Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa 2-3-1Nearest Station: Asakusa Station (various lines)Access: 7 minute walk from Asakusa Station of Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Toei Subway Asakusa Line, Tobu Railway Asakusa Line, 10 minute walk from Asakusa Station on Tsukuba ExpressPhone Number: 03-3844-1575Website: Asakusa Shrine (Sanja-sama)Matsuchiyama Shoden (Bishamonten)When in need of wealth and courage, ask Bishamonten for help. This deity is originally from India, but in Asakusa he is enshrined in Matsuchiyama Shoden.InformationMatsuchiyamashodenAddress: Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa 7-4-1Nearest Station: Asakusa Station (various lines)Access: 7 minute walk from Asakusa Station (same for each line)Phone Number: 03-3874-2030Website: Matsuchiyama ShodenImado Shrine (Fukurokuju)The deity of Imado Shrine is one of the Seven Lucky Gods – Fukurokuju. He is a god that brings longevity to people, as well as peace and prosperity to families. It is said that this deity is originally from Chinese Taoism.Read Also: Imado Shrine, Find Love at the Home of the Maneki-nekoInformationImado ShrineAddress: Tokyo, Taito, Imado 1-5-22Nearest Station: Asakusa Station (various lines)Access: 15 minute walk from Asakusa Station (same for each line)Phone Number: 03-3872-2703Website: Imado Shrine (Japanese)Hashibafudosan (Hoteison)Hotei is the god of the Buddhist temple Hashibafudoson. He was introduced from China and is in charge of teaching people endurance (perseverance), and affection. He also takes care of peace and harmony in one’s home.InformationHashibafudosanAddress: Tokyo, Taito, Hashiba 2-14-19Nearest Station: Asakusa Station of various lines; Kiyokawa 2 by Toei busAccess: 7 minute walk from Asakusa Station (same for each line); get on Toei bus Kiyokawa Higashi 42 Otsu, bound for Minami Senju, get off at Kiyokawa 1, walk for 500 metersPhone Number: 03-3872-5532Website: HashibafudoinIshihama Shrine (Jurojin)Jurojin is enshrined in Ishihama Shrine, and since he is a god of perpetual youth and longevity, he takes care of people’s health and safety. Some believe that this deity is, in fact, the father of Chinese Confucianism, Laozi, appearing in another form.InformationIshihama ShrineAddress: Tokyo, Arakawa, Minami Senju 3-28-58Nearest Station: Minami-Senju Station of Tokyo Metro Hibiya LineAccess: 15 minute walk from Minami-Senju StationPhone Number: 03-3801-6425Website: Ishihama Jinja (Ishihama Shrine) (Japanese)Ootori Shrine (Jurojin)Another shrine where you can pray to Jurojin in Asakusa is Ootori Jinja, or Ootori Shrine. By the way, don’t get confused if you find another version of Jurojin’s name – sometimes it’s written with the character for “god” (寿老神), and sometimes using the character for “person” (寿老人) – the pronunciation, as well as the deity himself, is the same.InformationOotori ShrineAddress: Tokyo, Taito, Chito 3-18-7Nearest Station: Iriya Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line), Tawaramachi Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line) or JR Uguisudani StationAccess: 7 minute walk from Iriya Station, 15 minute walk from Tawaramachi Station, 20 minute walk from JR Uguisudani StationPhone Number: 03-3876-1515Website: Ootori ShrineYoshiwara Shrine (Benzaiten)Benzaiten is the goddess of the art and intelligence. Among the Seven Lucky Gods, she is the only female deity, so there is a popular belief that she also brings fortune regarding love and perpetuation of one’s descendants. She is the goddess of Yoshiwara Shrine.InformationYoshiwara ShrineAddress: Tokyo, Taito, Chito 3-20-2Nearest Station: Minowa Station and Iriya Station of Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, Toei Bus Yoshiwaraomon stopAccess: 15 minute walk from Minowa Station or Iriya Station, 5 minute walk from Toei bus Yoshiwaraomon stopPhone Number: 03-3872-5966Yasaki-Inari Shrine (Fukurokuju)Fukurokuju dwells in one more shrine in Asakusa – Yasaki-Inari Shrine.InformationYasaki-Inari ShrineAddress: Tokyo, Taito, Matsugaya 2-14-1Nearest Station: Inaricho Station and Tawaramachi Station of Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Asakusa Station (various lines), Toei Bus Kikuyabashi stopAccess: 7-minute walk from Inaricho Station or Tawaramachi Station, 10-minute walk from Asakusa Station, 3-minute walk from Toei Bus Kikuyabashi stopLet’s Pay a Visit to The Seven Lucky Gods of Asakusa!What do you think? It is indeed interesting that each of the Seven Lucky Gods has his (or her) own distinctive personality, don’t you agree?You can pay a visit to the one god you found to be most appealing (or you just feel the need to “ask a few questions”), or you can even embark on a pilgrimage and visit all 9 of the Famous Seven Lucky Gods’ Dwellings in Asakusa. Either way is fine – just don’t lose this opportunity to get your wishes fulfilled at one of these fascinating places!Read Also:How To Visit A Japanese ShrineHow to Properly Pray at a TempleYou may have to bring out your wallet, but at each of the shrines and temples you can get yourself many exciting things, such as the special stamp, called goshuin, or a small ema (a wooden plaque at Shinto shrines to write your wish on it), with a deity portrayed on it. It really gives a sense of achievement to collect stamps from all 9 places.Take a look at the following article for more information on the Japanese shrines: Make Your Wish At A Shrine! How To Dedicate Ema.If by chance, this article did inspire you to visit these nine shrines and temples in Asakusa, it might take you about four hours to achieve your goal, but don’t give up! This very Japanese practice, the Seven Lucky Gods Pilgrimage, ought to give you an unforgettable experience during your stay in Japan.
This arch stone bridge, the first of its kind in Japan, spans the Nakajima River and is called Megane-Bashi (spectacles bridge), as the arch reflected on the river surface resembles a pair of spectacles.Also, there are twenty heart-shaped stones embedded in the embankment. It is said that if you take a photograph with these stones in the background, your wish for love will be granted, so this area has become very popular.Megane-BashiAddress: Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Uono-machiWebsite: Megane-Bashi14. Ryoma-dori Oura Church, built in 1865, is Japan’s oldest Gothic-style church. It was constructed under the guidance of a French priest, and has an attractive white exterior.The official name of this church is The Church of 26 Martyrs, as it is dedicated to the 26 saints executed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. It is also famous for the discovery of the kakure Kirishitan (hidden Christian followers), who confessed their beliefs at this church.The church is adorned with beautiful stained glass. The original, the oldest of its kind in Japan, was destroyed by the atomic bomb blast, and the current stained glass was made by the Roger Trading in Paris.Oura ChurchAddress: Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Minamiyamate-machi 5-3Business Hours: 8:00-18:00Admission Fee: Adults 600 yen, High School Students 400 yen, Junior High School Students and Elementary School Children 300 yenWebsite: Oura Church7. Chinzei Taisha Suwa Shrine Huis Ten Bosch, located in Sasebo, is a Dutch cityscape theme park. This is the largest theme park in Japan, welcoming the visitors with seasonal flowers.There are also 44 pavilions offering all kinds of games, so it is fit for all members of the family. Live performances are regularly held, and some shows even draw a small crowd, so don’t miss them.The park is illuminated in the nighttime, and the visitors can enjoy the castle, rows of houses, flowers and canals bathed in beautiful lighting.Huis Ten BoschAddress: Nagasaki, Sasebo, Huis Ten Bosch-machi 1-1Business Hours: 9:00-22:00 (please note that the hours differ according to the season)Admission Fee:[Admission and free use of appointed facilities] Adults 6900 yen, High School and Junior High School Students 5900 yen, From 4-year olds to Elementary School Children 4500 yen, Senior citizens 6400 yen[Admission only] Adults 4400 yen, High School and Junior High School Students 3400 yen, From four-years old to Elementary School Children 2100 yen, Senior citizens 4400 yenWebsite: Huis Ten Bosch17. Gunkanjima The Goto Archipelago, which consists of more than 140 islands, is located 100 kilometers west of Nagasaki Port. During the days Christianity was banned in Japan, many hidden Christian followers relocated to these islands, and churches were built after the ban was lifted. These houses of prayer played an important part in history, and have become one of the highlights of this area.The clear blue tropical ocean surrounding the islands, and various parks in the rich natural environment are also a part of the appeals of Goto Archipelago.Goto ArchipelagoWebsite: Goto City Tourism Association (Japanese)Enjoy Your Trip to Nagasaki!All the places introduced above are the major sightseeing destinations in Nagasaki. The area has many other charms waiting to be discovered! We hope our guide to Nagasaki will be of help when you visit this region.All the information above is current as of March 2017, and was gathered from official websites. Please keep in mind that they are subject to change. Nagasaki citizens used to call all the non-Japanese people “Oranda-san” (Dutch people), and the slopes near the foreign settlement came to be called a “slope where the Oranda-san walks,” so they were named Oranda Zaka (Dutch Slope). With the Western-style residence around this area, visitors may feel like they’ve wandered into another country.Kassui Zaka, located near Kassui Gakuin school grounds, and the slope near Jokoiin Temple, are currently called Oranda Zaka. It might be fun to think about its history while taking a walk.Oranda ZakaAddress: Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Higashiyamate-machiOfficial Site: Oranda Zaka10. Nagasaki Confucian ShrineThis shrine was built in 1893 by Chinese residents in Japan, with the support of the Chinese government, to worship Confucius, the founder of Confucianism. The colorful architecture is built in traditional Chinese style, with such features as the Hekisui Bridge and the Gimon Gate at the entrance.The Historical Museum of China is also located at the shrine, displaying valuable materials. Please note that taking photographs is prohibited in the second and third floors of the museum.Confucian ShrineAddress: Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Oura-machi 10-36Business Hours: 8:30-17:30 (the entrance closes at 17:00)Admission Fee: Adults 600 yen, High School Students 400 yen, Junior High School Students and Elementary School Children 300 yenWebsite: Confucian Shrine11. Nabekanmuriyama ParkFrom the second gate of Glover Garden, it takes about ten minutes on foot to reach Nabekanmuriyama (Mount Nabekanmuri), which rises 169 meters above sea level. The view of the city and port of Nagasaki from the park observatory is breathtaking. The nighttime view was chosen as one of the New Three Best Nightscapes in the World, and is certainly worth a look.During the day, the Glover Residence, Gunkanjima and the five component sites of a World Heritage (Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution) site can be seen from the observatory. If you plan to visit the park, be sure to wear shoes that are fit for an uphill climb.Nabekanmuriyama ParkAddress: Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Izumo 2Official Site: Nabekanmuriyama Park (Japanese)12. Mount Inasa Mount Inasa, rising above 333 meters above sea level, offers a panoramic view similar to Nabekanmuriyama Park. The nighttime view is praised as the “ten million dollar nightscape,” and this spot is popular with couples for its romantic scenery. On a clear day, Unzen, Amakusa and even the Goto Archipelago can be seen from here.Visitors can walk, use the ropeway, or drive up to the mountaintop. Please note that a parking fee is required.Mount InasaAddress: Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Ohama-machi 1331Observation Platform Business Hours: 8:00-22:00Parking Lot Business Hours: Open 24 HoursParking Fee: 100 yen/30 minutes, the first 20 minutes are freeNagasaki RopewayBusiness Hours: 9:00-22:00Fare: [Round Trip] Adults 1230 yen, High School and Junior High School Students 920 yen, Elementary School Children 610 yen[One Way] Adults 720 yen, High School and Junior High School Students 510 yen, Elementary School Children 410 yenWebsite: Nagasaki Ropeway13. Megane-Bashi The Glover Garden is located on a hilltop in the southern area of Nagasaki City. The Glover Residence, formerly owned by the Scottish merchant Thomas Glover, was built in the late 19th century, and has been designated a World Heritage site. The exotic setting has become popular as a place to enjoy the beautiful flowers, and more than million tourists visit every year.There are six historic buildings on the grounds, including the former Ringer Residence and the former Alt Residence. Some of the buildings were even relocated from other areas in Nagasaki. Visitors can enjoy the seasonal flowers in the garden, or take in the view of Nagasaki City and Port. They can also enjoy various events, or have their photographs taken in period clothing.Although the Glover Garden sits at the top of a hill, it is equipped with escalators and elevators, so the facilities can be reached by everyone.To learn more about this spot, please take a look at Discover Nagasaki’s International History At Glover Garden.Glover GardenAddress: Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Minamiyamate-machi 8-1Business Hours: 8:00-18:00 (the entrance closes at 17:40)Admission Fee: Adults 610 yen, High School Students 300 yen, Junior High School Students and Elementary School Children 180 yenWebsite: Glover Garden3. Nagasaki Shinchi Chinatown Chinzei Taisha Suwa Shrine was rebuilt in 1625, after being burnt down.It is said that the shrine grounds have mystical powers. The legend goes that Gan-kake Komainu (lion-dog statues who will grant your wishes), which dot the grounds, help to bring couples together, and help students to pass entrance examinations. If you wish to stop smoking or drinking, they will also be of help, so many people visit this shrine. There is also a Komainu Well, where it is believed that if you wash money with the water, its value will double, and that drinking the water helps women with their childbirth.For further information, please read Nagasaki – See The Lion-Dogs At Chinzei Taisha Suwa Shrine.Suwa ShrineAddress: Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Kaminishiyama-machi 18-15Business Hours: 8:00-17:00Website: Suwa Shrine8. Nagasaki Atomic Bomb MuseumThe museum displays materials not only about the aftermath, but also about how the bombing was organized, the history of nuclear weapons, the reconstruction of Nagasaki City and the hope towards a world without nuclear weapons.The basement floor video room shows an animation with English subtitles about the citizens being exposed to radiation at the time, and a documentary about the history of nuclear weapons testing. The museum offers an opportunity for the younger generation to learn about nuclear weapons, and also about peace.Nagasaki Atomic Bomb MuseumAddress: Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Hirano-machi 7-8Business Hours:September to April 8:30-17:30 (the entrance closes at 17:00)May to August 8:30-18:30 (the entrance closes at 18:00)August 7th to August 9th 8:30-20:00 (the entrance closes at 19:30)Admission Fee: Adults200 yen, High School, Junior High School Students and Elementary School Children 100 yenWebsite: Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum9. Oranda Zaka Nagasaki Peace Park is located to the north of the place where the atomic bomb exploded. The park was created in hopes that peace prevails on earth, and to pledge that such a tragedy would not be repeated.The Peace Statue in this park stands at 9.7 meters in height. Both hands of the statue have their own meaning, as the right hand pointing to the sky represents the threat of atomic weapons, and the left hand pointing toward the horizon represents peace. The eyes of the statue are closed lightly, in prayer for the atomic bomb victims.Fountain of Peace, a circular fountain built in memory of the victims who died in search of water, is another feature of this park.Peace ParkAddress: Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Matsuyama-machiWebsite: Peace Park5. One-Legged Torii Arch at Sanno ShrineSanno Shrine in Nagasaki City is famous for its one-legged torii arch.There were four torii arches at this shrine, located about 900 meters from the atomic bomb hypo-center, but only the ni-no-torii (*1), damaged and standing on a single pillar, remains. In 2013, this torii was appointed as a Registered Monument by the Japanese Government.A camphor tree in the shrine grounds was also burned by the atomic bomb blast, but somehow managed to survive. This tree is regarded as a symbol of revival by the citizens.*1 Ni-no-torii: The second torii in the shrine grounds.One-Legged Torii ArchAddress: Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Sakamoto 2-6-566. Oura Church Nagasaki – An Area with an Exotic LandscapeNagasaki Prefecture is located in the northwest area of the Kyushu region. Nagasaki is famous for its exotic cityscape, influenced by both the Eastern and Western cultures. Along with Hiroshima, it is also known as a city devastated by an atomic bomb during the Second World War.There are historic places all over the prefecture, and this article will pick up the must-visit spots.What to Visit in Nagasaki: 22 Sightseeing Destinations1. Dejima Ryoma-dori is a route dotted with stone steps that starts from a path between Jinsoji and Zenrinji temples, through Teramachi-dori past Kameyama Shachu Memorial, ending at Kazagashira Park.The route is named after Sakamoto Ryoma, a popular figure in Japanese history and one of the heroes that contributed to the revolution that took place in the late Edo Period.Ryoma, along with his colleagues, often walked this route, and the citizens of Nagasaki started to call it Ryoma-dori. A statue is set along the route, where many visitors stop by to take photographs.Ryoma-doriAddress: Nagasaki, Nagasaki, from Tera-machi to Kazagashira-machi areasWebsite: Ryoma-dori (Japanese)15. Siebold Memorial Museum This museum was built in honor of Philipp Siebold, who taught Rangaku (studies of Western sciences in the Edo period, using the Dutch language) at Nagasaki. The red brick building is built in the style of Siebold’s house in Leiden, Holland.Precious materials about Siebold’s life, and various items he used at the time are displayed in this museum. It might take at least an hour to study the displays carefully.Siebold Memorial MuseumAddress: Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Narutaki 2-7-40Business Hours: 9:00-17:00 (the entrance closes at 16:30)Closed: Mondays, December 29th to January 3rd (if Monday happens to be a national holiday, the museum will be open.)Admission Fee: Adults100 yen, Junior High School Students and Elementary School Children 50 yenWebsite: Siebold Memorial Museum16. Huis Ten Bosch Nagasaki Shinchi Chinatown, along with Yokohama and Kobe, is one of the three Chinatowns in Japan. Chinese-style gates stand at the four cardinal points, and Chinese restaurants and souvenir shops line up the streets.Visitors should try champon (noodles with seafood, vegetables, and meat), which originated from this Chinatown and spread all over Japan, and sara-udon (thin udon noodles served on a saucer, topped with vegetables, meat and seafood), a local specialty. Be sure to taste these Nagasaki-style Chinese dishes which are made noodles, fresh seafood and vegetables.The Nagasaki Lantern Festival is held here every winter for two weeks and attracts over a million visitors. Over 15 thousand colorful lanterns adorn the city center, and Chinese lion and dragon dance events are also held through the festival.Nagasaki Shinchi ChinatownAddress: Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Shinchi-machi 10-13Website: Nagasaki Shinchi Chinataown4. Peace Park This onsen (hot spring) contains sulfur and has a high acidic quality. It is said to be effective for skin diseases in general, with a beautifying effect. Although there are various lodging facilities and sightseeing spots in the area, don’t miss the museum displaying the vidro (a small bottle-shaped glass toy), and the yu-senbei workshop, where the participants can make Japanese rice crackers using the hot springs waters.The area called Unzen Jigoku (Unzen Hell) is filled with steam and the smell of sulfur. A footbath and a communal bath is located in this area. Visitors can also take a stroll in the woods nearby.Unzen OnsenAddress: Nagasaki, Unzen, Obamacho-unzenWebsite: Unzen Tourist Association21. MisojienMisojien is a garden in Unzen City, about 25,000 square meters in size, and famous for its autumn leaves. The trees are spread out vertically, so the visitors can enjoy the leaves changing colors over a long period of time. The autumn leaves usually start in October. As the timing changes slightly every year, it would be best to check the information in advance. The trees are illuminated in nighttime, creating a fantastic sight not to be missed.MisojienAddress: Nagasaki, Unzen, Obamacho-minamikisashiBusiness Hours: 9:00-21:30Admission Fee: 500 yen per person. For a group of more than four people, the fee is 400 yen per person.Website: Misojien (Japanese)22. Goto Archipelago During the years Japan limited its trade with other countries, Dejima was the only place that foreigners were allowed to stay. It was an artificial island built in 1636, but now it is connected to the surrounding areas.In modern Dejima, the original buildings have been reconstructed. In those days, Dutch merchants used to enjoy a Western lifestyle in Japanese housing, and such scenery is also authentically re-created here. Visitors can change into kimono and take a walk, enjoy dining, or browse the souvenir shops handling items that can be bought only at Dejima.For further information, please read A Stroll Through Dejima – Where Japanese And Dutch Culture Coexist.DejimaAddress: Nagasaki, Dejima-machiBusiness Hours: 8:00-18:00 (please note that the closing hours are subject to change)Admission Fee: Adults 510 yen, High School Students 200 yen, Junior High School Students and Elementary School Children 100 yenWebsite: Dejima2. Glover Garden Gunkanjima (Battleship Island) is a nickname for Hashima. This island was developed for coal-mining in 1870, and there were more than 5,000 people living here at its peak period. But once oil became the main energy source, the mine was closed in 1974, and the island became deserted.A tour of Gunkanjima, where the participants can see the prototype of the Japanese high-rise concrete apartment buildings and the mining facilities has become popular, and more than 800,000 people have visited this island. In July of 2015, Gunkanjima was designated as a component site of a World Heritage (Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution) site.For further information, please read The Filming Location Of “Attack On Titan”! Gunkanjima, Nagasaki.GunkanjimaAddress: Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Takashima-machi18. TenkaihoFrom this observatory in Sasebo, visitors can enjoy the view of the Kujuku-shima (Ninety-nine Islands). The sunset view is also spectacular.The Kujuku-shima actually consists of 208 islands, spreading northward from the outskirts of Sasebo Port. The density of the islands is the highest in Japan. The visitors can also enjoy the view of colza flowers in spring, and cosmos flowers in autumn. The observatory is equipped with a parking lot.TenkaihoAddress: Nagasaki, Sasebo, Shimofunakoshi-cho 399Website: Tenkaiho (Japanese)19. Hirado Dutch Trading PostThis facility, a re-creation of a building built in 1609, displays historical materials and also hosts various events. Originally built by the East India Company, it was destroyed in 1640, during the days when Christianity was banned in Japan.Nautical instruments and items of daily use are displayed, along with pictures and books which describes how the people lived in those days. Workshops and public screenings are also held at this facility.Hirado Dutch Trading PostAddress: Nagasaki, Hirado, Okubo-cho 2477Business Hours: 8:30-17:30Closed: The third Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of JuneAdmission Fee: Adults 300 yen, Children 200 yenWebsite: Hirado Dutch Trading Post20. Unzen Onsen
SUNQ Pass Northern KyushuFukuoka, Kumamoto, Oita, Nagasaki, Saga, Shimonoseki (Yamaguchi)3 days9,000 yen7,000 yen SUNQ Pass Southern KyushuKumamoto, Miyazaki, Hiroshima3 days8,000 yen6,000 yen After selecting your language, proceed by picking your destination. For Hita City, select Hita Bus Center.Multiple tickets are available for purchase as pair tickets in sets of two or four at a discounted price.A one-way ticket from Fukuoka Airport to the Hita Bus Center costs 1,800 yen and 3,240 yen for 2 tickets purchased as a pair.The departure time and bus stop numbers are displayed above the ticket vending machine in Japanese and English.All You Have to Do Now Is Board the Bus for Hita With your mode of transportation decided, all that is left is to enjoy your stay in Hita!With an exquisite cityscape, delectable local cuisine, hot springs, and impressive nature, Hita is the place to go to satisfy your travel needs. Kindly check out MATCHA’s series of articles about Hita for further travel tips. SUNQ Pass All Kyushu (3 Days)All Prefectures in Kyushu, Shimonoseki (Yamaguchi)3 days11,000 yen10,000 yen Hita City in Oita – Kyushu’s Travel Hub Read also Before proceeding to the Fukuoka Airport Domestic Terminal, please consider purchasing the SUNQ Pass.SUNQ Pass is a multiple day unlimited ride bus ticket applicable for both highway and local buses within Kyushu.SUNQ Passes are available as follows. At the Nishitetsu Bus Ticket Center, travel tickets for various parts of Kyushu can be purchased at the ticket counter or from the ticket vending machines. The ticket vending machines are available in several languages, making it simple for travelers to use. *Notes1. The Overseas Purchase Price is only applied to SUNQ Passes purchased overseas. Tickets sold at counters in Japan will be sold at the Japan Counter Price even for international travelers.2. Tickets are available at the Overseas Purchase Price at the following facilities:① JTB Japan Travel WebsiteJAPANiCAN② Travel agencies in Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.The SUNQ Pass Northern Kyushu is convenient for travelers going from Fukuoka to Hita and Oita.Besides highway buses, the SUNQ Pass can also be used on the local buses with the SUNQ Pass mark. For additional information about how to use the SUNQ Pass, please visit the SUNQ Pass oficial website. Hita’s appeal lies in it being a convenient travel hub easily accessible from nearby cities in Northern Kyushu by highway bus, train or car.Going to Hita by BusThe most convenient way to travel to Hita City is by highway bus. It takes 1 hour and 3 minutes from Fukuoka Airport, 1 hour and 23 minutes from Oita Airport, and 1 hour and 39 minutes from Kumamoto Airport.Going to Hita by TrainAlternatively, Hita city is also accessible by train. It takes 1 hour and 16 minutes by special express train from Fukuoka Station, about 2 hours and 14 minutes from Oita Station, and about 1 hour and 28 minutes from Kumamoto Station. In some cases, it is necessary to transfer trains.3 Ways to Travel from Fukuoka to Hita CityFukuoka is the gateway to Kyushu. Most of the travelers to Kyushu will visit Fukuoka City.In this article, we will introduce three ways to get to Hita city from 1. Fukuoka Airport International Terminal, 2. Fukuoka Airport Domestic Terminal, and 3. Fukuoka City.1. Traveling from Fukuoka Airport International Terminal to Hita CityIf you are using Fukuoka Airport to get to Japan, you will arrive at the International Terminal. One convenient way to travel out of the airport is by highway bus.First, make your way to the bus terminal, which is located within the Domestic Terminal.Getting to the Domestic Terminal of Fukuoka Airport by the Free Shuttle Bus Travel information about free passes and destinations in Kyushu can be obtained from the counters within the lobby before boarding the shuttle bus.The Information Counter provides transport and hotel information. There are also counters providing currency exchange and car rental services. SUNQ Pass All Kyushu (4 Days)All Prefectures in Kyushu, Shimonoseki (Yamaguchi)4 days14,000 yen*Not available Outdoor Activities In Hita – Enjoy Japan’s Nature To The Fullest! The city is famous for Mamedamachi, a town renowned for its traditional streets and culture rooted in the Edo period. Hita is also a city full of lively contemporary culture, being at the same time blessed with rich nature – beautiful mountains, rivers, and hot springs.Not only is this city less congested with travelers but it also offers accommodation at affordable rates. If you have plans to explore Fukuoka, Kumamoto or Oita, we highly suggest that you extend your stay in Kyushu to visit the convenient and visitor-friendly city of Hita!In this article, we will introduce how to get to Hita City and budget-friendly transportation tickets.Just One Hour Away From Kyushu’s Large Cities As you exit the arrival lobby, an information counter is available on the right hand side, which visitors can approach for travel information.Domestic flights from cities such as Tokyo and Osaka will arrive at the Fukuoka Airport Domestic Terminal. Get Kyushu Travel Tips From The Locals! Hita City – Dining Places And Accommodation Hita, The City Of Water: A Culture Of Rivers, Hot Springs And Waterfalls Upon your arrival at the International Terminal, exit the lobby to find a sign with directions to the bus stop for the shuttle bus.Exit the airport building through the front entrance, turn left and you will find Shuttle Bus Stop 1. The highway bus bound for Hita departs from Bus Stop 2 (*as of September 17, 2018). Please get in the line a few minutes before the departure time. The black building in front of the bus center is Hita Station. The Tourist Information Center is located on the left side of the train station.It takes approximately one hour from Fukuoka Airpot to Hita Bus Center. The bus center is located in front of Hita Station. The Hita City Tourist Information Center is also close by.The Hita City Tourist Information Center is the place to go for travel information about Hita, rental cars or rental bicycles.Travel information from Hita to Oita, Kumamoto or Fukuoka can be obtained from Hita Bus Center or Hita City Tourist Information Center.3. Taking the Bus from Hakata or Tenjin to HitaIf you are planning to visit Fukuoka at the beginning of your Kyushu trip, you can travel to Hita directly from Fukuoka City, and there is no need to return to the airport.Hita can be accessed from Hakata Station Bus Terminal and Tenjin Bus Terminal. Make your way to the bus stop bound for Hita by following the green guide marks on the floor of Hakata Station Bus TerminalBuses bound for Hita depart from Hakata Station Bus Terminal’s platform 34 (*as of September 17, 2018) every 30 minutes in the afternoon and every hour in the morning and evening. Pass TypeAreaValidityJapan Counter PriceOverseas Purchase Price Sponsored by Hita City Tourism Department SUNQ Passes are sold at the Bus Ticket Counter located within the lobby of Fukuoka Airport International Terminal and Domestic Terminal.2. Traveling from Fukuoka Airport Domestic Terminal to Hita City The Tenjin Bus Terminal is located inside a department storeBuses bound for Hita depart from Tenjin Bus Terminal’s platform 5 (*as of September 17, 2018). The buses here also depart every 30 minutes or every hour.Rent a Car or Bicycle to Get around Hita Conveniently Right next to Hita Station is the Hita City Tourist Information Center.Those interested in renting a car or bicycle during their stay in Hita should visit the information center for the appropriate procedures.Rent a Car for Your Travel in the CityTo utilize the car rental service, a reservation is required in advance. You are also expected to present your passport and international driver’s license as part of the procedure.Once the forms are filled, and the condition of the car has been inspected, the procedure is complete. Payment can be performed in cash or by card.The forms and documents for renting a car are available in Japanese and English.Also, basic information about car rental services in Japan are available in this article. Hita City Tourist Information Center View Informationtravel_agency Once you are done, board the shuttle bus at Shuttle Bus Stop 1 bound for the Domestic Terminal and alight at Fukuoka Airport Domestic Terminal North.At the Domestic Terminal, board the bus from Bus Stop 2 (*as of September 17, 2018), which is bound for Hita City!Please read 2. Traveling from Fukuoka Airport Domestic Terminal to Hita City for further details.SUNQ Pass – The Most Convenient and Cost-efficient Way to Explore Kyushu Hita, located in Oita Prefecture, is a charming city in the center of northern Kyushu. It is easily accessible from neighbouring cities such as Fukuoka, Oita and Kumamoto. Discover The History And Nature Of Hita, Oita Prefecture You will find direction signs as you reach the arrival lobby.The bus terminal for the highway bus can be found to the left. The Nishitetsu Bus Ticket Center is also located here. If you wish to use a SUNQ Pass, you can purchase it here too.On the other hand, if you don’t need a SUNQ Pass, you can buy a regular bus ticket for Hita City from the Nishitetsu Bus Ticket Center to purchase their bus tickets.Buying Nishitetsu Bus Tickets from the English-Friendly Ticket Vending Machines
From Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel Official WebsiteThe Imperial Suite offers guests a stunning view from 258 meters in the sky. Harukas 300 is the observatory of Japan’s tallest building. With glass windows in all directions, visitors can enjoy a magnificent view over the city of Osaka.On a clear sunny day, you will even be able to see the cities of Kyoto and Nara, as well as Kansai International Airport.The observatory also has a double height garden where you can sit back, relax in the sun, and feel the gentle breeze.Abenobea (Abeno Bear) is the official mascot of the Harukas 300 observatory. You’ll find various merchandise available at the souvenir shop.Abenobea Official Website: Abenobea’s Home 300m in the Air (Japanese)Official Website: Harukas 300 (Observatory)Stay in a Luxurious High Rise Hotel RoomOsaka Marriott Miyako Hotel is a hotel that boasts luxurious views from rooms in the tallest building in Japan. From Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel Official WebsiteThis is restaurant ZK, located at a height of 270 meters. The unique restaurant serves continental, Japanese, and teppanyaki cuisine. Opened in March of 2014, Abeno Harukas boasts a height of 300 meters and is the tallest building in Japan. Various entertainment facilities can be found within the building, and it has become a spot popular among tourists from all over Japan as well as around the globe.In this article we’ll be sharing what you can do at Abeno Harukas, a skyscraper that is like an entire city in and of itself.Overlook Osaka at the Observatory From Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel Official WebsiteThe standard Superior room is very spacious as well. From Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel Official WebsiteIf you’re looking for a more casual dining experience, head to the buffet-style restaurant COOKA.Official Website: Osaka Marriott Miyako HotelEnjoy Traditional and Modern ArtThe Abeno Harukas Art Museum boasts exhibitions of outstanding art from Japan and around the world.Events held in the past include exhibitions dedicated to works by French painter Raoul Dufy, as well as Neo-impressonist painters such as Monet and Signac.Currently being held is a joint international project with the British Museum. The event is dedicated to works by ukiyo-e artist Hokusai.Dates: Friday October 6th, 2017 – Sunday November 19th, 2017Joint international project with the British Museum, Hokusai – Fuji wo Koete – (Japanese)Official Website: Abeno Harukas Art Museum (Japanese)Shop at the Department StoreAbeno Harukas Kintetsu Main Store is a department store that handles a wide variety of products, including renowned brands, women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing.The Foreign Customer’s Salon offers helpful services such as sales tax exemption and money exchanging services.Read also: Visit The Kintetsu Foreign Customer’s Salon In Abeno HarukasOfficial Website: Kintetsu Department Store Main Store Abeno HarukasAn observatory, art, shopping, dining, and even accommodation. Abeno Harukas has it all. You won’t be able to see all that the facility has to offer in a single day. We hope you enjoy your visit to the Osaka landmark!InformationAbeno HarukasAddress: Osaka, Osaka, Abeno, Abenosuji 1-1-43Hours: Differs depending on facilityClosed: Differs depending on facilityNearest Station & Access: Short walk from subway Tennoji Station (JR, Midosuji Line, Tanimachi Line ), Osaka Abenobashi Station (Kintetsu Minami Osaka Line), Tennoji-ekimae Station (Hankai Tramway Uemachi Line)Phone Number: Harukas 300 (observatory) +81-6-6621-0300Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel +81-6-6628-6111Abeno Harukas Art Museum +81-6-4399-9050Abeno Harukas Kintetsu Main Store +81-6-6624-1111Official Website: Abeno Harukas
We’re all done with our preparations to make dashi. The hamlet of Kasasa in Minamisatsuma, Kagoshima has been a prosperous fishing town since antiquity, having a particular affinity for the god Ebessa.Ebessa is actually the local pronunciation of the name for the god Ebisu, one of the seven lucky gods of fortune that is associated with fishing and financial prosperity. As Kasasa is a town particularly connected with the fishing industry, locals have a special reverence for Ebessa.In the town of Kasasa, even today, when ordering a nightcap, before drinking from the glass, locals first sprinkle a few drops on the table and say “Ebessa” as a local custom.Here in the town of Kasasa, you’ll find Kasasaebisu, a lodge with a restaurant that even includes a museum, making it the perfect tourist destination. Staff members will start to cover you in sand, so just relax. There’s also a notebook for visitors to leave a note behind from when they visited the station, allowing all those who come to contribute to the station’s history. There are even some messages left in languages other than Japanese, so be sure to leave something behind for the next person from your home country to find.JR Nishi-Oyama StationAddress: Kagoshima, Ibusuki, Yamagawaoyama 602Website: Nishi-Oyama Station (Ibusuki Kanko Net – Automatic translation)4. Worshipping a God Under a Lid: Kamafuta Daimyojin With traditional crafts such as Satsuma-yaki pottery and works by famous local artists, the museum exhibits part of its 3000 piece collection to the public. There are shops around the area as well, so after you’ve finished your relaxing sand bath, why not quench your thirst with a crisp, delicious cider?Ibusuki Onsen SarakuAddress: Kagoshima, Ibusuki, Yunohama 5-25-18Telephone: 0993-23-3900Website: Ibusuki Onsen Saraku2. Satsuma Denshokan: Where the Traditional Arts of Kagoshima Live On At the diners nearby, you can try funabito meshi or sailor’s grub, a dish made with Makurazaki’s own famous bonito.If you order a Katsuo rice bowl made with Matsuzaki’s own Hongarebushi (*2), you’ll be treated to a rice bowl plentifully topped with delicious katsuobushi.You can eat it as is, but trying it poured onto chazuke is how we recommend enjoying katsuobushi dashi. This dashi is definitely something to warm you up and calm your nerves.*2 Hongarebushi: katsuobushi of the highest quality. Normal katsuobushi fermented several times, improving savoriness, giving a very sharp taste.KatsuichiAddress: Kagoshima, Makurazaki, Higashihonmachi 74-1Open: 10:00 am to 4:00 pmClosed: Sundays and national holidays; bon (Aug. 13 – 15); new year’s (Dec. 29 – Jan. 3)Telephone: 0993-72-22326. Meijigura – Find Kagoshima’s Famous Imojochu Spirits At the Satsuma Denshokan in Ibusuki, visitors will find all sorts of traditional Kagoshima arts and crafts on display. Incidentally, Satsuma is the old name for Kagoshima. Nishi-Oyama Station is Japan’s southernmost train station that boasts a beautiful view of the Kaimondake volcano from its platform. If you find yourself in Ibusuki, we definitely recommend checking out the Ibusuki Onsen Saraku. While the word “onsen” in Japanese typically refers to hot spring bath houses, the one you’ll find in store for you here might be a little different than what you’d expect. First, the two types of katsuobushi and their differences are explained. Pictured here are the types made from the dorsal and ventral sides of the fish. You can also see where the imojochu matures and where it is stored in earthenware pots. Add the katsuobushi to boiling water to get dashi. After a few minutes you’ll be almost totally covered in sand. After being bathed in the hot sand for about 10 minutes, you’ll start to feel those sweat glands begin to work. If we’re talking about Kagoshima, then one would be remiss not to mention their famous sweet potatoes, or satsumaimo, renowned around the world. In their native Kagoshima, locals eat them cooked, but they are also loved far and wide as the primary ingredient in imojochu spirits.With its unique and strong flavor, Kagoshima imojochu is beloved by drinkers all over Japan and around the world.Out of all the various brands of Kagoshima imojochu, the leading brand Satsuma Shinanami offers tours of their brewery where they produce the spirit. There are small lids for one person to use or bigger ones for two people to try and share. Located on a sandy beach facing the ocean, you’ll encounter a number of people buried in the sand. This is a type of hot spring where you engulf your body beneath the sand, known as a suna mushi onsen in Japanese.The hot sand baths gradually warm your whole body, affording a completely different sensation than when using a traditional hot spring bath. With all weather sand baths provided, unless the weather turns extremely poor you’ll be able to enjoy yourself here. Also, you can even relax at low tide by the water’s edge when the tide is out. Baths by the shore look like this. The lodge’s relaxing hot spring overlooking the sea. Taking a sand bath is simple.First, pay for your bath at the counter where you’ll be provided a yukata bath robe. After that, get changed into your robe on the first floor. Follow the signs down to the edge of the water but don’t forget your towel! Lie face up on the sand designated for you. In order to make dashi, the bonito needs to be cut very thinly in order to bring out as much flavor as possible. Outside of the station you’ll find a yellow post box and locals say that if you use this to send a letter, it’ll bring you good luck. How about sending one to your family back home or even to yourself? Here we have a Shinto shrine that’s a little on the strange side called Kamafuta Daimyojin. Inside the shrine grounds, there are several pot lids (*1) left out for some reason, the customary way of worshiping here starting with a person placing a lid over his or her head then passing through the torii gate. If you can make it from the torii gate to place of worship without dropping your lid, then it’s said your wish will be granted.*1 pot or kama: cooking device for boiling rice or the like. Finally, at the shop, visitors can purchase a number of different kinds of shochu spirits.Meijigura BreweryAddress: Kagoshima, Makurazaki, Tategamihonmachi 26Open: 9:00 am – 4:00 pmEntrance Fee: FreeClosed: Dec. 31 – Jan. 1Website: Meijigura Brewery (Japanese)7. Kasasaebisu: A Hotel Produced by A Famous Designer Here we’re treated to some freshly made dashi. Incidentally, the designer of this establishment is Eiji Mitoka, famous for designing the Seven Stars in Kyushu cruise train.KasasaebisuAddress: Kagoshima, Minamisatsuma, Kasasacho Kataura 14847-1Telephone: 0993-59-5020Website: Kasasaebisu (Japanese)8. The Most Beautiful Sunset in Japan: An Evening in Minamisatsuma First, get into the trench that the staff has dug for you, wrap your head in a towel and lie down. First you learn about the production process using figures. Next, you get to take a peek at the brewing process proper. Here we see potatoes being peeled. Here we see koji mold being added where fermentation begins. Lastly, we’d like to talk about the fantastically beautiful skies of Minamisatsuma. The city of Minamisatsuma is home to a stretch of National Road 226 that runs along the seaside and provides a breathtaking view of the ocean with eight points in particular along the road known for their views. All of these can be enjoyed from the car or stopping by the roadside to get a better look that also have facilities to provide the full sightseeing experience.One point that’s especially beautiful is the Kamegaoka, particularly gorgeous as the sun sets. A small hill 387 meters above sea level, the hill is named Kamegaoka after a rock that sits atop it that resembles a turtle, kame in Japanese.Kamegaoka, with its jittering coast, dotted with islands, affords a view of the deep blue ocean beautifully contrasted against the sky. If the weather is nice, you can see sunsets just like the one pictured here.Paragliding courses are also available. For those who enjoy gorgeous scenery, we definitely recommend making the journey out here.Kamegaoka Viewing PlatformAddress: Kagoshima, Minamisatsuma, Ouracho, KamegaokaSponsored by Kagoshima Tourism Federation Strain the soup after boiling for several minutes and transfer the dashi to another bowl. Place the lid on your head like this and slowly approach the shrine.Kamafuta DaimyojinAddress: Kagoshima, Minamikyushu, Eicho Beppu 68275. Katsuichi: Where You Can Try Making Japanese Dashi Kagoshima, located in the southernmost part of the island of Kyushu, is known for being a vibrant tourist getaway with its gorgeous views and delicious food. Comprised of two peninsulas, the Satsuma peninsula and the Osumi peninsula, the prefecture takes on the shape of an upside-down “U.”Each area of the prefecture has its own different places to see and things to do. In this article, we’ll go into detail about places to check out in the Nansatsu area, located in the southern region of the Satsuma peninsula.With the hot sand baths of Ibusuki, Makurazaki’s bonito, and Japan’s southernmost railway station, this place is brimming with charm! All of the places we’ll be introducing here will be listed on the map at the end of the article.1. The Place to Go in Ibusuki: Ibusuki Onsen Saraku Hotel rooms are located on the second floor. When Japanese people hear “Makurazaki,” what comes to mind is katsuobushi or small pieces of sliced, dried bonito. Bonito is also used to make a cornerstone ingredient of Japanese cuisine, a fish and kelp soup stock known as dashi.At Katsuichi, visitors are give a crash course in Japanese dashi. Here we see one of the lodge’s hotel rooms. With its peaceful atmosphere, overlooking the ocean, visitors can forget all of their troubles. Satsuma DenshokanAddress: Kagoshima, Ibusuki, Higashikata 12131-4 (Located on the Ibusuki Hakusuikan grounds)Telephone: 0993-23-0211 (Satsuma Denshokan)Website: Satsuma Denshokan (Japanese)3. Japan’s Southernmost Train Station: Nishi-Oyama Station
What Kind of Place Is Kinosaki Onsen? Events and festivals are held throughout the year at Kinosaki Onsen.In April, there is the Hot Spring Festival, where people parade about the town wearing historical costumes, while in August during the Furusato Festival, many outdoor events are open to all. There are also fireworks at this time. Meanwhile, in October, festival floats called danjiri are pulled and pushed about in the Autumn Festival. It is even more fun to visit Kinosaki Onsen during one of their festivals.It’s also a good idea to taste the locally popular Tajima beef and Matsuba queen crab when visiting, although the crab is only available during the colder months of the year (from November to March).Hot springs and gourmet food are bound to make coming to Kinosaki Onsen an unforgettable experience. If you are planning a trip to the Kansai area, then this is a place you definitely shouldn’t miss out on!For more information on how to enter hot springs, please take a look at What You Should Know About Bath Culture In Japan.*The information contained in this article about traveling times, transportation fees, and bath entrance fees are based on the official websites of each facility. This information is accurate as of March 2017, but is subject to change. Kinosaki Onsen Tourism Association View Information Now we’ll introduce you to some bathing facilities at Kinosaki Onsen that you can enjoy on a one day trip.At Kinosaki Onsen, we recommend going around the seven hot springs within the town and doing the seven outdoor hot springs tour. A one-day all-you-can-enter hot spring ticket called Yumepa (1200 yen adults, 600 yen kids) is available and can be bought at each hot springs ticket window. For more information on the seven outdoor hot springs tour, please check the Kinosaki Hot Springs Tourism Association site.SatonoyuThis hot spring is located right next to Kinosaki Onsen Station. Starting with the large open-air bath on the roof, they also have an Arabic style public bath, a Japanese stone bath, a sauna, and various other baths to choose from.Entrance fee: Adults 800 yen, children (ages 3-elementary) 400 yen (*tax and bathing tax included)Address: Hyogo, Toyooka, Kinosaki, Imazu 290-36IchinoyuIchinoyu (meaning “Number One Waters” in Japanese) was given this name by a famed herbalist doctor named Kagawa Shutoku during the Edo era, as he declared this to be the best hot spring on earth. The kabuki theater-like building is sure to catch your attention right away. There are no outdoor baths here, but they do have a very popular cave bath instead.Entrance fee: Adults 600 yen, children (ages 3-elementary) 300 yen (*tax and bathing tax included)Address: Hyogo, Toyooka, Kinosaki, Yushima 415-1KounoyuIt’s rumored that a stork was found soothing its injured leg in this hot spring many years ago, and as a result, there is a stork statue displayed at the entrance to this hot spring. There is an open air bath here as well.Entrance fee: Adults 600 yen, children (ages 3-elementary) 300 yen (*tax and bathing tax included)Address: Hyogo, Toyooka, Kinosaki, Yushima 610Recommended Ryokan in Kinosaki OnsenHere are some of the best ryokan, or Japanese-style inns, located at Kinosaki Onsen.TajimayaWith its modern Japanese style rooms and polite customer service, this is a popular inn for both groups of women and couples. You can rent a yukata for free if you spend the night. If you don’t know how to put on a yukata, they even have a service where a staff member will help you put it on correctly.You can use their three rentable baths for free. There isn’t a large bathing area, so those who want to go to a large bath should enter one of the seven open-air baths instead.Address: Hyogo, Toyooka, Kinosaki, Yushima 453Website: TajimayaKinosaki Sightseeing Hotel Higashiyama SouThis hotel has a large bathing area as well as rentable outdoor baths. There are yukata rentals for women as well, although these must be reserved in advance. To make a reservation in English, please book through the English reservation site beforehand. You can select either Japanese style rooms or a Japanese/Western mix room, which features a bed resting on tatami flooring.Address: Hyogo, Toyooka, Kinosaki, Yushima 835Official Website: Kinosaki Higashiyama Sou (Japanese)Nishimuraya Hotel ShogetsuteiThis is a well-established inn with 150 years of history. They have jacuzzi’s, mist saunas, and rental baths along with outdoor baths. It’s an inn popular for its cooking, which uses Matsuba queen crab and Tajima beef.Address: Hyogo, Toyooka, Kinosaki 1016-2Official Website: Nishimuraya Hotel ShogetsuteiFun Events at Kinosaki Onsen Kinosaki Onsen is a hot spring resort located in Kinosaki, an area within Toyooka city in Hyogo prefecture, which is part of the Kansai region. The hot springs here are said to have a history spanning 1,300 years. This hot spring town is located along the Ootani river, which runs through the heart of the town and is lined with numerous old wooden buildings.One of the many enjoyable aspects of visiting this hot spring area is the chance to wear traditional Japanese garb as you stroll through the streets. In fact, you will see many people here doing just that! We happily recommend wearing yukata and geta when visiting Kinosaki Onsen. Being able to not only wear a yukata but also see this historical town as you do so it just one of the charming points of Kinosaki Onsen.The Effects and Features of Kinosaki OnsenThe waters of Kinosaki Onsen contain both sodium and calcium chloride, which are said to aid in soothing neuralgia (sore nerves), muscle aches, bruises, and gastrointestinal diseases.*The effects vary based on the spring quality at each facility.How to Reach Kinosaki Onsen from Tokyo and OsakaFirst, in order to reach Kinosaki Onsen from Tokyo, you will need to take the shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka Station. The journey will take about two and a half hours, and will cost 13,620 yen. For more on how to get to Osaka from Tokyo, take a look at: Traveling from Tokyo to Osaka? A Guide for Prices and Times.From Shin-Osaka station, take the JR limited express Kounotori-Go train bound for Kinosaki Onsen and get off at the final stop, Kinosaki Onsen Station. From Shin-Osaka Station, it will take about three hours and cost 5080 yen. The hot spring town is located a ten-minute walk away from the station.Day Trip Bathing Spots at Kinosaki Onsen
Chopsticks are the main eating utensil in Japan. In 2013, Japanese cuisine was entered on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list and became even better recognized worldwide. Even for those who have never been to Japan, have you ever used chopsticks or seen chopsticks being used at your local Japanese restaurant?Like table manners at a French restaurant, there’s also various etiquette rules associated with the use of chopsticks. But without a Japanese friend to explain, that sort of knowledge is hard to come by.If you’re a lover of Japanese food who wants to know the bare minimum, we’d like to introduce you to the basics of good chopstick manners.Are you sure you’re holding the chopsticks correctly?First, check if you’re gripping the chopsticks correctly.The Right WayHold the top stick between your thumb, index, and middle fingers. Place the bottom stick at the base of your thumb and rested on your ring finger.The Wrong Way #1 – “Nigiribashi”Don’t grip it like this.Called nigiribashi or “fisted chopsticks” because your hand’s curled tight into a fist. It’s an easy habit to fall into if not used to using chopsticks, but not a correct way to hold them.The Wrong Way #2 – “Kurosubashi”Or “crossed chopsticks,” a grip where the chopsticks intersect in a cross at the middle. It seems correct because you can still pick up food with it, but the downside is that smaller objects become harder to grasp.So, how do you get yourself to use chopsticks correctly?The Right Way Step-by-StepHere, we’ll explain the step-by-step process of how to hold chopsticks the right way.Step 1: Hold it like a penFirst, take one stick and hold it like a pen or pencil. Place it so that the front end is longer.Step 2: Insert the second stickNext, take the second stick and slip it between the first stick and the base of your thumb. This is the basic grip.Step 3: Done!You’re now holding the chopsticks correctly.The top stick is held in place using your index and middle fingers while the bottom stick is set at the base of your thumb and ring finger. The bottom stick remains still while moving the top stick only to grasp objects.It might feel awkward in the beginning, but keep at it and you should get used to it in no time. Before then, no doubt you’ll need to insert the second chopstick from the back as in the picture but when you’re used to it, you’ll be able to handle the chopsticks correctly, one-handed, and intuitively.Placing your hands too close to the tip (the tapered end) of the chopsticks means that the distance between your hand and the food is shorter too. This might result in you accidentally touching the food, which gives an impression of uncleanliness.Know Your Chopstick MannersFrom here, we’d like to introduce good manners when using chopsticks so that you won’t leave unpleasant or improper impressions on your dining companions. The following tips are points based on general good manners when using chopsticks.”Sashibashi” – Stabbing Chopsticks”Sashibashi” is what we call using chopsticks like a spear to stab through food. It’s very tempting to unwittingly resort to this method especially with round shaped, hard to grasp foods such as taro potatoes.In Japan however, using chopsticks to stab food is viewed as unsightly and not classy. There’s also times when stabbing something too hard may result in the object slipping off the plate and there’s some who consider food fallen onto the table as unsanitary.”Yosebashi” – Pulling Chopsticks”Yosebashi” is the act of using chopsticks to pull a dish towards yourself. It might seem like a convenient thing to do, but in the spirit of thankfulness for the food, please use your hands to draw dishes towards you.”Watashibashi” – Bridging Chopsticks”Watashibashi” is putting your chopsticks horizontally across a plate or dish and can mean that you’re done eating. Doing this in the middle of a meal can be taken by those around you to mean that you think the food tastes horrible.By the way, many restaurants provide a chopstick rest (where you can place your chopsticks down).Article: Done in 30 Seconds! Eat in Style with Hand-Crafted Chopstick Rests (Japanese)To put down your chopsticks, lean the tips of the chopsticks on the dish like this.”Neburibashi” – Licking Chopsticks”Neburi” is the word used in the Kansai area for licking. Neburibashi means to lick chopsticks when it’s not being used to pick up food or if there are food bits attached to it.”Hashiwatashi” – Chopstick Passing”Hashiwatashi” is passing food with your chopsticks to someone else’s chopsticks. In Japan, the remains of the deceased are collected in a similar manner using specialized chopsticks after the body has been cremated. Please avoid mimicking this funeral custom at the dinner table.When passing food to someone else, please place it towards the edge of the plate then have the person pick it up from the plate themselvesHave these tips been helpful? There’s the saying “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” and by following the manners and customs of the area or country you’re visiting, you’ll be able to enjoy being in the environment even more.Chopsticks are hard to master at the start, even for the Japanese, but with a little conscious effort, you and those around you can have a great time experiencing Japanese cuisine!You can purchase chopsticks from this site:Apple Wood Round Chopsticks & Chopstick Rest (Set of 2)
Your long-awaited Japan trip has come at last, so you naturally will be wanting to go to many different places. On the other hand, you may be worried about certain things, from how to buy tickets at train stations in Japan to how to change trains.There is no need to worry, however, as the model itineraries on Step Into Greater Tokyo website are not only about places to see.We also include everything a first-time visitor should know: access information for each destination, types of tickets available and how to buy them, how to use a train, and information on special discount tickets you can buy. We hope our articles will be helpful and handy for you!2. Look for a Trip Itinerary How do you plan for a trip to Japan? Do you reference guidebooks or look at reviews online? How about reading through blogs and social media?While these sources will provide you with information about places to visit, you may also be concerned about how to make the most out of your trip as you travel.Some of you may not be confident on how to use trains and buses, or feel uneasy about actually reaching your destination. We also provide information about traveling to and from the Narita and Haneda airports, the gateways to Tokyo. Read these articles before you embark on your Tokyo voyage for peace of mind and your post-landing transit will run smooth.If it is not your first trip to Tokyo, you can find information on sightseeing around the surrounding areas of the airports as well.5. Share Your Trip on Social Media! Your uncertainty will fade with Step Into Greater Tokyo. Our website introduces model itineraries for your trip, guiding you to exciting destinations throughout Tokyo and its surrounding areas, including places not yet well-known to most travelers.The articles you can read on this website are easy to understand, and are written in a blog-like format by MATCHA writers who experienced the trips firsthand.Our writers themselves chose these routes, and have included their own opinions in these articles. Please utilize our articles like you would use a review website offering practical travel tips and advice.Additionally, these articles are authored by MATCHA’s own writers. As MATCHA is a website focused on and dedicated to Japan and travel in Japan, you can feel secure about the advice presented in these articles. Our content has been confirmed and double-checked at MATCHA and with in-person interviews, just like a guidebook.The Step Into Greater Tokyo Official WebsiteAllow us to show you how to use the abundant information contained on the Step Into Greater Tokyo website to help you maximize your trip in and around Tokyo!1. Feel Secure About Your Trip to Tokyo! After finding an article that you like, take some time to share it with your friends and family using social media! If you haven’t yet decided about traveling to Japan, why not send the article to someone you’d like to go with and invite them on your Tokyo adventure?The first thing to do is to check out the following website.The Step Into Greater Tokyo Official WebsiteThere will be many new articles released in the coming months. Make sure to follow MATCHA’s Facebook page, and you’ll be the first to find out about the latest articles! Visit MATCHA’s Facebook page.Supported by the Step Into Greater Tokyo Project Team Next, narrow down your choices based on your travel objectives. Choose from the header menu of the top page where the Plan, Interest, Season, and Area buttons are, or take advantage of the search function.For example, if you already have a certain time of the year in mind for your Tokyo trip, find the Season button in the header section. Simply click on it and a list of recommended routes during that season will appear!4. Search Airport Accessibility and Surrounding Area Information If you are staying in Tokyo for a number of days, or if you are not a first-time visitor to Tokyo, instead of sightseeing only around the capital, why not venture into the great places in the surrounding vicinity as well?Step Into Greater Tokyo offers not only model courses in Tokyo but also for trips to the nearby suburbs.By heading to a destination outside of Tokyo, you get to see a different Japanese townscape and experience new things, like trying a unique dish you wouldn’t normally find in the city.In the suburban and rural areas around Tokyo, you will encounter Shinto shrines that have stood for centuries, along with many other historical sites that have been preserved for many years. We highly recommend an excursion outside the metropolis to make your trip even more memorable.3. Choose a Trip that Fits Your PlansThere are four categories of model courses listed on our website: 1) Tours starting from the airport, 2) One-day trip plans for Tokyo, 3) Day trips to Tokyo’s suburbs, and 4) Two-day trips departing from Tokyo.
Climate and Weather in JapanThere is a sharp contrast between each of the seasons in Japan, and the climate differs greatly depending on the season. In order to stay comfortable and avoid catching a cold during your trip, it is important that you choose clothes to match the season or location you are in. In this article, we will introduce you to the climate throughout the year and some recommended clothing items you should pack for your trip in Tokyo, the capital city of Japan.Winter in JapanWinter in Japan generally lasts from December to the following January and February.What is Winter in Japan Like?On average, the temperature in Tokyo during winter is about 12℃ (53.6°F) during the daytime, and 5℃ in the morning and at night. In the January, it goes down to 10℃ (50°F) during the daytime and 2-3℃ (35.6-37.4°F) in the morning and at night. In February, it falls to 10-11℃ (50-51.8°F) during the daytime, and 3℃ (35.6°F) in the morning and at night. It tends to be dry since most days are sunny, and it is likely to rain or snow. Humidity stays around 30%.Recommended Clothing for Winter in TokyoYou would need a down jacket, a coat, gloves, and scarves in order to stay warm during winter in Japan. For windy days, wear a knitted cap or ear muffs. For cloudy days, evenings, or when you will stay outside for a longer period of time, be sure to wear warm shoes or boots too. Despite the cold outdoors, it tends to be quite warm inside commercial buildings because of the heating systems, so it is a good idea to wear outerwear that can be easily put on or removed as needed.Read also:Visiting Japan In Winter: What You Need To KnowSpring in JapanSpring in Japan is generally from March through May.What is Spring in Japan Like?Spring in Tokyo is around 13℃ (55.4°F) in March during the daytime and averages 5℃ (41°F) in the morning and at night. In April, it is about 18.5℃ (65.3°F) during the daytime and 10.5℃ (50.9°F) in the morning and at night. In May, it is about 23℃ (73.4°F) during the daytime and 15℃ (59°F) in the morning and at night. Some days can be cold enough to snow in the first half of the season. In the latter half, most days are sunny and it becomes quite comfortable to be outdoors.Recommended Clothing for Spring in TokyoTemperature changes drastically during spring in Japan. You would need a thick coat in March while it is still cold, but it gradually gets warmer in April. Bring warm layers such as a cardigan or a jacket to prepare for bad weather, windy days, or a night out. The climate in May is comfortable, so long-sleeved shirts and light cardigans would suffice.Read also:Spring in Japan: Traveling, Clothing and Weather in March-MaySummer in JapanSummer in Japan generally refers to July and August.What is Summer in Japan Like?Temperatures during the summer in Tokyo are about 31.5℃ (88.7°F) in the daytime and 24℃ (75.2°F) in the morning and night. In August, it goes up to +33℃ (91.4°F) in the daytime and 26℃ (78.8°F) in the morning and night, with some days feeling about 42℃ (108°F) thanks to the humidity levels.However, recently it can be as high as 36℃ (96.8°F), about the same as body temperature, so visitors must be extra careful of heatstroke. Be aware of sudden rains and heat lightning as well. Historically, we have something called yūdachi, sudden rain in the hot summer evenings. In these days, we also have guerrilla rainstorm, which is unpredictable and severe rain that can cause flash flooding and landslides as well.Recommended Clothing for Summer in TokyoSince it is very hot and humid in July and August, clothes that let air through, such as light T-shirts, tank tops, or summery dresses, are recommended. Don’t forget UV protection such as a hat when you go outside. It’s a good idea to have a very light cardigan or wrap with you to slip on indoors as air conditioning can be quite strong in some places. Please remember though, you are not allowed to wear no-sleeved shirts or something that shows too much skin at shrines and temples. Prepare layers if you plan to visit this kind of places.Read also:Summer In Japan – Weather, Clothing And Travel Tips For July-August Autumn in JapanAutumn in Japan is generally from September to November.What is Autumn in Japan Like?Autumn temperatures in Tokyo are about 23-28℃ (73.4-82.4°F) in the daytime and 18-21℃ (64.4-69.8°F) in the morning and at night. In October, it falls to 19-23℃ (66.2-73.4°F) in the daytime and 14-18℃ (57.2-64.4°F) in the morning and at night. From September to mid-October, you may experience typhoons, but we have a lot of sunny days during this season. The air is refreshing and most days are quite comfortable.Recommended Clothing for Autumn in TokyoSeptember is mostly hot and feels almost like summer, so you can spend the daytime quite easily in a T-shirt. It’s a good idea to have something with long sleeves for evenings and in the early mornings, as it can be quite cool or breezy. Long-sleeved shirts would be good enough for sunny days in October.A light sweater or a hoodie is necessary too, since it gets cold on a bad weather day, and in the morning and at night. For November, most days are cold so be sure to pack a sweater and a jacket. You may need a coat too, if you are particularly susceptible to the cold.Read also:Autumn In Tokyo: Seasonal Activities, Weather And What To WearJapan is a long country that stretches from north to south, so the climate differs greatly throughout the island, from Hokkaido in the north down to Okinawa in the south. Be sure to choose your travel wardrobe based on your destination.Read also:Visiting Japan In Winter: What You Need To Know Spring in Japan: Traveling, Clothing and Weather in March-May Summer In Japan – Weather, Clothing And Travel Tips For July-August Autumn In Tokyo: Seasonal Activities, Weather And What To Wear
Diehl Aviation, First Tier Supplier for aircraft cabin interiors and aircraft systems products, has reached an agreement with Boeing to develop and supply emergency power supply equipment for all versions of the 787 Dreamliner aircraft.The company’s unit Diehl Aerospace has already started the development work of the “Emergency Lighting Power Systems” (ELPS) for the aircraft type, with series deliveries expected early in next decade.Diehl has a long and successful track record of supplying ELPS products to several aircraft manufacturers, however, reaching the agreement with Boeing for the 787 meant winning a new customer for that product segment. For the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Diehl already supplies the cabin interior lighting as well as other systems components and – in the case of the 787-10 – cabin ceilings and doorway lining parts.The ELPS for Boeing’s 787 is comprised of two parts: The “Emergency Light Control Unit” (ELCU), which replicates complete battery control and charge and acts as an interface between the aircraft and the emergency lighting, and the “Emergency Battery Unit” (EBU). Diehl developed a smart battery concept over the last few years, which will now be employed for the 787 ELPS: a modern lithium-ion battery will be used for the Boeing products, based on Diehl’s experience with this technology.Diehl Aviation is a division of Diehl Stiftung & Co. KG and combines all aviation activities of Diehl Group under one roof. In the aviation industry, Diehl Aviation – including Diehl Aerospace (a joint venture with Thales) – is a leading system supplier of aircraft system and cabin solutions. Diehl Aviation currently has more than 5,400 employees. Its clients include leading aircraft manufacturers Airbus (both airplanes and helicopters), Boeing, Bombardier and Embraer, as well as airlines and operators of commercial and business aircraft.
Shark Week may be over on the Discovery Channel but for the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, Embraer, a hungry shark is still circling the water in the form of its new E190-E2 jet livery.Sporting a nose that’s realistically (and frighteningly) painted to look like a great white, complete with menacing teeth and a determined set of eyes, Embraer’s demonstration jet recently touched down at the company’s US headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to show off exactly why it’s being called the E2 Profit Hunter.We’ve written about this jet before after it completed its first revenue service for Norway’s Widerøe airlines. And indeed, Embraer is rapidly racking up more orders for this newest installment of its commercial jets. (The airframer is also rolling out E195 and E175 E-2s.) But being inside the E190-E2 show jet during a quick one-hour tour allowed an up close and personal chance to check out the different seat pitches, play around with the individual PSUs, assess the quietness of the Pratt and Whitney engines, ogle the avionics and take in some stunning scenery.Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engines power the E2. Image: Juliana ShallcrossFor passengers, here are the perks that stand-out:Light colors: The demonstration jet’s seats, walls, and flooring were a blended palette of light grays, dark grays and cream topped with mood-lighting in the ceiling. This lent an airy and modern vibe to the cabin interior, not to mention it just felt roomier and happier.The E2 boasted a soft color palette. Image: Juliana ShallcrossPower outlets: The power outlets are incredibly easy to spot and plug in, on the back of the armrest in front. (Just a standard outlet here, no USB ports.) The first thing travelers do once they’ve stored their bags is look for this, so we appreciate that Embraer doesn’t make travelers bend over with their phone flashlights to find the outlet.Power outlets make for a pleasant passenger experience. Image: Juliana ShallcrossDifferent seat pitches: The jet we flew on was a single class plane but with three different pitches, starting at 34” at the front of the plane with a 31” in the middle and moving to 30” at the back of the plane.Seat layouts will ultimately be configured to the airline’s preference but even the smallest seat pitch felt roomy.The E2 featured three different seat pitches. Image: Juliana ShallcrossWireless Streaming: Passengers can stream entertainment via Wi-Fi to their personal entertainment devices, or access entertainment over seatback screens if operators choose either of these options.Satellite connectivity will also be offered, with Embraer pointing to a choice of Ka or Ku-band along with real-time TV through IPTV (though RGN has additional questions about development on this front).Rodrigo Silva e Souza, vice president of marketing for Embraer, stressed that the E-Jets would have the full range of IFE and connectivity options, not only for passengers but also for the inflight teams who have a better connected cabin management system with messaging to the ground crew.What Embraer was still working on, Silva e Souza explained, was learning the options available in the different regions where Embraer aircraft will fly.Other design and technology aspects that Embraer is touting (particularly when comparing it to its competitor, the A220) include:Larger window frames (this makes the windows appear larger, although they aren’t)Integrated overhead bin doorsTouchless kits in the lavatory5” seat pitch adjustmentLow configuration costs and lead timeLarger avionics displaysEasier pilot trainingOption for staggered business class seating with a 54” seat pitchBetter fuel efficiencyLess maintenance (only two hangar visits per year)Quieter cabinsOverhead bins and larger window frames are a PaxEx plus in the E190-E2. Image: Juliana ShallcrossWhile the shark livery and the social media hashtags have gotten the E2 Profit Hunter marketing campaign noticed worldwide, Embraer is taking the safety and maturity of its next generation E-Jets quite seriously, having gone so far as to create its own “airline”.Called Pioneer Airlines*, this faux airline has been simulating real-world airline and airport conditions so that Embraer can test, tweak, finesse and accelerate maturity of its aircraft. Silva e Souza noted that the E190-E2 jet has already undergone 600 tests beyond certification requirements. A Profit Hunter and an overachiever as well.Next up for Embraer? The roll out of its E195-E2 and E175-E2 jets and the continuing development of its new venture with Boeing which is expected to take an 80% stake in Embraer this fall, pending Brazilian government approval.(*AvGeek history lesson: there was once an airline with this name. It eventually turned into Continental Airlines.)Related Articles:Embraer finds first order, and sees wider market, for staggered seatsOverhead design quirk aside, Embraer E2 impresses with service entryConnectivity Hunter? Questions remain about IFC plan for E2JetBlue picks A220-300 over E195-E2Embraer delivers first of a highly updated E190-E2 to WiderøeEmbraer nears decision on additional connectivity options for E2Embraer E2 remains un-HICed on economy seatsEmbraer’s E2 business cabin evolves: keeps stagger, less swaggerEmbraer announces E2 radome and wireless IFE options
Using RFID tags and scanners, Airbus is working with Fujitsu to virtually eliminate the time required for flight attendants to check for the presence of key emergency equipment, replacing it with a crew-operated scanning system.Airbus’ Smart Emergency Equipment Manager uses commercially available radio-frequency identification scanners to sweep the cabin in a matter of minutes to ensure that crucial items like lifejackets are present (Delta Air Lines has worked with another provider on a similar program for years).The new system from Airbus and Fujitsu, nicknamed S-EEM, is currently flying on jet aircraft operated a by major international carrier in the Asia-Pacific region. Patrice Marin and Kais Makhlouf, Internet of Things Services directors within the airframer’s Interior Services division, demonstrated the handheld scanner to Runway Girl Network at the APEX EXPO, and the simplicity and benefits of the system were impressive.“Airlines currently have to do a lot of inspection task visually and what we are providing is a fast digital inspection tool for that,” Marin tells RGN. “We have made some proof of concept, and also we have feedback from our customers, and what they say is we can go up to 95%, 99% of time saving.”Key emergency equipment has an unfortunate habit of going missing from aircraft as the result of passengers swiping an inappropriate souvenir of their trip, with leisure-focussed and low-cost carriers in particular finding themselves at the sharp end of ensuring that items are present and replacing them if necessary.“In minutes you can say that — for an inspection that today takes more than one hour, an hour and a half — you go for less than five minutes, a few minutes,” Marin says, noting that “we are just talking here about minutes of inspection but you have to add some administrative work behind that, a lot of PC work, paperwork, this is not taken into account.”The technology behind the system is passive RFID tags for the equipment being checked. The passive RFID tags mean that there is no electromagnetic interference on the aircraft. A sticker, for example, might be affixed to a life jacket or other item, although in due course the tag might be included at the time of manufacturing.Each RFID chip is passive and emits no electromagnetic interference. Image: John WaltonA flight attendant (or, potentially, another airline employee) then passes a handheld scanner through the cabin, and the software on the device attached to the scanner then determines and displays on a screen whether the correct items are present.S-EEM can reduce preflight check time by over an hour. Image: John WaltonBeyond the clear benefits of this particular system, Airbus is continuing in what feels like an ongoing mission to become a service provider to its airline customers.Working with a major technology player like Fujitsu, together with integrating the product and certifying it via major international aviation safety certification authorities, seems a step towards Airbus’ wider goal to play a larger part in the integration game — which is growing in importance alongside the digitalisation of aircraft and their cabins — while leveraging its strengths in certification and regulator management.Fujitsu and Alien supply the scanner rig. Image: John Walton“What we have done — and this is something that we aren’t the only one to be doing — is we provide the service, the software, but we also do all the due diligence beforehand, Makhlouf explains. “So when we come to discuss with the local authority, we have hundreds of pages of due diligence in order to justify how we manage that kind of deployment and how we go from visual inspection to something which is more technological.”“[The United States] FAA has provided their agreement for this solution and we have no technical objection from EASA,” Marin says, “but we are working with EASA to improve this and have a formal agreement.”For the airline already using S-EEM, Airbus worked with the carrier’s national regulator to demonstrate the system’s safety through the FAA technical agreement documentation.Items like emergency flashlights are individually marked with passive RFID tags. Image: John WaltonRelated Articles:From IoT of freighters to IFE, Kontron on its irons in the fireFAA reauthorization bill urges review of oxygen mask designThe Internet of Things, coming soon to an airline near youAPEX eyes aircraft seat standards while criticizing media reportingNew evacuation slide enables LHT and EAM to add six seats to A320sNo Room for Error: How the design of cabin safety equipment worksHoneywell to wirelessly connect more aircraft mechanical systemsInteractive aircraft safety cards of the future make their debutHAECO and Airbus solve emergency kit stowage problemVIDEO: Smart design on display at Future Travel Experience expoHow accessible is airline safety language?Delta tries radio tags so passengers and luggage arrive togetherPaxEx 2017: The airport of the future starts to arriveHow IATA World Passenger Symposium topics will affect travelersMaker of lightest duty-free cart says unproven locks unnecessaryTime to take a fresh look at aircraft emergency egress testing
The aviation applications of the Internet of Things are continuing to develop, but one need being clearly identified by major players in the passenger experience space is that of integrator: the part of the system that provides the backbone and, to an extent, the processing, for the huge amount of data being generated by the IoT on board aircraft.Both Airbus and Panasonic talked openly with Runway Girl Network about their aspirations at the recent APEX EXPO in Boston, with both coming from different angles.Airbus vice president cabin marketing Ingo Wuggetzer outlined the way the airframer was starting to think before the door’s opened to the exhibition, and elaborated during a wrap-up interview at the end of the week that Airbus is still very much in listening mode.“We need to understand from airlines what they want to collect, what they’ll tell us they are interested in, and somebody needs then to bring that together. We see us as in a natural position as we are the integrator and the architect for the hardware and we should be the same thing as a standard for the aircraft,” Wuggetzer suggested as the show closed, noting that Airbus is still open as to the precise business model it might use.Suggesting that standards-setting may be a key part of the role, especially around operational wireless networks, Wuggetzer said that “makes life, I think for everybody, easier — we do not really predict to own the data itself. We want to enable a service that is enriching the airline experience.”The trend at airframers is largely around bringing work back in-house that had previously been done by integrators, especially as those companies are growing via the recent round of mergers and acquisitions.Airbus’ Wuggetzer didn’t see the airframer’s interest in integration work as a wider play to side step the growing importance of these super-integrators and super-suppliers, but rather talked of speeding up the learning curve “in terms of quality, of maintenance, of costs, of effects”.Airbus’ data platform Skywise, for which it partners with controversial US data analytics firm Palantir, is seeing remarkable success in the market, with Delta Air Lines recently signing on to be a Skywise partner, and Airbus further releasing a fleet data application, Skywise Reliability, as part of its core suite.Panasonic Avionics, meanwhile, is keen to leverage its domination of the inflight entertainment space, and the backbone that it has: on board existing eX-series IFE installations, via its inflight connectivity solution, and with the new generation NEXT system.“There are lots of people trying to do this,” notes David Bartlett — who serves as Chief Technology Officer, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Information Security Officer — citing “Panasonic’s presence in the majority of airlines giving us access to data that’s statistically significantly representing what the airlines need to address.”Panasonic suggests that its work in IFC and IFE puts it in a good place to integrate the IoT throughout the aircraft. Image: John WaltonBut with embedded seatback challenges to Panasonic’s position from both Zodiac Aerospace’s RAVE system, from a revitalised Thales, as well as trends on airlines such as American Airlines and United away from seatback on narrowbodies — as well as the low-cost airline model where inflight entertainment on narrowbodies remains rare — how will Panasonic penetrate markets where it does not have a presence?“However we’re playing with it on the plane, if it’s not through the IFE system, if it’s providing wifi or connectivity or the maintenance service, each one of those is a data point that we can go off from and we can work with them on,” Bartlett says.“It’s a heavy lift. It’s easy to use some of the cloud thing, but to really do it properly at a global scale it’s tough,” Bartlett notes. “We’ve got enough resource investment to open up this center of excellence in Silicon Valley and hire the best talent, people who have done this before, so we’re able to build it and scale it very quickly, and connect all the artificial intelligence and machine learning constructs to leverage it quickly.”Part of the key for Panasonic will be to translate its buzzwords and jargon — “edge cloud”, “data lake”, and so on — into understandable real-world concepts and product offerings. Executives acknowledged that it was not always successful in doing so, even to audiences with a firm grasp of the subject matter, at this year’s EXPO.Panasonic is doing some interesting work with interesting partners, but a key next step is to codify the benefits. Image: John Walton, slide: PanasonicThe company’s strategy, says SVP, network operations Ian Dawkins, “enables the services we’ve spoken about, the infrastructure from NEXT online, et cetera: it’s not one piece. What we want to do is explain it simply, and then we can go through and talk about how it’s really coming together.”But one common thread between both Airbus and Panasonic was working in partnership with data analytics companies — Skywise for Airbus, Black Swan for Panasonic — to gain a further layer of understanding.“We’re doing some strategic collaboration with our partners at Black Swan to do a lot of social prediction, a lot of social mining for insights as well,” says Julie Lichty, executive director, digital solutions and services at Panasonic Avionics.“That would be layered into some of the analytics that we’re talking about and the data lake construct that David [Bartlett]’s team is putting together, to give us a lot more insight into what the passengers are thinking and being very specific about how we do product development, so that we can be a lot more meaningful in this space than we have been in the past.”Related Articles:Astronics offers battery fire detection, cabin management bin sensorsAirbus initiative aims at integrator role for IoT on boardAirbus, Palantir unveil Skywise IoT data platform for aviationVIDEO: Panasonic Avionics CTO talks what’s next for NEXTAviation companies join forces to “smarten up” the aircraft cabinThe IoT of of inflight retail is coming, just not at lightning speedNew servers promise intelligent data crunching for IoT of aviationFrom IoT pilots to AI platforms, Emirates talks tech evolutionPodcast 041: Diving into big data as IoT of aviation takes flightPress Release: Panasonic and gategroup form strategic alliancePodcast Episode 025: Passenger Personalization and Data RationalizationThe Internet of Things, coming soon to an airline near youInternet of Everything presents dichotomy of PaxEx implications