• Meiji-mura Museum

    This outdoor museum has a collection of rare architecture built in the Meiji era (19th to 20th centuries). This year it celebrates its 50th anniversary. Here you can enjoy a light meal at the former Imperial Hotel built by the distinguished American architect Frank Lloyd WRIGHT. Steam locomotives, retro Kyoto trams, and buses are operated every day, and can be used to move around the vast grounds. Many seasonal events are held, including sessions where visitors can wear kimono or hakama and have a commemorative photo taken. It is often used as a location for movies.

    • Access: 20-minute bus ride from Inuyama Station on the Meitetsu Inuyama Line. Near the Meiji-mura bus stop.
    • Business hours: from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm (hours differ depending on the season)
    • Closed days: August 4, 18, 25, December 31, every Monday from December to February. Closed on some days in January for maintenance.
    • Admittance: 1,700 yen for adults (aged 18 and over). 2,700 yen for a ticket with a one-day pass for rides.

    Meiji-mura Museum

    • 交通:名鉄犬山線犬山駅から路線バス明治村行き20分、下車すぐ。
    • 営業時間:午前9時30分~午後5時(季節によって時間帯の変更あり)
    • 休村日:8月4日、18日、25日、12月31日、12~2月の毎週月曜日。1月に数日間メンテナンス休日あり。
    • 入村料:大人(18歳以上)1,700円、乗り物一日券付きは2,700円

    博物館 明治村

    Read More
  • Jiyugaoka Sweets Forest



    • 交通:東急東横線、大井町線自由が丘駅南口より徒歩約5分。
    • 営業時間:午前10時~午後8時
    • 休館日:1月1日
    • 入場料金:無料

    自由が丘スイーツフォレスト[:en][From July Issue 2015]

    With its streets packed with sweet shops, Japan’s first sweets theme park is located in Jiyugaka, Tokyo. There, sweets made by famous pastry chefs are available to be taken away or eaten on the spot. To celebrate the park’s 11th anniversary in business, the shops have been given a refit and it’s possible to have a commemorative photo taken. Those bringing children can enjoy the terraced seating or the relaxing sofas available within the stores. Also on offer are limited edition sweets and events held at the site.

    • Access: Five-minute walk from the south exit of Jiyugaoka Station on the Tokyu Toyoko and Oimachi Lines.
    • Opening hours: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
    • Closed on January 1
    • Admission: free

    Jiyugaoka Sweets Forest[:]

    Read More
  • Numazu Deepsea Aquarium & Coelacanth Museum

    [:en][From June Issue 2015]

    This aquarium is the only one in the world that has coelacanth – so called living fossils that are protected by the Washington Convention – on display. There it’s possible to see five mounted coelacanth, two of which are cryogenically preserved. Also exhibited are deep-sea creatures found in Suruga Bay, Japan’s deepest bay. Additionally, you can enjoy observing the movements of species including giant isopods and chambered nautilus, and observe unusually shaped creatures collected from around the world in their natural habitats.
    Access: A 15 minute bus ride to Numazu-ko from the south exit of Numazu Station on the JR Tokaido Line.
    Opening hours: From 10 am to 6 pm (It’s possible to enter up until 30 minutes before closing.)
    Dates: Open throughout the year except for temporary closures.
    Admittance: 1,600 yen for senior high school students or adults, 800 yen for children or junior high school students, 400 yen for infants aged four or over, 100 yen discount for senior citizens aged 65 or over (with identification).
    Numazu Deepsea Aquarium & Coelacanth Museum[:]

    Read More
  • World Heritage Site: Gokayama, Known for its Steep Thatched Roofs

    [From May Issue 2015]

    In Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture there are two villages with unique so called “gasshou-zukuri” style steeply sloping thatched roofs. This year marks the 20th anniversary since they were registered as a World Heritage Site. While most of the houses were built around 100 to 200 years ago, some of them have a history of around 400 years. Residents still live in them and at houses where accommodation and meals are provided, guests are served edible wild plants and iwana mountain trout by the hearth. The site is also a centre of production for washi Japanese paper and visitors can make round fans and postcards by taking part in the Japanese paper-making experience. From around mid-May every year, Ainokura Village is illuminated to create a magical Japanese countryside scene that will delight visitors.
    Access: At JR Shin-Takaoka Station, get on the “World Heritage”bus, get off at “Ainokuraguchi”and walk about five minutes to Ainokura Village, or get off at “Suganuma” and walk about three minutes to Suganuma Village.
    Gokayama Tourist Information Center
    Opening hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    To park in the villages you must pay a fee that will be used for the conservation of these properties: 500 yen for standard or light vehicles, 100 yen for two-wheeled vehicles.
    Text: KAWARATANI Tokiko[2015年5月号掲載記事]

    500 yen for standard or light vehicles, 100 yen for two-wheeled vehicles.

    Read More
  • Yoshimi-Hyakuana

    [From April Issue 2015]

    This unique and ancient burial mound consists of numerous caves dug into the rocky hillside. It’s thought that many caves are horizontal burial pits dating from the late Kofun era (6-7th centuries) and at the time of writing 219 have been counted as such. It’s possible to enter some of the caves, while others with their naturally-occurring luminous moss – designated as a protected species – can be viewed and photographed from behind a fence. In the springtime cherry blossoms can be enjoyed on the Hyakuana burial grounds and its environs. There is also a cave built to house a munitions factory during World War II that is often used as a location for television dramas.
    Directions: Take the Tobu line to Higashi-Matsuyama Station. Then take the Kawagoe Kanko Bus heading towards Konosu License Center and get off at the “Hyakuana Iriguchi (entrance)” stop. From there it is only a five minute walk. Or you can take the JR Takasaki Line to Konosu Station, then take the Kawagoe Kanko bus bound for Higashi-Matsuyama Station and get off at the “Hyakuana Iriguchi” stop. From there it is only a five minute walk.
    Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Entrance fees: 300 yen for adults and children of junior high school age or over, 200 yen for elementary students and free to children not yet in elementary school.
    Open 365 days a year
    Text: KAWARATANI Tokiko[2015年4月号掲載記事]

    交通:東武東松山駅下車。川越観光バス鴻巣免許センター行き「百穴入口」下車、徒歩5分、または、JR高崎線鴻巣駅下車 川越観光バス東松山駅行き「百穴入口」下車、徒歩約5分
    入園料:中学生以上300円 小学生200円 小学生未満無料

    Read More
  • Bridge World at Akashi-Kaikyo (Akashi Strait) Bridge

    [From March Issue 2015]

    This is a tour of the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, the biggest suspension bridge in the world. A talk explaining how this 3,911 meter bridge was constructed between Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture and Awaji-shima Island will be given. Audio guides in English, Chinese and Korean are lent out for free. To get a sense of the height and size of the bridge, participants are invited to walk along the inspection passage inside the bridge, which is usually closed to members of the public. The highlight of the tour comes at the end with a 360-degree view in the main tower 300 meters above sea level.
    Meeting place: Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge Exhibition Center (five minutes’ walk from Maiko Station on the JR Kobe Line)
    Period: From Thursday to Sunday and on national holiday days during the months of April to November.
    Tours are held twice a day (from 9:30 a.m. and from 1:30 p.m.).
    Reservations can be made from 10:00 a.m on the first day of the month two months before your preferred date.
    Price: 3,000 yen for adults and 1,500 yen for junior high school students
    ID is required.
    The maximum number accepted per reservation is five. Groups of six or more need to appoint another representative for additional reservations.
    In the case of heavy rain or strong wind the tour may be canceled on the day if the administrator decides it is difficult to proceed.

    Bridge World at Akashi-Kaikyo (Akashi Strait) Bridge[2015年3月号掲載記事]

    料金:大人3,000円 中学生1,500円
    明石海峡大橋 ブリッジワールド

    Read More
  • Suntory Yamazaki Distillery

    [From February Issue 2015]

    This is the first malt whiskey distillery to be constructed in Japan. One of the whiskeys manufactured here is “Single Malt Whiskey Yamazaki” which has received awards at various alcoholic beverage competitions around the world. A guided tour (free of charge, reservations required) explains the whiskey making process and attracts many visitors. At the Whiskey Museum you can taste about 100 different brands of whiskeys, including rare unblended whiskeys and limited edition whiskeys, for a fee.
    Access: 10 minutes’ walk from Yamazaki Station of JR Kyoto Line or Oyamazaki Station of Hankyu Kyoto Line
    Yamazaki Whiskey Museum
    Opening hours: From 10:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. (Last admission: 4:00 p.m.)
    Yamazaki Distillery Guided Tours
    begin every 60 minutes from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on weekdays.
    On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays they begin every 30 minutes from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
    An audio guide is available in English, Chinese and French.
    Admittance: Free of charge
    Closing days: Year-end and New Year holidays, factory holidays (and during temporary closures)
    Suntory Yamazaki Distillery[2015年2月号掲載記事]


    Read More
  • The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama

    [From January Issue 2015]

    This is the world’s first public museum of bonsai art. Seasonal bonsai are exhibited inside the museum building and in the garden. Audio guide devices in Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese are available to rent. Many workshops and themed exhibitions are organized here. Paintings to celebrate the New Year will be on display from December 13 to January 21, 2015. Around the museum, six bonsai gardens are located, where you can enjoy bonsai throughout the day.
    Access: five minute walk from the east exit of Toro Station on the JR Utsunomiya Line
    Opening hours:
    November – February: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    March – October: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    Admission for the general public: 300 yen
    Closed days: every Thursday and December 29 – January 3
    The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama [2015年1月号掲載記事]


    Read More
  • 浅草六区ゆめまち劇場

    [From Decemberber Issue 2014]

    This restaurant theater opened in April this year. Wahaha Hompo, a troupe known for its eccentric costumes and performances is now giving its first performance of Gorakuza” (Entertainment Theater) – an original work specially made for the theater. (Admittance: 4,500 yen. On top of this customers must order at least one drink.) Including characters and music that will even be familiar to non-Japanese, this is a show that everyone can enjoy. In addition there is a permanent exhibition of Asakusa’s streets reproduced on panels and in dioramas, the “Secret Hideout of About 100 Square Meters” (costs 500 yen), and screenings of movies associated with the town (1,000 yen).
    Access: Four-minute walk from the A1 exit of Taharacho Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
    Address: ROX1F Entrance, 1-25-15 Asakusa, Taito Ward, Tokyo
    Business hours: 9:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (depending on the program)
    Asakusa Rock Yumemachi Theater
    Text: KAWARATANI Tokiko[2014年12月号掲載記事]

    所在地:東京都台東区浅草1-25-15 ROX1F専用入口

    Read More
  • トヨタ産業技術記念館

    [From Novemberber Issue 2014]

    This memorial museum utilizes the Meiji era factory where Toyota first originated. A total of 13 buildings and artifacts were designated in 2007 by the Japanese government as part of the country’s Industrial Modernization Heritage. Starting with the invention of the weaving loom and including its endeavors with domestic automobile production, it’s possible to learn about the company’s history. A violin performance by the Partner Robot, which made its debut at the Shanghai Expo, is also popular. Because there are cafes and kids’ areas, both children and adults can enjoy the facility all day long.
    Access: Three minute walk from Sako Station on the Meitetsu Nagoya Line
    Admission: Adults 500 yen / junior and senior high school students 300 yen / elementary school students 200 yen
    Opening hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (admission until 4:30 p.m.)
    Days museum is closed: Monday (Tuesday, if Monday is a holiday), year-end, and New Year’s holidays
    Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology
    Text: KAWARATANI Tokiko[2014年11月号掲載記事]

    観覧料金:大人500円 中高生300円 小学生200円

    Read More