12 beautiful Japanese train stations by the sea

青海川

RocketNews 24 (by Preston Phro):

Being an island nation, there is no shortages of beaches in Japan–though if you live in Tokyo, there are times when the only thing resembling the ocean to be seen is a sea of people. After a weekday morning commute spent sloshing around in a packed train car, it’s easy to find yourself wishing for a more relaxed environment like the beach. And with summer in full swing, there are plenty of beaches we’d rather be lounging on than just about anything.

But it’s a busy world and who has time to sit on the beach and just relax? Well, we sure don’t! But for those of us always on the go, there are a few train stations that at least will give you a view of the ocean on your way to whatever business you may have. Think of it like a vacation that lasts as long as the train stops!

Here are 12 of Japan’s stations on the sea–beautiful, serene, and just outside your train window!

Kitahama Station

Located on the Sea of Okhotsk in north-east Hokkaido, this is perhaps one of the coldest train stations Japan, though you couldn’t tell it from the first two photos below. However, it turns out that a train ride to Kitahama Station will provide you not only with a beautiful view of the ocean, but also of drift ice! In fact, Kitahama Station is apparently the only train station in Japan that regularly offers a glimpse of that fantastic frozen, floating phenomenon.

北浜駅

北浜駅(3)

北浜駅(雪)

Todoroki Station

Heading to the mainland, this station in Aomori Prefecture is close to the Sea of Japan–extremely close! During stormy weather, waves actually wash over the track and up to the station. While we’re not sure if that’s the most practical location, it does make for beautiful photo opportunities. In fact, the station was featured in JR advertising in 2002, driving train- and station-loving fans out to Aomori. We can’t blame them–a dip in the sea sounds great right now!

驫木駅

驫木駅 (2)

Nebukawa Station

Located in Kanagawa Prefecture, this is the only station on the Tokaido Main Line between Tokyo and Kobe that is unmanned, though it is apparently a popular destination during New Years. It also provides a stunning view of open waters.

根府川 (3)

根府川

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Shimonada Station

Another unmanned stop, Shimonada Station is located in Ehime Prefecture on the Shikoku Yosan Line. Having been featured in numerous posters and other JR advertisements, the station has become popular among train lovers and photographers across the country as a location for breathtaking landscape photos. It even has its own Facebook page!

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下灘駅 (3)

下灘駅 (2)

Baishinji Station

Another station in Ehime PrefectureBaishinji Station is not famous just for its location–though it certainly is beautiful. The station captured the popular imagination in 1991 thanks to the TV drama Tokyo Love Story, about three Ehime friends who eventually reunite in Tokyo. As you may have guessed from the photo below, Rika, one of the main characters of the show, ties a “bye-bye handkerchief” to the railing in a climactic scene. Fans of the show and travelers have kept up the tradition for over two decades!

梅津寺駅 (2)

梅津寺駅

Yoroi Station

This Hyogo Prefecture station isn’t much to look at itself–it could easily be mistaken for a run-down bathroom in an interstate rest area–but the view from the platform certainly makes up for it. Not only is the station unmanned, there aren’t even any automated ticket machines! Despite its desolate appearance, the station has become a bit of an attraction for train lovers following its appearance in some TV shows. It has also appeared in JR advertisements, where it was written that “you can feel the sea breeze blowing off the ocean right under your eyes just standing on the platform.”

▼The station itself

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▼The view from the platform.

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Oobatake Station

One of the more rural areas of Japan, Yamaguchi Prefecture is also home to Oobatake Station, which sits right along the sea. An hour train ride from the Shinkansen station in Hiroshima, this station is an excellent sightseeing destination–though that’s about all you’ll have time for! In this part of the country, you can usually find only local trains.

大畠駅

Oumikawa Station

Apparently this Niigata Prefecture station is the closest to actual open waters in Japan, though judging from other entries on this list, the competition for that honor is fierce. In fact, the train line runs right along the coast for several miles, making not just this station but the entire route a beautiful destination for sight-seers. And, like many other stops on this list, the station is unmanned. We’re starting to wonder how JR gets people to pay for tickets…

Yukawa Station

Located in Wakayama Prefecture, Yukawa Station provides a magnificent view not only of the sea but also of the prefecture’s mountains. And if you’re a fan of the beach, the station is just a stone’s throw away from the Yukawa Kaisui Yokujo (Yukawa Swimming Area). Best of all, this station is also unmanned, so there won’t be any attendants to scold you for tracking sand and water all over the platform!

湯川駅

湯川駅 (2)

Umashibaura Station

Situated on Tokyo Bay in Kanagawa Prefecture, this station is probably not where you’d want to wait out a storm with large waves. It is, however, an excellent destination for sight-seeing. In addition to the view of the bay, rail riders are afforded an excellent view of the Yokohama Bay Bridge, Tsurumi Tsubasa Bridge, and fireworks launched from Yamashita Park in the summer.

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海芝浦駅 (2)

Kamakurakoko Mae Station

As you may have guessed from the name of this station, it’s located in Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture near Kamakura High School. Kamakura City, in addition to its beautiful temples, shrines, and German sausages, is a popular destination for its gorgeous beaches. The station offers a beautiful view of the ocean and as well as Enoshima, Miura Peninsula, and even Mt. Fuji on clear days. That said, we’re sure it’s a horrible way to start the school day–imaging having a gorgeous beach dangled in front of you only for it to be ripped away and replaced with an hour spent conjugating English verbs!

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鎌倉高校前駅 (2)

Tagi Station

This beach-front train stop is located in Shimane Prefecture, the second least populated prefecture in Japan. Despite the lack of people around to use it, Tagi Station and the area between it and its neighbor down the line Oda Station are famous as sight-seeing destinations and have appeared in numerous magazines. Apparently there is also a sakura (cherry) tree next to the platform, providing a unique photo opportunity when the tree blossoms in the spring.

Tagi Station

Many of Japan’s 16 UNESCO World Heritage sites fly under the radar

RocketNews 24:

Did you know that Japan has 16 locations on the list of UNESCO World Heritages? Could you name them all with any sum of money on the line?

Survey Research Center, Co. Ltd. conducted a survey that showed that most people could not. When asked whether they were interested in Japan’s world heritages, 67.8% of those surveyed responded affirmatively. However, only 4% of respondents knew all 16 Japanese sites.

See how many you can name before looking at the list below:

1. Yakushima [Kagoshima Prefecture]

2. Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome) [Hiroshima Prefecture]

3. Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Ryukyu Islands [Okinawa Prefecture]

4. Itsukushima Shinto Shrine [Hiroshima Prefecture]

5. Shiretoko [Hokkaido Prefecture]

6. Hiraizumi – Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land [Iwate Prefecture]

7. Ogasawara Islands [Tokyo Metropolis]

8. Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama [Gifu Prefecture]

9. Himeji-jo [Hyogo Prefecture]

10. Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and its Cultural Landscape [Shimane Prefecture]

11. Shirakami-Sanchi [Akita and Aomori Prefectures]

12. Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area [Nara Prefecture]

13. Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) [Kyoto Prefecture]

14. Shrines and Temples of Nikko [Tochigi Prefecture]

15. Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara [Nara Prefecture]

16. Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range [Nara, Wakayama and Mie Prefectures]

How did you do? You might have noticed that both natural locations and manmade structures can qualify as world heritages.

The survey also showed that over half of Japanese tourists add the option of visiting a world heritage site when they take a tour on vacation.

Find out more about world heritage sites by watching “The World Heritage” on TBS at 6 a.m. on Sunday, November 27. The first program will focus on natural heritages, and the program that airs on Sunday, December 4 will deal with cultural assets.

Watching these shows and learning more about world heritages will surely enrich your mind and deepen your appreciation of Japanese history, and they may even give you some ideas for your next trip within Japan.

Source: TBS “The World Heritage”

Profile: Essayist Masako Shirasu helped define the tastes of postwar Japan in almost every aspect of aesthetics and design

Japan Times:

If you use beautiful things every day, you will naturally cultivate an eye for beautiful things without giving it a second thought. In the end, you will be repelled when you encounter the ugly and the fake. If only all Japan would come to see this, how much more joyous our lives would be and how genial and gentle people would be!”

Few Japanese lived a life in closer contact with everyday beauty than the woman who penned these words, Masako Shirasu, and I suspect that no Japanese has as much to tell us today about how to revitalize a culture caught in the cul-de-sac of value stagnation.

She published more than 50 books during her lifetime, although she did not start writing in earnest until she was in her early 30s. Her complete collected works, published by Shinchosha in 2001-02, include more than 60 books, not counting those she co-authored.

She defined the tastes of postwar Japan in almost every aspect of aesthetics and design. Yet despite the immense erudition underpinning her principles and the uncommon elegance of her style, she was totally lacking in pretense and affectation.

I believe, without a doubt, culture to be something that exists in the life of every single person as a part of their life from one day to another,” she wrote in a notebook in 1947. “Being faithful to yourself and becoming engrossed in your work, that’s culture.”

The evolution of this iconic figure from pampered little princess to Japan’s premier advocate of the simple, the austere and the unadorned in Japanese art brings to light a remarkable story.

Masako was born on Jan. 7, 1910, in a mansion at Nagatacho, Tokyo. Both of her grandfathers were admirals in the Imperial Japanese Navy. Just 2½ years before the death of Emperor Meiji, Japan was on the cusp of monumental change both domestically and internationally. Cultural and political democratization were to be the hallmarks of the new Taisho Era (1912-26), and the Japanese people aspired to be the equals, on the world stage, of the dominant European powers. And yet the society itself had only half-emerged out of the hard shell of the feudalism that had confined its progressive growth for centuries.

Masako had a foot in both camps from a very early age. At the age of 4, she began taking lessons in noh theater, the ritualistic performance art that had come to be the symbol of staid refinement during the Edo Period (1603-1867). When she was 14, she became the first female to perform on a noh stage. At the same age, she left Japan to enter school in the United States.

She studied at Hartridge School (now Wardlaw-Hartridge School) in New Jersey. Hartridge was known as a girls’ prep school for the exclusive Vassar College. Her experiences there, and at summer camp in Massachusetts among the privileged classes, turned her into a cultivated native speaker of English. But they weren’t to last long.

Her father, a man of stalwart morality and, apparently, unending generosity, lost his money in business, and Masako was forced to sail back to Japan in 1928. As fate would have it, another bankruptcy — that of the father of Jiro Shirasu — also saw the young son returning to Japan from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom the same year. Once back home in Japan, Masako and Jiro met and were married the next year, when she was 19.

Jiro, born on Feb. 17, 1902, was more than 6 feet (183 cm) tall, devastatingly handsome and a man of highly sophisticated westernized tastes. He had been sent to the United Kingdom after graduating middle school and had immediately taken to the lifestyle of the country gentleman, driving a Bentley around town and racing a Bugatti on weekends. Up to the end of his life in 1985, he drove a Porsche about the Japanese countryside.

When, shortly after the war, he was appointed by Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida as councillor of the Central Liaison Office and given the task of being go-between for Yoshida with Gen. Douglas MacArthur, supreme commander of the Allied powers, Masako called him “a straightforward obstinate samurai,” a fitting adversary to the pontifical general. A little later, Jiro played an instrumental role in laying the groundwork for Japan’s postwar economic recovery as deputy head of the Economic Stabilization Agency. (Incidentally, Jiro worked, for a time, for The Japan Advertiser, an English-language newspaper that was absorbed by The Japan Times in 1940.)

But Masako and her obstinate samurai both realized as early as 1940 that Japan was destined to lose the war in Asia. Concluding in 1942 that Tokyo was bound to suffer mass destruction, they purchased a dilapidated thatched-roof farmhouse in what is now Machida, then a village located away from potential targets. There, at least, they could grow their own food while they waited for the war to end. They collected butterbur sprouts, myōga (Japanese ginger) and seri (Japanese parsley) from nearby fields, ate bamboo shoots from their backyard garden and baked bread from homemade flour. (This house, called Buaiso, is now a museum that is open to the public.)

Masako’s sharp eye on the mores of her people can be seen clearly in something she wrote in “Shirasu Masako Jiden” (“The Autobiography of Masako Shirasu”):

During the war there was a thing called the tonarigumi (neighborhood association). They would come to the aid of people in need. I didn’t take to this institution. The Japanese may be an honest people, but when they start helping you they also begin to tell you what to do. That’s fine up to a point, but it gradually escalates and they are soon telling you what you have to like and dislike and what you have to do in your daily life. All of a sudden, your clothes are too loud or your manicure too conspicuous. We are still a people like this even though the era has changed.

“The government and the military were overly optimistic and thought you could protect yourself against bombing by passing around buckets and waving broomsticks in the air. When we left the city, the word sokai (evacuation) was not yet in use, and anyone who escaped from Tokyo was labelled a traitor.”

It was the experience of living in the farmhouse, I believe, that transformed Masako, instilling in her the sense of what is absolutely necessary to survive in body and spirit. After all, the Japanese aesthetic is founded on the essence of all things.

Not long after the war she met brilliant men such as Hideo Kobayashi, Japan’s foremost literary critic; antiques’ guru Jiro Aoyama, about whom she subsequently wrote a book; and Hidemi Kon, author and, from 1968, the first director of the newly-created Agency for Cultural Affairs.

Masako blossomed as a fiercely original essayist on all subjects relating to culture. Late in life, Jiro wrote of her, “My old lady is amazing. Everyone else just reads about a place without going there, but she always sets out to wherever it is even just to write a few pages about the place. No one does that anymore.”

When Tokyo hosted the Olympic Games in 1964, she left the capital for Shikoku to walk the island on a pilgrimage to its many temples. She visited scores of out-of-the-way places in Japan to view old noh masks. These masks are primarily held in private collections, and owners are reluctant to send them away for display. In preparation for a ground-breaking study of the old temples and stone art in rural Nara described in a book titled “Kakurezato” (“Hidden Village”), she made monthly trips to the area over a period of years and trod every path there.

The key to understanding her passion for Japanese art can be found here, in the rough beaten paths leading to it.

As noh theater has its hashigakari (bridge to the stage) and kabuki its hanamichi (runway from the stage through the auditorium),” she wrote, “life’s charm is not a result but rather the journey toward a result.”

She saw Japanese art, in all its spare simplicity, as an unending process leading to natural imperfection.

He hates being called an auteur or a ceramic artist and never uses the word ‘a work of art’ when talking about his pots,” she wrote of the renowned Iga-ware potter Masatake Fukumori in her book “Nihon no Takumi” (“The Ingeniousness of Japan”). “The reason why he became so interested in food is because he wanted to create the plates to put it on.

Her entire life she was attracted to the act of creativity, focusing on the creators and their pure relationship to their materials. “What we need is not artists but artisans,” she wrote in 1947, referring to the craft of dyeing, but applying the statement to all the arts. “People attempt to create art and fail. If you create something with great skill, it may very well result in art.”

She went so far as to view nature through the lens of its fashioning at the hands of those artisans. She professed a love for things that displayed an ubuna (artless) art. She loved the phrase hana o ikeru (arrange flowers) because of its connotation of “bringing flowers to life.”

The fleeting nature of the flower,” she wrote, “is brought to life for the first time as the perfect harmony of stillness and movement, immutability and fluidity, thanks to the vase it’s in.”

And there you have it: It is the artificial container that gives life to nature as a medium to experience something spiritual and profound. The vessel is the message. Nature gives rise to art, and art illuminates it in return.

She spent more than half a century after the war probing the relationship between nature and art, concluding that “there is nothing in the world as all-encompassing as Japanese nature. Religion, art, history and literature are latent within it.”

She was a superb dresser drawn to the craft of fabric making, in her later years favoring clothes designed by Missoni. She traveled extensively around Iran, France, Spain and Hungary.

She was a lover of Japanese cuisine who said, “Eat what you feel like eating all the time. Those food connoisseurs and gourmets who glow with self-satisfaction give me the creeps.”

At Katsuragi, Nara Prefecture, she went straight back to the very roots of Japan’s culture, from the time before influences from China and Korea swayed it.

Nothing stirs the human imagination as the primeval natural landscape and faith as found in Katsuragi,” she wrote in “Kakurezato.” And yet her library of some 10,000 items — a collection that is still preserved at Buaiso — has a great many books relating to world culture, from texts in Latin to Proust and Gide, from Dostoevsky to Elle.

Masako died on Dec. 26, 1998, and is buried at Shingetsuin Temple in Mita City, Hyogo Prefecture, beside her husband, Jiro, who predeceased her by 13 years.

She stands as a prime and perfect symbol — I would even go as far as to say, a beacon of light — for the coming decades in Japan, where a renewal of the spirit is the sine qua non of social and economic regeneration. I think she should appeal to young Japanese, this fascinating and free-spirited woman who wrote:

Looking back, it seems that I’ve spent my whole life dawdling by the wayside, from one road to another. . . . I may have lost something on the way, but I think I have gained more.”

Kobe beef burgers coming to Japanese fast food chain Lotteria

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It’s kind of ironic that the hamburger gets saddled with a stigma as the lowest rung of entrées. Sure, it’s a staple of cheap, low-quality fast food chains, but it’s also beef, the highest form of our three most commonly eaten meats, and as such deserves a certain measure of respect.

That goes double for the newest hamburger from Japanese hamburger chain Lotteria, since it’s made with the most respected beef of all: Kobe beef.

Recently, Lotteria’s been backing off a bit on maintaining its image as the king of fast food zaniness. In recent months, the same restaurant that brought us the 10-patty Attack on Titan sandwich and milkshakes based on Japanese horror classic The Ring has rolled out a couple of limited-time items that don’t sound so much crazy as crazy-tasty, such as the Tochigi wagyu burger with strawberry sauce that we tried back in October (and crave another of right now).

On January 29, Lotteria is set to release its newest high-grade beef temptation, and this time it’s sourcing its ingredients straight from the top by using Kobe beef.

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RocketNews 24:

The Kobe beef hamburger steak burger features a coarse-ground patty made from select livestock raised with premium feed and pure water. Hardcore burger aficionados in Japan often shun ketchup in favor of specially crafted sauces, and Lotteria’s Kobe beef burger delivers on this front with a decadent double punch.

To start with, even more Kobe beef is combined with sautéed onions grown in Awaji (which, like Kobe, is in Hyogo prefecture) and tomatoes to create what Lotteria dubs Kobe beef meat sauce. This is mixed with a rich demi-glace sauce seasoned with bullion and apples, and the resulting hybrid is dolloped onto the patty before the whole thing is crowned with a soft rice flour bun sprinkled with sesame seeds.

The limited-quantity burger is sold in a set with a medium soft drink for 1,500 yen (US$12.50). You could argue that’s a lot for fast food, but hey, it’s still a bargain for a meal with Kobe beef.

A delicious way to celebrate the Year of the Sheep — cute sheep bread!

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RocketNews 24:

As we follow the Chinese zodiac here in Japan, we too are celebrating the Year of the Sheep this year. Not surprisingly, that means we’ve seen an abundance of sheep-themed products for the New Year, including some in edible form. Famous bakery chain DONQ is just one of the many companies that offered such sheep-related food items, and their selection of sheep breads was so cute, we simply had to share them with you. Just take a look at the pictures, and we think they’ll get you in the mood to start off the Year of the Sheep in good cheer!

Headquartered in the city of Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture, DONQ has been in business for nearly 110 years, with over 120 stores across Japan. Befitting a chain spread across the country, they sold a variety of sheep-shaped breads in different areas of Japan over the New Year’s holiday, and while they’ve now finished selling these breads, the different creative designs certainly make for entertaining viewing. So, here are pictures of the baked sheep goodies from DONQ according to the area where they were sold:

●Hokkaido Area: “Fluffy Lamb Bread” and  “Happy Red and White Sheep Bread Set
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The set of two sheep breads in the center, done in the traditionally lucky colors of red and white, contained strawberry cream cheese and custard cream respectively, and was priced at 389 yen (US$3.25). The slightly smaller white “lamb” breads surrounding the red and white sheep contained custard cream and sold for 260 yen ($2.16)

●Kanto Area: “Chinese Zodiac (Eto) Bread Sheep
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These fellas, who look like they’re sleeping blissfully, were melon breads filled with custard cream and cost 281 yen ($2.35) each.

●Tokai Area:  “Chinese Zodiac Bread (Sheep)
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These cute sheep-year breads with googly eyes were made from melon bread and priced at 238 yen ($1.99).

●Kyoto/Hokuriku Area: “Fluffy Sheep
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These soft-looking sheep breads were filled with chocolate cream inside and sold for 303  yen ($2.53).

●Kobe Area: “Chinese Zodiac Bread (Sheep)” and “Osechi Cuisine Bread
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In the front here we have smiling sheep breads that were filled with chocolate cream, priced at 238 yen ($1.99). The set of New Year’s osechi cuisine-themed breads in the back cost 562 yen ($4.70) and included snapper-shaped bread containing custard cream, melon bread in the shape of a traditional hagoita wooden paddle, crispy prawn crackers and bread filled with chestnut and sweet potato paste.

●Chugoku/Shikoku Area: “Mr./Ms. Sheep 
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These sheep shaped creations contained custard cream and sold for 281 yen ($2.35). The chocolate legs look precious!

●Kyushu Area: “Chinese Zodiac Bread (Sheep)
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These adorable round sheep with a white cookie-like surface were priced at 281 yen ($2.35).

There were also two beautiful sheep breads from Johan, another bakery chain belonging to the DONQ group:

● (Johan) Kanto Area: “The Dream Pursuing Sheep 2015
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This artistic bread was made from a cocoa flavored base bread filled with raspberry jam and chocolate cream and was priced at 260 yen ($2.18).

●(Johan) Nagoya Area: Chinese Zodiac Bread (Sheep)
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And the last of the sheep breads from the DONQ group this year is this soft-looking creation filled with custard cream, which sold for 260 yen ($2.18).

So what did you think of all the darling little sheep in baked and edible form? They look absolutely sweet, and judging from the descriptions with all those custard and chocolate creams, we’re sure they tasted plenty sweet too. The time for New Year’s bread may be over for this year, but we’ll certainly be looking forward to lovely zodiac breads from DONQ again next year, when it will be the Year of the Monkey. Until then, we wish you a splendid Year of the Sheep!

Link

Japanese wigs prove a hot fashion item with African women

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Fashion wigs made of Kaneka Corp.‘s synthetic Kanekalon fiber have proven to be a big hit in Africa, where women are increasingly having them woven into their own hair at beauty salons.

Kaneka’s Takasago plant in Hyogo Prefecture is struggling to match production with the storm of incoming orders.

Amid this success, the Osaka-based chemical manufacturer promoted the brand value of its acrylic fiber at the “Kanekalon Hair Show 2013” in Nigeria on Nov. 2. At the event, held in Lagos, the country’s largest city, 30 fashion models flaunted a variety of Kanekalon wigs, including a curled blond one and a long black one.

Having Kanekalon woven into one’s hair has become a fixture style in Nigeria and Senegal, two countries considered to be Africa’s trendsetters.

Fashion wigs have proved to be especially popular because African women have coarse hair that does not grow long.

Kanekalon is easy to dye because it resembles the qualities of human hair. However, the wigs are disposable items that must be replaced every few weeks.

At around 1,000 yen ($10) a pop on the high end, the price is steep in relation to average monthly wages that hover around 10,000 yen in urban areas of Africa.

Despite the cost, Kanekalon remains the favorite of beauticians and their female customers.

Kaneka began selling the wigs in Africa in 1983 and now commands a market share of about 50 percent. The company’s efforts at analyzing consumer tastes on the street and training beauticians in the use of fashion wigs paid off handsomely.

Kaneka has also set some trends, such as one for purple hair and another for wavy long hair.

Kanekalon wigs have also been marketed in the United States since the 1960s. They are now patronized by high-profile African-Americans, including a well-known male singer and a senior government official.

Overall sales have risen eightfold during the past decade, mostly on the back of economic growth in Africa. But brisk sales have a flip side, according to Masatoshi Hatori, Kaneka’s executive vice president.

Imitation products have emerged,” Hatori said. “We want to win recognition for Kanekalon’s excellence and develop other markets as well.

Check out this link:

Japanese wigs prove a hot fashion item with African women

Link

Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture plans to open Manga/Anime theme park on Awaji Island

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 Hyogo Prefecture in Japan has announced on November 15 that it selected a temporary employment agency Pasona Group‘s “Awaji Manga Anime Island” project as the best revitalization program for Prefectural Awajishima Park in Awajishima-city. Awaji Island (Awaji-shima) is the biggest island in the Seto Inland Sea and is located between the islands of Honshu and Shikoku. The park was opened in 1980 and has had less visitors than the prefecture office hoped.

The “Awaji Manga Anime Island” project includes a museum to exhibit manga/anime materials including original arts and character figures, a library for manga/anime/game titles which the visitors can enjoy, a 5D moving theater, a restaurant, and character goods shops. The 4.3-hectare first manga/anime-themed amusement complex facility in Japan is scheduled to be opened in Spring 2017. They expect 5 million visitors in the first year.

Check out this link:

Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture plans to open Manga/Anime theme park on Awaji Island

Gift shop/museum/auditorium rendering:

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Proposed anime/mange-themed restaurant:

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Project Map:

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