News update March 2019

Here’s some of the latest news for visitors to Japan, plus some interesting new links I’ve found. Please note, I’ve included links because they lead to useful information that you and other visitors to Japan can use to have the best possible trip. I do not receive any payment if you click on the links.

JR West has introduced the Hello Kitty Haruka which travels from Kansai Airport to Osaka and Kyoto. The train is decorated with images of the popular cartoon character, and follows the success of the Hello Kitty shinkansen which ran temporarily from Fukuoka to Osaka. JR West will also be introducing online reservations for foreigners in March 2019.

ANA has introduced a new direct Perth-Tokyo Narita flight, which will start on 1 September 2019. Bookings are now open.

Natural disasters do occur in Japan and can disrupt travel. If you are a Twitter user, there are some accounts to follow which will give reliable information. These include Japan Safe Travel and JR Kyushu. Japan Safe Travel is a JNTO initiative providing visitor information about travel disruption due to earthquakes, typhoons and most recently, the heavy snowfalls in Tokyo and Hokkaido. JR Kyushu provides information in English about delays to their train services.

If you are visiting Japan in the near future, find out more about

Itsukushima shrine
The torii at Itsukushima shrine

Staying at a ryokan with its own onsen is on many visitors’ lists. This specialist booking site for hot spring inns lists properties all over Japan.

Drone photography is becoming more popular and at the same time, there are questions about where drones can be used. Some tourist sights specifically prohibit drones – two that I know of are the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima and the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park in Nagano. Find out more about drone restrictions.

Snow monkeys at Jigokudani Monkey Park
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park in Nagano is home to the famous snow monkeys

Are you planning to drive while in Japan? Roadside rest areas are convenient places to stop and rest, offering a range of services.

There are a number of Japanese/English food allergy cards out there, some of which I’ve already listed in the book. I’ve found another one that may be useful to allergy sufferers.

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For further information, the ebook Japan Just for You is a practical step-by-step guide to planning your trip to Japan, starting with developing your own personal trip concept. It’s now available on Apple, Amazon and Kobo, with other ebook stores to come soon.