Simultaneously modern and traditional, with a culture that can take you into the future or deep into the past, the Land of the Rising Sun is truly in a class by itself.

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Summer In Kawagoe, Japan's "Little Edo" City

From June 30 to July 10, visitors to the lovely "Little Edo" city Kawagoe (population a bit over 353,000) just a half hour north of Tokyo in Saitama Prefecture, can experience Chinowa Kuguri. This Shinto ritual, held at Kawagoe Hachimangu Shrine, began in the early Edo period (1603-1867) with the intention of warding off plagues and promoting disease-free breathing. A perfect event for an era with Covid, the liturgy, also known as Nagoshi no Harae ("summer passing purification…

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2 great Japanese evening "light-up" events in autumn 2021

In Japan's Nikko and Kinugawa-onsen areas, two hours north of Tokyo along the Tobu Railway Nikko and Kinugawa lines, special moon-viewing festivities with light-ups are being held from September through November. There is a Japanese expression, "aki no yonaga," which means "long autumn night." This year, despite the pandemic, two popular celebratory light-up events held annually are illuminating the autumn evenings in the Nikko-Kinugawa region, along Tobu Railway's Nikko and Kinugawa lines.…

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  • Came across an interesting item about an off-the-beaten track region and city, both called Kochi, on the second smallest of Japan's four main islands, Shikoku. (south of the western end of Honshu), with plenty of eco/adventure travel options, water sports, authentic regional cuisine, and historic sites. Check it out!
    4 reasons to visit Kochi, a lesser known part of Japan, once Japan relaxes travel restrictions
    A hidden gem in Japan.
  • After more than two years of closing it borders to most visitors Japan is finally opening up:
    Japan opens up to foreign tourists after two years
    Visitors from 98 countries will be allowed to enter, but some restrictions still remain.
  • If yhou love sushi, you'll be interested in this BBC Travel article about its fermented ancestor funazushi, still kept alive in a handful of places in Japan:
    Funazushi: The fermented predecessor of modern sushi
    For the past 18 generations, one family has preserved a 400-year-old recipe showing how sushi once tasted, and it doesn't use raw seafood, but fish a…
  • Just read a pretty interesting article from the BBC about the phrase that makes everything better in Japan: yoroshiku onegaishimasu, meant to convey respect and appreciation. Learn more here:

  • any great blog about Japan (possibly written by a Japanese blogger) to suggest?

  • Please see info below if you are interested in this special sports package to Japan!                                                                                                                               

     KIE/Kintetsu International Express in Association with the WBC (World Baseball Classic) and MLB (Major League Baseball) Announces They Have Been Selected As the Official Travel Provider for the 2013 WBC Travel Packages to Japan!


    These Packages Includes Roundtrip Airfare, 6 Night Hotel Accommodations with Breakfast, Series Game Tickets (at an extra charge), Hotel Taxes and Fees for either series in Tokyo or Fukuoka.


    Japan specialist travel agency, KIE/Kintetsu International Express, in association with WBC and MLB has been selected as the sole preferred travel provider of travel packages to Japan, for the 2013 WBC series.  The packages feature accommodations for 6 nights or less for the WBC games in Tokyo or Fukuoka.  The packages include the departure cities of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.


    The 2009 Classic, the second edition of the event, was won by Japan for the second tournament in a row. Japan is the two-time defending champion, having won each of the first two Classics in 2006 and 2009. Please see below for more travel package details:


    The tournament is the first of its kind to have national baseball teams feature professional players from the major leagues around the world including Major League Baseball.  In addition to providing a format for the best baseball players in the world to compete against one another while representing their home countries, the World Baseball Classic was created in order to further promote the game around the globe.


    The above package and prices are subject to change. Please contact Kintetsu at 1-855-476-8779 or visit their website  for more details.  You can also e-mail them at for more information.


    About KIE/Kintetsu International Express:

    Kintetsu International Express USA, Inc. (KIE) is one of the largest travel management companies in the United States, and is currently ranked in the top 50 by Travel Weekly’s Top Power List for 2012.  KNT-CT Holding Co., Ltd., our parent company in Japan has over 62 years of travel service with more than 200 branches all over Japan. 


    Contact Information for KIE/Kintetsu International:                            

    Bill Sarcona, Asst. General Manager

    KIE / Kintetsu International

    1290 Avenue of the Americas, Ste. 900, New York, NY 10104

    T: 212-259-9722 | F: 212-259-9595


    Websites: /







  • Contest: Win a trip to Japan. See

  • I'd have to agree with Jeff... I'm starting to run into availability issues, especially in Kyoto with some dates actually sold-out this fall.  It's still all last-minute bookings, but we are seeing a little pick up.  Now we hope it extends into next spring.
  • That's good news, Jeff. I'm glad tourism is picking up again.
  • I just got back from 7 weeks working in our office near Osaka, Japan. It was great to be back and I am very happy to report that tourists are returning. We have been making many reservations at ryokans for guests who had to cancel in March and April. We are also organizing many tours.
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