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Hello Kitty Bullet Train to Make Japan Even More Adorable

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/22/2018, 12:00 AM

We're just going to leave this right here. On June 30, 2018, a brand-new bullet shinkansen service will make its debut in Japan: a Hello Kitty train.  The Hello Kitty Express, as we're calling it, will link Osaka and Fukuoka, two cities that are about 400km (250 miles) apart, but as of today, are at the center of our hearts. Everything will be pinker than a debutante, washed in the blush tones o...

Strange Japanese Ferris Wheel Reopening After Nearly a Decade

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/09/2018, 9:00 PM

It sure doesn't look like it, but the structure pictured above is actually a Ferris wheel. The oblong oddity adorns the Don Quijote discount shopping center along the Dotonbori River in Osaka, Japan. Opened in 2005, the ride hasn't been operational since 2008, when a mechanical problem put it out of commission. But fielding questions about the Ferris wheel for nearly a decade has finally persuade...

Huge Nature-Themed Light Show Illuminates Winter Nights in Japan

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/02/2018, 1:00 PM

Each winter at Japan's Nagashima Resort in the city of Kuwana, millions of LED lights are used to create ravishing nighttime nature scenes. Held in the gardens of the complex (which also has an amusement park and hot springs), the Nabana No Sato display has previously depicted Mount Fuji and the Northern Lights, among other wonders. For 2018, the focus is Japan's Kumamoto Prefecture. As CNN rep...

Two New, And Quite Appetizing, Culinary Travel Books

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/17/2017, 12:00 AM

The old cliché "I live to eat" has a new corollary: "I travel to eat." More vacationers are letting their taste buds decide where their feet (and wallets) will lead them. To aid with that decision, there's a new crop of travel books centered around cuisine. Super Sushi Ramen Express: A Culinary Adventure Through Japan is one of the most exuberant of the genre. Its writing began with a bet of sor...

India Is Getting an Underwater Bullet Train

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/28/2017, 5:00 AM

A few years from now, a high-speed bullet train will be zipping along the rails in India—and here's the really cool part: It will go underwater. Part of India's efforts to modernize its railway network, the train is planned for service between the cities of Mumbai and Ahmedabad; along the way, it would pass through a 13-mile undersea tunnel connecting Thane and Virar. At the moment, th...

Tourists Can Take Martial Arts Classes from Local Police in Japan

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/23/2017, 5:00 AM

A novel activity will soon be on offer for English-speaking tourists in Japan: They can take a martial arts class led by local police officers.  Starting in March, hourlong beginner-level classes will take place in the city of Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, and will be taught by members of the police force who have black belts in judo and kendo, which involves bamboo swords. After class, you ...

Best Days in 2017 to See Cherry Blossoms in Japan

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/02/2017, 5:00 AM

Spring will get here before you know it—and in Japan, that season means cherry blossoms decorating the country in shades of pink and white.  Travelers who'd like to see those beautiful displays in person now have a handy resource for timing their visits to coincide with the days when trees are in peak bloom.   The Japan Meteorological Corporation has put together an online forecast wit...

Japan Plans Spa-Themed Amusement Park with Hot-Tub Roller Coaster

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/30/2016, 5:00 AM

If you've ever taken a relaxing soak in a hot spring and said, "Gosh, this is nice, but I wish there were some way to throw in the heart-racing thrills of a roller coaster ride," we'd think you were being completely ridiculous. There's a time for everything, we'd tell you, and the time for speeding along a track with sharp turns and sudden drops is not while you're sitting in a pool of steamin...

Though the Timid Tourist is Frightened by a Number of Adverse Travel Conditions, the Value of the U.S. Dollar is Not One of Them. The Dollar is Today Unusually Strong

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 09/30/2016, 10:00 PM

Perhaps the biggest travel news of the current season is that the U.S. currency remains unusually strong against virtually every other currency. When you travel abroad in the coming months, you will enjoy lower costs at your destination for everything you buy, thanks to a mighty dollar. While the dollar's strength may have adverse consequences for American companies that manufacture goods for ...

Canada, Iceland, and Japan are Standouts in a Mostly Sluggish Year for Travel

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 09/09/2016, 4:45 PM

       They call it the "election year curse." For reasons no one can really explain, travel declines slightly during years when the presidency is at stake. Statisticians cite the figures from the last 50 years, and whenever the nationwide election comes about, travel slows down.        Why? Are Americans so obsessed with the polls that they put off vacation travel? Depending ...

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