Japan has announced its new imperial era will be called ‘Reiwa’, meaning ‘order and harmony’. The current era, ‘Heisei’ (which means ‘achieving peace’), will end with Emperor Akihito’s historic abdication at the end of April.
Imagine gazing down an endless pathway of swaying green boughs. The stalks tower above you, allowing sunlight to filter in gently. The forest seems endless to both your left and your right, and the sound of foliage swaying in the breeze lulls you into a trance-like state.
Perhaps you’re in solitude at this moment, or perhaps friendly folk wearing yukata robes and geta sandals can be glimpsed in the distance. This peaceful scene isn’t a mere dream – it is the reality you’ll find within Arashiyama’s famed bamboo forest.
The Umeda Sky Building, also known as the “New Umeda City,” is one of the most unique high rise buildings in the world. How tall is this skyscraper? It is 173 meters (over 567 feet) tall and is, in fact, not one building, but two. The Sky Building’s two forty-story towers are connected at the thirty-ninth floor by the Floating Garden Observatory, where you can look out at Osaka through windows or an open-air deck.
The streets are narrow and full of people. Cardboard produce boxes line the aisles, overflowing with tall leeks, sturdy root vegetables, brightly colored citrus fruits, and more. The boxes are stacked to chest height to allow easy access to the items they contain. Nearby, chefs prepare sushi and other mouth-watering delicacies at small outdoor food stalls.
This is Tsukiji Jogai Shijo, the Outer Market of Tsukiji.
Travelers heading to Japan will no longer need to queue at a Japanese embassy or consulate to apply for a visa for Japan. The new tourist eVisa for Japan will launch in April 2020 and tourists will be able to complete the application online in just a few minutes.
The first eligible nationality will be Chinese tourists as they represent the largest demographic (over 60%) of visitors to Japan. The electronic visa will be gradually rolled out to other nationalities later on in the year.
The Ashikaga Flower Park first opened in 1968 under the name “Hayakawa Farm.” In 1997, it was relocated and now spans 94,000 square meters (23 acres).
During that relocation, something unthinkable happened. A 130-year-old wisteria tree was uprooted and transplanted in the new location. Now over 150 years old, this Great Wisteria still stands and symbolizes the park itself. Spanning over 1,000 square meters, this tree was designated as a national monument by the Tochigi Prefecture. It was also named one of the “Top 10 World Dream Destinations” in 2014, and CNN has compared it to the fictional Tree of Souls featured in the 2009 film Avatar.