Rainy season begins in western, central and eastern Japan

The latest announcement by the Japan Meteorological Agency covers the Chugoku, Kinki, Tokai and Kanto-Koshin regions of Honshu Island as well as Shikoku, another main island of the country.

The agency had earlier said the rainy season was believed to have begun in the rest of southwestern Japan, including Kyushu and Okinawa, meaning that roughly the entire southern half of the country has now entered the rainy season.

The rainy season appears to have started in wide swaths of eastern, central and western Japan, the weather agency said Wednesday, warning of downpours and natural disasters during the roughly six-week period. (Japan Times)

East Japan Railway has decided to install security cameras on all cars on the Yamanote Line, which circles central Tokyo.

The number of foreign tourists who traveled on cruise ships to Japan hit a record high in 2016, thanks mainly to more budget tours from China. (NHK)

Aichi Prefecture said Thursday it will build a theme park based on an anime by director Hayao Miyazaki with the aim of opening it in the early 2020s. (Japan Times)

A record number of foreign tourists visited Japan last year, but they stayed mainly in big cities. Government officials now plan to boost inbound tourism further by attracting more travelers into the countryside. (NHK)

Japan Airlines will launch routes linking Narita International Airport with Melbourne and Kona, Hawaii, in September. (Japan Times)

Japan ranked 15th in the world in terms of the number of visitors from abroad last year, a government white paper said Tuesday. (Jiji)

An ancient ball game known as “kemari” was staged at a major shrine in Nara. The event held at Kasugataisha shrine is named “Manyo-kemari”. (NHK)

While the number of foreign tourists to Japan increases, operators of bathhouses and other such facilities are perplexed, after the government approved a written statement that said access to public bathing facilities should not be restricted just because customers having tattoos, at a Cabinet meeting in February. (the-japan-news.com)

With the aim of revitalizing its tourism industry in the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, Fukushima Prefecture is teaming up with neighboring Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures to establish a so-called “Diamond Route” to serve as an inbound tourism route linking major sightseeing spots. (the-japan-news.com)

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