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Postal Museum Japan See 330000 Kinds Of Stamps At Tokyo SkyTree

first_imgAdmission tickets are available via the machines at the entrance. The fee is 300 yen for an adult and 150 yen for an elementary school to high school student. The machine offers options in English, Chinese, and Korean.The permanent exhibition zone includes the seven worlds of ‘Beginning’, ‘Postal Mail’, ‘Letters’, ‘Postage Stamps’, ‘Postal Savings’, ‘Postal Insurance’, and ‘Culture’, and there is also the message theater and the special exhibition zone all on one floor. English commentaries accompany Japanese ones.Let’s take a closer look at each world. The Postal Museum Japan is where you can learn the history of the Japanese postal service. It is located in Tokyo Skytree Town, a popular sightseeing and shopping facility always busy with visitors, but you can enjoy the museum in a relaxed way even on weekends. They have experience-based content with digital technology too. Let’s check it out today.The museum is on the ninth floor of Tokyo Solamachi in Tokyo Skytree Town. It is located in the east area, the Oshiage Station side, just in case you get lost.You can get to the floor with occupied by the Postal Museum Japan by transferring by either escalator or elevator. Please take the escalator from Solamachi East Yard No. 12 or the elevator to the 8th floor, changing there to the exclusive elevator for the 8th-10th floor, and get off on the 9th floor. The World of Postal Mail The World of Letters Go! Go! Postman is a game where you deliver mail within a time limit. You can deliver mail acting like a real postman.You drive the bike on the screen using only your arms – you don’t even need a controller. When you stretch your arms out, the bike goes forward, and when you bend your arms, it goes back. You bend your right arm to go right, and left arm to go left. The delicate controls are tricky!There are three different courses. Our first attempt didn’t clear the mission unfortunately, but it was such a fun activity that you will want to try the higher levels.2. Picture Postcard Creator The special exhibition zone is subject to change constantly, so please check it out on their webpage.Enthralling Digital ContentThe Postal Museum Japan has fulfilling experience-based content too. Let’s look at some of their recommended content.1. Go! Go! Postman Picture Postcard Creator is an activity where you can create your own picture postcard starring you as a postman from the Meiji era.This is the only machine that can make your own musical picture postcard in the world. You take your face photo first, add messages and decorations of you as a postman, and choose a QR code to play music. When it is ready, you can print it out by the printer next to the machine. You can even post it from the Post Tree, a postbox that looks like the Skytree, after you buy the right stamp from the Museum Post Office nearby.Museum Shop with Many Stamps The Beginnings The World of Postage StampsThe world of Postage Stamps exhibits around 330 thousand kinds of stamp collections, which is the largest collection in Japan, and you can see many stamps both from Japan and abroad. There are even stamps of famous, internationally broadcast Japanese animations such as Doraemon, Sazaesan, and Detective Conan on display here.They are full of interesting exhibitions that tell you about the postal service and postal communications. Old stamps are for sale at the museum shop for 30 yen each. You can use those stamps in Japan in the same way as current stamps.They have piles of commemorative stamps including the past Olympics and events in the showcase. You will be thrilled to find your favorite ones like a treasure hunt. They even make for great souvenirs. You can always post your letters with your favorite postcard and stamps from the Museum Post Office next to the shop.They will stamp an original postmark on your letter when you post here. Many international visitors post letters from here too. Letters from here will make a lovely surprise for yourself, your family, and your friends.InformationPostal Museum JapanAddress: Tokyo, Sumida, Oshiage, 1-1-2, Tokyo SKYTREE Town Solamachi 9FHours: 10:00-17:30 (no entry after 5:00pm)Closed: No fixed holidays.Credit Cards: Not availableMultilingual Menu: EnglishNearest Station: a short walk from Oshiage (Skytree mae) Station on Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line/Keisei Oshiage Line/Toei Asakusa LineAdmission: Adults 300 yen/Elementary, Junior and High school students 150 yenPhone: 03-6240-4311Official Webpage: Postal Museum Japanlast_img read more

Breathtaking Seasons MukojimaHyakkaen Gardens In HigashiMukojima

first_imgSee Japanese Culture with Your Own EyesWelcome to Japan, a land of diverse beauty and breathtaking landscapes, changing with the passing of the seasons. If you’ve ever dreamed of getting the best out of all of Japan’s seasonal looks, we’ve got some great news for you – one great place for you to visit, to be exact. And the best thing is, it is located right in the heart of the hustle and bustle of Tokyo – introducing Mukojima-Hyakkaen Gardens in Sumida ward.The entrance to the garden, with a somewhat nostalgic feel to it, appears out of nowhere in the middle of this residential area.Get to Know Mukojima-HyakkaenMukojima-Hyakkaen Gardens was built in Edo Period, and is a beloved garden with immense popularity even today. It offers an almost dream-like tranquil ambiance amidst the tumult of the city, with a historical feel to it, as well as heaps of beautiful flowers, thus having both a comforting and enchanting effect on the visitors.Everywhere you look you can see a bench waiting for visitors to take a quick rest. The gentle breeze makes taking a breather here all the more enjoyable.Although we salute the spirit, you don’t have to go overboard in order to see the whole garden. One hour will do just fine to discover the elegance and charm of this place, and as there is no particular route you should stick to, you are free to wander around taking in the beauty of the gardens as you like.Let your heart choose the direction and let the flowers take away your everyday fatigue.But let’s not forget the wonderful flowers, the main attraction of this garden that will leave you speechless with its vibrant colors. It is inevitable to wonder which flowers are waiting for you each season – for example, in May you can admire the lovely blue passion flower.Let blue passion flower awe you with its grace!Must-See Japanese Clover TunnelOne place you absolutely have to see when visiting Mukojima-Hyakkaen is the Japanese Clover Tunnel. The tunnel is designed for people to stroll through it while being completely surrounded by the tranquilizing green of the clover. Once inside the tunnel, it will feel as if you’ve wandered into a whole new, exciting world, different from the garden itself – that is the power of the greenery inside. We are sure you won’t be able to forget the sight after your stroll.The Japanese Clover Tunnel in MayWe recommend you visit the Clover Tunnel sometime between the middle of September and the middle of October. Of course, the garden will welcome you with its warm floral embrace and a somewhat nostalgic feel anytime you decide to go, but how about paying an exciting, unexpected visit when the breeze gets slightly refreshing?Don’t miss a chance to wander into a floral fairy tale in person! Visit the Mukojima-Hyakkaen Gardens and enjoy the combination of seasonal colors and blooms with traditional Japanese design.InformationMukojima-Hyakkaen GardensAddress: Tokyo, Sumida, Higashi-Mukojima 3-18-3Hours: 09:00-17:00Closed: Dec. 29th-Jan. 3rdOther Languages: English guide availableNearest Station: Higashi-Mukojima Station, Tobu Railway Isesaki LineAccess: 8 minute walk from Higashi-Mukojima StationPrice: adults (junior high school students and older) 150 yen; persons 65 and older 70 yen;Phone Number: 03-3611-8705Website: http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/mukojima/index.htmllast_img read more

Fine Dining In Tokyo Relax At VeganFriendly GENTLE Italian Sushi Bar

first_imgThe menu depends on which fish and ingredients are in-season, so guests can enjoy something different each time they visit. Read also Picture courtesy of GENTLEOpened July 16, 2019, GENTLE Italian & Sushi Bar is a restaurant with an elegant and cozy ambiance, and excellent food and service. The concept of GENTLE is to leave diners feeling better than they did before they came, in an uplifted mood.Each detail of the restaurant, from the menu to the seating and service is well-thought to accommodate and provide a great experience to all. Menus in English are available, and several staff members can assist diners in English, so international guests will feel comfortable.A varied menu which includes several vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes is also part of what makes GENTLE a great choice. GENTLE chefs are accommodating to dietary preferences and allergies, and will work with guests to make sure their needs and tastes are met. The restaurant is divided into two areas. The first floor contains a spacious Italian restaurant and bar with an elegant, relaxing interior, putting the focus on the meal and enjoying the company of family and friends. Guests can enjoy meals here.The basement floor is where the sushi restaurant is. The sushi restaurant, open only for dinner, has soft lighting and an intimate 16-seat bar where diners will receive each dish directly from the chefs. This is a traditional setup seen frequently at older, well-established sushi restaurants in Japan. For the main dish, guests can try the Composition of Lotus Roots and Vegan Hamburger Steak, a soy hamburger steak, paired with a tangy ginger sauce, brown rice, and crispy lotus root topped with greens. The combination of flavors and different textures are delicious. Some of the vegan choices include the Spaghetti with Green Vegetables, a Genovese sauce pasta with asparagus and broccoli. The basil flavors of the sauce pair well with the spaghetti and vegetables. There are also tomato-based pastas and other options that are vegan. Picture courtesy of GENTLEThe sushi restaurant on the basement level is a great option for guests looking for a traditional sushi experience in Tokyo in the evening. The simple, clean style of the sushi bar makes it possible to enjoy traditional and creative, finely-prepared sushi. The head sushi chef is well-trained and has had years of experience working in and outside of Japan. Top-left and top-right pictures courtesy of GENTLEDiners can appreciate a full-course sushi dinner with classic options, like seasonal sashimi, tuna rolls, and tamagoyaki (rolled omelet). Offerings not seen at other restaurants, like crab and sesame tofu dishes, are also on the menu. A variety of cooked and raw fish are available on the menu, making it very accessible for beginners. In cooperation with GENTLE Italian & Sushi Bar Private dining rooms at the Italian restaurant and sushi restaurant are also available on a reservation basis. Please see the official website for further details.Indulge in Italian Cuisine – Classic Dishes and Plant-Based Options Picture courtesy of GENTLEFor dessert, a wagon is wheeled around as well, so diners can choose whatever looks the most pleasing to them.Similar to the appetizers and main dishes, the desserts are made with high-quality, organic ingredients when possible, and there are vegan choices. Pictured above is the rich Half Cold Three Colors Almond Milk Cake, a colorful vegan-friendly treat that tastes like ice cream cake.Enjoy a Course Meal at an Authentic Sushi Barcenter_img Picture courtesy of GENTLEThe appetizers of the day are wheeled around on a table, like a wagon, allowing diners to see each option when they decide.Each dish is visually impacting, plated carefully to please the eye. In addition, the dishes are made with high-quality, often organic ingredients, so diners can feel assured that they are eating nutritious and safe food. Upper-left, upper-right, and lower-right pictures courtesy of GENTLEAre you hungry and looking for something suitable for celebrating with family and friends?GENTLE Italian & Sushi Bar, located on a side street of Omotesando, near Harajuku, is a restaurant that will answer these needs. Ideal for diners looking for something out of the ordinary and catering to diverse food needs and preferences, this restaurant is a great place to savor a special meal. With an Italian restaurant, serving vegetarian and vegan options and meat and seafood-based dishes, and a sushi restaurant where guests can try a full-course sushi dinner, there is something everyone can enjoy.Continue to read to learn about the menu and why GENTLE is a must-visit restaurant in Tokyo.About GENTLE Italian & Sushi Bar Each dish has a different way of being eaten, but the chef and wait staff will assist you on how to enjoy the dish and which condiments to pair with it.In addition to the fresh sushi, soups and savory custards, commonly enjoyed with sushi, are also part of the course. Dessert is also included on the menu to finish off the meal.Elevate Your Tokyo Dining Experience at GENTLEGENTLE Italian & Sushi Bar provides an extra level to eating in Tokyo with its elegance and warmth. From the stylish interior to the dedication and expertise put into cooking and preparing each dish, meals here are special and accommodate and exceed expectations of diners.Come here to de-stress and make memories with loved ones over a delicious meal. Located close to Omotesando Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, the restaurant is convenient for traveling via public transportation but still provides a relaxing, one-of-a-kind time to those who visit. Enjoy Sushi In Japan! Useful Tips And Tokyo’s Best Sushi Restaurants GENTLE – A Special Meal For All in Tokyo Diners can enjoy over 40 different menu choices, such as appetizers, pasta, and desserts at GENTLE’s Italian restaurant. Around half the choices are vegan and vegetarian. Decadent Vegan Parfaits In Tokyo – Indulge In Sweets At Wired Bonbon Other choices include seafood from Hokkaido, and organic beef and chicken. Pictured above is the Sauteed Cherry Salmon, presented beautifully with a side of marinated vegetables. Shibuya, Omotesando And Harajuku – 11 Must See Spotslast_img read more

Sumida Aquarium Explore The World Of Marine Life At Tokyo Skytree

first_imgTokyo Skytree is one of Tokyo’s popular tourist attractions. An entire view of the metropolis can be seen from the observatory, as well as witnessing the towering iconic Mount Fuji (providing the weather is good!). This stunning tower not only boasts an observatory, but also houses a hidden aquarium at the base of the tower. Named Sumida Aquarium, it can be enjoyed with family or friends alike.Let us take you through some interesting facts about this aquarium, that’ll have you down there before you know it.The Concept of Sumida AquariumThe concept of Sumida Aquarium is about “cradling and nurturing life in water”. It’s an aquarium that provides an aquatic sensory experience – where water fosters “the life of creatures”, right in the midst of a big metropolis. With “Ocean of Tokyo Island” as its theme, it is a large aquarium that aims to replicate the Ogasawara Ocean. This indoor public aquarium has a pool-type structure that allows you to get a close up of penguins and seals. There are also various must-see places, including a laboratory where visitors and aquarium keepers can interact.The Jellyfish Zone One can see jellyfish float in a range of different sized water tanks. This distinctive area invites visitors of Sumida Aquarium to enter a world away from daily life. They are extremely beautiful creatures that have a captivating presence about them. Viewers are often transfixed into watching them for hours on end.The Fresh Coral Reef ZoneColorful marine creatures congregate at beautiful coral reefs, in various fascinating scenes spread across four consecutive water tanks. The longer-shaped water tank allows you to see a full 360 degree view; depending on the surface or angle, you can appreciate the different characteristics and personalities of the various creatures.The spotted garden eels are also a popular attraction, swaying along with the current in huge swarms. These peculiar creatures live at the bottom of the coral reef, poking their heads out, following the flow of the current, and prey on zoo-plankton. Their lower body remains buried in sand at all times, and when a predator comes along, these strange creatures recoil into the hole and hide. In order to change positions, they wiggle their body and tunnel a new hole.The Penguin ZoneMagellan Penguins play freely at this aquarium filled with roughly 350 tons of water. Visitors can get up-close with the penguins; observing the penguins’ movements and expressions up-close can be quite enjoyable.To ConcludeThere are attractions other than those featured in the pictures, such as the area where you can see fur seals. There is a zone that’s referred to as “Tokyo Big Aquarium”, which conjures up images of Ogasawara Ocean and Tokyo Island. There is also a cozy cafe aptly named “Penguin Cafe”, where they offer light meals, desserts and soft drinks. A souvenir shop where you can purchase highly sought after gifts is also on site at Sumida Aquarium.With its unique attractions, I urge you to drop by Sumida Aquarium the next time you go to Tokyo Skytree.InformationSumida AquariumAddress: Tokyo-to Sumida-ku Oshiage1-1-2Hours: 9:00am – 9:00pmClosed: – (open throughout the year)Wi-Fi: -Credit Cards: You can use credit cards at the venue.Languages: English/Chinese/KoreanStation: Oshiage Skytree Mae Station (押上スカイツリー前 駅) on the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line/Keisei Oshiage Line/Toei Asakusa Line,Access: Oshiage (Skytree Mae)Price Range: Adults 2,050 yen/High School Students 1,500 yen/Junior High/Elementary School Students 1,000 yen/Infants (Children over 3 years old) 600 yenReligion: -Phone Number: +81-3-5619-1821Homepage: Sumida Aquariumlast_img read more

Feel the Great Outdoors Cycling at Lake Tazawa

first_imgAkita Prefecture’s Lake Tazawa, known for being the deepest lake in Japan, is one of Japan’s most prominent landscapes due to to its constantly changing seasonal colors. If you head there in summer, you will notice many people have taken up cycling while enjoying the brilliant scenery.A 20-km Cycling Course”I really want to explore around Lake Tazawa, but walking takes a while…” If this is what you’re thinking, we definitely recommend trying cycling. By taking advantage of one of the many Rent-a-Cycle stores around Lake Tazawa, you can enjoy some relaxing cycling even in the middle of your trip. This time we rented a bicycle at Lake Tazawa Rent-a-Cycle, in Lake Tazawa Kyoei Palace. It cost ¥1000 per person for the full day.Put your feet to the pedals and let’s get rolling! You can easily pedal along while taking a look out over the sparkling waters.If you pass through the forest, you will feel a refreshing breeze. Taking a deep breath of this clear forest air is revitalising for both mind and body. Incidentally, the cycling course around Lake Tazawa is mostly comprised of flat roads, which makes it popular not just with sporty types, but also with beginners and young children.Break Time at TatsukochayaAfter following the course for about 30 minutes, you will come across a restaurant nestled by the lakeside called Tatsukochaya. If you’re hungry, you can regain some of that lost strength by having a meal here. Pictured here is Iwana, a freshwater fish grilled in salt resulting in a soft, fluffy texture (¥600 each).Lake Tazawa’s Icon: the Legend of the Statue of TatsukoAround the halfway point of the cycling course you will come across the Statue of Tatsuko, glittering in her golden glory. The Statue of Tatsuko is said to be based on a girl named Tatsuko who used to live in the Lake Tazawa area.Tatsuko was a beautiful maiden who prayed to the gods that her beauty could be preserved for all eternity. The gods then told her that if she drunk water from the holy spring in the north (in this case referring to Lake Tazawa), her wish would be granted. Tatsuko drunk the water until the spring ran dry, and before she knew it she had been transformed into a dragon and sunk to the bottom of the lake. This legend of Tatsuko, who was transformed into a dragon and then went on to become the spirit of Lake Tazawa, has been passed down for generations.After snapping a photo of the Statue of Tatsuko, pay a visit to the nearby Ukiki Shrine. This shrine sells fishing bait.On the banks of the lake you will spot people feeding the fish and enjoying water sports. It takes about two hours to complete the 20-km lap of the lake, but on days where the sun is strong it’s a good idea to take your time and take regular breaks.There is no substitute for the refreshing feeling of finally reaching your goal after travelling alongside nature. You too should try having a relaxing time at Lake Tazawa in Akita.InformationLake Tazawa Kyoei Palace: Lake Tazawa Rent-a-CycleAddress: Haruyama 148, Tazawa, Tazawako, Senboku-shi, AkitaAccess: Get off at Tohoku Shinkansen/Akita Shinkansen Lake Tazawa Station, then catch the regular bus to Lake Tazawa Lakeside Station – a 1-min walk from the bus stop.Phone Number: +81(0)187-43-0701Website: Tazawa Kyoei Palace (Japanese)TatsukochayaAddress: Kata Nakayama 41, Tazawako, Senboku-shi, Akita-kenAccess: Get off at Tohoku Shinkansen/Akita Shinkansen Lake Tazawa Station, then catch the regular bus to Lake Tazawa Lakeside Station. 30-mins by bicycle, 10-mins by car.Hours: 9:00–16:50Closed: N/APhone number: +81(0)187-43-0909Website: Gourmet Navi Tatsukochaya (Japanese)last_img read more

Enjoy Drinks With Penguins At Penguin Bar Ikebukuro

first_imgEveryone needs a way to let off steam after having a stressful day, don’t you think?Since around the year 2000, cafés where you can spend a relaxing time and interact with animals have been gaining in popularity in Japan. From cat cafés to rabbit cafés and even bird cafés, there are various types of animal cafés one can find around in Japan.This time though, it’s not just a café. There is a bar in Tokyo where you can enjoy drinking while watching the aquarium star waddle about: cute little penguins! Let’s check out Penguin Bar Ikebukuro.Let’s Meet Up with the PenguinsInside the bar, adorable penguins are waiting for you.You don’t have to go to the aquarium to get a close look of penguins playing with each other; you can watch them at the bar. Of course you can take pictures with them. But please turn flash off so as to not scare your little friends.You can watch staff feed penguins during the feeding time. However please stay away from the penguins when they are being fed because they might get aggressive.Full of Penguin Patterns! Recommended DishesPenguin Bar Ikebukuro has over 100 types of alcohol and dishes that go perfectly with their drinks. Here are some of the special menu items that you can only taste here.Oh, and don’t worry if you don’t understand Japanese well. They have English menus.Penguin Bar Special Frozen CocktailThis is a sweet coconut-based cocktail with a refreshing sorbet-like texture.This drink is topped with apple slices and lemon peel, making it look… just like a penguin! It’s almost too cute to drink.Penguin PancakesPancakes and French toast with vanilla ice; topped with penguin-shaped and logo-printed pancakes, the French toast goes perfectly with ice cream. You won’t be able to stop eating these fluffy sweets!Please keep in mind that there is an 800 yen table charge at Penguin Bar Ikebukuro.Penguin Interior Design in the Spacious BarDrinks and food taste even better in this spacious bar. The bar offers extra space for each customer so that you can feel more comfortable. In some bars, it’s too busy and crowded to feel relaxed, which never happens in Penguin Bar Ikebukuro.This is the bar-counter area, on the right side of the bar. Here you will see a number of different penguin themed goods on display and in use, such as this penguin-shaped cocktail shaker, penguin figurines, stickers and more.Such a cute penguin stuffed animal! Isn’t it? Actually, it’s a wet towel folded into the shape of penguin. It’s so cute that you might find yourself taking some pictures of…the towel. Penguin Bar Ikebukuro is filled with penguins everywhere. You might not be someone who is crazy for penguins, but you will definitely fall in love with them if you visit the bar.A pair of penguins together raise their baby just like humans. Some (human) couples have wedding parties or celebrate their wedding anniversary here, hoping that they always love each other just like a penguin couple do.For an Extraordinary Experience, Visit Penguin Bar IkebukuroThere are not many bars where you can enjoy drinking with such cute little animals. The Penguin Bar Ikebukuro is located within walking distance from Ikebukuro station, and they are open until 4 AM. Why not spend a relaxing moment with the penguins at Penguin Bar Ikebukuro?InformationPenguin Bar IkebukuroAddress: Tokyo, Toshima, Ikebukuro 2-38-2 COSMY1 1FHours: 18:00 – 4:00Closed: New Years holidaysWi-fi: NoCredit Cards: Most major cardsOther Languages: -Menus in Other Languages: EnglishNearest Station: Ikebukuro Station (池袋駅) on JR and Tokyo Metro LinesAccess: 8 minute walk from west exit of JR Ikebukuro stationPrice Range: 4000-4999 yen (800 yen table charge)Religion:-Phone Number: 03-5927-1310Website: PENGUIN BAR IKEBUKUROlast_img read more

Flowers As Far As The Eye Can See Hitachi Seaside Park

first_imgHitachi Seaside Park is located in Ibaraki prefecture. It is a large outdoor park consisting of a seashore, grassy plains, some hills and forest, a flower garden, and even an amusement park. You might be using a bike or bus to get around the park.Today we’ll be introducing the vivid flowers and beautiful scenery that can be seen here in the spring. Let’s head toward the symbol of the park, the “Tsubasa no Gate” (Wing Gate) at the west entrance. The sight of tulips all around felt like being in a fairy-tale world.OntThis particular day, a newly-wed couple was taking some photos. But you don’t have to be newly-wed to enjoy and make some great memories at such a beautiful flower garden.Flower Ring: The Giant Ferris WheelIn the center of the park is an amusement park called “Pleasure Garden”. Many attractions for both children and adults are available here. Attractions cost from 100 yen to 600 yen.Of all the attractions, the giant Ferris wheel definitely stands out. It has a diameter of 62.5 meters, and boasts a height of 65 meters. There are 40 gondolas, each fitting 6 people. The approximate riding time is 12 minutes, and costs 600 yen.Let’s get on!From the Ferris wheel you can overlook the whole park. Some restaurants and snack shops (noodles and soft serve ice cream) are visible from here too.In ConclusionHitachi Seaside Park covers a massive 192 hectares and was created by clearing a pine grove on the coast of the Pacific Ocean.It was originally a shooting training field for the army, but the locals took action to change the unused place into a park, planting flowers throughout it as a symbol of peace.If you want to see some incredible spring views, please visit Hitachi Seaside Park.InformationHitachi Seaside ParkAddress: Ibaraki, Hitachinaka, Mawatari Aza Ōnuma 605-4Hours: (2016 Schedule) March 1 – July 20 9:30-17:00, July 21 – August 31 9:30-18:00, Sept 1 – Oct 31 9:30-17:00, Nov 1 – Feb 28 2017 9:30-16:30 (refer to website for details)Closed: Mondays (with exceptions)Wi-Fi: Available in some areasCredit cards: NoLanguages: -Menus in other languages: -Nearest station: JR Katsuta station (勝田駅)Access: From Katsuta station, bus from Ibaraki Kōtsu Bus Platform 2. Get off at Kaihin Kōen Nishiguchi, then walk for 20 minutes; 10 minutes from station by taxi.Price range: Adults (15 and older) 410 yen, Children (elementary and middle school students) 80 yen, Silver (over 65) 210 yenReligion: -Phone number: +81-29-265-9001Official Website: Hitachi Seaside Park This is a picture of the fountain you’ll find on entering the west gate. The picture was taken from the opposite side, and the “Tsubasa no Gate” is visible in the back. In the open space that can be seen on the closer side of the gate, events such as jazz festivals are sometimes held.Miharashi no Oka: A Sea of 4.5 Million FlowersContinuing straight from the west gate brings you to the “Miharashi no Oka” (Miharashi Hill). Here you’ll find a sea of nemophila (baby blue eyes flowers) on the side of this 30 meter hill.There are crowds here even on weekdays and right after the park opens. But no matter where you stand you’ll be able to take spectacular photos from this hill.The blue and white petals will definitely please your eyes. Each flower reaches for the sun with all its might. The best time to see them is from late April to early May.Tamago no Mori Flower Garden: Terrific TulipsAfter entering the west gate, on your right is the great tulip garden: Tamago no Mori Flower Garden (Eggs Forest Flower Garden). Tulips of various colors bloom profusely here from late April to May.Being the perfect photography spot that it is, people were of course busy taking pictures here too.last_img read more

Take On The Tuna Challenge In Aomoris Tsurukameya Shokudo

first_imgHave you ever seen so much sliced tuna piled on top of each other that you thought it was going to collapse?Sushi and sashimi are ranked as the most popular Japanese foods for visitors to Japan. There is no place in the world other than Japan where you can eat delicious, fresh, raw seafood. In particular, Aomori prefecture’s Oma is famous for being a place where you can catch the giant Pacific blue fin tuna, plus other species of tuna as well as other marine products.This time we will introduce Aomori prefecture’s Tsurukameya Shokudo, a place where you can experience great products of the sea.Tsurukameya Shokudo is located in the Asamushi Onsen in Aomori city, Aomori prefecture. Asamushi has been known as a hot spring district for a long time. The shop is located five minutes from Asamushi-Onsen Station on the Aoimori Railway.It’s marked by this extravagant red and yellow sign.The shop has table seating as well as a tatami area for floor seating. The walls of the interior are packed with stickers. I wonder just what kind of stickers there really are?The stickers on the wall are proof that this place really is tuna country. Some of the stickers include producing areas, guides on how to fish, and the names of some of the fishing vessels. By looking at the stickers of the producing areas, you get an idea of just how large Tsurukameya Shokudo’s supply is.The large serving of tuna over rice can be offered at a reasonable price in part due to the owner being supplied through his own fishing route as well as connections with other fishermen.One sticker is put up on the wall for every tuna sold at the store so you can see a considerable amount of tuna has been eaten here. You can easily infer that Tsurukameya Shokudo has been loved by so many people for such a long time.On the left we have the small bowl of tuna (2500 yen) and on the right the mini size (2000 yen). Although it’s a small size the amount of slices of tuna is large, enough so that you can’t even make out the rice in the bowl. The largest size is medium but according to the owner there are so many people who aren’t able to finish it, he recommends the small size for men and the mini for women.The light-colored slices of tuna on the very top of the pile are the chu toro, or medium-fatty pieces and the darker-colored ones on the bottom are the akami, or leaner cuts.Since the bowls are overflowing with tuna, so much that they seem like they’ll fall over, those of you who aren’t used to this sort of dish might have a hard time finishing it. Taking each slice from the top and dipping it in soy sauce and eating it is the best course of action in tackling these mountains of tuna.The chu toro tuna is moderately fatty, which makes it just melt in your mouth. The leaner cuts on the other hand are less fulsome and have a refreshing taste, so it’ll be hard for you to lay down those chopsticks. That being said, you’ll definitely feel the volume of even the mini size. So eat with caution. And if tuna is not your thing, there are various other fresh seafood choices to choose from including sea urchin and salted salmon roe.We want everyone out there to challenge themselves to finish Tsurukameya Shokudo’s amazing bowl of tuna and rice.InformationTsurukameya ShokudoAddress: Aomori, Aomori, Asamushi, Hotarudani 293-14Hours: 9:00-18:00Closed: NoneWi-Fi: Not availableCredit Cards: -Menus in Other Languages: -Nearest Station: Asamushi-Onsen Station, Aoimori RailwayAccess: 5 minutes from Asamushi-Onsen StationPrice Range: 1000–1999 yenPhone: 017-752-3385last_img read more

MARKUS A Japanese Hand Crafted Household Goods Shop

first_imgTraditional crafts have a long history in Japan. However, finding successors in the production of these works has become difficult.With the decreasing number of craftsmen, traditional Japanese crafts have been disappearing from modern households. Within these troublesome times, there is MARKUS, a shop in Kichijoji promoting the idea of life with crafts.MARKUS opened in 2012 with a collection of handcrafted items using various materials and techniques from across Japan. All items in MARKUS have been carefully curated and favored by the manager, Mr. Kubota.This time, we would like to introduce some handy and easy-to-use items sold at MARKUS. What Is MARKUS?last_img read more

Step Into The Past Mamedamachi In Hita City Oita

first_imgThere is a museum as well as a sales area where you can sample the wares, so give it a try and discover which sake you like the best. A wealth of convenient little items can be found inside, useful either as souvenirs or to decorate your own home.Here we have Tenryō Meiboku Kaede (天領銘木 楓), which specializes in wooden chopping boards made from a variety of tree species. These bells, known for their ability to act as a charm against evil spirits, are lovingly handmade one at a time. Earthenware bells related to the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac are a perennial favorite.Next, we move on to Nurimonoya (ぬりものや), a marvellous shop specializing in small articles of lacquer ware. Take a deep breath and inhale the fresh and earthy smell of trees that fills the air. It will make you want a wooden chopping board.Now we come to Kuncho Sake Brewery which, as the name suggests, is where sake brewing happens in Mamedamachi. Here, the sweet waters that flow through the imperial fife of Hita go into the manufacturing of Japanese sake as well as Oita’s own barley shochu. Certain areas allow you to take photographs as well, so make sure you take a good look at each of the numerous Hina dolls.This is Akashi Hitayōkan Honpo .While most yōkan – sweet bean jelly – is black in color, here the outer skin is carefully removed from each and every bean, lending the yōkan a unique shade. This is a rare version only available at this shop, so you should definitely stop by when you have the chance.A very reasonable price for the quality and taste.In ConclusionHita City’s Mamedamachi is a charming example of old town architecture and customs, carefully preserved by the local people. Featuring goods and foods not available anywhere else in the world, it is a one-of-a-kind experience that should not be overlooked. Stroll through the elegant, nostalgic streets and be sure to sample all of the delights unique to Mamedamachi.Information Mamedamachi Address: Oita, Hita city, MamedamachiHours: Varies by shopFixed Holidays: Varies by shopWi-Fi: -Credit Cards: Varies by shopOther Languages: -Services in Other Languages: -Nearest Station: JR Hita Station (日田駅)Access: 15-20 minute walk from North Exit of Hita StationPrice Range: -Religious Information: -Phone Number:-Website: Mamedamachi Shopping District Official Homepage (Japanese)center_img An adorable dog, formerly sleeping peacefully nearby the sake brewery, is pictured here in the process of having a good long stretch.Next we come to Hita Shōyu. With their motto of using organic materials and an organic manufacturing process, the tides of time have passed this store by. Using traditional methods, the soy sauce flavors of old remain alive through places like Hita Shōyu.They feature a myriad of different flavors that you can taste test. To be honest, each of them is as delicious as the next, and it can be hard to choose just one. Why not ask the shop staff for advice on what sort of cooking to pair your new soy sauce with?In the back of the shop is an unbelievable display of 3500 Hina dolls, holding court in a miniature imperial palace. At just 300 yen, the entry fee is well worth the price of seeing these delicately crafted marvels. You may be aware that Oita prefecture is famous for its hot springs, but did you know there is a lot more to enjoy there? For instance, the charming old town of Mamedamachi in Hita city. There, the old architecture still stands to as testament to a different time, and a stroll along the streets reveals a variety of quaint little shops. Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why Mamedamachi is truly worth the visit.What Sort of Place is Mamedamachi?Hita is located along the Hanatsuki River in the northern region of Oita prefecture, and has been recognized nationally as a source of traditional architecture from on and around the Edo period. Ancient buildings line both sides of the streets, presenting wonderfully picturesque views and atmosphere.Walking Through Mamedamachi Let’s start by stopping in at Tōkōdō (東光堂), known for the manufacturing and sales of earthenware bells. It makes for an unforgettable sight, with great numbers of earthenware bells decorating the shop.last_img read more

Komadori Sanso – Try Waterfall Meditation And Unwind In Mt Mitakes Nature

first_imgMusashi Mitake Shrine is a shrine that worships a wolf as its deity, which is quite unusual in Japan.An anecdote found in the “Nihon Shoki,” Japan’s oldest record of Japanese history, states that a white wolf guided troops commanded by the hero, Yamato Takeru-no-Mikoto, when they arrived at this area.Mt. Mitake, protected by this wolf, is known as one of the major sacred mountains in Japan. The mountain is visited by both locals and tourists who want to experience the power of its sacredness. You can also visit the shrine at times other than during the daily worship. We recommend visiting after meditating under the waterfalls.Unwind during your Japan Trip at a Shrine Lodging Okutama Day Trip From Central Tokyo Japanese Religion: What’s The Difference Between Temples And Shrines? Once you’ve returned to the lodging, Mr. Baba will perform a purification ceremony (Shinto prayer) for you. After blowing into a conch, he will greet the deities. He will then play a large taiko drum and recite a Shinto prayer. The prayer chants along with the beating of the drums are very powerful.After the ceremony, you will be given an amulet to ward off evil and bad luck. The amulet is a sticker which we suggest sticking somewhere at home.The waterfall meditation experience is offered from March to November. However, there are also days when it is not offered, so be sure to check beforehand when making your reservation. The experience may also be canceled due to the weather.We recommend bringing clothes that are easy to move in, as you’ll be walking on a mountain trail to the falls, as well as beach sandals for entering the basin.Visit Musashi Mitake Shrine Komadori Sanso is located about an hour and a half by train from Shinjuku Station. Get off the train at JR Mitake Station, transfer to a bus, and then ride the ropeway for about six minutes to Mt. Mitake’s summit. Komadori Sanso is around 20 minutes down the shrine road. Komadori Sanso – Stay in the Middle of Nature If this sounds like you, we recommend a shukubo.Shukubo refers to lodgings originally made for temple monks and shrine visitors. These accommodations are now open to the general public, and the term refers to a facility that anyone can stay in.One aspect of shokubo that differs from a typical lodging facility is that you can participate in spiritual and religious activities. For example, if staying at a temple, you can join in zazen meditation, shakyo (*1), and religious services in the morning with the temple monks.Komadori Sanso, where we visited in this article, is the lodging for Musashi Mitake Shrine located on the 929-meter summit of Mt. Mitake. Here, you can experience the Shinto practice of waterfall meditation. As the guesthouse is perched on the summit, this nature-abundant location is completely surrounded by mountains for as far you can see.*1 Shakyo: the act of copying and writing sutras on paper.Read also Although all guests can try this meditation, it is important to remember it is a religious practice. You will leave the lodging at 5:30 in the morning and travel 30 minutes to Ayahiro Falls, where the waterfall meditation takes place.Before entering the water, you will change into a white outfit called shiroshozoku, and warm up by chanting the name of deities in a loud voice. You will then head into the basin of the waterfall. Immerse Yourself In Nature! 5 Hiking Spots In The Greater Tokyo Area Tokyo is a metropolis where we must walk to avoid pedestrians coming towards us, with a background of sounds from car engines from the main street and giant advertisement displays. However, Mt. Mitake is very different from the “Tokyo” that we usually imagine.Refresh and recharge yourself with waterfall meditation. Sweat on a hike. Feel the wind on your skin in the great outdoors, listening to the noise of insects. Read while basking in the sunlight. There are many ways to enjoy your time here.For a moment, forget about the busyness of every day and rejuvenate mind and body at Komadori Sanso.Please make your reservations on the official website or booking website. 駒鳥山荘 Shukobo Komadori-sanso View InformationlodgingRead also Breakfast is also Japanese. You’ll be able to have a standard Japanese breakfast that includes miso soup, natto, and other dishes. Be sure to try the yogurt after your meal. It is yogurt Mrs. Baba has been making for guests for over 18 years.Soak in a Large Bathtub and Relax There are a total of ten rooms available in various sizes, from single-person to four-person rooms. In particular, the Yamadori no Aida room is popular due to its spacious veranda.All rooms are laid out with tatami mats. Depending on the lodging, they will have a tokonoma (display alcove), shoji (paper sliding door), and fusuma (sliding screens), creating a traditional Japanese room. The vermillion gates bring out the Japanese shrine-like ambience. We walked through the gates and continued left, where we found a huge entranceway. A One-of-a-Kind Lodging ExperienceEveryone has a different style when it comes to travel accommodations, but some people may want to try a Japanese-style lodging where to have a truly unique experience. Some travelers may also be looking for a place to stay where they can truly relax during their trip. We were greeted by Mr. Yoshihiko Baba, the 17th generation owner, and his wife.Mr. Baba is an oshi (Shinto priest) at the nearby Musashi Mitake Shrine. An oshi is in charge of the visits and lodging of people who come to shrines or temples. Following the tradition of shukubo that has continued since the Edo period, he currently runs the lodging together with his wife and son.Mr. Baba say to us, “Please relax and take some personal time.” We also learned that many people staying at the shrine spend the day quietly reading books or walking in the forest.Waterfall meditation (“takigyo” in Japanese), an experience unique to staying at a shrine, is something you’ll want to try at Komadori Sanso. We’ll introduce some of the ways you can spend your time at Komadori Sanso for those that want to refresh both their mind and body.Gaze Into the Forest and Listen to the Sounds of Nature At Komadori Sanso you can experience the Shinto practice of waterfall meditation. Waterfall meditation is the practice of entering the basin under a waterfall and focusing the mind while being bathed by its waters.Waterfall meditation takes place in the morning and evening as a rite of passage for entering the priesthood in Shintoism. Mr. Baba entered the Shinto priesthood after meditating under a waterfall for one week when he was 17 years old.Komadori Sanso began offering this waterfall meditation activity to guests in 2000. When we asked why they began offering it, Mr. Baba stated, “It is because (waterfall meditation) refreshes the mind and will make you feel great afterward.”Mr. Baba loves meditating under the waterfall himself and he wanted guests to experience it, too. At Komadori Sanso, you’ll find large bathtubs made with Japanese cypress and umbrella pine. Oil is produced from these two trees, making the wood strong against water and moisture. Umbrella pine is especially durable and doesn’t decay, and is used as a material for high-quality baths.During summer, cool yourself off by opening the windows in your room once you’ve gotten out of the bathtub. The temperature on top of the mountain is much lower than it is at the base and a refreshing breeze will pass through your room if you open your window at night. Please make sure the window screen is securely closed so as to not let any insects inside.On clear nights, you’ll be able to clearly see the stars and the night view. If you’re lucky, you’ll also be able to see musasabi (giant flying squirrels). If you ask Mr. Baba, he may lead you to an area with giant flying squirrels.Early Morning Waterfall Meditation – Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience! The trees of Mt. Mitake as seen from the veranda in the Yamadori no Aida roomA mountain turtledove flew around us when we sat in the chairs on the veranda. You can also hear the cries of cuckoos in the distance.Take in the forest and listen to the birds and insects chirping in the fresh air. Your mind will gradually begin to settle.You can also enjoy tons of greenery from the windows of rooms without verandas, so please try taking a look outside.Traditional Japanese Breakfast and Dinner You can stay overnight without meals, but we recommend the plan that includes breakfast and dinner. On the day we traveled to the lodging for this article, Mr. Baba’s entire family prepared dinner for us.Dishes are made with regional and seasonal ingredients, including fish caught in Okutama, a nearby area, somen with summer vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers, squash, lotus root, and shrimp tempura. As plenty of vegetables are used the meals are very healthy.The menu will change depending on the season and season. If guests are staying for two or more nights, they will add more to the plating little by little. If you request beforehand, they will also make vegetarian and vegan meals. It may cost a separate fee of around 2,000 to 4,000 yen, so please check in advance.Their drink menu includes Japanese sake, umeshu (plum wine), and beer. Shinto deities are also fond of alcohol. Historically, guests would stay the night after visiting the shrine and spend their time cheerfully while dining and drinking. On the days when there is no waterfall meditation or for travelers who may not feel confident about trying it, you can participate in the daily worship at Musashi Mitake Shrine. During daily worship, prayers are recited at the worship hall for the prosperity of the region. It takes place every morning starting at 7:00.Daily worship requires a reservation and an additional fee of 500 yen by 20:00 the previous day. Be sure to ask Mr. Baba about it if you’re interested. Sacred Mount Koya: Stay Overnight At A Temple! The water temperature of the falls will be around 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit), even on hot summer days. Some participants have also fallen ill from the cold and the suddenness of the waterfall. Please pour a sufficient amount of water onto your body if you’ll be entering in order to adjust to the temperature.Overwhelmed by the cold of the water and the pressure from the waterfall, your mind will go blank during your meditation. This will surely elevate your ability to concentrate in the present.After we finished, we felt extremely refreshed, just as Mr. Baba said, and our minds and bodies felt light. We heard it isn’t unusual for first-time participants to come back and practice again. In cooperation with Komadori Sansolast_img read more

A New BarStyle KFC In Takadanobaba Drinks To Go With Your Chicken

first_imgThe restaurant handles more than 40 types of alcohol. From popular brands from overseas to Suntory’s The Premium Malt’s, they have an especially wide selection of beer which all go well with their signature chicken. For visitors from abroad, we recommend trying some Japanese craft beer. Some brands that you can try here include the Hitachino Nest Beer, known for its owl logo, and the Echigo Beer, made from Koshihikari rice and water from Niigata. Bottles of renowned craft beers from around the globe line the counter. They even have beer taps!Once you order, you can watch as the staff pours your drink right in front of your eyes. Another recommended drink is the Colonel High, a KFC-original highball.The definition of a “highball” in Japan is “a whiskey drink mixed with soda.” According to KFC, the Colonel High is a special drink co-developed with Japanese beverage manufacturer Suntory, and is topped with original spices that match with the taste of the chain’s chicken. The drink can only be found here, so we recommend you try this highball and chicken combo when visiting. They also have cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks. Alcohol can be ordered regardless of when you visit, so it’s great for casually stopping by and having a drink.Original Menus and Satisfying PortionsIn addition to the regular KFC lineup, during the lunch/cafe time from 10 AM to 5 PM, the restaurant also offers dishes like chicken plates with veggies, various sweets, and aged coffee using roasted and matured beans. The dinner menu available from 5 PM includes more dishes that go well with drinks. A wide variety of foods from appetizers, fried and grilled foods, salads, and pasta are all available at this time. We all know Colonel Sanders and his world-famous fried chicken from KFC. The fast food chain is popular in Japan for its fried chicken as well as its tasty side dishes like fries and salads. In April 2016, they opened a new bar-style restaurant in Takadanobaba, Tokyo. The new joint has a unique interior and menu, and is a great spot to enjoy drinks with your favorite fried chicken.A Bar-Style InteriorOne step inside the restaurant and you will notice the various details like the spacious table area, cute chalk art, and stylish lighting, that all add to the unique bar-style atmosphere. The Chicken Cordon Bleu with Ratatouille (680 yen), a great match of chicken filet and cheese. Craving fresh vegetables? Get the Kimagure Salad (580 yen). The Tapenade Sauce Marugoto Tomato (750 yen with baguettes) is an impressive dish.The large menu is perfect for those who are just stopping by for one drink, as well as those looking for a full-size meal.What Does Fried Chicken Taste Like in Japan?KFC restaurants in Japan only use domestically bred young chicken. The meat has a unique soft and moist texture. The taste of chicken itself can be different depending on the country, so it might be fun to compare the taste to the KFC back home. The fresh vegetables served here are also from within Japan.Perfect for EveryoneAll inside seats at KFC Takadanobaba are non-smoking, but smokers can choose to sit at the terrace seats if they want to smoke. The casual but stylish interior makes it easy for solo visitors to step in as well. Another perk here is that you can use special finger stalls to eat your chicken so that your hands don’t get dirty.The KFC joint in Takadanobaba is a new-style KFC for enjoying chicken and drinks. We recommend you stop by!InformationKFC TakadanobabaAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Takadanobaba 1-28-10Hours: 7:00-10:00 (morning), 10-17:00 (lunch & cafe), 17:00-22:00 (dinner bar) *Open until 23:00 on Friday and SaturdayClosed: NoneWi-Fi: -Credit Cards: Visa, JCB, Amex, Diners, MasterCardLanguages: Simple EnglishMenus in Other Languages: English, Chinese, Korean (Bar menu is in Japanese only)Nearest Station: TakadanobabaAccess: 5-minute walk from Takadanobaba Waseda Exit.Price Range: Regular menu – from 250 yen a piece, lunch and dinner bar menu – Check the official website (Japanese) for more information.Religion: -Phone Number: +81-3-5286-7807Official Website: KFC Holdings Japan, Ltd.last_img read more

Caroline Mulroney touts change for Ontario Tories in first campaign event

first_imgTORONTO – Caroline Mulroney, the latest addition to the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership race, says that while the party needs to make major changes, she would still use the previous leader’s platform as a starting point.Mulroney, the daughter of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, said that the previous platform came out of a grassroots effort that involved the entire party.“It’s an important starting point for us,” said Mulroney on the platform, dubbed the “People’s Guarantee,” which promised to invest in Toronto’s subways and cut income taxes, among other policies.Mulroney, who is up against former MPP Christine Elliott and former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford, said she would also support cuts in hydro rates and child care rebates if elected as the next premier.The former businesswoman and lawyer made the comments at campaign event in Toronto, where she was interviewed by former federal cabinet minister Lisa Raitt, who served under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government.The Ontario Conservatives are scrambling to elect a new party leader after Patrick Brown abruptly resigned in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations.The allegations, which were made last month by two women, were first reported by CTV News and have not been verified by The Canadian Press.Mulroney said that while the situation has been tough for the party, it also presents an opportunity for the party to make necessary changes.She said her political aspirations came out of anger over how the current Liberal government has led the province.“We have a government that is making decisions that benefit them in the short term, not ones that benefit Ontarians in the long term,” said Mulroney. “That’s the opposite of the way I see government working.”Mulroney spent years living abroad in the U.S., where she studied at New York and Harvard universities, and worked in business on Wall Street. She said she came back to Toronto with her husband to raise her family.While she has never held a seat in political office, Mulroney said that she could bring a new perspective and her own personal experience into the party.Mulroney criticized the Liberal government for making decisions in their self-interest and used their decision to raise the minimum wage ahead of an election as one example.“They’ve had an entire term to get this right … it’s not lost on people that they decided to do this six months ahead on as election,” said Mulroney, prompting cheers and applause in the audience.The party will decide who will lead the party ahead of the June election on March 10. Candidates have until Feb. 16 to join the race.last_img read more

250 passengers stranded aboard airplane in frigid Labrador for 16 hours

first_imgHAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L. — An end is finally in sight for passengers who spent 16 gruelling hours on a plane grounded on a tarmac in frigid Happy Valley-Goose Bay, N.L., though a passenger was left frustrated by the experience and wondering why it took so long to get help.“You’re cold, you’re tired, you’re hungry,” said Sonjay Dutt, a professional wrestler who was travelling to an event in China.“I’ve travelled for work pretty much on a weekly basis for the last almost 20 years, and I’ve never experienced something like this.”United Flight 179 from Newark, N.J., to Hong Kong was diverted to the Goose Bay Airport Saturday night after a passenger experienced a medical emergency, according to United Airlines spokeswoman Natalie Noonan.She said that after the passenger was removed from the plane and taken to hospital, a mechanical issue with the plane’s door prevented the aircraft from taking off. Noonan believes the door was unable to be shut because it likely froze in the wintry temperatures.As the hours drew on, Dutt said there was little communication between the airline and the 250 passengers stuck on the plane, which became uncomfortably cold as temperatures outside plunged to nearly -30 C.He chronicled his experience on social media, tweeting out photos and tagging United in several posts.“At one point you have to roll with the punches. You’re at their mercy,” he said in a phone interview. “You’re just hoping that they can communicate with you as honestly as possible, and I feel like that wasn’t done.”Dutt said food began to run low, but after about 10 hours, officials delivered food from Tim Hortons to the passengers, and some people were taken to the airport’s customs area to stretch their legs.Mechanics arrived late Sunday morning and attempted to fix the door while the passengers were still on board. When the door repair proved to be a lengthy process, the tired travellers were moved to a rescue plane, which was supposed to leave for Newark late Sunday afternoon.Dutt said he’s a frequent flier with the airline and will be looking for answers once he gets back.“This is unacceptable at all levels,” he said.In response, Noonan said the company did “everything they could” to make sure the passengers were as comfortable as possible.United officials will greet the passengers upon their arrival in Newark, she said, and will provide them with compensation — including refunds and vouchers — after their ordeal.“We absolutely understand the frustration. It is a very unique situation,” she said.“The airport they landed in was just not equipped to handle everyone that was coming in.”The Goose Bay Airport could not be reached for comment Sunday.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Ottawa moves to lift alcohol trade restrictions urges provinces to do the

OTTAWA — The federal government has introduced legislation that it says will remove a final federal barrier to the easier flow of beer, wine and spirits across provincial and territorial boundaries.Now, it says, it’s up to the provinces and territories to enact changes of their own that would allow for direct-to-consumer sales of alcohol across Canada.Internal Trade Minister Dominic LeBlanc says the legislation, once passed, will remove the federal requirement that alcohol moving from one province to another go through a provincial liquor authority.The issue has rankled consumers for decades and was forced under a media spotlight a year ago when a New Brunswick man lost a five-year court battle to buy cheap beer in neighbouring Quebec.The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled last April that provincial and territorial governments have the authority to restrict imports of goods from other jurisdictions and that Canadians do not have a constitutional right to buy and freely transport alcohol across provincial and territorial borders.LeBlanc said Tuesday that Canadians have been frustrated by provincial and territorial trade restrictions for too long.He has proposed changes to the federal Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act that would aid lower levels of government in lifting those restrictions on the sale of Canadian beer, wine and spirits between provinces and territories. The changes are in the bill implementing the federal budget.“The proposed legislative amendments would remove the only remaining federal barrier to trade in alcohol, and the onus will be on provincial and territorial governments to change their own regulations, paving the way for direct-to-consumer alcohol sales from across Canada,” LeBlanc said in a statement.“Removing barriers to trade between provinces and territories fosters economic growth, reduces the regulatory burden on our small and medium-sized businesses, and creates good, middle-class jobs across the country.”Andrea Stairs, who manages eBay in Canada and Latin America, welcomed the federal move but said “the hard work now turns to provincial governments.”“Interprovincial trade of alcohol is an opportunity to unlock economic prosperity by enabling Canada’s (small and medium-sized businesses) to trade more freely,” she said in a statement.Shortly after last year’s Supreme Court ruling, the New Brunswick government indicated changes could be coming to the province’s liquor laws.But the province’s treasury-board president Roger Melanson, who is also the minister responsible for trade policy, also noted that regulation of the alcohol trade in New Brunswick brings tens of millions of dollars into provincial coffers annually — money that is redistributed to services including health care, education and infrastructure.The country’s premiers last summer announced an agreement in principle to lift limits on how much alcohol residents can buy for personal consumption and transport across boundaries.Alberta and Manitoba have eliminated cross-border alcohol sales limits entirely.The Canadian Press read more

Housing starts slow as condo market cools

[np_storybar title=”Everything you need to know about Canada’s housing ‘bubble’” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/2012/10/04/everything-you-need-to-know-about-canadas-housing-bubble/”%5DCanada avoided many of the mistakes that the U.S. made in its housing market. But top economists are increasingly sounding alarms that the sector is the next bubble and it’s about to burst [/np_storybar]OTTAWA — Canada’s housing market continued to show signs of cooling last month, but still no evidence of a correction that would seriously impact the economy.The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported Tuesday housing starts for September totalled 19,750. That’s 220,200 units annualized, a slight decrease from the upwardly revised 225,300 units the previous month.The agency said the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 3.0% in September to 203,731 units.But the September number was still above the consensus forecast of about 205,000 and well north of what economists consider would be required to meet the growth rate in household formations.“In our view, Canada still has overbuilding concerns,” said TD economist Francis Fong.“Demand for new homes is primarily being supported by accommodative interest rates.”[np-related]In a new global outlook released Monday, the International Monetary Fund singled out housing and household debt, which currently sits at a near-record 152 per cent of income, the key areas of concerns for Canada.“An important domestic vulnerability in Canada relates to the housing market,” the Washington-based financial institution said. “A sharp or sustained decline in house prices could seriously set back the leveraged household sector and domestic demand.”Those concerns have been voiced before, including by Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who has moved four times in as many years to reduce mortgage lending.Scotiabank economist Derek Holt says he expects Canada’s economy will take a little bit of a hit from housing during the third quarter, noting that while still strong, new home construction during the summer was below the level achieved in the spring.Economists expect the slowing to continue across the board in starts, sales and prices in subsequent months.Over-saturation, high prices, high debt levels and recent tightening of mortgage rules are already impacting the resale market, they note, particularly in the previously torrid markets of Toronto and Vancouver.Bank of Montreal economist Robert Kavcic noted that condo re-sales in Toronto were down 27% during the month from September 2011. So building should follow, eventually, he said.“The gradual cooling will likely persist given the sales slowdown currently taking place in a number of major markets,” he predicted.In fact, Toronto saw the most acute retreat in starts during September in the CMHC report, down 38.2%, or about 24,600 units. Ontario as a whole was lower by 18.2 per cent, or 16,000 units.“As expected, the number of multiples starts in Ontario, particularly in Toronto, reverted back to a level more in line with the average pace of activity over the last six months,” said Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist at CMHC.“Following a period of elevated housing starts activity due to strong volumes of multi-family unit pre-sales in 2010 and 2011, the pace of housing starts is expected to moderate.”Elsewhere, seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 17.6% in the Prairies, 20.3% in Atlantic Canada, were up by 1.35% in Quebec and edged down 3.7% in British Columbia.Overall, single starts fell by 1.4% 67,643 units, while multiple urban starts decreased by 3.9% to 136,088 units. read more

SLMC ordered to register students with degrees from foreign universities

The Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) has been ordered to register students with medical degrees from recognised foreign universities.The Supreme Court today ordered the SLMC to also register students who have passed the SLMC examination, for the medical profession in Sri Lanka.

Yellen says continued economic improvement may trigger the start of Fed rate

by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Mar 27, 2015 1:48 pm MDT Yellen says continued economic improvement may trigger the start of Fed rate hikes this year AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Friday that continued improvement in the U.S. economy means an increase in the Fed’s key interest rate could come later this year.But Yellen stressed that any rate increases would likely be very gradual.The Fed has kept its benchmark rate at a record low near zero for more than six years. Yellen said in a speech in San Francisco that the time to start raising the rate could occur “sometime this year,” though she said the time hasn’t yet arrived.In her speech, Yellen said that the Fed’s first move would depend on how the economy performs. She said that when the Fed does start raising rates, policymakers expect the increases to be “rather gradual” for the next few years.Yellen said Japan’s experience over the past 20 years argues for a cautious approach. Over that time, Japan has struggled with anemic economic growth as well as deflation — a period of falling prices that’s been hard for its policymakers to overcome.Yellen said a key reason for a gradual approach to higher rates is that the danger of raising them too fast is greater than the risk of doing so too slowly. If the Fed were to tighten loan rates too quickly, the economy could stall and, with rates still relatively low, the Fed would have little room to cut them.But she did say that taking a “gradualist approach” to raising rates carries its own risks. One is the possibility that it might undermine the Fed’s credibility as an inflation fighter and could risk instability in financial markets by allowing an excessive buildup in borrowing.“At this point, the evidence indicates that such vulnerabilities do not pose a significant threat, but the (Fed) is carefully monitoring developments in this area,” she said.Yellen’s comments offered an elaboration on signals the Fed sent after its latest policy meeting last week. It said then that it was content to move slowly to raise rates because it wanted to see further improvement in the job market and an increase in inflation levels.Inflation recently has fallen further below the Fed’s 2 per cent target for annual price increases.On Monday, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said in a speech in New York that he expected the central bank to start raising rates sometime this year.Both Yellen and Fischer stressed the Fed’s expectation that rate hikes would be incremental and that the Fed’s action would depend on how the economy performs.Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said Yellen’s remarks didn’t alter his view that the Fed will start raising rates in June, though many other economists foresee no increase before September.“We still think that sizeable gains in payrolls over the next few months will prompt the Fed to start raising rates in June,” Ashworth said.He predicted that while rate hikes this year would be gradual, the increases would pick up in 2016 as the Fed responds to stronger wage growth and higher inflation.In its policy statement last week, the Fed said it wouldn’t be appropriate to start raising rates until the job market improved further and Fed officials were “reasonably confident” inflation would return to their 2 per cent target.In her speech, Yellen stressed that Fed officials don’t envision raising rates in a predictable way, as they did during the string of 17 quarter-point increases they carried out from 2004 to mid-2006.Rather, the Fed’s policy will evolve as economic conditions do. Rate increases could speed up, slow down, pause or even reverse course depending on the direction of the economy and inflation, she said.In answer to a question after her speech, Yellen said the Fed was monitoring the rising value of the dollar. She said that while this trend would likely dampen demand for U.S. exports, it could also fuel economic growth in other countries, which, in turn, could boost demand for American products. read more

More parking to open for Calgary playoff games

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email More parking to open for Calgary playoff games North Stampede parking lots open for the Calgary Flames Playoffs by News Staff Posted Apr 18, 2015 5:02 pm MDT Comicon, Cirque de Soleil and a Flames playoff game — parking at the Scotiabank Saddledome is expected to difficult at best on Sunday!To meet the demand, the Stampede is opening extra parking facilities for tomorrow’s game and the rest of the Calgary Flames playoff game days.The extra lots include:On the south side of the Park: Lot 8 by the Erlton LRT Station and Lot 9 on the south side of the Grandstand building.On the north side of the Park: Lots 12, 13, 15 and 24.Infield parking and a shuttle bus will also be provided for guests.Fans are advised to get to the lots early or to avoid the traffic altogether by taking public transit. South Stampede parking lots open for the Calgary Flames Playoffs North Stampede parking lots open for the Calgary Flames Playoffs read more

Stocks open higher on Wall Street building on gains from Friday Tyson

Stocks open higher on Wall Street, building on gains from Friday; Tyson gains on earnings NEW YORK, N.Y. – Stocks are opening slightly higher, building on their gains from Friday.Tyson Foods gained 3 per cent in early trading Monday after reporting earnings that were higher than analysts were expecting.The Dow Jones industrial average rose 71 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 18,096 in early trading.The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose nine points, or 0.4 per cent, to 2,117. The Nasdaq composite rose 24 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 5,030.In Europe, France’s CAC-40 rose 1.1 per cent to 5,103 and Germany’s DAX added 1.4 per cent to 11,611. British markets were closed for a public holiday.Oil slipped 48 cents, or 0.6 per cent, to $58.78 a barrel.Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.10 per cent. by The Associated Press Posted May 4, 2015 7:45 am MDT Last Updated May 4, 2015 at 10:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more