The Most Delicious Rice Ball in Japan Yuba Rice Ball in Nikko

first_imgOn the avenue from both the JR Nikko Line Nikko Station (JR日光線日光駅) and the Tobu sky-tree Line Tobu Nikko Station(東武スカイツリーライン東武日光駅) towards the three famous sanctuaries(*1) in Nikko, you’ll come across “Japanese sweets Fudaraku flagship shop (和菓子処 ふだらく本舗)” after walking down the street for fifteen minutes.(*1)The three sanctuaries are Nikko Toshogu Shrine(日光東照宮), Rinnoji Temple(輪王寺), and Futarasan Temple(荒山神社).This shop is famous for its “Yuba rice ball(ゆばむすび)”.The “Yuba rice ball” is a rice ball wrapped in Yuba (*2). The rice is cooked in a special soup like bouillon. Yuba is one of the local specialties of Nikko. You won’t find this kind of rice ball anywhere else but here.The rice ball is so delicious. You can enjoy the amazing combination of nicely flavored rice with the smooth taste of Yuba!(*2)Yuba is Tofu skin, basically a food product made from soybeans. (Ref. Wikipedia)This product is so popular that it sells out everyday.Its Popularity is Nation-WideYuba rice balls are loved by many tourists who come from other parts of Japan. As you can assume by its name, “Japanese sweets Fudaraku flagship shop”, there is a variety of delicious sweets and Japanese pickles other than the rice ball. I’ll show some of them to you.These pickles are served with rice balls and were not on sale as a single product. However, the pickles attracted so many people that they eventually came on sale.The Madam is the Secret to its PopularityIf you have questions on the products, don’t hesitate to ask the madam of the shop. Her cheerful personality is the secret to the popularity of the “Fudaraku flagship shop”.You’ll feel like staying in the shop as long as possible thanks to its relaxing atmosphere.When you have a chance to visit Nikko, why don’t you go to “Fudaraku flagship shop”? If you would like to eat Yuba rice balls, I absolutely recommend calling the shop to make a reservation in advance.InformationShop: Japanese sweets Fudaraku flagship shop (和菓子処 ふだらく本舗)Address: 〒321-1405 Ishiyamachi 406-4, Nikko city, TochigiOpening Hours: 9:30A.M.~5:30P.M.Closed Days: unknownWiFi: unknownCredit Cards: availableLanguage: unknownMenu Language: unknownStation: Nikko Line, Nikko StationAccess: 5 minutes walk from Nikko Station on Nikko LinePrice: one packet of Yuba rice ball 400 yenReligious Information: unknownPhone: 0288-53-4623Official HP:http://www.fudaraku.com/last_img read more

Visit With Friends A FunFilled 2Day Trip To Reoma Resort In Kagawa

first_imgWhile it’s completely fine for you to do the same activities as you did the day before, and go see the amusement park and flowers on your second day, we suggest using the One Day Sightseeing Bus For Hotel Guests. This tour takes you from the hotel to see famous sightseeing areas and to sample local food. The bus will bring you back to the hotel at the end of the tour.* The One Day Sightseeing Bus For Hotel Guests requires an advanced reservation at the front desk on the fourth floor.Head to Reoma Resort Soon!What do you think about our recommendations for a two day trip to Reoma Resort? With flowers, hot springs, night views, and delicious cuisine, this plan is perfect for a trip with friends, together with your significant other, or with your family.You can obtain affordable tickets complete with morning and evening meals, along with unlimited entry into the amusement park, by reserving bargain ticket sets.Make Your Reservation At Hotel Reoma No Mori HereA Special Coupon For MATCHA Readers!We’ve prepared a special Hotel Reoma No Mori coupon for MATCHA readers. Be sure to bookmark or save the coupon below, and present it to the staff at check-in.COUPONCoupon DetailsShow this MATCHA coupon when checking in and you’ll receive a 2,000 yen discount per room!* Expiration Date: February 28, 2019 (excluding special dates)* Please let the staff know that you read this MATCHA article when making your reservation.* This coupon can only be used by those who pay by either cash or credit card at the hotel on the day itself.* This coupon can be used by showing your smartphone screen to the staff. Please show this page when checking in.* This coupon cannot be used together with other coupons or discount services. The use of this coupon is limited to personal travels. Picture courtesy of Reoma ResortIf you still have energy even without a nap, head out to see the flowers! In Reoma Resort, 100 varieties and 420,000 flowers grow in a flower garden extending 100,000 square kilometers. The flowers in bloom at Reoma Flower World vary depending on the season. Here visitors can enjoy viewing tulips, moss phlox, hydrangeas, lilies, and roses imported from around the world.When to Visit? Seasonal Flower Schedule Picture courtesy of Reoma ResortWhat Makes Reoma Resort a Special Place?Reoma Resort is a comprehensive theme park in Kagawa Prefecture. It is the largest theme park in the Chugoku and Shikoku regions of Japan.The resort consists of Hotel Reoma No Mori, Mori no Yu, a theme park New Reoma World, Oriental Trip, a park featuring recreated famous Asian architecture, and Reoma Waterland, which is an outdoor pool operating during summer.For an overview of Reoma Resort and how to get there, please read Reoma Resort In Shikoku – A Dream World With Amusement, Hot Springs And More!. The first place you must visit is New Reoma World, which occupies a large area of the resort. It is fun to visit the park with family or on a date, and is fun to go with your friends as well!In addition to the jumbo Ferris wheel providing sweeping views of the Seto Inland Sea, there are also elegant boats for visitors can pass the time in, and adorable hot springs for capybara. We also highly recommend the Rainbow Bandits ride.Rainbow Bandits – A Fairytale Attraction for Your Inner Child Picture courtesy of Reoma ResortReoma Waterland, located within New Reoma World, is the biggest outdoor pool found in the Chugoku and Shikoku areas of Japan. Here you will find a blue sky and white clouds, and you can swim while gazing at the green nature surrounding the pool. Shikoku’s largest lazy river pool is also at Reoma Waterland, allowing its visitors to bask in the sunlight and have a great time in the middle of summer.Don’t Want to Tan? There’s an Indoor Pool! While you’re having fun taking pictures together with the flowers, be sure to also get a picture of your dessert!Soft serve ice creams and desserts are sold at PARADISE Boo Boo in New Reoma World, including gold leaf ice cream, rich fresh cream ice cream, and the popular Fluffy Soft Serve Ice Cream (500 yen each, pictured is the matcha green tea flavor).Recreations of Ruins from Asia in Oriental Trip Picture courtesy of Reoma ResortAside from the hot springs, there are also several recreational facilities inside the hotel. Visitors will find massage services, a comics area, karaoke, book and newspapers to read, a resting place where you can chat with friends (Chatting Lounge), table tennis, a small arcade center, and a souvenir shop area.Once you’ve finished eating and have finished soaking in the hot springs, explore the hotel with your friends for even more entertainment!** Make a reservation in advance at the front desk on the fourth floor to partake in karaoke.One Day Sightseeing Bus Tour for Hotel Guests The characters in Rainbow Bandits are designed by a famous anime creator who worked on popular series like “Doraemon” and “Chibi Maruko-chan.” This is a relatively unknown fact to many visiting this resort, making this attraction one of the hidden treasures in New Reoma World.Largest Outdoor Pool in the Chugoku and Shikoku Regions Once you’ve arrived at the resort, let’s first deposit our luggage at Hotel Reoma No Mori. You can deposit your belongings either at the hotel or inside the coin lockers within the resort. A bus runs through the grounds so it’s easy to get around from the hotel.SPOT 1. Have Fun All Day at New Reoma World Amusement Park! Picture courtesy of Reoma ResortOn the third floor of Hotel Reoma No Mori is a large, heated indoor swimming pool. If you’re concerned about getting tanned, feel free to use this pool. Sunlight shines in from the high ceiling, and the indoor pool has a sense of spaciousness rivaling the outdoor pool.SPOT 2. Refuel Your Energy at Hotel Reoma No Mori Menus vary by season and may change between lunch and dinner hours. The all-you-can-eat buffet at the hotel contains over 100 different types of dishes, with a selection of Japanese, Italian, and Chinese cuisine, in addition to desserts.The restaurant also serves foods utilizing seasonal ingredients. Be sure to take pictures as you taste the seasonal flavors and local dishes with ingredients from throughout Japan.** Lunch is not included in the 2 Day Hotel Plan. An additional fee will be required for taking lunch. For details, please check this page (Japanese).** The all-you-can-eat buffet is open between 11:30 – 14:30 (Final entry is at 14:00). Picture courtesy of Reoma ResortA bright flower carpet of moss phlox blooms once it becomes April in New Reoma World. From May to June, there is a bed of roses expanding on for 160 meters along the canal.Cute Like a Toy! Fluffy Soft Serve Ice Cream Picture courtesy of Reoma ResortHotel Reoma No Mori is a hot spring hotel affiliated with Oedo-Onsen Monogatari Inc., and operates Mori no Yu, a high quality natural hot springs where guests can relax. You can comfortably use the Japanese hot springs here in the winters and even during the summers. After you’ve been out all morning, the next thing to do is to fill your stomach. Lunch is an all-you-can-eat buffet at THE FOREST, a restaurant on the first floor of Hotel Reoma No Mori. The entrance directly connected to the hot springs is next to the check-in counter on the fourth floor. You can choose your favorite yukata to wear at the entrance before heading to the hot springs, so don’t forget to borrow one!** Yukatas are loaned out for free only to hotel guests.center_img 「MATCHA」クーポン券。本券をご提示ください。チェックイン時に、「MATCHA」クーポン券提示で、1室につき「2,000円割引」※ 有効期限:2019年2月28日(特定日除く)※ ご予約時に、「MATCHA」を見た。とお伝えください。※ 本クーポンは、当日現地にて、現金もしくはクレジットカードで、ご精算の方のみご利用頂けます。※ スマートフォンの画面提示で利用可能。チェックイン時にご提示ください。※ 他クーポン・割引サービスとの併用不可。また、個人旅行のみの使用に限ります。 Legend Palace features projection mapping that creates a 360-degree three-dimensional world, which is rarely seen in Japan. Lights are projected in seven colors onto the weathered architecture and paired together with music, creating a magical experience. At Rainbow Bandits, surprising and fun experiences await visitors behind the ride’s adorable exterior. Riders sit in cute hot air balloon-style seats and go searching for the rainbow stolen by bandits. Reoma Resort View Informationamusement_parkYou May Also LikeREOMA RESORT Special FeatureWritten by ChiaSponsored by Reoma Resort* This article was translated and revised from an article originally in Chinese. Picture courtesy of Reoma ResortMori no Yu has both indoor and outdoor hot springs. The outdoor open-air baths are highly recommended. The open-air baths are divided into several areas, depending on temperature. The best feature of the outdoor baths is that you can soak in the water while basking in nature.The hot springs are named Mori no Yu due to the facility’s location being in the middle of a forest, which changes in appearance from day to night. Reoma Resort – A Travel Destination Perfect for Photos!If you’re going on a trip with friends, then beautiful scenery for photography may be a priority rather food or activities.Reoma Resort is complete with facilities and services answering the needs of travelers who feel this way. The resort is filled with attractions and features you’ll want to share on social media. Here you will find a fun amusement park, Japanese hot springs and swimming, gardens, light-up displays, as well as an all-you-can-eat buffet.This time, let us give you some suggestions for a two day trip to Reoma Resort, where you can count on for entertainment, food, and relaxing accommodations. Picture courtesy of Reoma ResortMay to July is rose season. Approximately 300 different rose varieties from all over the world are in full bloom at the Reoma Rose Garden located inside Oriental Trip.No matter what season it is during your visit, you will be greeted by an an expansive sea of flowers. Be sure to share your photos on Facebook and Instagram! Picture courtesy of Reoma ResortIn addition to the light displays in Oriental Trip, there are also illuminations in New Reoma World. The auroras, reproduced with cutting-edge technology, offer a beautiful spectacle you need to see for yourself.There are also fireworks and night parades depending on the season, so you’ll be able to enjoy a unique evening no matter when you visit.SPOT 5. A Relaxing Evening at Mori no YuDinner, similar to lunch, can be enjoyed at the restaurant THE FOREST. With over 100 different types of dishes available, you can try the dishes you weren’t able to eat at lunch! Once you’ve finished dinner, head over to Mori no Yu to relieve your tiredness from the day. Architecture of Angkor Empire and Bhutan temples has been reconstructed in Oriental Trip, transporting the visitors back in history. When you look down from the Bhutan temple located on a hilltop, you’ll be able to enjoy a complete view of the Angkor Temple and Mt. Iino (also called “Sanuki Fuji”) from a distance. There are many visitors coming to enjoy the magnificent view here.SPOT 4. Magical Illuminations and Night Shows The Tulip Festival is held annually from March to April and features around 150,000 tulips in 175 varieties. It is Shikoku’s largest tulip field and is a must see! Once the sky grows dark, the light-up displays will begin. In addition to the flower gardens, some of the best attractions offered at Oriental Trip aren the illuminations! An afternoon nap after the buffet is great for those planning to stay at the hotel. Guests staying at the hotel can check-in at the front desk on the fourth floor (starting from 15:00). If you lie down in your spacious room for a short rest, you’ll be able to recharge and enjoy the afternoon as well.SPOT 3. The Four Seasons at Reoma Flower World The story plays out dramatically in this intricately designed attraction also featuring light and music production. The ending scene where you’ve found the rainbow is perfect for taking pictures with friends. If this sounds fun, definitely ride Rainbow Bandits for yourself.last_img read more

Allstar Ramen noodles at Tokyo Ramen Street

Enjoy Shopping At LABI Akihabara PC Store Close To Akihabara Station

first_imgAkihabara the Electric Town; this city is swarmed day after day with travelers in search of inexpensive, high-quality electronics. The most prominent electronics volume retailer, which just so happens to be a 1 minute walk from the station is the LABI Akihabara PC Store. This store’s close proximity to the station makes it a little easier for those who plan to purchase large, heavy electronics to travel back and forth to their hotels or homes.How to Get from Akihabara Station to LABIAfter arriving at Akihabara Station from the train, first look for the Electric Town Exit. As this exit is located below the 3rd and 4th platforms, if you got off on the floors above the 3rd and 4th platform, then follow the signs and go downstairs.Once you’ve reached the 3rd and 4th platforms, then go further down using the escalators.Once you’ve reached the ticket gate floor, then check the signs as you make your way towards the Electric Town Exit.Once you get out of the Electric Town Exit ticket gates…LABI Akihabara PC Store will be right before your very eyes. Travelers carrying heavy bags will certainly be grateful for the convenient short distance from the store to the ticket gate.About LABI Akihabara PC StoreJust like it’s name, “PC Store”, Akihabara’s LABI has a substantial array of PC equipment available. Here’s a detailed floor guide. By the way, all the floors have their own ‘theme color’, so that inside the store just taking a look around you can quickly figure out which floor you’re on.B1F(Pink)Digital Camera, Digital Video Camera1F(Red)Electronic Dictionary, Digital Audio Player, Mobile PC2F(Yellow)Notebook PCs, PC Supplies, *Duty-Free Counter3F(Green)Desktop PC, Printer4F(Light Blue)PC Peripheral Devices, PC Software5F(Blue)PC Peripheral Devices, Corporate Service Corner, BTO PCsFor those traveling from overseas, you can get your tax exemption procedures taken care of on the 2nd floor Duty-Free counter. After making your purchase, just take the item, within the same day of purchase, to the counter along with your (1) passport, (2)receipt, and (3)credit card (only if item was bought using a credit card), and you will get the value of the sales tax returned to you.For those of you thinking, “I want to get some cheap electronic goods at Akihabara, but I don’t want to walk around with the packages!”, then how about enjoying some shopping at Akihabara’s LABI Akihabara PC Store?InformationLABi Akihabara PC StoreAddress: 1-15-8 Sotokanda, Chiyoda, TokyoHours: 10:00-22:00Closed: NoneCredit Cards: All major cards, debit cards also supportedOther Languages: English, ChineseNearest Station: Akihabara Station (秋葉原駅), JR/Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line/Tsukuba ExpressPhone Number: 03-5207-6711Website: LABI Akihabara PC Storelast_img read more

【OKAYAMA】Kurashiki Bikan Where 300 Years of History Still Linger

first_imgOkayama is located between Kyoto and the Kyushu area. As its northern part leads to Izumo-taisha (出雲大社), a well-known Shinto shrine, and its Southern part leads to Shikoku area, Okayama is a transportation hub in the Chugoku area. One of representative areas in Okayama is the Kurashiki Bikan Historical District.Street with 300 years old historical buildingThe Bikan area retains the picturesque landscape of the town from 300 years ago, and the area is designated an important traditional building preservation area.A beautiful white wall has its length up to over 400m, and stores and houses stand along walls. Take a walk in the street, you can feel people’ lives, and it doesn’t matter which alley you walk through, you will meet something catches your eyes and that touches your heart.Kurashiki river, which flows through the center of the Bikan area, has a harmonious view with the willow and warehouses. You won’t be able to not be moved by the view once you see it.An artistic town, KurashikiIt is said that the 300 years lasting landscape of the town has been protected by Western artifacts. In 1908, a local artist Torajiro Kojima went to study abroad in Europe supported by a local businessman Magozaburo Ohara. Torajiro collected famous paintings including “Les Nymphéas” by Claude Monet and “The Annunciationby” El Greco in Europe and opened the Ohara Museum of Art in 1930 in order to exhibit those pictures that he had collected. People say because these arts in Kurashiki were worldly recognized, Kurashiki was able to avoid being attacked during the World War II. Kurashiki has high level of interests in Arts because of influence from the Western artifacts. Paintings, buildings, Music and landscapes, all of these parts of Kurashiki make the life in Kurashiki rich and deep.Maintain a good relationship with local peopleThe Bikan area hasn’t made its community as a tourist site, but as a place that enriches local people’s lives. That’s why there are private residences and we can communicate with local people. Locals are the best guides of Kurashiki as they are expert of their own community, and you can hear a lot about Kurashiki.The Bikan area has developed as a site that residences would feel comfortable rather than tourists feel good. Even through this area is becoming popular among tourists, you can still feel the sense of vibrancy of people who live there. It’s worthwhile taking a trip to the Kurashiki Bikan area in Okayama, so why not?InformationKurashiki Bikan areaAddress: 1-4-8 Chuo, Kurashiki-shi, Okayama (Kurashiki visitor center)Station: JR Sanyo-main line “Kurashiki station”Access: 15 minutes walk from JR Sanyo-main line Kurashiki stationOfficial Website: Kurashiki city sightseeing informationlast_img read more

The World Of Fine Japanese Sake Welcome To Shibuyas Bar Yata

first_imgBy pouring the sake in a wine glass, you can also enjoy its rich aroma.The One Hour Sake Comparing Course is a sake comparing course (2000 yen after tax), which allows you to practice your taste discerning ability, and enjoy some best-quality sake at the same time. It is both a relaxing and very satisfying deal, with 50ml of finest sake per glass.As the owner of the bar holds a sake-tasting license, feel free to tell him or her about your preferences, current mood, or expectations, and they’ll be glad to choose the brands accordingly.This opportunity is also quite comforting for those who are at loss about their preference in alcohol, and don’t know what to order – you can taste so many different sakes, that you’ll eventually realize which ones suit your palate the best. That is yet another thing to look forward to and enjoy, don’t you agree?Another option is to order your drinks separately, in which case one glass will cost you 500 yen (after tax). It is a great chance to drink your most beloved sake to your heart’s content, as one glass has 100 ml.Now, let us share a little bit of Japanese sake trivia for the curious ones – did you know you can enjoy sake either cold or warm? Atsukan, or hot sake, is usually warmed up using hot water, and it makes the sake taste much softer and gentle, perfect for the cold winter days. On the other hand, it is our recommendation to try hiyazake, the cold sake, as well. The perfectly cooled down sake has a distinctive sharpness to its taste, and that might suit your preference even better.An All-500-Yen Otsumami Menu!But that is not all there is to Yata! Actually, if you look closely at the menu provided, you’ll find some classy otsumami (snacks or side dishes), that will compliment your alcohol in the most well-balanced way possible. And above all, each item costs only 500 yen (after tax), so it truly is a flawless, win-win situation.So, let us introduce some of the top otsumami dishes you can have at Yata’s.The Unexpected Companion – Cheese PlateWell, you won’t find this combination that easily in Japan! At Yata’s, this Japanese sake and cheese combo is well thought through, so on your cheese plate, you’ll find a peculiar combination of three types of cheese. Adding to the savory Camembert and smoked cheese is perhaps the most palatable of them all – the washed rind cheese.You can, of course, ask about the recommendable combinations of your preferred sake and types of cheese, and hence customize your order.Why not pamper your palate with some great pairings of cheese and Japanese sake?A Tangy Pair – Cream Cheese and WasabiPresenting to you cream cheese topped with some wasabi. It tastes exactly as you might be imagining – after you savor some creamy and soothing cream cheese, the wasabi’s spicy punch will surely wake up your taste buds in a split second.You’ll also find some iburigakko pickles on the side of your cheese serving. To make iburigakko, you first have to smoke the daikon radish, and then to pickle it in a mixture of nuka (rice bran, *2), salt, and other ingredients. Adding smoked flavor to your usual pickled daikon can level up its savoriness with an exciting and unexpected twist.It is an exceptional side dish that will compliment every brand of sake, so don’t lose the opportunity to treat yourself to such a delicacy!*2 Nuka: the thin rice skin derived from the process of polishing brown rice. It is rich in nutrients, and is usually used when pickling vegetables in Japan.A Full-Scale Soy Sauce CollectionYou can’t really say that soy sauce is a side dish, but we still want you to take special notice of it. The wide variety of soy sauce brands available here are purchased directly from the producers, and you are free to use them to your desire and preference. Use the one you find most appealing to season your side dish or snack.Just like with Japanese sake, there are plenty of different brands of soy sauce, each possessing a distinctive flavor and texture, as well as fragrance, to it. We bet you it is not that easy to find a soy sauce menu this diverse anywhere outside of Japan, so make the best out of this auspicious occasion and try out all the soy sauces Japan has to offer, here at Yata’s!You can also taste a great number of soy sauce brands if you lick small amount of it off your finger, or mix a small amount of it with some hot water to make yourself some dashi (soup stock). There are plenty of ways to find that very special taste that will make you a true fan of soy sauce!The Concept behind the Japanese Sake Store Yata Sake is Japan’s traditional alcoholic beverage. It comes in various aromas and flavors and is quickly gathering the attention of alcoholic beverages lovers from all over the world.At Yata, a bar in Shibuya, you can savor many different types of Japanese sake in a stand-up bar ambiance. It is a true paradise for sake lovers, since it proudly offers more than 35 different brands of Japanese sake, with one of the best-selling and most popular items on the menu being the kikizake (*1) course.Today, we will guide you through some of the tastiest offers found on Yata’s menu.*1 Kikizake: sake tasting; trying out and comparing different brands of sake at izakayas and sake breweries. It was originally performed in order to determine the quality of an alcoholic beverage.Read also: Invitation for Japanese Traditional Rice Wine SakeEnjoy the Nuances in Taste of Various Sake BrandsThe 35 types of Japanese sake provided at Yata’s are the best among the best. They also change their sake brands regularly, so that the customers get to savor even more brands of distinctive and delicious rice wine. Originally opened in Nagoya as a Japanese sake store, Yata decided to open another store at Shibuya in 2015.Nowadays, they proudly run two stores in Nagoya – Nagoya Sakae Store and Nagoya Fushimi Store, as well as three stores in Tokyo – Shibuya Store, Shinjuku-Sanchome Store, and Kanda-Nihonbashi Store. All of these are stand-up Japanese sake bars, where a great number of people get their dose of good atmosphere and great sake every day.Situated on the 5th floor of a building, the interior designers did a truly remarkable job by making the best out of the environment’s resources. An interesting combination of open, lit-up space and bare concrete, gives this ambiance a cozy, but sophisticated aura. The overall atmosphere is lightened up some more with lively conversations of the bar’s guests, so it makes it even easier to enjoy a nice glass of Japanese rice wine.Today, we introduced Yata, a Japanese sake bar with a diverse menu and a relaxing ambiance where anyone can savor Japanese traditional alcoholic beverages the way he or she desires. When in Shibuya, make some time to soothe your palate and soul with some first-class traditional sake.InformationYata Shibuya StoreAddress: Tokyo, Shibuya, Dogenzaka 1-6-9 ILA Dogenzaka Building 5FHours: weekdays from 16:00 until 23:30 (last order until 23:00); weekend and holidays from 15:00 until 22:30 (last order until 22:00)Fixed Holidays: MondaysWiFi: -Credit Cards Available: -Language: basic EnglishMenu/Pamphlets in Other Languages: EnglishNearest Station: Shibuya Station, various linesAccess: a 1-minute walk from west exit of Shibuya Station of Keio Railway Inokashira Line;A 7-minute walk from Shibuya Station of Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line, and Tokyu Railway Toyoko LinePrice: from 500 yen to 3000 yenPhone: 03-3464-0434Website: Yata Shibuya Store (Japanese), Shinjuku-Sanchome Store (Japanese), Kanda-Nihonbashi Store (Japanese)last_img read more

Fukuoka Hakata Heats Up With Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival 2017

first_imgWhat is the Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival?©︎JNTOHeld in Hakata, Fukuoka city, in July annually, the Hakata Gion Yamakasa is the festival of Kushida Shrine. Registered as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage, it originated 800 years ago, when an epidemic was raging in Hakata. A monk prayed to disperse the epidemic while riding on a wooden float and spreading water around the area.The festival lasts for eight days, during which hundred of energetic men run around Hakata carrying floats called yamakasa. You can see the best part of the festival on the last day, oi-yamakasa. Here, teams of men race over 5km with a yamakasa float starting at 4:59 am. You will surely be overwhelmed by the dynamic way they carry the float.The passion of Hakata residents for Hakata Gion Yamakasa is so tremendous that some companies even let participants have the day off for the festival. You can truly feel summer has arrived with Hakata Gion Yamakasa this year – the festival 2017 schedule, access, and highlights are as below.Schedule of Hakata Gion Yamakasa 2017©︎JNTOBelow is the schedule of Hakata Gion Yamakasa 2017. There are some unique words exclusive to this festival; carrying the floats around is ‘kaku’, and the people that carry the floats are called ‘kakite’.The 2017 festival starts on Saturday, July 1st before continuing on Sunday, July 9th through Saturday, July 15th. You can only see the moving yamakasa on 6 days from July 10th to 15th. Let’s take a closer look at each day of the schedule.Nagaregaki on Day 3 and Day 7 (July 10th and July 14th from 16:00)These are display days where each team’s yamakasa is toured around its own area.Asayama on Day 4 (July 11th 5:00 – 6:00)From the early morning, yamakasa is toured around its own area.Tanagaregaki on Day 4 (July 11th 15:00-17:30)Each yamakasa leaves its own area and is displayed to other areas as well.Oiyama-narashi on Day 5 (July 12th from 15:59)The rehearsal for oi-yamakasa on the last day. Kakite, or the people carrying the floats, run their fastest for 4km from Kushida Shine competing with other teams.Shudan-yamamise on Day 6 (July 13th from 15:30)All yamakasa floats get together in the central Fukuoka. They run the 1.3 km street from Gofukumachi crossing to Tenjin.Nagaregaki on Day 7 (July 14th 16:00-17:00)The second nagaregaki to prepare for oi-yamakasa on the last day.Oi-yamakasa on Day 8 (July 15th 4:59)By the sound of a big Japanese drum, each yamakasa float heads to Kushida Shrine. After they have arrived at Kushida Shrine, the kakite run their fastest through the 5km of oi-yamakasa course.last_img read more

Half The City Is A National Park Kokonoe Oita

first_imgUsing a public bath is easy. You’ll buy medals at this vending machine, and then insert the designated number of medals at the entrance. Just have good manners toward others when using the bath.※The necessary number of medals differs depending on the bath.A Good-Luck BoarHave you ever seen a white boar? The Okkotonushi from the Studio Ghibli film “Princess Mononoke” is a giant white boar, but white boars do not exist in the real world.In Kokonoe, there is a shrine where the supposedly non-existent white boar can be found. That shrine is Takara Hachimangū.A little way from the main shrine is the white boar’s house.Instead of a komainu, a komainoshishi (koma boar) welcomes visitors.It’s a white boar! A white boar was found by chance in Takarayama, where Takara Hachimangū stands. They gradually grew in number, and a family of 6 lives here at present.The boars are pretty large, and you may be taken aback at first. But if you watch the cute behavior of the boars trying to get that bread out of your hand, you’ll forget you were afraid of them.The white boars are thought to bring happiness. After visiting the shrine, you should ask the cute boars for some good-luck blessings. Takarayama Hachimangū is also known for its 10,000 hydrangeas.Enjoy Kokonoe Gourmet At The Farmhouse Restaurant “Bebenko”Kokonoe is known for its successful agriculture and stockbreeding. Bungo-gyū beef, vegetables from highlands, and blueberries are harvested. If you visit Kokonoe, you should try some of the specialty foods.When looking for such foods, we recommend the Farmhouse Restaurant Bebenko. It’s a restaurant managed by a farming family of Kokonoe.The people who know well the ingredients can make use of the best of each ingredient to prepare delicious dishes.And just so you know, “Bebenko” means a “young cow” in the Oita dialect.A soft juicy Bungo-gyū steak, warm croquette, and a sweet and sour blueberry soft serve will satisfy your tummy.See with your eyes, experience, and eat delicious Japanese food! Enjoy Kokonoe to the fullest! One of the public baths, Yakushiyu.One of the public baths, Iwan’yu. The men’s section and women’s section at public baths change every day.Staying at a hot-spring hotel and relaxing in an onsen is great, but we also recommend the public baths. There are three public baths at Sujiyu Onsen, which can be used by non-overnight guests as well.This is the interior of Iwan’yu. It’s a beautiful onsen that has become one with nature.Photo courtesy of: KokonoeThis utase-yu (beating water) is well-known. You can have your body massaged by the hot water falling from a height of 3 meters, while you warm your body as well. Utase-yu of this size is rare even in Japan.center_img Did you know that enjoying nature in Japan is now a popular trend among tourists from Asia?Each visitor has his or her own way of enjoying their trips, such as the trekking course called Kyushu Olle, or snow activities, which are not very common in Southeast Asia. Japan boasts a natural beauty that has been preserved to this day, which attracts the admiration of visitors from overseas.Today, we’ll be introducing Kokonoe, a nature-rich town in Oita prefecture, easily accessible from Asian countries. The city offers superb views throughout the year in every season.Half The City Is A National Park! Kokonoe, OitaPhoto courtesy of: KokonoeKokonoe is located in the western part of Oita prefecture, a nature-rich area of which the majority is covered in mountains, forest, and wilderness. There are great differences in temperature, and there are regions which have climates like that of the Kyushu Region which Oita prefecture is located in, as well as climates like the Tōhoku region.Kokonoe is a city that has qualities of all of Japan’s nature.Oita prefecture is known for its many hot springs, and is even called the “onsen prefecture”. There are various hot springs in Kokonoe.The fact that half of the city is part of Aso Kujū National Park and Yaba-Hita-Hikosan Quasi-National Park shows that much valuable nature still remains in Kokonoe.Kujū Mountain Range and Tadewara WetlandPhoto courtesy of: KokonoeSymbolic of Kokonoe is the Kujū Mountain Range towering to the south of the town. From the end of May to the middle of June, vivid pink Rhododendron kiusianum, found only here in the world, reach full bloom.The Rhododendron kiusianum is also designated as the flower of Kokonoe.Other than that, flowers can be seen in all seasons other than the winter. One can admire flowers such as Hemerocallidoideae in the summer and Scabiosa japonica in the fall.Photo courtesy of: KokonoeAt the foot of the mountains is the Tadewara Wetland, which is registered to the Ramsar Convention, and impresses visitors with different beautiful views through the seasons.The pedestrian paths and mountain trails are well-maintained, allowing visitors to enjoy hiking or genuine mountain climbing. Climbers of all levels can enjoy their time here.Photo courtesy of: KokonoeThe blue wetland in the summer is beautiful, but we also recommend the controlled burning in the spring. The controlled burning rids the wetland of old plants and flowers, and is an important operation crucial to protecting the nature of the area.On the day of controlled burning, you’ll feel the hot air even from outside of the wetland. By all means, make some time to watch the impressive sight.Photo courtesy of: KokonoeThe Kujū Forest Park Ski Area is located nearby. There are only three places in the Kyushu region where you can ski, and this is one of them. It’s a must-go spot for visitors looking for snow in Japan.Photo courtesy of: KokonoePhoto courtesy of: KokonoePhoto courtesy of: KokonoeExperience Onsen Tamago Making At Komatsu Jigoku”Jigoku”, meaning “hell”, is a strange landscape created by hot springs. The Jigoku in Beppu, Oita is well-known, but there is also a Jigoku here in Kokonoe. That is the Komatsu Jigoku.A sight of rocks spreads in front of your eyes and steam rises up all over the place. It is a scene just like “hell”. The smell of sulfur will stick to your nose.Just watching Komatsu Jigoku is entertaining enough, but we also recommend you experience making onsen tamago (hot spring eggs). You can try making soft-boiled eggs using the hot water of the Jigoku.※Eggs are not sold at Komatsu Jigoku. You will need to bring egss yourself or purchase them at a nearby hotel or shop.To make onsen eggs is quite easy. First you’ll put your eggs inside a special basket, which is available at Komatsu Jigoku.Hold the stick attached to the basket and put the basket slowly inside the hot water. All you have to do now is wait for about 10 minutes. On cold days or when it’s raining, the temperature of the water will be lower, so you should wait a little longer.And you’re done! You can sprinkle salt over it, or eat it as it is, as it’ll have a slight taste of the hot spring. The white of the egg will be moderately hardened, and the yolk creamy and soft. An “onsen tamago” has an exquisite texture.Thrills And Spectacular View! The “Yume” Otsurihashi BridgeThis new, symbolic landmark of Kokonoe was established in 2006. The Kokonoe “Yume” Otsuruhashi is the highest suspension bridge in Japan. The name of the bridge, “Yume”, translates as “Dream”.At the deepest point on the bridge, there are 173 meters between the bridge and the water surface below.Looking down from the center of the bridge, you will feel how high it is.Many visitors walking across the bridge stop to have a look at the scenic view around them. And with the magnificent views of the mountains around the bridge, why wouldn’t you?You can enjoy the superb natural beauty, like the Shindo no Taki falls.The Giant Utaseyu At Sujiyu OnsenThe hot spring towns dotted around Kokonoe are collectively called the Kokonoe “Yume” Onsengō (Kokonoe “Dream” Hot Spring Town).Of the hot spring towns, located by Komatsu Jigoku and Kujū Forest Park Ski Area is Sujiyu Onsen. It has a history of over 1,000 years, and boasts more than 30 hot-spring hotels.last_img read more

BC chiefs grassroots stand firm ahead of federal court decision Kinder Morgan

first_img(Chief Judy Wilson speaks at No Buyout, No Kinder Morgan’ rally in downtown Vancouver May 29, 2018. Credit: Julia-Simone Rutgers/The Discourse)Justin BrakeAPTN NewsIndigenous leaders and grassroots people on the front lines against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion are vowing to continue the fight against the fossil fuel project, regardless of the outcomes of two events slated for Thursday that could determine the pipeline’s fate.One day ahead of both a scheduled federal court decision related to the government’s duty to consult and a Kinder Morgan shareholder vote to finalize the sale of the pipeline to Canada, the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) released a statement vowing that, “no matter who owns this pipeline and tanker project, it will be stopped.”Grand Chief and UBCIC President Stewart Philip also said that “Kinder Morgan executives recognized Justin Trudeau’s desperation to placate the oil lobby and are exiting the project with massive profits on the backs of Canadian taxpayers.”Shareholders of the Texas oil giant are expected to vote in favour of the pipeline’s $4.5 billion sale to Canada.Earlier this month it was revealed that Kinder Morgan, in documents filed with the United States Security and Exchange Commission, has projected the pipeline could cost $1.9 billion more than their original estimates.Thursday’s shareholder vote comes on the same day—a scheduled 30 minutes later, in fact—as Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal releases its decision on a case involving almost two dozen lawsuits challenging the National Energy Board’s review of the project.First Nations involved in the lawsuit say Canada did not adequately consult with them.Some members of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, one of the nations involved in the case, are currently standing their ground in Burnaby, where they’ve constructed a traditional watch house outside the Trans Mountain Burnaby Marine Terminal grounds where the pipeline expansion would carry diluted bitumen from the Alberta oil sands to be shipped out of Canada.In July Tsleil-Waututh youth activist Cedar George-Parker told APTN that even if the federal court rules against the First Nations, he and others will continue to defend unceded Coast Salish territory.“There is no backing down,” he said.“We’ll do whatever it takes. It’s embedded in us. It’s who we are.” Jim Leyden, the Tsleil-Waututh Watch House Camp Elder, said if efforts are made to build infrastructure through where the camp is located to the terminal “we may have to occupy [the watch house] to make sure they can’t hook up the pipelines.”“We’re standing on the enemy’s tail here,” he said.George-Parker vowed to “put my life on the line,” he said, “because this is more than just me.“I have brothers and sisters. I have nieces and nephews. That’s who I’m fighting for. I have my ancestors behind me, and I have all of the next generation after me. So it’s my duty…to fight right now.”Neskonlith First Nation Chief Judy Wilson, who is secretary-treasurer of the UBCIC, said in Wednesday’s statement that “land defenders and water protectors along the pipeline route have launched frontline resistance to the tar sands project,” and that in Secwepemc territory, “which comprises more than half the total pipeline route, the Tiny House Warriors are building structures along the construction path.“We will not back down, no matter how the stockholders vote tomorrow,” she said.Kinder Morgan and Canada have argued that more than 40 First Nations of the roughly 133 who stand to be impacted by the pipeline have have signed agreements with the corporation.In Secwepemcul’ecw, four of 17 bands created by Canada under the Indian Act have agreements, though members of the Secwepemc Women’s Warrior Society, the Tiny House Warriors and the Secwepemcul’ecw Assembly all maintain that developing on Secwepemc land requires the consent of all Secwepemc people, not just those identified by Canada.Earlier this year an economist working with the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade (INET) sounded the alarm on risks associated with Trans Mountain that he said neither the federal government nor Kinder Morgan were publicly acknowledging or taking seriously.D.T. Cochrane said from an economic standpoint the greatest uncertainty around Trans Mountain’s future “stems from the Indigenous jurisdiction that exists.”He said Canada’s purchase of the pipeline is a “perfect example of the socialization of risk,” meaning instead of private investors bearing the burden of a risky investment, Canadians now stand to lose billions if the project is stopped on the grounds it would violate Indigenous rights, or if Indigenous people and allies stop the project through mass protest.“The Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project does not have the consent of all affected First Nations, and Trudeau cannot force this project through without Indigenous consent,” UBCIC Vice-President Bob Chamberlin said in Wednesday’s news release.“With Canada as owner, we need to see a major scale up in transparency, accountability and oversight for the project if the courts don’t compel an outright cancellation.”last_img read more

Travel Advisory issued for Wonowon to Fort Nelson

first_imgTRAVEL ADVISORY – TRAVEL NOT RECOMMENDED.SNOWFALL WARNING IN EFFECT, BLOWING SNOW. Public Works will update it again at 2 pm. Check https://t.co/ajubmls4zE for road conditions and cameras https://t.co/eJBsp9MdCF— FNVC @ Fort Nelson (@FNVIC) March 21, 2018The region could see up to 10 cm of snow today before the storm starts to move into the Peace region.For updates on highways in the B.C. Peace, you can visit www.drivebc.ca FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A travel advisory has been issued for the Alaska Highway between Wonowon and Fort Nelson.The Government of Canada Highway contractor has issued the advisory saying there is heavy snow in the area and blowing snow.A snowfall warning remains in place for Fort Nelson and along the Alaska Highway up to Muncho Lake.last_img read more

National Police Commission Secretary arrested

The Attorney-General had instructed the acting Inspector General of Police earlier this month to produce Avant Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadipathi and seven others in court in connection with the offences they had allegedly committed under the Fire Arms Ordnance, the Explosives Act, as well as the Penal Code, in the Avant Garde Maritime Services’ floating armory case. However the anticipatory bail application was rejected. National Police Commission Secretary and former Additional Defence Secretary Saman Dissnayake was arrested today.Dissanayake had earlier filed an anticipatory bail application seeking an order to release him on bail if he was arrested over the Avant Garde illegal floating armoury case. read more

Close associate of Makandure Madush arrested

The suspect was identified as Lantuwahandi Sanjeewa Pushpa Kumara. A close associate of Makandure Madush and Kanjipani Imran has been arrested.The Colombo Crimes Division arrested the suspect in Aluthgama, the Police said.

NY Boy Scouts hire gay Eagle Scout in contrast to national groups

by Jennifer Peltz And David Crary, The Associated Press Posted Apr 2, 2015 12:48 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NY Boy Scouts hire gay Eagle Scout in contrast to national group’s ban on openly gay adults FILE – In this Feb. 10, 2014 file photo, Pascal Tessier smiles at a meeting where he received his Eagle Scout badge in Chevy Chase, Md. On Thursday, April 2, 2015, the Boy Scouts’ New York chapter announced it hired Tessier as the nation’s first openly gay Eagle Scout as a summer camp leader in public contrast to the national scouting organization’s ban on openly gay adult members. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez, File) NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Boy Scouts’ New York chapter said Thursday that it has hired the nation’s first openly gay Eagle Scout as a summer camp leader, a direct and public challenge to the national scouting organization’s ban on openly gay adult members.The Boy Scouts’ national spokesman, Deron Smith, said there was no change in that national policy, which has been highly divisive. As for any further response to the New York announcement, Smith said, “We are looking into this matter.”The challenge to the national headquarters was laid down by the Boy Scouts’ Greater New York Councils, which announced the hiring of Pascal Tessier, an 18-year-old Eagle Scout. Tessier has been a vocal advocate of opening the 105-year-old organization to gay scouts and leaders.“We received this application from this young man, and we found him highly qualified on all the merits,” board member Richard G. Mason said by phone. The New York group, like some other local scouting councils, has said before that it is open to gay employees.“We have an anti-discrimination policy, we believe in it very firmly, and we are executing on it,” Mason said.The national organization changed its policy in 2013 to allow openly gay youth as scouts, but not adults as leaders, after a bitter debate over its membership policy. The change took effect in January 2014.Advocates for letting gays participate in scouting hailed Tessier’s hire.“This is a watershed moment,” Zach Wahls, executive director of Scouts for Equality, said in a statement. “We are proud to see such an important Boy Scout council standing up for the full inclusion of gay members.”When the national Boy Scouts began allowing gay boys as scouts, liberal Scout leaders and gay rights groups celebrated the shift but called for allowing gay adults to participate, too. Conservatives involved with the Scouts, including some churches that sponsor troops, decried letting any gays — including kids — participate. Some defected when the ban on gay youth was lifted.The Boy Scouts of America has said it doesn’t “proactively inquire” about members’ sexual orientation — in effect, a form of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” But it has expelled adults who were open about it, including a gay troop leader in Seattle who was removed last year after he disclosed his orientation during a TV interview.While some other local Boy Scout councils also have let it be known they are accepting of openly gay employees, the 103-year-old New York councils’ move presents an unusually acute departure from the national policy. Wahls said it was the first case he was aware of that a council publicly acknowledged that one of its adult staffers was gay.The New York councils serve more than 46,000 young people, in both boys’ scout troops and other programs, such as pre-professional “explorer” initiatives; some include girls. About 9,000 boys and girls are expected in its summer camps this year.Tessier achieved scouting’s highest rank last year after being one of the most prominent openly gay scouts speaking out to change the ban on gay participation.The Kensington, Maryland, teen said then he was relieved finally to have his Eagle badge approved by the Scouts’ national headquarters in Irving, Texas.“Even if I had been kicked out along the way, I wouldn’t have changed anything,” he said. “The whole experience was something worth having, not only for myself but also for all the other people involved — and for all the people it affects.”___Reach Jennifer Peltz on Twitter @ jennpeltz. read more

Eurozones top official hopes extra urgency will be injected into Greek reform

by Pan Pylas, The Associated Press Posted Apr 25, 2015 7:18 am MDT Last Updated Apr 25, 2015 at 10:10 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Eurozone’s top official hopes ‘extra urgency’ will be injected into Greek reform plans RIGA, Latvia – Greece’s European creditors sought to douse talk that they are making plans for a potential Greek exit from the euro and expressed hope Saturday that recent criticism may prompt the country to push ahead with an economic reform plan needed to unlock rescue loans.In the Latvian capital of Riga, the eurozone’s top official, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said he hoped “some extra urgency” will be injected into the process following the “critical” meeting of the eurozone’s 19 finance ministers the day before.Greece’s Yanis Varoufakis was rebuked for failing to come up with a list of economic reforms, which are needed so Greece can get money it needs to stay solvent and avoid a potential exit from the euro.“But it is going to take a couple of days at least,” Dijsselbloem said.Just two months ago, Greece secured an agreement from the eurozone to get the remaining money in its bailout fund — 7.2 billion euros ($7.7 billion) — but only if it came up with mutually agreed reforms.But with days to go, Athens has yet to present a full list, prompting Friday’s criticism of Varoufakis and the effective abandonment of the deadline.“Yesterday, we spoke of an A plan, of ‘the’ plan, because there is no plan B, C, D, or E,” said French Finance Minister Michel Sapin. “There is only one plan, and that’s Greece in the euro, Greece in Europe.”Wolfgang Schaeuble, Germany’s finance minister, said it doesn’t make any sense to engage in talk of a plan B but noted that history has a way of working out in a surprising manner. He even harked back to 1989 when any talk about German reunification would have been considered “crazy” — within a year of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany was reunified in October 1990.Though acknowledging “anxiety” among his peers, Varoufakis has sought to portray the impasse more positively, noting progress on issues such as privatization, reforming the tax system, judiciary and bureaucracy.All sides agree the clock is ticking. The next possible date for a deal could be May 11, when euro ministers meet next and just one day before Greece owes a big payment to the International Monetary Fund.“We should move faster, because time is running out, financial difficulties are there as well as the commitments made,” said Pierre Moscovici, the European Union’s top economic official. “Greece must remain in the eurozone.”Greece has relied on 240 billion euros in bailout loans since May 2010 from its euro partners and IMF after it was locked out of international bond markets amid concerns it was insolvent.In return for the cash, successive governments have had to make savage spending cuts and economic reforms. But while the measures have focused on improving public finances, they have also hurt the economy and caused unemployment to skyrocket.The current government, which is dominated by left-wing Syriza, was elected in January on a promise to end such so-called austerity. Its focus is on fighting corruption, reforming the public sector, and improving the porous tax system.The prevailing view in markets is that a deal will be reached in time to avoid a Greek debt default, but only when the pressure on the country becomes unbearable — for example, when the government is out of money to pay its debts or the banks start seeing deposits running dry due to withdrawals by worried savers.The decision this week by the Greek government to scrape together spare cash from municipalities and state enterprises like hospitals and the national gallery is likely to buy some time. The move — which Greek lawmakers formally approved in a vote late Friday — could, according to independent estimates, rake in 2 billion euros, which would cover its debt payments in May, including to the IMF.___David Keyton in Riga and Kirsten Grieshaber contributed to this report. read more

EU anticipates slightly higher eurozone growth this year despite a Greek downgrade

EU anticipates slightly higher eurozone growth this year despite a Greek downgrade by The Associated Press Posted May 5, 2015 3:01 am MDT Last Updated May 5, 2015 at 6:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email BRUSSELS – The European Union has raised its forecast for economic growth across the 19-country eurozone despite a much gloomier outlook for Greece.In its spring forecast, the EU’s executive branch said Tuesday it’s predicting 1.5 per cent growth for the eurozone in 2015, up 0.2 percentage point from the previous forecast in February.It says the eurozone is benefiting from a number of factors, including lower oil prices, a steady global outlook, the weaker euro and less stringent budget policies.One country seemingly going the other way is Greece, which is struggling to agree on a package of economic reforms with European creditors to unlock bailout funds.The uncertainty has weighed on the outlook, with the European Commission now anticipating 0.5 per cent growth this year, down 2 percentages points in three months. read more

Stocks surge the most since March after US reports a pickup in

by The Associated Press Posted May 8, 2015 2:11 pm MDT Last Updated May 8, 2015 at 5:11 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Stocks surge the most since March after US reports a pickup in hiring; Monster Beverage sinks NEW YORK, N.Y. – The stock market had its biggest gain in two months after the U.S. government reported an encouraging pickup in hiring.The gain of 223,000 jobs in April suggested that the economy may be regaining its footing after a slow start to the year.The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 266 points, or 1.5 per cent, to 18,190 Friday.The Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 28 points, or 1.3 per cent, to 2,116. The Nasdaq composite rose 58 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 5,003.All 10 sectors in the S&P 500 index rose, led by health care companies. It was the biggest gain for the index since March 16.Monster Beverage sank 10 per cent after its earnings missed estimates.Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.14 per cent. read more

Sri Lanka appreciates assistance given by the EU

She also discussed EU support for special development projects in the Northern and Eastern Provinces under the post-conflict reconciliation initiatives for which the EU has recently allocated a further sum of Euro 40 million.Discussion also took place on the next meeting of the EU-Sri Lanka Working Group on Development Cooperation. Ambassador also discussed the technical support that DEVCO is extending to Sri Lanka to increase its agricultural exports to the EU market.She particularly appreciated the recent allocation of Euro 10 million for programmes designed to educate exporters on food safety and quality and also Euro 18 million allocated towards strengthening law and order including prison reform and the institutions under the Ministry of Justice. Sri Lanka says it appreciates the generous grant assistance provided by the European Union for several decades to support Sri Lanka’s economic development.Ambassador–designate to the European Union, Grace Asirwatham, met with Mr. Pierre Amilhat, Director Asia Pacific of the Directorate General for International Development Cooperation (DEVCO) of the European Commission. Ambassador-designate Asirwatham appreciated the generous grant assistance provided by the European Union for several decades to support Sri Lanka’s economic development. She noted that projects undertaken under the integrated rural development programme to improve water supply and sanitation, provides skills for self-employment and educate women in rural households on child care and nutrition had greatly benefitted communities in the Uva and Sabaragamuva Provinces. read more

Over 7 kg of gold smuggled from Sri Lanka seized near Madurai

They received the contraband, valued at about ₹2.45 crore, in the early hours of Sunday. The accused admitted to the DRI officials that the gold was smuggled from Sri Lanka and they were transporting it to Madurai. This is the DRI’s major seizure of gold smuggled into the coasts of the district from Sri Lanka via the sea route this year.It seized 11.15 kg of gold smuggled into Mandapam–Vedhalai coast from Sri Lanka in August 2018 after intercepting a bus in Madurai and arrested three persons. Officials said the accused, suspected to be acting as couriers, included one from Pudupet in Chennai, one from KK Nagar in Madurai and a couple of others from Vedhalai. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized about 7.5 kg of gold of foreign origin after intercepting a car near Madurai and arrested seven persons, The Hindu newspaper reported.Acting on a tip-off that gold biscuits were being smuggled from Sri Lanka and that the contraband could land at Vedhala coast near Rameswaram, the DRI sleuths from Madurai kept a close vigil and seized the contraband after intercepting the car on the outskirts of Madurai. The DRI seized 9.29 kg of gold biscuits smuggled into Thondi from Sri Lanka after detaining two persons in November, 2017. read more

INTERVIEW Amid progress in fighting cholera UN official urges support to healthcare

“Cholera treatment and the epidemic reflect the need to invest much more in the health-care system. It’s a lot like Ebola – you’ve seen the same number of people die from cholera since the beginning of the epidemic in Haiti as we saw in Ebola – but we need a huge and massive investment in the health-care system to really address the challenges that we face,” he said. In addition to the efforts of the response teams to control the disease, UNICEF has also been working to increase access to clean water and sanitation facilities, as well as working with populations to reduce open defaecation, particularly in communes where cholera is known to be most persistent. Through a campaign launched in late 2014 by the UN and the Prime Minister of Haiti, Mr. Vincent noted that a total of 31 communities have become open defaecation free, resulting in about 20,000 people making the transition. Another challenge is reducing contamination to cholera in urban areas throughout Haiti, which include marketplaces and transportation hubs that become the centre from which the disease spreads to other parts of the country. “What we would really like to do is invest in reducing the contamination in those areas, ensuring awareness as people transition through those areas, but also repairing the water systems in these urban areas to prevent further transmission,” Mr. Vincent said. The representative estimates that about $5 million is needed in those urban areas between now and the end of next year in order to map out weaknesses in the water systems. Noting that 100,000 children suffer from suspected cholera, and more than 750 have died from cholera since the beginning of the epidemic in Haiti, Mr. Vincent said that UNICEF has calculated that 28,000 school days have been lost since the beginning of the outbreak. “In addition to the mortality figures, which are way too high already, there are also much greater impacts in terms of the families and the communities,” he said, adding that there is also a huge impact on both a family’s ability to survive in the absence of a parent or loss of a parent, as well as psychological impacts on children. In total, up to May this year, an estimated 780,000 number of cases have been reported with just over 9,000 deaths, according to Mr. Vincent. The longer sanitation campaign requests $310 million ($228 million for water sanitation and hygiene, and $82 million for health) over a five year period to reach 3.5 million people in rural areas and is being implemented by the Haitian Government (through the National Directorate of Water Supply and Sanitation or DINEPA) with the support of the UN family and partners. As of June 2016, $67 million has been mobilized to implement projects reaching 400,000 beneficiaries – $22 million as part of the $59 million mobilized by the UN family, and $50 million provided by the World Bank. In terms of funding, there is still a gap of $243 million, and support from donors and partners is crucial. “A lot of progress has been made in terms of controlling the disease,” said Marc Vincent, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative for Haiti, in an interview with UN News Services. “But a lot more work needs to be done to eliminate it.” “We’ve come a long way, but obviously we need a lot more investment, and it’s going to take more time to ensure that all Haitians – particularly Haitian children – have access to clean water and good sanitation facilities,” he continued, citing the need for “a huge and massive investment in the health-care system.” Mr. Vincent noted that between $3.5 million and $4 million per year is needed to maintain the rapid response mechanism in Haiti, which consists of some 50 teams that are dispatched to every reported cholera case in the country. The teams help to sanitize the affected household, as well as work with family members to provide oral rehydration treatment and explain what needs to be done to avoid future transmission. The representative highlighted that of the amount required for the response teams, $2 million is needed for the rest of this year, in order to ensure that the teams are in place during the critical rainy season at the end of the year. The response teams also help with issues such as Zika and other infectious diseases. “With that mechanism, we’ve been able to bring down the number of people affected by cholera from a high of 350,000 in 2011 to just over 36,000 last year. So this rapid response mechanism really helps to control the disease,” he emphasized. Indeed, as a result of efforts spearheaded by the UN and the Government of Haiti, by the first semester of 2014, the number of cholera cases had been reduced by 75 per cent and stood at 12,000. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of April this year, the number of cases stood at 24,108, including 378 deaths. Underscoring that it is necessary to tackle all waterborne diseases – which are the second cause of infant mortality in Haiti – Mr. Vincent said that UNICEF and partners have been working on establishing cholera treatment centres in isolated areas throughout Haiti, while at the same time working with the Government to improve the country’s overall health-care system. The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has partnered with Haitian Agencies to combat cholera by providing clean water. UN Photo/Logan Abassi read more

Uptick of Canadians hit with 5year bans at US borders called a

“You don’t need to do anything wrong to have an expedited removal,” said immigration lawyer Andrew Hayes. (Reuters)2489 commentsIf you are thinking about driving across a U.S. border any time soon take note — immigration lawyers in British Columbia and Washington State are seeing an increase in travellers being issued five-year bans from U.S. border guards. The bans are the consequence of so-called “expedited removals” which are decided by an immigration officer and don’t go before a judge, and are a “troubling trend” according to lawyer Len Saunders because of how arbitrary they can seem.  “Until recently, I never would have expected people to get these expedited removals so randomly,” said Saunders, who practises immigration law in Blaine, Wash. and has clients who have been banned. “It’s very, very indiscriminate how they are doing this.”  Canadians generally are allowed to stay for up to six months in the U.S. as a tourist but it’s up to the traveller to prove they are just visiting and not planning to stay permanently.  Trump expands immigration officers’ power to deport migrants more swiftly Saunders said he’s seen more scrutiny by border guards recently over things like home ownership, a permanent job and money in the bank, which indicate ties to Canada and a reason to return. “Any Canadian who doesn’t have a full time job or are living with their parents and don’t have their own residence, under these recent expedited removals that I’ve been seeing, they could be barred,” he said.  Flying into the U.S. instead of driving can be a different matter as some pre-clearance areas, like the one at Vancouver International Airport, aren’t on U.S. soil and so travellers can’t be given an expedited removal since they haven’t crossed in yet.   By law, the burden is on the traveler to prove to U.S. customs that they are entering on a temporary basis and not intending to immigrate there. (Loren Elliott/Reuters) ‘One a day’ Official numbers on how many Canadians have been issued bans isn’t currently available but the U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed the uptick.  “While I can acknowledge there has been a recent increase in the issuance of expedited removals, there has not been a policy change within CBP nor is there a quota,” a spokesperson said in an email to CBC.  Saunders, who has been practising immigration law for two decades, said he noticed the dramatic increase in the travel bans over the summer.  “Until recently, it was very rare — maybe once every two or three years — that I would see a five-year bar [that seemed undeserved],” he said.  “Now, I’m literally seeing one a day.”  Same rules, different application Immigration lawyer Andrew Hayes, who works for a firm that has offices in B.C. and Washington, said the reason for the increase in bans isn’t totally clear — but the likely cause is an overall desire by the administration of President Donald Trump to project a toughness around issues of immigration. “The rules that apply now have always been the rules,” he said.  “[The change] is on how this is applied.” Canadian woman faces lifetime ban after getting caught with CBD oil at U.S. border He urges travellers be as clear as possible about their plans at the border and bring all the necessary documents of proof. “People who show up at the border that can’t explain what their plan is tend to have a worse time of it,” he said.  “You have to be able to explain where you are going, what you are doing and when you are going to return.” read more