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Last week, we brought you the latest safety video from Virgin America, but they aren't the only ones having a little fun. This week, the Japanese are injecting some humor into a safety video; the airline StarFlyer has created a clever safety vid involving ninjas.
There's no singing, dancing, or rhyming, but there are ninja-related tips on how to keep yourself safe and sound when flying on any of the airline's sleek black planes.
Animals / Augmented Reality / Travel Technology / Travel Tech / Zoo Travel / Green Travel / Cute Travel / Japan / Japan Travel / → All Tags
As is well known and widely acknowledged, Japan is a land of crazy. The plain assertion doesn't really require any proof, but if it did there are entire websites devoted to the insanity that pervades the Land of the Rising Sun. Even their zoos and aquariums are batshit, allowing you to do everything from shake hands with otters to watch Santa Claus play with dolphins.
Somewhere in between shaking otters hands and Santa Claud on a dolphin, there's this very cute bit of travel advertising from Japan's Sunshine Aquarium. The tourist attraction is kind of a hike from the nearest station, and aquarium officials wanted to make sure people could find it. The solution? An augmented reality app where penguins guide tourists along the right path. Because Japan, of course.
Japan Travel / Google Street View / Street View / Travel Technology / Google / Google Earth / Google Maps / Disaster Travel / → All Tags
Last March we told you about one of the newer and more creative Google Street View efforts, which had the Mountain View giant mapping towns and cities in Japan that had been abandonedand were now functionally inaccessiblebecause of the Fukushima disaster. We always knew the radiation-soaked areas were going to be off-limits for a long time, but in recent days new readings have transformed "a long time" into "a very, very, very long time." This is all by way of saying that if you want to "visit" those areas, you're going to have to do it over the Internet.
Now comes word via the Google Maps blog that you can see more of those areas than ever before. The blog postwhich formally announced the addition of 17 cities within the hazard zonebegins by linking to information about the project itself.
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In the famously busy "Shibuya Scramble" intersection
So you may have already heard that Tokyo beat out both Madrid and Istanbul in its bid to host the XXXII Olympics in 2020. Granted that's still quite some time away, but a seven-year advance notice means plenty of time to come to love Japan if you don't already.
Save Friday, 24 July – Sunday 9 August 2020 to your iCal for the actual Olympic Games, and get psyched along with us as we brainstorm what the 2020 Olympics will mean for an already awesome metropolis:
· The cutest Olympic mascots yet!
London's "Wenlock and Mandeville" mascots were disappointing, not to mention vaguely sperm-y, and Sochi's look like long-lost Disney rough drafts. Beijing's 2008 Olympic mascots came closest to the concept of cute, but surely Tokyo in 2020 will make us forget all about decades of creepy characters. Kawaii!
Airline News / Etihad / UAE Travel / Traveling with Kids / Traveling with Children / Inflight Nannies / JAL / Japan Travel / → All Tags
After the recent news that more airlines are creating "child-free zones" in their aircraft, we are excited to announce something to actually benefit families. Etihad now has plans to train 500 of the airline's cabin crew as childcare specialists to act as "onboard nannies" for long-haul flights.
The Flying Nannies will be on hand to keep kiddies entertained throughout a long flight by serving meals earlier to ease into nap time, and filling milk bottles and offering snacks for the next leg of transiting passengers. If the kids just won't get some shut-eye, the attendants trained in the "gentle art of distraction" will use straws, stickers and cardboard teaching origami techniques. If you think all of that sounds fun, sock puppet kits are on the arts and crafts list too, but calm down as they are only for kids.
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Peach may have been the first, but they sure weren't the last LCC to make a base in Japan, as Kuala Lumpur-headquartered Air Asia threw their hat into the ring with a joint venture with ANA, named Air Asia Japan. Now, in a fun twist in the always dynamic airline industry, Air Asia Japan will flip over to complete ANA control and be renamed and rebranded as Vanilla Air.
Why that name, in particular? According to the airline's president Tomonori Ishii, "Vanilla Air" was chosen because vanilla "...is popular and loved by everyone in the world" and "it is a very cute name." So too is the name "Peach," but thus far there are no plans to merge Vanilla and Peach, now both budget carriers under the wings of ANA.
Travel Contests / Train Travel / Japan Travel / National Geographic / Delta / Shinkansen / Kyoto Travel / → All Tags
It's hump day and, thus, time for a little extra motivation for the rest of the week. Dreaming about a trip around Japan should do the trick, and luckily National Geographic just launched a contest to not only fly one person and a guest to Japan on Delta, but also to send them out on a Japan Rail trip with a train pass.
There's no essay or video required to enter, just your details. Click here to enter.
Grand prize is the trip for two, which includes airfare, train tickets, hotels in both Tokyo and Kyoto, and a city tour of Tokyo. Good luck!
AirAsia Japan / LCCs / Low Cost Carriers / ANA / All Nippon Airways / Airlines / Airline News / Japan Travel / → All Tags
There’s some moving and shaking in the world of low cost carriers this week, as AirAsia Japan is going under the knife for a little bit of work. They’ll still be around to whisk you off to here and there and, depending on where you want to go, their new destinations may even be more appealing than their former spots.
All Nippon Airways—ANA to their friends—are getting ready to try something new with AirAsia Japan. The new focus will be on warm and sunny destinations, as the carrier wants to do a little more travel to resort and leisure locations. Spots like Guam and Hawaii have been mentioned, but that's just the beginning of the possibilities.
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While scrolling through Buzzfeed, like we do, we came across this picture gallery describing a tiny island just off Japan's main coast called "Bunny Island." Yes. The Japanese have an entire island where tourists can interact with wild yet tame fluffy rabbits that so overrun the area that it's reasonable to call the place "Bunny Island." Because of course Japan has that.
The island is technically named "Rabbit Island" - Okunoshima - and it has kind of a dark past. During World War II it was used to produce chemical weapons which the Japanese turned against the Chinese. Over six kilotons of mustard gas and tear gas were produced at a chemical weapons facility built on the island. As the war wound down, evidence of the project was largely destroyed or covered up. Today the island is a pristine park with a resort hotel, clear swimmable water, a golf course, and bunnies.
Japan Travel / Japan / Zoo Travel / Green Travel / Conservation Travel / Cute Travel / Animals / → All Tags
Last summer we gave you a guide for visiting baby otters at various zoos around the United States. You guys seemed to like the post, which makes sense since it was about baby otters. But what if you're a person who wants to hang out with cute otters, and now it's a whole new summer?
If you're lucky, and you're indulging in Japan Travel, then there's a fairly straightforward solution: go visit the Keikyu Aburatsubo Marine Park. Not only do they have otters, but they have otters that will actually shake your hand and interact with you. Just so everyone's on the same page before we get to the nitty-gritty details: there's a place in Japan where you can go, pay a $5 charge, and then an adorable otter will take your finger and say hi. Damn, some things are better in Japan.
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Once again Hugh Jackman is proving celebs really are just like us, especially when it comes to navigating Japanese culture.
While on a break from filming The Wolverine in Japan last year, Jackman managed to embarrass himself and upset the locals at an onsen, or natural hot spring spa. It took him nearly an hour to figure out the small towel they handed him at the hot spring was meant to cover his private parts, not his forehead.
If the vacation funds are running a little low this summer there’s always the option to just sit back and let Google show you a good time. We’re talking about their Street View capabilities, as it looks like the walkthrough options are coming to a few new spots.
Up first is Hawaii, as the fancy technology is making its way to the 50th state to capture and grab a first person look of all the islands have to offer. The Big Island will be the first of the chain to get the Street View treatment, as Google will be handing off some of their gadgets and technology to a local company to capture this and that from different trails and treks across the island. Expect a look at rainforests, some beaches, and maybe even a volcano, but we’re pretty sure that the umbrella drinks won’t be included in this view—too bad.