Welcome to this week’s Quick Takes. This week’s news are great for the sweet tooth. Also, contactless payment on transportation services, hotel news and more.
- Contactless payment news: On this week, there’s quite a bit of announcements on contactless payments. Japan is always big on contactless like IC cards/Electronic Money. Yet adoption is not universal. For example, Okinawa Monorail is only now adopting SUICA contactless payment. The adoption of QR code based contactless payment are still at the early stages. Example: JR West Malls to adopt all sorts of contactless/Electronic Money payment methods. Even so, with more tourists visiting each day, such speedier payment methods should be mainstream soon.
- Check before you go! Historical sites under renovations: It’s always a bummer to have went all the way to a certain temple, castle or historical building, and found it under renovation. Thus, a little homework beforehand always helps. This article had listed out some of the major historical buildings currently under renovation. That said, always check before you go.
- Green tea dessert buffet in Kyoto: Kyoto Century Hotel will hold a weekend only dessert buffet from May 24th to September 29th. “MATCHA Sweet Garden 2019 ～Flower Collection～” will feature famous Kyoto tea manufacturer Gion Tsujiri’s green tea in their dessert offerings. For those of you who crave your share of matcha dessert, you can go there on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 3:30 to 5 pm. Admission is 4800 yen for adults (around USD 44 or 40 Euro), half price for children.
- Hotel news: Industrial style hotel to open at Kamata, near Haneda Airport. New all-villa resort to open in Wakayama in July. Eighth official USJ hotel to open in November, and JR Kyushu to open second hotel under “The Blossom” brand in Kyushu (duh).
- Hot coffee sales to end on most JR East trains: With increasing number of train stations having shopping malls inside, it’s much easier to pick up food and drinks before boarding. Therefore, the trend is for train operators to cut back on for-purchase food and beverage services on trains. The latest is from JR East, which announced the end of offering hot coffee on their Shinkansen and Limited Express trains. Exception will be Gran Class on available trains, and Green Car for Super View Odoriko trains.
That’s all for this week. Do you like to use contactless payment in Japan? What is your experience using them? Let us know in the comments on the website, and let’s discuss!