Quick Takes – July 26, 2018

Hello everyone, It’s time for another edition of the Quick Takes, your weekly Japan travel news summary.
  • Umekoji Park is a well known park area near Kyoto Station, and the home for Kyoto Rail Museum and Kyoto Aquarium. It’s quite popular for locals and foreign tourists, yet access to the park can be prohibiting, as it is a 15-20 minutes walk from Kyoto Station. There are a few lines that runs from Kyoto Station and Shijo area infrequently. In order to provide better transportation to tourists, JR West is now building a new station for its Sagano Line, with the cooperation from Kyoto city government and local businesses, right outside Umekoji Park. The station had been named Umekoji Kyoto-Nishi Station (code JR-E02), and construction will be done in Spring 2019. (Press release translated)


  • While we are at Kyoto, the current heat wave had been going on for more than a week and had no signs of relenting. To cool off at night, most would be going towards the Kamogawa river in the middle of the city. Alternatively, there’s now a new open air bazaar type restaurant area near Kyoto Station, where you can get a cool pint of beer and eat Japanese/Korean/Western food. Called Sujin Shinmachi (official site), it’s only 5 minutes walk from the station, and boast more than 10 different eateries and stages for performances. It started this past February, and is expected to open for two and a half years.


  • Talking about performances, Tokyo Metro will host their annual concert in a station this year in Shibuya (press release translated). It will be host underground in Tokyo Metro Shibuya Station near exit 13, with Saxophone Quintet Five by Five performing music from Mozart, Vivaldi, Rossini and Handel.


  • Photo Spot Highlight: Kasuga Taisha is registered World Heritage site in Nara. A Shinto shrine, it was well known for its architecture and the lanterns carved from stone. It’s beautiful in daytime, but how about night time? Turns out the shine had a tradition for opening at night for two specific time every year, in a ceremony called Ten Thousand Lanterns (or Mantoro): February 3rd for Setsubun (JNTO’s breakdown of the event https://www.japan.travel/en/spot/51/), and August 14th-15th for Chugen Festival. This article from travel.jp had plenty of gorgeous photos. Maybe you can catch some of your own next month. The opening hours are from 7-9:30 pm on both nights, and entrance fee will be 500 yen.
That’s it for this week, see you in the next issue~