Quick Takes – October 25th, 2018

Welcome to this issue of Quick Takes! With Autumn quickly setting in, information about the Maple season arrangements at various major tourist locations are trickling in. These, and more on this week’s issue.

  • The opening hours of many major Momiji (literally “red leaves” in Japanese) sites are now updated. We are now preparing a easy to use, map-based list, which should be available by next week. In the meantime, here’s an article featuring major Momiji locations in Kyoto. Also, Jorudan (of the train route search fame) had put up a site dedicated in introducing Momiji locations throughout Japan. It’s in Japanese, but still worth checking out through translation software.
  • New hotel opening near Toyosu Market in 2019: The new Toyosu Seafood Market is out in the reclaimed land area in Tokyo, near Odaiba. While there are hotels in the area, they are not exactly close. Thus, with Okura Nikko Hotels announced a new hotel opening in Toyosu by 2019, with 330 rooms available, it would become the prime choice for people who want a head start at Toyosu Market. The new Hotel JAL City Toyosu will be located just across the street from Toyosu Market. In the same building, sports equipment company ASICS will open a simulated low oxygen training facility called “ASICS Sports Complex TOKYO Bay” as well. Part of this training center would be available to the public.
  • Seibu Shinjuku station will be the test ground for AI-equipped security robot: Japan is well known for their use of robots, from industrial production lines to elderly healthcare (okay, let’s leave out Robot Restaurant for a moment here, shall we? :P). Rail companies are catching up as well, with upcoming test of a AI equipped security robot called Perseusbot. Developed jointly by Unisys Japan, AI developer earth eyes and Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Technology Research Institute, the robot will be tested in Seibu Shinjuku Station in November, actual testing will be conducted in station grounds between 10 am and 4 pm, from November 26th to 30th.  
  • Special illumination for Tokyo Rainbow Bridge: Through out December, Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo Bay will be illuminated with rainbow colored lights, making it look as it’s name suggested (it’s painted white normally). The bridge will be illuminated starting from December 1st, from sunset to midnight daily. On December 22nd – 24th, as well as New Year’s Eve, the illumination will go on all night until daybreak. A light up ceremony will be held at Odaiba on December 1st to start the event. 
  • Nagoya Christmas Decorations from November 7th: While Japanese does not normally celebrate Christmas, the holiday is starting to catch on in the public, and venue management are warming up to putting up Christmas decorations, introducing a bit of the holiday feels. For example, JR Central had been celebrating the season by putting up a Christmas Tree at Nagoya Station for some years already, and this year will be no exception. Their tree this year will be around 12 metres tall, and it will be set up at the entrance to the JR Gate Tower, one of the major high-rise owned by JR Central at the Nagoya Station. The tree will be there from November 7th to Christmas Day. Christmas decorations will be set up in the malls around the station as well. [Fun fact for those who hadn’t been to Japan during Christmas: Christmas decorations (if available) are always removed on Christmas Day, instead of a day or two after Christmas elsewhere. Why? Because Christmas had to make way for the New Year, the later being the biggest holiday in Japan during any year.]

That’s all for this week. Sorry for not having anything available last week, but I was in the middle of a big project for the site, and need some time off to handle research. In any case, details about this project will soon be available, so stay tuned! See you next week!