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JOMC Newsletter

Japan Tourism Topics

1. Try ice skating on a frozen pond!
Experience the changing seasons in central Honshu as the falling leaves of maple and larch trees in autumn give way to snowy winter landscapes. As temperatures fall, thick ice forms on Kera Lake in the Karuizawa Hoshino region of Nagano prefecture, and you can skate on the frozen surface at the KERA-IKE Ice Rink during the winter months. Afterwards you can relax with a hot drink and enjoy the comforting aroma of a wood stove at the lakeside.

2. Earthquake disaster memorial center opens in Miyagi
Located in the coastal town of Minamisanriku in Miyagi prefecture, the Minamisanriku 311 Memorial Center is a facility where you can hear the stories of the town's residents as they reflect on their memories of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Many of them will readily share their accounts of what happened that day and chat with visitors, who in turn can learn about the kinds of disaster prevention measures implemented in vulnerable coastal regions of Japan. The overall facility, which contains an art display zone, was designed by noted Japanese architect Kuma Kengo, who also designed the new National Stadium that was built for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic & Paralympic Games.

3. Experience a giant open-air hot spring bath in Wakayama
Kawayu-Onsen Sennin-buro River Bath in Wakayama prefecture is a giant open-air hot spring bath created by a dam that was built across the Ohtou River. On Saturday evenings, the steam rising from the hot water is illuminated after dark by lanterns decorating the riverbanks, creating a fantastic atmosphere under starry skies; an exquisite and luxurious experience.
Kawayu Onsen Sennin-buro River Bath
Kawayu Onsen.jpg
4. An ice festival in Obihiro, Hokkaido, one of the coldest winter spots in Japan!
The annual Obihiro Ice Festival gets underway in Obihiro, Hokkaido prefecture, on January 27th. Obihiro experiences some of the coldest temperatures of any city in Japan. The ice sculptures create a beautiful, majestic world, and visitors can experience a dazzling fireworks display while they sample the local cuisine.
The Obihiro Ice Festival

Obihiro Ice Festival.jpg

5. Shopping and more at Lalaport Sakai!
A new Lalaport shopping mall has opened this autumn in Sakai, in the center of Osaka. Visitors can not only shop at their favorite brand outlets, they can also watch live sporting events and participate in cultural activities, making their stay in Osaka even more fun and rewarding.
Mitsui Shopping Park Lalaport Sakai

Lalaport Sakai.jpg

• The above details are correct as of the time of publication, and are subject to change.

If you'd like to download photos and videos of Japan's tourist attractions, please visit the Japan Online Media Center (JOMC).
For media inquiries, including requests to use photographs, please contact the JNTO Press office at


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