June 3 (TravelAndy): Japan has consolidated its spot at the top of the Henley Passport Index, now offering its citizens visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to a record total of 189 destinations. Following closely behind Japan are Singapore and Germany in joint 2nd place, with 188 destinations accessible without a prior visa. 3rd place is shared by six countries: one Asian (South Korea) and the rest European (Finland, France, Italy, Spain, and Sweden).
India is ranked 76th with visa-free access to 59 countries.
While Schengen Area countries have traditionally topped the index as a result of their open access to Europe, developed Asian nations have been able to secure equally high scores in recent years thanks to their strong international trade and diplomatic relations. With close to 40 visa-waiver agreements signed by governments since the start of the year, passport-holders around the world go into the summer season with greater collective access than ever before. Continue reading Japan passport strongest, India ranks 76th
October 30 (TravelAndy): Over 300 students in year 11 at Fukuoka Kaho High School in Japan have visited Perth over the last few weeks.
This is the first time the school has sent students to Australia.
They visited local attractions, schools and universities.
This is a newly developed program aimed at encouraging foreign students to tertiary study in Perth. Continue reading Japanese students visit Perth
September 16 (TravelAndy): In what is good news to all Japanese comic fans, Japan is all set to use the popularity of their comic, Anime and Manga to promote tourism, this winter.
A total of 88 places are being shortlisted as designated animation spots, across the country. Everyday places like train stations, school campuses, rural shrines and other spots will be developed to depict popular Manga and Anime characters.
Spots where these animation works took place along with animation museums and the houses of Manga and Anime artistes, will be included in the list. Continue reading Japan calling for comic lovers
August 5 (TravelAndy): Hong Kong Airlines will operate direct flights to Yonago, in Tottori Prefecture of Japan, from Hong Kong, from September 14.
The twice-a-week flight will operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays, departing from Hon Kong at 12.05 and reaching Yonago at 16.10. The return flight will leave Yonago at 17.10 and reach Hong Kong at 19.55.
“Our Yonago route will open up more options to our passengers in West Honshu. We have great confidence in this route and we hope to bring travellers from around the world to this scenic and cultural Prefecture,” Li Dianchun, chief commercial officer, Hong Kong Airlines, said in an official statement.
Continue reading New Hong Kong-Yonago flight from Sep 14
July 14 (TravelAndy): Hokkaido island in Japan has been named the number one tourist spot in Asia by the Lonely Planet travel publisher.
“Hokkaido has become a lot more accessible this year thanks to the new bullet train linking its southern port city, Hakodate, to Tokyo,” said Lonely Planet in its first ever ‘Best in Asia’ list.
The main attractions of Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands are volcanoes, natural hot springs and ski resorts. Continue reading Hokkaido tops list of Asian tourist spots
April 15 (TravelAndy): Japan will run the world’s first ever invisible train by 2018, said reports.
The trains will have a semi reflective outer surface to create the illusion of invisibility.
The interiors of the train will have a living-room like décor. Continue reading Invisible trains in Japan by 2018
March 26 (TravelAndy): The first bullet train track connecting Japan’s northernmost island Hokkaido to Tokyo opened on Saturday, said The Bangkok Post.
The introduction of bullet train on this route has reduced travel time between Hokkaido and Tokyo by 53 minutes.
The train runs through undersea Seikan tunnel connecting Hokkaido with Aomori, at the tip of Japan’s main island Honshu. Continue reading Bullet train connects Hokkaido to Tokyo
August 13 (TravelAndy): Japan’s former capital and popular tourist destination Kyoto has released a list of don’ts for tourists visiting the city.
The guideline is called ‘Akimahen’, the Japanese word meaning ‘don’ts’.
This list includes some basic civic manners as well as Japanese traditions that visitors are expected to adhere to.
It is absolutely forbidden to smoke in a public place in Kyoto and the offence invites a a fine of JPY1,000. Continue reading Kyoto’s list of don’ts for visitors
April 28 (TravelAndy): At a time when the world is losing land to the advancing the seas because of the Greenhouse effect and other reasons, Japan has surprisingly gained at least 300 metres of land that has emerged from the sea in the course of a day.
The incident took place in Rausu on Hokkaido island and the stretch is as high as 10 metres or more in some parts, said reports.
“The local residents said they didn’t hear any sounds and there were no tremors (when the land appeared),” The Asahi Shimbum quoted Katsuhiro Tanaka, president of the Rausu Fisheries Cooperative Association, as saying.
Tanaka saw the expanded coastline the day it was discovered.
Geologists are of the opinion that this occurred probably due to a landslide nearby where melting ice and snow caused a part of land to drop, pivoting this particular stretch, which was under water, upwards, said The Straits Times.
I had joined Instagram in the middle of 2014, shortly before my trip to Japan. Consequently, it was no surprise that I did some extensive picture posting during that particular trip.
This post is a flashback of the year gone by through some of the pictures I had shared on Instagram.
No gyan here, just reliving some memories. Continue reading Flashback 2014: My Instagram journey
Flying and sleeping eat up the major part of any travel budget. Consequently, if you can check these costs, it’s possible to bring down the cost of your travel cost by a considerable amount.
I have earlier written on how to find cheap flights. In this post, I will share with you two examples of how a little bit of digging around saved me several thousand rupees. Continue reading How I dug out cheap air tickets
I had the idea that in the West, when two men exchanged greetings, they shook hands, a man and a woman greeted each other by kissing both cheeks of the other person and girls just hugged each other. So, I decided to ask my French friend Géraud about it. Continue reading Greetings: Kiss, hug or shake hands?