“Live Japan!” (that’s a quote)

I’m not quite sure if that’s “Lĭve Japan”  or  “Līve Japan”.  Whatever it is it’s the name of the just-launched Japanese government’s 2 month travel campaign with a goal of getting 10 million foreign tourists to Japan in 2010.  Good for them.  I hope it works out.


From the Campaign Website. Note: more hugging going on here (between foreigners, of course) than in 10,000 airport meetings between Japanese.


And you, you are invited by the Japan Tourist Agency to go for a chance to win any number of travel prizes to Japan, simply by filling out this survey (actually, I did.  Just took a couple of minutes).

The heart of the campaign, though, is the JTA’s urging expats in Japan to send “Greeting Cards” to their friends and families back in their home countries, inviting them to visit them (the expat “correspondents”) in Japan.  I like the “Meet. . .  In Japan” thing.  I can see it now:  “So, where do you want to meet tonight?  Starbucks?  That new Mexican restaurant?”  Response – “Hey!  How about Japan!”  “Cool.  Say, around 6-ish?”

Japan is, by the way, a great place to visit . . .


Kurodani dera Garden. Nov 2009.


Neighborhood restaurant. Tokyo. Nov 2009.


Just behind Shoren-in. Kyoto. Nov 09.


Vending Machine (自動販売機). Tokyo. Nov 09.


Where sweet surprises and surreal ironies abound (vid captured on cheap camera) . . .

Chionin temple in Kyoto, by the way, is one of the most famous throughout Japan.  Every New Year’s Eve Chionin’s massive bell, forged in 1678, is rung 108 times (an auspicious number in both Buddhism and Hinduism), can be heard throughout Kyoto’s Eastern Mountains, and is broadcast on national television.


    • Carol
    • December 18th, 2009

    Sweet and surreal about covers it. That’s one of the least likely places you’d expect to hear that melody.

      • letsjapan
      • December 18th, 2009

      While not quite as weird, several years ago I (and somebody I was with) once heard a street performer doing a very credible Tom Waits at one end of Pontocho — Kyoto’s ~400 year old entertainment alley. Pontocho features prominently in my story “A Night in Kyoto” (clickable atop this page) and Rub-a-Dub Reggae is just about one block away from it, also a sort of incongruous thing in Kyoto.


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