(English) Kyushu Economic Federation Releases Fisheries Plan

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Read More 3月. 26, 2014, 11:14

(English) Famous Train Designer Takes On Kumamoto City Tram

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Read More 3月. 25, 2014, 12:55

(English) Fukuoka’s Kego Fault Reexamined

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Read More 11:55

(English) Cute Ward Mayor Micaela Reflects

(English) Six months have passed since 26-year old Canadian Micaela Braithwaite was sworn in as the second mayor of Kawaii-ku (Cute Ward). She’s done everything from participate in last year’s Asian Month festivities to teach nursery school kids how to brush their teeth, yet she still managed to keep making her trademark videos. According to Braithwaite, the response has been positive: “In January when I visited Taiwan, I urged everyone to come to Fukuoka because it’s less crowded than Tokyo, has great food and plenty of shopping. The response was great–probably the best yet.” She is also dedicated to realizing Cute Ward’s three-pronged policy of 1) spread the word that Fukuoka=Kawaii, 2) rediscover Fukuoka’s charms, and 3) actively contribute to Fukuoka’s economy: “I want to do something more for the people who’ve signed up as Ward residents. For example, I joined the Sweets Marathon earlier this month and I think we can collaborate better with events like this.” After six months, she is still exploring what the meaning of “kawaii” is. She admits it’s much more than just cute: “If you look at the kanij, they mean ‘can’ and ‘love.’ In other words, the feeling of being able to love something or growing to like something is, itself, ‘kawaii”. I think that’s a wonderful thing.” Source: Nishinippon Shimbun 3/19

Read More 3月. 20, 2014, 10:12

(English) Seven Stars Seats Hard to Get

(English) On Mar. 18, JR Kyushu announced that there were 7,241 applications for 196 seats open to domestic customers on the Seven Stars in Kyushu luxury sleeper train for the fourth sales period (8/26~11/25), making for a whopping 36.9:1 ratio of applicants to available seats–the highest ratio yet. Despite rate hikes ranging from ¥25,000 to ¥134,000 per person, the train remains as popular as ever. At 195:1, the toughest seat to land was the 2-person luxury suite on the 3-day/4-night course departing on Aug. 26. JR Kyushu says it also changed the method for drawing names to make it easier for applicants who failed to secure a seat in the past to get selected. Applications for the next sales period (Dec. 2014~Feb. 2014) open in June. Source: Nishinippon Shimbun 3/19

Read More 10:11

(English) Land Prices Up Due to Kyushu Shinkansen

(English) Three years have passed since the Kyushu Shinkansen’s Kagoshima Route fully opened, and the effects on land prices along the line are starting to emerge. According to land prices released by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on Jan. 1, the land prices in areas around JR Hakata Station have increased in rapid succession, and for the first time in 23 years, the price of residential land in all seven wards of Fukuoka has increased. Fukuoka City is now home to the top 10 priciest parcels of land in all of Kyushu. On a similar note, the price of residential land in Chikugo City, where Chikugo-Funagoya Station is located, rose for the first time in 15 years, and Kumamoto Prefecture had four times as many districts with increased land prices than before. Meanwhile, in Kagoshima Prefecture, only one district reported an uptick in land prices, and the land prices around Kagoshima Chuo Station remained the same. The initial development rush in Kagoshima after the partial opening in 2004 seems to have cooled off. Source: Nishinippon Shimbun 3/19

Read More 10:07

(English) Infected Pigs Spread Across Kyushu

(English) On Mar. 18, a pig in Fukuoka Prefecture was confirmed as having contracted Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED), a viral infection with a high probability of killing piglets. PED has now been confirmed in every prefecture in Kyushu except Nagasaki. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, a PED outbreak in Okinawa last October marked the first time the disease has been reported in Japan in seven years. By December, cases had been reported in Kagoshima, and were quickly followed by reports from Miyazaki, Kumamoto, Saga and Oita. Across the six prefectures reporting PED, 179 farms have seen 161,400 pigs become infected, of which 35,552 have already died. Approximately 60% of the outbreaks have been self-contained, with those farms reporting no new cases of PED. Meanwhile, the virus continues to spread to other farms, so prefectural governments are working to stem its spread by beefing up disinfection measures. An official from Fukuoka Prefecture urged a level-headed response, “Humans cannot contract PED. We are asking farms not to ship infected pigs, but there is no harm in eating a pig that has recovered from the infection.” Source: Nishinippon Shimbun 3/19

Read More 10:05

(English) Hakata Hanami – Sakura Illumination

(English) Anyone who has passed through JR Hakata Station at night this month has had the pleasure of seeing the sparkling Sakura Illumination outside the station. The 160,000 pink LED lights on the trees and 20m cherry blossom video screen mark the 10th anniversary of the Kyushu Shinkansen, and the 3rd anniversary of JR Hakata City. The display is by Hakata Machizukuri Sushin Kyogikai, and showing from 18:00 to midnight every night until April 20. Source: Nishinippon Shimbun 3/2

Read More 3月. 19, 2014, 16:36

(English) Food Capital Fukuoka Event – This Weekend!

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Read More 11:15

(English) Ichiran Popular in Hong Kong

(English) More than six months have passed since Ichiran opened its first overseas shop in Hong Kong last July, and its popularity shows no signs of waning. “The taste of the pork bone broth and the atmosphere is like no other,” enthused a twenty-something female patron. The shop averages 1,500 visitors on typical a weekend day, far more than Ichiran’s shops in Japan, and the number of repeat visitors is growing. As opposed to Kyushu, where most people enjoy harder noodles, Hong Kong’s ramen fans like their noodles soft. Slowly but surely, ramen is becoming another mainstay of Japanese cuisine abroad, like sushi. Some Ichiran officials worried that the restaurant’s unique single person seats might not work in Hong Kong, but they tried the Japanese shop layout anyway and it seems to have worked. The company plans to increase seating from 36 to 90 this summer and has an eye on New York City for its second shop overseas. Source: Nishinippon Shimbun 3/18

Read More 10:08
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