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News & Notes

Discover underwater Okinawa with Piranha Divers

Jun 29 (Tue ), 2010

Jan  and Tomoko Weirauch, the founders of Piranha Divers, say they are the first and only Dive shop in Okinawa offering SCUBA services in English and German. They focus on the individual diver, not big groups, and say they love nothing more than introducing the beautiful ocean in Okinawa to their customers. Diving experiences include huge, colorful coral gardens, canyons and caves, drift diving, night diving and even a wreck from World War II that was just discovered in 2001. They offer a range of PADI courses, from beginner’s level to professional levels as well as 13 Specialty Diver Courses. Web: www.piranha-divers.jp

Kiteboarding Japan 

Jun 29 (Tue ), 2010

Nick Katz arrived in Shizuoka in 1995. After wakeboarding on Lake Hamanaka and seeing kiteboarding pioneer, Lou Wainman take flight in a video, he got inspired. Since then he has dedicated himself to offering safe, quality kiteboarding instruction to get more people off the ground (literally). Kiteboarding Japan offers the two-day “Hang Time” course, where students first learn to control and fly a kite on land with a mountain board and then hit the water on Day 2. Nick is the first and only instructor in Japan qualified by the International Kiteboarding Organization (IKO) and by the (JKBA) Japanese Kiteboarding Association. Lessons are taught in English and Japanese, and there is an online pro shop. Web: www.kiteboarding.jp

English Adventures Summer Camps

Jun 29 (Tue ), 2010

Still scrambling to find fun activities for your kids this summer? English Adventure Summer Camps run from late July to mid-August. Hiking, rafting, nature education, crafts, campfires—all the fun of an American summer camp here in Japan with the friendly, knowledgeable international staff. Their Ocean Camp is already full, but the Mountain Camps still have a few spaces open. Don't miss out. Web: www.english-adventure.org

Hanazono MTB Park & Wakeboard Park Open

Jun 29 (Tue ), 2010

The Niseko Hanazono MTB Competition recently took place in the new Hanazono MTB Park. The park was designed by pro bikers for riders of all levels and will focus on skills development and feature a jump park (for all levels), pump track, cross-country trails with plenty of features and downhill trails. A bus with bike trailer is on hand to help you discover a wide range of trails. The park is a perfect place to learn MTB basics or hone your competitive skills, and the new bag jump will entice you to try new tricks. A full range of bikes and protective wear is available for hire, and you can even demo new high-performance bikes. And if that’s not enough to get you to Niseko this summer, the Hanazono Wakeboard Park is now also open and Niseko golf is in full swing. Tel: (0136) 21-6655 Web: www.harmonyresorts.com

Beers For Books Summer Events

Jun 17 (Thu ), 2010

Beers For Books Summer Events Drink Beer, Make a Difference!   What: Frolic presents Beats for Books Vol. 3 When: Saturday, June 19th 10:30PM - 5AM Where: Desert Rose in Ginza http://www.sabakunobara.jp/ Event Links: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=128646863828205 http://www.beersforbooks.org/events/frolic-presents-beats-for http://iflyer.tv/event/61577/Frolic-presents-Beats-for-Books-Vol.-3/   What: Bottles for Books (Wine-focused Event) When: Wednesday, June 23rd. 7PM - 11PM Where: Kimono Wine & Grill http://www.kimonowinebar.com/ Event Links: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=127824793916535 http://www.beersforbooks.org/events/bottles-for-books-at-kimono   What: B4B Rafting/Canyoning/BBQ @ Canyons in Minakami When: Saturday, July 3rd ALL DAY/NIGHT Where: Canyons Alpine Lodge Minakami http://lodge.canyons.jp/ Event Links: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=100562513320813 http://www.beersforbooks.org/events/b4b-2010-summer   What: Beers for Books @ Mattari in Fujisawa When: Friday, July 9th 6PM - 12:30AM Where: Mattari 23-2 Minami Fujisawa Event Links: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=121918317844844 http://www.beersforbooks.org/events/b4b-in-fujisawa-mattari   What: Beers for Books @ Ocean Deep in Chiba City When: Saturday, July 18th 7PM - 11PM Where: Ocean Deep http://www.oceandeep.jp/ Event Links: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=127587560593813 http://www.beersforbooks.org/events/beers-for-books-ocean-deep-in

Get into the white water this summer! Raft on!

Jun 13 (Sun ), 2010

RAFT ON! Yoshino River, Kochi, Shikoku Grade: 3-4 / Season: March - October Take on Japan’s biggest white water on the Yoshino River in the heart of Shikoku with HappyRaft. Professional fully licensed and internationally experienced guides will ensure a safe, fun adventure. Spring specials for one-day and half-day rafting, canyoning and accommodation available. Tel: (0887) 75-0500. Email: info@happyraft.com. Web: www.happyraft.com . Nagara River, Gifu Grade: 3-5 / Season: April - October Adventure Rafting is celebrating its 15th year taking guests down the Nagaragawa. Experienced guides with the latest equipment available, and an incredible base camp along the river with hot showers and a hotel. Rafting, canyoning, accommodation and meals available. Tel: (0575) 79-3405. Email: mail@adventures.jp. Web: www.adventures.jp.   Tone River, Gunma Grade: 2 (summer) and 3-4 (May-June) / Season: Mid-April - November   Canyons international team of professional guides provides world-class adventure experiences all year just two hours from Tokyo. In spring, half-day or full day rafting on the best sections of the Tone River, including the infamous Grade 4 Momiji Canyon. Canyoning available from June-October and combo packages, accommodation and riverside BBQ options available. Tel:(0278) 72-2811. Email:English@canyons.jp. Website:www.canyons.jp.   Shiribetsu River, Hokkaido Location: Hokkaido / Grade: 2-3 / Season: Mid-April – October   SAS at the Hanazono Activity Center’s rafting trips combine serene floats with exciting white water rapid and it’s the best way to see the flora and fauna around Niseko. May is the most exciting while July and August are great for family floats. Half-day tours only.Tel: (0136) 21-3333. Email: info@sas-net.com. Web: www.sas-net.com   NAC has been guiding Niseko rivers for more than 15 years. If you still have some energy after a day on the river you can head over to the Niseko Adventure Center and play on the 11-meter rock climbing wall or enjoy a great lunch or dinner at JoJo’s Café. NAC also has tours to the Toyohira River (Grade 3-4), Mukawa River (Grade 3-4) Tel: (0136) 23-2093 Email: mail@nac-web.com. Web: www.nac-web.com   Himekawa River, Nagano Grade: 2 / Season: Mid-may – End of July   Check out Evergreen Outdoors WET & WILD (rafting/canyoning) Combo Tour this spring and enjoy sliding down the waterfalls and pools of Kamoshika Canyon followed by an afternoon riding the rapids of Himekawa River. The tour includes canyoning gear, professional guides, raft, life vest, paddle, wetsuit, rafting helmet, hot hearty lunch, insurance, tax and hot spring bath.  

Candle Night Summer Solstice 2010, June 21, 8-10 p.m

Jun 11 (Fri ), 2010

Candle Night Summer Solstice 2010 June 21 (Summer Solstice) 8-10 p.m Candle Night encourages people to turn off the lights for two hours and spend some quality time in the candlelight. In 2010, Candle Night campaign will be from June 20 to July 7, which will be joined by many facilities and businesses. More info about Candle Night at http://www.candle-night.org/english/ Twitter: http://twitter.com/candlenight_en Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Candle-Night/109894223133

Patagonia Japan Spring Surf Catalog 2010 is now online

Jun 04 (Fri ), 2010

Patagonia Japan Spring Surf Catalog 2010 is now online at http://www.patagonia.com/web/jp/fb/index.jsp?id=4&slc=jp_JP&sct=JP&src=e00280

"The Cove" Dolphin hunt film canceled in Tokyo after protests

Jun 03 (Thu ), 2010

"The Cove" documentary film about Dolphin hunts in Japan was canceled in Tokyo after protests. Read more about it at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100603/ap_en_mo/as_japan_dolphin_killing

Hilton Nagoya offers complimentary bicycle service to guests

May 20 (Thu ), 2010

Hilton Nagoya offers complimentary bicycle service to guests Hilton Nagoya guests can now enjoy a new complimentary bicycle rental service, part of the hotel’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by encouraging an eco-friendly and convenient way to travel around the city. The new service follows an experiment (called “Mei Chari’) conducted by Nagoya City in 2009, that offered registered members complimentary use of bicycles in the city. Its overwhelming success not only confirmed the pleasures of cycling but also showed a growing acceptance of bicycles as an effective eco-friendly way to respond to global environmental issues. Hilton Nagoya is working closely with “The Forum for citizens with bicycles,” a non-profit-organization, to encourage staying guests to take advantage of the hotel’s fleet of meticulously maintained “Corratec” and “Raleigh” bicycles. “We are strongly committed to addressing environmental issues and promoting a healthy lifestyle,” said Hilton Nagoya General Manager Jamie Mead. “Using one of our complimentary bicycles is not only a smart choice for convenient transport and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, but will also add great value to exploring this beautiful city. Our staff is also on hand with up-to-date city maps and advice on the best cycling routes to fully enjoy your stay with us.” There is a maximum of four hours per person. Reservations are required before use and a contract needs to be signed before using the bicycle. Other terms and conditions may apply.