1,864 Swimmers Take Part in New World Harbour Race 2013. The New World Harbour Race 2013 was held on Sunday, 6 October, for the third year since its re-launch. Record-breaking participation and a new group of international elite swimmers all competing together resulted in fierce battles between the 500 contenders in the Racing Group categories. The race was seen and cheered on by enthusiastic crowds along both sides of the harbour. Alongside over 70 elite swimmers from around the globe competing for the first time in the International Category, around 1,500 swimmers from the newly-added Leisure Group were allowed to soak up the relaxing atmosphere as they swam across Victoria Harbour. The carnival located near the finishing point further spiced up the atmosphere. New World Harbour Race 2013 kicked off at Sam Ka Tsuen Public Pier in Lei Yue Mun, Kowloon and finished at Quarry Bay Park Public Pier, Hong Kong. All swimmers completed the race within 1 hour and 15 minutes this year, and were greeted by cheering crowds when they reached the finishing point. New World Harbour Race went global this year and officials from FINA witnessed the marquee in person with the Hong Kong community. The newly-added International Category was fiercely contended by elite swimmers. Trophies of the International Category Individual Men & Women went to Christian Reichert (Germany) and Poliana Okimoto (Brazil) by clocking 15:45.7 and 15:56.2 respectively. In the Open (A) Aged 17 - 34 Individual Men category, Ling Tin Yu claimed the winning title for the third year in a row with a time of 18:44.1, while Claudia Wong Ming Yu beat two-time defending champion Natasha Tang Wing Yung by clocking 20:01.6 to win the women race. For the K11 Harbour Race Youth Category Aged 12 - 16 Individual Boys and Individual Girls, Lau Shiu Yue won with a time of 21:22.1, while Chan On Yi, Fiona was named the women's winner by clocking 22:10.1. Taking home the men's trophy of the Open (B) Aged 35 - 49 Individual was Nortje Craig Andrew who finished at 25:21.2, while Kwoh Mary, at 27:08.9, was declared the women's champion. In the Open (C) Aged 50 or above Individual, Koo Yu Fat finished in 21:52.1 to claim the Individual Men championship and Leung Wong Yin Har, Hayley netted the women's championship with a time of 28:21.3. Ronnie Wong, Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association's Honourable Secretary, said, "The Cross Harbour Race has been an iconic local event since its establishment. To allow the general public to truly enjoy this historic sports event, a new Leisure Group was created this year to allow more qualified non-racing swimmers to enjoy the atmosphere of the race. This year's event created a milestone - not only has the number of swimmers hit a record high of 1,864, but the major event also successfully brought onto the international stage with the participation of over 70 global elite swimmers. It is quite an accomplishment given that the race has just been re-launched for three years."
September 7, 2013 (Sat.) @ Canyons Alpine Lodge in Minakami Sponsors Summer Splash is proudly sponsored by: Stream Trail Japan - Quality bags anywhere, any time any weather! Outdoor Japan Traveler - Every season a new adventure! General Info When? Sept. 7, 2013 (Sat.) Where? Canyons Alpine Lodge, Minakami Gunma What? Music Festival & Adventure Weekend Summer Splash Package Tours? Yes! Jump on one of the bus tours below that include transportation, accommodation, activities and tickets to Summer Splash. Entertainment? See below for info and timetable. Tickets: 2.500 yen advanced purchase / 3,000 yen at the door - includes welcome drink. Tickets Available through ePlus: Artists & Entertainment Shapeshifter Sound System SKAFF-LINKS KEISUKE (Vocal/Soprano & Baritone Sax)、KANOH (Trumpet,Tin Whistle,Cho)、サキポン (A.Sax), RICKY (T.Sax)、TAKEMURA (Trombone)、NAGASAWA (Guitar)、NAMI (Keyboard)、YUTA (Drum,Chorus) Web: http://skaff-links.net/ YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/skafflinks SAYUKI (仮) Drum & Bass, Funk, Soul Reggae, hiphop Reggae, Breakbeatz DJ Fergus DJ Fergus, one half Outdoor Japan's Snow & Summer Slash Sound System, has been rocking the house since 1988. His ability to play extended sets, and mix genres and bpm to keep the crowd moving is the reason he has played at parties all over the globe for more than 20 years. DJ Spiritus \ Spinning since 2004, DJ Spiritus was a regular on the Queenstown, NZ music scene as well as the infamous Full Moon Parties in Minakami, Gunma. The other half of the Snow Splash & Summer Splash Sound System, Spiritus' style could summed up as "mashup bass madness." DJ Ren & Double Kaori Details coming soon. Flair Bartender "Ollie" "Flair Bartender" Ollie will also be on hand at Summer Splash '13 to serve up some entertainment to our thirsty guests. DJ Yuuchee \ One of Hakuba's most diverse DJs, Yuuchee has played Snow Splash but this will be his first time spinning at Summer Splash. Horizontal Bungy Test your skills, stamina (and sobriety) on the horizontal bungy challenge, hosted by the bungy pros at Bungy Japan. A great warm-up for the real thing - a bridge bungy at one of the two great locations in the Minakami area. Pro MTB Trials Specialized Japan team riders will be on hand to show off their incredible balance and skills during trials demo on the Canyons deck. Organized by our friends at MTB Japan - you won't won't want to miss it! Timetable Details coming soon. Package Tours Join one of the all-inclusive bus tours with our friends at Tokyo Snow Club adventures, tickets, transportation and accommodation. Minakami Adventures Jump one of the fun outdoor tours such as white water rafting, canyoning, bungy jumping, downhill MTB, hydrospeed, and paragliding. The companies below can arrange tours and packages that include Summer Splash tickets. All inclusive bus tours also available. Also check out the Snow Splash & Summer Splash page on Facebook! Accommodation You can also come up on your own and stay at one of the local places to stay below. If you are coming up to Summer Splash on your own and want to book accommodation yourself, visit our Minakami accommodation list page for information on places to stay in the area. Book early! If you are interested in camping at Summer Splash, there are a limited amount of camping spots available outside Canyons. There is also a campground a 20-minute walk from Canyons available for 1000 yen per tent site. Toilets and other facilities and mean views of Tanigawa! Contact Canyons at firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings.If you are interested in reserving one of these spots. Access to Canyons Alpine Lodge View Larger Map Past Summer Splash-ing! Photos by Lou Deikin and Shoko Kurihara
AirAsia has terminated its participation in the joint venture with ANA Holdings Inc. The joint venture, created two years ago under the name AirAsia Japan, has faced many challenges since its launch. Issues stemmed from a fundamental difference of opinion between its shareholders on how the business should be managed from cost management to where the domestic business operations should be based. AirAsia Berhad through AirAsia Investment Ltd. had subscribed 25,120 voting shares and 23,880 non-voting shares at JPY 50,000 per share, which represented 49% of the paid-up share capital in AirAsia Japan. The termination comprises an acquisition of AirAsia’s entire shareholding in AirAsia Japan by ANA Holdings Inc. for JPY 2,450,000,000 (approximately RM80,475,150 based on current exchange rates). The termination also involves the return of all AirAsia aircraft leased to AirAsia Japan by 1 November 2013 and the payment of all monies accrued from the leasing of the aircraft. Under the termination, AirAsia Japan will also settle all outstanding invoices due to AirAsia accrued from the commencement of operations. AirAsia Japan will unwind the use of the AirAsia brand in its operations, including the name of AirAsia Japan itself by 1 November 2013. Operations of AirAsia Japan flights up to October 31st 2013 will continue as planned. Following the transfer of shares and payment of the purchase price, the Shareholders Agreement, the Brand License Agreement and other commercial contracts between the parties will be terminated immediately. On the termination, AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said, “I have great respect for ANA as the leading legacy airline in Japan but it is time for us to part ways and focus our attention on what we do best, which is running a true LCC. Despite the cost issues, the AirAsia brand has resonated with Japanese customers and the trend we see for July and August is very strong for all of Japan. I remain positive on the Japanese market and believe there is tremendous opportunity for a LCC to succeed, as proven by the tremendous success AirAsia X has seen. We have not given up on the dream of changing air travel in Japan and look forward to returning to the market.” Operations of AirAsia X, the long haul low fare affiliate of AirAsia Group will not be interrupted as a part of this termination. AirAsia X will continue its operations into Japan including Kuala Lumpur to both Tokyo (Haneda) and Osaka (Kansai).
Hawaiian Airlines Launches Flights to Sendai Hawaiian Airlines has launched flights between Honolulu and Sendai, its fifth gateway in Japan. Hawaiian operates the Honolulu-Sendai-Sapporo flights using Boeing 767-300ER aircraft that can seat up to 264 passengers. Hawaiian's Flight HA 441 departs Honolulu International Airport on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 12:55, crosses the international dateline, and arrives at Sendai International Airport at 16:30 the following day. The return Flight 442 will then continue to Sapporo's New Chitose Airport at 17:45 on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, arriving at New Chitose at 19:00 before departing to Honolulu at 21:10, crossing the international dateline and arriving in Honolulu at 09:50 the same day. "Our new nonstop service provides travelers throughout the entire region of Sendai with convenient access to our home, the Hawaiian Islands," said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's president and CEO. "Hawai'i has deep connections with Japan, and we are very delighted to launch our fifth destination there as we continue to grow our network in Asia." Sendai is the largest city in the Tohoku region of northern Honshu, which has a population of more than 9 million. Sendai is known in Japan as "Mori no Miyako", or Forest City, for its many green spaces in its city center. It is also known for its high quality rice and for its summer Tanabata Festival, which draws thousands of visitors from across Japan. Hawaiian's Honolulu-Sendai service is the first scheduled service between Sendai and Hawai'i since another carrier left the market in 2004, and among the first new services to be introduced at Sendai Airport since it was closed for more than a month in 2011 due to damage caused by the Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami. "Congratulations and aloha to Hawaiian Airlines on the launch of their new Sendai flight," said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawai'i Tourism Authority. "This flight will provide visitors from Northern Japan with greater access to the Hawaiian Islands and will help us in our efforts to reach two million visitors by 2016, a goal we set with the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA). We look forward to sharing our islands' unique culture and aloha spirit with visitors from Sendai." Japan Airline News
Japan continued their domination of Asian rugby on Saturday with a 64-5 win over South Korea at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground. The Brave Blossoms' recorded their 23rd straight bonus-point win in the competition to head into their final game against the United Arab Emirates with an unassailable lead in this year's competition. “I am very pleased with today's performance. It was a good first 40 minutes and although we got a little bit tired in the second half and were a bit flat, we finished well,” said Japan coach, Eddie Jones. Japan scored six tries in the first half to lead 40-0 at the break and ensure there was no way back for the visitors. Kosei Ono got the scoreboard ticking over just 90 seconds after the kick-off before young wing Kenki Fukuoka got the crowd roaring with a brace in the space of three minutes. “The Japan players were quicker than we expected and we just couldn't cope early on,” said Korean captain, Park Soon Chai. Japan captain Takashi Kikutani then showed that the veterans still had plenty to offer, going over for a pair of tries of his own as the Japan pack starved the Koreans of any ball. Yoshikazu Fujita rounded off the scoring in the first half with a well-worked try with Ayumu Goromaru adding a fifth successful conversion. Hendrik Tui extended Japan's lead before the visitors laid siege to the Japan line, only to be met with some resolute defence. A penalty try and a five-pointer from Goromaru (who finished the day with seven conversions) saw Japan go 59-0 up before the Koreans were finally rewarded when Oh Youn Hyung crossed in the 77th minute. Male Sa'u, however, ensured the day ended on a high for the hosts, making the most of some good play from the backs to go over in the final minute. While Korea coach Park Ki Haeng was left to rue the absence of some key backs, Jones said he was happy with the effort put in by his team, adding that a number of younger players would be on the plane on Tuesday for the trip to Dubai.
Japan Airlines is reducing passenger queues and increasing its flexibility with SITA’s common-use passenger processing platform, AirportConnect Open. SITA delivered the new platform to seven Japanese airports as part of a five-year agreement. SITA is also providing Japan Airlines (JAL) with fully-managed services and a total of 169 integrated common-use workstations across Fukuoka, Sendai, Niigata, Komatsu, Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Okinawa airports. Keiichiro Sato, Vice President and Deputy Manager, JAL, said, “We have collaborated with SITA for more than 50 years and are pleased to extend our partnership to this part of our business. SITA’s AirportConnect provides us with a platform to manage our applications effectively across all seven airports. This will help us provide more consistent passenger processing and give us the flexibility to cope with peaks in passenger traffic. With SITA’s fully-managed services, we can also better manage our costs and budgets.” Ilya Gutlin, SITA President Asia Pacific, added, “Airlines, airports and governments have increasingly complex requirements. They need to improve passenger processing, reduce congestion, and better manage passenger flows. We are collaborating with JAL to support all these needs through the successful deployment of AirportConnect Open.” AirportConnect Open helps airlines save money by allowing them to use their applications on the CUTE infrastructure. It also helps airports increase revenues and save time and resources by maximizing the use of check-in counters and gate resources. And it is future-proofed to support CUPPS, IATA’s common use standard for agent-facing common-use implementation at airports. SITA has provided CUTE services at Japan’s Kansai airport since 1994 and at Chitose Airport since 2010.
Jetstar Japan is to launch services from Tokyo (Narita) to Matsuyama in Ehime Province, a popular tourist destination in Japan, famous for its hot springs and historic castle. Matsuyama, scheduled to take off on 11 June 2013, will be Jetstar Japan’s ninth destination and follows the recent announcement of new flights to Oita, Nagoya and Kagoshima. The introduction of services to Matsuyama forms part of Jetstar Japan’s new summer flying schedule, which will see up to double the number of domestic services offered each day. In Vietnam, Jetstar Pacific will launch flights on 26 March 2013 from Ho Chi Minh and Vinh to Buon Ma Thuot in the Central Highlands. “We’ve seen that the proliferation of LCC services in mature markets like Australia, New Zealand and Singapore grows the market as a whole, so it’s exciting to bring this opportunity to developing LCC markets,” Jetstar Group CEO, Jayne Hrdlicka. “Low cost carriers grow the overall market by providing travel opportunities for first time fliers and more options for frequent air travellers, bringing great benefits to local economies. Jetstar will now be working with Matsuyama and Buon Ma Thuot to welcome new travellers not just from our domestic networks but also from the broader international Jetstar network.” Jetstar Japan has carried over 900,000 passengers since its launch last July and has a fleet of 10 A320 aircraft. Jetstar Pacific now operates a fleet of five all-A320 aircraft after recently completing a fleet renewal program.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) has launched "Let's Do Japan" www.letsdojapan.com, a site that lets visitors create their own Japanese manga personality and learn helpful tips about Japanese culture and trends. In this first-ever campaign by ANA targeting U.S. consumers, visitors to the site create their own characters through Manganizer, which uses the popular Japanese manga style of comics and features five distinct Japanophile travelers that embody the characteristics of ANA and Japan. Visitors choose to be either Executive, Fashionista, Gourmand, Designer or Aficionado to create their original manga hero and manga stories with their own pictures. Manganizer uses face recognition technology to render manga images of the user, based on information shared with the app through Facebook Connect or by uploading their image. The rendered manga can then be tweaked using the editor, and downloaded or shared via Facebook and Twitter. By using the Facebook Connect function, users can also generate entire manga stories that incorporate themselves as well as their Facebook friends into the plot. Another feature of the site is 360° Japan, where visitors explore three scenes: a restaurant, design architecture lounge and Akiba café. Embedded within the scenes are interactive connections, allowing users to click onto images to learn more about Japanese cultures, traditions and trends. Visitors can learn more about sensu hand-held fans or what omelet rice drawing involves. "Visitors to our innovative site can immerse themselves in their own story through Manganizer or discover helpful tips and interesting facts about Japan and Japanese culture through 360° Japan," explains ANA spokesperson, Nao Gunji. "We believe our site offers its visitors a fun, high-tech glimpse into what to expect when they visit Japan for the first time or the tenth. And, who wouldn't want to be the hero of their own manga-style story?"
Study: Asian tourism to Japan to increase by 41 percent The number of tourists visiting Japan from other Asian countries by 2017 is forecast to be 41 percent higher than last year’s total, according to a study by the Development Bank of Japan. The number of Asian travelers to Japan is projected to reach 9 million in 2017, up from an estimated 6.4 million in 2012, with Chinese, South Korean, Taiwanese and Indonesian visitor numbers expected to swell significantly, the recent study by the government-backed DBJ showed. And even these figures could be exceeded if the government launches strategic tourism campaigns in emerging economies to promote visits to Japan and introduces measures to better accommodate foreign travelers at destinations nationwide, the study said. Tourists from South Korea are expected to surge 39 percent to 2.8 million in 2017, while those from China will soar 53 percent to 2.2 million and Taiwanese visitors will jump 36 percent to 2.0 million, according to the study’s forecasts. Among rapidly emerging Asian nations, around 190,000 travelers from Indonesia are expected to visit Japan in the target year — an 86 percent spike compared with 2012 levels and the sharpest increase among the countries surveyed by the study. The projections will cheer the government, which is targeting an annual total of 25 million foreign visitors by 2020. The calculations were based on a global economic forecast issued by the International Monetary Fund and foreign exchange rates as of early February. Preliminary estimates by the Japan National Tourism Organization indicate that in 2012, the total number of foreign visitors to Japan, including from Asian countries, climbed to 8.37 million. The figure plummeted to 6.22 million in 2011 due to the natural and nuclear disasters that March, a nearly 30 percent year-on-year plunge from the 8.61 million foreign travelers seen in 2010. Source: eTurbo News
AirAsia X has expanded its ancillary offerings to include a Red Carpet service, a special service for those seeking for a more personalised check in experience at the Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal. The Red Carpet service was first launched back in March 2012 by AirAsia, and now its long-haul arm is collaborating with AirAsia to extend this service to AAX guests departing Kuala Lumpur to its long-haul destinations. The Red Carpet Service includes a dedicated check-in counter, priority baggage tagging and loading, access to the Plaza Premium lounge at LCCT, fast track immigration, security clearance and priority boarding with buggy service to the bay (subject to aircraft parking bay distance) which includes priority baggage delivery upon arrival. Guest can either pre-book the service online for MYR100 or request the service at the airport for a walk-in rate of MYR125. The Red Carpet counter is located at counter S25 and S26. In the event of flight cancellation or delay, guests will be entitled to a full refund or they may transfer the Red Carpet Service to their next available flight. AirAsia X’s CEO, Azran Osman-Rani said, “AirAsia X is delighted to extend the Red Carpet service to our guests. Akin to a VIP service, guests may now opt for the Red Carpet service and whizz through the crowd and buggy to the plane and will be accorded a speedier process from check-in to boarding the plane.” AirAsia X features Premium Flatbed seats, which have standard business class specifications of 20” width, 60” pitch and stretch out to 77” in full recline position. The Premium flatbeds feature universal power sockets, adjustable headrests and built-in personal utilities such as tray table, drink holder, reading light and privacy screen. Premium seat guests also enjoy premium complimentary products and services including Pick A Seat, Priority Check-in, Priority Boarding, Priority Baggage, 25kg Baggage Allowance, Complimentary Meal and Pillow & Duvet. On top of that, AirAsia X recently introduced the “Quiet Zone” cabin on all its long-haul flights across China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Australia and Nepal. The new service enhancement is exclusively for guests who are above age 12. The “Quiet Zone” cabin features a new ambiance with soft lighting, offering a more relaxing cabin atmosphere.