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After weather delays, adventurer Sarah Outen departs Japan

May 14 (Mon ), 2012

As featured in Outdoor Japan Traveler, Sarah Outen has resumed her around-the-world adventure after two weeks of delays due to bad weather conditions in Japan, departing from Choshi, Japan. As she resumes her around-the-world adventure, she also makes a record breaking attempt to become the first woman to cross the North Pacific solo. See the original press release below for more details about Sarah, the row and her London2London: Via the World expedition.      British adventurer sets off on record-breaking solo row across the North Pacific Ocean (May 14, 2012) Young British adventurer, Sarah Outen (26) headed off on her record-breaking solo row across the North Pacific Ocean, from Choshi in Japan to Vancouver in Canada.  And in doing so, is set to become the first woman to ever row across the North Pacific Ocean.   This is an epic 4,500 nautical mile journey across the world’s largest ocean and will mean between 150 and 200 days alone out at sea.  Only two men have previously rowed solo across this northern route from Japan to North America.   This North Pacific row is part of Sarah’s wider, two and half year expedition, “London2London: Via the World” that will see her cycle, row and kayak a continuous loop of the planet – that’s over 20,000 miles.  She is sharing her stories along the way through her website and social media to hopefully inspire young people to follow their dreams and believe that anything is possible.  She is also hoping to raise £100,000 for her four chosen charities – CoppaFeel!, The Jubilee Sailing Trust, MNDA and WaterAid.   Sarah, who has a fear of deep water, says of the row: “The North Pacific will be the most gruelling part of my whole London2London expedition. Physically and mentally, I expect to be exhausted most of the time – the distance, the solitude, the weather conditions and my complete isolation will make it hugely challenging.  In spite of the challenges and dangers ahead, I still can’t wait to get out there.”   She adds: “I am an ocean girl at heart and love being so close to the water and living to the rhythms of the wild. The energy out there is magic and the dynamics so exciting. I am hoping for some special wildlife moments and hopefully not too many storms.  But I am especially looking forward to the sunsets and the stars.”   Sarah will be rowing completely on her own and will be 100% self-sufficient, taking all her food with her on her 7metre customised rowing boat, Gulliver.  Also on board will be a desalination machine, with which she can convert seawater into drinking water.   She will have a full suite of communications equipment on board, which will allow her to do interviews, blog and tweet while out on the ocean.  She will also have an iPod for music, a Kindle for books and will be tracked live using GPS technology. Everything will be charged using the on-board solar panels.   Ocean dangers   While out on the North Pacific Ocean, Sarah will be faced with a whole host of dangers every day, from exhaustion, dehydration, hypo- and hyperthermia to collisions with other ships, capsizing and drowning. Sarah explains: “Out on the ocean the biggest danger is from shipping – my boat is so tiny that it is difficult for larger vessels to see me.  Landing on the west coast of Canada will also be a huge challenge and probably the most dangerous part of the whole journey.  At least if I roll at sea there is little chance of me crashing into anything.  But perhaps the greatest challenge comes from being solo out there as I have to be everything to myself and manage every situation as best I can.  Sleep deprivation and rough weather can make that incredibly tough.” This is, however, not Sarah’s first ocean row as in 2009 she became the first woman and youngest person ever to row solo across the Indian Ocean from Australia to Mauritius. London2London: Via the World – the story so far World-renowned explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes says of Sarah and her London2London expedition:  “Sarah will face dangers on a daily basis, which only the hardiest could tolerate.  But I’m sure she will succeed and confirm that she is an adventurer and expeditioner second to none.” On 1st April, 2011, Sarah set off on her London2London expedition from London’s Tower Bridge and in her kayak, Nelson travelled down the Thames and across the English Channel to France.  She then jumped on her bicycle, Hercules, and cycled over 10,000 miles through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, China and then back into Russia’s wild Far East. Sarah then used Nelson and Hercules to paddle and cycle her way over 1,000 miles to Japan via the remote island of Sakhalin.  She has spent the winter in Japan and has now set off on her record-breaking North Pacific Ocean row, after which she will again take up Hercules’ saddle and cycle 3,000 miles from Vancouver to Nova Scotia, through the harsh North American winter. The final major leg will involve Sarah rowing home to the UK across nearly 3,000 nautical miles of the North Atlantic Ocean. Nobody has ever rowed this combination of the North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans in a single journey, solo or otherwise. Dame Ellen MacArthur says of Sarah and her expedition: “When I first met her, I knew that Sarah was a very special person with fire in her belly. I wish her good luck for London2London: Via the World, I think it’s a fantastic project particularly working with young people to inspire them and to teach them all about her journeys. For details on how to donate to Sarah’s chosen charities, simply go to the Charities section of Sarah’s website: http://www.sarahouten.com/charity/ London2London: Via the World in numbers:  ·       2 solo ocean rows, 7,500 nautical miles ·       3 continents, 14 countries by bike ·       300 nautical miles by kayak ·       6 – 8,000 calories a day ·       850 days away ·       Up to 11 months at sea alone ·       A few world records ·       One little tent ·       40 punctures so far ·       2 new wheels, 10 new tyres and 10 new tubes so far ·       2 pairs of shoes to date ·       Longest cycle in one go so far: 166 miles through the night on Sakhalin ·       Longest kayak in one go so far: 38 nautical miles in 12 hours between Sakhalin and Japan ·       Worst roads: Kazakhstan and Russia ·       Best wildlife spot: brown bear on the beach in Russia ·       A few bouts of food poisoning  ·       3 marriage proposals ·       Thousands of children inspired

AOKI Releases Business Suits for Bicycle Commuters

May 08 (Tue ), 2012

AOKI Releases Business Suits for Bicycle Commuters Copyright AOKI Inc.   AOKI Inc., a major Japanese men's apparel company, announced on February 4, 2012, the release of the "LES MUES Bike Line" of business suits for bicycle commuters.   Bicycle commuting has become very trendy as a means of mobility in times of emergency, such as after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, as well as part of health- and environmental-consciousness efforts. However, many people have problems cycling while wearing general business suits.   The company therefore developed a new type of business suit designed specially for the needs of the commuter cyclist. The suits feature stretchy materials for mobility, and water resistant and stain repellent finishing, and are machine washable. In addition, zippers for some of the pockets help prevent the contents from spilling out.   Cyclists can therefore ride safely by tying up the jacket hem with snaps, while the suit includes reflective tape under the collar riding in darkness. The pants also have patches to strengthen areas subjected to frequent rubbing, such as the inner thigh and hip. However, despite these modifications, these suits look almost the same as regular business suits.

Shin-Etsu Trail Club Wins Eco-Tourism Grand Prize

May 08 (Tue ), 2012

 Shin-Etsu Trail Club Wins Eco-Tourism Grand Prize   Copyright Non-profit organization Shin-Etsu Trail Club   Japanese non-profit organization (NPO) the Shin-Etsu Trail Club (Iiyama city, Nagano Prefecture) was selected from 63 applicants for the grand prize of the 7th Ecotourism Awards announced by Japan's Ministry of the Environment (MOE) on December 20, 2011. The Ecotourism Awards recognize and publicize ecotourism efforts by businesses, organizations, and municipalities in Japan.   Powered by a hardworking volunteer staff, the Shin-Etsu Trail Club manages and maintains the 80-kilometer Shin-etsu trail, which runs along the border between Nagano Prefecture and Niigata Prefecture. Three years after the trail's opening, various trail-based activities are still expanding in the area.   The group's broad-reaching and proactive efforts to revitalize local communities by establishing a maintenance system based on collaboration with neighboring organizations and by using the trail as infrastructure for conserving and utilizing local resources were rated very highly.

Mariners, A's to open '12 MLB season in Japan

Mar 02 (Fri ), 2012

Mariners, A's to open '12 MLB season in Japan Proceeds from two-game series will assist nation's rebuilding efforts Major League Baseball will open its 2012 season on March 28-29 in Japan with two games between the Seattle Mariners (the "road" team) and the Oakland Athletics (the "home" team). Both of these teams are highly popular with Japanese baseball fans. This is the fourth season opener in Japan, and the first since the 2008 opener which was held at the Tokyo Dome, where this year's games will also take place. The two-game series is dedicated to assisting the rebuilding efforts as Japan continues its difficult recovery from the catastrophic events of last March, when an earthquake and tsunami wreaked unimaginable destruction across a wide swath of northeastern Japan and its after effects reverberated around the globe. The series is made possible through the support of Nippon Professional Baseball and Yomiuri. For more information on 2012 MLB Opening Series tickets, visit here.

2012 Cherry Blossom Forecast Map

Mar 02 (Fri ), 2012

The JNTO has put together a useful, updated 2012 Cherry Blossom Forecast Map showing when the beautiful flowers will usher in spring in your neck of the woods. Visit their Cherry Blossom Forecast page here!

Japan Journals - Winter 2012 - Episode 1

Mar 02 (Fri ), 2012

The Japan Journals crew are in Japan filming some new episodes of their Web video series. Check out Episode 1 here Outdoor Japan is proud to support the Japan Journals crew as the document another epic season in Japan! You may know these guys from their acclaimed Diaries Down Under series.

Rebuilding Japan (CNN Special)

Mar 02 (Fri ), 2012

Check out the new series on Rebuilding Japan on CNN. Follow the link here

13th Annual Eco-Products Exhibition 2011 & English Guided Tours

Nov 28 (Mon ), 2011

English guided tours of selected exhibitors at Eco-Products Exhibition 2011  (Organized by Nikkei Inc.). At the 13th Annual Eco-Products 2011 Exhibition is scheduled to be held from December 15th to 17th at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center or "Tokyo Big Sight," EcoNetworks will hold an English guided tour of selected exhibitors specially designed for foreigners who need language assistance. Eco-Products website:  http://eco-pro.com/eco2011/english/index.html * Tour Description: 1-hour Walk around the Exhibition The Eco-Products Exhibition 2011 is expected to draw more than 750 companies/organizations as exhibitors covering huge areas. Our 1-hour walking tour introduces you to some featured exhibits, and you will get a general picture of the exhibition. * English Guided Tour Schedule:  - December 15th (Thursday)    13:00 - 14:30  - December 15th (Thursday)    15:30 - 17:00  - December 16th (Friday)      13:00 - 14:30  - December 16th (Friday)      15:30 - 17:00 * Place: Tokyo Big Sight - Tokyo, Japan http://www.bigsight.jp/english/general/access/index.html * Tour registration, Please fill in the sign-up form on the bottom of following page: http://eco-pro.com/eco2011/english/index06.html * Facebook Updates Leading up to the event, you can find more information about the past events and what's coming up at: http://www.facebook.com/EcoNetworks?sk=app_263288443714462 * Tour Report 2010 http://www.japanfs.org/en/aboutus/event/pages/030526.html Through the guided tour, you will not only see a wide range of Japanese eco-products but also learn how Japan can contribute to the world with such technologies and products to reduce its impacts on the global environment. * Fee The fee for participation is free. If you have any questions and concerns, please contact: ep-multi-support@econetworks.jp Contact person: Shiro Hosojima, Tel/Fax ++81-44-933-7639 * About EcoNetworks Co. http://www.econetworks.jp/en/  

JAL Extends Free Transportation of Relief Goods to Thailand

Nov 09 (Wed ), 2011

JAL Extends Free Transportation of Relief Goods to Thailand Japan Airlines (JAL) extends its condolence to those affected by the serious flooding in Thailand in recent weeks.   JAL will provide from Japan, free transport of relief goods at the request of central and local governments and authorities, embassies, United Nations agencies based in Japan, and the non-governmental organization Japan Platform*. Additionally, addressees of the emergency supplies must also be recognized public organizations in Thailand. JAL will transport free of charge, relief goods and materials on scheduled JAL Group operated flights from Tokyo's Narita and Haneda airports, as well as Osaka (Kansai) to Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport between November 10 and December 9, 2011. Supplies will be carried as air freight and under the conditions specified below: The shipper and consignee are eligible organizations Contact information of the shipper and consignee are clear Arrangements for customs clearance and surface transport at the departure point and arrival point must be completed by the shipper beforehand Shipments must not contain dangerous goods, live animals, or other restricted items The weight of each shipment must not be more than 1 ton. The time between receiving the shipment and its arrival in Bangkok must be within approximately one week. For any enquiry, please call 03-5460-3104 between 09:30 to 18:30 (JST) from Mondays to Fridays. * Japan Platform is a facility to provide humanitarian assistance to major disasters and humanitarian crisis through coordination among various organizations. For more information, visit: http://www.japanplatform.org/top.html%0d

JAL Receives CAPA Airline of the Year Award 2011

Oct 21 (Fri ), 2011

JAL Receives CAPA Airline of the Year Award 2011 Japan Airlines (JAL) was conferred the title of CAPA Airline of the Year 2011, by CAPA - Centre for Aviation* - a leading provider in global aviation analysis and data, at the annual CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence ceremony held in Singapore yesterday. Endeavors undertaken by JAL in 2010 have contributed to a significant reduction in the airline's operating costs which led to an operating profit of 188.4 billion yen in the same fiscal year, and a net profit of 12.7 billion yen for the first quarter of 2011 (April to June 2011), earning the airline this esteemed recognition by CAPA. These are results of the implementation of a profit-focused revenue management system and a range of stern measures to streamline JAL's operations including cutting back international and domestic capacities by 40% and 30% respectively (measured in available seat kilometer compared to levels in fiscal year 2008), reducing its workforce size to match the new scale of operations, as well as decommissioning all 747-400 jumbo jets and Airbus 300-600s in a complete shift to using small to medium-sized wide-body aircraft. "Since January 2010, Japan Airlines has undertaken a remarkable process of restructuring. This restored what was an almost irretrievable situation of a high cost airline, with an uncompetitive route network. JAL has since established a full metal neutral joint venture with its oneworld partner on US routes and is exploring a European equivalent." said Peter Harbison, Executive Chairman of CAPA. "JAL has returned remarkably to profitability, despite serious natural disasters which afflicted northern Japan and now looks to be well placed to remain profitable.  Most recently JAL has established the framework for a joint venture low cost airline with Qantas/Jetstar, which should assist it to address that fast growing sector." "These features together establish JAL as a market leader which has established a benchmark in achieving profitability in exceptionally challenging circumstances." "The last 2 years proved to be a defining period for JAL during which the company became a leaner organization," said Mr Koichi Mizutome, Executive Vice President of JAL as he received the award last night. "There is ever more work to be done in the fast-changing aviation industry in Japan in order to achieve consistent profits, and we are encouraged by this commendation of the progress we've made thus far. We would like to thank CAPA for their positive appraisal." In the near future, customers can expect improved services from JAL such as high-speed internet connections onboard by next summer, and unparalleled passenger comforts of the state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner which JAL expects to deploy on international routes as soon as early 2012. JAL will also launch an inaugural connection between Boston and Asia when it begins non-stop flights to Tokyo (Narita) in April 2012 using the Dreamliner.   CAPA - Centre for Aviation and the CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence Founded in 1990 and head-quartered in Sydney, CAPA is a think-tank and the leading provider of independent aviation market intelligence, analysis and data services in the region. For eight years running, CAPA has been recognising through its Aviation Awards for Excellence, aviation industry innovators and leaders in the region for their notable achievements or contributions to the industry. http://centreforaviation.com/