Why do Japanese hot spring inns give you tea and sweets at check-in? For your own safety

It may not be the only reason, but part of the plan is that green tea and wagashi will help keep you safe during your stay.

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Japanese government to subsidize domestic travel this summer to boost the ailing tourism industry

The government is hoping grants and coupons will help encourage people to travel again.

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Love doll funeral service in Japan helps silicone lovers rest in peace

Say sayonara to your love dolls and figurines with the help of a Japanese monk who’s also an AV actress

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Doll otaku’s plastic bedmate gets loving hospitality from beautiful Japanese hot spring inn

Traditional ryokan in onsen resort town wants to make sure both guests sleep tight.

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Japanese cities warned not to run out of beer for foreign visitors during Rugby World Cup

Beer shortages could damage host cities reputation on international social media, organizers worry.

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Hotel maid gives great anime decorating idea to let fans’ favorite characters sleep together

Sweetly suggestive cleaning staff takes good care of Japanese traveler’s anime goods in New York hotel.

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Nagoya City Council debates: Is toilet paper really needed in public restrooms?

This is why it’s important to vote in city council elections.

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Video of Japanese airport baggage handlers’ amazing service fills rest of the world with jealousy

Comparison video shot at Brazilian airport shows huge customer service gap.

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Tokyo’s tea taxis will serve you a cold drink while giving you a lift this summer

Suntory is adding even more hospitality to Japan’s famously classy cabs.

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“The best ryokan I’ve ever visited” – A photo tour of Akita Prefecture’s Miyakowasure inn

The ryokan [traditional Japanese-style inn] in Akita Prefecture called Miyakowasure (都わすれ; “forget the city”), also known as Natsuse Onsen, is unquestionably the best in all of Japan–at least according to our Japanese correspondent Yoshio. Out of all of the ryokan that he has ever visited, he can confidently say that this is his number-one pick.

Yoshio has stayed at literally hundreds of hotels and ryokan across the country for both business and pleasure, but he recently experienced an unparalleled level of hospitality and overall quality during his stay at this particular inn. He even thinks that hotel managers from across Japan and the world should spend a night there to learn a thing or two! That’s how enthusiastically he praises his most recent visit.

Join Yoshio for an in-depth look at this spectacular ryokan in northern Japan after the jump!

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Race against the clock: Shinkansen staff have just 7 minutes to get bullet train ready to ride

Japan’s shinkansen, or bullet train in the West, was the world’s first high-speed train running at 200km per hour, and today the Tōkaidō Shinkansen is the world’s most used high-speed rail line. Impressively, even with over 120,000 trains running on the line each year, the average delay time is a mere 36 seconds!

Part of the reason the bullet train system can run as smoothly as it does is thanks to the ‘hospitality group’ working behind the scenes of the sleek, futuristic facades of these famous trains. These cleaning crews are charged with covering every inch of a train’s interior when it arrives at its final stop and preparing it for the next wave of customers–and they have just seven minutes to do it.

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