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D
ecember 23rd marks the
83rd birthday of His
Majesty the Emperor
of Japan. We wish the
continued good health
and happiness of His Majesty, as
well as the peace and prosperity
of our two countries.
I realise every day that the
Japan-India relationship has
greatly flourished and has
entered a new era. Japan and
India share fundamental values,
such as freedom, democracy,
human rights, and the rule of
law. We also have many things
in common, historically and
culturally, which form the
foundation of our friendship.
On these bases, we have also
developed our economic and
investment ties dramatically.
The relationship of trust
between Prime Minister Shinzoō
Abe of Japan and Prime Minister
Narendra Modi of India is
extremely solid. They have held
eight summit meetings until now,
including three annual summit
meetings. They always discuss
issues, including strategic
agenda, in a very candid and
constructive manner.
DuringPMModi’svisittoJapan
fromNovember10to12,Japanand
India successfully demonstrated
the steady deepening of their
bilateral relationship, with
tangible outcomes. The most
striking achievements included
the signing of the Agreement
between the Government of
Japan and the Government of the
Republic of India for Cooperation
in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear
Energy, and the announcement
of roadmaps regarding the
construction of the Mumbai-
Ahmedabad High Speed Rail. I
have always believed that it is
essential to have a diplomacy that
bears concrete results. Now, I feel
that my belief is translating into
reality.
The relationship between
Japan and India is described as
“Special Strategic and Global
Partnership,” which surpasses
ordinary bilateral relationships.
India has been Japan’s essential
partner for tackling together
volatile regional as well as world
situations amid massive ongoing
changes. Thanks to the echoing
of PM Abe’s “Free and Open Indo-
Pacific Strategy” and PM Modi’s
“Act East Policy,” the sharing of
our strategic visions – regional
connectivity and the importance
of the rule of law on the maritime
domain – is advancing steadily.
Discussions on our bilateral
cooperation in third countries in
Southwest Asia and Africa are
also progressing well. Japan and
India agree with one another on
their common responsibility of
playing more important roles in
the international community,
and are closely cooperating with
each other in the field of United
Nations Security Council Reform.
Nevertheless, there is still
plenty of room for strengthening
our relationship. Especially,
we have much to do to enhance
people-to-people exchanges.
Japan would like to galvanise
these exchanges by relaxing the
requirement of visas for Indian
citizens, and by promoting the
major attractions of Japan.
From this perspective, the
two Prime Ministers decided
to mark the year 2017 as the
year of Japan-India friendly
exchanges in the fields of
culture and tourism. In India,
we will hold various events to
promote, among others, tourism,
youth exchange, educational
collaboration, and cultural
exchange. Through nurturing of
mutual understanding between
the people of Japan and India,
we would like them to become
more aware of the “proximity”
between our two nations.
The ever growing relationship
between Japan and India is
beautifully symbolised by the
magnificent Bodhi tree on the
premises of our Embassy in New
Delhi, planted in 1960 by Their
Imperial Highnesses, the Crown
Prince and Crown Princess of
Japan, now Their Majesties, the
Emperor and Empress. The two
countries’ relationship remains
firmly rooted in a long history of
cultural ties, mutual respect and
goodwill and we need to work
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T
he fact is economic
relations between India
and Japan have vast
potential for growth,
given the obvious
complementarities that
exist between the two Asian
economies. Japan’s interest
in India is increasing due to a
variety of reasons including
India’s huge and growing
market and its resources,
especially human resources.
The signing of the historic
India-Japan Comprehensive
Economic Partnership
Agreement (CEPA) and its
implementation from August
2011 has accelerated economic
and commercial relations
between the two countries.
During the visit of Prime
Minister Modi to Japan in
September 2014, PM Shinzo
Abe pledged $35 billion in
investment in India’s public
and private sectors over
the next five years. The two
countries also set a target of
doubling Japanese FDI and the
number of Japanese firms in
India by 2019.
Bilateral trade between
the two countries more than
doubled between 2006-07 and
2012-13. However, total trade
has come down to $ 14.51 billion
in 2015-16 from a peak of $ 18.5
billion in 2012-13. In 2015-16,
India’s exports to Japan were $
4.66 billion while imports were
$ 9.85 billion. The negative
or slow growth in trade with
Japan is a matter of concern
for India in view of the fact
that there is high potential for
faster progress on goods and
services trade. The share of
India-Japan bilateral trade in
Japan’s total trade has been
hovering around 1 per cent but
it is in the range of 2.2 to 2.5 per
cent of India’s total trade.
India’s primary exports to
Japan have been petroleum
products, chemical elements/
compounds, fish and fish
preparation, non-metallic
mineral ware, metalliferous
ores & scrap, clothing and
accessories, iron & steel
products, textile yarn/
fabrics, machinery, feeding-
stuff for animals, etc. India’s
primary imports from Japan
are machinery, iron & steel
products, electrical machinery,
transport equipment, chemical
elements/compound, plastic
materials, manufactures of
metals, precision instruments,
rubber manufactured, coal/
coke and briquettes, etc.
Japan’s Investment In India
Regarding investment,
India has been ranked as the
most attractive investment
destination in the latest survey
of Japanese manufacturing
companies, conducted by the
Japan Bank for International
Cooperation (JBIC). Japanese
FDI in India has increased
in recent years but it still
remains small compare to
Japan’s total outward FDI.
In terms of cumulative FDI
inflows into India, Japan is
India’s fourth largest source
of FDI. Japanese FDI in India
grew exponentially from US$
139 million in 2004 to all time
high of $5,551 million in 2008
due to mega deals particularly
acquisition of Ranbaxy by
Daichi Sankyo. In the last two
years, Japanese FDI into India
increased from $ 1.7 billion in
2013-14 to $2.61 billion in 2015-
16. The amount of Japan’s
cumulative investment in India
since April 2000 to March 2016
has been US$ 20.966 billion,
which is nearly 7 per cent of
India’s overall FDI during this
period. Japanese FDI into India
has mainly been in automobile,
electrical equipment,
telecommunications, chemical
and pharmaceutical sectors.
However, the number of
Japanese affiliated companies
in India has grown significantly
in recent years. As of March
2016, there were 1,209 Japanese
companies that are registered
in India, an increase of 137
companies (13%) compared
to 2013. These companies had
3,961 business establishments
that are operating in India,
which is an increase of
1,419 establishments (56%)
compared to 2013.
So, just like our Prime Minister, you’re ‘looking East’, thinking of starting a business in Japan? Here are 10 good reasons why you ought to.
FaSt FactS
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the
Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan,
China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching
from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China
Sea and Taiwan in the south. The characters that make
up Japan’s name mean ‘sun-origin’, which is why Japan
is sometimes referred to as the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’.
Japan is an archipelago of 6,852 islands. The four largest
islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku,
together accounting for 97 per cent of Japan’s land area.
Japan has the world’s tenth-largest population, with
over 127 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, which
includes the de facto capital city of Tokyo and several
surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area
in the world, with over 30 million residents.
Local Name: Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku
Capital (& Largest City): Tokyo
Other Main Cities: Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo,
Kobe, Kyōto, Fukuoka, Kawasaki, Nagasaki
Ethnic Groups: Japanese (98.4%), Korean, Chinese,
Filipino, Brazilian, Vietnamese
Demonym: Japanese
National Language: Japanese
Government: Unitary Parliamentary Democracy &
Constitutional Monarchy
Emperor: Akihito
Prime Minister: Shinzō Abe
Deputy Prime Minister: Tarō Asō
National Day: February 11
Anthem: Kimigayo (His Imperial Majesty’s Reign)
Area: 377,972 sq km (145,935 sq mi )
Population: 127,110,047 (2015 census)
GDP (PPP) (2016 estimate)
Total: USD 4.901 trillion (4th)
Per capita: US$ 38,731 (29th)
Currency: Yen (¥) (JPY)
1.00 JPY = 0.58 INR
1.00 JPY = 0.0085 USD
Agriculture Products: Rice, sugar beets, vegetables,
fruit; pork, poultry, dairy products, eggs; fish
Main Industries: Japan is among the world’s largest
and technologically advanced producers of motor
vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and
nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles, processed
foods.
National Animals: Green Pheasant, Koi, Raccoon Dog,
Red-Crowned Crane
National Flower: Cherry Blossom (Sakura)
Time Zone: GMT+9
Driving: On the left
Internet TLD: .jp
Calling Code: +81
1Huge potential
markets
Japan may be a developed
country, but that doesn’t mean
it has stopped developing.
From retail to healthcare,
this country offers endless
opportunity for foreign
companies.
2Supportive economic
policies
TheJapanesegovernment
is aware of the importance
of overseas investments
and goes to great lengths
to develop it. Government
policies are very friendly
toward foreign investors
and while maintaining a
social framework they are
capitalistic by nature.
3Top companies
Japan is home to many
prominent brand
names and enterprises.
The high levels of
technology development and
manufactured goods has
made Japan into an appealing
option for many international
companies that both use the
country's advantages and seek
to enhance their business
relations with successful
Japanese enterprises.
4Business-friendly
infrastructure
Japan's industrial
structure is similar to that
of US and Europe which
offers much convenience
for overseas companies.
The country has excellent
transportation and while
being a large energy consumer
it aims at diversified sources.
5Innovative products
Japan is known
worldwide for its new
and advanced technologies
and goods. It is not just a
world trendmaker and gadget
superpower, but it is also one
of the most popular countries
for experiments and testing of
new products.
6Research and
development
Few countries in the
world are better involved in
research and development
than Japan. The Japanese
universities, government
and the business sector all
cooperate in many relevant
projects and policies.
7Gateway to Asia
Japan has always been
sitting in the ‘In Between’
ground, belonging to both the
westernised world and the Far
East. In recent decades the
growing economical power
of other Asian countries has
placed Japan in a central role -
forming a gateway to Asia for
many foreign investors.
8Purchasing power
The purchasing
power of the average
Japanese consumer is
enormous. This remains
true in many sectors
such as clothing, gadgets,
technology and the luxury
segment.
9Skilled workforce
The Japanese workforce
is extremely skilled,
hardworking and committed.
Japan's culture supports high
levels of loyalty to the
workplace and encourages
life-long ties to one single
enterprise, which in turn
contributes to workers'
experience and skill.
10Safe and
comfortable
living
environment
Japan manages to obtain many
positive western culture habits
and has avoided many of the
negative aspects. Visitors to
Japan can enjoy luxurious,
pleasurable lifestyle with all
the trimmings, and at the
same time marvel at the clean
urban environments, effective
social system and crime-free
environment. Even the big cities
in Japan are extremely safe - day
and night, and have some of the
lower crime-rates in the world.
10 good reasons to invest in Japan
Specific Projects and Industrial Corridors
l The DMIC - a flagship project of Indo-
Japanese cooperation. Implementation
of the project is in progress. Indian
Government, through the Delhi Mumbai
Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Project, is in
the process of initiating a new era of
industrial infrastructure development
with the creation of new generation
smart cities across six Indian states.
l In addition to new manufacturing hubs,
DMIC will envisage development of
infrastructure linkages like power plants,
assured water supply, high capacity urban
transportation and logistics facilities as
well as important interventions like skill
development programme for providing
employment opportunities of youth.
l The master planning of the DMIC new
industrial cities has been carried out by
the world class international consultants.
Engineering, Procurement & Construction
(EPC) contracts for approximately Rs.
3200 crore have been awarded in Dholera
in Gujarat, Shendra in Maharashtra,
Vikram Udyogpuri in Madhya Pradesh
and Integrated Industrial Township
Project at Greater Noida.
l In Dholera, the roads and services work
has been awarded to M/s Larsen & Tubro
while the similar work for Shendra and
Integrated Industrial Township Project
at Greater Noida have been awarded to
M/s Shapoorji & Pallonji. Construction
has started at all the project sites namely
at Vikram Udyogpuri in Madhya Pradesh,
Shendra in Maharashtra, Dholera
in Gujarat and Integrated Industrial
Township at Greater Noida.
l Shareholders’ Agreement (SHA) has been
executed with the State Government
of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh,
Maharashtra and Gujarat. Accordingly,
SPVs for the Integrated Industrial Township
Project at Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh;
Vikram Udyogpuri near Ujjain in Madhya
Pradesh, Phase-I of Shendra Bidkin
Industrial Park in Maharashtra and Dholera
Special Investment region in Gujarat have
been incorporated. The equity of the State
Government and DMIC Trust has been
released/transferred to the SPVs.
l Earlier environmental clearance has been
obtained and Digital master planning/
Information and Communication
Technology Master Planning work is
completed for almost all the projects. The
cities are being benchmarked against the
world class standards of sustainability
and eco-friendly developments.
l DMICDC has also commissioned a 5MW
Model Solar Power Project at Neemrana,
Rajasthan with latest cutting edge
Japanese technology and the power is
being supplied to the grid.
l DMICDC is also implementing a smart
solution for Logistic sector by creating a
Logistics Databank for near to real time
tracking of the movement of the containers
so as to bring in efficiency in logistics value
chain in partnership with NEC Corporation
of Japan. The regulatory and statutory
approvals have been obtained and the trial
operations will start shortly.
l DMICDC has prepared the DPRs for
MRTS projects for Ahmedabad-Dholera
in Gujarat and Manesar- Bawal in
Haryana, awaiting approval from State
Govts. States to start Land acquisition
process for taking the projects forward.
l In-principle-approval has been obtained
for Greenfield International Airport at
Dholera (Gujarat) and site clearance has
been obtained for the Greenfield Airport
at Kotkasim (Rajasthan).
IndIa-Japan
EconomIc RElatIons
Year Japanese
FDI in
India
(million
US$)
%
Change
2001 150 (-) 14.3
2002 146 (-) 2.7
2003 124 (-) 15.1
2004 139 12.1
2005 266 91.4
2006 512 92.5
2007 1506 194.1
2008 5551 268.6
2009 3664 (-) 34.0
2010-
11
2864 (-) 21.8
2011-
12
2326 (-) 18.8
2012-
13
2786 19.8
2013-
14
1718 (-)
38.36
2014-
15
2084 21.3
2015-
16
2614 25.4
Economic relations between India and Japan have vast potential for growth, given the
obvious complementarities that exist between the two Asian economies.
A robust, reliable and
resilient data centre
Seeking new possibilities
in innovation is crucial
In a year’s time, Netmagic, the world’s largest data centre provider, has already made
its presence felt in Mumbai, and already has on board a slew of marquee customers.
J
ust ahead of Japanese
Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe’s visit to India last
December, Netmagic, an
NTT Communications
Group Company, launched its
9th data centre in the country
(and 5th in Mumbai). One of the
largest in India, this massive
300,000 sq. ft. (27,000 sq. mt.)
high density data centre with
2,700 racks has been built to the
exacting global design standards
of NTT Communications, using
the experience and expertise from
building and successfully running
over 140 data centres worldwide.
Extending the promise of
world-class data centre facilities
to Indian customers, this is yet
another ‘Nexcenter’ branded
data centre in the country. It
aims to deliver Netmagic’s entire
suite of services including
Managed Co-location, Dedicated
Hosting, Cloud Computing, IT
Infrastructure Monitoring &
Management, Managed Security,
Disaster Recovery and Managed
App Hosting. The data centre
already has some marquee
anchored customers on-board.
Says Tetsuya Shoji,
President & CEO of NTT
Communications: “The Mumbai
data centre facilitates Indian
and multi-national enterprises
in experiencing the state-of-
the-art data centres that NTT
Communications operates across the world. The added advantage
of Netmagic’s operational
excellence in Managed Services
gives it the capability of
becoming the new benchmark
for data centres in India. This
facility is part of our Nexcenter
brand of global data centre
services providing seamless ICT
solutions including networks,
cloud computing, data centres
security and applications,
thereby capitalising on the trend
of enterprises’ migrating their
on-premise systems to the cloud.”
AddsSharadSanghi,MD&CEO,
Netmagic: “Today’s businesses
require a robust, reliable and
resilient IT Infrastructure
backbone that is easily scalable
and responsive. With our data
centre, the city has a promising
state of the art destination for its
IT Infrastructure requirements,
and one that can abundantly
address concerns of scalability,
high availability and resilience
in performance of hosted
assets with an unprecedented
ease. Given Mumbai’s business
importance, Netmagic’s Data
Centre 5 is poised to soon become
the very heart of India’s IT
Infrastructure needs, offering the
right platform for enterprises and
start-ups alike, to grow, scale and
innovate in order to take business
to the next level.”
Netmagic also offers services
(Virtual Private Cloud, Virtual
Load Balancer as a Service &
Next-Gen Backup and Archival)
and a refined network fabric,
stemming from Spine Leaf
Architecture. It now has 9 data
centres across India and over
600,000 sq.ft. (55,000 sq. mt.) of
floor space. Some of the key
highlights of this facility include
4 diverse fibre paths to ensure
reliability at network levels, 28
MVA of facility power and Dual
Power feed through PDU with
isolation transformer.
D
uring Japan
Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe’s visit
to India, Japan
External Trade
Organization (JETRO)
organised an ‘innovation’
seminar in New Delhi.
It was jointly hosted in
tandemwithJapanScience
and Technology Agency
(JST) and New Energy and
Industrial Development
Organization (NEDO),
attracting approximately
450 business people from
Japan and India.
JETRO President
Yasushi Akahoshi stated
that business cooperation
taking advantage of
the strengths of both
countries, expansion
of two-way trade
and investment and
collaboration in third
countries or wider areas
beyond the framework of
the two countries would
be essential to improve
our economic relations
to the next stage. To
that end, he emphasised
that the seeking for new
possibilities from the
perspective of innovation
would be crucial.
Several speakers,
including executives of
major Japanese companies
and representatives from
Japanese ministries,
institutions and
universities as well as
the Indian Government,
made presentations at
the seminar, on their
initiatives toward
enhancing economic
relationsof bothcountries.
Prime Minister Abe,
who was welcomed by the
representatives from Indian
economic associations like
CII,FICCIandASSOCHAM,
expressed the importance
of relations between the
two countries in Japan’s
Growth Strategy as well
as the significance of high
quality infrastructure
partnerships and
cooperation in science and
technology. “Come, invest
in Japan,” he made a direct
appeal to the gathering.
Clockwise from top: JETRO President Yasushi Akahoshi; Japan PM Shinzo Abe addresses the
seminar; Representatives of Indian business meet the Japan PM; Conference in progress
About NetmAgic
Netmagic, an NTT Communications company, is India’s leading
Managed Hosting and Cloud Service Provider, with 9 carrier-
neutral, state-of-the-art data centres and serving more than
1,500 enterprises globally. A pioneer in the Indian IT Infrastructure
services space - it was the first to launch services such as Cloud
Computing, Managed Security, Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service
and Software-Defined Storage. Netmagic, also delivers Remote
Infrastructure Management services to NTT Communications’
customers across the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific
region. Recipient of several industry accolades, Netmagic was
recently chosen by Frost & Sullivan for both ‘Third Party Data
Centre Service Provider of the Year’ and ‘Infrastructure as a
Service Provider of the Year’ at India ICT Awards 2015.
Netmagic is the first cloud service provider in India and in the
world, to receive the CSA STAR certification for Cloud Capability
Maturity Model (CCM) version 3.0.1, an industry benchmark
for the specific security requirements of multi-tenant service
providers. Besides this, Netmagic is also empanelled as an IT
Security Auditing Organization with CERT-In (Indian Computer
Emergency Response Team).
A taste of Japan
Something old
something newOne of Japan’s unique charms is its dynamic blend of ancient and modern.
In a holiday to Japan you can experience ancient temples, gardens and
cultural traditions while enjoying some of the world’s most futuristic and
technologically advanced cities
TOKYO
Tokyo is Japan’s economic and cultural
centre. Vibrant neighbourhoods and
fantastic cuisine are around every corner.
This Mecca of Japanese pop culture
fused with traditional ideals is one of the
world’s most entertaining cities.
There’s no livelier introduction to
Tokyo’s neighbourhoods than Asakusa,
with its old atmosphere and the city’s
oldest temple. After wending your way
along Nakamise Dori, a pedestrian lane
lined with stalls selling rice crackers,
fans, umbrellas, T-shirts, cotton kimono
and other souvenirs, you’ll reach Sensoji
Temple,foundedinthe7thcentury.Shibuya
is an immensely popular commuter hub,
packed with department stores, specialty
shops, bars and restaurants. Shibuya
Crossing is Japan’s most photographed
intersection. Akihabara is quirky Tokyo
at its best, a shopping paradise where
Japanese animation and manga (comics)
fans mingle with those searching for the
latest in cameras and electrical appliances.
Long known as Japan’s largest electronics
district, Akihabara is also packed with
shops selling character figurines, games
and more.
MT. FUJI
Mt. Fuji, a 12,355-foot cone of almost perfect
symmetry, is Japan’s tallest and most sacred
mountain. It’s officially open for climbing in
July and August, but the best views are from
scenic Hakone.
Easily accessible from Tokyo, Hakone is
famous for its spectacular mountain scenery and
hot-spring spas with indoor and outdoor baths.
Because it was on the old Tokaido trading route
between Kyoto and Edo (now Tokyo) during the
days of the shogun, Hakone has many historic
sites, including a 1.5-mile remnant of the Tokaido
footpath and centuries-old Japanese inns with
hot-spring baths. One of the most delightful ways
to see Hakone is on a circular route travelling
by mountain railway, cable car, a suspended
ropeway and a boat that cruises across Lake Ashi.
There are many things to do en route, including
hiking, relaxing in hot springs, and exploring
museums like the Hakone Open-Air Museum
with its gardens, 400-some sculptures and one of
the world’s largest Picasso collections.
KYOTO
Home to Japan’s Imperial court for over 1,000 years
Kyotoisthecountry’smosthistoricallysignificantcity.
It boasts 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, hundreds
of shrines and temples, is home to traditional kaiseki
cuisine, has many skilled artisans, and craft stores.
Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kyoto’s most famous
temple is an engineering wonder built to withstand
earthquakes. It extends over a cliff supported by 18
massive pillars. It spreads along a wooded slope of
Mount Otowa and offers stunning view of spring
cherry blossoms, autumn foliage, and the city of
Kyoto. Ryoanji Temple is Japan’s most famous Zen
rock garden which consists of 15 rocks rising up from
carefully raked white pebbles, suggesting mountains
above the clouds or islands in the sea. Fushimi
Inari-Taisha Shrine is one of Kyoto’s most visually
spectacular shrines, with thousands of vermillion-
coloured torii gates straddling trails that lead up
sacred Mt. Inari. The top of Mt. Inari has beautiful
views of Kyoto.
OSAKA
This former merchant’s town is one of Japan’s largest
cities famous for Osaka Castle, street cuisine, shopping
arcades, comedy and a recent modern architectural
renaissance that including Japan’s tallest building.
Osaka Castle was the largest in Japan when
completed in the 16th century, though it was destroyed
twice during fierce battles between shogun loyalists
and dissenters. It was rebuilt and expanded in the 10th
century. The faithful reproduction stands as the symbol
of Osaka, with an eight-story tower that contains a
modern museum describing the history of the castle
and its occupants. The surrounding park is also
famous for cherry blossoms in the spring. Osaka is a
gastronomists’ town, and nowhere is this more evident
than the exuberant nightlife district of Dotonbori.
Flanking Dotonbori Canal in the heart of the city,
this pedestrian promenade has been Osaka’s premier
entertainment destination for 400 years, with throngs
of people soaking in the neon-coloured atmosphere as
they visit restaurants, bars, f ood stalls, movie theatres
and nearby bunraku puppet theatre.
HIROSHIMA
Hiroshima is a modern city with a
long history, evident at landmarks
like Hiroshima Castle and Shukkei-en
Garden. It's also famous for its oysters
and as a gateway to nearby Miyajima.
Miyajima, a gem of an island is
considered one of Japan's top scenic
places. It's been held sacred since
ancient times prompting worshipers to
build Itsukushima Shrine, now a World
Heritage Site. The shrine is a strikingly
beautiful icon with its vermillion-
coloured buildings and torii gate rising
from the sea. Mount Misen, reached via
trails or ropeway, offers splendid views
of the Seto Inland Sea, while the island’s
beaches attract sun worshippers.
C
onnoisseurs of fine cuisine
will revel in Japan's
varied styles of cooking,
from tempura, sushi and
teppanyaki to the feast of
all feasts, kaiseki. Many visitors to
Japan will have already sampled
the pleasures of raw fish or batter-
fried shrimp. Shojin ryori and
macrobiotic restaurants are great
for vegetarians visiting Japan.
Primarily eaten by Buddhist
monks, shojin ryori prohibits the
inclusion of meat, fish, onions,
leeks, and garlic. But few first-time
visitors to Japan are prepared for
the variety and sumptuousness
of Japanese food, as it is
traditionally prepared.
Nonetheless, food, of
all types and from every
country under the sun, is
one of the great pleasures
of life in Japan. Not only
has Japan developed
one of the world's great
cuisines, which offers
palate-tickling sensations
that range from the subtle
joys of sashimi to the hearty
basics of its noodles, but also
some of the best world-class
chefs have come to Japan to cook
for its discriminating gourmets.
Tokyo especially, as befits its status
as holder of more Michelin stars
than any other city in the world, is
host to a lip-smacking cornucopia of
food flavours and textures.
To begin scratching the surface
of Japan's vast selection of culinary
variety, take a walk in the vicinity
of any subway or train station.
The eating and drinking
establishments that
congregate here are sure
to represent a plethora
of domestic cooking,
with prices generally
quite reasonable.
Drinkers would do
well to try Japanese
sake (rice wine),
which goes extremely
well with a variety of
Japanese dishes. Brewed
with rice and water,
sake has been a Japanese
alcoholic beverage since
ancient times. Because it can
be drunk warmed up in winter
it warms the body. When drunk
chilled, good sake has a taste
similar to fine-quality wine.
There are local sake breweries
in every region across the
country, which make their
respective characteristic tastes
based on the quality of rice and
water as well as differences in
brewing processes.
In Japan, you say ‘itadakimasu’
(‘I gratefully receive’) before eating,
and ‘gochisosama (deshita)’ (‘Thank
you for the meal’) after finishing the
meal. If you’re out drinking with a
group, do not begin until everyone
is served. Glasses are raised in the
traditional salute as everyone shouts
Kampai! (Cheers!).
Eating in Japan is an experience to be enjoyed and remembered fondly for the rest of your life.
3 amazing
activitiesThere are a plethora of activities you can
do on your next visit to Japan. Here are
three that top the list.
Enjoy the nightlife
Come dusk and Tokyo and Osaka blossom into a
profusion of giant neon lights and paper lanterns, and
its streets fill with overworked locals set out to have a
good time. Entertainment districts are as crowded at 3
am as they are at 10 pm, and many places stay open until
the first subways start running after 5 am. Whether it's
jazz, reggae, gay bars, dance clubs, rustic or chic bars
Tokyo and Osaka have them all.
Cruise Tokyo Bay on the
Himiko/Jicoo
Cruise Tokyo Bay in the futuristic Himiko
boat designed by famous manga artist Leiji
Matsumoto. At night Himiko turns into Jicoo -
The Floating Bar, which shuttles back and forth
between Hinode Pier and Odaiba every half an
hour. You will be able to view the panoramic
evening skyline and enjoy entertainment by
artists. Jicoo is one of Tokyo’s most unique
locations for evening cocktails. You can also
choose to cruise on the Hotaluna.
Ride the Shinkansen
Can’twaituntilyouridethebullettrainbetweenMumbai
and Ahmedabad? Never mind. Take the Shinkansen, or
bullet train, a network of high speed railway lines in
Japan. The Shinkansen can reach speeds up to 300 kmph
(186 mph) making it fantastic and speedy way to travel in
Japan. The Shinkansen network currently reaches from
Kagoshima at the bottom of Kyushu all the way up to
Aomori at the top of Japan’s main island of Honshu.

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Japan December 2016

  • 1. D ecember 23rd marks the 83rd birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. We wish the continued good health and happiness of His Majesty, as well as the peace and prosperity of our two countries. I realise every day that the Japan-India relationship has greatly flourished and has entered a new era. Japan and India share fundamental values, such as freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. We also have many things in common, historically and culturally, which form the foundation of our friendship. On these bases, we have also developed our economic and investment ties dramatically. The relationship of trust between Prime Minister Shinzoō Abe of Japan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India is extremely solid. They have held eight summit meetings until now, including three annual summit meetings. They always discuss issues, including strategic agenda, in a very candid and constructive manner. DuringPMModi’svisittoJapan fromNovember10to12,Japanand India successfully demonstrated the steady deepening of their bilateral relationship, with tangible outcomes. The most striking achievements included the signing of the Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of India for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, and the announcement of roadmaps regarding the construction of the Mumbai- Ahmedabad High Speed Rail. I have always believed that it is essential to have a diplomacy that bears concrete results. Now, I feel that my belief is translating into reality. The relationship between Japan and India is described as “Special Strategic and Global Partnership,” which surpasses ordinary bilateral relationships. India has been Japan’s essential partner for tackling together volatile regional as well as world situations amid massive ongoing changes. Thanks to the echoing of PM Abe’s “Free and Open Indo- Pacific Strategy” and PM Modi’s “Act East Policy,” the sharing of our strategic visions – regional connectivity and the importance of the rule of law on the maritime domain – is advancing steadily. Discussions on our bilateral cooperation in third countries in Southwest Asia and Africa are also progressing well. Japan and India agree with one another on their common responsibility of playing more important roles in the international community, and are closely cooperating with each other in the field of United Nations Security Council Reform. Nevertheless, there is still plenty of room for strengthening our relationship. Especially, we have much to do to enhance people-to-people exchanges. Japan would like to galvanise these exchanges by relaxing the requirement of visas for Indian citizens, and by promoting the major attractions of Japan. From this perspective, the two Prime Ministers decided to mark the year 2017 as the year of Japan-India friendly exchanges in the fields of culture and tourism. In India, we will hold various events to promote, among others, tourism, youth exchange, educational collaboration, and cultural exchange. Through nurturing of mutual understanding between the people of Japan and India, we would like them to become more aware of the “proximity” between our two nations. The ever growing relationship between Japan and India is beautifully symbolised by the magnificent Bodhi tree on the premises of our Embassy in New Delhi, planted in 1960 by Their Imperial Highnesses, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Japan, now Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress. The two countries’ relationship remains firmly rooted in a long history of cultural ties, mutual respect and goodwill and we need to work advertorialdecember 23, 2016 MESSAGE 9 Data Centers in India 193 Data Centers in Asia Pacific and Japan 32 Data Centers in Europe, Middle East and Africa 10 Data Centers in Americas Trusted by over 2000 enterprises for their mission-critical IT Infrastructure needs. DATA CENTER SERVICES | CLOUD SERVICES | INFRASTRUCTURE APPLICATIONS | HOSTED IT INFRASTRUCTURE | MANAGED SERVICES | NETWORK SERVICES Bringing Japanese Quality IT Infrastructure to India FROM THE WORLD’S LARGEST DATA CENTER SERVICE PROVIDER GROUP WORLD’S 2ND LARGEST GLOBAL IP NETWORK  1800 103 3130 | marketing@netmagicsolutions.com | www.netmagicsolutions.com | www.in.ntt.com | @Netmagic @Netmagic @Netmagic
  • 2. T he fact is economic relations between India and Japan have vast potential for growth, given the obvious complementarities that exist between the two Asian economies. Japan’s interest in India is increasing due to a variety of reasons including India’s huge and growing market and its resources, especially human resources. The signing of the historic India-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and its implementation from August 2011 has accelerated economic and commercial relations between the two countries. During the visit of Prime Minister Modi to Japan in September 2014, PM Shinzo Abe pledged $35 billion in investment in India’s public and private sectors over the next five years. The two countries also set a target of doubling Japanese FDI and the number of Japanese firms in India by 2019. Bilateral trade between the two countries more than doubled between 2006-07 and 2012-13. However, total trade has come down to $ 14.51 billion in 2015-16 from a peak of $ 18.5 billion in 2012-13. In 2015-16, India’s exports to Japan were $ 4.66 billion while imports were $ 9.85 billion. The negative or slow growth in trade with Japan is a matter of concern for India in view of the fact that there is high potential for faster progress on goods and services trade. The share of India-Japan bilateral trade in Japan’s total trade has been hovering around 1 per cent but it is in the range of 2.2 to 2.5 per cent of India’s total trade. India’s primary exports to Japan have been petroleum products, chemical elements/ compounds, fish and fish preparation, non-metallic mineral ware, metalliferous ores & scrap, clothing and accessories, iron & steel products, textile yarn/ fabrics, machinery, feeding- stuff for animals, etc. India’s primary imports from Japan are machinery, iron & steel products, electrical machinery, transport equipment, chemical elements/compound, plastic materials, manufactures of metals, precision instruments, rubber manufactured, coal/ coke and briquettes, etc. Japan’s Investment In India Regarding investment, India has been ranked as the most attractive investment destination in the latest survey of Japanese manufacturing companies, conducted by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). Japanese FDI in India has increased in recent years but it still remains small compare to Japan’s total outward FDI. In terms of cumulative FDI inflows into India, Japan is India’s fourth largest source of FDI. Japanese FDI in India grew exponentially from US$ 139 million in 2004 to all time high of $5,551 million in 2008 due to mega deals particularly acquisition of Ranbaxy by Daichi Sankyo. In the last two years, Japanese FDI into India increased from $ 1.7 billion in 2013-14 to $2.61 billion in 2015- 16. The amount of Japan’s cumulative investment in India since April 2000 to March 2016 has been US$ 20.966 billion, which is nearly 7 per cent of India’s overall FDI during this period. Japanese FDI into India has mainly been in automobile, electrical equipment, telecommunications, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors. However, the number of Japanese affiliated companies in India has grown significantly in recent years. As of March 2016, there were 1,209 Japanese companies that are registered in India, an increase of 137 companies (13%) compared to 2013. These companies had 3,961 business establishments that are operating in India, which is an increase of 1,419 establishments (56%) compared to 2013. So, just like our Prime Minister, you’re ‘looking East’, thinking of starting a business in Japan? Here are 10 good reasons why you ought to. FaSt FactS Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. The characters that make up Japan’s name mean ‘sun-origin’, which is why Japan is sometimes referred to as the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’. Japan is an archipelago of 6,852 islands. The four largest islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, together accounting for 97 per cent of Japan’s land area. Japan has the world’s tenth-largest population, with over 127 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the de facto capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents. Local Name: Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku Capital (& Largest City): Tokyo Other Main Cities: Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Kobe, Kyōto, Fukuoka, Kawasaki, Nagasaki Ethnic Groups: Japanese (98.4%), Korean, Chinese, Filipino, Brazilian, Vietnamese Demonym: Japanese National Language: Japanese Government: Unitary Parliamentary Democracy & Constitutional Monarchy Emperor: Akihito Prime Minister: Shinzō Abe Deputy Prime Minister: Tarō Asō National Day: February 11 Anthem: Kimigayo (His Imperial Majesty’s Reign) Area: 377,972 sq km (145,935 sq mi ) Population: 127,110,047 (2015 census) GDP (PPP) (2016 estimate) Total: USD 4.901 trillion (4th) Per capita: US$ 38,731 (29th) Currency: Yen (¥) (JPY) 1.00 JPY = 0.58 INR 1.00 JPY = 0.0085 USD Agriculture Products: Rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit; pork, poultry, dairy products, eggs; fish Main Industries: Japan is among the world’s largest and technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles, processed foods. National Animals: Green Pheasant, Koi, Raccoon Dog, Red-Crowned Crane National Flower: Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Time Zone: GMT+9 Driving: On the left Internet TLD: .jp Calling Code: +81 1Huge potential markets Japan may be a developed country, but that doesn’t mean it has stopped developing. From retail to healthcare, this country offers endless opportunity for foreign companies. 2Supportive economic policies TheJapanesegovernment is aware of the importance of overseas investments and goes to great lengths to develop it. Government policies are very friendly toward foreign investors and while maintaining a social framework they are capitalistic by nature. 3Top companies Japan is home to many prominent brand names and enterprises. The high levels of technology development and manufactured goods has made Japan into an appealing option for many international companies that both use the country's advantages and seek to enhance their business relations with successful Japanese enterprises. 4Business-friendly infrastructure Japan's industrial structure is similar to that of US and Europe which offers much convenience for overseas companies. The country has excellent transportation and while being a large energy consumer it aims at diversified sources. 5Innovative products Japan is known worldwide for its new and advanced technologies and goods. It is not just a world trendmaker and gadget superpower, but it is also one of the most popular countries for experiments and testing of new products. 6Research and development Few countries in the world are better involved in research and development than Japan. The Japanese universities, government and the business sector all cooperate in many relevant projects and policies. 7Gateway to Asia Japan has always been sitting in the ‘In Between’ ground, belonging to both the westernised world and the Far East. In recent decades the growing economical power of other Asian countries has placed Japan in a central role - forming a gateway to Asia for many foreign investors. 8Purchasing power The purchasing power of the average Japanese consumer is enormous. This remains true in many sectors such as clothing, gadgets, technology and the luxury segment. 9Skilled workforce The Japanese workforce is extremely skilled, hardworking and committed. Japan's culture supports high levels of loyalty to the workplace and encourages life-long ties to one single enterprise, which in turn contributes to workers' experience and skill. 10Safe and comfortable living environment Japan manages to obtain many positive western culture habits and has avoided many of the negative aspects. Visitors to Japan can enjoy luxurious, pleasurable lifestyle with all the trimmings, and at the same time marvel at the clean urban environments, effective social system and crime-free environment. Even the big cities in Japan are extremely safe - day and night, and have some of the lower crime-rates in the world. 10 good reasons to invest in Japan Specific Projects and Industrial Corridors l The DMIC - a flagship project of Indo- Japanese cooperation. Implementation of the project is in progress. Indian Government, through the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Project, is in the process of initiating a new era of industrial infrastructure development with the creation of new generation smart cities across six Indian states. l In addition to new manufacturing hubs, DMIC will envisage development of infrastructure linkages like power plants, assured water supply, high capacity urban transportation and logistics facilities as well as important interventions like skill development programme for providing employment opportunities of youth. l The master planning of the DMIC new industrial cities has been carried out by the world class international consultants. Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) contracts for approximately Rs. 3200 crore have been awarded in Dholera in Gujarat, Shendra in Maharashtra, Vikram Udyogpuri in Madhya Pradesh and Integrated Industrial Township Project at Greater Noida. l In Dholera, the roads and services work has been awarded to M/s Larsen & Tubro while the similar work for Shendra and Integrated Industrial Township Project at Greater Noida have been awarded to M/s Shapoorji & Pallonji. Construction has started at all the project sites namely at Vikram Udyogpuri in Madhya Pradesh, Shendra in Maharashtra, Dholera in Gujarat and Integrated Industrial Township at Greater Noida. l Shareholders’ Agreement (SHA) has been executed with the State Government of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Accordingly, SPVs for the Integrated Industrial Township Project at Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh; Vikram Udyogpuri near Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Phase-I of Shendra Bidkin Industrial Park in Maharashtra and Dholera Special Investment region in Gujarat have been incorporated. The equity of the State Government and DMIC Trust has been released/transferred to the SPVs. l Earlier environmental clearance has been obtained and Digital master planning/ Information and Communication Technology Master Planning work is completed for almost all the projects. The cities are being benchmarked against the world class standards of sustainability and eco-friendly developments. l DMICDC has also commissioned a 5MW Model Solar Power Project at Neemrana, Rajasthan with latest cutting edge Japanese technology and the power is being supplied to the grid. l DMICDC is also implementing a smart solution for Logistic sector by creating a Logistics Databank for near to real time tracking of the movement of the containers so as to bring in efficiency in logistics value chain in partnership with NEC Corporation of Japan. The regulatory and statutory approvals have been obtained and the trial operations will start shortly. l DMICDC has prepared the DPRs for MRTS projects for Ahmedabad-Dholera in Gujarat and Manesar- Bawal in Haryana, awaiting approval from State Govts. States to start Land acquisition process for taking the projects forward. l In-principle-approval has been obtained for Greenfield International Airport at Dholera (Gujarat) and site clearance has been obtained for the Greenfield Airport at Kotkasim (Rajasthan). IndIa-Japan EconomIc RElatIons Year Japanese FDI in India (million US$) % Change 2001 150 (-) 14.3 2002 146 (-) 2.7 2003 124 (-) 15.1 2004 139 12.1 2005 266 91.4 2006 512 92.5 2007 1506 194.1 2008 5551 268.6 2009 3664 (-) 34.0 2010- 11 2864 (-) 21.8 2011- 12 2326 (-) 18.8 2012- 13 2786 19.8 2013- 14 1718 (-) 38.36 2014- 15 2084 21.3 2015- 16 2614 25.4 Economic relations between India and Japan have vast potential for growth, given the obvious complementarities that exist between the two Asian economies.
  • 3. A robust, reliable and resilient data centre Seeking new possibilities in innovation is crucial In a year’s time, Netmagic, the world’s largest data centre provider, has already made its presence felt in Mumbai, and already has on board a slew of marquee customers. J ust ahead of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India last December, Netmagic, an NTT Communications Group Company, launched its 9th data centre in the country (and 5th in Mumbai). One of the largest in India, this massive 300,000 sq. ft. (27,000 sq. mt.) high density data centre with 2,700 racks has been built to the exacting global design standards of NTT Communications, using the experience and expertise from building and successfully running over 140 data centres worldwide. Extending the promise of world-class data centre facilities to Indian customers, this is yet another ‘Nexcenter’ branded data centre in the country. It aims to deliver Netmagic’s entire suite of services including Managed Co-location, Dedicated Hosting, Cloud Computing, IT Infrastructure Monitoring & Management, Managed Security, Disaster Recovery and Managed App Hosting. The data centre already has some marquee anchored customers on-board. Says Tetsuya Shoji, President & CEO of NTT Communications: “The Mumbai data centre facilitates Indian and multi-national enterprises in experiencing the state-of- the-art data centres that NTT Communications operates across the world. The added advantage of Netmagic’s operational excellence in Managed Services gives it the capability of becoming the new benchmark for data centres in India. This facility is part of our Nexcenter brand of global data centre services providing seamless ICT solutions including networks, cloud computing, data centres security and applications, thereby capitalising on the trend of enterprises’ migrating their on-premise systems to the cloud.” AddsSharadSanghi,MD&CEO, Netmagic: “Today’s businesses require a robust, reliable and resilient IT Infrastructure backbone that is easily scalable and responsive. With our data centre, the city has a promising state of the art destination for its IT Infrastructure requirements, and one that can abundantly address concerns of scalability, high availability and resilience in performance of hosted assets with an unprecedented ease. Given Mumbai’s business importance, Netmagic’s Data Centre 5 is poised to soon become the very heart of India’s IT Infrastructure needs, offering the right platform for enterprises and start-ups alike, to grow, scale and innovate in order to take business to the next level.” Netmagic also offers services (Virtual Private Cloud, Virtual Load Balancer as a Service & Next-Gen Backup and Archival) and a refined network fabric, stemming from Spine Leaf Architecture. It now has 9 data centres across India and over 600,000 sq.ft. (55,000 sq. mt.) of floor space. Some of the key highlights of this facility include 4 diverse fibre paths to ensure reliability at network levels, 28 MVA of facility power and Dual Power feed through PDU with isolation transformer. D uring Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) organised an ‘innovation’ seminar in New Delhi. It was jointly hosted in tandemwithJapanScience and Technology Agency (JST) and New Energy and Industrial Development Organization (NEDO), attracting approximately 450 business people from Japan and India. JETRO President Yasushi Akahoshi stated that business cooperation taking advantage of the strengths of both countries, expansion of two-way trade and investment and collaboration in third countries or wider areas beyond the framework of the two countries would be essential to improve our economic relations to the next stage. To that end, he emphasised that the seeking for new possibilities from the perspective of innovation would be crucial. Several speakers, including executives of major Japanese companies and representatives from Japanese ministries, institutions and universities as well as the Indian Government, made presentations at the seminar, on their initiatives toward enhancing economic relationsof bothcountries. Prime Minister Abe, who was welcomed by the representatives from Indian economic associations like CII,FICCIandASSOCHAM, expressed the importance of relations between the two countries in Japan’s Growth Strategy as well as the significance of high quality infrastructure partnerships and cooperation in science and technology. “Come, invest in Japan,” he made a direct appeal to the gathering. Clockwise from top: JETRO President Yasushi Akahoshi; Japan PM Shinzo Abe addresses the seminar; Representatives of Indian business meet the Japan PM; Conference in progress About NetmAgic Netmagic, an NTT Communications company, is India’s leading Managed Hosting and Cloud Service Provider, with 9 carrier- neutral, state-of-the-art data centres and serving more than 1,500 enterprises globally. A pioneer in the Indian IT Infrastructure services space - it was the first to launch services such as Cloud Computing, Managed Security, Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service and Software-Defined Storage. Netmagic, also delivers Remote Infrastructure Management services to NTT Communications’ customers across the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Recipient of several industry accolades, Netmagic was recently chosen by Frost & Sullivan for both ‘Third Party Data Centre Service Provider of the Year’ and ‘Infrastructure as a Service Provider of the Year’ at India ICT Awards 2015. Netmagic is the first cloud service provider in India and in the world, to receive the CSA STAR certification for Cloud Capability Maturity Model (CCM) version 3.0.1, an industry benchmark for the specific security requirements of multi-tenant service providers. Besides this, Netmagic is also empanelled as an IT Security Auditing Organization with CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team).
  • 4. A taste of Japan Something old something newOne of Japan’s unique charms is its dynamic blend of ancient and modern. In a holiday to Japan you can experience ancient temples, gardens and cultural traditions while enjoying some of the world’s most futuristic and technologically advanced cities TOKYO Tokyo is Japan’s economic and cultural centre. Vibrant neighbourhoods and fantastic cuisine are around every corner. This Mecca of Japanese pop culture fused with traditional ideals is one of the world’s most entertaining cities. There’s no livelier introduction to Tokyo’s neighbourhoods than Asakusa, with its old atmosphere and the city’s oldest temple. After wending your way along Nakamise Dori, a pedestrian lane lined with stalls selling rice crackers, fans, umbrellas, T-shirts, cotton kimono and other souvenirs, you’ll reach Sensoji Temple,foundedinthe7thcentury.Shibuya is an immensely popular commuter hub, packed with department stores, specialty shops, bars and restaurants. Shibuya Crossing is Japan’s most photographed intersection. Akihabara is quirky Tokyo at its best, a shopping paradise where Japanese animation and manga (comics) fans mingle with those searching for the latest in cameras and electrical appliances. Long known as Japan’s largest electronics district, Akihabara is also packed with shops selling character figurines, games and more. MT. FUJI Mt. Fuji, a 12,355-foot cone of almost perfect symmetry, is Japan’s tallest and most sacred mountain. It’s officially open for climbing in July and August, but the best views are from scenic Hakone. Easily accessible from Tokyo, Hakone is famous for its spectacular mountain scenery and hot-spring spas with indoor and outdoor baths. Because it was on the old Tokaido trading route between Kyoto and Edo (now Tokyo) during the days of the shogun, Hakone has many historic sites, including a 1.5-mile remnant of the Tokaido footpath and centuries-old Japanese inns with hot-spring baths. One of the most delightful ways to see Hakone is on a circular route travelling by mountain railway, cable car, a suspended ropeway and a boat that cruises across Lake Ashi. There are many things to do en route, including hiking, relaxing in hot springs, and exploring museums like the Hakone Open-Air Museum with its gardens, 400-some sculptures and one of the world’s largest Picasso collections. KYOTO Home to Japan’s Imperial court for over 1,000 years Kyotoisthecountry’smosthistoricallysignificantcity. It boasts 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, hundreds of shrines and temples, is home to traditional kaiseki cuisine, has many skilled artisans, and craft stores. Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kyoto’s most famous temple is an engineering wonder built to withstand earthquakes. It extends over a cliff supported by 18 massive pillars. It spreads along a wooded slope of Mount Otowa and offers stunning view of spring cherry blossoms, autumn foliage, and the city of Kyoto. Ryoanji Temple is Japan’s most famous Zen rock garden which consists of 15 rocks rising up from carefully raked white pebbles, suggesting mountains above the clouds or islands in the sea. Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine is one of Kyoto’s most visually spectacular shrines, with thousands of vermillion- coloured torii gates straddling trails that lead up sacred Mt. Inari. The top of Mt. Inari has beautiful views of Kyoto. OSAKA This former merchant’s town is one of Japan’s largest cities famous for Osaka Castle, street cuisine, shopping arcades, comedy and a recent modern architectural renaissance that including Japan’s tallest building. Osaka Castle was the largest in Japan when completed in the 16th century, though it was destroyed twice during fierce battles between shogun loyalists and dissenters. It was rebuilt and expanded in the 10th century. The faithful reproduction stands as the symbol of Osaka, with an eight-story tower that contains a modern museum describing the history of the castle and its occupants. The surrounding park is also famous for cherry blossoms in the spring. Osaka is a gastronomists’ town, and nowhere is this more evident than the exuberant nightlife district of Dotonbori. Flanking Dotonbori Canal in the heart of the city, this pedestrian promenade has been Osaka’s premier entertainment destination for 400 years, with throngs of people soaking in the neon-coloured atmosphere as they visit restaurants, bars, f ood stalls, movie theatres and nearby bunraku puppet theatre. HIROSHIMA Hiroshima is a modern city with a long history, evident at landmarks like Hiroshima Castle and Shukkei-en Garden. It's also famous for its oysters and as a gateway to nearby Miyajima. Miyajima, a gem of an island is considered one of Japan's top scenic places. It's been held sacred since ancient times prompting worshipers to build Itsukushima Shrine, now a World Heritage Site. The shrine is a strikingly beautiful icon with its vermillion- coloured buildings and torii gate rising from the sea. Mount Misen, reached via trails or ropeway, offers splendid views of the Seto Inland Sea, while the island’s beaches attract sun worshippers. C onnoisseurs of fine cuisine will revel in Japan's varied styles of cooking, from tempura, sushi and teppanyaki to the feast of all feasts, kaiseki. Many visitors to Japan will have already sampled the pleasures of raw fish or batter- fried shrimp. Shojin ryori and macrobiotic restaurants are great for vegetarians visiting Japan. Primarily eaten by Buddhist monks, shojin ryori prohibits the inclusion of meat, fish, onions, leeks, and garlic. But few first-time visitors to Japan are prepared for the variety and sumptuousness of Japanese food, as it is traditionally prepared. Nonetheless, food, of all types and from every country under the sun, is one of the great pleasures of life in Japan. Not only has Japan developed one of the world's great cuisines, which offers palate-tickling sensations that range from the subtle joys of sashimi to the hearty basics of its noodles, but also some of the best world-class chefs have come to Japan to cook for its discriminating gourmets. Tokyo especially, as befits its status as holder of more Michelin stars than any other city in the world, is host to a lip-smacking cornucopia of food flavours and textures. To begin scratching the surface of Japan's vast selection of culinary variety, take a walk in the vicinity of any subway or train station. The eating and drinking establishments that congregate here are sure to represent a plethora of domestic cooking, with prices generally quite reasonable. Drinkers would do well to try Japanese sake (rice wine), which goes extremely well with a variety of Japanese dishes. Brewed with rice and water, sake has been a Japanese alcoholic beverage since ancient times. Because it can be drunk warmed up in winter it warms the body. When drunk chilled, good sake has a taste similar to fine-quality wine. There are local sake breweries in every region across the country, which make their respective characteristic tastes based on the quality of rice and water as well as differences in brewing processes. In Japan, you say ‘itadakimasu’ (‘I gratefully receive’) before eating, and ‘gochisosama (deshita)’ (‘Thank you for the meal’) after finishing the meal. If you’re out drinking with a group, do not begin until everyone is served. Glasses are raised in the traditional salute as everyone shouts Kampai! (Cheers!). Eating in Japan is an experience to be enjoyed and remembered fondly for the rest of your life. 3 amazing activitiesThere are a plethora of activities you can do on your next visit to Japan. Here are three that top the list. Enjoy the nightlife Come dusk and Tokyo and Osaka blossom into a profusion of giant neon lights and paper lanterns, and its streets fill with overworked locals set out to have a good time. Entertainment districts are as crowded at 3 am as they are at 10 pm, and many places stay open until the first subways start running after 5 am. Whether it's jazz, reggae, gay bars, dance clubs, rustic or chic bars Tokyo and Osaka have them all. Cruise Tokyo Bay on the Himiko/Jicoo Cruise Tokyo Bay in the futuristic Himiko boat designed by famous manga artist Leiji Matsumoto. At night Himiko turns into Jicoo - The Floating Bar, which shuttles back and forth between Hinode Pier and Odaiba every half an hour. You will be able to view the panoramic evening skyline and enjoy entertainment by artists. Jicoo is one of Tokyo’s most unique locations for evening cocktails. You can also choose to cruise on the Hotaluna. Ride the Shinkansen Can’twaituntilyouridethebullettrainbetweenMumbai and Ahmedabad? Never mind. Take the Shinkansen, or bullet train, a network of high speed railway lines in Japan. The Shinkansen can reach speeds up to 300 kmph (186 mph) making it fantastic and speedy way to travel in Japan. The Shinkansen network currently reaches from Kagoshima at the bottom of Kyushu all the way up to Aomori at the top of Japan’s main island of Honshu.