Lifestyle

Japan Might Cover Half The Cost Of Your Trip To Encourage Your Next Visit

The country has allocated a budget of $12.5 billion to revive its tourism sector.
IMAGE Unsplash/bobby_henry

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shake the entire world, travel has been mandatorily put on pause. But as countries slowly reopen their cities and hold on to the hope of recovering, Japan is making a move in an effort to breathe new life into their gravely affected tourism sector.

In a report by The Japan Times, the Japanese government is said to have has set aside a ¥1.35 trillion (or approximately $12.5 billion) fund to cover half of the expenses of tourists visiting the country post-coronavirus. According to the news, "the program could start in July if novel coronavirus infections subside soon, Hiroshi Tabata, chief of the agency, told a news conference Wednesday."

Japan's move echoes the same tourism efforts to be done by Sicily, Italy, another destination largely affected by the pandemic's wrath. Likewise, the island is "promising to pay for part of the tourism costs of its future incoming visitors," including discounts on flights, hotel accommodations, and free tickets to various museums and archeological sites.

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However, as to how Japan's tourism program will work exactly, more details have yet to be released. It does state, however, that the move is "to boost domestic tourism by subsidizing a portion of travel expenses once the coronavirus outbreak is brought under control," so whether or not this also applies to foreign visitors visiting from other countries remains unclear.

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Previously, Japan has expanded their travel restrictions and has enforced an entry ban to about 100 countries as one of its measures to prevent the further spread of the breakout. In turn, it resulted in a 99.9% plunge in Japan's number of foreign visitors compared to April last year.

Last March, the Philippine Embassy shared on their official Facebook page that "the Japanese Government is invalidating previously issued single and multiple-entry visas issued prior to 27 March." Due to the global pandemic, Japan has canceled their cherry blossom festivals, and later, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also announced the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to the summer of 2021.

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This story originally appeared on Preview.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.

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Katherine Go A day ago

Cold Food

The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.

Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.

Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.

For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?

Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.

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