Shizuoka An Economical Two Day Gourmet Tour Of The Izu Peninsula

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Shizuoka prefectureI ordered the house specialty zenji soba, which costs 1260 yen. When you order this set you can enjoy two varieties of soba; mori soba and tororo soba. The set includes a wasabi plant complete with stem and leaves, and sansai, or edible wild plants. It also comes with a variety of different seasonings such as sesame seeds, green onions, grated daikon radish and ginger. One of the shop’s unique ideas is getting customers to grate their own wasabi, one of Izu’s famous local products,Eating soba with freshly grated wasabi is simply exquisite and something that can only be experienced here at this shop! Afterwards, I put my leftover wasabi into the complimentary take-out bag and took it home as a souvenir.To read more about the basics of Japanese soba, please have a look at the following article: Soba Noodles: Varieties, How To Enjoy Them And The Best Shops.Zenputei NanabanAddress: Shizuoka, Izu, Shuzenji 761-1-3Telephone: 0558-72-0007Holidays: ThursdaysBusiness Hours: 10:00-16:00Seven Waterfalls – Feel the Refreshing Spray of the Water Photo courtesy of Shizuoka prefectureAs you walk along the stone-covered promenade beside the river, you reach the Narrow Path of Takebayashi. Inside this bamboo grove there’s a circular bench and, when you lie down here and look up at the sky, the refreshing breeze, the murmur of the flowing river and the sunshine filtering through the leaves of the trees put you in a state of relaxation and comfort far removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Looking out over the Pacific Ocean, Shizuoka prefecture boasts both Japan’s tallest peak with Mount Fuji, and the country’s deepest bay with Suruga Bay.In today’s article, we introduce a two day travel plan for the Izu peninsula in Shizuoka prefecture’s eastern region, which is also known as one of Japan’s top onsen (hot spring) areas.*Today’s article is report-style complete with photos. Photo courtesy of Shizuoka prefectureOur next stop is Kawazu Nanadaru, also known as the Kawazu Seven Waterfalls. From Shuzenji Station the bus passes through Amagitoge before arriving at the falls 50 minutes later.We got off the bus at Mizutari Station. The Kawazu area has many waterfalls, but among them are seven famous ones.After you get off the bus and follow a slightly steep set of stairs, you arrive at the Kama Falls observation deck. The fall’s splashing water and spray come down onto the observation deck making you part of the spectacular action!From there we continue past Ebi Falls and on to Hebi Falls before finally stopping at Shokei Falls, where you can see a statue of the heroine from award-winning novelist Yasunari Kawabata’s short story, “Izu no Odoriko” (The Izu Dancer, 1926). Photo courtesy of Shizuoka prefectureThe next day we have plans to board the Dogashima sightseeing boat, only ten minutes away from the NEW Ginsui. In Dogashima there’s an attraction nicknamed the ‘Blue Cave’ (officially known as Tensodo Cave), so I’d really like to go and check it out! The sightseeing boat is 1200 yen for adults and 600 yen for children.In only ten minutes after leaving the harbor we’ll arrive at the cavern. Photo courtesy of Shizuoka prefectureWalk a short distance and soon Tokko-no-yu Spa comes into view. It’s been said that the waters of this onsen first came flowing out more than 1200 years ago. Photo courtesy of Shizuoka prefectureFinally our long awaited dinner time! Suruga Bay’s bounty from the sea lavishly decorates the evening dinner table. It was my first time to eat Spiny Lobster sashimi. The lobster had a fresh, firm texture and it turned out to be my favorite out of all the delicacies I ate.Dogashima NEW GinsuiAddress: Shizuoka, Kamo district, Nishi Izu-cho, Nishina 2977-1Telephone: 0558-52-2211Official Site: Dogashima NEW Ginsui Photo courtesy of Shizuoka prefectureFrom Shokei Falls follow the convenient walking trail and, on either side of you, various shops including souvenir shops and a tea store will soon begin to appear.Continue further and you’ll see Wasabien-Kadoya. We’ve already had our lunch but let’s take a peek inside the shop.The menu item that caught my attention was the wasabi-don (550 yen). A dollop of grated wasabi is placed in the middle of a dish consisting of rice topped with katsuobushi, and then soy sauce is poured over top.The katsuobushi, rice, and the soy sauce all go well together which makes this a winning combination, and the appetizing fragrance of the wasabi really hits your nose.Wasabien-KadoyaAddress: Shizuoka, Kamogun, Kawazu-cho, Nashimoto 371-1Business Hours: 09:30-14:00 *Note: the restaurant closes when the soba is sold outOfficial Site: Wasabien-Kadoya (Japanese)Dogashima- A Famous Spot For SunsetsNext, after finishing our sightseeing of the Seven Waterfalls, we hop aboard a bus at Shimoda Station headed for Dogashima. At dusk we really have something to look forward to because Dogashima is known for its beautiful sunsets. Photo courtesy of Shizuoka prefectureToday we’ll be staying at the Dogashima NEW Ginsui. Dogashima’s seaside is dotted with numerous Japanese ryokan, and the NEW Ginsui is considered to be top class. With our Tokai Bus-Free Pass we were able to save on our transportation costs, so that allowed us to splurge a little on our night’s accommodation. Photo courtesy of Shizuoka prefectureFrom the lobby of the ryokan I could see right out across Suruga Bay. From what I understand, on days when the sunset is visible, there’s also a complimentary wine service for guests from October until the early part of March. All rooms have a stunning ocean view, and the Japanese-style tatami rooms somehow feel more spacious than regular hotel rooms. The Izu Peninsula In Shizuoka Prefecture’s Eastern RegionOn today’s trip we’ll be making use of the Tokai Bus-2 Day Free Pass, which is 3900 yen for adults and 1950 yen for elementary school students and under. Passengers have unlimited riding privileges on the Tokai bus, which covers the entire Izu peninsula area, making this a very economical travel option.To begin our trip we first board the shinkansen for Mishima Station. Outside the station we purchased a Tokai Bus-Free Pass at the Tokai Bus Information Center before making our way to Shuzenji Station. It takes about 46 minutes to get to Shuzenji Station. Here we transfer to a bus going to Shuzenji Onsen; it takes about 8 minutes to get to Shuzenji Onsen Station. When you get off the bus at the station, the beautiful scenery spreading out before your eyes certainly lives up the area’s nickname of ‘Little Kyoto’. Photo courtesy of Shizuoka prefectureAs we continue walking, it’s almost time for lunch. I really worked up an appetite, so sauntering back to the onsen town, I began searching for a shop that serves Shuzenji soba and found a shop called Zenputei Nanaban. Photo courtesy of Shizuoka prefectureAfter going a little further inside, a mystical and wondrous atmosphere slowly unfolds before our eyes! From the large opening in the ceiling, rays of sunlight pour into the cavern illuminating the surface of the clear and blue water, creating a magical spectacle.Back at the sightseeing boat’s wharf there’s an eatery, a souvenir shop and a convenience shop and the whole area is alive and bustling with visitors.The bus stop is also conveniently located nearby. Though it’s hard to say goodbye after such a wonderful time, from here we’ll take a bus headed back for Tokyo.In one hour we’ll arrive back at the familiar looking Shuzenji and then after another hour we’ll reach Mishima. While still making good use of our Tokai Bus-Free Pass, we leave the central area of Izu and head along the west coast until we reach our final destination. Next time in the not too distant future, I’d like to try going around Izu’s east coast!Sponsored by Shizuoka prefecturelast_img read more

Ready To Go To Japan A Guide To Visas And Immigration Procedures

first_imgSome of the most-trafficked airports are Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, Kansai International Airport, and Fukuoka Airport.1. The Gateway to Japan, Narita International Anyone who plans to stay for more than three months in Japan, or who intends to work, needs a visa. However, those staying under three months may not need a visa, depending on the purpose of their visit (business, tourism, visiting friends) and their country of origin. Let’s look at which countries require visas.China, Vietnam, RussiaPeople from China, Russia (including the Commonwealth of Independent States)(*1), Vietnam, India, the Philippines and some other countries will need to apply at their Japanese embassy or consulate-general, which costs 3000 yen. The procedure is as follows.1. Prepare necessary documents: Look at your country’s embassy page or other sources for more details about what you will need.2. Apply at your Japan embassy or consulate: If there are no issues with your documents, your application will be completed in about a week. When you apply, you will have to submit your passport.3. After the screening is complete, go to pick up your passport and visa: You may be able to pick up your passport by itself before your visa is issued, so check if this is possible.4. Once you have received your visa, enter Japan within three months.*1: Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Belarus, MoldovaChinese Citizens Need to Apply Via Travel AgencyChinese citizens can apply for group tourist visas and individual tourist visas through the Japanese embassy as well as travel agencies listed by the consulate-general. The duration of stay is within 15 days, and you need to confirm the necessary documents with the travel agency. Applications take up to a week, and charges vary by company.Check the Duration of Your Issued Visa and Passport Before You Depart!Be sure to get your visa before visiting Japan. No matter where you are from, of course, you will need your passport. Some countries will be stricter than others about how much longer your passport should be valid for, so check with your country’s institutions before leaving.No Visas Necessary for Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan and Several Other CountriesAs of July 2017, citizens of 68 countries, including South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, America and Spain, do not need to procure visas for short stays, as long as they are visiting Japan as tourists.Indonesia, Thai, Brunei: 15 days or fewerUAE: 30 days or fewerTaiwan, Hong Kong, Europe and other countries: 90 days or fewerCheck the visa restrictions page on the MOFA website for details.What About Airport Immigration? Ready to Enter the Country? Setting Out on Your Journey with Peace of MindWhen you travel abroad, the first step is entering the country. What documents do you need besides your passport? What will they ask? Is there anything I can’t bring in? You’re sure to have many questions. We’ve put together this guide for tourists to Japan, to help alleviate your worries.Do You Need a Visa? Source: Narita Airport Complete Guide: From Free SIM Cards To Free Transit Tours!Narita Airport has three terminals. The arrival lobbies for Terminals 1 and 2 are on the first floor, and Terminal 3’s lobby is on the second floor. They have money exchange centers, bag storage, cell phone/Wi-Fi dongle rental, SIM card vendors, shower rooms, rental car services, free Wi-Fi and more. Check the homepage for a floor map. From the airport, you can get to Tokyo Station via bus or train.[Bus]From Narita Airport to Tokyo Station, the Tokyo Shuttle and THE Access Narita are both about 60 to 90 minutes, and you can purchase a one-way fare on the day of your trip for 1000 yen.[Train]The JR Narita Express to Tokyo Station is 51 minutes and 3020 yen for a reserved seat. Check here for more.Also read:How To Travel From Narita International Airport to TokyoCruise From Narita to Tokyo Station in JR’s Cozy Green Cars2. Haneda Airport (Tokyo International Airport) in TokyoHaneda’s international lobby is on the second floor. Check here for a detailed floor map.You can get to Tokyo Station by bus or train.[Bus]The airport connecting bus is 55 minutes and costs 930 yen.[Train]The Keikyu airport express limited train on the Keikyu Line, from the underground Haneda International Airport Terminal Station to Shinagawa Station, is 13 minutes. Switch to the Yamanote Line or the Yokosuka Line, which is another 10 minutes. The fare is 580 yen. On the Tokyo Monorail Line, going from Haneda International Airport Building Station on the third floor to Hamamatsu-cho Station is 14 minutes. From Hamamatsu-cho Station, you can get to Tokyo Station by switching to the JR Yamanote Line or the Keihin Tohoku Line, a five minute trip. The fare is 650 yen. You can search for routes here.Also read:Getting to Harajuku from Shinjuku,Tokyo,Asakusa and AirportsNew Shinagawa Line: Better Access Between Haneda Airport And TokyoBus Or Train? Going From Haneda Airport To Major Stations In Tokyo5 Discount Tickets: Go From Haneda Airport To Tokyo And Save!3. Kansai International Airport If You’re Going to Osaka or KyotoThe KIX international arrivals lobby is on the first floor. There is a detailed floor map here. Check these links for getting to Umeda and Osaka, as well as other major Kansai cities.4. Fukuoka Airport for Travelers to KyushuFukuoka Airport’s international arrivals lobby is on the first floor. There is a detailed floor map here. Check this link for directions to Hakata.Get Your Visa and Immigration Matters Taken Care Of, And Have a Safe Japan Tripcenter_img Generally, the flow of immigration goes as follows.1. Quarantine CheckYou can pass through if you don’t have a fever and cold symptoms. If you are given a health-related form on the plane, fill it out and submit it to the quarantine counter.2. ImmigrationLine up for the Foreign Passports counter, where you will have your fingerprints and photo taken. Expect to be asked about:・Where you plan to go・How long you will be staying・Where you will be staying, and the place’s address・If you have a return ticket3. Get Your LuggageHead to the baggage claim and get your bags.4. Animal and Plant QuarantineAnimal products (including ham, sausage and other meats) and plant products (including fruits, seeds and vegetables) need to be inspected when they are brought into Japan, so drop by the quarantine counter if you have them. However, we recommend not bringing them in at all for a smooth entry.5. Customs InspectionHead to the customs inspection area and submit the customs declaration form you received on the plane, which is available in multiple languages. After clearing the inspection, you can exit into the lobby.Take Care of Your BelongingsYour belongings may be checked at quarantine or customs. To avoid any issues, try to minimize the number of metal accessories on your person, and never hand off your bags to someone you don’t know.Also read:A Guide To Baggage Restrictions on Japanese AirlinesAirport Facilities, Getting into the City Hopefully, by learning about pre-departure visa procedures and airports, you will be able to head to Japan with peace of mind. We hope this article was helpful.last_img read more

7 Things To Do In Enoshima – Shrines Local Cuisine And Mt

first_imgNot To Be Missed In Enoshima: Tobiccho’s No.1 Shirasudon Rice Bowl! Local Seafood And Sweets! 6 Recommended Dishes In Enoshima Visiting EnoshimaEnoshima can be accessed in 23 minutes by Enoden, from the ancient capital of Kamakura. We hope you visit both areas.Seeing Kamakura and Enoshima together in one day, however, will be difficult. You won’t be able to fit in enough sightseeing, so we recommend enjoying both areas by lodging nearby. You can then spend one day in Kamakura and spend another day in Enoshima and nearby sightseeing spots. Read also 2. Try the Food on Benten Nakamise Dori Street Enoshima – A Sightseeing Area Packed with Things to SeeEnoshima is a small island located in south Kanagawa prefecture in the city of Fujisawa. Here you will find a beautiful view of Sagami Bay and Mt. Fuji, which has resulted in Enoshima being a popular sightseeing area since the Edo period.As this is a spot you can leisurely sightsee within half a day with easy access from the city, the island is often busy with people on the weekends. The island is geographically similar to that of a small mountain, so it would be best to visit with clothing that is easy to move around in when you visit.Access is about 20 minutes on foot from either Enoshima Station on the Enoshima Electric Railway (Enoden) or Shonan-Enoshima Station on the Shonan Monorail. It’s also a fifteen minute walk from Katase-Enoshima Station on the Odakyu Line.Without further ado, we introduce seven things to enjoy in Enoshima. Visit The Great Buddha: How To Reach Kamakura From Tokyo Read also Read also Picture courtesy of Fujisawa City Tourist AssociationBeing able to swim in the ocean during the summer is another charm of Enoshima. Katase Enoshima Beach is just a stone’s throw away from Enoshima and will be crowded with people during the middle of the season.Firework festivals are also held from the end of August to the end of October at this beach. It’s rare for firework festivals to be held during the autumn, and has become characteristic of this season in Enoshima.At Ryukoji Temple, about a three minute walk from Enoshima Station on the Enoden, the Tatsunokuchi Bamboo Lantern Festival is held in early August. The temple grounds will be lined with 5,000 lamps made of bamboo during this time, producing wondrous scenery in the temple.Katase Enoshima BeachAddress: Kanagawa, Fujisawa, Katase Beach 1 – 3 Google MapAccess: A few minutes on foot from Katase-Enoshima Station (Odakyu Railway), 10 minute walk from Enoshima Station (Enoden) or Shonan-Enoshima Station (Shonan Monorail)Ryukoji TempleAddress: Kanagawa, Fujisawa, Katase 3-13-37 Google MapAccess: 3 minute walk from Enoshima Station (Enoden) or Shonan-Enoshima Station (Shonan Monorail), 15 minute walk from Katase-Enoshima Station (Odakyu Railway)Official Website: (Japanese) Read also 8 Spectacular Sights In Enoshima That You’ll Want To Keep Secret Read also 3. Enjoy the Ocean View and Mt. Fuji to Your Heart’s ContentThe Enoshima Samuel Cocking Garden and SeaCandle Picture courtesy of the Fujisawa City Tourist AssociationCross the Enoshima Benten Bridge by walking from the station, and the first thing you’ll see when you arrive in Enoshima will be the bronze torii gates.You’ll find rows of souvenir shops near these torii gates as well as on the road leading into Enoshima Shrine. It’s here where you can try and enjoy treats unique to Enoshima. Picture courtesy of the Fujisawa City Tourist AssociationAt the Enoshima Samuel Cocking Garden, a botanical garden bursting with a tropical atmosphere, you can enjoy flowers and plants every season. SeaCandle, an observation deck that is one of symbols of Enoshima, is also located within the garden. From here you’ll have a view of the ocean and Mt. Fuji.Various events are also held in each season. In particular, there is an illumination event that envelops the garden in a magical atmosphere.Enoshima Samuel Cocking Garden and SeaCandleAddress: Kanagawa, Fujisawa, Enoshima 2-3-28 Google MapAccess: 25 – 30 minutes from all Enoshima StationsOfficial Website: (Japanese)Lovers’ Hill – Dragon Lovers’ Bell Picture from Not To Be Missed In Enoshima: Tobiccho’s No.1 Shirasudon Rice BowlIf you come to Enoshima, local dishes made with shirasu are something to definitely try. Shirasu is a type of whitebait. The Shirasu Rice Bowl, a bowl of rice topped with shirasu boiled in salt water, is a classic in Enoshima! The combination of the aroma from the beach wafting faintly in the air, the soy sauce, and the rice, is irresistible.Shirasu rice bowls can be eaten at many restaurants in Enoshima. However, Tobiccho is particularly famous for this dish. In particular, the Nama Shirasu (raw sashimi slices of shirasu), containing fresh shirasu, is popular among the locals.The restaurant also serves the slightly unusual Shirasu Burger. Satsuma-age (*1) is used in place of a meat patty while the hamburger itself is made with a generous helping of shirasu and wasabi-flavored mayonnaise. It has a much lighter flavor than a traditional meat patty.In addition to these dishes, you can also try other seafoods including sashimi (raw sliced fish), common orient clams, and turbo sea snails depending on the restaurant. Definitely please try a variety of local Enoshima dishes.*1 Satsuma-age: a type of Japanese dish made of ground fish molded into a shape, then fried with oil. Tobiccho HontenAddress: Kanagawa, Fujisawa, Enoshima 1-6-7 Google MapAccess: 10 minute walk from Katase-Enoshima Station (Odakyu Railway)Official Website: (Japanese) Read also Whitebait Burger? Try Unique Gourmet Treats at Enoshima Island Spa Picture from The Top 5 Sightseeing Spots in Enoshima, KanagawaIwaya Cave is a cave created from erosion caused by waves over many years. There are two caverns in this cave: the first cavern has a depth of 152 meters and the second is 56 meters. Legends remain telling of famous shogun and priests that once visited the cave.When you enter inside the cave, you’ll feel a dark, yet very mystical ambience. Borrow a candle and continue further into the cave. Once you’ve traveled through the cave, you’ll arrive at a rocky area called Chigogafuchi.This area has an extremely scenic view of the sunset and Mt. Fuji. It was selected as one of Kanagawa’s Top 50 Places of Scenic Beauty. There is also another route you can use to get to Chigogafuchi without going through Iwaya Cave.Iwaya CaveAddress: Kanagawa, Fujisawa, Enoshima 2 Google MapAccess: 30 – 40 minutes from all Enoshima StationsOfficial Website: (Japanese) Slam Dunk! Let’s Go To Kamakurakōkōmae Station Hot Springs with Stunning Ocean View at Enoshima Island Spa Enoshima Shrine, One of Japan’s Three Great Benzaiten Shrines Picture from Local Seafood And Sweets! 6 Recommended Dishes In EnoshimaThere’s so much food here to the point where you’ll find it hard to decide what you want to eat. Some options include croquettes filled with shirasu (whitebait), a special product of Enoshima, seafood snacks like ikayaki (grilled squid), odango (sweet dumplings), soft serve ice cream, as well as local beer.At Asahi Honten, you’ll often find long lines thanks to the popularity of the tako senbei (350 yen plus tax), a snack containing an entire roasted octopus. It has a savory soy sauce and seafood flavor. The simple flavor and crispy texture convinces us why there are so many fans of this senbei.We also recommend the ice cream monaka, a Japanese dessert from Inoue Sohonpo, containing ice cream and sweet red bean paste sandwiched between crispy baked dough shells. The ice cream is available in three flavors: matcha, vanilla, and red bean paste, so you can choose your favorite. あさひ本店 View Informationstore 井上総本舗 View Informationrestaurantstore 7 Fabulous Firework Displays In Tokyo And Eastern Japan – 2019 Edition 4. Enjoy Summer Swimming and Events Read also Read also Picture from 8 Spectacular Sights In Enoshima That You’ll Want To Keep SecretLovers’ Hill was created from the love story of a celestial maiden (a goddess residing in heaven) and Gozuryu (a five-headed dragon) that has been passed down in Enoshima.The Ryuren no Kane (Dragon Lovers’ Bell) is located on a hill where Sagami Bay stretches out before your eyes. It is said that if a couple sounds the bell, they will be together forever. Surrounding the bell is a fence packed with padlocks written with couples’ vows of eternal love together with their names.Padlocks can be purchased at a store near the entrance of Lovers’ Hill. This is a very romantic spot filled with the happiness of lovers.Lovers’ Hill and Dragon Lovers’ BellAddress: Kanagawa, Fujisawa, Enoshima 2 Google MapAccess: 30 – 40 minutes from all Enoshima Stations Picture from Hot Springs With Stunning Ocean View At Enoshima Island SpaEnoshima Island Spa is a spa where you can soak in natural hot springs. They have baths where you can relax in the hot springs while gazing at the ocean. There is also a pool area you can enter with a swimsuit.In this area, you’ll find pools made in the image of jacuzzi and caves, along with a break area attached to the pools and café. Here, you’ll be able to comfortably have fun in the water. Pass under the waterfall from inside the cave to find an open air pool that gives you an ocean view! The pool is heated in all year except during the summers, so you can use it to relax even during the chilly seasons.Venture a little further and you’ll find a bath you can soak in along with summer beds on the poolside. You can spend a luxurious time here while looking out over the ocean. The area is also complete with a café, restaurant, and relaxation services. Enoshima Island Spa View Informationcafelodgingrestaurantspa Read also The Top 8 Sightseeing Spots in Enoshima, Kanagawa Kanagawa Travel Guide: Enjoy The Best Of Hakone, Kamakura, Yokohama Picture courtesy of Enoshima AquariumEnoshima Aquarium has exhibitions based around the Pacific Ocean and Sagami Bay, where rich marine life has existed since ancient times, together with the organisms that make these waters their home. Of course, you’ll be able to see the idols of the sea from colorful fishes to penguins, seals, and dolphins, along with charming and unique exhibitions.For example, there’s Jellyfish Fantasy Hall where you can immerse yourself fully into the incredible world of jellyfish aided with light productions. Here you’ll find thirteen water tanks of various sizes in a semi-dome-like space made to resemble a jellyfish’s body. A spherical water tank called Jellyfish Planet is also located at the center of the hall. Fourteen species of jellyfish are always on display in this area.In the Sagami Bay Zone, you can learn about the waters of Sagami Bay and find an exhibit of shirasu, the local specialty of Enoshima. This is the first permanent exhibition in the world for the species. Both children and adults can enjoy the deep world of the ocean here at this aquarium.Enoshima AquariumAddress: Kanagawa, Fujisawa, Katase Beach 2-19-1 Google MapAccess: 3 minute walk from Katase-Enoshima Station (Odakyu Railway), 10 minute walk from Enoshima Station (Enoden) or Shonan-Enoshima Station (Shonan Monorail)Official Website: Gaze at the Ocean While Relaxing at a Spa 1. Traveling Around Enoshima Shrine Iwaya Cave Picture from Enoshima Shrine, One of Japan’s Three Great Benzaiten ShrinesEnoshima Shrine is a site you can’t miss when you come to Enoshima. The shrine is composed of three smaller shrines: Hetsumiya, Nakatsumiya, and Okutsumiya. They are scattered along the island.Enshrined in these three shrines are three goddesses that preside over the safety of voyages.These three goddesses are also believed to represent Benzaiten, the goddess of the ocean. Benzaiten is a goddess that gives blessings in happiness, riches, and proficiency in the performing arts. A statue of Benzaiten has been enshrined in Hetsumiya’s Ho-an-den, known as Enoshima Benzaiten since ancient times.This statue is considered one of Japan’s Three Great Benzaiten alongside Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima.Each shrine is about ten minutes from the other. You can leisurely walk to each shrine or you can move around in comfort using the Enoshima ESCAR, an outdoor escalator. Enoshima Shrine (Hetsunomiya) View Information 7. Enjoy Local Dishes 8 Spectacular Sights In Enoshima That You’ll Want To Keep Secret How to Enjoy the “Enoshima ESCAR” in Kanagawa Prefecture 5. Enoshima Aquarium – Encounter Sea Creatures Top 24 Best Views Of Mount Fuji – From Tokyo And Its Surroundings Kamakura Travel Guide – Top 20 Spotslast_img read more

Tsukiji Tama Sushi 91 Years Of Quality Sushi

first_imgProbably the most well-known of Japanese foods, sushi is a dish that you just have to try when visiting Japan. While you can eat delicious sushi all across Japan, the Ginza area in Tokyo is well-known for its competitive, high-quality sushi shops, where the phrase “it’s expensive but incredible” is often heard.Today, we would like to introduce to you Tsukiji Tama Sushi, located a one minute walk from Ginza station. For a fixed amount you can enjoy the genuine taste of real sushi to your heart’s content at this longstanding shop, making it a favorite of both locals and visitors to Japan.A Shop with 91 Years of HistoryTsukiji Tama Sushi was established in Tsukiji 91 years ago. The sushi ingredients used at Tsukiji Tama Sushi are delivered fresh from Tsukiji Fish Market every day; beyond this and the impressive skill of the artisans working here, the goal of Tsukiji Tama Sushi is to make sushi that will win over the hearts and minds of all that visit it.And, even more than this, Tsukiji Tama Sushi is behind the spread of “suehiro temaki” (*1) across Japan.With its rich variety, many people fall in love with Tsukiji Tama Sushi just by trying suehiro temaki here at its origin.*1 Suehiro temaki: Also known as temaki-zushi, suehiro temaki refers to nori seaweed with the ingredients placed inside and rolled up into a cone shape.How Can You Have All-you-can-eat High Class Sushi?In Japan, shops that offer all-you-can-eat dishes have a time limit attached to this service. But, at Tsukiji Tama Sushi’s all-you-can-eat there isn’t a time limit. The reason for this lack of a time limit is thus: as the sushi is made individually by the artisans, it would be a complete waste to just rush through eating it.The prices are as follows:Ladies’ pair (two women) – 7000 yenMan and woman pair – 8000 yenMens’ pair (two men) – 9000 yenIf there are more than two customers, the cost per extra person is half the cost of the pair. So, if there is an odd-number of customers, for an extra man it costs 4500 yen, and for a woman, 3500 yen. In the case of children aged 3-12 years old, the cost is 2000 yen per child.Most of the typical sushi types are available on this plan; toro (the fatty portion of tuna), uni (sea urchin), ikura (salted salmon roe), anago (conger eel) and other such expensive ingredients are also part of the all-you-can-eat menu. And, even beyond these dishes, Tsukiji Tama Sushi’s original suehiro temaki, the familiar California roll and other sushi rolls can be ordered as part of this menu as well.Please be aware though, the all-you-can-eat course at Tsukiji Tama Sushi is for pairs and over only. All-you-can-eat sushi is not available for lone customers.Let’s Try ItIn order to try out this amazing, all-you-can-eat sushi, we went straight to Tsukiji Tama Sushi.。A one minute walk from Ginza Station, Tsukiji Tama Sushi is located on B2F (second basement floor) of the commercial building “Ginza Core”. Because its so conveniently located and easy to find, this is the perfect spot for travelers in Tokyo. The shop exterior has been tastefully designed to look like an old-fashioned Japanese store.In the shop’s display care are dozens of elaborately crafted samples of the various dishes available inside. Just trying to decide what to eat might feel a little overwhelming when you first see the variety available here.If you take a seat at the counter, you can watch as the sushi artisans diligently craft each piece of sushi by hand. Other than the counter, there are also plenty of seats available in this wide space; it’s quite a charming a place that you can relax and enjoy yourself in. And, thanks to the thoroughness of the staff, the interior of the restaurant is spotlessly clean, helping you to feel at ease when eating here.The all-you-can-eat menu is written in English and has pictures of all the sushi types served, so even if you can’t speak Japanese, you can dine here easily.This time, we tried the popular six piece set of sushi. From the upper left is ” chūtoro” (medium-fatty tuna), “abutta salmon” (grilled salmon) in the middle, and “ama-ebi” (sweet small shrimp) on the right. On the lower row from the left is “anago” (grilled conger eel), “ikura” (salted salmon roe), and on the right, “uni” (sea urchin). Each and every one of these sushi were made right before our eyes by the skilled staff.The eternal favorite chūtoro leaves you with a satisfied smile on your face as the sweetness of the tuna fat slowly spreads through your mouth with each bite. The abutta salmon is paired with green onions in a special salt dressing, which complements the fish very well. The fluffy anago is paired with a sweet sauce that was invented by a Tsukiji Tama Sushi chef and really melts in your mouth.How does a relaxing and satisfying visit to a beloved sushi shop in Ginza, “where the real Japanese style survives”, sound to you?Recommended articlesTsukiji Fish Market Tour Followed By Sushi Workshop!Asakusa Sushi Ken – The First Halal Sushi Restaurant In JapanHow to See the Tuna Auctions at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish MarketTsukiji Fish Market – What To See At The World’s Greatest Fish MarketLearn To Make Sushi From A Master Chef! The Uogashi Sushi WorkshopsInformationTsukiji Tama SushiAddress: Tokyo, Chuo, Ginza 5-8-20 Ginza Core B2Hours: 11:00-22:00 (Last order 21:30, all-you-can-eat 20:30)**On busy days the shop may close earlier as ingredients are used up.Closed: -Wi-fi: -Credit Cards: All majorOther Languages: EnglishMenu in Other Languages: English (dish names)Nearest Station: Ginza station Tokyo Metro Ginza/Hibiya/Marunouchi LinesAccess: 161 meters from Ginza stationPrice Range: 3000 yen – 5000 yenReligious Considerations: -Phone Number: 03-3573-0057Home Page: Tsukiji Tama Sushilast_img read more

Mie The Fabulous Illuminations In Nabana No Sato

first_imgIt is often believed that illuminations can be viewed only in winter.In Nabana no Sato, Mie prefecture, each year the illuminations last until May. In this article, we introduce the illuminations of Nabana no Sato, which can be seen even by those who don’t like heading out during the cold days of winter.Basic Facts About Nabana no SatoSpreading across almost 300,000 square meters, Nabana no Sato is one of the largest garden squares in Japan.Nabana no Sato has been investing a great deal of effort into their illuminations each year. Based on votes by nighttime scenery viewers, it has occupied the first place in the national illuminations ranking for three years in a row.The period when the illuminations are organized spans over six months. In spring you can view yozakura (illuminations of sakura) and plum trees in bloom. You can enjoy a different landscape depending on the time of the year.In addition, in Nabana no Sato there are restaurants that serve Japanese, Western and Chinese cuisine, and you can taste the local Nagashima-chi Beer here as well. The natural hot springs, Sato no yu, and the souvenir shops are also very appreciated by visitors.One of the Largest Garden Houses and Seasonal FlowersLet’s see what kind of flowers can be viewed in Nabana no Sato each season.Photo courtesy of: Mie Tourism AssociationFrom the second half of March until late April, beautiful tulips are in bloom.Photo courtesy of: Mie Tourism AssociationFrom the middle of September until early November, you can see colorful cosmos flowers. The shape of these flowers resembles that of sakura, so cosmos are also called akizakura, or autumn cherry blossoms.Photo courtesy of: Mie Tourism AssociationNear the main area of the garden, which is called the flower square there is the hydrangea and iris garden. The hydrangea blooming during the rainy season (*) is a sight that you shouldn’t miss. On a field of almost 26,000 square meters, you can enjoy the view of a sea of blue flowers, that seems to reflect the shades of the sky.*1 Tsuyu: the June rainy season.Peter Rabbit and the “Sea of Light Clouds”To see the illuminations, you go passed the statue of Peter Rabbit that stands at the entrance. Anyone reaching this point will already feel excited just imagining what lies ahead.The first sight in store for the visitors in the “Sea of Light Clouds”, a show of blue illuminations installed on a vast flower field.The area under the arches is very popular with couples.”The Great River of Light” – Shooting Stars Before Your EyesThe illuminations above water at Nabana no Sato are one of the few in the country. The lights move and twist above water, reminding visitors of falling stars.This pond is in the center of Nabana no Sato, so you can enjoy the view from any direction. Find your favorite angle and make sure to take pictures!Surrounded by Flower Petals – “The Corridor of Light”A 200-meter long corridor of light. You will be amazed at this splendid sight the moment you enter. This illumination is made using light bulbs that are shaped like flower petals.Walking through the corridor, you will feel a sense tranquility settle upon you; it’s as though you were strolling in another world.A Romantic Tunnel – “The Blue World”In this 100 m long romantic corridor, three types of blue LED lights are used and changed along the course, which give it a dreamlike atmosphere. As you walk this tunnel, you will feel as free as if you were floating in the sea, or through the sky.Other Must See Parts of Nabana no SatoThe Landscape Floating Above WaterAlthough it is not an illumination, this scenery is also a must see. These lit up trees reflected on the water’s surface are a sight that will leave you speechless.Warm Foot BathWhen you want to take a rest, you can refresh yourself here with a foot bath hot spring. A towel vendor machine is available, so you needn’t bring anything with you to enjoy this facility.Nabana no Sato is a place you will enjoy with all your heart and a pleasant destination for a family or romantic trip.InformationNabana no SatoAddress: Mie, Kuwana, Nagashima, Komae Urushibata 270Hours: 9:00 – 21:00 (open some days until 22:00, see website for details)*Illuminations last from sunset to closing.Closed: May 1st – July 15thNearest Station: Kintetsu Nagashima StationAccess: 10 minute bus ride from Kintetsu Nagashima StationEntrance fee: 2100 yen (during the illumination period) *includes a 1000 yen coupon that you can use in the gardenPhone: 0594-41-0787Website: Nabana no Satolast_img read more

Press Release Canadian North to launch Global Eagle portable wifi

first_imgGlobal Eagle Entertainment Inc. has announced Canadian North Airlines as the first customer for Global Eagle’s new product, Airconnect Go, a portable wireless in-flight entertainment solution.  Airconnect Go draws on Global Eagle’s award-winning Airtime entertainment platform and content leadership to allow quick deployment of a proven and superior passenger experience.“Every passenger expects entertainment and Airconnect Go is a high-quality portable system that takes advantage of Global Eagle’s industry-leading passenger entertainment platform,” said Per Norén, Executive VP and Chief Commercial Officer of Global Eagle. “We thank Canadian North for being the launch customer and we expect a significant number of airlines to follow.”“Throughout Canadian North’s history, we have continually grown and innovated for the benefit of our scheduled service and charter customers, always with warm hospitality and an unyielding commitment to safety,” said Steve Hankirk, President of Canadian North. “The launch of top-notch inflight entertainment options will further enhance our onboard experience. We’re thrilled to be working with Global Eagle to introduce this exciting new inflight amenity.”The first deployments for Calgary, Canada-based Canadian North will be during December 2018 with four Boeing 737 aircraft. Canadian North operates daily scheduled flights to, from and across Canada’s vast Arctic region. It also operates charter flights in North America and beyond for energy companies, sports teams, tour operators, cruise lines, government agencies and other large groups.Airconnect Go: The Best CombinationAirconnect Go, which was unveiled in April 2018 at the Aircraft Interiors show in Hamburg, combines a reliable hardware system with Global Eagle’s Airtime services, including a proven passenger experience and entertainment packages with industry-best movie, audio and video offerings. The product is so compact it can fit into the overhead bin of most commercial aircraft. A single Airconnect Go system, which is not much bigger than a loaf of bread, can stream concurrently to over 50 users. Passenger analytics can be tracked using Global Eagle’s Airview reporting system.The system is a low-cost and fast option for airlines. There is no hardware to install and the system complies with avionics standards without the need for additional aircraft certification or Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs). Passengers can use their own devices to stream content. Airconnect Go integrates Airtime’s leading Digital Rights Management capabilities, enabling passengers to play back content via their web-browser without an additional application being required for Apple iOS or Google Android devices and laptops.Global Eagle has experienced interest in Airconnect Go from a variety of airlines, including large and full-service carriers with service gaps, regional airlines, charter carriers, airlines with small or leased fleets and other companies where the combination of low-cost and high quality is the goal.About Canadian NorthCanadian North and its founding companies (Canadian Airlines, Pacific Western Airlines, Transair, Nordair) have proudly served Canada’s North with passenger and cargo services for more than 80 years, with scheduled flights to 16 destinations in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, via the southern gateways of Edmonton and Ottawa. Canadian North is also the premier provider of air charter services for large resource sector clients requiring dependable, efficient and economical fly-in/fly-out charter services, as well as charter flights across North America for sports teams, cruise lines and large groups. Canadian North is a subsidiary of the Inuvialuit Development Corporation, representing the Inuvialuit of the Western Arctic.About Global EagleGlobal Eagle is a leading provider of satellite-based broadband connectivity, television and entertainment services, content and data analytics to aviation, maritime, enterprise and government markets. Global Eagle offers a fully integrated portfolio of rich media content and high-speed connectivity solutions for airlines, private jets, cruise lines, commercial ships, super-yachts, ferries, enterprise, government and military installations worldwide with proprietary performance-enhancing technologies and exclusive access to premium media. With 1,400 employees on six continents and leading global satellite and ground networks, the company delivers exceptional service and concierge support to its customers.last_img read more

Press Release Honeywell becomes commercial VAR for Inmarsat GX

first_imgInmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, has expanded its global network of Value Added Resellers (VARs) for its GX Aviation inflight broadband solution with the addition of Honeywell Aerospace.The agreement builds on Inmarsat’s long-standing partnership with Honeywell, who already manufactures the JetWave hardware for GX Aviation and sells Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX inflight wi-fi service for the business aviation market, through its GoDirect retail services business. In addition, it is further endorsement of Inmarsat’s commitment to operate the reference inflight connectivity network for airlines around the world.GX Aviation is the world’s first and only global, high-speed inflight broadband service, delivered through a wholly-owned and operated network of Global Xpress (GX) High-Throughput Satellites (HTS). This award-winning solution allows passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with onboard connectivity comparable to the mobile broadband services they receive on the ground.As part of the agreement, Honeywell will now market GX Aviation to airlines worldwide through its rapidly growing GoDirect retail services business. This increases the company’s focus on end users, allowing it to tailor smart connectivity solutions directly to individual customers – whether in the airline or business aviation space. It addition, Honeywell will continue to manufacture and sell the JetWave hardware to airline and business aviation customers.Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Inmarsat and Honeywell have an extremely successful track record of working together in the fast-growing inflight connectivity market. We are delighted to now extend this partnership. Honeywell’s unique depth of experience in this field and their close relationships with airlines make them a perfect fit as a value-added reseller of GX Aviation.“This agreement also builds on our exceptional go-to-market strategy. It comes soon after a new strategic collaboration with Panasonic Avionics and our continued success with existing value-added resellers, which have done an outstanding job in selling GX Aviation to leading airlines across the world. Our distribution network is now truly the best of the best.”Ben Driggs, President of Services and Connectivity, Honeywell Aerospace, said: “A shift is underway in the aviation industry, focused on higher margin opportunities in software, services and predictive data analytics. Today’s announcement gives us the ability to market our multitude of GoDirect Connected Aircraft services in addition to hardware directly to future airline customers.”About InmarsatInmarsat is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organisations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat operates around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (ISAT.L).last_img read more

Press Release Gogo AVANCE L5 certified on Gulfstream airframes

first_imgQuality inflight connectivity has become one of the most important features for passengers traveling on a business jet today. Gogo Business Aviation’s AVANCE L5 system is delivering a 4G experience to hundreds of business jets, including a full complement of Gulfstream aircraft models.“We’re so pleased that Gulfstream has chosen to build on our partnership to invest in these STCs for the AVANCE L5 across multiple airframes,” said Sergio Aguirre, president of Gogo Business Aviation. “Gulfstream has a discerning customer base, and the AVANCE L5 system delivers the most robust air-to-ground experience available across North America today. It’s great news that the L5 is now available as an install option.”The Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) secured include the following Gulfstream airframes:G650/650ERG600G550/GV/SPG450/GIV/SPG280Gogo AVANCE is an innovative software-centric approach that combines Gogo’s advanced hardware and software technology to create a fully integrated, aviation-grade inflight connectivity and entertainment platform. The platform enables connected aviation technologies, services and applications like never before. AVANCE L5 connects to the Gogo Biz 4G network delivering faster speeds supporting bandwidth-intensive activities.AVANCE L5 is flying on nearly 500 aircraft today providing a 4G in-cabin connectivity experience that is proven and dependable.The Gulfstream service centers offering AVANCE L5 installations include locations in Savannah and Brunswick, Ga., Westfield, Mass., St. Louis, Mo., Dallas, Texas, Long Beach, Calif., and Appleton, Wis.About GogoGogo is the Inflight Internet Company. We are the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation. We design and source innovative network solutions that connect aircraft to the Internet and develop software and platforms that enable customizable solutions for and by our aviation partners. Once connected, we provide industry leading reliability around the world. Our mission is to help aviation go farther by making planes fly smarter, so our aviation partners perform better and their passengers travel happier.You can find Gogo’s products and services on thousands of aircraft operated by the leading global commercial airlines and thousands of private aircraft, including those of the largest fractional ownership operators.  Gogo is headquartered in Chicago with additional facilities in Broomfield, Colo., and locations across the globe.Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking StatementsCertain disclosures in this press release include “forward-looking statements” that are based on management’s beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to management. Most forward-looking statements contain words that identify them as forward-looking, such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “continues,” “could,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “potential,” “predicts,” “projects,” “should,” “will,” “would” or similar expressions and the negatives of those terms that relate to future events. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, trends and uncertainties, many of which may be beyond our control, that may cause Gogo’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any projected results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks, trends and uncertainties include those described under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on February 22, 2018 and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on May 4, 2018, and in Item 1A of our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2018 as filed with the SEC on August 8, 2018..  Forward-looking statements represent the beliefs and assumptions of Gogo only as of the date of this press release and Gogo undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.last_img read more

Industry reups on performancebased regulation to keep up with growth

first_imgMoreover, who would have thought that, even with prescriptive regulation and close oversight, SabreTech would engage in a deception that would ultimately cost the lives of 109 people onboard ValuJet flight 592?It’s very good to build a safety culture and to develop trust between stakeholders, but effective regulation requires a level of skepticism about the goodwill of those stakeholders, and about their awareness of vulnerabilities.Prescriptive or performance-based, the whole point of regulators is that they regulate.Making the case for performance-based regulation at IATA Wings of Change Europe. From left to right – Geoff Clark, Head of Regulatory Affairs – Aircraft Operations, Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd; Vincent De Vroey, Director of Civil Aviation, AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD); Filip Cornelis, Director for Aviation, Directorate General for Mobility & Transport, European Commission; Pekka Henttu, Director General, TRAFI; Salvatore Sciacchitano, Executive Secretary, European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC); and Gilberto Lopez Meyer, Senior VP Safety & Flight Operations, International Air Transport Association (IATA). Image: Marisa GarciaRelated Articles:Lion Air crash should remind us not to rush to judgmentPodcast 061: Breaking down the passenger wins in FAA reauthorizationEditorial: Passengers must help to keep industry’s nose cleanAs seat size issue hots up, Europe’s EASA not planning changesAirlines decline to self-regulate on PaxEx, despite threat of new lawsOp-Ed: Four years after MH370, a new era in safety is on the horizonThe power of aviation in a global community: IATA talks building bridgesBlack box streaming – if not now, when?Efforts advance to route aircraft data over most efficient pipesSinai Metrojet A321 crash raises questions about Egypt, RussiaOnus is on regulatory authorities to enact global aircraft trackingMedia hysteria is creating new crop of fearful flyers: experts At the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Wings of Change Europe conference in Madrid, representatives of regulatory bodies and airlines touted the benefits of performance-based regulation.This trust-based methodology is intended to keep up with growth demands and the disruption of new technologies and business models. As regulators, “we would not be able to put behind every operation an inspector and a rule”, noted the European Commission’s director for aviation, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, Filip Cornelis in reference to the raft of new technologies being introduced to aviation.“We are all faced with scarce resources in most states and even a net reduction of resources, so we have to work together [on a] new mechanism for states to share resources between states and EASA,” he said.But should the air transport industry shift away from the regulatory practices that fostered the exceptional safety record that aviation enjoys today?Adopting performance-based regulation involves a move away from what is described as “prescriptive regulation” wherein the regulator drafts set rules and procedures to validate airworthiness. This method taxes resources. “We cannot devise a rule for every possible technology or business model. We have seen the limits of prescriptive regulation. Even though it has been very effective in the past, it has come at a high cost and is also finite,” insisted Cornelis.Instead, regulators are setting up a “risk hierarchy” to determine the level of regulation that should be applied to different areas of aviation. Areas like general aviation, where, Cornelis said, people “know the risks that they are taking” would rely on more performance-based regulation. He noted that industry is already trying this methodology with the introduction of various drone applications.“It’s clear that an innocent passenger flying on one of IATA’s member airlines still will be the most protected person,” he noted.Regulators have been moving in this direction for some time. In 2015, the FAA issued a broad order which set forth a new Compliance Philosophy as the overarching guidance for implementing its safety oversight. This philosophy, which eschews a traditional, enforcement-focused regulatory model, was the first step in the agency’s culture shift to use safety management principles to proactively address emerging safety risks. “We are shifting our culture because the aviation environment has reached a level of complexity where we cannot achieve further safety improvements by following a purely rule-based approach,” the FAA explained.Last year, the agency outlined how taking a risk-based approach may affect passenger experience (#PaxEx) stakeholders, specifically, telling Runway Girl Network:The FAA certification process is geared toward maintaining the appropriate level of safety for the type of aircraft and its operation.In a risk-based environment, we limit our involvement/oversight based on that level of safety and the level of experience that the modifier has with carrying out the design change. Our main concern is that passengers make it safely to their destination.For example, we would limit our involvement/oversight of an applicant/modifier installing a seat in a proven/standard configuration that has been demonstrated to meet the aircraft’s required level of safety.In some cases, for new seating configurations that have not been proven, we may elect to be involved in the approval process to assure the new configuration is not introducing a safety hazard.The push for performance-based regulation will cut back on administrative tasks and focus instead on building a safety culture. Regulators at IATA Wings of Change Europe said they would not do away with prescriptive regulations entirely, but rely on this methodology less.Virgin Atlantic head of regulatory affairs – aircraft operations Geoff Clark, who is part of a performance-based regulation working group in the UK, shared details on how the country’s Civil Aviation Authority has succeeded in moving towards a performance-based regulatory structure, though he noted that in some cases, prescriptive regulation or oversight is appropriate and, arguably may be more effective.“There remains the opportunity, or in some cases the need, to utilize prescriptive measures or processes. This may be specific to smaller operators who may lack the resources normally available to the larger operators. But some aspect of the larger airline operations may also benefit from prescriptive regulatory oversight where the flexibility of performance-based measures is unnecessary, not appropriate or not relevant,” said Clark.“The oversight by the regulator changes to smaller, more frequent, targeted audits or reviews of specific operational areas, replacing a more formal broad-brush or general approach to monitoring compliance. These smaller focused inspections normally review areas of higher risk which should match the identified risks of both the national aviation authority and the organization being audited. In some cases, this may also focus on any identified sectorial risks established by data gathered by the authority.”Clark argued that a more targeted approach is preferable to prescriptive regulation in that it requires compliance to the spirit of the law, instead of focusing on the letter of the law. “Sharing safety data, safety events and occurrences, will enable the national aviation authority to build an accurate risk-profile in cooperation with the operator, rather than being reliant on the sometimes limited data that an operator might make available to its authority.”But does a reliance on dialogue prove out? Prescriptive regulation is not perfect but also has not been arbitrary. The rules that find their way onto the books are often based on the findings of incidents and accidents. Rules are also reviewed by individual working groups, including a mix of industry representatives, and open to commentary before being finalized.At the same time, accidents can be a result of a combination of factors that could not have been predicted. Who would have imagined that the Challenger would be brought down by something as small as inadequate O-ring seals?As part of the investigation into the disaster, noted physicist Richard Feynman found that the O-ring’s vulnerability to cold was known and dismissed because failure was considered unlikely.last_img read more

CityJet SSJ100 PaxEx impresses and Brussels tackles inflight drinking

first_imgI particularly like that Brussels Airlines doesn’t make a huge production out of the video. It is effective in covering the key points, and has just the right amount of lighthearted humor.If you are connecting in Europe, then Brussels Airport is a good choice. It is relatively easy to navigate and I’ve never encountered any issues with delays leading to missed flights – even when being bussed out.I also flew out of Madrid’s Terminal 2 on this trip. While it is an aging terminal, it was remarkably convenient. I sped right through security. You’ll find a variety of shops and restaurants, even near the gates. After a busy day, skipping lunch, I stopped by Montaditos to enjoy the cafeteria’s tiny, delectable sandwiches and home-made chips. I can highly recommend it, but don’t order just one; each of these ‘bocadillos’ really are only a mouthful.If you want to bring home some Spanish culinary treasures (and yummy Christmas treats) then skip head straight for the Sibarium delicatessen which has shops in Barajas’ terminals as well as at Barcelona, Málaga, Santiago, Alicante, Ibiza, Menorca, Bilbao and Sevilla airports. It’s a bit pricey but a can’t-miss for the quality of the selection available.Totally unrelated: Brussels Airlines will check an excess bag for you at the gate, free of charge, if you get a little carried away stocking up on Spanish goodies when the flight is crowded and the overhead bins are at capacity.Related Articles:Why Delta’s new A220 feels bigger on the insideBrussels Airlines retains own brand, goes three-class with JPA DesignTo Buy. To Serve: British Airways goes full Ryanair on shorthaul foodThoughtful mocktails Nudge passengers away from over-imbibingEpisode 013: Booze Fueled Behavior and Inflight FlavorUnruly passengers in the spotlight as airlines see rise in incidentsPress Release: JPA to design cabin interiors for Brussels A330 fleet A recent trip from Billund, Denmark to Madrid, with a quick stopover in Brussels, gave this writer an opportunity to fly the Sukhoi Superjet 100 for the first time.In the past, I’ve flown with Brussels Airlines on a wet-leased Flybe Bombardier Q400 for the Billund-Brussels leg of the journey. I don’t mind a turboprop flight, frankly, and Flybe staff have always offered excellent service, but this involves boarding on the tarmac. On a rainy and chilly early morning, I was pleased to find that we were boarding through the jet bridge instead and onto a new SSJ100, wet-leased by CityJet.The leather-covered seats on board are in a 2-3 configuration, and felt roomy.Large windows on the SSJ100 are a plus. Image: Marisa GarciaI also appreciated the large windows and large storage bins on this aircraft. I had the window seat on a double – both on the outbound and return.Flying on the Superjet 100 is not comparable to an Airbus A220, but the cabin experience was better than I’ve had flying on older regional jets.Roomy bins and a 2-3 configuration make the wet-leased CityJet SSJ cabin comfortable. Image: Marisa GarciaOne big downside: I have read that this Sukhoi aircraft has frequent maintenance downtime which is discouraging Brussels Airlines from continuing the CityJet wet-lease arrangement next year, but we encountered no delays.By comparison, the 3-3 configuration of Brussels Airlines’ own Airbus A320 aircraft was tight. Although all four of my flights were full, only the A320 flights between Brussels and Madrid felt crowded. The seat bottoms are also very hard, which can make flying for anything longer than an hour uncomfortable.The CityJet SSJ100 offers a good amount of legroom, though the seat frame is poorly positioned for under-seat storage in the window seat. Image: Marisa GarciaBrussels Airlines has a buy-on-board program for meals and beverages – don’t expect anything for free – but I brought water with me. I did have a peek at the ‘shop and eat’ menu and the airline offers a decent selection of fresh meals. Prices are about what you would expect – not cheap but competitive with airport concessions.No matter how many times you watch airline safety videos, you’ll always find something you missed. Brussels Airlines’ video is not new but this was the first time I really noticed how the airline has tackled the problem of inflight drinking, which has led to a number of flight disruptions in Europe. Indeed, the unruly passenger incident rate is on the rise overall, with IATA this week citing non-compliance with smoking rules, intoxication, and failure to adhere to safety regulations as the main drivers, as reported by APEX Media.“We know you’re really funny when you’re drunk, but no thanks. We already have entertainment systems on board,” Brussels Airlines tells its passengers.Brussels Airlines delivers straight talk about inflight drinking in its safety video. Image: Brussels AirlinesOf course, the entertainment systems on these A320 aircraft were only drop-down screens used to show the safety video, but let’s not quibble.The video also tackles the ongoing problem of passengers uncorking their duty-free with a warning: “Remember that consuming your own alcoholic drinks is not allowed.”last_img read more

Press Release Isotropic raises 14m in funding led by Boeing HorizonX

first_imgIsotropic Systems Ltd., the next-generation integrated satellite terminal solution provider, today announced a $14 million Series A round of funding led by Boeing HorizonX Ventures, with participation from WML, Space Angels and Space Capital.“The Series A financing builds on an exceptional year for Isotropic which saw a rapidly growing roster of strategic partners and customers who are poised to unlock the full potential of high-throughput satellites and mega-constellations across all orbits,” said John Finney, founder and chief executive officer of Isotropic Systems. “Boeing’s investment provides our team access to Boeing experts, testing labs, and other valuable resources to fast-track the deployment of our terminal solutions and to leverage our intellectual property across other space-based and wireless connectivity applications.”Leveraging a transformational optical beamforming technology to control the direction of radio waves, Isotropic Systems has developed communication terminal solutions that are significantly more cost-effective, use significantly less power and yet achieve superior performance benefits for the end users. The substantial reduction in cost and power combined with improved performance result in newly-addressable markets and enable mass adoption of satellite communications.“Isotropic’s solution allows for increased capabilities at reduced costs for satellite service providers,” said Brian Schettler, managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures. “This investment accelerates the expansion of space-based connectivity services to the mass market and continues Boeing’s leadership in space innovation.”This new funding will allow Isotropic to accelerate the commercialization of its technology to benefit its satellite operator customers and to leverage its technology to explore new applications in adjacent markets.Read the Boeing HorizonX Ventures press release for more information regarding this announcement.About Isotropic SystemsIsotropic Systems is developing the world’s first multi-service, high-bandwidth, low power, fully integrated high throughput terminal designed to support the satellite industry to ‘reach beyond’ traditional markets and acquire new customers with a full suite of high throughput services. The company’s team of industry experts and scientists has pioneered several firsts in satellite terminal design.About Boeing HorizonX VenturesBoeing HorizonX Ventures targets investments that help scale startup innovation in aerospace. Its portfolio includes companies specializing in autonomous systems, additive manufacturing, energy and data storage, advanced materials, augmented reality systems and software, machine learning, hybrid-electric and hypersonic propulsion and Internet of Things connectivity.About BoeingBoeing is the world’s largest aerospace company, the leading manufacturer of commercial airplanes and defense, space and security systems, and a major provider of commercial and government aerospace services. A top U.S. exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in more than 150 countries.last_img read more

Press Release Access Apple Music for free on AAs Viasatfitted aircraft

first_imgEntertainment on American Airlines is getting even better. Starting Friday, American Airlines customers will have access to Apple Music to stream more than 50 million songs, playlists and music videos on any domestic flight equipped with Viasat satellite Wi-Fi. American is the first commercial airline to provide exclusive access to Apple Music through complimentary inflight Wi-Fi access.No matter how you like to spend your time in the air, there’s something for everyone on American flights. American continues to build a world-class customer experience and is investing in new entertainment and connectivity options throughout its fleet. In addition to launching Apple Music, American is also:Installing high-speed Wi-Fi on domestic aircraft, with more than 570 aircraft complete today, and full completion mid-2019Adding free live TV, currently on more than 400 domestic and 155 international aircraft, with additional rollouts continuing this yearProviding free access to wireless entertainment throughout American’s fleet, bringing great movies and television shows right to each customer’s deviceInstalling power at every seat on mainline aircraft and two-class regional jets“Our customers want to make the most of their time when flying with us. That’s why we’re investing in high-speed Wi-Fi, the newest movies, live TV and now Apple Music,” said Janelle Anderson, Vice President of Global Marketing at American. “Providing customers with more ways to stay connected throughout each flight is one way to show we value their business and the time they spend with us.”“For most travelers, having music to listen to on the plane is just as important as anything they pack in their suitcases,” said Oliver Schusser, Vice President of Apple Music. “With the addition of Apple Music on American flights, we are excited that customers can now enjoy their music in even more places. Subscribers can stream all their favorite songs and artists in the air and continue to listen to their personal library offline, giving them everything they need to truly sit back, relax and enjoy their flight.”To enjoy Apple Music during flight, customers on Viasat-equipped aircraft can connect to Wi-Fi at no cost and log in with their Apple Music subscription. Customers who don’t already have an Apple Music subscription will be able to connect to Wi-Fi at no cost, sign up onboard and receive free access for three months. Apple Music is available on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, Apple TV, PC, Android, CarPlay, HomePod, Sonos and Amazon Echo.American Airlines customers can enjoy the world’s most exciting new music and unique city-themed playlists for their journey in addition to Apple Music’s exclusive content such as in-depth artist interviews and today’s hottest sounds on the Beats 1 global livestream. Visit to learn more and listen onboard starting Feb. 1. About American Airlines Group American Airlines and American Eagle offer an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American has hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. American is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, whose members serve more than 1,000 destinations with about 14,250 daily flights to over 150 countries. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL. In 2015, its stock joined the S&P 500 index.last_img read more

Press Release Passenger Experience Conference to feature thought leaders

first_imgSenior strategists from airlines, cruise, rail and across the industry supply chain will come together on 1 April 2019 to discuss the latest trends and future of passenger experience at this year’s Passenger Experience Conference at the Hamburg Messe.The one-day, highly-acclaimed conference will kick off Passenger Experience Week, firstly by welcoming delegates in a plenary session to consider ideas and issues that will define passenger experience over the coming years. The day will culminate in the unmissable Industry Networking Party, giving attendees a chance to meet with the who’s who of the industry and celebrate 20 years of co-located show, Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) which follows the conference over the next three days (2-4 April 2019).During the conference, delegates will split into three concurrent streams, focused on different elements of passenger experience, with opportunities to hear from experts.The Competitive CabinScott Savian, EVP ZEO and Research & Technology at Safran Cabin, Andrew Masson, Director of Interior Modifications and Leasing at Boeing Global Services, and Airline Monetisation Expert Oliver Ranson of Ranson Pricing will be challenging the status quo, exploring how innovative products and services, and new ways of carving up cabin space will deliver better passenger experience as well as increased revenue and ROI.Additionally, a Bombardier commercial aircraft case study will offer insight from a senior executive on maximising cabin space.Ensuring cabin space is accessible for all can be a challenge, but it also provides an opportunity to engage with new customers and strengthen brand loyalty. Geraldine Lundy, Passenger Accessibility Manager at Virgin Atlantic, and Paul Priestman, Chairman of Priestmangoode will offer insight about industry solutions to specific problems that passengers with restricted mobility face, andThe Competitive Cabin keynote speech will be given by Mariel Brown, Director of Futures at Seymourpowell, who will present exclusive research about the travellers of tomorrow.Digital: The New RealityExperts Russell Holmes, from ico Design, Simon Krasowski, from Diehl Aviation, Elizabeth “Bess” Chapman, Operating Principal at JetBlue Technology Ventures and David Bartlett, from Panasonic Avionics Corporation, will join the second stream to explain how to think like a digital native and use technology to develop a seamless passenger journey. A strong ecosystem to support different digital and mobile tools is also crucial – Konsta Hansson, Managing Director of Reaktor Aero and Dennis Bauer, Head of conichiwa, will discuss how to avoid a disconnected experience.From a digital entertainment perspective, Fabian Bergfeld from W12 (a TCS Interactive Digital Design Studio) looks at the use of augmented, virtual and mixed realities to create an immersive experience for passengers, more of which can be found at Passenger Technology Solutions and AIX’s Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) Zone, which are located next to each other in the Hamburg Messe from 2 April.Revitalising The JourneyPeter Wilander, Vice President of Passenger Experience & Product Development at AMTRAK, Andreas Koukas of Hilton Luxury Division Europe & Middle East, and Dr Stathis Kefallonitis, Founder & President of and Noesis Analysis Labs, will offer lessons from the rail industry on passenger hospitality.With biometrics opening up the journey through the airport and onto the aircraft Christopher Forrest, Vice President, Global Airports at Collins Aerospace will join the conference to discuss the role of facial recognition in a world where passengers increasingly expect self-service.Elsewhere, tapping into emotions through technology, Luc Van Stiphout, Head of Music & Brands at MassiveMusic, will explain how the industry use music to tap into passenger’s emotions and shape brand perception. Sleep, a vital aspect of the journey, will be explored by Dr Jacques Durand, Chief Innovation Officer of, an expert in digital wellness solutions using AI. For more on ensuring an enjoyable passenger experience, World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) will showcase retailers and catering offerings from 2 to 4 April 2019.Polly Magraw, Event Director said: “This is a jam-packed Passenger Experience Conference, with experts from across the globe. The insights and forecasts from the best and brightest are not to be missed by anyone in the passenger experience industry.”About Passenger Experience Week Four leading events – the Passenger Experience Conference, Aircraft Interiors Expo, World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo, and Passenger Technology Solutions – one week, one destination. Delivering content, driving innovation and developing connections to transform your business. Showcasing the latest in cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and connectivity, onboard technology, passenger comfort, catering and travel retail to create the ultimate passenger experience. Taking place 1-4 April 2019 in Hamburg, the events attract more than 18,000 visitors including 2,000 buyers and decision makers from major full service, regional and charter airlines and rail operators and offers the opportunity to meet face to face with suppliers and manufacturers covering the full spectrum of the industry.About Reed ExhibitionsReed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in over 30 countries. In 2017 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business (for local markets and national economies). Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 38 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.last_img read more

Study finds flying poses no greater risk of disease than the office

first_imgWhile there have been quite a number of articles written about the bacterial “hotspots” on airplanes and at airports, the risks from exposure to the microbiome (microbial environment) of airplanes does not differ significantly from other public areas, including the subway, the office, and even the International Space Station, according to a study conducted through a contract between The Georgia Institute of Technology and The Boeing Company.Detailed findings were published last year in ‘The Airplane Cabin Microbiome’, which was listed as a resource by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).Researchers collected 229 environmental samples from the air and from various aircraft surfaces, on ten transcontinental flights in the US, and ran 16S rRNA sequencing to identify the types of bacteria in the samples.“We wanted to understand the infectious agents present in an airplane cabin that might be transmitted during these opportunities. To this end, we identified the microbiota present on these flights, allowing characterization of the airplane cabin microbiome. We hypothesized that the airplane cabin microbiome differs from that of other built environments,” the authors write.“Since the majority of flights were during the seasonal flu epidemic in either the originating city or the destination city, we were interested to determine if we could detect influenza virus in our samples. Since the transmission opportunities we characterized in the first part of the FlyHealthy™ study were those that would allow transmission by large droplets, we were interested in sampling air as well as touch surfaces (fomites). Key questions related to differences between types of samples (air versus touch surfaces), pre- to post-flight changes, and changes from flight-to-flight in the ‘core’ airplane cabin microbiome.”While the authors originally posited that the aircraft environment might be different from other public places, their findings proved otherwise. “Despite the uniqueness of the airplane cabin as a built environment, our findings are surprisingly consistent with other recent studies of the microbiome of built environments,” they state. “This consistency is reassuring in light of frequent sensationalistic media stories about dangerous germs found on airplanes. For this reason, there is no more risk from 4 to 5 hours spent in an airplane cabin than 4–5 hours spent in an office, all other exposures being the same.”There are similar microbiomes when people travel underground and even in space. “Although different primers and sequencing techniques were used, the core microbiome identified in the Boston subway system study has significant overlap with airplane cabins. Corynebacteriaceae, a skin commensal, appeared in nearly every subway sample, and while we do not include it in the airplane cabin core list, it was present in all but ten of our samples. A study of the microbiome of the International Space Station, the only other airborne built environment that has been studied, led to the same conclusion, as did two studies of office spaces,” notes the Georgia Tech/Boeing report.The bacteria that we naturally carry on our bodies – some of it relatively harmless – end up on the surfaces we touch and are atomized in the air we breathe and when we cough or sneeze. When combined with bad hygiene habits – like not washing hands – harmful bacteria can collect on aircraft surfaces and fabrics.“Every plane being different in terms of its microbiome suggests that each retains aspects of its historical living microbiome, that is, the passengers,” the study determined. “The development of a cleaning routine that erases much of this inherited microbiome could be a powerful preventative measure against the spread of disease.”Airlines conduct thorough cleaning overnight, but keeping aircraft cabins sanitary doesn’t have to wait until the end of day. With the introduction of antibacterial treatments to cabin components such as Recaro Aircraft Seating’s antibacterial plastics, and other antibacterial strategies – like Boeing’s proposal to introduce UV lighting in aircraft lavatories – bacteria levels can be kept low while aircraft are in-service.The hygienic coatings that Recaro puts on its economy aircraft seats are also more scratch-resistant than standard aviation materials, which improves their resistance to ordinary wear and tear and avoids crevices where bacteria can gather.In 2018, Recaro Aircraft Seating won the German Innovation Award for its Hygienic Seat. Antibacterial substances within the seat offer passengers increased protection from bacteria. Image: RecaroNicole Hulka, manager of communications at Recaro, explains that research into the lifecycle of bacteria on aircraft inspired this development. She says:The environmental system of an aircraft already filters most germs. A less bacteria-friendly material environment could further support the risk reduction of infectious disease transmission, according to a scientific investigation by Alexandra Mangili and Mark A Gendreau. With a focus on the survival of pathogens on airplane cabin surfaces, Kiril Vaglenov from Auburn University, Alabama, concluded that E. coli bacteria survived 96 hours on armrests. With these facts in mind, we were highly motivated to further evolve our antibacterial technology to provide passengers with added safety and comfort.Recaro is also exploring how to apply these treatments on business class seats. “We are in discussion with various of our customers and it is very dependent on the ‘customized’ programs we will be producing – we estimate to launch within the next 1-2 years,” says Hulka. “Besides that, we are delivering nano-coating solutions, which enable much easier cleaning and avoidance of black stripes for example on bumpers.”With increasing numbers of passengers taking to the skies, and airlines increasing the utilization of aircraft, developing strategies to keep aircraft cabins clean from flight to flight are increasingly important.The findings of the Georgia Tech/Boeing study apply to routine aircraft operations. Different protocols apply to flights when there is a known risk of more serious contagion-like the spread of SARS or Ebola. The CDC offers guidance to airlines on managing these threats. IATA also provides guidelines, as does ICAO through a collaboration with the World Health Organization.Related Articles:Lufthansa on wellness applications – what about the liability?“Wellness” trend expands into premium hard product at APEX EXPOPPG UV-protective window transparencies address crew healthCabin Air Safety Act aimed at cleaning the air in the airNot just an idea: Boeing wants to offer self-cleaning lav to airlinesAn autopsy may prove contaminated cabin air causes deathToxic cabin air may threaten passenger and crew healthAirline body appeals for calm over Ebola fearsPress Release: Embry-Riddle studies reducing spread of disease in-flightlast_img read more

Spotlight Fair game

first_imgCourtesy of Julie Leonard, The News and ObserverN.C. State Fairby Mimi MontgomeryIf you grew up in Raleigh, chances are you have memories of attending the N.C. State Fair as a child. If you didn’t, it’s never too late to create some. Check out the rides, games, and food – delicious, daring, and otherwise – at the annual celebration October 15-25. This year’s theme is “Nothing Could Be Finer;” it aims to showcase the best in local entertainment, food, innovation, and agriculture. You can learn about our state at exhibits like the Mobile Dairy Classroom, the Village of Yesteryear, and Agriculture Today. At the State Fair Ark, visitors can meet and learn about more than 60 livestock animals all raised in North Carolina.If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the rides and crowds, take a break and check out the Folk Festival, which takes place over the 10-day course of the fair. Folks specializing in everything from bluegrass to clogging will compete to see who best exemplifies our state’s musical heritage. The performances don’t end there – an array of free entertainment is planned throughout the fair. At Dorton Arena, groups like The Embers, Band of Oz, and Charlie Daniels Band will be stopping by to entertain. Also, the famous pig races will be back, along with comedy shows, aerial acrobatics, and an all-female axe-throwing exhibition. Be sure to check out Joan Matthews’ award-winning chrysanthemums, as well, which we feature in this issue (pg. 68). End the night in the wine and beer garden, featuring over a dozen local wineries and breweries. And, if you make it until 9:45 p.m., each night they’ll be hosting a fireworks show.  Hours vary, but gates are open from 8 a.m. – midnight most days; $10 adults, $5 children ages 6 – 12, children under 6 free; 1025 Blue Ridge Blvd.; ncstatefair.orglast_img read more

Tales from the Wild An Evening With T Edward Nickens

first_imgOn October 13, we’ll head downtown to City Market’s rustic Cobblestone Hall for an evening of Tales from the Wild with T. Edward Nickens. Presented by WALTER and Great Outdoor Provision Co. and sponsored by the Taggart Autosport, the evening will feature oysters, drinks from Trophy Brewing and TOPO Distillery, and plated game and other delicacies from 214 Martin Street. Nickens, who specializes in the outdoors, conservation reporting, and the cultural heritage of the South, is the bestselling author of Outdoorsman Manual and editor-at-large for Field & Stream.Purchase your tickets here.last_img read more

Inspired Setting

first_imgby Catherine Currin | photography by Catherine Nguyen Homeowners Karren and Mike Jackson had a clear vision of their dream home. They purchased the land for their Barton Grove home almost two years ago, and began the building process with Homes by Dickerson. The couple wanted French chateau style, with curved windows and details. “It’s not their typical style of home, and we definitely pushed them in the design process,” says Karren Jackson. Jackson worked for a home builder in California before returning to her native North Carolina, and she says she loved every minute of the building and design process. “I went to NC State at the College of Textiles. I’ve always been drawn to all things beautiful and I love going into other homes for inspiration.” The request at the top of the list: outdoor living as much as possible. “We wanted the ability to walk in the front door and see straight out the back. We love being outside especially with our girls.” The couple wanted room to grow with their daughters, Olivia, 8, and Brinkley, 4. They’ve alloted enough space on their 3.2 acres for a pool in the coming years. “It was important to us to have a comfortable flow from indoor to outdoor,” says Jackson. “I spend most of my time on the back porch, and we love to eat out there as a family.” To assist with the decorating details, the Jacksons hired Lauren Burns of Lauren Burns Interiors. “We sold everything from our old house and started with a clean slate,” says Jackson. “Lauren [Burns] really understood what we wanted for the house.” The interiors are filled with clean lines and crisp neutrals, with Karren Jackson’s favorite pops of pink throughout. “I love adding girly touches, like the pale pink living room walls.” Jackson says their old home was full of dark woods and lacked natural light. “We wanted clean, open spaces that felt airy and allowed for tons of natural light.” Jackson says the couple was inspired by the travels they’ve taken together. “My work allows me to travel, and one of our first trips as a couple was to France. We just fell in love with that style of architecture. We tried to include influence from all our travels and fit them into one home.”last_img read more

Enhancing the procurement of services contracts

first_imgPhilip McClay, Deputy Director of Construction and Procurement Delivery (CPD) Health Projects, talks to AgendaNI about the remit and outputs of a Design Consultancy Services Subgroup, raising design quality in government projects, improving selections processes, tender scoring mechanisms and the action being taken to improve supplier performance.The CPD/Construction Industry subgroup was established to explore what actions both industry and government can take to develop a more sustainable procurement policy within the construction industry. It produced a report in June 2017, which outlined 10 key themes aimed at further improving the procurement of construction related services contracts, named the Ten Principles for Procuring Better Outcomes. These outcomes were:raising design quality in Government construction contracts;establishing certainty in briefing and scope of services;selection process, past experience and financial standing;tender price scoring mechanism;appropriate procurement routes;performance management;opportunities for new and emerging talent;streamlining of procurement procedures;payment and cash flow; andtender feedback.On the theme of raising design quality in government construction contracts, McClay says: “Well-designed buildings have benefits for the citizen. For example, well-designed schools have been found to enhance the educational experience and encourage children to learn. St Bronagh’s Primary School, Rostrevor is a very good example, having recently won the Royal Society of Ulster Architects Liam McCormick Prize for Project of the Year in 2018.”“Altnagelvin Radiotherapy Unit is another great example. It’s a recognised fact that well-designed healthcare buildings are one factor which contribute to a healing environment which helps patients to recover more quickly. Design quality needs to be improved and the trends of these two projects need to continue, but what’s important is that we do have good examples out there.”To build on those examples, the subgroup set about drafting up guidelines to ensure that professional services firms play their part in delivery quality Government buildings that represent best value for money. “The output from the group has been used to inform the production of a Procurement Guidance Note that is broadly based on the Royal Institute of British Architects 10 Principles for Procuring Better Outcomes.” McClay explains.“This guidance note was particularly focused on procurement and how procurement can be used to better leverage design quality. Having published this, we are looking forward to seeing design quality coming to the fore in all projects, which will benefit everyone who uses these facilities.”Another issue tacked by the subgroup was the reduction in completed projects. “The downturn has had an impact on the construction industry, both for design services and contractors, and one of the issues that has arisen is that design teams had less examples of completed projects,” McClay says.“The subgroup proposed a graduated scoring matrix whereby a scheme that hasn’t been completed can still be put forward for consideration as part of a selection process. If a project is not completed, but a planning submission has been made, then the project will score 50 per cent of the maximum marks available; if a contractor has been appointed, 75 per cent of the maximum mark is available. The hope is that this will open up the field to more practices who do not have projects fully completed at the time of procurement and encourage them to submit an application.”An important aspect of the selection process is the tender price scoring mechanism used to determine the successful tender. As McClay explains: “In the past, contracts, even when awarded on the basis of quality and price, tended to be awarded to the team that have put the lowest fee which sometimes can affect the quality of  the project. What we want to do is award contracts at a more sustainable fee level enabling professional practices to provide sufficient resource to ensure the design and contract administration service provided is high quality. The ‘Narrow Average’ mechanism agreed by the subgroup calculates the average of the prices submitted excluding the highest and the lowest price.“The highest price score will then be awarded to the submission closest to that narrow average when quality and price are being assessed. Where the professional services team is being appointed on a price only basis, the contract will be awarded to the tenderer whose price is closest to the narrow average except where there is a lower price within an agreed proximity margin.”Once the procurement process has been completed, McClay says: “historically, Government clients have sometimes been accused of not managing contracts to a high enough standard. That perception also came through in our working groups. For us as a Government client, we were pleased to see that the industry representatives were encouraging the use of more robust contract management.”A Procurement Guidance Note 01/12 entitled Contract Management Principles and Procedures that contains a poor performance protocol has been revised. The perception with the previous version, McClay says, was that it was a “single stage process that was difficult to see through to the end”.In the past, contracts, even when awarded on the basis of quality and price, tended to be awarded to the team that have put the lowest fee which sometimes can affect the quality of  the project. What we want to do is award contracts at a more sustainable fee level enabling professional practices to provide sufficient resource to ensure the design and contract administration service provided is high quality.“A notice of written warning, a ‘yellow card’ can be issued when there is a poor performance issue and the consultant (or contractor) has been given an opportunity to improve their performance. This notice of written warning is published on the DoF/CPD website and remains in place for a 12 months. If a supplier has two or more of these notices of written warning on the record at any one time, government clients may exclude them from any future competitions for a period of 12 months. Where performance is so poor that traditionally the issues would have resulted in termination of the contract, the client can now issue a Notice of Unsatisfactory Performance, a ‘red’ card instead. This notice is recorded on DoF/CPD’s website and a government client may exclude the supplier from future procurement competitions being undertaken for a period of three years.“These new protocols have been put in place to ensure that contract management standards are maintained. We are on a journey here, and there are going to be twists and turns along the way, but we in CPD hope that some of these mechanisms that have been drawn up in conjunction with the industry will make that journey a little bit smoother.” McClay concludes.last_img read more

A legal footing

first_imgThe formal commitment by the British and Irish governments to maintain citizens’ rights under the long-standing Common Travel Area (CTA) has been welcomed but there are concerns about the legal standing of such an agreement in the face of evolving relations.The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed in early May, formalising co-operation on immigration matters which has existed between the two countries since 1922.The reciprocal arrangement between Ireland and the UK, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands allows citizens to travel freely and reside between the two jurisdictions. The agreement also facilitates associated rights and privileges including the right to reside, work, study and access social security benefits and health services; and to vote in local and national parliamentary elections.However, the bilateral agreement’s legal value has been raised as a concern and potentially problematic in the future, as the CTA agreement will be expected to accommodate complications which arise from Brexit.Negotiations to formalise the maintaining of citizens’ rights have been ongoing for two years but the Memorandum of Understanding falls short of an international treaty on mutual rights which had been the favoured outcome of most.Many of the rights agreed under the CTA had been legally underpinned by EU legislation when both countries joined the bloc in 1973, however, with the UK’s future relationship with the EU still uncertain, there exists an ambiguity around the assumptions of the CTA now, and into the future.Agreements under the CTA were also built into the Good Friday Agreement, fortified by joint EU membership, and the Tánaiste Simon Coveney said upon the memorandum’s announcement that the CTA “underpins the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts”, a claim that will certainly be put to the test as Brexit throws up more and more challenges to the relationship between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.Notwithstanding Brexit, further challenges exist that have yet to be addressed and seem unlikely to be addressed without a formalised and rock-solid CTA, such as the ongoing case of northern-born Irish citizen Emma DeSouza. Concerns abound despite recent promises from the administrations in both London and Dublin to address issues around immigration and citizenship. The DeSouza case has exposed the British Government’s failure to legislate the right to Irish citizenship for those born in Northern Ireland into their laws and raises further questions of what status those who have both Irish and British citizenship, whether knowingly or unknowingly, could or should claim based on where they reside.While the CTA agreement covers personal rights such as freedom of travel and extends to education and training, such as EU level fees and SUSI grants for UK students in Ireland, the agreement does not extend to goods and services and how they will be affected once Brexit’s impact becomes a clearer reality.After the announcement, the Conservative MP and Deputy Chair of the Brexit-supporting European Research Group Mark Francois said that the agreement showed that it was possible to maintain “normal” relations between Britain and Ireland and “why the dreaded backstop has really been unnecessary from the word go”. Given that the backstop is almost exclusively concerned with trade, goods and services, these claims are amiss and do not reflect the reality of what any CTA agreement drives at.For the CTA to guarantee that “nothing will change”, as both Coveney and David Lidington MP promised, the agreement will most likely need to be subject to regular introductions of new legislations in either country in a manner similar to the Nordic Passport Union.For the CTA to guarantee that “nothing will change”, as both Coveney and David Lidington MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and the Prime Ministers de facto deputy, promised, the agreement will most likely need to be subject to regular introductions of new legislations in either country in a manner similar to the Nordic Passport Union. Given that the tightening of Britain’s borders was one of the major arguments put forward by the successful Leave campaign, how that tightening will exclude Irish citizens will need to be addressed, likewise Irish laws for non-EU citizens will likely need to be altered for British citizens post-Brexit.Speaking after the announcement, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Brexit, Lisa Chambers TD, said that she welcomed the agreement, but expressed reservations over its shaky legal basis. “The reality is that the outcome and shape of Brexit is unknown, and I would have preferred if greater legal certainty had been given to the CTA to guarantee the status quo into the future,” she said. “The CTA is an intrinsic part of the fabric of UK-Irish relations and whilst this MOU is welcome, I believe greater consideration should have been given to making this an internationally binding treaty.“The threat of a no deal Brexit has receded somewhat but there is no room for complacency when it comes to protecting our country’s interests. It is imperative that we secure the best outcome for Ireland and do all we can to maintain existing arrangements and ensure in as much as feasibly possible that they are on a legally sound footing.”Questions remain over the exact status of Irish citizens in Britain and vice versa due to the agreement’s non-binding nature. For example, it is unclear whether access to public services will be provided to them as de facto citizens or as favoured immigrants. It is also unclear what, if any, limitations have been placed on the provision of such services.In a statement announcing the agreement, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said that the MOU was the “culmination of over two years work and codifies the shared principles and common understanding between Ireland and the UK of what the CTA entails and covers” and that it “reaffirms the existing CTA arrangements” and “recognises the shared commitment of both to protect the associated reciprocal rights and privileges”. Notably, the MOU is referred to as an “enabler of the cross-border freedoms central to the lives and livelihoods of the people of Northern Ireland and the border region”. Tánaiste Coveney called it a “practical demonstration of the enduring strength of the British-Irish relationship and of our people to people ties”.How those ties will be tested and how they have been protected by the signing of the MOU will only become truly clear when Brexit and its implications finally come to pass.last_img read more

Did You Hear Andy Frasco The UN

first_imgAndy Frasco and The U.N. describe themselves as a Party Blues with a touch of Barefoot Boogie kind of band, and that’s what they delivered at The Pour House last week. A man-about-town shares his favorite musical moments in this photo series.Writing and photography by Gus Samarco Gus Samarco is a video engineer by day, photographer by night. Find more of his work on