Following Japan’s natural and nuclear disasters last year, there has been a marked decrease not only in inflow of tourists but also for outflow of Japanese travelers going to foreign countries. The reason is fairly obvious because of the crisis that has been forced upon on Japan and its people. This can be especially observed in the Thai-Japan tourism situation.
Tourism records would show that Thai tourists travel to Japan from the months of March to May. Japanese tourists on the other hand go to Thailand for ten-day holidays in April to May. The Thai visitors’ cancellations of their planned trips to Japan were understandable. The percentage of about 20-30% cancellation by Japanese travelers to Thailand was still understandable because of the possibility that many regular Japanese travelers have been personally affected by the tragedy. Still, the decrease in numbers has affected the over-all Thai-Japan tourism scenario.
The marked improvement therefore in the number of Japanese visitors to Thailand at the start of this year is seen as a very positive development towards normalcy of tourism activities between the two countries. It should be noted that Japanese travelers come second to the Chinese in relation to the biggest groups that visit Thailand. A steady influx therefore of visitors from Japan spell good news for businesses in Thailand that depend on the tourism industry.
One such business is the Thai language school. It has been observed that the interest on learning the Thai language increases proportionately to the number of foreign visitors that come to the country. Fortunately, it would appear that Japanese travelers in general, have recovered and have resumed their usual plans for Thailand visits.
Inquiries with any Thai language school usually come from foreign visitors who intend to stay for an extended period of time in Thailand. It is quite common for tourists to obtain education visas in their desire to extensively study the Thai language. Language learning is important especially for frequent travelers like most of the Japanese tourists.
Posted June 19th, 2012 by Teresa Martinez+ | Comment (0)
When a 17th century master Japanese metal smith by the name of Denbei Shoami created Mokume to adorn Samurai swords of warriors, its present use for fine jewelry was probably the farthest from his mind. The traditional material used for the process included gold, copper, and silver. The process involved fusing and soldering layers of the materials together for the purpose of allowing the materials to blend without melting, just enough to create a unique combination and design.
The literal translation of Mokume-gane is “wood grain metal”. This meaning can translate to the resulting rippling and swirls of colored metals. The early form of Mokume-gane required excellent craftsmanship since improper fusing can result to splitting of the material while being worked on to produce a finish product. Long after the decline of carrying swords in Japan, Mokume-gane has found a niche in decorative items and jewelry.
Fortunately, the more modern methods of fusing metals are much simpler now through the use of various mechanical aids although it is still a labor-intensive process. Designs are made more visually exciting through the applications of patina to facilitate changing of colors and designs. Mokume-gane has recently become a hot trend specifically in men’s jewelry such as wedding bands, bracelets, and designer cufflinks.
The reason why this is so is that Mokume-gane jewelry can stand alone without the need for further adornment such as precious stones. Men are generally inclined towards simplicity and this kind of jewelry provides simplicity without being boring. At present, other materials are being added to create more interesting designs such as palladium, platinum, copper, brass as well as other alloys. A hand-made Mokume-gane designer cufflinks is all a man would need to create a lasting impression.
Posted June 13th, 2012 by Teresa Martinez+ | Comment (0)