‘Lanikai Hawaii’ lets Japanese people take vacations at home


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Last month, Japan began easing its border restrictions by doubling its cap on daily entries, including Japanese citizens, foreign students and some business travelers. The country then gave the go-ahead to tour participants willing to follow guidelines to curb the spread of COVID-19.

It will take some time before foreign visitors can come freely to Japan. In Hawaii, businesses have reported seeing signs of Japanese tourism returning. But for those who are still hesitant to visit the islands, there is an opportunity to enjoy Hawaiian food and entertainment without taking an 8-hour flight.

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From June 1 to August 28, people can visit “Lanikai Hawaii” at Suma Beach in Kobe, Japan. In the past, the Hawaii Tourism Authority sponsored event had performers like Kalapana and Miss Hawaii. However, due to COVID-19, the event will not have anyone from Hawaii.

At “Lanikai Hawaii,” attendees can enjoy Hawaiian cuisine and entertainment like hula, ukulele, and music, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. until its last day on August 28.

Illuminage Group is behind these events and plans to organize more in the winter:

  • Kobe Illumination — October 22 to January 22
  • Drive Thru Sakai Illumination (Hawaiian theme) – November 11 to February 12
  • Osaka Castle Illumination—November 22 to February 26
  • Ultraman Illumination – December 2 to March 5

Check out more Hawaii news

Earlier this year, Illuminage hosted its first Hawaii-themed event at the Sakai City Soccer National Training Center where people could see the Honolulu Zoo, King Kamehameha Statue and Diamond Head from the comfort of their car. The event was synced to a playlist hosted by radio legend Kamasami Kong.

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