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New Rail Link in Tokyo Speeds Up Bullet Train

July 07, 1991|KIM UPTON

A time and money saver for the tourist taking the bullet train from one part of Japan to another, a recently opened rail link is connecting Tokyo's Ueno Station and Tokyo Station. For the traveler making a connection through Tokyo, this will eliminate having to catch an expensive taxi or train to shuttle between the stations. Given Tokyo's bumper-to-bumper traffic, it will save time, too. And with all bullet trains now originating from Tokyo Station, fast train travel between north and south will be even faster.

Game for Sleep: Tourists who get drowsy at the wheel as they drive to southern France this summer are being invited to pull over for an invigorating spot of golf, archery, horse riding or sailing.

In a move to reduce the carnage in a country with one of the worst road accident records in the world, the French Youth and Sports Ministry has unveiled 16 sporting centers located along the heavily traveled highways heading south. Facilities will be available free of charge.

In France, 205 people are killed for every 10,000 motorists.

Travel Quiz: In which country, outside of France, is the most French Champagne consumed?

Cuba Climbs: Cuba's tourist industry grew strongly in the first quarter of 1991 despite the Gulf War and a worsening economy, according to a senior official.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday July 7, 1991 Home Edition Part A Page 3 Column 6 Metro Desk 2 inches; 50 words Type of Material: Correction
Hong Kong airport--An item in the News and Briefs column in today's Travel Section, which went to press on Wednesday, erroneously reports that a new Hong Kong airport has been delayed due to funding disputes with the government of China. In fact, on Thursday it was announced an agreement had been reached and the building of the new airport will go forward.

While better-established tourist industries of other countries suffered during the Gulf War, Cuba's tourism receipts in the first three months of 1991 jumped by 39% over 1990, and the number of tourists who visited went up by more than 20%, according to Rafael Sed Perez, president of the country's National Tourism Institute.

Most of the 340,000 tourists who visited in 1990 came from Canada, Germany, Mexico, Spain and Italy.

Quick Fact: Average number of changes in air fares that occurred daily in the United States in May: about 204,000. Average 1990 salary of travel agents who must keep track of them: $15,610. (Source: OAG and American Society of Travel Agents.)

Pricey Airport Postponed: Hong Kong will delay but not abandon plans for construction of a controversial $16.2 billion port and airport at Chek Lap Kok on Lantau island, according to Hong Kong Gov. Sir David Wilson.

The postponement came as no surprise. The government unveiled the port and airport plan in October, 1989, to bolster confidence in the economic and political stability of the British colony after China's crackdown on pro-democracy protests that June. But disagreements with China over costs quickly grew into a full-blown conflict, with Beijing insisting on being consulted over issues affecting Hong Kong's future. The territory reverts to Chinese rule in 1997.

Treasury Reopens: After closing for the Persian Gulf War, the Department of the Treasury--the third oldest government building in continuous use in Washington--has reopened for tours.

The tour of Robert Mills' Greek Revival building includes the elegant Cash Room, a two-story marble hall built as the department's banking facility; a burglar-proof vault built in 1864, and the office that Andrew Johnson occupied for six weeks following the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865.

Free tours are held on alternate Saturdays. Visitors must make reservations and provide their name, date of birth and Social Security number (non-U.S. citizens can give their passport number). Call (202) 343-9136. A photo ID must be shown on the day of the tour. Signed tours for the hearing-impaired will be held July 13, Aug. 24, Sept. 21 and Oct. 5. Call (202) 535-3652.

Comparatively Speaking: Cost per day to rent a compact car in New York (Manhattan): $64. Chicago: $55. Atlanta: $53. San Francisco: $49. Los Angeles: $47. Dallas: $45. Denver: $43. Miami: $30. (Source: Runzheimer International.)

Fair Warning: For starters there will be Sonoma foie gras , barbecued Preston Point oysters on the half shell, grilled Sonoma sausage, barbecued baby back ribs, blackened prawns and Greek pizza. But that's not all. At the sixth annual Salute to the Arts festival, artists--culinary, visual and performing--will be present to make the noon-to-5 p.m., July 20-21, celebration in Sonoma complete. Wineries, restaurants, caterers, bakeries and food producers will present premium varietal wines and culinary creations in the Sonoma plaza. Art galleries and visual arts organizations will present fine arts and crafts. Performing arts organizations will stage open-air performances and classical and jazz music concerts. Admission is free. For more information, call (707) 938-1133.

Quiz Answer: In the first three months of 1991, Germany took over from Britain as the world's top importer of champagne. After France, Britain has been the top imbiber of the bubbly wine for many years, usually followed by the United States.

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