Sep 1, 2014
Diane James

Hands On Mobile Massage and Spa of Long Island Now Offers a Spa-on-wheels – Virtual

Hands On Mobile Massage and Spa of Long Island has expanded their services to include massage and spa services on wheels. A motorhome has been converted into a spa that includes all the amenities of a brick and mortar spa with the convenience of staying close to the office or home.

(PRWEB) August 30, 2014

Hands On Mobile Massage and Spa presents a Spa-on-Wheels which offers the complete spa experience combining elegant decor, soothing music, scent-sational scents, warm inviting lighting and the most important ingredient of all, states Marla Kaplan-Pelle, Director of Hands On, “the dedicated licensed pro’s! People will enjoy the get-away feel, without leaving the office or home,” continues Kaplan-Pelle. The website reads, “Step into the spacious, luxurious spa and leave your cares behind! We seek to impress!”

Hands On understands that taking care of business also means taking care of the most valuable assets, the staff. Hands On will be focusing on small companies that understand the importance of their staff. A quick escape can be a quick solution. Hands On will offer long term solutions and special occasion events. Traditional massage and spa services have been adapted into an office-appropriate program that saves time, money, and backs. The Spa-on-Wheels is often referred to as Serenity-On-Wheels.

Hands On HealthCare Massage Therapy and Wellness Day Spa has been serving the Commack Community since 2000. Hands On HealthCare Massage Therapy is a recognized leader in Advanced Medical Massage in Suffolk County, Long Island. Medical Massage is often the answer regarding pain, injury and disease. Hands On offers Pre-Natal and Post-Natal Massage, Sports Massage, Trigger Point Therapy, Myofascial Release, Manual Lymph Drainage and is a recommended community provider for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The Spa Services Division offers spa treatments such as therapeutic facials, skincare, microdermabrasion, body treatments, permanent makeup and para-medical cosmetics and cellulite reduction through ultrasound cavitation (Cavi-Lipo). The Wellness Day Spa has an extensive Couples Massage Spa Date Menu. Spa parties are a specialty. An array of services and packages are available for both on and off-site. Beyond the spa services include off-site on-site workplace of event mobile services which include bringing the day spa to the doorstep at home, venue or corporate function. Common events include bachelorette parties, showers, birthdays, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Sweet 16 Corporate Events and functions. Hands On HealthCare Massage Therapy claims its licensed massage therapists and estheticians provide clients with the ultimate experience in attention, service and care.

Hands On HealthCare Massage Therapy and Wellness Day Spa

Marla Kaplan-Pelle, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Lymphatic Therapist, Director

208 Commack Road, Commack, NY 11725

For the original version on PRWeb visit:

Sep 1, 2014
Nancy Keller

Movie Review – Night Moves (2013)

Night Moves, 2013.

Directed by Kelly Reichardt.
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard, Alia Shawkat, Logan Miller, Kai Lennox, Katherine Waterston and James LeGros.


Three radical environmentalists look to execute the protest of their lives: the explosion of a hydroelectric dam.

A dam in the Pacific Northwest is targeted to be blown up by two young eco-crusaders and one ex-con. They want to send a message to everyone and no one in particular and assume it’s a victimless crime, after all they’re just sticking it to ‘the man’ who is poisoning rivers and polluting water so what’s the harm? Unlike those corporate a-holes making trillions, these three really care for the planet and the environment, right?

Night Moves focuses on Josh (Jesse Einsenberg), Dana (Dakota Fanning), and Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard) as the three plot, carry out, and face the consequences of their actions in another slow paced, character-driven drama from director Kelly Reichardt. As you would expect from the director, dialogue concerning plot detail is at a premium and relies on the audience to work out what is happening, to which Reichardt gives subtle clues to aid the general plot of ‘blowing up a dam’; it takes until the word ‘fertilisers’ is mentioned about 20 minutes in before I knew what was afoot. Unlike you might expect from most films with a terrorist storyline, there is no background given to the characters or why they are doing what they are doing, nor is there any police manhunt after the event, sending the film into thriller territory.

We can assume Josh and Dana met at an activist meeting, where documentary film making no longer was enough to get the message across; we see them both watching a short film (being screened onto a bed sheet) where Dana challenges the film maker, and Josh stands in his corner, quietly judging the content. Like many of Reichardt’s characters, Josh is a loner, often framed on his own, in corners, and in the shadows. Furthermore, the three never look like a team who have well rehearsed their plan, merely three individuals who are in this for their own selfish motives and have given no thought of what happens after the bomb goes off. There is no follow up plan just like there is no lasting impact in what they have done.

Whereas Reichardt’s previous three films (Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff) have all seen characters on a literal journey from one place to another, Night Moves sees Josh and Dana on a journey from eco-crusaders to potential murderers when a man is reported missing nearby the dam they target, and where the lines are crossed from which there is no return. I especially liked the shift in tone between the first and second halves of the film, from slow burning character drama to a paranoia study (I think calling this a ‘thriller’ would be misleading), without ever losing focus on the characters and, of course, Reichardt’s love with natural settings. Oregon and its surroundings are just as vital a character in her films as New York is to, say, a film maker like Woody Allen. As shown in Meek’s Cutoff especially, Reichardt’s appreciation for open spaces, natural scenery, and her character’s relationship to those places is an essential part of the language of her cinema.

For the first hour we know very little about the Josh and Dana, and it’s only after the event that Reichardt shows them in their natural habitats. Josh doesn’t have an underground lair with multiple screens and blue prints, but rather works on a farm harvesting vegetables earning very little and has a boss whom he seems to look down on, like all those at his eco-crusader meetings. Dana works at a health spa, just a temporary job (I assumed) like any young girl might have until she finds her calling in life. These are two very ordinary young people, and Reichardt does an excellent job of keeping them that way; even in the surprising moments of the final act when something happened which, at first, I didn’t quite buy into but on reflection perfectly fits in with the typically unplanned and lack of thought given to the actions from Josh up until that point.

The film ends with the director’s trademark open and abrupt ending, always leaving the audience to make up their minds as to what happens next and marks the most use of plot (as in ‘A to B to C’) Reichardt has concerned herself with with this and her previous four films. And, although it may star one of Hollywood’s brightest young male leads in Eisenberg, Night Moves feels just as auteurist as anything Reichardt has made to date and cements her place as one of American cinema’s most important film makers working outside the traditional Hollywood system.

Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★

Rohan Morbey - follow me on Twitter.

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Aug 31, 2014
Linda Reed

Southington fundraiser Sept. 13 to help fight prostate cancer

Mrs. Connecticut 2013

The fundraiser runs from 5-7:30 p.m. and will feature raffles, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and deals on hair and spa packages as well as a chance to meet Mrs. Northeast Galaxy 2014/Mrs. Connecticut 2013 Lori-Ann Marchese, who stars on the reality television series, “Game of Crowns.”

Tickets for the event cost $40 and can be purchased at both peterdominic salon and spa locations (Southington and at 4 Wilcox St., Simsbury). Donations can also be made directly to the Curtis D. Robinson Men’s Health Institute by visiting

Marchese is proud to take part in the event. “I’m extremely happy to be a part of this event. Cancer has touched the lives of far too many, including Peter and his family. Peter and his entire team at peterdominic’s are doing something really special by trying to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer. It’s truly an honor to help him and the cause,” she said.

With the exception of skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed, and nearly 25,000 men will die from the disease this year. One in every seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, with one in 36 dying from it.

Gulli, a Master Stylist, is willing to show his commitment toward raising awareness of prostate cancer by giving up something he loves — his hair. To show his appreciation to those who lend their support to the cause, he will shave his head at the event. The last time that happen it was his father who held the clippers, when the salon was still under the iconic name, Mr. Joseph’s. Dominic Gulli started Mr. Joseph’s in 1970. In honor of his father, Peter rebranded Mr. Joseph’s to include both their names, and even carried out his dad’s dream of opening a full-service salon.

“He started training me when I was 14, and now I’ve been doing this for 28 years. My father was the best hair stylist I have ever encountered; he won the World Championship in 1983. He used to always say that he wanted to open up what he called a one-stop shop. He always wanted a place where you could come in and get everything you wanted. Before he passed away, I told him that I would not fail him and that I would carry out his dream. So in January, when we closed the doors on the old establishment and opened the doors to a new beginning, it was tough. But it’s what he would have wanted,” Gulli said.

Gulli said that if he reached the $2,000 fundraising mark by Aug. 30, he would perm his hair and leave it that way before it comes completely off two weeks later.

‘Every penny counts’

Sure, he said, a perm isn’t an ideal look for him, but he’d be happy to embrace it if it helps raise the much-needed money to ensure someone else doesn’t have to travel the same difficult road as his father.

“Cancer plagues pretty much everybody in one way or another. For just about all of us there has been someone in our life who has had to battle the disease. Any way we can help in the fight, whether it’s prostate cancer or whatever it may be, we want to help. We all need to help. Every penny counts,” Gulli said.

For more information on the event contact Gulli at (860) 621-8334, or through email at

Our valued readers,
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Aug 31, 2014
Candice Warner

New resorts opening in exotic locales

Last week, our office received a visit from Connie LeVang, Western Regional Sales Manager from AMResorts. AMResorts brand as “Masters of Vacation Innovation” and their collection includes Zoetry Wellness and Spa Resorts, Secrets, Breathless, Dreams, Now, and Sunscapes Resorts and Spas.

Their resorts throughout Mexico and the Caribbean provide the perfect settings for romantic retreats, destination weddings, anniversaries, honeymoons, golf and spa vacations, family reunions, corporate retreats and more.

When Connie unveiled the new resorts opening later this fall, I could not wait to share the news. If the resorts are anything like the photo renderings, then travelers will have the opportunity to experience incredible vacations at the new resorts in Cancun, Costa Rica, and St. Thomas.

Secrets Resorts Spas offer adults an extra measure in beautiful settings where everything is included. The award-winning resort brand features elegantly appointed rooms and suites with 24-hour room and concierge services; multiple gourmet, á la carte restaurants and lounges serving premium beverages; endless day and evening activities in spectacular settings.

The newest addition to the Secrets family is just 10 minutes from Cancun’s famous hotel zone: Secrets Playa Mujeres Resort and Spa. The resort is scheduled to open in November and will feature 438 suites; nine gourmet a la carte restaurants; eight bars and lounges offering unlimited spirits; a world-class Secrets Spa by Pavonia; and more. Guests will also enjoy access to the amenities of the Playa Mujeres Resort complex, including the 18-hole golf course designed by Greg Norman and a marina featuring 176 berths.

After many adults discover the unlimited luxury at Secrets, they return to Dreams Resorts and Spas with their families. Dreams provides the same high level of luxury for every member of the family with the Explorer’s Club for children ages 3 to 12; the Core Zone Teens Club for teens 13 to 17; and a world-class spa.

In November, Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica will open. This is the first Dreams Resort in Costa Rica and is located on the northern coast of Guanacaste. This picturesque property will offer families the action-packed getaway of a lifetime as they enjoy water sports and land adventures surrounded by lush green mountains and jungles.

Dreams footprint just spread to the destination of St. Thomas in July when they assumed operations of the former Sugar Bay Resort. After months of renovation, Unlimited-Luxury® will be available at the Dreams Sugar Bay St. Thomas Resort and Spa. Families can enjoy a magnificent 360-degree view of the Caribbean Sea and access to the best beach in St. Thomas — and passports are not required.

Regardless of the destination, each resort includes sun-soaked beaches and Unlimited-Luxury®. Introductory rates are available at the new resorts, so it is a great time to plan a family reunion, honeymoon, or relaxing vacation. As they say in the travel business: Don’t just dream it, do it.

Travel specials

AMResorts is offering their Free Fall Promotion for reservations booked through Sept. 30. Every third night is free for travel now through Dec. 24 (restrictions apply).

Celece Seegmiller is the local owner of The Travel Connection located at 1386 E. 100 South in St. George. Email her at

Aug 31, 2014
Anna Carver

New Life Hiking Spa in Vermont Offers All-Inclusive September Spa Getaways

New Life Hiking Spa in Vermont Offers All-Inclusive September Spa Getaways

PRWEB.COM Newswire

PRWEB.COM NewswireKillington/Chittenden, VT (PRWEB) August 31, 2014

New Life Hiking Spa in the Green Mountains of Vermont, is one of the oldest and most established destination spas in the country. Founded in 1978, New Life has been set in the Green Mountains for over three decades and is an affordable, all-inclusive option for a wellness or spa vacation.

September is one of the most beautiful and popular months in Vermont. Hiking is peak at this time of year with crisp morning temperatures, fall foliage popping out each day and various hay sculptures and fall displays around the region of Central Vermont.

New Life Hiking Spa is offering a tremendous value for a September Spa Getaway. The all-inclusive prices that start at just $219 per person per night, includes a private room with a private bath, three healthy spa meals a day, healthy snacks, one massage for each three night stay, daily professionally guided hikes, all fitness activities, yoga and evening lectures.

New Life Hiking Spa is currently accepting reservations for the remainder of the 2014 season which runs until September 26th.

About New Life Hiking Spa:

New Life Hiking Spa is a nationally recognized affordable spa for men and women located in the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont. Known for its exhilarating hiking program, a world renowned weight loss retreat, delicious healthy meals and a comfortable atmosphere, New Life Hiking Spa offers the chance to experience the peace of the outdoors in a down-to-earth, country inn environment. New Life Hiking Spa is open each year from mid-May through the end of September in the Green Mountains of Vermont and welcomes approximately 700 visitors each year from around the globe.

New Life has been consistently picked as one of the top ten spas in the world by SpaFinder Wellness Reader’s Choice Awards for hiking, outdoor adventure, solo travel, weight loss, affordability and fitness classes over the past decade. It was also recognized by SpaFinder Wellness as one of the 25 pioneer spas that have shaped the spa industry as it is today and by Health Magazine as a top weight loss spa. New Life Hiking Spa has been listed as New England’s top spa by Spas of America each year from 2010 – 2013. New Life has been acknowledged by Frommer’s and AARP as one the five top budget friendly and affordable health spas and was recently selected by as one of the top fitness vacations for 2014.

More information can be found online at

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Aug 31, 2014
Susan Long

Coasting with Robyn Roehm Cannon: Spa weekend

Cave B Estate Winery  Spa
(Full-size photo)

Summer, while reputed to be the most relaxing time of year, can also be exhausting. Out-of-state guests arrive to be looked after; kids are off schedule with activities requiring nonstop parental orchestration. Though lots of fun, it’s sometimes a bit too hectic.

Once everyone returns to their normal routine, September is a perfect month to escape with best friends, adult siblings or the love of your life. Doesn’t a night or two on freshly ironed sheets, a bottle of cold bubbly, a scrumptious meal prepared by someone other than you and a luxurious spa treatment sound perfect? When you carve out some “toes up” time, consider visiting one of these favorite places of mine to relax and recharge.

Cave B Estate

Winery Spa

Well worth a six-mile detour off Interstate 90, this desert oasis is smack dab between Spokane and Seattle on the Columbia Gorge. Here, food-savvy winemaker Alfredo “Freddy” Arredondo grows his own grapes and turns out more than two dozen wines. Private Cliffehouses and Desert Yurts are linked through vineyard paths to an architecturally impressive main lodge, where meals are served in the airy dining room. Snag a table with a view on the terrace and before you visit the tasting room for glass of wine at sunset, journey down a lavender-lined path to enjoy a signature “Treatment from the Cave,” such as the Shiraz Firming Glow. (

Salish Lodge Spa

The mist rising above the mighty Snoqualmie Falls is said to have mystical qualities and there’s nothing more relaxing than morning yoga or a couples massage staged in the fresh air above this natural wonder. Design your own 50-minute Herb and Honey Body Scrub with the “spa mixologist,” who combines garden fresh organic chamomile, lavender, basil, lemon verbena, mint and rosemary with Salish honey from the lodge’s bee hives. This Northwest lodge trademarked the name Honey from Heaven for their legendary brunch in the early 1900s, and everything about a spa and stay here is that: a little slice of heaven. ( php)

Hotel 1000 SPAAHH

Interior design buffs will love this chic urban boutique hotel featuring Northwest art, dramatic lighting and personalized service. Guests of the Relaxation Sanctuary Spaahh receive complimentary valet parking, so pull in for a Hotel 1000 Signature Red Flower “Japan” Pedicure. You’ll be greeted with a warm herbal neck pillow, glass of champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries, then pampered for the next 75 minutes during an ancient seven-step Japanese foot and leg bathing ritual with fragrant organic products. Afterward, check out BOKA, the hotel’s off lobby restaurant and bar, where craft cocktails are concocted with herbal infusions like celery bitters. And dMarie Timeless Elegance, a new vintage clothing, jewelry and accessories shop next door, is worth a visit. Owner Dana Marie Craig will intrigue you with stories of her estate finds and it will be hard to select just one exceptional thing to take home. (

Penelope the Beauty Bar at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel

This serene space draped in soft white linen and dimly lit crystal chandeliers feels like a fairy tale world. Treatments include the French Sudatonic Slimming and Detoxifying Body Wrap, said to improve skin texture and burn up to 3,000 calories. Lucky thing, because it’s easier to justify splurging afterward at afternoon high tea in the historic Georgian Room of this grande dame of Seattle hotels. Opt for a Kir Royale to start, or summon the tea sommelier to help you select the perfect loose-leaf tea blend. Though a delightful way to share some mother-daughter or girlfriend time, don’t count men out: mine pronounced his deep tissue massage “the best” he’d ever had and savored the beautiful egg salad sammies on rye toast and flaky sour cherry scones. It’s a guy thing, too. Georgian guests receive spa discounts. ( www.penelopeandthebeauty, ttle/dining/thegeorgiantea/)

Skin Spirit at University Village

University Village, essentially a park with pretty shops, is a fun way to while away the afternoon. When you need a break, check into Skin Spirit, where the therapists are trained estheticians using scientific technology as the basis for all treatments. Stop by Margaret O’Leary, the San Francisco knitwear designer who stocks luxurious cashmere wraps and sweaters that will last a lifetime. (If you’re a husband or boyfriend reading this, think holiday or birthday gift. Your stock will rise dramatically.) ( -us/university-village/,

Still Spa at the Woodmark

“Take a moment and be still,” invites a sign at the door of this freshly redesigned hotel spa. The Still Spa Signature Massage is 80 minutes, incorporating scented seaweed-based lotions and oils. Warm towels are applied while every muscle and tendon is manipulated. After, enjoy lunch at the Beach Cafe, just feet from the lapping waters of Lake Washington. It’s like being a guest in a Cape Cod summerhouse, where fresh air, beautiful flowers, comfy interiors and delicious food mingle. Say hello to Woody Meg, the friendly black lab “director of barketing” who celebrates the arrival of hotel guests’ dogs with special “yappy hours,” pet-friendly beach parties on the rolling lawn. This season’s final event is planned for Sept. 15. ( spa-services/, beachcafe/)

Robyn Roehm Cannon is a travel and lifestyle writer who lives in Spokane and Seattle. Follow her on Facebook at robyn.r.cannon.

Aug 31, 2014
Nancy Keller

Health Notes: I feel very fragile before my periods

Sarah Stacey


A diet rich in vegetables will help regulate blood sugar levels

Q: I’m in my mid-30s and generally healthy, but I feel very fragile before my periods. I either want to cry or snap someone’s head off, have food cravings and put on weight. My GP suggests taking the pill but I prefer natural medicine.

A: As many as 30 per cent of women can experience moderate to severe PMS, according to the National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome ( ‘The symptoms may be severe enough to affect their relationships and ability to cope with home life and work.

It can feel like being on a hormonal rollercoaster and may even lead to depression,’ says nutritionist and women’s health expert Marilyn Glenville, author of Overcoming PMS The Natural Way (Piatkus, £8.99; to order a copy go to

The term PMS (premenstrual syndrome) describes any symptoms that occur after ovulation and disappear as soon as the period arrives. Some 150 symptoms are now linked to PMS. Among the most common are mood swings, anxiety, bloating, breast tenderness and swelling, acne, tiredness, weight gain, headaches, crying spells or depression, food cravings, constipation and dizziness.

It’s important to keep your blood sugar levels steady – the higher your intake of sugar (also caffeine) the more severe your symptoms are likely to be. Marilyn advises eliminating sugar completely for two cycles to see how you feel.

Don’t add sugar to food or drink. Avoid sweet foods, and anything with refined white flour. Starchy carbohydrates become sugar in your blood so swap to whole-grain pasta and brown rice. Choose whole fruit, because the fibre slows down the blood sugar hit, never fruit juice as most fibre is discarded. Eat lots of vegetables (except potatoes).

Eat a healthy meal or snack every three hours to prevent blood sugar plunging. This also stops the release of stress hormones, which can block the utilisation of the hormone progesterone in the second half of your cycle.

Include protein (animal or vegetable) in meals and snacks to help stabilise blood sugar levels and satisfy your appetite. Try eggs, fish or full-fat organic yoghurt with nuts and seeds for breakfast, and snacks such as an apple with almonds, an oatcake with mackerel pâté, nut butter or hummus, and nuts, raisins or seeds.

Nutrients including vitamin B6, chromium and magnesium, and herbs such as camomile, siberian ginseng and dandelion, can be very beneficial. Try PM Support, formulated by Marilyn Glenville, £21.97 for 60 capsules, from health food stores and Victoria Health,

In one controlled trial of 170 women, the herb agnus castus improved PMS symptoms by 50 per cent or more in over half the group who took it. Try Periagna Agnus Castus Fruit by Bio-Health, £10.75 for 60 capsules, from Victoria Health.

From October, Marilyn will be launching women’s wellbeing weekends, covering hormones, fertility and miscarriage, and fat around the middle, at Champneys health spa in Tring. For details visit or

Swing is a fantastic way of keeping fit

Old-time swing has joined the dance fitness options, alongside Zumba and salsa. Australian banker turned swing dancer Scott Cupit got pedestrians tapping their toes when he lindy-hopped on the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square, with his Swing Patrol dancers performing below. He also went on TV and persuaded the Dragons’ Den panel, including investor Deborah Meaden, to swing their stuff. Swing, which dates from the 1920s, is a fantastic way of getting fit and having fun. Classes are currently London-based or online, but from September there will be Swing Patrol balls across the UK. For details visit

Dead Sea mineral soap can be very soothing for psoriasis

A reader with psoriasis recommends Malki Dead Sea mineral soaps, particularly the very soothing sulphur version. ‘They all lather up well (despite no sodium lauryl sulphate), don’t dry my skin and have helped heal a couple of new blisters quickly.’ Based on Dead Sea minerals and free of animal fat, parabens and harsh foaming agents, products may help skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. From this Wednesday for four weeks, the Dead Sea products will be on special offer in Boots stores and on, with three for the price of two on soaps, body lotion, bath salts, shower cream and facial wash. 

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Aug 30, 2014
Linda Reed

Discover Houston at the 2014 GHP Soiree

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Aug 30, 2014
Candice Warner

JAPAN – BULGARIA REPORT: The future should focus on health, beauty and …

StandartNews English chose the Land of the Rising Sun as its focus country for August as Bulgaria and Japan are celebrating 55 years of diplomatic relations. For the occasion, our journalist Lubomir Mikhailov had the exclusive opportunity chance to discuss the past, present and future bilateral relations of the two countries with Japan’s Bulgarian ambassador H.E. Takashi Koidzumi.

Excellency, where do you see potential for further development of the friendly partnership between the two countries?

I wish, I could say that I see potential in all areas. Our two countries maintain active cooperation in various fields so far, such as politics, economics, science, education, transfer of technologies, exchange at local level, but I think that there is still unused potential for further development of relations in all spheres. In politics, there is still more fruitful political dialogue and active parliamentary exchanges and close cooperation not only bilateral, but also at the international institutions. In the field of culture, besides traditional Days of Japanese culture taking place annually in the fall, there are many other forms of fruitful cultural exchange throughout the year. Intensive scientific and research exchange, including intensive exchange of students and researchers, is taking place within the frame of 35 agreements concluded between academic and educational institutions of both countries so far. Today in Bulgaria over 1400 people learn Japanese language and our Embassy supports their education. Moreover, in the last over 20 years over 460 Bulgarian students studied in Japan as scholarships of the Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. In Science and Technology, Japan Science Council and BAS conduct joint research activities but there is still potential for enhancement of bilateral cooperation in the future. As for cooperation at the local level, except the twin cities of Plovdiv and Okayama, we can point out the exchange in various areas between Sofia and Yokohama, between Kazanlak and the cities of Fukuyama, Hiroshima and Munakata, and others. We expect expansion of the exchange network at regional level in future. Besides the above-mentioned areas, we can expect enhancement of the exchange in such areas as the measures for disaster prevention. Japan is a country of frequent natural disasters, with rich experience and advanced technology for prompt response and prevention in case of accidents and disasters. There are already concrete examples of cooperation in this field, but in the future we hope to further expand exchanges, including at local level.
During the process of Bulgaria’s democratization, Japan contributed to state building in your country under the official development assistance and other forms. After the accession of Bulgaria to the EU, we develop relations as equal partners, sharing same universal values. It is very important to make continuous efforts to further strengthen bilateral relations.

Bulgaria offers great opportunities for cultural tourism, which is of high interest of Japanese tourists. Is there any response in Japan of the campaign of “Standard” to promote the historical and cultural heritage of Bulgaria through the media and tour operators?

First let me express my respect to the efforts of “Standard” Daily to promote the historical and cultural heritage of Bulgaria in Japan and worldwide. I don’t know whether this campaign has strong response in Japan, but it is true that many Japanese tourists are interested in historical and cultural heritage of your country and visit different parts of Bulgaria. You may see many Japanese tourists in Sofia, Plovdiv or Veliko Tarnovo. Monuments of world cultural heritage that your country is proud of, such as Rila Monastery, Boyana Church, the Thracian Tomb in Kazanlak and others are also attractive for Japanese tourists. I think there are many other interesting things in Bulgaria, but still unknown in Japan. I myself strongly want as much as possible tourists to visit Bulgaria. For this purpose, you need not only campaign like that of “Standard”, but efforts for popularization of the state institutions, private tour operators, television, internet, specialized magazines for tourism and others. I would add as important to show not only the historical and cultural heritage, but other aspects of your country. When it comes to Bulgaria, what emerges first in majority of Japanese people are yogurt and rose. So you could advertise the good image of your country by using the phrase: “Bulgaria is a place of health, beauty and longevity.” And when it comes to tourism, I think it would be effective to promote combined tours that include spas around the country, spa resorts on the Black Sea, mud baths and also eco – tourism, agriculture and wine tourism.

What could expect the friends of Japan from the Days of Japanese Culture in Bulgaria?

The Days of Japanese Culture, launched in 1990, continue until today, thanks to the support of all of you. This year they take place for the 25th consecutive time. I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to all Bulgarians for showing their love to Japanese culture during the quarter century. This year their opening was earlier than usual in June. For the opening we have invited renowned Japanese master of ikebana Mr. Kariyadzaki, who presented an exhibition of ikebana. He is a friend of Bulgarian violinist Vasko Vassilev thanks to whose efforts this event happened. The compositions of Mr. Kariyadzaki are modernistic and dynamic and I hope that Bulgarians enjoyed the aesthetic world of a modern ikebana that Bulgarians have not seen before. The exhibition took place from 24 to 29 June in the lobby of Hall 6 of NDK. I believe that a large number of Bulgarians visited the exhibition and experienced the harmonious and beautiful world of Mr. Kariyadzaki. Other events that we have planned for the fall include joint concert of traditional Japanese flute “shakuhachi” with quartet “Sofia”, a concert of Japanese musicians with the Sofia Philharmonic orchestra, performance of Japanese dance, demonstration of Japanese cuisine, exhibitions of hand cut paper “kiri-e”, decorative balls “Temari”, calligraphy, Japanese pottery and others. I hope Bulgarians will enjoy with pleasure the large variety of events on the program.

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