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Sightseeing route reopens in Owakudani, Hakone

Learn Japanese from the News

Broadcast on April 18, 2022 Available until April 17, 2023

Welcome to "Learn Japanese from the News". In this program we learn Japanese and more about Japan from news stories presented in simple Japanese. Today's headline is "Sightseeing route reopens in Owakudani, Hakone", which is put on NEWS WEB EASY's website on March 29th 2022. Keywords include such as 「火山(かざん)kazan」volcano and 「お土産(おみやげ)omiyage」souvenir.

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[Transcript]


"Sightseeing route reopens in Owakudani, Hakone"



Welcome to "Learn Japanese from the News."
 
Join us as we learn Japanese and about the country from Japanese-language news stories. Today's headline is…



箱根(はこね)の大涌谷(おおわくだに) 観光(かんこう)するコースに入(はい)れるようになる
 
"Sightseeing route reopens in Owakudani, Hakone"
This is a news story that was released on NEWS WEB EASY's website on March 29th.
 
Hakone is a famous sightseeing destination known for its spectacular views of Mt. Fuji.
 
Before we listen to the story in full, let's go over a few keywords that'll help us understand what's going on.
 
火山(かざん)
Volcano.
 
可能性(かのうせい)
Possibility, likelihood.
 
お土産(みやげ)
Souvenir, gift
 
Let's keep these keywords in mind as we listen to the news story in full.
 
「神奈川県(かながわけん)箱根町(はこねまち)の大涌谷(おおわくだに)には、歩(ある)きながら火山(かざん)の煙(けむり)を近(ちか)くで見(み)ることができるコースがあります。しかし、7年前(ねんまえ)の5月(がつ)に噴火(ふんか)が起(お)こる可能性(かのうせい)が高(たか)くなって、入(はい)ることができなくなりました。
神奈川県(かながわけん)などは、噴火(ふんか)で飛(と)んで来(き)た石(いし)から体(からだ)を守(まも)る シェルターを7つ作(つく)りました。そして、28日(にち)から観光客(かんこうきゃく)が大涌谷(おおわくだに)を歩(ある)くコースに入(はい)ることができるようにしました。観光客(かんこうきゃく)は安全(あんぜん)のため、30人(にん)までのグループで一緒(いっしょ)に歩(ある)きます。
28日(にち)は箱根町(はこねまち)の町長(ちょうちょう)が観光客(かんこうきゃく)にあいさつをして、大涌谷(おおわくだに)で有名(ゆうめい)なお土産(みやげ)の「黒(くろ)たまご」を渡(わた)しました。川崎市(かわさきし)から来(き)た女性(じょせい)は「ずっと来(き)たかったので、よかったです。ほかの季節(きせつ)にも来(き)てみたいです」と話(はな)していました。」 
 
This news story is about the reopening of a popular natural trail in Owakudani valley in Hakone. The trail had been closed to visitors since 2015 due to Mt. Hakone's increased volcanic activity.



Now we'll break down a few sentences from the news story that contain helpful expressions and keywords.
 
7年前(ねんまえ)の5月(がつ)に噴火(ふんか)が起(お)こる可能性(かのうせい)が高(たか)くなって、入(はい)ることができなくなりました。
 
Seven years ago, in May, the possibility of eruption increased, and entry was restricted.
 
可能性(かのうせい) is a word with several meanings. 可能(かのう) means "possible," and the suffix sei refers to "characteristic" or "quality," like the English suffix "-ity", as in "possibility."
 
And in the news story, there was a phrase 噴火(ふんか)が起(お)こる可能性(かのうせい)が高(たか)くなった. When we want to express the degree of likelihood of a certain outcome, we use words like 高(たか)い and 低(ひく)い.
 
Now, if we were to say 津波(つなみ)が来(く)る可能性(かのうせい)がある, we're not saying a tsunami will come, we're saying there's a chance a tsunami may come. But when it comes to natural disasters, 可能性(かのうせい)がある is enough to call for caution, even if it's a 可能性(かのうせい) of 1%.
 
Indeed. All right, let's move on to the following sentence from the second half of the story.
 
28日(にち)は箱根町(はこねまち)の町長(ちょうちょう)が観光客(かんこうきゃく)にあいさつをして、大涌谷(おおわくだに)で有名(ゆうめい)なお土産(みやげ)の「黒(くろ)たまご」を渡(わた)しました。
 
On the 28th, the mayor of Hakone greeted visitors and gave them "black eggs," a well-known Owakudani souvenir.
 
みやげ is a word referring to souvenirs and regional specialties that you bring back from your travels, or the gifts or presents that you bring when you visit others.
 
And you can also say おみやげ. We often add お at the beginning of a noun to make it more polite.
 
Some words are routinely prefixed to お, like お茶(ちゃ)which means tea, or お菓子(かし)which means snacks.
 
Speaking of souvenirs, when you get back from a trip you might find yourself telling the people around you stories about your travels. In Japanese we call these 土産話(みやげばなし), which is a fun turn of phrase.
 
And there you have it.
Tune in next time for more!


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