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Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011

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Powered up: Night factory views of Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, and Kawasaki (below) are becoming popular tourist attractions. COURTESY OF YOKKAICHI, KAWASAKI/KYODO

Cities mull tour allure of factory lights

KAWASAKI (Kyodo) Kawasaki and three other cities with large coastal industrial zones will hold an event this month to discuss how to draw more people to popular tours featuring night views of factories.

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The tours, pioneered by officials in Kawasaki, have gained popularity especially among women attracted to the novelty of viewing big industrial facilities spewing flares and steam and bathed in sparkling lights.

Kawasaki officials invited their counterparts from Muroran, Hokkaido; Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture; and Kitakyushu to the "night factory viewing summit" planned for Feb. 23.

Kawasaki has organized viewing tours by boat and bus of industrial complexes since 2008.

They often sell out, sometimes in less than 20 minutes, and 65 percent of the participants are women, a Kawasaki official said.

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