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Travel & Leisure

Japanese town looks to starry skies for brighter economy

Bisei hopes 'dark-sky preserve' designation attracts more tourists

The Bisei Astronomical Observatory is a local attraction. (Photo courtesy of Ibara City)

OKAYAMA, Japan -- New urban development programs are beginning in the western Japanese town of Bisei after the area became an internationally designated "dark-sky preserve."

Local government officials and the private sector are working to protect the nighttime environment in line with the United Nations' sustainable development goals, while also promoting the area as a tourist destination. Bisei is part of the Okayama Prefecture city of Ibara.

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