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The Japanese who transformed Nepal's tourism industry

Takashi Miyahara went 'native' and has made a big mark on his adopted homeland

Tourists in Sarangkot taking photos of the Himalayan peaks at sunrise (Photo by Marwaan Macan-Markar)

POKHARA, Nepal -- In the chilly, pre-dawn darkness, a convoy of cars slowly ascend a winding road toward Sarangkot, a hamlet on the edge of Pokhara, Nepal's second largest city.

Tourists wrapped in thick jackets and mufflers stumble out of the vehicles at this hilltop village to find the best spot to view the first rays of the sun as they hit the snow-capped peaks of the Annapurna range in the Himalayas. As the sun rises, it burnishes the tips of the skyline with a shimmering mix of gold and mauve. Some tourists gasp, others click their cameras, and a few pose for selfies with the rugged 8,000-meter-high range as a backdrop.

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