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Futuristic, traditionally attired superheroes selected as Tokyo 2020 mascots

Tokyo 2020 organizers unveiled the official mascots for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, based on a futuristic vision of the world with the two characters decked out in traditional blue-checkered and a pink cherry-blossom-themed attire. Read More

Hit the brakes at Sumida Ward museum

The Nakayama Brake Museum in Sumida Ward — a part of Tokyo renowned for craftsmanship — sits amid small factories on a street corner facing Tokyo Skytree. Read More

That’s TALL

Updated on  March 15, 2018 at 12:15 am
People wearing safety harnesses are shown at the top of Japan’s tallest building — the 984-foot-tall Abeno Harukas — in Osaka. Read More

Kind act sprouts into grass-roots movement to feed kids

Hiroko Kondo is credited with coining the term kodomo shokudo: makeshift eateries for disadvantaged kids that morphed into a national grass-roots movement to address the growth of poverty in Japan. Read More

Nara mascot seeks breakthrough in Year of the Dog

Updated on  February 28, 2018 at 7:08 pm
A white dog owned by an ancient prince was the inspiration for the mascot character Yukimaru, now the face of Oji, Japan. Read More

Japanese cities attracting tourists with manhole cards

A total of 1.4 million manhole cards, featuring pictures of manhole covers with unique local designs, have been issued since the cards were launched in April 2016, a group promoting the appeal of manholes has said. Read More

Crazy about ramen: Documentary charts love of Japanese noodles

Updated on  February 22, 2018 at 12:12 am
Why are Japanese people hooked on ramen? A new documentary aiming to offer global audiences insight into the passion behind this inexpensive dish was screened at film festivals in seven countries prior to its Japan premiere last month. Read More

New Japanese radar to spot small space debris

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will start developing a new high-efficiency radar system in 2018 to monitor space debris as small as about 4 inches, as part of its efforts to avoid collisions between debris and artificial satellites, according to sources. Read More

Toto hopes to clean up with self-cleaning toilets

With the 2020 Olympics in mind, leading Japanese toilet-maker Toto has recently introduced a new self-cleaning toilet for public restrooms, aiming to improve bathroom experiences for locals and foreign visitors to Japan. Read More

Stationery museum has the write stuff

Updated on  February 15, 2018 at 12:16 am
The Nihon Bungu Shiryokan (Japan Stationery Museum) displays about 600 stationery items from throughout the ages. Read More

Higashiizu Festival

Girls wearing kimono look at colorful hanging decorations at a hall in the Inatori district of Higashiizu, Shizuoka Prefecture. Read More

‘Strange cafe’ opens in Shibuya

Robots are waiting to serve coffee and other beverages at the Henna Cafe, which means Strange Cafe, that opened Feb. 1 at the Shibuya Modi commercial building in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward. Read More

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