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Focus on Japan


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

‘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

Higashiizu Festival

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

Summer flowers studied for Tokyo Olympics

Updated on  February 1, 2018 at 12:14 am
Tokyo is searching for flowers that will be in bloom at Olympic time. Read More

Photo studios offer a portal into the past

Updated on  January 25, 2018 at 12:25 am
Studios where visitors can have themselves photographed in costumes of samurai warriors or high-ranking courtesans are becoming increasingly popular. Read More

Above it all

Updated on  January 25, 2018 at 12:23 am
A boat looks as if it is hovering over the sea around Otsuki, Kochi Prefecture. Read More