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Tailoring a sharing economy to fit Japan’s needs

From transportation to holiday homes, the “sharing economy” is gaining traction worldwide, and in typhoon- and earthquake-prone Japan, the concept is increasingly seen as instrumental to disaster management. Read more

Photo: Mega-Mochi

A priest uses a forklift to transport an enormous kagami mochi decoration to be offered to a deity at Yasuzumi Shrine in Tochigi Prefecture. Read more

Photo: Hanging Out

A worker checks the condition of salted salmon in Murakami, Japan. The busiest season has begun for the production of traditional salted salmon, said to have been produced in Murakami since the Edo period (1603-1867). Read more

Elderly drivers to get help from technology

In response to a spate of accidents caused by elderly drivers around the country, Japan is working to introduce a license that restricts drivers to safe-driving support vehicles, which have features such as automatic brakes. Read more

                                Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga unveiled the name of new era, “Reiwa,” in April. The era began when Emperor Naruhito ascended the throne on May 1.
‘Rei’ character picked as kanji of the year

The character “rei” — as used in the era name of Reiwa, which has been translated to mean “beautiful harmony” — was chosen as kanji of the year, the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation announced this month. Read more

                                The Takarazuka Highball uses a liqueur with the scent of roses and violets.
Birthplace of carbonated water celebrated

In 1889, English businessman John Clifford Wilkinson discovered a mineral spring that produced carbonated water near Mukogawa river in the flourishing hot spring town of Takara- zuka. Read more

Yamagata Science Park thrives, reviving a shrinking community

When Keio University professor Masaru Tomita accepted an offer in 2000 to head a new science lab in the city of Tsuruoka in Yamagata Prefecture, his fellow researchers — shocked at what they considered his relegation to the countryside — warned him that his career was ruined. Read more

                                Soji Nagase drops the needle onto a record at his home in Moriya, Ibaraki Prefecture.
Vinyl: The retro format that refuses to go away

Sales of premium audio equipment that allows listeners to fully appreciate the rarefied quality of analog records have been experiencing a boom as a growing segment of music fans rediscovers a passion for high-fidelity sound. Read more

                                The Tokyo Aquatics Center features a swimming pool that can be adjusted in length and depth and a diving tower that has five separate platform heights from 1 meter to 10 meters.
Aquatics and sports facilities unveiled

Organizers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games unveiled the interior of two major venues as they near completion, touting them as world-class facilities. Read more

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