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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Japanese Crows


I am interested in crows and their intelligence and habits. I once read a book called The Caw of the Wild by Barb Kirpluk and learned the birds are especially fond of peanuts. This information proved quite accurate and now I am known in the local crow communities as "the Lady with the Goods."

Japanese Crows.

When I came to Japan I was eager to see what the native crows were like. I had read various newspaper accounts describing the birds' aggressive behavior, and whenever I watched a Taiga Drama and heard the sound of crows cawing I knew it meant something bad was about to happen.

Japanese Crows.

I first heard the distinctive, deep and raspy voice of a Japanese crow while in Ueno Park in Tokyo, and I thought "Wow." The crows spoke the word "caw" distinctly. As I enjoyed my soda and yakitori, the crows hovered close by, hoping for a dropped morsel or a free handout. Crows are an opportunistic sort. I tossed a small piece of chicken in the grass and instantly, a crow swooped, snatched the food, and took off. The omnivore crow suffers no qualms about consuming their fellow avian, albeit roasted and seasoned.

In Nagoya I spotted a murder of crows in the surrounding castle park. I had peanuts to share. Would they appeal to Japanese crows? Ah, the answer is yes. Free food is free food, whether in Japan or the USA. Except for their larger size and impressive vocal cords, the Japanese crows are just like their North American cousins.

Japanese Crows.

© JapanVisitor.com

Monday, February 23, 2015

Tokyo Marathon 2015


It was that time of year again for the Tokyo Marathon - the ninth. While the temperatures are still low enough not to get too sweaty, it's not so cold you freeze.

Swan runners at the Tokyo Marathon 2015, Taito ward, Tokyo, Japan.
Swan runners, Tokyo Marathon 2015, Taito ward, Tokyo, Japan.
We were on the streets of Taito ku, Edo-dori to be specific, which forms the third of the four branches of the course.

Victory in the Tokyo Marathon 2015, Taito ward, Tokyo, Japan.
"Victory," Tokyo Marathon 2015, Taito ward, Tokyo, Japan.
By the time we made it (about 1pm), the faster runners had already gone and meaning the win-at-all-costs atmosphere had morphed to a more fun one.

Tokyo Marathon 2015 at Higashi Nihonbashi, Tokyo, Japan.
Tokyo Marathon 2015 at Higashi Nihonbashi, Tokyo, Japan.
Just as much imagination goes into the Tokyo Marathon as does muscle, apparent in the thousands of unique costumes worn by many participants.

For the first time in the history of the Tokyo Marathon, two runners from the same country, Ethiopia, won both the men's and the women's races: Endeshaw Negesse (2:06:00) and Berhane Diba (2:23:15).

Tokyo Marathon 2013

© JapanVisitor.com

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Japan News This Week 22 February 2015


Japan News.
Japan’s Economy Expands, but Less Than Expected
New York Times
Japan: New world record set for building snowmen

Tokyo after dark: late-night debauchery in Japan – in pictures

Outrage grows over Sono ‘apartheid’ column
Japan Times

My Story: A Daughter Recalls the Battle of Okinawa
Japan Focus

Last Week's Japan News on the JapanVisitor blog


Country Corruption Rank 2014 + (Democracy Rank 2014). #1 is the least corrupt country.

1. Denmark 1 (1)
2. New Zealand (6)
3. Finland (2)
4. Sweden (3)
5. Norway (4)
5. Switzerland (5)
7. Singapore (73)
8. Netherlands (6)
9. Canada (9)
10. Australia (11)
11. Germany (9)
12. United Kingdom (13)
13. Belgium (8)
13. Japan (16)
15. United States (14)
15. Ireland (11)
17. Uruguay (18)
17. Chile (21)
19. Austria (16)
20. United Arab Emirates (76)

32. Korea, South (38)

82. China (121)

Source: World Audit

© JapanVisitor

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sforza Monument Leonardo's Horse

The Sforza Monument was to be the largest equestrian statue in the world but was never cast.

Sforza Monument Leonardo's Horse, Nagoya.

Designed by Leonardo da Vinci, the huge bronze statue was to depict Francisco Sforza, the duke of Milan, and was commissioned by his son Ludovico. The clay model of the statue was destroyed by invading French troops in 1499 and the project was never realized.

Sforza Monument Leonardo's Horse.

However a modern fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) version of the statue can be seen outside the main entrance of Nagoya Congress Center.

This statue is 8.3m in height, 3.6m in width and 8.8m in length and was created from original drawings by Prof. Hidemichi Tanaka of Tohoku University.

Sforza Monument Leonardo's Horse, Nagoya, Aichi.

Another casting of the horse was made in the USA and two statues made from the cast by the Japanese-American sculptor Nina Akamu are at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Michigan while the other was taken back to Milan and stands at the Hippodrome in San Siro.

© JapanVisitor.com

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Walk Around Kyushu Day 55 Amagi to Tosu

A Walk Around Kyushu
Day 55, Hita to Kamiura
Saturday January 4th 2014

It's still dark when I leave my hotel and walk to Kurume Station. I take a train north across the river towards Amagi where I will continue my pilgrimage, but first get off after a couple of stops at Kitano Station.

A few hundred meters from the station is a shrine I want to visit, a branch of Kitano Tenmangu, the first shrine to Sugawara Michizane in Kyoto. The village here is called Kitano after the shrine's name. That is not unusual, many places in Japan are named after the local shrine or temple.

It is quite a big shrine, and has a single statue of a white horse, fairly common at shrines, but also has three orange horses, which is quite unusual. The walls of the corridors of the shrine are covered with examples of calligraphy, something the Kami Tenjin, the enshrined spirit of Michizane, is known for. I jumped back on a train to the last station of the line, Amagi, and when I arrive the sun is up promising another fine day.

A Walk Around Kyushu Day 55 Amagi to Tosu.

I had some trouble finding the first pilgrimage temple of the day, Kotokuin, number 7 in the order they are listed. It was located in a suburban area a little north of the station but was not a large temple with typical large curved roof, but a small single story building, so I could not see it from a distance.

I asked several passers-by, but had no luck. Often in Japan if a place is not famous then even people who live nearby will not know where it is. I find it eventually and there is not much to see.

My route now heads west across the wide plain. Japan is often characterized as being a mountainous country, and while that is true, there are plenty of wide open flat areas, this being one of them. While I haven't yet traveled in many parts of Japan, so far in my experience Kyushu seems to have a lot of these flat areas.

A Walk Around Kyushu Day 55 Amagi to Tosu.

It is of course mostly farmland, and several times I pass near a huge structure with silos. The fields and paddies are also interspersed with small settlements, marked by trees, the largest of the trees often indicate a shrine, none of the ones I visited had any visitors though.

By lunchtime it is becoming more urban and I reach temple number 3, Nyoirinji, and it is very busy. Nyoirinji's not a very big temple, but is obviously very popular. The most noticeable thing is the large number of frog statues. They are everywhere.

In the car park are a line of large metal ones covered in what appears to be graffiti, but what is in fact prayers and wishes. I had hoped to meet with the head priest of the temple, the father of the young priest I had met at temple number 93 some 53 walking days ago, but he was obviously very busy.

The grounds did have a nice walk with many fine statues so I leisurely explored before heading off. I headed south, now into urban Ogori and walked parallel to several train lines as well as the main road and expressway. There were several larger shrines to stop at and explore.

Nyoirinji Temple frog statues, Kyushu.

I pass under the East-West expressway and turn west parallel to it. At a big shrine I am surprised to find many statues of monkeys, not the Three Wise Monkeys, but mostly mother monkeys in red hats holding baby monkeys. It's a Hiyoshi Shrine, a branch of the famous shrine at the base of Mount Hiei whose guardian animal is the monkey.

In Tashiro I find the last pilgrimage temple of the day, Fudo-in, number 4. It took some finding as it is a small concrete structure in the middle of a crowded suburban area. Nothing much to see except for a nice statues of Fudo Myo O, the temple's namesake. It's now getting late and I head south back towards Kurume. I get as far as Tosu before deciding to call it a day.

Jake Davies

A Walk Around Kyushu Day 54

© JapanVisitor.com

Monday, February 16, 2015

Book Off & Book Off Bazaar


"Japan is expensive." Yes, I've heard that declaration many a time. But it doesn't have to be if you shop at Book Off and Book Off Bazaar! Book Off is Japan's largest chain of used book stores, with over 800 locations nationwide. There are eight Book Offs in the USA, five of them in Southern California.

Book Off & Book Off Bazaar, Japan.

Book Off is a treasure-trove of used Japanese books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs, and everything is sold at a significant discount. Remember that art book you gazed upon and longed to hold in your hands? What about that manga series you wanted to try? Was it not your fondest wish to complete your collection of SMAP CDs? It is very possible for your dreams to come true at Book Off.

Book Off & Book Off Bazaar, Japan.

I have visited many Book Offs in Japan and have a special regard for the stores in Kochi and Fukuoka. The Fukuoka Store is actually called Book Off Super Bazaar because it has much more than books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs - it is filled to the rafters with a wondrous variety of used merchandise. We spent time in the anime-related section and inspected hundreds of items. For my daughter and me, a trip to Book Off is a treat every time we come to Japan.

Book Off & Book Off Bazaar, rows of manga.

© JapanVisitor.com

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Japan News This Week 15 February 2015


Japan News.
Prime Minister Abe Appeals to Japanese on Pacifist Constitution
New York Times

Kenji Ekuan's Enduring Legacy Lives On Restaurant Tables

Japan seizes passport of Syria-bound journalist

Japanese misanthropes march against 'passion capitalism' of Valentine's Day

Injuries to Okinawa anti-base protesters ‘laughable,’ says U.S. military spokesman
Japan Times

Wrongful Convictions and the Culture of Denial in Japanese Criminal Justice
Japan Focus

Last Week's Japan News on the JapanVisitor blog


Tokyo was recently named the "safest city in the world."

The Safe Cities Index 2015 looked at 50 of the biggest cities on "every continent and scored them across four safety categories. Aside from personal safety and the risk of violent crime, the ranking took into account health security, infrastructure safety and even how a city protects its citizens’ digital privacy. Tokyo scored highest in the digital security category while its air quality, improving but still relatively poor, kept it down in the health category. Osaka actually beat out Tokyo in the personal safety category by one spot, but its worst performance was in infrastructure where it didn’t even crack the top 10."

1. Tokyo
2. Singapore
3. Osaka
4. Stockholm
5. Amsterdam
6. Sydney
7. Zurich
8. Toronto
9. Melbourne
10. New York
11. Hong Kong
12. San Fransisco
13. Taipei
14. Montreal
15. Barcelona
16. Chicago
17. Los Angeles
18. London
19. Washington, D.C.
20. Frankfurt

Source: Japan Today

© JapanVisitor

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Same-Sex Marriage in Japan? Shibuya Ward in Tokyo Makes a Move


Shibuya Ward Office in Tokyo has recognized a same-sex couple as being in a relationship equivalent to marriage. Accordingly, it is to propose to the ward council that the couple be issued with a certificate recognizing their relationship.

Apparently the couple had been denied the opportunity to be treated as a couple when applying for housing and when one of the couple was hospitalized. So, in July of last year, the Shibuya ward office began getting opinions from people involved and set up a committee of people familiar with the issues raised.

The ward has just reviewed and accepted the findings of the committee, and has therefore determined to pursue the issuance of a certificate, putting the proposal to the ward council. The ward office is intending to seek the cooperation of all businesses in Shibuya ward in recognizing all same-sex couples in the ward and treating them no differently from married couples. Both partners must be 20 years of age or over.

The system will be different from marriage, but if same-sex partnership comes to be recognized by the issuance of a certificate, this will be the first case of its kind in Japan, and is expected to start a debate concerning Japan's current, traditional household registration system, or kosekitohon.

Update - Setagaya ward will introduce the same legal recognition to same-sex couples as Shibuya from November 2015.

Stay tuned for more gay marriage news from JapanVisitor Blog.

Read more about gay Japan.

(The above is summarized and translated from Japanese media reports.)

© JapanVisitor.com

Inside Track Japan For Kindle Devices

Whistler Retrospective at Yokohama Museum of Art


Yokohama Museum of Art is hosting a Whistler Retrospective. It began on December 6 last year and ends on March 1 this year.

Whistler Retrospective at the Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama.
Whistler Retrospective at the Yokohama Museum of Art

James McNeill Whistler was a nineteenth century American artist who lived in Europe all his life from age 21, and was active mostly in England and France.

From the mid-nineteenth century there was a wave of admiration for Japanese art in England, leading to what is known as the Anglo-Japanese style of art, and was associated with the art-for-art's-sake, or Aesthetic, movement that was replacing the idea of art having to serve a moral purpose.

Ticket for the Whistler Retrospective exhibition, Yokohama, Japan.
Ticket for the Whistler Retrospective exhibition

Whistler came to Europe in the 1850s when the movement was just beginning, and its influence on him is evident in his work. The most explicit expression of it was in his Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room, a mural work he painted in 1876-77 and with extensive use of gold leaf.

Whistler's drew on Rembrandt, Velázquez, and ancient Greek sculpture, too, for his inspiration, yet unsurprisingly it is the Japanese influence that, more than anything else, fuels interest in Whistler in Japan. The Whistler exhibition at Yokohama Museum of Art was thronged yesterday (a public holiday).

Whistler produced a lot more than just paintings. The exhibition included hundreds of his sketches and lithographs--delicate, detailed, often whimsical creations that generated at least as much interest from visitors as the paintings.

Yokohama Museum of Art shop, selling Whistler merchandise, Yokohama, Japan.
Yokohama Museum of Art shop, selling Whistler merchandise.

 The Whistler Retrospective at the Yokohama Museum of Art costs 1,500 yen for adults, which includes admission to the permanent collection.

See what's on now in the greater Tokyo area and Kyoto.

 © JapanVisitor.com

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bitte German Cafe & Bakery


If you are in search of a German ambiance and authentic German bread, coffee and cakes, Bitte, located in an authentic looking German-style building near Ueda Station is the place to come.

Bitte German Cafe & Bakery, Ueda, Nagoya.

As well as a set German-style breakfast morning set and lunch, Bitte offers a small shop selling German bread as well as German cakes such as Stollen and other German gifts and souvenirs: German beer, ceramics, wine, and, of course, sausages.

468-0051, Nagoya-shi, Tenpaku-ku Ueda 1-1313
Tel: 052 804 8884

© JapanVisitor.com

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Japan News This Week 8 February 2015


Japan News.
Hostage’s Apparent Beheading by ISIS Stirs Outrage in Japan
New York Times

McDonald's Japan forecasts 2014 loss, first in 11 yrs, as food scare hits sales

Piketty Diagnoses Japan's Sick Economy

Japan pop star in coma after inhaling helium for TV stunt

Japan in new Olympic row over choice of band for 2020 ceremony

Robotic probe set to examine inside of melted Fukushima reactor
Japan Times

Sink the Asahi! The ‘Comfort Women’ Controversy and the Neo-nationalist Attack
Japan Focus

Last Week's Japan News on the JapanVisitor blog


A fact of life well known among foreigners resident in Japan, sexlessness in the Land of the Rising Sun is now at long last getting mainstream media attention. This is mainly a government/media attempt at persuading the nation to fornicate - and, fingers crossed - produce babies.

According to the Asahi Shinbun, a survey by the Japan Family Planning association revealed just how sexless Japan is. The poll was taken in September of last year and showed that 44.6% of 16 - 49 year olds had not had sex in the previous month, which is the definition of "sexless": having sex once or less per month.

That is a three percent increase over the previous year's survey, and almost thirteen percentage points higher than the same survey conducted ten years ago in 2004.

When asked why they are not having sex, the number one reply for men was: "too tired because of work." For women, the top reply was "(having sex is too) bothersome."

Source: Asahi Shinbun

© JapanVisitor

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Cleaning up Litter in the Tokyo Neighborhood

ゴミ拾い 東京

Tokyo is a pretty clean city. Garbage collection is regular and frequent, and shops and houses generally keep the sidewalk in front of them free of litter.

Corner of Edo-dori and Kuramae-dori, Taito ward, Tokyo.

However, there are inevitably spots that no one feels responsible for. Furthermore, disposing of big trash (sodaigomi) such as coffee tables, microwaves, bookshelves, bicycles and the like costs money. You have to pay for it to come and be collected. So the cheap way out is to dump such objects in spots no one feels responsible for, such as by an isolated strip of roadside, behind bushes in a park, or down an embankment.


We have lived in Taito ward, eastern Tokyo, for almost five years now. Last year we made the purchase of an apartment in Tokyo and, at the same time, got naturalized in Japan. We therefore feel doubly rooted in Japan compared to how we felt while we were still officially foreigners and renting. Our Taito ward address is now our official address, the address in our koseki, or family registry. The koseki in Japan is more than just the address where you live. It represents the piece of land that your family identifies with and that is a crucial element in identifying you and your family--even if, as, say, in the case of a son or daughter gone to seek his or her fortune, you don't happen to live there anymore.

As such, with naturalization, our neighborhood suddenly became more than just where we live in Japan. It become our native plot. We therefore take a greater interest in it than before. One way we have taken to expressing that is by periodically going trash collecting--usually along the Sumida River promenade.


However, coming back from the post office this morning, I noticed how filthy the street corner was that commemorates the old Asakusa Observatory on Kuramae 1-chome intersection. It is a designated smoking corner, so is naturally covered in cigarette butts, but had several months', if not years', worth of all other kinds of rubbish, too. (No sodaigomi here, though: too public.)

Cigarette butts

So I went home, grabbed a trash bag and the tongs, and spent an hour and a half of my Saturday afternoon cleaning the corner up. Small though the area was, the variety was surprising: not just cans, bottles and cigarette butts, but calenders, receipts, an umbrella, thumbtacks, rubber bands, sweet wrappers, chewing gum, an ICOCA card, used tissues, hand towels--and no end of toothpicks.

Because it was by busy Edo-dori Street, no one stopped and talked like people often do beside the river. However, the sight of a gaijin (albeit a naturalized one) picking up trash doesn't go unnoticed, and I caught way more than my fair share of long looks, all the way from the majority reaction of outright approving ("Should give him some tea," I overheard) to the sometimes slightly bewildered--even to, in one old guy's case, apparently suspicious ("Is this foreigner trying to show us Japanese up as dirty?")--and with a lot of non-reactions in between.

"After": an hour-and-a-half's worth of trash

Anyway, it stretched my legs--and, even more, my back, and, best of all, provided that trusty sense of satisfaction on comparing the "after" with the "before." Let's see how long the "after" lasts.

UPDATE: October 2016
It's well over a year and a half since this clean-up and the corner is still much, much cleaner than it was before. I cycle past it about once or twice a week and always take note, and besides a few inevitable cigarettes scattered around the main cigarette receptacle, the rest of the lawn is still remarkably trash-free.

© JapanVisitor.com

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Sapporo Snow Festival 2015


The Sapporo Snow Festival begins today and runs until 11th February again this year.

Sapporo Snow Festival 2015, Hokkaido.

This year is the 66th Sapporo Snow Festival, which has its origins in six snow and ice sculptures made by local high school students in Odori Park back in 1950. In 1955, the Japanese Self Defense Forces helped to make the large sculptures seen to this day.

Sapporo Snow Festival 2010

The main places to see the ice and snow sculptures are: Odori Park, Tsudome Community Dome and Susukino - the main entertainment and commercial area of Sapporo, south of Sapporo Station.

Among this year's over 200 ice sculptures are a replica of the Manila Cathedral in the Philippines, a snow and ice version of the Xingtian Kong Temple in Taiwan, Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Nara, a "Snow Star Wars" based on the popular movie,"Alice's Adventures in Snowland" plus famous character figures such as Sazae-san and family.

Sapporo Snow Festival 2010

As well as the amazing ice sculptures, other entertainments include an "Ice Queen" contest in Susukino, an international ice sculpture festival with 12 teams from such nations as USA (Hawaii & Portland), Korea (Daejeon), Australia, Thailand, Singapore, Italy, Finland, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Poland, snow slides, ice mazes and lots of great Hokkaido food and drink such as hot potatoes, seafood and Sapporo ramen.

Around 2 million visitors are expected to attend this year's event. 2.4 million attended the Sapporo Snow Festival in 2014.

Sapporo Snow Festival 2015 (Official Site in Japanese, Chinese, Korean & English)
Tel: 011 211 2376

Sapporo Snow Festival 2010
© JapanVisitor

Book a Hotel in Sapporo with Booking.com

The Japanese Spa: A Guide to Japan's Finest Ryokan and Onsen

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Kenji Goto and the Japanese Constitution

Kenji Goto and the Japanese Constitution.
With the beheading by ISIS of journalist and humanitarian, Kenji Goto (1967-2015), last Saturday, following that of fellow Japanese national, Haruna Yukawa, Japan feels it has been drawn into a global situation that till now it was only an observer of.

Japan can be readily forgiven for thinking that a promise of a USD200 million contribution in non-military humanitarian aid for those uprooted by conflicts in the Middle East does not warrant being called "involvement" in the Middle East, any more than the person on the street who gives 200 yen to a homeless person would call themselves "involved" in solving the problem of homelessness.

However, having two citizens crudely executed without trial--without rightful cause, even--has catapulted Japan into involvement whether it likes it or not. Prime Minister Abe announced on his recent visit to Jordan where he met King Abdullah that Japan is making a "proactive contribution to peace" by contributing the above sum. This must be seen in the light of his pronouncement just half a year ago, on July 1 2014, that Japan would reinterpret the Japanese constitution to allow Tokyo to militarily support partners under attack.

"Contributing to peace" is, from a politician's mouth, not necessarily any different from saying "going to war." The world's biggest "contributor to peace" at present, the United States, imposed this constitution on Japan over 60 years ago, but is sure to at least tacitly approve of the revision and thus perhaps be somewhat relieved of the burden of providing its post-WW2 military umbrella for Japan.

Abe has at least three more years of free rein, having just won a snap election. The economic stimulus he promised does not seem to be generating much more steam, so the ever trusty fallback of nationalism looks like it may be the next political prop his party will turn to. China and North Korea are always good for keeping the populace's nerves on edge, but the horror the nation has just witnessed may well be harnessed to get the ultimate popular seal of approval for a whole new, fewer-holds-barred foreign policy.

© JapanVisitor.com

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

How To Make A Japanese Futon


Good quality Japanese futon are still made by hand in Japan. Working on a tatami floor the workers use a set procedure to fit the cotton padding within the cotton cover. The whole process resembles a well-choreographed dance, which is done at top speed. It takes two to tango a futon.

How To Make A Japanese Futon.

If the cotton is too big the workers use their hands to tear it to the right size. The cotton padding is folded over at the ends and sides and then the central part is added.

How To Make A Japanese Futon.

The cotton padding is then expertly flipped into the lining cover. More folds and spreads ease the cotton to be a perfect fit inside the lining.

How To Make A Japanese Futon.

Both the upper and bottom futons are made in this way.

Our sister site GoodsFromJapan.com sells these very futons you see being made. If you value a good nights sleep on a natural product that can be aired occasionally in sunlight, please have a look at our selection of high quality Japanese futons.

How To Make A Japanese Futon.

© JapanVisitor.com

Monday, February 02, 2015

Ninjin Janai Exhibition John Wells


A first exhibition in Kanazawa by American multi-media artist John Wells at Gallery Muku from Friday, February 6 to Wednesday, February 11, 2015.

John has recently moved from a long term residency in Kyoto to Kanazawa. The works on show at Gallery Muku are all recent paintings and drawings made in Kyoto and Kanazawa.

"I especially like the feeling when you look and see winter, but then a closer look shows something new is about to bloom."

Ninjin Janai Exhibition John Wells.

Ishikawa-ken, Kanazawa-shi, Higashiyama 2–1–7
Tel: 076 255 6106
Hours: 11am-5pm; Closed Thursday

© JapanVisitor.com

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Japan News This Week 1 February 2015


Japan News.
Islamic State group purportedly releases Goto execution video
Japan Times

Two Japanese Hostages, as Different as Can Be, Linked by Fate in Syria
New York Times

Japan Has Built Close Ties to Jordan, Nation at Center of Hostage Standoff
Wall Street Journal

IS hostages: Japan analyses new voice recording

The truth about Noma's live prawn dish

Venerable Children's Castle in Tokyo set to close after 30 years
Japan Times

"Life’s First Night" and the Treatment of Hansen's Disease in Japan「いのちの初夜」 ハンセン病は日本でいかに扱われてきたか
 Japan Focus

Last Week's Japan News on the JapanVisitor blog


Quality of infrastructure, ranked by country:

1) Switzerland
2) Hong Kong
3) UAE
4) Finland
5) Singapore
6) Holland
7) Australia
8) Iceland
9) Japan
10) France
11) Germany
12) Portugal
13) Spain
14) Luxembourg
15) Denmark
16) USA
17) Belgium
18) Sweden
19) Canada
20) Malaysia

Source: Asahi Shinbun

© JapanVisitor

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