Lifestyle

Cashless society getting closer, survey finds

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More than a third of Europeans and Americans would be happy to go without cash and rely on electronic forms of payment if they could, and at least 20% already pretty much do so, a study shows. The study, which was conducted in 13 European countries, the United States and… Read

Lifestyle

Remnants of the British empire

South Kensington in West London, with its array of museums, is a veritable treasure trove of culture and learning, but even among such rarefied company the Natural History Museum stands out. Home to innumerable priceless objects and specimens, it is a must-visit for many heading to the UK capital. But… Read

Lifestyle

Confessions & Confusions: What we did to lead our foster daughter into enjoying school

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A family does not become a family in a day. But holding onto each other through the good times and the bad times, is the key to making it all work out well. March 26 marked one year since Natsumi moved in with us. Recently, she was playing with friends… Read

Lifestyle

Primo Toys' new Cubetto toy teaches coding to kids

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It’s not often that a hit British product is launched in Tokyo shops before it makes its domestic debut on UK shelves. Yet in February at Isetan department store in Shinjuku, Tokyo, that is what happened.The Cubetto play set, a ground-breaking new computer programming toy designed, built and sold by… Read

Lifestyle

A guide to Japan’s faux holidays from ‘Cat Day’ to ‘Thank You Day’ and everything in between

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Eat an extra portion of tofu on October 2, get married on November 22 and say thank you to everyone on March 9 — welcome to the odd world of Japan's made up holidays. Have you ever noticed that, out of the blue, all convenience stores are suddenly displaying a… Read

Lifestyle

UK, U.S. and Asian casinos look for wild card to woo Japan

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Back in April 2012, Hajime Satomi, the chairman and president of SEGA SAMMY Holdings Inc., took to the stage at a press conference in Miyazaki Prefecture to announce his firm’s ¥400 million acquisition of Phoenix Resort K.K., operator of the Seagaia water park and resort in the prefecture. Pointedly, one… Read

Lifestyle

Creating a cat island – Japanese organization plans to buy island turn it into kitty paradise

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Earlier this month, Japan’s Neco Republic made a bold announcement. The animal welfare organization, which runs a well-known chain of rescue cat cafes, said that the time had come for it to make good on the promise inherent in its name, and that it was launching a crowdfunding campaign to… Read

Lifestyle

Fake monks targeting foreign visitors to Japan?

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Buddhist priests and monks are a common sight in Japan, whether they be meditating, conducting religious ceremonies or looking wonderfully comical riding bicycles. But recently posters have been popping up around Harajuku station in Tokyo warning tourists not to give money to a scam-artist masquerading as a monk, a man who… Read

Lifestyle

Origami vending machine makes news around the country

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From persimmons to eggs and even noodles, we’ve seen vending machines dispense some surprising things in Japan. Now we’ve found a machine so unique it’s been featured on television and newspaper reports around the country, with even Japanese people raising their eyebrows in delight at its unusual contents. Located in… Read

Lifestyle

Japan sees potential in solar power

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Think electricity and water don’t mix? Think again. Within the next year, a floating solar farm on Yamakura Dam in Chiba Prefecture will start providing enough power for nearly 5,000 households. It aims to be the largest installation of its kind in Japan, and the second-largest in the world. The… Read

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