Lifestyle

Tokyo Disneyland unveils new details for massive 2020 expansion

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Oriental Land Company has revealed new details and concept art regarding the 75 billion yen expansions coming to Tokyo Disneyland's Fantasyland, Toontown and Tomorrowland. New attractions include "Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast", “Mickey’s Magical Music World,” and "The Happy Ride with Baymax", all set to open on April… Read

Lifestyle

21st century city: two decades of Tokyo’s ever-changing skyline

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In the 21st century, the changing architectural face of Japan’s capital dovetailed with a record-breaking number of foreign visitors and residents in the country at large. Amid the influx of travelers and expats, many of Tokyo’s best-known landmarks sprang up. The start of the new Japanese emperor’s reign, the end… Read

Lifestyle

Dream big: Japanese students seek new paths to overseas study

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For aspirational parents and students in Japan, entering elite colleges abroad—especially those in the United States—has long been an important goal. Traditionally, they sought to do so by attending select junior high schools, high schools, as well as universities, in Japan—particularly those with international programs. Such schools were stepping-stones to studying overseas. Increasingly,… Read

Lifestyle

Rethinking of gender roles is a prerequisite for raising Japan’s birth rate, experts say

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The average age of Japan’s population has been steadily climbing for quite some time now. Part of that can be credited to healthy diets and sufficient healthcare extending longevity, plus admirably little violent crime and few traffic accidents killing people who’re still in the prime of their youth. But on the… Read

Lifestyle

Brand-new Pokemon manhole covers coming to Hokkaido

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One of the secrets to the sustained popularity of the Pokemon franchise is how every couple of years, the designers populate another region of the games’ world with a slew of new Pocket Monsters to find. But that’s not something that’s happening just in the Pokemon games and anime, but in real-life Japan too.… Read

Lifestyle

Shinto festival carries on centuries-old tradition in Japan

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As fireworks light up the winter night, scores of men, women and teenagers crying “washoi, washoi” haul the last of six towering, lantern-covered floats up a small hill and into the town center, the culminating moment of a Shinto festival that has evolved from a harvest thanksgiving into a once-a-year… Read

Lifestyle

Distressed moms and dads on Japanese trains getting help from child assistance volunteer badges

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While Japan’s quick and punctual trains make getting around the country incredibly easy if you’re an adult, getting from Point A to Point B is a lot more difficult if you’ve got a baby who’s crying, fussy, or otherwise suddenly in need of extra attention. Trying to give a baby a… Read

Lifestyle

Alone in Tokyo: 5 tips to get through the solo foreigner blues

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Japan has a reputation for being one of the loneliest countries in the world. And with many employees working overtime on a daily basis, it’s easy to understand why. The first time I lived in Japan, I got a contract playing piano and singing six nights a week at a… Read

Lifestyle

Japanese company officially bans employees from licking fingers when handling papers or money

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Yokohama-based cab company Sanwa Kotsu has an undeniable quirky, fun-loving side to it. This is, after all, the company that offers Tokyo-area taxi rides driven by ninja and “pretend-they’re-not-there” kabuki stagehands. But Sanwa Kotsu is still a legitimate company, and a Japanese one. That means a commitment to sparkling customer service and proper business decorum, and… Read

Lifestyle

The many ways to say ‘woman’ in Japanese

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In the Japanese language, there are several different words to refer to a woman, but depending on the word you choose, the meaning can be worlds different. On an evening out with the ladies at a Tokyo bar, an acquaintance jokingly recalled an anecdote in which supermarket staff addressed her… Read

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