AI chatbot introduced to tackle alarming rise in coronavirus-related suicides


Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has urged people who are struggling with depression to “have the courage to consult someone” in response to an alarming spike in the number of suicides in the capital. Two hundred and fifty-six people committed suicide in October 2020, a rise of 50% over the figure… Read


Kokoro Care Packages showcase Kanagawa's diverse food and cultural influences


Kanagawa Prefecture, located just south of Tokyo, is Japan’s second most populous prefecture and is known for its beautiful nature and picturesque coastlines. Shonan, along Sagami Bay, is a top beach destination from Tokyo, with a laid-back atmosphere that attracts surfers and ocean lovers. The resort area of Hakone has… Read


Flying in Japan? Your flight may soon be arriving at 'Hatsune Miku Airport'


Most air travelers to Sapporo, the prefectural capital of Hokkaido, arrive at New Chitose Airport. Even if you don’t speak Japanese, it’s a pretty cool name for an airport, with “New” giving it an adventurous ring, and if you know that “Chitose” means millennium, it takes on a futuristic quality too. But… Read


Green tea strawberry dessert sandwiches: Today’s reason Japanese convenience stores are awesome


One of the things that makes Japanese convenience stores so awesome is the huge variety of tasty foods they stock. Whether you’re after onigiri rice balls, bento boxed lunches, pre-made pasta dishes, or all sorts of candies and chips, your local conbini (as convenience stores are called in Japanese) is standing by… Read


Tech giants banished Trump. Now things get complicated


As the world adjusts to a Twitter without @realdonaldtrump, the next big question is: “Now what?" Major tech platforms, long accused of giving President Donald Trump special treatment not allotted to regular users, have shown him the door in the wake of his incitement of violence by supporters at the… Read


New virus mutation raises vaccine questions


As the British coronavirus variant occupies countries' pandemic plans due to its increased transmissibility, other mutations to the Sars-CoV-2 are provoking concern among scientists who are scrambling to work out if they will still respond to vaccines. In particular, one mutation, known as E484K, detected initially in South Africa and… Read


6 types of English conversation students and how to handle them


In Japan, eikaiwa, or English conversation schools, are different from regular schools. Teaching here is not the same as being an ALT (assistant language teacher) at a public school or a university. The students are often taught individually, and they can review your lessons or even request to have (or not have) you as… Read

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Black Thunder candy bars ride 'yaki-imo' renaissance trend with new 'imo-kenpi' offering


For centuries, the winter months in Japan have been bound up with the enticing smell of freshly baked sweet potatoes. In recent years, a new generation has cottoned on to the wonderful flavor of yaki-imo 焼き芋. Hoping to hitch a ride on the bandwagon, the nation’s food manufacturers have been… Read


See some of Japan’s oldest bonsai trees at this exhibition in Shiga Prefecture


Visit Shiga Prefecture’s Keiunkan at any time of year, and you are bound to see one of the best collections of bonsai trees in Japan. However, it is best to visit the venue at the beginning of the year, during the Nagahama Plum Tree Bonsai Exhibition, when all 300 of the trees… Read


Jewerium: Amagical winter lights event at Enoshima Aquarium

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Enoshima Aquarium is holding a special winter event titled Jewerium. The name is a combination of jewel and aquarium. The organizers of the event say that they were inspired by the beauty of jewels, and their three most eye-catching elements: transparency, color and brilliance. Walk across the Shonan Festival Plaza,… Read

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