No doubt e-cigarettes harmful: WHO


Electronic cigarettes are harmful both to users and bystanders exposed to the fumes, the World Health Organization says in a report warning they can damage growing fetuses and impact teenagers' brains. So-called electronic nicotine delivery systems, or ENDS, have been pushed by producers as well as some governments as a… Read

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Cherry blossom royal milk tea

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As spring inches nearer, inhabitants of Japan can prepare themselves, not just for an oncoming flurry of pretty pink petals, but a deluge of products inspired by said petals. Sakura, or cherry blossom, is the undisputed symbol of spring in Japan. Nowadays, the traditional spring pastime of hanami (flower viewing… Read


Amano Yasugawara: The secret gathering spot for gods


While many visitors in Miyazaki Prefecture make sure to visit the famous Takachiho Gorge, they often neglect the nearby “spiritual power spot” with a shrine in a cave, located only 20 minutes away from it. This power spot is called Amano Yasugawara. According to a local myth, Amaterasu (the goddess of the sun)… Read


'Dependency syndrome' is all around us


Alcohol. Drugs. Sex. Gambling. Gaming. Working. Eating. Buying. Stealing. Anything we do is a potential addiction. Pain is as addictive as pleasure, hunger no less than satiety. In Japan, says Shukan Josei (Jan 28), 20 million people, one-sixth the population, are actually or potentially dangerously “dependent” on something – a… Read


Japanese maker pushes umami overhaul for much-maligned MSG


Umami-bomb or toxic allergen? There are perhaps few condiments as controversial as MSG, but most scientists say it's safe, and now a Japanese firm is trying to give it a reputation overhaul. In much of the world, monosodium glutamate or MSG is a beloved ingredient. It's in stock cubes and… Read


Democratic candidates vow unity but conflict escalates


Democratic presidential candidates have spent weeks reassuring voters they can unify the party, avoid the divisions that plagued the 2016 primary and defeat President Donald Trump in the fall. Instead, the scars of that battle are being ripped open less than two weeks before the Iowa caucuses. With tensions already… Read

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Sanrio 'wagashi' collection brings sweet Hello Kitty chic to convenience stores


Wagashi means Japanese traditional sweets or desserts. Flavors like matcha, adzuki beans and kinako (roasted soy bean flour) are used, giving them a distinctly Japanese taste, which is not as sweet as desserts commonly found in Europe or America. They are often eaten as an accompaniment to green tea and… Read


The surprising truth about cheating on one's partner in Japan


Have you seen the Netflix series called “My Husband Won’t Fit”? A happy Japanese couple’s marriage slowly decays because of their troubled sex life. Spoilers Ahead After numerous failed attempts at having intercourse, Kenichi begins frequenting a soapland. He purposefully leaves his point card (might as well get a discount) where… Read


Smartwatch band may help spot heart problems, but doctors still required


A smartwatch band with integrated electrodes to produce an electrocardiogram (ECG) might be able to help detect atrial fibrillation, but not as well as a traditional ECG machine used in a hospital, a recent study suggests. Researchers compared results for 200 people who had ECG's done using both an FDA-approved… Read


New ANA air pass with unlimited Japanese house rentals, multiple flights now taking applications


Back in the fall, All Nippon Airways (ANA) got our wanderlust pumping when they announced a partnership with Japanese accommodation provider Address. Address offers members unlimited nights in its properties, which are refurbished homes across Japan, for a flat monthly fee, and its tie-up with ANA adds two sets of extremely affordable round-trip airplane tickets… Read

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