Kanji Character For 2010: Sho

2010年漢字一文字「暑」


At the end of every year, the Japan Kanji [i.e. Chinese character] Proficiency Certification Society solicits from the public the kanji that best sums up the past year.

A ceremony takes place at Kyoto’s Kiyomizu-dera Temple where the selected kanji is publicly put to parchment by the head priest, presently Seihan Mori.

The kanji selected this year was the character for “hot,” pronounced sho or atsu.

This character was chosen because of the record high temperatures experienced in Japan this year.

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Hero Flutes

Hero Flutes

A collection of genuine handmade Japanese flutes used in the ritual and festivals of the Iwami Kagura dance, a dramatic musical ritual that originated in the town of Iwami in Shimane prefecture as an appeasement dance for the Shinto gods.

With its long tradition, simply beauty, and pure tone, let the easy-to-play Iwami Kagura flute bring the magic of ancient Japanese dance music to your own fingers, lips and ears.




Nagoya Friends XMAS Bash at Red Rock THIS SATURDAY (12/18)


Nagoya Friends is holding it's 99th party in Nagoya!


  • Date: SATURDAY December 18th, 2010

  • Time:  18:00 - 21:00

  • Drinks will be served between 6:00pm-8:45pm.

  • Place: The Red Rock (2F Aster Plaza Building, 4-14-6 Sakae, Nagoya (very close to Sakae Station)

  • Fee:  3000 yen

  • Dress code:  Anything (Casual, etc)

  • Reservations:  Not necessary but recommended and appreciated. Just show up to the party!

  • Over 25,000 Yen worth of exciting prize giveaways each month!

  • Santa's bringing lots of presents.  10 presents!! A bread maker, a health check scale, bottles of wine and much more!  See if Santa brought you anything!!

  • There will be free food along with free drinks (beers, wine, cocktail drinks and juices).


  • Our party is not a dinner party, but we will have light food & snacks. Quantities are limited, so please come early! Please free to come alone or bring your friends. EVERYBODY is welcome to join regardless of nationality/gender. Reservation is greatly appreciated. About 125-150+ people are expected to attend. Approximately 55% female and 45% male, 70% Japanese and 30% non-Japanese. Pictures from previous Nagoya Friends Parties.

    Map & Directions

    Contact: 080-3648-1666(Japanese) 080-5469-6317(English)

    Get off at Sakae Station [Exit #13]

    Red Rock Nagoya

    The Red Rock (2F Aster Plaza Building,
    4-14-6 Sakae, Nagoya (very close to Sakae Station)

    The Red Rock is located behind the Chunichi Building in the Sakae business/shopping district.

    Subway access from Sakae Station (serving the yellow and purple lines) Exit 13. It's a big station connected to a huge underground shopping mall so you'll need to do a little underground walking.

    We're also just a couple of minutes' walk from the Tokyu and Precede hotels, and a 10 minute walk up Hirokoji Street from the Hilton Hotel in Fushimi.

    Train Directions

    • From Nagoya Stn. take the Higashiyama Subway line to Sakae Station (GET OFF at Sakae Station!!) Take exit #13 and then walk straight AWAY from Hirokoji-Dori for about 3/4 of a block. TURN LEFT Red Rock is on the right side of the street in the middle of the block. Look for the sign on the sidewalk.

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    Journalists outside Roppongi police station

    麻布警察 写真家


    I was in Roppongi last Friday on my way to Rhythm Rivalry, a very memorable percussion event that was happening at the performance/club space Superdeluxe. (Tokyo events on now)

    Passing the Azabu Police Station near Roppongi Hills I noticed a group of photographers - clearly press photographers - waiting in front of it (sitting on left of sidewalk in above photo). The policeman on duty (standing at right with stick) was unfazed by it, and the photographers were in no hurry but looked like they were there for the long haul.

    First I thought it may be something to do with the assault on the famous kabuki actor, Ebizo Ichikawa, that had happened about a week before in the same area on November 25; but I saw the same thing this week too: a group of photographers waiting outside Kojimachi Police Station - placing that in some doubt. (More about Kojimachi)

    I can only presume that either someone newsworthy was in there and they were waiting for him or her to come out, or that they were hanging around in the hope that that would happen.

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    Matsuura Historical Museum

    松浦史料博物館

    The Matsuura Historical Museum (Tel: 0950 22 2236) in Hirado is located in the former residence of the Matsuura clan, who controlled the strategic island from the 11th-19th century.


    This interesting museum displays artefacts and family treasures from the Matsuura clan including samurai arms and armor, calligraphy, documents, globes, Dutch ships' figureheads and a palanquin.



    The museum also includes a lovely garden with many fine wooden buildings and a Japanese teahouse. Inside the main building of the museum is a cafe decorated with 17th century western furnishing and ceramics and a shop. The Matsuura Historical Museum is located up the hill behind the harbor in Hirado town and is a short walk from the grave of William Adams.


    Matsuura Historical Museum
    859-5152
    Nagasaki-ken
    Hirado-shi
    Kagami-cho 12
    Tel: 0950 22 2236
    Admission: 500 yen

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    Ninnanji Temple Guardians

    nio-san仁王さん仁和寺

    Protecting the massive gate in front of Kyoto's Ninnaji Temple are two Nio-san.

    These are massive guardian statues set in enclosed areas on the right and left of the temple entrance.

    The one pictured above is on the right side of the gate.

    Ninnaji is a spacious and elegant temple in western Kyoto. It was founded in the early part of the 9th century and was originally the summer home for the emperor.

    Information

    A short walk from Omuro Station on the Kitano line of the Keifuku Railway.

    Buses #10, #26, and #59 all stop at Ninnaji-mae.

    33 Ouchi Omuro
    Ukyo-ku
    Kyoto
    075-461-1155

    There is a 400 yen entrance fee to the sub-temple on your left as you enter. The rest of the complex is free.

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    Japan News This Week 12 December 2010

    今週の日本

    Japan News.Japan's Graying Prison Population

    New Zealand Herald

    Japanese prisons face swelling elderly population

    Washington Post

    Japan targeted on Kyoto climate stance at Cancun Summit

    BBC

    Bated breath as Norwegian Wood film opens in Japan

    Guardian

    Ebizo's alleged assailant arrested

    Japan Times

    Bombardement de Yonpyong : Washington met Pékin face à ses responsabilités

    Le Monde

    Japón se planta y eleva el tono de la negociación a solo 24 horas del final de la cumbre del clima

    El Pais

    Japanese Atrocities on Nauru during the Pacific War: The murder of Australians, the massacre of lepers and the ethnocide of Nauruans

    Japan Focus

    Athletics fail to reach deal with Japan’s Iwakuma

    Yahoo Sports

    Last Week's News

    Statistics

    In 2009, the percentage of Japanese women whose first child was conceived prior to wedlock was 25.3%. Broken down by age group:

    Teenage mothers: 81.5%
    Mothers in 20s: 63.6%
    Mothers in 30s: 12.1%

    Source: Asahi Shinbun

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    Tokyo Monorail To Haneda Airport International Terminal Station

    東京モノレール

    The Tokyo Monorail connects Hamamatsucho Station to Haneda Airport.

    Haneda Airport now has international flights to Asia, America and Europe after the opening of the new international terminal and the Haneda Airport International Terminal Station on October 21, 2010.

    Built in 1964 as part of the Tokyo Olympics development, the cars of the Tokyo Monorail still have that 60s feel to them.

    From Haneda Airport International Terminal Station the Tokyo Monoral links to Shin-Seibijō (新整備場), Haneda Airport Terminal 1 (羽田空港第1ビル) and Haneda Airport Terminal 2 (羽田空港第2ビル).


    The Haneda Express takes 19 minutes to Haneda Airport Terminal 2 and just 13 minutes to Haneda Airport International Terminal Station from Hamamatsucho Station on the Yamanote Line. Local trains take 18 minutes to Haneda Airport International Terminal Station and Rapid trains 15 minutes.

    From Monorail Hamamatsu the stations on the Tokyo Monorail are Tennozu Isle, Oi Keibajo-mae, Ryutsu Center, Showajima, Seibijo, Tenkubashi, Haneda Airport International Terminal Station, Shin Seibijo, Haneda Airport Terminal 1 and Haneda Airport Terminal 2.



    Suica and a number of other IC cards can be used on the Tokyo Monorail including: Icoca, Kitaca, Pasmo, Sugoca, Toica and Nimoca.

    The standard fare from Monorail Hamamatsu to Haneda Airport International Terminal Station is 470 yen.

    Tokyo Monorail


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    Toei-Oedo Line Tokyo

    都営地下鉄大江戸線

    The Toei-Oedo Subway Line in Tokyo opened in 2000 and is the second-longest linear motor subway line after the Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line in Osaka.


    The Toei-Oedo is also one of the most expensive metro lines ever built in Japan and was 10 years in construction. The line loops from Tocho-mae in Shinjuku with an extension from Tocho-mae to Hikarigaoka.

    Important stations for connections to other lines include Ueno-Okachimachi, Iidabashi, Daimon, Shinjuku, and Nerima.

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    Ginkgo

    イチョウ

    Ginkgo leaves in Kojimachi, Tokyo


    Tokyo, among numerous other Japanese cities, is full of gingko trees (Ginkgo biloba), and autumn in Tokyo is characterized by the vivid yellow of the gingko's fallen leaves, and the distinctive smell (AKA the stench) of its seeds.

    Gingko leaves stuck to a wall

    The ginkgo is a living fossil, and has no closely related species. Its leaves and nuts are held to have various medicinal properties, some of them ratified by modern science, but many claims having been found to be imaginary.

    They lend great character to Japanese streets in fall, as seen by these photos taken last week.


    Gingko leaves in Asakusabashi, Tokyo

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    Kodo’s 2010 December Concerts

    鼓動 コンサート


    Kodo's 2010 December Concerts Bring 2010 to a Close with 12 Shows Across 8 Cities Throughout Japan

    Since their auspicious debut in 1981 at Berlin Symphonie Hall, Kodo has emerged as Japan's premiere performing arts group, setting the standard for ensemble taiko throughout the world. Touring eight months of the year both domestically and internationally, the group's annual
    journey culminates every year in the annual December Concert series. The December Concerts are a chance for Kodo to regroup and review the year past, as well as to debut new material for the year to come.

    This year, in addition to the regular opening night on Sado Island and performances in Niigata, Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo, 2010 will also see shows in Ashikaga, Sendai and Yokohama for a total of 12 shows throughout eight cities taking place December 1 through 19.

    Artistic Director Mitsuru Ishizuka found his inspiration for this year's December Concerts in the Kodo Rehearsal Hall, a pivotal part of Kodo Village where the group lives and trains. The Rehearsal Hall is the bedrock of creation for Kodo performances and the starting point for the group's vigorous training program. Ishizuka designed this show to capture the atmosphere of this very special place: the enthusiasm, tension, stillness, breath, and fellowship felt between taiko and humans in this hallowed hall.

    “The taiko clustered together on the stage, while based on the layout of the Rehearsal Hall, also conjures up the scene of a Japanese shrine,”explains Ishizuka.“People gather at a shrine to sing, dance, and drum so that their prayers may reach the heavens. In the same way, all of us at Kodo gather in our rehearsal hall and on stage day after day, singing, dancing, and playing the drums, in hopes that the sound of the taiko will reach as many people as possible.”

    As always, the December Concert program features both classic compositions from the Kodo repertoire that have earned the group an avid following across the globe, and new compositions, such as Stride, written by Ishizuka himself and designed to make use of all of the drums in the group’s arsenal. This piece speaks of the “strides” Kodo has taken to date and the journeys that lie ahead, a perfect metaphor for the December Concerts’ year-end finale shows.

    As Kodo turns the corner on three decades of history and the group prepares to enter its 30th anniversary year, the 2010 December Concerts are sure to carry a special celebratory energy and pizazz.

    Ticket information and further details can be found on JapanVisitor's What's on in Tokyo and Kyoto page.

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    Kirin Beer Park Nagoya

    If you are a fan of Japanese beer, then a trip to the Kirin Beer Park in Biwajima just one stop on the JR Chuo Line from Nagoya Station might be for you.



    Turn right out of Biwajima Station and a regular free bus will ferry you to the brewery.

    The rather long-winded tour (in Japanese) introduces the visitor to the main ingredients of beer, plus the history of beer and the production facilities at the Nagoya brewery, which supplies the whole of the Chubu area.

    The highlight of the tour is how to learn to pour a perfect glass of Kirin in three easy stages.

    Participating on the tour allows the visitor two free draft Kirin beers. There is also a shop and a restaurant on the premises.


    Kirin Beer Park
    Kiyosu
    452-8562
    Tel: 052 408 2000

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    Kuko Line Fukuoka Subway

    空港線

    The Kuko (Airport) Line is one of the three subway lines in Fukuoka, Kyushu's largest city.

    The Kuko Line operates from Meinohama in Nishi Ward to Fukuokakuko (Fukuoka Airport) in Hakata Ward. The line is represented by an orange (or red) color on Fukuoka subway maps.

    Known officially as Line 1, the Kuko Line connects with the JR Chikuhi Line for trains to Karatsu and has stops at Hakata Station (for shinkansen links) and Tenjin Station.




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    Japan News This Week 5 December 2010

    今週の日本

    Japan News.Okinawa Re-elects Opponent of U.S. Base

    New York Times

    Japan, U.S. begin joint military exercises

    CNN

    Japan: Debt, demographics and deflation

    BBC

    Cancún climate change summit: Japan Kyoto shocker might be good news

    Guardian

    Nissan rolls out Leaf electric car in Japan

    Washington Post

    美国武力施压能否迫使中国就范

    Caijing

    Kan seen at critical turning point

    Japan Times

    Japan fear China the biggest obstacle to World Cup

    Yahoo Sports

    Last week's Japan news

    Japan Statistics

    Children born to unmarried women:

    Japan: 2.1%
    Greece: 5%
    Italy: 20.7%
    Sweden: 54.7%

    Source: Time

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    Please Do It Again Tokyo Subway

    またやろう



    The "Please Do It Again" better manners campaign on the Tokyo subway this month has our hero conspicuously turning off his mobile phone in front of an admiring mother and kid.

    Previous posters in the "Please Do It Again" series have included a young man giving up his seat to a man on crutches.



    The initial "Do It At Home" campaign featured a young woman applying her make up on the trains and talking on her mobile phone. Other targets have been drunks sprawled over the seats, young people taking up too much room and a commuter shaking an umbrella over fellow travelers on the stairs.

    Do It At Home

    The man behind the striking manga-like designs is Bunpei Yorifuji, an admirer of the American pop-artist Edward Hopper and ukiyo-e master Hokusai.

    Yorifuji bases his monthly designs on common complaints made to Tokyo Metro's Customer Relations Center (Tel: 03-3941-2030).

    Do It At Home Tokyo Subway Campaign

    Tokyo Metro has been running its "manner poster" campaign since 1974.





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    Sky Tree Highest Structure In Japan

    東京スカイツリー

    In a tale of two towers, I visited both the Tokyo Sky Tree and Tokyo Tower (333m) as the former has surpassed the latter as the highest structure in Japan since March.



    The addition of a lightning conductor took the Tokyo Sky Tree Tower to 511m on Wednesday and when it is completed in 2012, the tower will become the world's tallest stand-alone communications tower at 634m.

    Construction began on this super modern looking broadcasting tower in July 2008, and completion is scheduled for March/April 2012. But it is touted as more than just a broadcasting tower. It is also a landmark, on which much has been lavished in terms of design and technological expertise.



    And it is also a "town with a tower," to become a 3 hectare complex that includes commercial, academic, and museum facilities, including a high rise building. The two observatories, one at 350m, the second at 450m, will include restaurants and shops.



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    Dance Performance at Shimbara Castle

    島原城

    In an attempt to draw in customers to the impressive Shimabara Castle staff are performing a funky dance routine outside the main entrance.

    Dressed in Edo Period (1600-1868) costume, a ninja and samurai are among the cast of line dancers.


    Shimabara Castle is the Kyushu port town's main attraction and well worth a visit.

    The present Shimabara Castle is a 33m-tall, five storey, ferro-concrete structure re-built in the style of the original 17th century castle in 1964. Various yagura (towers) were restored at various times in the 1960s and 70s.



    The castle has an excellent museum inside detailing the Shimabara Rebellion and exhibits from the areas's Kakure Kirishitan ("Hidden Christians") culture.


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    Japanese macaque in Hakone

    ニホンザル


    Japan has its own native species of monkey, the Macaca fuscata, commonly known as the Japanese macaque, or, in Japanese, the nihonzaru ("Japan monkey"). A subspecies, the Macaca fuscata yakui, is confined to the island of Yakushima.

    Japanese macaques are 50-60cm in body length and weigh about 11kg. They range in color from yellowish brown, to brown, to gray. They have a pink face and a short stumpy tail.

    Males and females of the species are distinguished by several traits such as size, the males being a little bigger; lifespan, the males living 5 or 6 times longer than the females, who usually live only about 6 years; and habitat, the males being ground-based while the females are tree-based.

    The estimated nationwide population of the Japanese macaque is one million. They are found in almost every part of Japan except Hokkaido. 

    Japanese macaques are not endangered, being on the "least concern" end of the endangered scale. They have natural predators such as dogs, raccoon dogs and hawks. They are also hunted when they threaten human crops. An estimated 100,000 are killed every year.

    Because of their pest value, feeding monkeys in Japan is strongly discouraged. The above photo is a sign in the resort town of Hakone, and says えづけ禁止 or "Feeding prohibited."

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    New Fukuoka Tower

    The 234m-high New Fukuoka Tower, located in the Seaside Momochi area of Fukuoka, is the tallest seaside observation tower in Japan and a striking example of Fukuoka's modern architecture.

    The New Fukuoka Tower was constructed in 1989 and designed by the Nikken Sekkei company, who were also responsible for the Kobe Port Tower.


    Fukuoka Tower has a triangular cross-section and is coated in mirrored glass. Fukuoka Tower is illuminated at night. At 123 meters is an observation deck with superb 360-degree views out over Fukuoka.

    Close-by are a number of shops and restaurants and the Robosquare with displays of contemporary robots inside the TNC-TV Bldg.


    Fukuoka Tower Inc.
    2-3-26 Momochihama
    Sawaraku
    Fukuoka City
    814-0001
    Tel: (092) 823-0234
    Admission: 800 yen for adults
    Hours: April-Sept 9.30am-10pm; October-March 9.30am-9pm
    Access: There are Nishitetsu buses (approx 45 mins from Fukuoka Airport; 25 mins from Tenjin Station, 30 mins from Hakata Station, and 10 minutes from Nishijin-Fukuoka Tower South entrance bus stop).
    The nearest subway is Nishijin and then a 15-minute walk or short bus ride.
    Map of Fukuoka Tower

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    William Adams Grave Hirado

    三浦按針

    Those of us who are old enough to remember the classic, 1980 TV mini-series Shogun starring Richard Chamberlain and Toshiro Mifune will always have a soft spot for William Adams (1564-1620), the first Englishman to find himself in Japan.



    Adams' life was an unbelievable adventure story - shipwrecked off the coast of Japan on a Dutch ship the De Liefde, the Kent-born sailor, known in Japan as Miura Anjin ('Pilot'), was spared death and became a confidant of Ieyasu Tokugawa, advising the shogun on matters of navigation and ship-building.

    Eventually Adams was granted the title of hatamoto - a samurai in direct service of the shogun - and granted lands and servants near present-day Yokosuka.

    Adams moved to Hirado and was instrumental in setting up an English trading post on the island, though he quarreled with the English representative in Japan, John Saris, who disliked Adams for his adoption of a Japanese lifestyle and habits. Adams had taken a Japanese wife, with whom he had two children.



    Adams passed away aged 55 on Hirado, a small island off the western coast of Kyushu, south of Fukuoka.

    His grave, erected in 1954, is a short walk above the harbor and is a peaceful and evocative spot. A stone from the grave of his English wife was brought over from the UK to lie on Adams' tomb so the two could be reunited.

    Another memorial stone at the site records the Englishmen who died in Japan during the 10 years of the English "factory" on Hirado.

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    Japan News This Week 28 November 2010

    今週の日本

    Japan News.M.B.A.’s in Japan Struggle for Respect

    New York Times

    China's support of North Korea grounded in centuries of conflict

    CNN

    What makes good teaching?

    BBC

    North Korea’s ‘military first’ politics are behind recent attacks

    Christian Science Monitor

    Japan's justice minister resigns after gaffe

    Guardian

    Japan election sure to show opposition to US base

    Washington Post

    日本出口年增幅连续八个月放缓

    Caijing

    Cabinet can't stray during drills: Kan

    Japan Times

    Les conséquences du déplacement de l'activité manufacturière vers la Chine et les pays émergents

    Le Monde

    Japan’s World Cup bid for 2022 faces obstacles

    Yahoo Sports

    Last week's Japan news

    Japan Statistics

    The number of Chinese tourists to Japan declined for the first time in nine months. The number of visitors in October was 106,400, a 1.8% decline from the previous year.

    Source: Kyodo News

    "Have you ever been bullied?"

    Yes: 44%
    No: 56%

    Of those who replied yes, the top types of bullying were:

    1) ignored
    2) said mean things to
    3) physical

    Source: Asahi Shinbun Poll

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    Shirotomi Garden Nagoya

    白鳥庭園

    Shirotomi Garden in Nagoya is close to Atsuta Shrine and the Nagoya Congress Center.



    Opened in 1991, the 3.7ha Shirotomi Tei-en is a modern Japanese garden representing the countryside of the surrounding areas of Nagoya city. The mound in the south-west corner of the garden represents Mt. Ondake, located on the borders of Nagano and Gifu Prefectures and  the second highest volcano in Japan at 3,067m. The stream running from the mound represents the Kiso River in Gifu.



    The garden contains a traditional teahouse, Seiu-tei, built in the Sukiya style by carpenters from Kyoto. Other features of this beautiful, strolling garden include a perfect, turf lawn, traditional wooden bridges and a number of waterfalls.

    There's a cafe for visitors to refresh themselves and contemplate a garden that seems a million miles from the hustle and bustle of downtown Nagoya. Can you spot the toad/frog in the image below?



    Shirotomi Garden
    Atsuta Nishi-machi 2-5
    Atsuta-ku
    Nagoya
    Tel: 052 681 8928
    Admission: 300 yen; Yearly pass 1,200 yen
    Hours: 9am-4.30pm; closed Monday and the 3rd Wednesday of the month.
    Access: A 10 minute walk from Jingu-Nishi Station on the Meijo Line

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    Akaike Station Nagoya

    赤池

    Akaike Station (lit. "Red Lake") is at the eastern end of the Tsurumai Line of the Nagoya subway before the line becomes the Meitetsu Toyota Line to Toyota city.


    The area around the station includes the Oxport sports center and pool, a popular McDonalds, a Piago supermarket, a branch of the Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ bank, a florist, a convenience store, a pachinko parlor and a number of bars, cafes and izakaya.


    Akaike Station has full wheelchair access and a free motorbike and bicycle parking lot.

    Buses from Akaike no longer run to Chubu International Airport but there are bus services to Toyota, Nagoya Shoka University, Yufukuji and Toyota Nishi High School.


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    Kohaku Uta Gassen Lineup 2010

    mikawa-kenichi紅白歌合戦

    With just over a month remaining in 2010, Japanese eyes are beginning to turn towards the annual "Kohaku Uta Gassen" New Year's Eve television extravaganza.

    Unlike the West, New Year's Eve in Japan is a fairly quiet night. Many families stay in and watch Kohaku, which literally means "Red White."

    In short, the program is a singing "battle." The great and not so great, talented and not so talented from Japan's music world are divided into Red (female) and White (male) teams. A panel of almost as famous judges evaluates each act, and then just prior to the tolling of the temple bells to ring in the new year one team is declared the winner.

    In recent years, the men have been very strong.

    The list of guests on the NHK program was recently announced.

    Here is the 2010 lineup:

    Red Team

    aiko
    Angela Aki
    Ikimono Gakari
    Sayuri Ishikawa
    Kane Uemura
    AKB48
    Miyuki Kawanaka
    Kumi Koda
    Natsuko Godai
    Sachiko Kobayashi
    Fuyumi Sakamoto
    Yoshimi Tendo
    DREAMS COME TRUE
    Mitsuko Nakamura
    Kana Nishino
    Ayumi Hamasaki
    Perfume
    Ayaka Hirahara
    Nana Mizuki
    Kaori Mizumori
    Akiko Wada

    White Team

    Arashi
    Hiroshi Itsuki
    HY
    EXILE
    NYC
    Yuzo Kayama
    Saburo Kitajima
    Hiromi Go
    Kobukuro
    SMAP
    TOKIO
    Hideaki Tokunaga
    AAA
    Kiyoshi Hikawa
    FUNKY MONKEY BABYS
    Masaharu Fukuyama
    flumpool
    Takashi Hosokawa
    Porno Graffiti
    Shinichi Mori
    Yusuke Yuzu
    L'Arc en Ciel

    The big surprise was the exclusion of Kenichi Mikawa, who is a man, pictured above.

    On the women's side two stalwarts, Kyoto's Kumi Koda and veteran Akiko Wada, will attempt to defeat the men.

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    Nagoya Dome

    ナゴヤドーム

    Nagoya Dome near Ozone in Nagoya is the home stadium of the Chunichi Dragons baseball team and also plays hosts to music concerts, conferences and trade fairs.

    The Rolling Stones played here back in 2006. Other bands to have performed at Nagoya Dome include Aerosmith, Backstreet Boys, Steve Barakatt, Bon Jovi, Celine Dion, Fuel, Billy Joel, Luciano Pavarotti, Queen + Paul Rodgers, and Wayne Shorter.


    Nagoya Dome opened in 1997 and has a capacity of around 38,000 people. The dome is opposite a huge Aeon shopping mall and is a popular spot for joggers running around the stadium.



    Nagoya Dome is best accessed by subway to the Nagaoya Dome-mae Yada Station on the Meijo line or Ozone Station on the JR, Meitetsu and subway lines.



    Nagoya Dome
    Tel: 052 719 2121


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    Robosquare Fukuoka

    ロボスクエア

    Robosquare inside the TNC TV Building in Fukuoka is a free museum showcasing Japan's prowess in the field of robotics.


    On display are the robotic dog, Aibo, the cuddly cyborg seal, Paro and a number of other robots including Aimo, Robonova and RIDC.


    Robosquare holds workshops and seminars for school childen to prepare for participation in Robocup Junior competitions and to promote the robotics industry in Fukuoka.

    Robosquare
    2F TNC-TV Bldg.,
    2-3-2 Momochihama
    Sawara-ku
    Fukuoka
    Tel: 092 821 4100
    Hours: 9.30am-6pm; closed 2nd Wednesday of the month
    Access: 15 minute walk from Exit 1 of Nishijin Station of the Fukuoka subway.
    Robosquare Fukuoka Map

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    No Pooping or Peeing in Kyoto

    no pooping kyotoペットの糞、小便させないでください

    On the side of a traditional home in downtown Kyoto, the owner has a affixed a very "kawai" (cute) sign warning pet owners not to let their beloved pooches poo or pee on the wall.

    Japan has been in the middle of a pet "boom" for more than a decade, and dog-lovers and those who are not as fond of them are sometimes at odds.

    The biggest complaints about dogs are 1) "kinjo meiwaku" (causing a disturbance in the neighborhood, usually by barking and being nosiy), and 2) owners not scooping the poops.

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    ラベル: , 0 コメント | edit post

    Takachiho Yokagura

    高千穂夜神楽

    Takachiho Yokagura is performed nightly at Takachiho Shrine.

    Usually four dances are performed in the hourly show which begins at 8pm (500 yen).

    The evening we attended we saw the Dance of Tajikarao, the Dance of Ameno-Uzume and the Totori Dance featuring Tajikarao. In the first dance Tajikarao listens for sounds of Amaterasu (the sun goddess) hiding in Amano-Iwato cave. In the second dance Ameno-Uzume performs an "unusual" (read "bawdy" according to the ancient texts) dance that makes the other gods laugh, thus making Amaterau curious enough to peek outside her cave. In the third dance, Tajikarao, known for his great strength, gathers his energy and removes the stone blocking the cave, thus restoring the sun to the universe.


    The dance shown in the video (above) is the comic Goshintai Dance and shows Izanagi and Izanami, the god and goddess who created Japan according to Japanese mythology, as they make and drink sake. These two gods are known for their long and loving marriage before the tragedy of Izanami's death in child-birth. This dance is also known as the "Creation of Japan" dance.


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    Japan News This Week 21 November 2010

    今週の日本

    Japan News.Japan Pushing the Mob Out of Businesses

    New York Times

    How to boost corporate Japan: Stop speaking Japanese

    CNN

    China 'to resume rare earth exports to Japan'

    BBC

    Japan abandons bid to make China a key pillar of its foreign policy

    Christian Science Monitor

    Ady Gil and Japanese whaler both blamed for collision

    Guardian

    Ipads Ensure Tourists in Japan Not Lost in Translation: Video

    Washington Post

    日本大学毕业生就业内定率创新低

    Caijing

    Niigata halts plan to sell plot for consulate amid outcry

    Japan Times

    Hatsune Miku, la chanteuse à succès... qui n'existe pas

    Liberation

    Ultra-small is beautiful for Japanese homeowner

    CNN

    Japan’s Nishioka cleared to move to MLB

    Yahoo Sports

    Last week's Japan news

    Japan Statistics

    Women who eat three bowls of rice or more daily have a 50% higher risk of becoming diabetic than those who eat just one bowl. That data comes from a study by the National Cancer Institute.

    Source: Yomiuri Shinbun

    "Do you want to live abroad?"

    Yes: 56%
    No: 44%

    Of those who replied yes, the top choices were:

    1) Canada
    2) Australia
    3) USA
    4) New Zealand
    5) UK
    6) Italy
    7) Northern Europe (Sweden, Norway, etc.)
    8) Western Europe (Holland, Switzerland, etc.
    9) France
    10) Spain

    Source: Asahi Shinbun Poll

    The number of Japanese students in the US declined 15% in the 2009-2010 academic year.

    Japan ranked sixth in number of foreign students in the US, but its total dropped to 24,800.

    With 128,000 students, China was the number one country.

    Source: Kyodo News

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