The Yomiuri ShimbunShoso-in was originally a repository of the Todaiji temple in Nara.
The history of its treasures began when items related to Emperor Shomu (701-756) were stored there. After the emperor died, his grieving widow Empress Komyo (701-760) dedicated hundreds of objects used by the emperor to the statue of the Great Buddha at the temple.
TAKAMATSU--Shikoku Railway Co. (JR Shikoku) will start running its YuYu Anpanman Car with a new exterior design from October.
The sightseeing train service featuring Anpanman and other characters from the superhero anime series is operated between Takamatsu and Tokushima, and also between Tokushima and Awa-Ikeda stations.
MIYOSHI, Aichi Prefecture--Lanterns do not get any bigger than those featured at the Miyoshi Big Lantern Festival--and now this is a fact.
One lantern at the Miyoshi Inari-kaku shrine's festival on Aug. 19-20 has been certified as the world's largest hanging lantern by the Guinness World Records. The lantern, 10.81 meters high and 6.5 meters in diameter, was confirmed by an official Guinness adjudicator who verified the measurement Aug. 19.
Local governments in Japan are responding to an influx of tourists into rural areas by inviting homeowners to open their doors to travelers, amid an acute accommodation shortage at hotels and other boarding facilities.
The emerging "minpaku" industry, which has become especially popular in tourist areas, allows homeowners to take payment from travelers for lodging them in their homes, apartments and other rooms, while also providing a more culturally authentic experience.
For 1,400 yen ($13), the price of a cup of coffee, a novel cafe set up in Tokyo's Haneda Airport offers customers the chance to savor the philosophy of high-end watchmaker Franck Muller.
Muller is a "time philosopher," and the watchmaker hopes customers at the cafe really cherish the "value of time," said Katsuyuki Noda, marketing and public relations director of the company's import agency World Commerce Corp.
A folding screen painted in ink featuring main characters of the Star Wars movie was unveiled Tuesday at Byodoin, a Buddhist temple on UNESCO's World Heritage list in Kyoto Prefecture, ahead of the release of the latest episode in December.
The movie's famous robot characters R2-D2 and C-3PO as well as villain Kylo Ren were painted on the screen by Masayuki Kojo, 39, a local painter.
NARITA, Chiba Prefecture--Narita Airport is spending 5 billion yen ($45.76 million) to replace its 147 toilet facilities with cleaner, more comfortable ones in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
The airport operator has begun remodeling the restrooms to provide a warm welcome for visitors who intend to watch the Games.
TOTTORI--West Japan Railway Co. (JR West) plans to let passengers experience the Sanin region's gorgeous sites and rich culture in relative luxury but without breaking the bank.
The Ametuchi sightseeing train is scheduled to start services in July 2018. It will make round trips between Tottori and Izumoshi stations on the JR Sanin Line on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays.
More than 4 million people in Japan were still playing "Pokemon Go" around the first anniversary of the smartphone app, and nearly half of the players were 40 or older, according to estimates.
SEKI, Gifu Prefecture--Tourists have flocked to a camp in the deep mountains here in central Japan for a chance to "levitate" over the Itadorigawa river.
When the water is crystal clear and the sunlight is bright enough to cast a crisp shadow on the riverbed, a rubber boat on the surface looks like it is floating in air, according to Tomohiro Iguchi, who works at the Itadori campground in the area.