Photoscape / Old Train Just The Ticket For Book - Hungry Kids

Photoscape / Old train just the ticket for book-hungry kids

By Tsuyoshi Yoshioka / Yomiuri Shimbun PhotographerAfter school and kindergarten, children gather at a yellow train car resting in the corner of a Tokyo housing complex in the Misumicho area of Higashimurayama, Tokyo. The old Seibu Railway Co. train carriage, which once ran along an important railway line for local residents, is the home of the Kumegawa train library, which mainly targets children.

The carriage, which holds about 5,000 books and is operated by 25 volunteers, is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Noriko Munemura, 46, visited with her second son Taishiro, 6. "He can concentrate on reading here more than at home," she said with a smile. The library also serves as a place for parents and locals to talk and interact.

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Praying For Success

Praying for success

The Yomiuri ShimbunLocal residents make fukuzasa bamboo branches on Saturday ahead of the Toka Ebisu festival to pray for business prosperity that will be held at Horaisan Sankeiin temple in Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture. About 5,000 fukuzasa in 10 varieties, decorated with such good luck ornaments as large coins and rice bales, will be sold for ¥1,000 to ¥30,000. The festival expects about 30,000 visitors over three days from Tuesday.

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Forestry Industry Growing In Appeal To Young Women

Forestry industry growing in appeal to young women

The lure of nature and a slower pace of life are attracting a growing number of young women to Japan's traditionally male-dominated forestry business, and their participation may help it cope with an aging workforce and a shortage of manpower.

Junko Iizuka, a 33-year-old graduate of the prestigious University of Tokyo, quit her job as an international trade fair organizer to join lumber company Tokyo Chainsaws in the village of Hinohara in western Tokyo about four years ago.

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New Japan, Old Japan / Photo Studios Offer A Portal Into The Past

New Japan, Old Japan / Photo studios offer a portal into the past

By Ryuzo Suzuki / Yomiuri Shimbun PhotographerStudios where visitors can have themselves photographed in costumes of samurai warriors or high-ranking courtesans are becoming increasingly popular.

At Samurai Armor Photo Studio in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, seven sets of yoroi kabuto (samurai armor and helmets) are prepared. The outfits were manually reproduced by highly skilled craftsmen based on ones that were used by samurai commanders around the Sengoku warring states period (from the late 15th century to the late 16th century).

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Student Gives Helping Hand To 'science Girls'

Student gives helping hand to 'science girls'

By Hiromi Kanekita / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writer Marina Oba is a coleader of student association Rikechen!, which organizes activities to show female junior high and high school students how interesting science is.

The association, launched in 2010, aims to shine a light on rikei joshi (see below) role models and provide students who have several potential paths the chance to take a stride toward their future.

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Pink Bush Cricket Stands Out In Greenery Of Shizuoka Park

Pink bush cricket stands out in greenery of Shizuoka park

IWATA, Shizuoka Prefecture--An extremely rare and new addition to an insect observation park here clearly didn't have camouflage in mind when it was found hiding in green foliage.

The critter that is causing such a stir is a pink bush cricket, also known as long-horned grasshopper.

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Photo Journal: Autumnal Avenue

Photo Journal: Autumnal avenue

Visitors admire autumn-colored leaves as they walk along Inui Street on the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward, on Dec. 2, 2017. The road was opened to the public on Dec. 2 for the first time in 18 months, and will remain open daily until Dec. 10. (Mainichi)

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Light, Sound To Help Visually Impaired Scale Climbing Wall In Kobe

Light, sound to help visually impaired scale climbing wall in Kobe

A unique system of climbing using light and sound to guide visually impaired climbers from hold to hold is set to open at a new municipal eye hospital in Kobe in December.

“Michibi climbing”, developed by NPO Monkey Magic, employes holds set along pre-registered routes on an indoor wall which are lit up one after the other, following the movements of the climber.  Once a climber has the correct grip on hold, weight sensors trigger sounds and light to be emitted from the next hold.

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Engine Parts Of Wwii Karyu Jet Fighter Found In Tokyo University

Engine parts of WWII Karyu jet fighter found in Tokyo university

Engine parts for a secret Imperial Japanese Army jet aircraft under development in the closing days of World War II have been found at a Tokyo university by a student and a high school teacher.

The parts were discovered collecting dust on the campus of International Christian University (ICU) in Mitaka, western Tokyo, by Hideaki Furukawa in June 2015, who is now a 21-year-old fourth-year liberal art student of the university.

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Efforts Under Way To Help Addicts Ahead Of Legalized Casino Gambling

Efforts under way to help addicts ahead of legalized casino gambling

For Tsutomu Nakamura, taking back control of his life after gambling addiction meant having to first "hit rock bottom."

The 50-year-old preached the same mantra to gambling addicts at the recovery facility he founded, only to discover his own experiences down that dark road had little to do with the gambling troubles others suffered, because the affliction is so often personal and influences people in different ways.

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Michibiki Satellites Used To Run Unmanned Harvester

Michibiki satellites used to run unmanned harvester

KIZUGAWA, Kyoto Prefecture--Using location information from satellites, an unmanned combine harvester automatically maneuvered through farmland here in an experiment Nov. 22 that could radically change agriculture work in Japan.

The information was received from the Michibiki satellites during the experiment at a Kyoto University farm. About 40 people, including employees of agricultural machinery makers, attended the test.

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View Of Fog - Filled Chichibu Basin Puts Early Risers On Cloud 9

View of fog-filled Chichibu basin puts early risers on cloud 9

CHICHIBU, Saitama Prefecture--They say every cloud has a silver lining, and that adage certainly applied Nov. 15 at Chichibu Muse Park here, where early morning visitors were handsomely rewarded for their efforts.

The Chichibu basin was covered by what appeared to be a sea of clouds which shimmered and glowed as the rays of sunrise cut through it in captivating style.

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Photo: Step In The Process

Step in the process

The Yomiuri ShimbunHita geta, wooden sandals made of cedar produced in Hita, Oita Prefecture, are piled high to be dried in the shade. This step in the traditional craft's production process is known as watsumi (literally, piling in a circle) and involves stacking the sandals' wooden bases about 2 to 3 meters high. Though fewer people wear geta these days, the 42-year-old president of a geta manufacturer has pledged to work to preserve the traditional sound of people clattering down the street in the wooden sandals.

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Winter Light Display At 'german Village' In Chiba Gets Underway

Winter light display at 'German Village' in Chiba gets underway

SODEGAURA, Chiba -- The annual winter light display at the "Country Farm Tokyo German Village" kicked off here on Nov. 1, and will continue shining brightly in the evenings until April 8, 2018.

Consisting of about 3 million light bulbs in total -- roughly 500,000 more than last year -- this year's display at the popular tourist attraction is based on a "fairy tale" theme.

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