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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Photo: Shining In Gold

Shining in goldGingko trees regale visitors to the Meiji Jingu Gaien area in Tokyo on Wednesday. About 140 gingko trees have started to display their autumnal yellow, about a week earlier than usual, according to the administrative office of the area. The foliage is expected to be at its finest in mid-November or later.
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Beppu Onsen Offers Bathers Chance To Soak In Kusatsu Waters

Beppu Onsen offers bathers chance to soak in Kusatsu waters

BEPPU, Oita Prefecture--Patrons at a rustic communal bathhouse here who soak in the famed Beppu hot spring waters could enjoy the offerings of a rival resort hundreds of kilometers away without climbing out of the tub.

The Kotobuki Onsen accepted the spring water from its rival, the Kusatsu hot spring resort in Gunma Prefecture, on Nov. 6.

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Sniffer Dog Cancer Tests Yield Results But Require Trainers, Funds

Sniffer dog cancer tests yield results but require trainers, funds

With trial sniffer dog cancer screenings being carried out in a Japanese town, researchers are hoping to one day make the noninvasive health checks widely available across Japan.

But experts say securing experienced handlers and attracting financial resources will be crucial to boosting the number of trained sniffer dogs available to make the unique program more practical to implement in future.

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Photo: Autumn Glow

Autumn glow

Japanese momiji maple trees are lit up at Eikando Zenrinji temple in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, on Thursday night during a lighting test. The temple, a famous sightseeing spot for autumn leaves with about 3,000 maple trees, will hold a special night viewing event from Tuesday through Dec. 6. The temple says the middle of this month is the best time to view the illuminated leaves.

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Popular Hot - Air Balloon Fiesta Kicks Off In Southwestern Japan's Saga

Popular hot-air balloon fiesta kicks off in southwestern Japan's Saga

On a crisp autumn morning, colorful hot-air balloons took off from a riverbed in the southwestern Japanese city of Saga for the opening of one of Asia's largest festivals for the aircraft on Nov. 1.

The five-day Saga International Balloon Fiesta will feature 111 balloons from 18 countries and regions, with competitors taking part in a variety of challenges including precision maneuvers.

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Manga Legend Taniguchi's Unpublished Works To Go Public In Dec.

Manga legend Taniguchi's unpublished works to go public in Dec.

Unpublished works of manga legend Jiro Taniguchi, who died earlier this year, have been unearthed and will be released to the public in December, a Japanese publisher has announced.

Taniguchi, who died in February at the age of 69, is famous for his exquisite line drawings and for a number of smash hits such as "Kodoku no Gurume" (The Lonely Gourmet), which was adapted in a TV series.

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Temporary - Stay Cancer Patient Facility Opens Up At Tokyo Clinic

Temporary-stay cancer patient facility opens up at Tokyo clinic

A special facility that offers short-term stays for cancer patients who are usually based at home has been opened at a clinic in Tokyo's Sumida Ward, it has been learned.

Clinic Kawagoe appears to have tapped into a gap in the medical care market, as there are numerous cancer patients in Japan who require temporary stays at medical facilities due to family circumstances and other reasons. However, admission to palliative care units at conventional hospitals is a complicated process.

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Sailor Moon Store In Tokyo Draws Child Fans, Adult Fans Alike

Sailor Moon store in Tokyo draws child fans, adult fans alike

Even 20 years after the original manga and anime ended their runs in Japan, "Sailor Moon" still retains her powers and hold over her fans, as crowds to the first permanent shop dedicated to the girl superheroine will attest.

About 200 fans waited in line for the world's first Sailor Moon permanent shop to open on Sept. 23 in Tokyo's hip Harajuku district, and more than 600 customers turned up. On average, about 400 customers visited the store each day during the first week. The store has become so popular that clerks have to temporarily limit the number of shoppers allowed inside when it is overcrowded.

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Hitachi Train Launch In Britain Marked By Delays

Hitachi train launch in Britain marked by delays

Jiji Press LONDON (Jiji Press) — New high-speed train cars manufactured by Hitachi Ltd. made an embarrassing debut in Britain on Monday, hit by delays and broken air conditioning.

The first service, which had Transport Secretary Chris Grayling on board, departed 25 minutes later than scheduled and arrived 41 minutes late due to technical problems, according to BBC and other media reports.

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Kuroshio Meander Cuts Into Fishing Hauls

Kuroshio meander cuts into fishing hauls

The Yomiuri ShimbunFor the first time in 12 years, the "great meander of the Kuroshio current" has affected catch-es of shirasu whitebait. Shirasu catch-es along the Pacific Ocean have fallen into a slump, and hauls in Shizuoka and Aichi prefectures, which are famous for their catches of the fish, have declined significantly.

Due to the abnormalities in the current, supermarkets in Tokyo are struggling to secure shirasu products.

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Tsubame - Sanjo Factories Win Worldwide Attention

Tsubame-Sanjo factories win worldwide attention

By Etsuo Kono / Japan News Staff Write Small factories in Niigata Prefecture are attracting attention from around the world for the original technologies they utilize.

The fifth annual Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Festival was held from Thursday to Sunday in the Tsubame-Sanjo area, a region renowned for producing metal processing technology and materials. Many visitors from home and abroad enjoyed a close-up view of the manufacturing process at about 80 factories this year.

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