Holidaymakers Arrive In Japan For Chinese New Year Holidays

Holidaymakers arrive in Japan for Chinese New Year holidaysThe arrival of tourists spending the Lunar New Year holidays in Japan began Friday, with major airports becoming crowded with Chinese and other foreign visitors.
"I have visited Japan 10 times or more and love this country. I want to buy cosmetics this time around," said Li Wen-hsuan, 46, who arrived at Osaka's Kansai International Airport, the major international gateway for western Japan.

Sumo: New Year Champ Kisenosato Beats Hakuho, Set For Yokozuna

Sumo: New Year champ Kisenosato beats Hakuho, set for yokozunaOzeki Kisenosato came one step closer to becoming yokozuna as he twisted down hard-shoving Mongolian grand champion Hakuho on Sunday, the final day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.
The win was the icing on the cake for Kisenosato (14-1), who had secured his maiden championship the previous day, and gave an added boost to the 30-year-old Ibaraki Prefecture native's chances of reaching sumo's pinnacle rank.

Kisenosato Dealt 1st Loss Of New Year 2017

Kisenosato dealt 1st loss of New Year 2017Ozeki Kisenosato was dealt his first loss of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament, but yokozuna and closest rival Hakuho failed to take advantage when he was also sent to defeat on the ninth day of action Monday at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Kisenosato, aiming for his first career Emperor’s Cup, was forced out by fellow ozeki Kotoshogiku, who had incentive of his own. He faces demotion if he fails to attain a winning record — and with six losses already, he could hardly afford another.

Kyoto’s Leisure Districts Start New Year

Kyoto’s leisure districts start New YearFour of the five traditional hanamachi entertainment districts in Kyoto held ceremonies to start business for the New Year on Saturday. Geiko (Kyoto’s version of geisha) and maiko apprentices pledged to develop dancing and other entertainment skills further for the year.

Sumo: Mongolian Yokozuna Off To Winning Start At New Year Tourney

Sumo: Mongolian yokozuna off to winning start at New Year tourneySumo's three Mongolian yokozuna had convincing wins on Sunday as the 15-day New Year Grand Sumo Tournament got under way before Japan's emperor and empress.
Kakuryu, who won his third career title in most-recent November tourney, was never troubled against Tochinoshin, latching onto a left overarm belt hold before sending the Georgian komusubi sprawling with a pulling throw for his 20th win in their career 21 meetings.

New Year Card Game Competition Held In Shiga

New Year card game competition held in ShigaTop players of a traditional Japanese card game have battled it out in a New Year's contest at a shrine in Shiga Prefecture, western Japan.
The game features a collection of "Tanka" short poems written by 100 poets. This includes emperors and noble men and women, from the 7th through 13th centuries. The anthology, called "Ogura Hyakunin Isshu," is still popular today.

Tuna Fetches 74 Mil. Yen At Possible Final Tsukiji New Year's Auction

Tuna fetches 74 mil. yen at possible final Tsukiji New Year's auctionA bluefin tuna fetched 74.2 million yen (around $632,000), or 350,000 yen per kilogram, at what may be the final New Year's auction at Tokyo's famed Tsukiji fish market before its relocation to a new site.
The price of the 212-kilogram tuna from Oma, Aomori Prefecture, is the second-highest for the market's year-opening auction since 1999, the first year for which such records are available.

Half-naked Players Battle For Ball In Chilly New Year Ritual

Half-naked players battle for ball in chilly New Year ritualAbout 330 stripped-down male worshippers had a ball despite getting doused with cold water in the sacred annual “Tama seseri” New Year's festival at Hakozakigu shrine here on Jan. 3.
The local participants wore only loincloths in the quaint ritual, which literally means “competing for a ball,” at the shrine in Fukuoka’s Higashi Ward, in the northern part of Kyushu island.

Rice-cake Soup Is A Traditional New Year’s Treat In All Households

Rice-cake soup is a traditional New Year’s treat in all householdsThe recipe to start the new year off right for this cooking column is for a traditional staple that is enjoyed and cherished in households in Japan during the New Year’s celebration.
“It has to be ‘o-zoni.’ The spirit of New Year’s is fused in the bowl. If you have rice cakes, you are ready for the new year,” says cooking expert Yoshiharu Doi, speaking of the festive soup with rice cakes.

Emperor Calls For Peace In New Year's Address

Emperor calls for peace in New Year's addressJapan's Emperor has offered New Year's greetings to the public at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

A crowd of more than 11,000 gathered outside the main gate before it opened at 9:30AM on Monday.

Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko and other members of the Imperial Family waved to the well-wishers 3 times from the palace balcony.

Travel Rush At End Of New Year Holiday 2017

Travel rush at end of New Year holiday 2017The Japanese New Year holiday is coming to a close. Travelers returning to the big cities after visiting their hometowns or resorts are facing the annual "U-turn" -- with traffic jams, packed trains and full airplanes.

Congestion on expressways leading to major cities across the country reached its peak on Monday.

Emperor Akihito Offers New Year's Greetings To Well-wishers

Emperor Akihito offers New Year's greetings to well-wishersEmperor Akihito offered New Year's greetings Monday to the estimated 96,700 well-wishers who flocked to the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo.
"It is my hope that people can lead calm and spiritually rich lives this year," the emperor said during one of five appearances on a balcony of the Chowa-Den wing of the palace along with Empress Michiko.

Japanese Welcome The New Year With A Variety Of Annual Traditions

Japanese welcome the New Year with a variety of annual traditionsPeople across Japan welcomed the first day of 2017 Sunday in traditional ways such as viewing the first sunrise and going bargain-hunting.
Residents of areas hit by the March 2011 quake and tsunami in the Tohoku region of northeastern Japan prayed for reconstruction on the sixth New Year since the disaster.