Residents of the western Japanese city of Tokushima pounded boiled rice into rice cakes during a unique local festival music at an annual year-end event on Friday.
Participants rhythmically pounded rice with a mallet as about 10 members of a local Awa Odori dance festival group played music known as "Zomeki" on three-stringed shamisen, accompanied by gongs and taiko drums.
Rice has been harvested at two sites in Japan to prepare for the Daijosai, or Great Thanksgiving Ceremony. The ceremony in November will be one of the key events to mark Emperor Naruhito's ascension to the throne.
The crop was harvested on Friday at two chosen paddies -- one in Tochigi Prefecture in the east and the other in Kyoto Prefecture in the west.
A food company in Japan's Hokuriku region on the Sea of Japan coast has been flooded with orders for rice crackers after a teammate of Japanese basketball player Rui Hachimura introduced them online.
Hachimura made history last month by becoming the first-ever Japanese player selected in the initial round of the NBA draft. He signed a pro contract with the Washington Wizards.
Rice has been planted in a town hosting the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant for the first time since evacuation orders were partially lifted early last month.
Orders for all districts of the town of Okuma in Fukushima Prefecture were issued following the 2011 accident. They were lifted for two districts on April 10.
Although it was not quite in season yet, the freshly parboiled bamboo shoot tasted amazingly sweet. The subtle tang in the aftertaste suggested the arrival of spring.
Rice cooked with large pieces of bamboo shoots, complete with the vivid young leaf buds of Japanese pepper, is also a feast for the eyes.
A giant rice cake has been placed at a shrine north of Tokyo to pray for a good harvest and the safety of the region in the coming year.
People in the town of Takanezawa, Tochigi Prefecture, observe the ritual every year. The three-layer rice cake weighs about 700 kilograms and is 90 centimeters high. The lowest layer is more than a meter wide.
Shonan no Kaze member RED RICE has announced the birth of his first child.
While being active as a member of Shonan no Kaze, RED RICE has made guest appearances in other artist's works, such as Aoyama Thelma and Yusuke. He's also been acting since 2011. He married a non-celebrity woman in March of 2014.
Of the 110 pupils who attend Fukasawa Mill Nursery School in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward, nine have food allergies, from the "big three" of flour, eggs and milk, to nuts and kiwi.
At the nursery school, the kitchen staff chooses the ingredients and recipes carefully so that everyone can eat the same school lunch as much as possible.
Besides teaching Japanese cuisine in Tokyo's Akasaka district, Naoyuki Yanagihara frequents libraries to read documents from the Edo Period (1603-1867). He believes that studying the originality and ingenuity of his forerunners will show him the path he should take.
"I try to learn the changes in the ingredients and cooking procedures and make use of them today," the 39-year-old cooking expert says.