All aboard the train station soba restaurant that’s being called the best in Japan


Just the other day, noodle lovers were shook by the news that Tokiwaken in Hokkaido had closed, following the sad death of its 84-year-old owner, Mamoru Nishino, in February. This standing-style soba restaurant, located at Otoineppu Station, had been in business since 1933, and according to rail enthusiasts, it was the best ekisoba (train… Read


Sakura City’s Tulip Festa is back with more than 300,000 tulips in full bloom

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The sakura season of 2021 may be coming to a bittersweet ending, but it’s a never ending cycle of floral fun in Japan as the tulips pick up the crown and begin their reign as the flower champions of the season. Head on over to Sakura City in Chiba Prefecture… Read


Japanese businesses to reopen automatic hand dryers in public restrooms


As we have often seen over the past year-and-a-half, every country has their own way of dealing with the threat of COVID-19. Japan has largely allowed business to continue, albeit with certain restrictions, in an effort to balance safety with maintaining the economy. Whether this relatively lax approach was the right… Read

New Products

Japanese firm develops world’s first foldable disposable paper razor


Japanese Kaijurishi was founded in 1908 in the town of Seki, Gifu Prefecture, which is famous for its rich tradition and history of samurai sword making, as well as its state-of-the-art Japanese cutlery. So it makes sense that they've built their name as a leading manufacturer of shaving products in… Read


Write ill of the dead? Obits rarely cross that taboo


Capturing a life accurately and sympathetically is a challenge, more so if it is one that lasts nearly a century. So when a notable person like the Duke of Edinburgh dies, obituary writers face a quandary: What should be highlighted, softened or even ignored? News organizations were quick to remember… Read


Unusual treatment shows promise for kids with brain tumors

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For decades, a deadly type of childhood cancer has eluded science’s best tools. Now doctors have made progress with an unusual treatment: Dripping millions of copies of a virus directly into kids’ brains to infect their tumors and spur an immune system attack. A dozen children treated this way lived… Read

Executive Impact

Loud and Proud: Shake Shack's recipe for an inclusive workplace


If there is a key mantra for companies right now, it has to be "diversity and inclusion." With issues of race, gender and sexuality coming to the forefront of American life, the nation’s board rooms are scrambling to assemble talent pipelines that look more like the nation as a whole.… Read


Ashikaga Flower Park’s wisterias bloom early


If you are a flower buff, you probably know that the sakura season is just one small part of Japan’s ongoing cycle of flower festivals. Sure, the pretty pink petals of March and April may disappear almost as soon as they bloom, but that doesn’t mean the floral fun has… Read


British variant of COVID-19 not as severe as feared: The Lancet


A highly contagious variant of COVID-19 first identified in Britain does not cause more severe disease in hospitalised patients, according to a new study published in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases on Monday. The strain, known as B.1.1.7, was identified in Britain late last year and has become… Read


Japan’s first vegan fruit sandwich shop serves up delicious mango treats


Once a niche offering at convenience stores, the fruits sandwich has found itself riding a bit of a boom in Japan. The dessert sandwich, which serves up slices of fruit and whipped cream between fluffy slices of bread, has become a trendy sweet treat thanks not only to its deliciousness, but "Instagrammable"… Read

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