Category: Travel

Swastika symbol removed from maps for foreigners

A traditional symbol that resembles a swastika which is used to indicate Buddhist temples on maps for foreign tourists in Japan will be replaced. The Japanese map symbol is called "manji" and originates from an ancient Sanskrit symbol that has been associated with Japanese Buddhism for centuries. The manji symbol looks very similar to the

Beach naming rights sold to cookie company

The maker of a popular pigeon-shaped cookie was awarded naming rights to three beaches in Kamakura, Japan. The beaches will be renamed in 2014 by the manufacturer of the Hato Sabure (pigeon sable) butter cookie. Toshimaya company opened the first Hato Sabure confectionary store in Kamakura circa 1897. The Kamakura city government in Kanagawa Prefecture sold the naming

Real life in Tokyo following Fukushima and the earthquake

Shoppers in Tokyo, March 25, 2011   We’ve been having some troubles here in Japan.  Maybe you’ve heard. I’ve written some articles about the earthquake and the coverage of the tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear reactors. You can read my reports here: March 25, 2011 Op-Ed: Tokyo OK, foreign media’s sensational coverage shameful March 16,

Smoking Rules on the Beaches

  A popular beach near Yokohama implemented a smoking policy at the start of this year’s swimming season in June. Zushi beach in Kanagawa Prefecture has banned smoking except at designated areas on its 600-meters of sand. Five smoking huts have been installed on the beach. Four standing ashtrays have also been placed in the

Top Japan Monthly Laughs of 2009

January Canon Japan employees leave early to make babies Canon lets workers leave early twice a week to encourage them to have more babies. The 5:30 p.m. lights-out program at Canon addresses the declining birthrate problem while also reducing employee overtime costs. February ‘Doorplate mania’ man arrested. A 42-year-old Tokyo man is arrested for stealing

License Plates Rice Fuji Castle Cloud Shapes

A cloud-shaped license plate issued by Matsuyama City is the first non-rectangular vehicle number plate in Japan. Rice-shaped license plates have been issued by Tome City, and Ueda City has produced a castle-shape number plate. Mount Fuji, Japan’s most famous landmark, is represented in a new rectangular license plate for cars and a mountain-shaped number

Female Train Staff Get Self Defense Spray

  Female attendants on JR Tokai line trains are being issued personal protection cayenne pepper spray devices. The spray mixture causes temporary incapacitation. Female employees who sell food or work as conductors on the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet trains and other Tokai trains are being given the devices. The first JR Tokai female conductors were hired