Monthly Archives: April 2014

AKB48 may be the pop the economy needs: ex-chief cabinet secretary Edano

AKB48 may be the pop the economy needs: ex-chief cabinet secretary Edano

Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano recently praised the business model of the pop idol group AKB48 in a magazine essay. Edano gained global fame via media exposure while he…

Hello Kitty is now officially over the hill, but still adorable

Hello Kitty is now officially over the hill, but still adorable

Hello Kitty is turning 40, but her birthday is definitely not going by unnoticed. Fans in the Tokyo area are in for a treat with the Shibuya de Hello Kitty…

Race against the clock: Shinkansen staff have just 7 minutes to get bullet train ready to ride

Race against the clock: Shinkansen staff have just 7 minutes to get bullet train ready to ride

Japan’s shinkansen, or bullet train in the West, was the world’s first high-speed train running at 200km per hour, and today the Tōkaidō Shinkansen is the world’s most used high-speed rail…

One more check on your Japan ‘to do’ list: New capsule hotel to open at Narita Airport!

One more check on your Japan ‘to do’ list: New capsule hotel to open at Narita Airport!

Capsule hotels are eternally fascinating to all who visit Japan. Their compact size, cheap prices, and spaceship-bunk-like nature seem quite bizarre to most people who have never had the pleasure of…

Take a tour of Tokyo-3 on an Evangelion bus

Take a tour of Tokyo-3 on an Evangelion bus

In 2012, Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus Company, which operates bus service to the mountain town Hakone, ran a -themed bus. Hakone corresponds to the anime series’ Tokyo-3, a new version of…

Worldwide debut date and time set for Sailor Moon Crystal

Worldwide debut date and time set for Sailor Moon Crystal

It looks like the producers are serious this time, though. Voice actresses for the five Sailor Scouts have been cast (with veteran Kotono Mitsuishi reprising her role as the titular…

New Sailor Moon anime’s character artwork and voice cast revealed – Guess who’s back!

New Sailor Moon anime’s character artwork and voice cast revealed – Guess who’s back!

Even with the scheduled premiere of Sailor Moon Crystal just a few months away, the producers of the upcoming anime have been extremely guarded with information regarding the newest version…

What do Japanese people think of when they hear the word 'otaku?'

What do Japanese people think of when they hear the word ‘otaku?’

Like with any language, the meanings of certain Japanese words change over time. Take the word “otaku,” which is originally a polite way of saying “you.” It’s so polite that…

‘Granta’ opens a window into Japanese literature

‘Granta’ opens a window into Japanese literature

With such a piddling amount of Japanese fiction finding its way into English translation each year, you learn to make the most of what you can get. So when this…

UNESCO endorses Tomioka Silk Mill for World Heritage status

UNESCO endorses Tomioka Silk Mill for World Heritage status

A UNESCO advisory panel has recommended giving World Heritage status to the Tomioka Silk Mill, a historic factory building symbolizing Japan’s industrialization from the 19th century, the Agency for Cultural…