Google Doodle celebrates Mountain Day, Japan's newest holiday
Time -- Aug 11
With its densely packed cities and fast-paced professional world, some in Japan may have trouble finding time to appreciate the country's boundless natural beauty. So in 2014, a new holiday was invented to remind them to pause and take a look around: Mountain Day.

This Friday, Google celebrates the new holiday - only its second year in observance - with a new doodle depicting a sunset over the iconic Mount Fuji, the tallest and most famous of Japan's mountains lying some 60 miles southwest of the capital Tokyo. While Fuji is best known among them, Japan is home to hundreds of other peaks running north to south like a spine, covering nearly 70% of the island nation.

Mountain Day falls on Aug. 11 because the Japanese kanji character for "eight" resembles a mountain, while the numeral 11 looks like adjacent trees, according to the BBC. The holiday was created to encourage people to get out of the city and go for a hike in the countryside, both to learn more about Japan's geography and cultural heritage and to alleviate the pressures of the daily grind.

News source: Time
Oct 22
A man prosecuted last year in connection with the death of a Japanese woman in Vancouver was found guilty of murder on Friday, a Canadian court said. (Japan Today)
Oct 22
A 26-year-old unemployed man has been arrested in Sakai, Osaka, for injuring a woman after he threw a bicycle from the 12th floor of a 14-story municipal apartment building in August. (Japan Today)
Oct 20
Police said Friday they have arrested a 15-year-old boy in connection with the stabbing of his grandparents in the city of Wako in Saitama Prefecture. (Japan Today)
Oct 19
Japanese police are questioning staff from the Bulgarian national opera after being notified by the opera company that they are suspected of scrawling graffiti in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. (NHK)
Oct 19
The Supreme Court said Wednesday it will reprimand a 52-year-old judge for his controversial social media post earlier this year, marking a first in Japan. (Japan Times)
Oct 18
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a teenage boy who seriously injured a male acquaintance by striking him with a metal baseball bat in Kita Ward earlier this year, reports TV Asahi (
Oct 18
A raccoon spotted in a busy entertainment district has drawn huge attention from passing pedestrians in central Tokyo. (NHK)
Oct 18
Kanagawa Prefectural Police have arrested a popular male Keio University student over the alleged rape of an intoxicated woman in Yokohama last month, reports the Sankei Shimbun (
Oct 17
Gunma Prefecture says its helicopter that crashed in August is suspected to have been flying in violation of civil aviation laws. (NHK)
Oct 15
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a male doctor who has been accused of using a so-called “JK business” for an illicit encounter with a teenage girl earlier this year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Oct. 11). (