JR East to launch sightseeing train from Tokyo to Izu in 2020
Japan Times -- May 10
East Japan Railway Co. said Wednesday it will launch a luxurious sightseeing train between Tokyo and the Izu resort area in the spring of 2020, shortly before the capital hosts the Summer Olympic Games.

The eight-car train will feature premium seats and private rooms, with one or two round trips planned each day from Tokyo and Shinjuku stations to Izukyu-Shimoda in Shizuoka Prefecture, according to JR East, which hopes to attract more foreign tourists with the service.

The railway vehicles will be designed to be slightly rounded in shape and painted deep blue to represent the sky and ocean in the Izu area, as well as white and grey to show the colors of the local sand and coastline.

News source: Japan Times
Jul 16
People in many parts of Japan are sweltering as temperatures have soared to nearly 40 degrees Celsius. The heatwave is likely to continue this week with the risk of heatstroke remaining high in areas including those hit by recent heavy rain. (NHK)
Jul 16
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the government will provide financial support to areas in western Japan that were hit hard recently by record-high rainfall. (NHK)
Jul 16
Japanese authorities say 210 people have been confirmed dead and 22 remain missing after the recent record rainfall in the western part of the country. (NHK)
Jul 16
The government has launched a nationwide probe into allegations that foreign residents are abusing the public health insurance system, according to sources familiar with the matter. (Japan Times)
Jul 16
The Japanese land ministry plans to revise the standards on barrier-free rooms at hotels to increase the number of guest rooms accessible to wheelchair users ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, informed sources have said. (Jiji)
Jul 15
People in western Japan are contending with scorching heat as they pick through the debris left by record rain, flooding and landslides. (NHK)
Jul 15
Five people died and more than 1,500 others were taken to hospitals for heat exhaustion, as a heat wave covered Japan on Saturday, a Kyodo News tally showed. (Japan Today)
Jul 15
On Rishiri Island in the northern Japan prefecture of Hokkaido, people are on alert after a brown bear has recently been spotted for the first time in 106 years, ahead of the summer tourism season. (Jiji)
Jul 15
Meat, mackerel and other foods are being increasingly promoted as substitutes for "kabayaki," or grilled, eels ahead of the midsummer Day of the Ox in Japan. (Jiji)
Jul 15
All six high school students representing Japan at the 59th International Mathematical Olympiad have won medals including a gold, the education ministry said Friday. (Jiji)