Tanabata Star Festival underway in Sendai
NHK -- Aug 07
The Tanabata Star Festival has opened in Sendai, northeastern Japan, filling the main shopping arcade in the city with colorful bamboo decorations.

The annual street festival is said to date back more than 400 years.

A ceremony took place on Monday to mark the start of the event.

Some 88,000 origami cranes of 8 different colors folded by elementary and junior high school students adorned the bamboo poles.

Local children sang a song praying for recovery from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

Sixth-grader Kanon Tozato, who took part in the ceremony, said she wished to brighten the spirits of people who have been victimized and emotionally scarred by the disaster.

She added she wants to continue to pass on the memories of the disaster to people who are unaware of it.

Many visitors flocked to the venue despite the rain. They took photos of their families and children in front of the colorful decorations.

Some 3,000 bamboos and paper decorations will be displayed during the 3-day festival. Organizers expect visitor turnout to be around 2.1 million this year.

News source: NHK
Mar 20
The head of the Japanese Olympic Committee has announced he will step down when his term expires in June. (NHK)
Mar 20
The average price of all types of land in urban areas rose last year for the first time since 1992 as the growing influx of foreign tourists rejuvenated real estate investment, the government said Tuesday. (Japan Times)
Mar 19
Japan's space probe operating on an asteroid some 340 million kilometers from Earth is preparing to study the asteroid's interior by creating an artificial impact crater. (NHK)
Mar 19
Japanese rock singer Yuya Uchida died of pneumonia on Sunday. He was 79 years old. (NHK)
Mar 19
A team of investigators into how a Japanese real-estate leasing company built substandard apartment buildings has found building materials were improperly substituted on the orders of the company's founder. (NHK)
Mar 19
As part of an effort to streamline markets and attract more investors, the Tokyo Stock Exchange may demote about a third of its largest listed companies and cut down the bourses it operates to three from four, according to media reports. (Japan Times)
Mar 19
The government will soon start discussing how to achieve a stable Imperial succession, including the creation of female branches of the royal family. (Japan Times)
Mar 17
An amusement park themed on the world of Finland's Moomin fairytale characters opened Saturday in Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo, aiming to attract 1 million visitors a year. (Kyodo)
Mar 16
Trains in and around the Japanese capital will run later into the night during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to allow spectators to get home easily from events. (NHK)
Mar 16
The Tokyo District Court has sentenced the former head of a digital currency exchange to 30 months in prison suspended for four years for altering data in a Bitcoin account. (NHK)