Moomin-themed amusement park to open on March 16
Japan Today -- Mar 06
An amusement park themed on the world of Finland's Moomin fairytale characters will open on March 16 in Saitama Prefecture, its operator said Tuesday.

The 7.3-hectare Moominvalley Park -- the first Moomin-themed amusement park in Japan -- is located within Metsa Village, a Nordic-centric attraction in the city of Hanno, according to the operator Moomin Monogatari Ltd.

Visitors will be able to watch shows that feature the characters from the stories and visit an exhibition that provides insight into the series' creator, Tove Jansson.

Tickets cost 1,500 yen for junior high school students or older people and 1,000 yen for children 4 years old to elementary school age.

本国以外では世界で初めて「ムーミン」のテーマパークが埼玉に登場します。 埼玉県飯能市の森の中に16日にオープンする「ムーミンバレーパーク」は、フィンランドにある「ムーミン屋敷」などが再現されています。 飯能市地方創生推進室・関根浩司室長:「(飯能市は)76%が森林。
News sources: Japan Today, ANNnewsCH
Mar 23
A key part of the business model for convenience stores is their round-the-clock service. But a shortage of staffers is prompting some operators to consider shrinking their business hours. (NHK)
Mar 23
A member of a sister group of the popular all-girl band AKB48 on Friday criticized the outcome of a probe into an assault against her as "lies," as the group's management company revealed the result. (Japan Today)
Mar 23
The number of foreign residents in Japan had risen 6.6 percent at the end of 2018 from a year earlier, to reach a record high of some 2.73 million, Justice Ministry data showed on Friday. (Japan Times)
Mar 23
Companies recruiting technology majors from Japanese universities are bracing for another year of missed targets as the supply of graduates fails to keep pace with broad demand for such skills as AI engineering and data analysis. (Nikkei)
Mar 23
Princess Kako, the 24-year-old granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, expressed her wish for her sister's happiness in a written answer to the media on the occasion of her graduation from International Christian University in Tokyo on Friday. (Kyodo)
Mar 22
Rarely a week passes without hearing about a new type of robot created in Japan. Every other country of the world is wondering how Japan has managed to become a leading technological power. (newsonjapan.com)
Mar 22
The cherry blossom season officially arrived in Tokyo on Thursday after officials from the Meteorological Agency confirmed that more than five blossoms had opened on a Somei-Yoshino cherry tree at Yasukuni Shrine in Chiyoda Ward. (Japan Times)
Mar 22
Japanese baseball legend Ichiro Suzuki of the US Major Leagues' Seattle Mariners has announced his retirement. (NHK)
Mar 22
Last year proved to be a pivotal one for streaming music in Japan. According to a report by the Recording Industry Association of Japan, 2018 saw plays via platforms such as YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify overtake digital downloads. (Japan Times)
Mar 21
Cherry trees came into bloom Wednesday in the southwestern prefecture of Nagasaki, the first blooming of the "Somei Yoshino" variety in Japan this spring, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. (Japan Today)