Japanese pop culture is saving the countryside
ONLY in JAPAN -- Oct 04
Japan has a problem. More and more tourists are visiting but very few of them leave the trail between Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima.

Well, one company has a plan to help revitalize Japan's aging and declining population and countryside. Use Japanese Pop Culture to turn heads and bring attention to one of Japan's most beautiful and relatively unknown spot in Kansai, Awaji Island.

Awaji Island has no train stations.

There is very little tourist infrastructure.

What do they have? Rice paddies, onion fields, lots of green hills surrounded by the sea -- and now, Hello Kitty!

Recently opened Hello Kitty Show Box is a strange sight from the air. It's surrounded by farm pastures and well, just doesn't seem to fit, which is why it's perfect! It's 100% and unequivocally ONLY in JAPAN!

News source: ONLY in JAPAN
Oct 20
Long queues for replica shirts, desperate searches for tickets and TV stations showing Japan's wins on a loop: excitement is building ahead of the host nation's historic Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against South Africa. (Japan Today)
Oct 20
The Japanese government says Typhoon Hagibis' damage to farming, forestry and fisheries has reached 57 billion yen, or about 527 million dollars. (NHK)
Oct 18
More rain is forecast in the next few days across areas in eastern and northeastern Japan that were hit hard by Typhoon Hagibis. This could increase the risk of more flooded rivers and landslides in places already coping with record rainfall. (NHK)
Oct 18
Japanese commercial banks have been snapping up zero-coupon debt issued by a state-backed scholarship body in the latest twist in the the Bank of Japan's negative rate campaign where no-interest loans can be a good deal for lenders. (Nikkei)
Oct 18
Police say it will take more time yet to know the motive behind the arson attack on a Kyoto Animation studio, as the suspect is still hospitalized. Friday marks three months since the deadly attack. (NHK)
Oct 18
Three men believed to be foreigners are behind to have been behind the theft of more than 4 million yen from a ticket shop in Shinjuku Ward on Wednesday, police said, reports NHK (Oct. 17). (tokyoreporter.com)
Oct 18
Two Japanese women, one behind a campaign against women being forced to wear high heels at work under corporate rules and the other a collegiate sumo wrestler, were included in British broadcaster the BBC’s 2019 list of 100 influential women from around the world released Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Oct 18
Japan's education ministry says 332 school children committed suicide in the year through March, the highest number since records began in 1988. (NHK)
Oct 18
The U.S. Marine Corps on Thursday acknowledged an error in the identity of a second Marine pictured lifting the American flag over Iwo Jima in one of the most iconic photographs of World War II. (Japan Times)
Oct 18
The first solar-powered cars to complete a 3,000-kilometer endurance race across Australia reached the finish line in Adelaide on Thursday, with Japan's Tokai University Solar Car Team coming in second place. (Kyodo)