|Another photo from the Gotenba illuminations.|
Living in Japan
Recycling of electronic devices (Japan Times) - Potential changes coming to various parts of Japan in 2014, but I suppose that could also change at any time...
Raising your chances of surviving the next big one (Japan Today) - When the Tohoku quake hit, I kept thinking, that was supposed to happen here (in Shizuoka)... Seeing the horrible devastation and realizing that it easily could have happened here (and likely will at some point in the near future) reminded me to be even more prepared than I was before this. So, a few tips on what you can do to protect yourself in the event of the next big one.
Donating blood in Japan (GaijinPot) - Yes, foreigners can donate blood in Japan. Here's info about who can and can't donate, plus maps and addresses of some donation centers in Japan (note there are many across the country though).
Japan last for police trust and legitimacy (世論 What Japan Thinks) - Of various European countries and Japan, Japan ranked last for "satisfaction with the last interaction with a police officer." Although, how often would you be "satisfied,"really, especially if you come away from it with a fine...
Itami airport site to be Tokyo backup? (Japan Times) - On the topic of "the next big one," what might happen to Tokyo in the event of the expected Kanto quake? Government officials are considering backup options, including Osaka as mentioned.
The Kanji of the Year for 2011: human ties that bind (Japan Times) - In case you're wondering what the kanji looks like, it's: 絆.
Travel and Recreation
Delta customers in Japan can now purchase tickets with Pay with Miles (I've been waiting for this forever). Look for "Pay with Miles International."
Yamanote line likely to get first new station in 40 years (Japan Today) - I usually take the subways when in Tokyo, but interesting nonetheless.
Low-cost carrier Peach Aviation announces 5 new routes (Japan Today) - Really only helpful for Kansai, Kyushu, Okinawa folks at the moment, but it seems they plan to expand.
Call of the powder: sublime snow in Japan (Japan Times) - For all you powder-loving folks (I prefer the rain, thanks), various places around Japan to hit the slopes.
Hit The Slopes in Hakuba (Tokyo Weekender) - More snow fun.
5 Trends In Japan’s Web And Mobile Worlds In 2011 (Asiajin) - Facebook on the heels of Mixi, March 11 and the importance of social media, among others.
A good DS game for advanced Japanese study (Just Another Day in Japan)
Mushroom Cultivation Kit App Hits 1 Million Downloads (Asiajin) - If Angry Birds is popular, why not mushrooms? Suppose it makes sense given the success of Farmville...
Wasabi Odor Fire Alarm Wins Ig Nobel Prize (Japan for Sustainability) - As ridiculous as it sounds (mmm, the smell of wasabi in the morning!), this is a great idea for folks who may have difficulty hearing or who can't hear at all.
Web Service Helps You Avoid Nasal Embarrassment (Japan Trends) - I'm just trying to envision how someone might react upon receiving an email like this... If they encourage you to only send them to people you know, wouldn't they sort of "guess" that it could be you?
B-grade cuisine: Japan's bizarre foodie fad (Japan Today) - These are considered to be "strange" combinations, although some of them seem rather normal to me. Have you tried any of them?
Kansai eateries offer new flavors for 2012 (Japan Times)
Fukushima Nuclear Crisis/Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami-related
6,757 aftershocks felt in Japan from March 11 until Dec 31 (Japan Today) - A crazy number. Someone on Twitter informed me that New Zealand had even more.
Fukushima to test breast milk from 10,000 mothers (Japan Times) - Let's hope they continue to test.
Co-op checking meals for cesium (Japan Times)
Mothers first to shed food-safety complacency (Japan Times) - As a mother now, I completely understand the reasons behind this and am also constantly careful. Better to be safe with the little ones than sorry.
Families overcome hardships for babies born on March 11 (Japan Times) - Reading their stories was heartbreaking and inspiring. Giving birth is hard enough, but I can't imagine doing it in the middle of a crisis.
Did I miss any of your favorite news stories from the past couple weeks?