|Sunset outside a train station in summer. I miss summer. Desperately.|
Living in Japan
Flu outbreak hits more than 2.11 million nationwide (Japan Today) - I'm now one of those numbers, unfortunately. Please be careful...
Depression is a national ailment that demands open recognition in Japan (Japan Times)
Police caution more than 10,000 in Tokyo for breaking bicycle rules (Japan Today) - Look out Tokyo cyclists on the 10th of each month.
Government to create new child care program in '15 (The Daily Yomiuri) - This is essentially to combine kindergartens and day care centers.
More part-timers to become eligible for health insurance, pension programs (Japan Today)
Japan takes #1 spot for most shipments from U.S. (Japan Today) - Expats living in Japan aren't the only ones ordering from abroad! Also talks about a useful company that can act as your U.S.-based address.
Tokyo, Saitama, Kagoshima enter Hay Fever season (The Daily Yomiuri) - Link is in Japanese, but if you have Springtime allergies, you may want to start your preparations...
Privacy and Net cafes — a tale of two cities (Japan Times) - I had no idea sexual assault happens in internet cafes. What do you think, how private should internet cafes be?
Immigration cuts lengthy detention for foreigners (Japan Times) - Hopefully you never find yourself in this situation, though.
On a similar note, @lkp48 said "Narita now has signs saying "you must produce your alien card" if you hold a reentry permit." - Has anyone else seen this?
KDDI's 'au Smart Pass' offers unlimited app download at flat rate (Japan Today) - Starting from March 1st.
24% of coastal municipalities lack plans for issuing evacuation alerts (Japan Times) - This is a bit disconcerting...
Japan to build tsunami warning systems in space and on the sea floor (The Daily Yomiuri)
Just for Fun
Gundam park to open in Odaiba (Japan Times) - Gundam is no longer in Shizuoka, but you can check him out now in Odaiba.
Let’s Get a Foursquare Limited Tokyo Badge! (Asiajin) - If you're on Foursquare and are or will be in Tokyo in the near future, you may want to get this special, limited-time badge.
On Finding a Rubbish Bin in Japan (This Japanese Life) - I had never thought it could possibly be related to the sarin gas attacks...
Why Japan doesn't celebrate the Lunar New Year to the extent of its Asian neighbors (JETwit) - Did you know that many of the current holidays should have been changed/moved when Japan switched from the lunar calendar? Neither did I.
Hello Kitty's Citizenship Controversy: Is She British or Japanese? (TIME) - I am most amused that they actually called Sanrio about the whole thing.
Automatic dishwashers: the square peg in the round hole of Japanese kitchens (Yen for Living) - Ever wonder why finding a "real" automatic dishwasher is so difficult in Japan? (I'm not counting those countertop things as the same, as I'm skeptical they work as well - feel free to correct me if I'm wrong).
Would you order curry with everything on it from CoCo Ichiban? (Rocket News 24) - This looks and sounds truly disgusting. Would you try it?
Okonomiyaki – Japanese Savory Pancake, Osaka Style (Lovely Lanvin) - Who doesn't like okonomiyaki?
Fukushima Nuclear Crisis/Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami-related
"Gov. failed to keep minutes of meetings of various units it set up to cope with March 11 earthquake and tsunami" (Japan Times) - Um, probably not a good idea...
NHK to broadcast documentary series for 9 days to mark 1st anniversary of March 11 disaster (Japan Today) - Can't believe it's almost been a year.