japan

Japanese Tradition

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Business owners in Japan are hoping to reverse a dying tradition with the help of a little education.

The manager of a Tokyo bath house is hoping to keep the idea of communal baths going by giving people another reason to show up. Now he is offering classes in a variety of topics in hopes of drawing in a younger crowd and getting them used to the tradition.

The manager says his family has owned the bath house since 1939. In its heyday about 500 people visited daily, now that number hovers around 100. The manager says most houses have modern bathrooms so people aren't showing up like they used to. He says since the late 1960's the owners of bath houses have been forced to come up with new ideas to keep people coming in.  read more »

Luxury On The Rails

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There's a new form of luxury travel in Japan and it's going back to the rails.

A Japanese company has just launched a new luxury sleeper train for people to travel from one end of the country to the other. Appealing to travelers with a little extra money in their vacation fund, the train has sky views, bathtubs and dark wood interior. It costs $10,000 per person for a four day trip from Tokyo to Hokkaido, a price that includes the ferry transfer between islands.  read more »

Japan's New Holiday

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Looking for an excuse to take a day off? One country is creating its own.

The Japanese government just created its 16th official national holiday. Beginning on August 11th 2016; workers will be given the day off for “Mountain Day.” A day designed to give people the chance to appreciate the country's mountain ranges.

And while that seems like an unusual way to spend a day; Japan’s government says it doesn't have a choice. It says the population is overworked and refuses to put a dent in its government mandated vacation time. According to the Wall Street Journal the average Japanese worker only uses 8.6 of their vacation days a year.  read more »

High Tech Relief

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The world is witnessing a disaster and now we’re getting some high tech relief.

Japan has suffered though a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and a deadly tsunami. Aftershocks still rattle the region amid fears of nuclear reactor meltdowns. And some of the biggest tech companies are stepping in to offer help as rescuers continue their searches and clean-up gets underway.

Silicon Valley based Google has an online “people finder” for people seeking information about a loved one. You can go to this site to post information about who you are looking for or you can post information about a person you have found. Microsoft is offering free technical support and temporary software licenses to help companies impacted by the quake. They have also pledged $250,000 in cash.  read more »

Machines Deciding for Man

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Feel like a beverage but can’t decide what will best quench your thirst? There’s a vending machine for that.

A new Japanese vending machine that sells canned beverages is taking the decision out of your purchase. The machine uses facial recognition software to choose a drink for the parched based on their age and gender. And sales at these particular machines have tripled over those of regular think for yourself machines.  read more »

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Driving Away With the Competition

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Japanese driving schools are in need of students and the competition is revving up.

In order to drive off with the dwindling number of prospective driving students, schools in Japan are starting to offer more than just lessons. Like most companies driving schools are facing a shrinking population because more people are holding tight to their cash. So along with instruction, schools are offering everything from Hawaiian massage to luxury vehicles.  read more »