The packaging of Karesansui board game features Muso Soseki, a Zen Buddhist monk and garden designer. (Provided by New Games Order LLC)
Hit board game lets players compete in designing aesthetic rock gardens
While online smartphone games are all the rage, a new board game in designing a traditional Japanese-style rock garden is showing there is still a market for old-fashioned fun.
The Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in a recent photo before the fourth anniversary of the nuclear accident (Naoko Kawamura)
FOUR YEARS AFTER: 71% of residents dissatisfied with work at Fukushima nuclear plant
Around 71 percent of Fukushima Prefecture residents remain dissatisfied with the central government’s handling of the nuclear disaster four years after the triple meltdown forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes, a survey showed.
Bow of the wartime battleship Musashi (From Paul Allen’s Twitter site)
Wreck of battleship Musashi said found off Philippines
MANILA--Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen announced he has found the sunken battleship Musashi, which with its sister ship Yamato was the pride of the Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II.
An artist's rendition of the interior of the "Genbi Shinkansen" (contemporary art Shinkansen) (Provided by East Japan Railway Co.)
Bullet train for modern art buffs will start from spring 2016
A new type of Shinkansen rail car starting service in the spring of 2016 will cater to modern art lovers by featuring contemporary Japanese works, East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) said March 3.
Freelance journalist Kenji Goto talks to children in Syria. (Provided by Mohamed Mahmoud)
Kenji Goto among slain journalists awarded freedom of press prize
Slain Japanese journalist Kenji Goto was among a select group of more than 1,000 reporters to be awarded the 2015 Golden Pen of Freedom, bestowed this year on all those who have died in the cause of press freedom.
The Kichijoji district to the north of Kichijoji Station on the JR Chuo Line (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Hospitable Tokyo wins bragging rights as world's best city to call home
Clean streets, helpful residents and convenient public services have pushed Tokyo to the top of the list of the world's best cities to live in, according to a new survey.
Ban Zhongyi, a Chinese journalist living in Japan, supports former Chinese "comfort women" and keeps their experiences alive through documentary films. (Maki Okubo)
Chinese journalist keeps experiences of former 'comfort women' alive through films
Ban Zhongyi, a Chinese journalist living in Japan, still remembers the shock he felt when he first heard the testimonies of former Chinese “comfort women” at a rally in Tokyo in 1992.
Mitsuo Takatsuka looks at the "yosegaki Hinomaru" that belonged to his older brother Kesamori that he recently accepted in Hokkaido. (Kei Fujiyama)
Wartime rising sun flag finally comes home after 70-year route from the battlefield
After a long and circuitous 70-year journey, a World War II-era rising sun flag has finally returned home to Hokkaido after stops in Luzon island of the Philippines, Arizona in the United States and Fukuoka on the southern island of Kyushu.
A mutual-help group in Yokohama offers counseling for young sexual minorities. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Ministry to require schools to support LGBT students
The education ministry will instruct teachers and schools to take special measures to prevent bullying and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students.
An illustration of the planned condominiums to be built on the grounds of Shimogamojinja shrine in Kyoto's Sakyo Ward (Provided by Shimogamojinja shrine)
World Heritage site shrine to build condominiums for revenue
KYOTO--Shimogamojinja, a venerable shrine listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, plans to allow construction of eight condominium buildings on shrine grounds to generate much-needed revenues for important ceremonies.
Children have a meal of a bowl of steamed rice, miso soup, salad of burdock root and green pepper steak at Seishonen no Ibasho Kiitos (The venue for youngsters Kiitos) in Chofu, western Tokyo, on Jan. 14 (Shiro Nishihata)
Soup kitchens for needy children open to help break increasing cycle of poverty
Even two years later, a junior high school student from a poor family still savors the memory of the spaghetti meat sauce he enjoyed at a soup kitchen.
The Sixth Old House of Natsume Soseki in Kumamato, located in the Kitasendanbatamachi district in Chuo Ward, is little changed from more than a century ago. (Masamitsu Oku)
Fans of Soseki pushing to preserve novelist's last residence in Kumamoto
KUMAMOTO--Fans of renowned Meiji Era (1868-1912) novelist Natsume Soseki are campaigning to preserve the last place he called home here before he moved to London to study.
A bronze mirror recently discovered in China is similar in design to the Sankakubuchi Shinjukyo. (Provided by Wang Chenyi)
Bronze mirror linked to Himiko found in China for 1st time
A bronze mirror found in China resembles those associated with Japan’s third-century shaman queen Himiko, providing perhaps the first solid evidence that she was given the mirrors by a Chinese emperor.
The Asahi Shimbun
Ancient Miyakozuka pyramid tomb likely built for powerful local clan member
ASUKA, Nara Prefecture--Recent excavation work at the Miyakozuka Tomb, an ancient stepped-pyramid burial mound, suggests the construction is of a much higher quality than previously thought, reinforcing the belief it was built for a member of the local ruling clan, researchers said.
The self-driving car stops in front of a pedestrian during an inaugural trial run in Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, on March 1. (Eijiro Morii)
Driverless car trials begin on public roads in Ishikawa city
SUZU, Ishikawa Prefecture--The first driverless car trial on a public road was held here March 1, as part of a five-year project that could transform travel in Japan.
A local resident lays a flower and offers a prayer on Feb. 27 at the site where the body of Ryota Uemura was found in Kawasaki. (Hiroshi Kai)
Teen admits he killed Kawasaki boy, alleges involvement of two others
KAWASAKI--The eldest of three teenagers arrested on suspicion of stabbing a 13-year-old boy to death on the banks of the Tamagawa river here last month has started admitting his involvement in the crime, investigative sources said.
Muslims and supporters in Japan hand out leaflets to eradicate negative stereotypes attached to practitioners of Islam in front of Kanayama Station in Nagoya on Feb. 7. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Shizuoka bank refuses to do business with Japan-Islamic friendship group
NUMAZU, Shizuoka Prefecture--In a rejection that could stir the ire of Muslims in Japan, a local bank in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture has refused to open an account for a Japan-Islamic friendship group, citing fears over its name.
Prince William interacts with local children at the Smile Kids Park facility in Motomiya, Fukushima Prefecture on Feb. 28. (Pool)
Prince William delights nuclear accident-affected children before leaving Japan
MOTOMIYA, Fukushima Prefecture--Britain's Prince William visited areas in Fukushima Prefecture impacted by the nuclear accident on Feb. 28, drawing renewed attention from the world to the persistent suffering in the region and providing a boost to local residents.
Crowds of tourists enjoy the view of Kawazu-zakura cherry blossom trees in bloom in Kawazu, Shizuoka Prefecture. (Shogo Koshida)
PHOTO: Kawazu-zakura cherry blossoms in full bloom, thrilling those who want an early spring
KAWAZU, Shizuoka Prefecture--As an early harbinger of spring, the famed “Kawazu-zakura” cherry blossom trees, which bloom earlier than trees in other regions of Japan in February, are in full blossom here, drawing a large number of visitors.
The room of the building used by the Maritime Self-Defense Force at Kanoya Air Base in Kanoya, Kagoshima Prefecture, that is said to have been the venue for strategy in carrying out the Pearl Harbor attack (Koji Suohara)
Site used to plan Pearl Harbor attack to be torn down
KANOYA, Kagoshima Prefecture--A building here that is believed to have been used by the Imperial Japanese Navy to plan the attack on Pearl Harbor is set to be demolished as early as this summer.

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