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  • Thursday, 30th July 2015
    In General Japan News,

    Volunteer Hiroshima tour guide uses models to teach lessons from history

    A volunteer tour guide at the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima has made two intricate models to help visitors understand the impact the atomic bomb had on the site.

    Okihiro Terao had lived in a house just 300 metres from the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, which was the only structure to survive the blast, but his family moved away before the bomb was dropped, reports The Japan Times.

    His interest in the topic has remained, however, and he has been offering guided tours of the remains of the hall to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two this year.

    Terao has created two models out of stained glass; the first showing the dome before it was bombed on August 6th 1945 and the other depicting the damage afterwords.

    He took up stained glass model making after he retired and soon found that he had a particular talent for it.

    It took Terao five months to make a representation of the bombed-out dome, but a much lengthier two years to create a miniature version of it when it was still the promotion hall.

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  • Wednesday, 29th July 2015
    In General Japan News, General Japan News,

    Japan hopes to add Fukuoka ancient monuments to UNESCO list

    The number of sites recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in a country is of great importance to tourism. These places of particular interest attract visitors from all over the world, so it is not surprising that Japan is hoping to increase its number.

    At present, the nation has 15 sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List, but is in the process of trying to get accreditation for others. The Council for Cultural Affairs has now highlighted a cluster of five ancient monuments in the Fukuoka Prefecture to focus attention on in an attempt to get them listed by UNESCO.

    The process will see the Munakata-Okinoshima monuments presented to UNESCO by February next year, with the aim that they will be listed in 2017. This all depends on the opinions of the World Heritage Committee and whether they believe these sites meet the criteria set out by the organisation.

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  • Tuesday, 28th July 2015
    In General Japan News, General Japan News, General Japan News,

    Moss-viewing excursions are the next big thing in Japan

    The majority of people have never looked particularly closely at moss, but those who do have realised that it can actually be quite interesting.

    A trend for going on excursions armed with a magnifying glass to get a better look at this specific vegetation has been growing in Japan in recent years.

    The idea has been around for a while, but the Kyodo news agency reports that more and more people are going on tours to moss-covered areas.

    A moss-viewing excursion is surprisingly hands-on, with the key to getting the most out of the experience being to get on the same level as the plants.

    This means lots of crawling around on hands and knees to see the moss up close.

    The phenomenal popularity of moss-viewing has been put down to a number of factors, including an increase in hiking among women, who are proving to be the biggest audience for moss-related tours.

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  • Tuesday, 21st July 2015
    In General Japan News, General Japan News, General Japan News, General Japan News,

    Solar power plants being created out of Japan's abandoned golf courses

    Since the 1980s heyday of golf in Japan, participation in the sport across the country has dropped by 40 per cent, leaving the nation with a rather unique problem. That is what to do with the abandoned golf courses?

    Despite the possibility of being levelled with development in mind, the electronics giant Kyocera has come upon a more innovative approach to using these spaces.

    The firm is using abandoned golf courses to open vast solar panel arrays to help provide renewable energy to the gadget-obsessed country of Japan.

    So far the move has been welcomed by many, with a need to replace nuclear power in the nation being more apparent.

    The first of the projects to get underway is located in Kyoto prefecture and will launch in 2017 and see 23 megawatts of power produced, the equivalent energy needed to run 8,000 homes.

    A second plant was given permission to go ahead in January 2014, but it will be considerably bigger in size when it is completed in Kagoshima prefecture.

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