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  • Wednesday, 25th November 2015
    In Weather In Japan,

    Hokkaido experiences heavy snowfall

    Winter has definitely arrived in Japan, as temperatures across the city fell today (Wednesday) and heavy snowfall occurred in Hokkaido.

    The island’s capital, Sapporo, had 44 centimetres of snow by 11am, making it the most amount the city has experienced at this time of year for 62 years.

    That is according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, which is carefully monitoring conditions in Japan, where blasts of cold air have been felt.

    Hokkaido is used to cold and snowy conditions, as it is Japan’s northernmost island and sees plenty of prevailing winds from Russia.

    So wintry is this part of Japan in fact, it has become famous as something of a wonderland at this time of year and is celebrated through a series of festivals.

    Around two million people are expected to descend on Hokkaido for the Sapporo Snow Festival, which will run from February 5th to 11th next year.

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  • Tuesday, 24th November 2015
    In Weather In Japan, Japan Entertainment News,

    Japan?s escape room experiences now available in English

    Anyone travelling to Japan and looking for a different kind of activity may wish to take part in one of the escape room experiences that have been sweeping the nation.

    Up until now, the games have only been available in Japanese, but the craze is now being opened up to English and Chinese speakers, reports Japan Today.

    An escape room is an immersive experience that requires participants to solve problems using their lateral thinking skills.

    The phenomenon is an example of life imitating art, as it relies on similar principles to those used in video games.

    Groups of visitors are required to explore the surroundings they find themselves in and work out how to escape with the resources at hand during a set timeframe.

    While some of those that have been set up are all about problem solving, others include a backstory and theme to build the atmosphere.

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  • Tuesday, 24th November 2015
    In Weather In Japan, Japan Entertainment News, General Japan News,

    Newly formed volcanic island continuing to grow

    An island off the coast of Japan that was created from the eruption of a volcano is continuing to grow, officials say.

    According to the Japan Coast Guard, aerial film footage of Nishinoshima shows that eruptions are continuing to occur from the crater in the centre of the island.

    The new landmass is located 1,000 kilometres south of Tokyo and therefore fairly remote, making aerial views the easiest way to monitor it.

    It was originally formed in 2013 and since then has grown to 12 times its size, with a continuous lava flow making it even bigger all the time, reports Japan Today.

    When the volcano first erupted a tiny islet was created next to a larger, more established island known as Nishinoshima.

    Since then it has grown and engulfed the original island, thus taking on its name.

    Reports from the Coast Guard suggest the current dimensions of the island are 1,900 metres from east to west and 1,950 metres north to south.

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  • Friday, 20th November 2015
    In Weather In Japan, Japan Entertainment News, General Japan News, Japan Entertainment News,

    Japanese artist returns to homeland after 14 years for solo exhibition

    Renowned artist, Takashi Murakami, has not had a solo exhibition in Japan for 14 years, but all that is about to change.

    Takashi Murakami: 500 Arhats has opened at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, an institution he has personal connections with.

    He told the Japan Times: “Actually, I didn’t want to do this show, but I had a relationship with the late Minoru Mori, the founder of the Mori Art Museum, his family and the current president, Shingo Tsuji. So when they said they really wanted me to do the show, I decided to do it.”

    During Murakami’s hiatus from Japan his style and themes have changed tremendously, partly to do with international events and things that have occurred in his own country.

    He explained that until the global financial crisis he was focusing on the relationship between capitalism and art, but the 2011 earthquake and tsunami helped to change all that.

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