5 years on from the tsunami

On March 11th 2016, it was exactly five years since the earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan's northern coast. To mark this anniversary, this March at Inside Japan Tours is all about Tohoku: looking back on its troubles, celebrating its charms, and taking stock of how far the region has come in the past five years.

To read all about this beautiful region, including first-hand accounts of the disaster and recovery, visit our dedicated tsunami page:

The Japan Tsunami 5 Years On

Latest News

  • Friday, 21st October 2016
    In General Japan News,

    Japan rocked by magnitude 6.6 earthquake

    Western Japan has been hit by a magnitude 6.6 earthquake, early reports suggest, with the Meteorological Agency saying there is no tsunami warning.

    The event occurred at 2.10pm local time today (October 21st), which equates to 5.10am GMT and was centred in the Tottori Prefecture.

    Some 430 miles from Tokyo, the inland trembler originated at a depth of six miles underground, but was strongly felt in both Kyoto and Osaka, which lie a considerable distance away.

    Reports from local official speaking to the public broadcaster NHK suggest that the town of Yurihama had seen a house collapse and fires had broken out elsewhere in the prefecture.

    Seven emergency calls to the fire department in Kurayoshi City to assist with injuries were also reported.

    Suminori Sakinada, a local government official, told Agence France Presse (AFP): "We felt fairly strong jolts, which I think were the biggest in years, but we have not seen any damage or things falling."

    Read More >

  • Thursday, 20th October 2016
    In General Japan News, Japan Entertainment News,

    Manga fans in Japan get their own Kindle

    While nothing compares to having a paper manga comic to read, it’s not surprising that many fans of the genre use modern technology to get their fix.

    Now, the Japanese arm of Amazon has released a region-specific version of its celebrated Kindle e-reader to tap into this market.

    While 4GB is generally plenty of storage for the average book-lover using the Kindle Paperwhite, it simply isn’t enough for manga aficionados.

    On first look, the Manga Model resembles the standard Paperwhite, but with 32GB of storage, Amazon estimates a user can hold around 700 comics on it.

    To put this into real-life manga terms, that means housing the entire runs of Naruto, Asari-chan, and Kochikame on your device without any problems.

    As the act of reading manga is quite different to reading a novel or article, there are other changes made to the regular Paperwhite to accommodate manga fans.

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  • Tuesday, 18th October 2016
    In General Japan News, Japan Entertainment News, General Japan News,

    Discussions into Emperor Akihito?s abdication begin in Japan

    A panel of experts has convened in Japan to discuss the possibility of Emperor Akihito abdicating. The move has been anticipated for a number of months, after the longstanding figurehead spoke publicly about stepping down due to his advancing years.

    The situation is more complicated than it may appear, as there is no provision for abdication under current Japanese laws. While the emperor has made his intentions known, it is desirable for all those involved that the process is as smooth as possible.

    It is for this reason that the panel has come together, which is the first step in allowing the emperor to step down. The laws surrounding the royal family are expected to be changed for this to happen, but it is being approached with caution to ensure the system remains intact.

    The six members of the panel are expected to submit their ideas on changes to legislation by May 2017. Prime minister Shinzo Abe will then be able to move forward with this advice and continue the process.

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  • Monday, 17th October 2016
    In General Japan News, Japan Entertainment News, General Japan News, Japan Travel News,

    Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones banned on Japanese airlines

    The Japanese government has banned passengers from bringing a specific model of smartphone aboard planes.

    Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones are prohibited from being transported via airlines registered to the country due to a recognised fire hazard associated with the device.

    The Japan Airlines website states that none of the handsets will be admitted onto planes in carry-on luggage or in the hold, even if the battery has been removed.

    This rule is being enforced on domestic and international flights operated by the carrier, as it aims to preserve its good safety record.

    Japan’s action comes in the wake of the US bringing in a similar ban on the Galaxy Note 7, which has had a series of high-profile cases of the batteries catching fire.

    Samsung has stopped producing this particular model of the device and the Galaxy Note 7 was never sold in Japan.

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