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Akira Okubo

For Akira Okubo's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Sakaiminato — the  city of fish and festivities

Jul 24, 2014

Sakaiminato — the city of fish and festivities

Sakaiminato in Tottori Prefecture is a city that is ideal for tourists. It’s one of the biggest fishing towns in Japan, and as the hometown of Mizuki Shigeru, author of the yōkai (Japanese folklore monsters and ghouls) manga series “GeGeGe no Kitaro,” it’s known ...

The Miraikan is going down the pan — in a good way

Jul 9, 2014

The Miraikan is going down the pan — in a good way

Using the toilet is an everyday part of our lives, yet it’s something we rarely talk about in public. But it is of such importance, involving health, sanitation and human dignity, that perhaps it should become a topic of general discussion. So why not ...

Visit Japan's prehistoric past

Jul 9, 2014

Visit Japan's prehistoric past

It’s hard to imagine, but millions of years ago elephants roamed Japan. Although they died out long before civilization, Tokyo’s National Museum of Nature and Science can help us imagine these majestic creatures and other prehistoric mammals through a display of Japan-specific fossils. The ...

Battle it out in Shinshiro

Jul 2, 2014

Battle it out in Shinshiro

During the Sengoku period (1482-1573), the Takeda family was one of the strongest clans in Japan, known in particular for its successful cavalry charges. Yet in 1575, it found itself up against something that rendered it powerless — the new western technology of firearms. ...

Jun 26, 2014

Everyone's having a laugh in Kinokuniya

Rakugo, a traditional form of comic storytelling in Japan, deals with anecdotes about human nature. Described as a “performance of imagination,” it is usually done on an empty stage with the artist kneeling on a large cushion and acting out the roles of all ...

Osaka's Aizen Festival begins

Jun 26, 2014

Osaka's Aizen Festival begins

Even though it is mid-rainy season, the Aizen Festival anticipates the hot summer ahead with a parade of women wearing cool and attractive yukata (light kimono). As Osaka’s first summer festival of the year, this is held from June 30 to July 2 at ...

Royal purple surrounds majestic Mount Fuji

Jun 19, 2014

Royal purple surrounds majestic Mount Fuji

Among the photo opportunities featuring Mount Fuji, there’s one that shouldn’t be missed: The majestic icon towering behind Lake Kawaguchiko in Yamanashi Prefecture, with a bed of vibrant purple lavender in the foreground. From spring to fall, Lake Kawaguchiko, one of the Fuji Five ...