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Asako Takaguchi

For Asako Takaguchi's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Services allow for virtual grave visits

Oct 7, 2014

Services allow for virtual grave visits

For people living far from the graves of their ancestors, paying respects no longer has to involve a long journey, with subscribers to an online service able to conduct virtual cemetery visits from their computer screens. The service, offered by I-Can Corp., a Tokyo-based ...

Firms target share houses to boost business

Oct 7, 2014

Firms target share houses to boost business

Many companies are turning to shared housing as a place to promote products or offer services like job-hunting support. Come on UP Co., a company operating share houses, and Disco Inc., a human resource consultant, both in Tokyo, jointly launched a service for Japanese ...

Edible tableware served in waste-reduction bid

Sep 11, 2014

Edible tableware served in waste-reduction bid

Edible tableware, such as plates made of shrimp crackers and cups made of seaweed, is catching on as a safer substitute for disposable tableware by reducing the amount of polystyrene and plastic waste thrown out each day. For example, the e-tray series by Marushige ...

Firms in Japan wake up to merits of siestas

Aug 20, 2014

Firms in Japan wake up to merits of siestas

Some Japanese companies appear to be embracing the wisdom of the old adage “sound sleep, sound mind,” by letting their workers enjoy a short snooze during office hours. At Okuta Corp., a housing renovation firm in the city of Saitama, for example, office workers ...

'Gacha gacha' machines not just for kids anymore

Aug 14, 2014

'Gacha gacha' machines not just for kids anymore

Among the wide array of vending machines peddling items from the everyday to the obscure, one staple in Japan is the toy-dispensing “gacha gacha,” which is named after the handle-turning noise that precedes the release of the plastic capsule. While the majority of gacha ...

'Cosplay' craze a boon for business

Jul 16, 2014

'Cosplay' craze a boon for business

The popularity of Japanese anime around the world has triggered the growth of a variety of businesses targeting those who like to dress up as a favorite character from a manga or anime, known as “cosplay,” as in “costume play.” These range from video ...

Granpa leads high-tech revolution in farming

Apr 28, 2014

Granpa leads high-tech revolution in farming

A 70-year-old entrepreneur is promoting the indoor, computer-assisted cultivation of vegetables to establish a business model that can draw young people back to agriculture. Takaaki Abe founded Granpa Co. in Yokohama in 2004 with the aim of using technology to develop a profitable indoor ...