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Asako Takaguchi

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

Demand rising for smartphones that can take all of life's knocks

Feb 25, 2015

Demand rising for smartphones that can take all of life's knocks

There is growing demand for rugged smartphones and tablet computers that can withstand the dirt and knocks of field work, and manufacturers are responding with products that include high-definition displays, cameras and audio. The Torque G01, released by Kyocera Corp. for KDDI Corp.’s au ...

Foreign tourists taking home wider range of Japanese souvenirs

Feb 16, 2015

Foreign tourists taking home wider range of Japanese souvenirs

With a record number of tourists visiting Japan from abroad, items they take back home are diversifying from home appliances, watches and other “conventional” Japanese souvenirs. Leben Co., an ear pick-maker in Yokohama, has seen a steep increase in sales over the past five ...

It's a buyer's market as smartphone apps mimic auction sites

Feb 13, 2015

It's a buyer's market as smartphone apps mimic auction sites

People are increasingly turning to smartphone applications to sell used clothes and goods free of tax. Shohei Fujii, 28, from Tokyo’s Suginami Ward, took a picture of a T-shirt that no longer fitted him and within three minutes uploaded it to Mercari. It took ...

Japan's burial mounds drawing new breed of tourist

Feb 3, 2015

Japan's burial mounds drawing new breed of tourist

A new genre of tourism is emerging: amateur archaeologists who enjoy viewing ancient burial mounds. A mini music and dance festival at one such tumulus recently drew around 19,000 people. “Come Come Hanicotto” was held in a 9-hectare park built around the Imashirozuka Kofun ...

Book clubs, 'biblio-Rx' keep printed word alive

Jan 29, 2015

Book clubs, 'biblio-Rx' keep printed word alive

Smartphones and the Internet may have become an integral part of life, but the power of books — paper ones — is not all lost. A nationwide book club network and a bookstore that prescribes literary drugs to salve the human condition are a ...

Drinks, cosmetics makers using rice as product ingredient

Dec 21, 2014

Drinks, cosmetics makers using rice as product ingredient

Rice has become an increasingly popular ingredient in cosmetics and beverages as people eat less of what used to be Japan’s main staple. In June 2012, Kose Provision Co. launched lotions and creams containing extracts made by fermenting and maturing rice. The affiliate of ...

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 ...