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Junji Yamaguchi

For Junji Yamaguchi's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Would you like a goat, owl or rabbit with your latte?

Aug 19, 2014

Would you like a goat, owl or rabbit with your latte?

Following on from the popularity of “cat cafes,” where customers can play with resident felines while relaxing and having a cup of coffee, similar venues offering the chance to mingle with rabbits, goats and even owls have opened for business in the Tokyo area. ...

Girl power sushi chefs: We can make the cut

Jun 12, 2014

Girl power sushi chefs: We can make the cut

Chie Inamoto decided to become a chef to challenge the widespread view that sushi made by women just isn’t as good as that made by men. Inamoto, 47, manages an outlet of the Isomaru seafood chain in Atami, the famous hot spring resort in ...

May 30, 2014

Unusual ways being developed to keep pests away

Hawks are among the unconventional methods being used in certain parts of Japan to drive away crows and other pests that spread garbage in residential areas or damage farmers’ crops. About a year ago, a building management company in Kobe that was long troubled ...

New shops blossom under Tokyo's tracks

May 19, 2014

New shops blossom under Tokyo's tracks

The spaces under elevated train tracks are drawing attention again in central Tokyo as railways eager for a bigger piece of the retailing pie transform vacant areas traditionally used as warehouses and parking lots. The railways are trying to lure shoppers to what they ...

Relay races proliferate as jogging catches on

Apr 27, 2014

Relay races proliferate as jogging catches on

The long-distance relay races called “ekiden” are growing on the back of the jogging boom, providing opportunities to run for recreation or bond with fellow employees. Sportsone Co., a sporting event organizer in Tokyo, hosts 25-km ekiden races for teams of co-workers consisting of ...

Private parking lots find mass niche

Feb 9, 2014

Private parking lots find mass niche

Finding a parking space at a popular tourist spot or downtown is no mean feat, especially on weekends or holidays. But for a limited time, owners of homes or condominiums are letting people park in such locations to make a quick yen in tough ...

Revamped inns target foreign guests

Jan 21, 2014

Revamped inns target foreign guests

Amid the latest tourism boom and in preparation for intensifying competition for guests ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, major hotels in downtown Tokyo have set out to win the hearts of foreign visitors with massive renovations infused with Japanese aesthetics while also upgrading ...

Jan 12, 2014

Service helps new moms juggle kids and careers

After seeing many of her friends and colleagues abandon promising careers for motherhood, Keiko Koda was inspired to find a way to help professionals stay on the corporate path after having children. In 2009, she founded AsMama Inc. to lend a hand to these ...

Ramen workshops teach hopefuls tricks of trade

Dec 24, 2013

Ramen workshops teach hopefuls tricks of trade

A company in Yachiyo, Chiba Prefecture, has organized a series of workshops for aspiring chefs interested in opening ramen restaurants to teach them how to make noodles, manage their businesses and even design interiors. Many of the participants are former company employees who lack ...

Nov 19, 2013

Website offers easy way to find nonallergenic food

Willmore Co., a Tokyo-based health information research firm, launched a free online site in late September that members can search for food they’re not allergic to. On the site at www.kumitasu.com (in Japanese only), members specify their food allergens such as eggs, wheat or ...