Tokyo hotels turn pink for 'hanami' season

Mar 25, 2016

Tokyo hotels turn pink for 'hanami' season

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The cherry trees are beginning to bloom across Japan, and it is time to prepare for hanami (cherry-blossom viewing), which has been an annual custom since the Heian Period (794-1185). Though hanami literally means “flower-viewing” and typically refers to admiring sakura (cherry blossoms), in ...

Japan's top barista ready to defend title

Mar 23, 2016

Japan's top barista ready to defend title

A 27-year-old woman crowned as Japan’s best drip coffee barista is preparing to defend her title against the country’s top brew makers. Yuka Takahashi, who beat all comers at last year’s Japan Hand Drip Championship, will participate in a preliminary round of the 2016 ...

Fukushima's organic farmers still battle stigma

Mar 18, 2016

Fukushima's organic farmers still battle stigma

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“All publicity is good publicity.” Nowhere does this specious PR maxim ring more hollow than in Fukushima Prefecture. As if the horrors of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and the meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant weren’t traumatic enough, the region’s ...