5,000 people take part in Tokyo disaster drill

Feb 8, 2016

5,000 people take part in Tokyo disaster drill

About 5,000 people took part in large-scale disaster drills Monday in central Tokyo that assumed massive numbers of people were stranded at train stations and on the streets in the wake of a massive earthquake. Following the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, ...

Ferry ride from Haneda airport to Akihabara in works

Jan 2, 2016

Ferry ride from Haneda airport to Akihabara in works

The government is aiming to start a tourist-centered ferry service in 2017 between Tokyo’s Haneda airport and the Akihabara electronics district, a government official said Saturday. The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry is planning to start regular service along a 20-km route linking ...

Rogue raccoon causes commotion in Akihabara

Oct 5, 2015

Rogue raccoon causes commotion in Akihabara

A raccoon spotted on a roadside Sunday night in Tokyo’s Akihabara district was caught about 1½ hours later after causing a commotion in the area, police said. A male employee at an appliance shop in the popular tourist and electronics neighborhood spotted the animal ...

Budget hotels thinking outside the capsule

Jun 6, 2015

Budget hotels thinking outside the capsule

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With Japan’s tourist numbers and hotel prices on the rise thanks to a weaker yen, developers are getting creative with a new niche line of stylish but cheap accommodations in bunks, cabins and pods of all shapes and sizes. Even a tiny double room ...

Feb 26, 2015

AKB48 Theater logs millionth visitor since 2005

The AKB48 Theater in Tokyo’s Akihabara district, the base for all-girl chorus and dance troupe AKB48, on Wednesday welcomed its millionth visitor since opening on Dec. 8, 2005. Its beginnings were underwhelming: There were only seven people in the audience during the group’s first ...

Ninja promote 'cool' vending machines

Feb 19, 2015

Ninja promote 'cool' vending machines

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To lure foreign tourists, especially Chinese arriving in large numbers for the Lunar New Year holiday, JR East is promoting Japan’s cutting-edge vending machine technology at JR Akihabara Station in Tokyo, with staff dressed in ninja and kimono outfits. JR East Water Business Co. ...

'Gacha gacha' machines not just for kids anymore

Aug 14, 2014

'Gacha gacha' machines not just for kids anymore

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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 ...