Jan 4, 2016

Holiday over as first workweek of 2016 begins

People who returned to big cities began their first day of work Monday after spending the New Year’s holidays overseas or at their family homes. Due to the calendar, this year’s holidays were relatively short, and many companies as well as public organizations started ...

'Tis the season for Japan's handy hangover cures

Jan 4, 2016

'Tis the season for Japan's handy hangover cures

Makoto Yamauchi is taking comfort in a dizzying array of hangover cures, from clam elixirs to turmeric tonics, as Japan’s new year party season gets into full swing. The bottled drinks are a multimillion-dollar business in Japan and ’tis the season for recovery tonics ...

Dec 31, 2015

After daunting 2015, EU faces year of living dangerously

If the year that was turned out to be daunting, 2016 is shaping up as the European Union’s year of living dangerously. The cliffhanger to keep Greece from bankruptcy and in the euro currency during high summer was chilling enough, even before nations like ...

New Year's revelers unfazed by attack worries in most places

Dec 31, 2015

New Year's revelers unfazed by attack worries in most places

In Bangkok, police-flanked partygoers will ring in the new year at the site of a deadly bombing that took place just months ago. In Paris, residents recovering from their city’s own deadly attacks will enjoy scaled-back celebrations. And in Belgium’s capital, authorities anxious after ...

Meiji Shrine: grounds to ring in the year

Dec 24, 2015

Meiji Shrine: grounds to ring in the year

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As a relatively new place of worship, established less than a century ago in 1920, Meiji Shrine was originally based around the concept of wakonyōsai — a belief that treasured the Japanese "soul," while still embracing influences from the West. Its unusual omikuji, therefore, ...

Getting the year's first prayer in

Dec 24, 2015

Getting the year's first prayer in

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Whether we are Buddhists, followers of Shintoism or atheists, the first thing many Japanese do on ganjitsu (New Year’s Day) is go to their local shrine or temple for hatsumōde, a symbolic first visit of the year. If it’s not done on Jan. 1, ...

Jan 4, 2015

New Year's death toll from 'mochi' chokings hits nine

Nine people had choked to death as of Friday after eating glutinous “mochi” rice cakes to celebrate the new year, an official and local media reported Sunday. In Tokyo alone, 18 people were sent to hospitals after experiencing varying degrees of suffocation due to ...

New Year's exodus reaches peak

Dec 30, 2014

New Year's exodus reaches peak

The New Year’s holiday exodus from Tokyo and other urban areas peaked Tuesday, with travelers packing major train stations and airports throughout the day. Domestic flights departing from Tokyo’s Haneda airport were almost fully booked, according to Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways ...