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Jun Iwawaki

For Jun Iwawaki's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

National Aug 14, 2007

Fitness centers cashing in on hula

A number of Japanese fitness centers have decided to go Hawaiian and offer courses on hula dancing, fanned by growing popularity brought about by the box-office success of the film "Hula Girl." Tipness Ltd. offers hula lessons at its 33 fitness clubs. The number ...

National Jun 28, 2007

Interest in buying vacation homes starts to heat up

Karuizawa," Kitazawa said. A real estate magazine published by Recruit Co. conducted a survey last summer to rank resort areas by popularity. Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, finished on top, while Karuizawa and Kusatsu, a Gunma Prefecture town known for its hot springs, tied for second, followed ...

Sophisticated action figures marketed toward adults

National Jun 20, 2007

Sophisticated action figures marketed toward adults

Figurines based on characters in television cartoons and popular movies are becoming collectibles in Japan — among people of all ages. Toys for young children have been sluggish due to the low birthrate, so manufacturers are targeting their toys at adults, hoping to see potential ...

South Korean products gaining ground in Japan

Business Aug 26, 2006

South Korean products gaining ground in Japan

South Korean auto and home appliance makers are making a big push into the Japanese market, contesting industrial areas that Japanese firms consider their specialty. The South Korean firms are slowly gaining Japanese consumers' support, with their cars and home appliances seen as low-priced but ...

Giant new store gives Akihabara a wakeup call

Business Oct 8, 2005

Giant new store gives Akihabara a wakeup call

The mammoth outlet opened by Yodobashi Camera Co. in Tokyo's Akihabara district in mid-September appears to have become a catalyst for change in an area renowned for its cut-throat retail electronics competition. Yodobashi Camera Akiba, one of the largest household electronics appliance stores in Japan, ...