Claim Ownership


Subscribed: 0Played: 0


The International Red Cross is planning to use AI developed in Japan to speed up landmine in parts of Ukraine. A team of Japanese scientists has said that it’s managed to built an original optical quantum computer. Japan has moved to the knockout stage of the FIFA Women's World Cup by defeating Costa Rica 2-0. And, the intense summer heat is expected to continue until October, according to a new three-month forecast by the Japan Meteorological Agency. With temperatures reaching a peak my the mid to late July, the back streets of Kagurazaka with its French community come alive between July 26 and July 29 during the Kagurazaka Matsuri, a summer festival east of Shinjuku and visit RootK Contemporary Gallery for their exhibition "Public Visuals". Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Renowned Japanese author Seiichi Morimura, known for works including the novel "Ningen no Shomei" (Proof of the Man) and his nonfiction work "Akuma no Hoshoku" (The Devil's Gluttony), has died of pneumonia at a hospital in Tokyo aged 90. The head of a man found dead in a Sapporo hotel earlier this month has been recovered from the home of a doctor who was arrested along with his daughter on suspicion of murder. And a giant maze made from 50,000 sunflowers has opened in the city of Tendo, Yamagata Prefecture north of Tokyo. Meanwhile, the 57th Katsushika Noryo hanabi taikai, or fireworks festival, returned to the east of Tokyo for the first time in 4 years. Notebook visited and looked on as people clung to lampposts clambering to catch sight of the sky filling with explosions, one deafening boom at a time. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Recent research shows the Japanese consumer will see the cost of over 30,000 food and drink items go up in price by October as retailers seek to protect profits. Hyper Japan Festival 2023 showcased Japanese culture in London last Friday, attracting upward of 30,000 people. A government survey last Friday showed a marked increase in the number of working women in Japan with a record 30.35 million in 2022, compared with 1.22 million five years ago. In Osaka, news is less promising as a delay in constructing foreign pavilions at the 2025 Osaka Kansai Expo site is casting an unsettling shadow over the event with spiraling costs and controversial appointments. Amid soaring temperatures and unpredictable weather both here and abroad, local weather experts recently called an end to the country’s annual rainy season which usually runs through June and early July. NOTEBOOK escaped the worst of the sun for the welcome seclusion of "Nominoichi", an old coffee shop (or coffee-tei) in Ikebukuro. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Japanese government estimates the visitors between January and June exceeded 10 million, 21-times the number from the year before. This rebound saw international travelers return to Haneda Airport's Terminal 2 on Wednesday, following its three-year closure due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, Japan's prestigious Akutagawa Prize for Literature has been awarded for the very first time to a disabled author with Saou Ichikawa picking up the top prize. Across town and one of the largest festivals of the year took place at Yasukuni Jinja (Shrine) opposite Kitanomaru Koen, a national park also home to many of museums. Yasukuni and park are a short walk from the Imperial Palace which also descends into darkness as night falls while an exhibition by the New York based artist Tyler Cobern across town at Fig. in Otsuka centers around ideas of actual and spiritual darkness. Notebook visits Yasukuni late one afternoon and listens to the sound of summer and the few people there soaking up the sun. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
A parade of yamahoko floats passed through Kyoto on Monday during the city’s annual Gion Festival, held in all its glory for the first time in almost four years. Meanwhile, a man died after being run over by a dashi float on Saturday at the Hakata Gion Yamakasa summer festival being held in the city of Fukuoka, southwest Japan. Temperatures over the weekend soared, reaching almost 35 degrees Celsius in more than 150 different parts of Japan, with temperatures in one city reaching almost 40. And Saturday marked the 40th anniversary of the iconic Family Computer or Famicom, produced by Japanese video game maker Nintendo. With last weekend widely acknowledged to be the start of summer, with Gion matsuri in Kyoto, Matama matsuri at Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine and others this July, Notebook caught one bon odori dance and the sound of Japanese fencing, also known as kendo.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Today is Marine day in Japan, a national holiday, and with that Notebook is taking a break and will return on Wednesday. In the meantime, we revisit last Friday's episode (07/14) visiting Nihonbashi to catch a glimpse of work by painter David Hockney in the run up to a major exhibition in the Capitol. All this prior to the Bon festival season in Tokyo and Gion festival season in Kyoto which both began last Saturday, as Kyoto filled with people and a flotilla of lanterns during the Gion festival's Yoiyama event in the city. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The current Chief Executive of Hong Kong has said that it will ban the import of Japanese seafood should treated water from the disaster-crippled nuclear power plant in Fukushima be released into the ocean. In Japan, so-called ‘Search Funds’ are helping entrepreneurs restart aging businesses. And the legendary manga artist Kazuo Umezz has been reunited with works drawn as a teenager and thought lost, years before making his manga-ka debut. And with wind chimes dotted throughout Nihonbashi for the “Eco-Edo Nihonbashi” project that runs until September, current art exhibitions like “Interconnection” at Mitsukoshi Contemporary Gallery and 'joiner' photo prints by David Hockney at Nishimura Gallery, opening this weekend alongside the David Hockney retrospective at Tokyo's MOT Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, it is the iconic Nihonbashi Bridge which joins past with present from old Edo to present-day Tokyo. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The heavy rain which lashed northern Kyushu, south west Japan, caused the automaker Toyota to pause operations Monday at three of its factories. That same day, temperatures reached 36.2 degrees in Central Tokyo, the first time it has exceeded 35 degrees this year, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. The weather even caused one ceiling painting at Sensō-ji in Asakusa to peel away over the weekend. Perhaps feeling the heat was one man who fell victim of a bar in Shimbashi that defrauded him and his credit card of almost 700,000 JPY or nearly 5,000 USD. One very expensive night out. And in the run-up to the Bon holiday season we revisit several of our interviews with key creatives in the Capitol. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Concerns in Japan are growing over a possible resurgence of coronavirus cases this summer. Suspicious objects were discovered by police as people observed a minute's silence where the former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated one year ago on July 8th. A three-day festival of Japanese culture began on Friday in Sao Paulo, attracting cosplayers and members of Brazil's Japanese nikkei-jin community. Meanwhile, Access Tohoku, a store selling popular food and other items from Japan's Tohoku region, is set to open in Singapore on July 19th. As this week builds up to the first of several O’bon festivals in the capital, we revisit one from last year in Tokyo’s Toshima ward and listen to the Bon odori dance in full-swing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Notebook reaches 200 episodes! The system logging traffic coming in and going out of the central Japanese Port of Nagoya was hit by a ransomware attack on Tuesday, by the Russia-based hacker group LockBit. The International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA opened an office at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Wednesday monitoring the safe discharge of treated radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. A river running Ikoma in Nara prefecture turned a bright green this week. And police arrested a 35-year-old man for stealing 1,500 Pokemon trading cards worth 1.15 million JPY (8,000 USD) from a store in Akihabara. With today marking 200 episodes of Notebook and the start of this summer’s Tanabata (or Star) Festival, we scan the art events happening this weekend — from Tokyo Gendai in Yokohama, to Tennozu Artweek at WHAT Museum, even Koji Nakano at XYZ Collective — and visit Kishimojin temple in Zoshigaya and its summer festival happening this weekend. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Heavy rain pounded Japan's southwestern Kyushu region on Monday, causing a bridge to collapse, with some 360,000 evacuating Kumamoto city. The record rainfall over the weekend has left one dead and another person missing, with the Japan Meteorological Agency warning of further landslides. And as the rain front, extending from western to northern Japan, moving southward, a ceremony was held in the coastal town of Atami on Monday to remember 28 residents who died two years ago following a major landslide. In Fukuoka, a local artist last week unveiled his first painted billboard in 20 years for the latest Indiana Jones film. And with storm clouds and wet weather enveloping the country, and Tanabata — the Star Festival — celebrated on Friday, July 7th, we visited the historic Zōjō-ji temple near Tokyo Tower, the day after the sky opened and erupted over most of Tokyo the night before. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Mayor of Hiroshima Kazumi Matsui and the U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel signed a sister park agreement between the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park and the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Hawaii. The Japanese government issued a power-saving request for areas served by TEPCO. The Nakagin Capsule Tower Building in Ginza is given a new lease of life with one of its modular capsules added to the permanent collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. And while the Enmusubi Wind Chime Festival opened yesterday in Kawagoe, Saitama, the annual Uwajima Ushioni Festival arrives in the port city of Uwajima for three days later this month. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Japanese toys, games and character goods, are to be exhibited in the Brazilian city Sao Paulo. The Japanese oil painter Gyoji Nomiyama passed away last week aged 102. Meanwhile, art exhibitions in the capitol continue unabated, from Christopher L G Hill’s “Turtle” at Goya Curtain, to “Distance from the Incident” at Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, "Shinro Ohtake" at Ehime Museum of Art in Matsuyama (ending Sunday 7/2), and “Tameshigaki” (lignes de vies) an exhibition of paintings by Charles Munka at INS studio, new gallery in Shibuya. Speaking of Shibuya, CCBT, the Civic Creative Base Tokyo, is an art and culture center sponsored by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. It held a press conference yesterday introducing its newest creative director Hideaki Ogawa who spoke with Notebook about the challenges of running such a center in Tokyo. — Substack: Instagram: @notebook_pod Twitter: @notebook_pod — Get in touch: Leave a message: — Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
A man dressed as the Joker character was charged with assault and arson aboard a Tokyo train in 2021, charges he denies. Meanwhile, passengers temporarily fled the Yamanote Line on Sunday afternoon after several open knives fell on the floor of the packed train. Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki offered caution against the recent rapid decline of the yen. A major Japanese moving company has apologized after a prank video starring several employees went viral. And Notebook recently visited Izakaya ‘Hachinosu' in Matsuyama, Ehime, a short walk from Matsuyama's Okaido shopping street. — Substack: Instagram: @notebook_pod Twitter: @notebook_pod — Get in touch: Leave a message: — Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Giant panda cubs Xiao Xiao and Lei Lei turned two on Friday at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo. More than 700 people are preparing to run for election in Japan's so-called House of Representatives this coming autumn. Okinawa marked the 78th anniversary of the end of the Pacific War last week. Tokyo’s Narita Airport plans to raise surcharges for international passengers from September, and a think-tank in West Japan is planning to repurpose abandoned homes and rundown buildings by re-using their wood and shortcut the global strain on lumber. Matsuyama is the capital of Ehime prefecture on the main island of Shikoku. Notebook recently visited the city and rode the streetcar made famous by writer Soseki Natsume to visit the Dōgo Onsen public bathhouse. — Substack: Instagram: @notebook_pod Twitter: @notebook_pod — Get in touch: Leave a message: — Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Kansai Electric informed Fukui prefectural government of its plan to reactivate the No. 1 and No. 2 reactor at its Takahama nuclear power plant, north of Kyoto on the Fukui coastline. Organizers of the popular Awa Odori dance festival are offering premium seats each priced at 200,000 JPY (1,400 USD) for the annual festival held in Tokushima Prefecture this August. A box of 15 premier cherries known as “Aomori Heartbeat” fetched a staggering 500,000 JPY (3,500 USD) during the first auction of the season in Aomori prefecture. And with Baseball the national pastime in Japan, we visit Picotao and the batting cages of the Otsuka Batting Center in Tokyo’s Toshima ward for one final session before it closes on June 30th, and then head to gallery 4649 in Sugamo for a painting show by Yusuke Abe. — Substack: Instagram: @notebook_pod Twitter: @notebook_pod — Get in touch: Leave a message: — Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The distinguished novelist Yumie Hiraiwa, known for her “Kawasemi hotel” novel series, passed away earlier this month aged 91. Communities around Mt. Fuji are calling for a limit to the number of hikers ahead of this summer’s predicted climbing boom. The Japan branch of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) has heavily criticized the Tokyo metropolitan government for its plan to redevelop the Meiji Jingu Gaien district. And Kagoshima Prefecture held its first Spider Battle in four years, an event where two spiders battle it out on the end of a long thin stick. Tokyo's Okubo is a rich mix of Korean and Southeast Asian culture. Inexpensive areas during the early 80s, it's now regarded as Korean Town that is also home to a vibrant Muslim community. We walk along Ikemen Street towards Shin-Okubo Station on the Yamanote line. — Substack: Instagram: @notebook_pod Twitter: @notebook_pod — Get in touch: Leave a message: — Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui will head back to the ISS for 6 months in space later next year. An indoor amusement park featuring the world of Harry Potter opened at the former Toshimaen amusement park in Nerima on Friday. And finally, Japanese film director Sadao Nakajima, known for “Gokudo no Onnatachi”, “Nihon no Don” and “Jo no Mai”, died in Kyoto on Sunday aged 88. Shinjuku has long-had a history of counterculture, film and theatre. With Shinjuku's ni-chome, san-chome, and Kabukicho all within walking distance of each other, we wander through each district one evening as daytime ends and the night begins. — Substack: Instagram: @notebook_pod Twitter: @notebook_pod — Get in touch: Leave a message: — Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
An 18-year-old recruit shot and killed one of his instructors at a Self-Defense Force firing range in Gifu Wednesday morning. A special screening of Makoto Shinkai’s hit animated film Suzume no Tojimari (2022) took place at the Civic Hall in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture last month, in the same place that also makes an appearance on-screen. And Tokyo-based artist Yuko Mohri to represent Japan at the 2024 Venice Biennale. Back in Tokyo, an Hibiya with its bronze statue of Godzilla is not far from Hibiya Park, opened in 1903 and once home to the state wire service Domei Tsushin, . The park today is a far cry from the Hibiya Riots which began in 1905. Nearby, the Ginza Graphic Gallery hosts artist and illustrator Tadanori Yokoo with “My Black Holes” an exhibition of archive material from the 1960s to the 1980s which runs until June 30th. — Substack: Instagram: @notebook_pod Twitter: @notebook_pod — Get in touch: Leave a message: — Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Domestic producer prices increased for the 27th straight month, rising by more than 5 percent from last year. A Vietnamese student has been arrested on suspicion of cutting hair without a license at his Tokyo home, serving as many as 3,000 customers since April 2021 while raking in a tidy profit. Meanwhile, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has labeled Shibuya’s Dogenzaka a ‘Townscape Regeneration District’ that is part of redevelopment currently taking place around the main JR station. And with this year marking the 125th anniversary of Philippine independence from Spanish colonial rule, Ueno Park last weekend played host to Philippine Expo 2023 with a three day festival coinciding with the country's June 12th Independence day. We drop in on Ueno Park, transformed into Manila for three days of celebrations. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store