Japan’s new State Secrets Protection law Where Will They All Stay? Ten thousand people taking part in the Shimanami Kaido Cycling Taikai descending on the small host city of Imbari is a real challenge logistically, and we suspect is the main reason why they shut off applications this year at 6,500 people. Terrie's Take 300,000 Pedometers and Yokohama, a Massive Health Experiment One of the easiest ways to reduce medical costs for the elderly, as proven in studies around the world, is to increase the physical fitness of the target population. Terrie's Take
The view from the Osaka Sky Observatory at night How to get free Wi-Fi in Osaka The best way to get free Wi-Fi in Osaka is to stay in a Wi-Fi enabled hostel or hotel. Surprisingly, you are more likely to get free Wi-Fi at the cheaper accommodation providers, like Hana Hostel or J Hoppers. Kombu-wrapped kamaboko from Iki Iki Toyamakan A Taste of Japan By Joan Bailey Melon-flavored ice cream from Hokkaido. Natamame (sword bean) tea from Hyogo. Mikan juice from Wakayama. Usually such unique regional items can only be savored by visiting the prefecture or city they are from. Negotiating a Promotion Negotiating A Promotion Asking for more money from an employer takes technique and those successful can come out ahead both in the eyes of their boss and in the additional pay they enjoy.

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Japan holds its breath on casino bill

With the Japanese lower house of parliament currently debating a bill to legalise casino gambling, the subject of gambling is a trending topic in Japan right now. The bill is the culmination of ten years of lobbying - not least by former Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara - and is seen by many as paving the way for the construction of some of the largest casino sites anywhere on earth.

A Matter of Trust

By Todd Wojnowski

“Trust me.” -- It’s perhaps the least-trustworthy sentence in existence—even children know to put their guards up when they hear it. There’s something diabolical in it that we connect with Hollywood villains and used car salesmen. Directly asking people to trust you is a sure way to tip off that they probably have no reason to, probably shouldn’t.

Kishiwada Castle

By Bonson Lam

The Stone Garden in Kishiwada Castle brings together the present and the past in a symbolic way. It was designed by Mirei Shigemori; a famous architect and designer who also built the Kokuan tea house in Kyoto.

The Customer Is God Delusion

By Philip Patrick

As an agnostic, I have never really felt comfortable with the whole “customer is God” philosophy. I know I’m supposed to feel charmed, but I can’t help experiencing mild embarrassment as I am showered with “welcomes” and “thank yous” and “I’ll be waiting for your next visits” by shop staff in Japan, often when I have only dropped into their store to get out of the rain. Basically, I don’t think I’ve really earned it.

Kyoto Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple

By Tomoko Kamishima

More than 800 stone statues sit close together at Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple. Splendid autumn leaves put their arms around the statues and give them a comforting hug. The location of today’s Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple (northwest outskirts of Kyoto) was once a location used for open-air burial.

Only in Japan? Takkyubin tourism.

How to take advantage of takkyubin (parcel delivery companies) on a road cycling tour in Shikoku for having luggage shipped ahead each day.

Labor Law Changes to Create New Underclass? E-biz news from Japan.

Japan is undergoing a massive labor sea-change, and is creating two classes of workers -- the privileged and the rest of irregular workers.

Opportunities in the Coming Travel Boom

What sectors will be hot in the upcoming travel boom? There are many, and all have to do with servicing the tourists or servicing the folks who service them.

Over-staffing as a Cultural Habit. E-biz news from Japan.

Most Japanese senior managers, no matter how entrepreneurial, are educated and conditioned to work in groups, and the idea of working alone in their Country Manager role doesn't feel to them like a "real" company.

The Right To Be Forgotten, in Japan. E-biz news from Japan.

The Tokyo District Court ordered Google to remove search results that implied a man was connected to a criminal organization ten years ago. This case appears to be echoing the finding in a European court earlier this year.

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