Japan's rooftop sanctuaries
stuff.co.nz -- Aug 26
Rooftop gardens have always offered a sanctuary in the Tokyo metropolitan area, but unlike those of yesteryear, which were simple, flat areas featuring plants and trees, today's more elaborate gardens are built like forests or along vertical spaces.

In spring last year, Omohara no Mori opened on the rooftop of the Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku commercial complex in Shibuya Ward. Tall trees such as Japanese zelkova and katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) are planted in a basin-shaped area of 820 square metres, forming a garden that looks like a forest. One garden display is outfitted with a counter and chairs along its six sides, allowing visitors a view of trees as they relax with a cup of coffee.

A number of rooftop parks have been built to ease the "urban heat island" phenomenon in which big cities see abnormal rises in temperature.

Some local governments require developers that construct or renovate buildings to plant trees on the rooftop if the buildings are over a certain size. They also financially support developers' greenery projects.

According to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, the total area of rooftop greenery was 130,000 square meters in 2000. The figure had surged to 3.3 million square metres in 2011.

Source: stuff.co.nz
Sep 02
Health ministry officials announced on Sept. 2 that 12 more cases of dengue fever have been confirmed from mosquitoes at Tokyo's Yoyogi Park, with the outbreak spreading farther across the country. (Asahi)
Sep 02
The Japan ALS Association says the fundraising activity known as the Ice Bucket Challenge has resulted in over 250,000 dollars' worth of donations in Japan. (NHK)
Sep 02
Indian PM Narendra Modi and Japan's Shinzo Abe have agreed at a summit in Tokyo to accelerate talks on a nuclear energy pact. (BBC)
Sep 02
NHK has learned that sirens set up to alert residents against possible disasters were not used in key areas when massive rain hit Hiroshima City last month and triggered deadly mudslides. (NHK)
Sep 02
Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force said Monday that a crewman of a destroyer killed himself after being bullied by his superior, a 42-year-old petty officer first class, since October 2013. (Jiji Press)
Sep 02
The controversial six-month dolphin hunting season began on Monday in the infamous town of Taiji, but bad weather would delay any killing, a local official told AFP. (The Guardian)
Sep 02
Hokkaido Prefectural Police on Monday accused a restaurant in Chuo Ward of violating labor laws by attiring waitresses under the age of 18 in bikinis, reports the Hokkaido Shimbun (Sept. 2). (Tokyo Reporter)
Sep 02
The best thing about the World Air Guitar Championship - now in it's 19th year - is that it seems to thoroughly appreciate its own absurdity. (akihabaranews.com)
Sep 02
A 20-year-old man went on trial Monday for killing his mother and chopping her body into pieces. (Japan Today)
Sep 02
The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office on Monday decided not to indict Torao Tokuda, former head of hospital group Tokushukai, over a high-profile election fraud case, because he is seriously ill. (The Japan News)
Sep 02
Police in Tamamura, Gunma Prefecture, said Monday they have arrested a 32-year-old woman over the death of her 3-year-old son. (Japan Today)
Sep 01
Police in Osaka said Monday they have arrested a 53-year-old man on suspicion of killing his neighbor in an apartment building in Higashinari Ward. (Japan Today)
Sep 01
Media reports that Sanrio Co.'s popular character Hello Kitty is "not a cat" have swirled across the globe, following a U.S. newspaper story. (Jiji Press)
Aug 31
The Hiroshima city government on Sunday lifted evacuation advisories and orders issued for about 106,000 people in the mudslide-hit city. (Kyodo)
Aug 31
A group of Japanese porn actresses raised tens of thousands of dollars at the weekend by having their breasts squeezed by fans at a "Boob Aid" charity event for Aids prevention. (straitstimes.com)