Tokyo's Asakusa neighborhood is one of the capital's top tourist destinations. Sensoji Temple and the shopping arcade nearby offer visitors a glimpse into traditional Japan. This coming weekend, though, the area will be full of Brazilian energy and the passionate rhythm and music of samba.
Now in its 32nd year, the Asakusa Samba Carnival, modeled after the Rio de Janeiro original, has grown to become Japan's biggest samba festival. Originally started in 1981 after Taito Ward invited over the winning group of that year's Carnival in Rio, the festival today features thousands of dancers - male and female - dressed up in gorgeous costumes.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday that up to 6 tons of water have leaked after being processed with water-cleaning equipment at the Fukushima No. 1 power station at the center of the 2011 nuclear disaster. (Jiji Press)
Sony Pictures has canceled the Dec. 25 release of "The Interview" after hackers threatened terrorists attacks and the largest multiplex chains in North America pulled the film from its screens. (Japan Times)
The Chiba Public Safety Commission has banned a 29-year-old man from Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, from riding a bicycle for 90 days, after he was found guilty of cycling under the influence of "kiken" quasi-legal drugs. (Japan Times)
Heavy snow caused a power outage along parts of the Joetsu Shinkansen Line for about six hours on Sunday morning, leaving some 300 passengers trapped in a bullet train for 2½ hours near the mountainous southern border of Niigata Prefecture. (Japan Times)