The Takayama Spring Festival in central Japan kicked off on Monday with its traditional float parade.
The festival dates back about 300 years, and is held every spring in the city of Takayama, Gifu Prefecture.
The 12 floats are adorned with golden ornaments and elaborately carved wooden sculptures.
On the first day, people from the community pull the wheeled floats through the ancient highland city. They are displayed in the city center. The floats are designated by the government as important tangible assets of folkloric tradition.
On a day in early February that saw a dusting of snow, about 70 people from 11 countries visited Aizuwakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture. The visitors - from countries including France, Spain and Italy - were participating in a tour organized by Tokyo-based travel agency Miki Tourist Co. (the-japan-news.com)
Universal Studios Japan on Wednesday unveiled the world's largest amusement area featuring the popular animated movie characters the Minions ahead of the area's official opening on Friday. (Japan Today)
Narita Airport and 11 other Japanese airports on Saturday started using portable personal identification devices to speed up immigration checks, at a time when the number of tourists from abroad is soaring. (the-japan-news.com)
A tourist train running on tracks of a now-defunct local railway operator in the town of Takachiho, Miyazaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan, is winning popularity for its panoramic views of nature. (Jiji)