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.
A 28.5-kilomater section of the Kenoudo Expressway in Ibaraki Prefecture opened on Sunday, allowing the belt highway to link the six major expressways stretching from the Tokyo metropolitan area to various other regions in Japan. (Jiji)
With over 3 million visitors from abroad visiting the ancient capital of Kyoto in fiscal 2015, getting around with an official interpreter would have meant relying on government-qualified guides. (Japan Times)
The tracks of the now-defunct Takachiho Railway in Miyazaki Prefecture - discontinued due to damage caused by Typhoon No. 14 in 2005 - have been revived as a popular tourist attraction that carried 26,000 passengers in fiscal 2015. (the-japan-news.com)
Twenty-eight hospitals in Japan have been registered on a government list of medical institutions recommended for non-Japanese as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration seeks to promote the nation's advanced medical services. (Japan Times)
Tokyo International Airport's Terminal 2, currently for domestic flights, is slated to host international flights as well, from March 2020 ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics that year, informed sources have said. (Jiji)