if you're a skateboarder, and you happen to be lucky enough to be traveling to Japan, the escalating skateboarding opportunities there deserve your attention.
The major difference between skaters in Japan and skaters in the U.S. is the Japanese skaters don't seek out and wear the countercultural laid-back attitude of their American equivalents. Japanese skaters are neat, tidy and well-groomed. They don't adopt the bad-boy, semi-punk, surfer nonchalance of skaters in the U.S. Even though the Japanese police have cracked down on skateboarders and where they can skate, the skaters remain courteous and respectful.
In the U.S., skateboarding is considered an outdoor sport. Vast skate parks may be found even in smaller cities. Not so in Japan, where they are landlocked and land goes for premium prices. Most skate parks in Japan are located inside warehouses, and then only in the largest cities. For the most part, the warehouse skate parks are concrete, while anything outdoors is temporary and made of plywood. Limited space is the obstacle holding back skateboarding in Japan. The kids think skating is totally cool, but the simple fact of the matter is there aren't enough places to skate.
A collection of materials related to a 17th century mission sent by a Japanese feudal lord to Europe and the world's oldest autographic diary left 10 centuries ago by a Japanese regent have been selected for the UNESCO Memory of the World registry, the Japanese education ministry said Wednesday. (Global Post )
Almost 1,500 people were transported to hospitals by ambulance due to heatstroke last week, up sharply from 942 in the preceding week, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday. (Japan Times )
Among about 200,000 traffic signals nationwide, 16 percent are being used beyond the end of the expected lifetime of their electrical systems and some have even toppled over due to age, according to the National Police Agency. (Yomiuri )
In May, Akira Ikoma, the editor of a guide to men's entertainment called Ore no Tabi (My Journey), said that "Abenomics" had caused a spike in prices at high-end soapland bathhouses in Tokyo. However, the same editor tells Shukan Post (June 28) that the initiative is not impacting the low-end market in the same way. (Tokyo Reporter )
Tokyo District Court decided on Monday to open planned examinations of three witnesses who are former senior members of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult and now death-row inmates, during an upcoming trial of another former senior Aum member. (Jiji Press )