Blogs

Because Japan loves to enjoy cherry blossom season even before the flowers are here.

If you’re not already pumped for sakura season, don’t worry. Shake Shack Japan will get you in the mood. They’ve unveiled three different sakura-themed drinks to be sold between February 10 and April 15. And if you’re not into shakes, there’s a non-shake drink in the mix!

▼ Here’s the first drink. We’re already tingling with excitement!

First off, they’re offering two different shakes that were a huge hit in 2019. The first one to be offered is the Shack-ura Shake, which is made with a frozen custard base that’s mixed with milk and sakura-flavored syrup. It has just a hint of saltiness that’s mellowed out by the gentle vanilla and sakura flavors.

The shake will be offered in a small size for 540 yen (US$5.11) or a regular size for 710 yen. This particular flavor is only available between February 10 to March 17 or until supplies run out, so if you want this early taste of spring, you’ll have to act soon!

▼ This next shake packs a bit more of a punch.

The Cherry & Shack-ura Shake is back, too! If you need a bit of a refresher, this is the version of the Shack-ura Shake that has the extra sweet-sour flavor of cherry puree mixed in.

Since it will be offered right around the time cherry blossoms are predicted to bloom in Japan–March 17 to April 15–it should taste as festive as the sakura season. The …continue reading

    

今日はセーファーインターネットデー、そして 2 月 1 日~ 3 月 18 日は、日本政府が主導する「サイバーセキュリティ月間」です。Google も毎年この取り組みに参加しています。

新型コロナウイルス感染症の世界的大流行が始まって以来 2 度目のセーファーインターネットデーを迎える今日、インターネットやデジタル技術の利用頻度が増えたことに驚きを覚える方も多いでしょう。感染対策に気を配りながら親しい人とつながったり、仕事をしたり、学習を続ける方法として、 デジタルツールは皆さんの日々の生活により深く溶け込みはじめています。

Google では、Google の製品を利用している時だけでなく、お気に入りのウェブサイトを閲覧したり、アプリを利用したりしている時など、どんな瞬間でも皆さんのデータが守られるように、絶えず様々な取組みを行っています。みなさんが安全にオンラインで過ごせるように、様々なツールやオンライン トレーニングのための資料も提供しています。

中高生のインターネット利用白書

Google では、中高生 15, 557 人(中学生 5,835 人/ 高校生 9,722 人)と、中高生の教員 119 名を対象にインターネット利用について調査し、この結果を「

特にインターネット利用のメリットにおいて、生徒たちが「自分で経験したこと」と先生が「生徒が実感していると思うこと」の間で大きな乖離が見られたのは「以前よりも世の中のニュースに関心を持つようになった」「自分の将来についてより具体的に考えられるようになった」の 2 項目でした。この割合が高校生では増えていることからも、将来を考え始めるタイミングに、多様な情報に触れる場として、大人たちの想像の域を超えて活用されている様子が垣間見えます。

同様に生徒と先生の回答に大きな違いが現れたのがインターネットのトラブルについての設問で、「SNS で知らない人から不快なメッセージが来た」「ネット詐欺にあいそうになった」は先生の想定と子どもたちの実感の間に 3 〜 5 倍の違いがありました。調査の詳細はこちらからご確認ください。

この調査結果をもとに、Google では Grow with Google プログラムで提供しているインターネットリテラシーについて学べる教材の拡充を実施します。同教材は、株式会社 ARROWS の協力のもと全国の中学・高校に提供しています。新しい教材の提供開始は 3 月下旬を予定しており、希望する教員の方はこちらから詳細をご確認ください。

安全なインターネット利用のために

私たちは常に直感的に使えて、シンプルかつ便利な製品の開発を目指しています。そのアプローチはプライバシーやセキュリティでも同じです。データの管理もレストランの予約や家までの最短ルートを検索するのと同じくらい簡単であるべきです。そのような考えのもと、セキュリティ診断やパスワードチェックアップ等の様々なツールを提供しています。

セキュリティ診断は、Google アカウントを一元管理・保護するためのツールです。クリックするだけでアカウントのセキュリティの概要を確認し、データを安全に保つための対応策を提案します。パスワードの管理にはパスワード チェックアップをご活用ください。Google アカウントに保存したパスワードのセキュリティをチェックして、パスワードが不正使用のリスクにさらされているかどうかを調べることができます。

Grow with Google では、中高生向けのコンテンツに加え、安全なインターネット利用に関するトレーニングコンテンツを公開しており、昨年一年間で 10 万人以上の方にご活用いただきました。 オンラインセキュリティに関する無料の講座などに加え、本日、新しいトレーニング コンテンツとして「クラウドで情報共有を行う際に確認すべきこと」を追加しました。コロナ禍によりオンラインでの情報共有の機会が増える中で気をつけるべき点や Google Drive や Google グループなどの関連する Google 製品の使い方と設定方法をご紹介しています。今後、活用機会が益々増えるクラウドサービスの使い方を学ぶための資料として、ぜひお試しください。

最後に、おうち時間の増加で利用機会が増えた YouTube の情報管理についてもご紹介します。YouTube の検索履歴や視聴履歴は「YouTube でのデータ」で管理でき、シークレット モードにすることで履歴などを残さずに視聴することもできます。切り替え方は簡単、YouTube アプリで自分のアイコンをタップして「シークレットモードを有効にする」を選ぶか、ブラウザをシークレットモードにして YouTube にアクセスしてください。13 歳未満のお子様だけで YouTube を視聴する場合は、 YouTube Kids の使用を推奨しています。YouTube Kidsでは、お子様ごとにプロフィールを作成して視聴できるコンテンツ選択や、視聴時間を制限するタイマーの設定、適切なデジタル習慣を身に付けるために役立つ情報も提供しています。YouTube の全般的なプライバシーやセキュリティへの取り組みは How YouTube Works (YouTube のしくみとは?)をご参照ください。

大切な人たちとつながるために欠かせなくなった様々なデジタルのツールを上手に、そして安全に活用できるように、Google はトレーニング コンテンツやツール提供を通じ、安心、安全なインターネット利用を今後も支援していきます。
Posted by Google Safer Internet Day チーム

…continue reading

    

As many as 20 buyers of apartments in the Harumi Flag (Athlete’s Village) project have filed a petition for conciliation with the Tokyo District Court seeking compensation due to the delayed move-in date.

In late June 2020, the buyers received notice from the developers that the handover of the apartments would be delayed 12 months as a result of the postponed Summer Olympics. The buyers allege that they had requested an explanation from the developers but were refused. They also allege that they were refused any financial compensation for out-of-pocket expenses such as additional rent, as a delayed delivery due to the games postponement was not considered a legally compensable factor.

The public relations representative for the sales office said they were providing the necessary information as it was needed. Although they have no plan to hold a group explanation session, they are making the time to explain the situation to buyers on an individual basis. They were unable to comment on compensation as it depends on the contents of each contract of sale.

Harumi Flag is the name of the apartment complex that is scheduled to house athletes during the Summer Olympics, after which the apartments will be refurbished and delivered to buyers. Sales began in August 2019 with 1,543 applications made on the 600 apartments initially offered for sale.

The village sits on a 44-hectare site on the manmade island of Harumi in Tokyo Bay. The project will eventually contain 5,632 apartments in 24 buildings, of which 4,145 will be made available for sale. 893 apartments had already been sold when sales were put on hiatus in March 2020.

Pre-covid, the apartments had a scheduled delivery of early 2023. Now, it may be likely to take place sometime in 2024. Buyers who did not want to wait were given the option …continue reading

    

People look and take photos of Lexus' new LF-30 electric vehicle concept car as it is unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show, in Tokyo, Japan, 23 October, 2019 (Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su).

Author: Kaoru Natsuda, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

The global automotive industry is at a crossroads as electric vehicles (EVs) become increasingly important for a new generation of environmental technologies. The European Union is a driver of the move away from internal combustion vehicles (ICVs) — gasoline and diesel engine vehicles — with a range of policies that Asia may now look to emulate.

In 2020, EU regulations set a standard of 95 grams of CO2 emissions per kilometre travelled on average. If emissions exceed this standard, vehicle producers must pay a €95 (US$115) fine for every excess gram of CO2, multiplied by the number of vehicles sold. These regulations come ahead of the anticipated prohibition of ICV sales in Germany, the United Kingdom and Sweden in 2030, and France and Spain in 2040. This is also influencing a potential ban of ICVs in Japan, China, Canada and California in 2035.

There are three types of EV technologies — hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs). HEVs have been available on the market since the late 1990s, followed by mass production of PHEVs and BEVs from the 2000s. Some jurisdictions such as United Kingdom, Norway and California will ban both HEVs and PHEVs in the future to reduce air pollution.

A joint research project between Mazda and Kogakuin University assessed CO2 emissions of ICVs and a BEV in Japan, China, Australia, Europe and the United States. They found that in Australia, BEVs do not produce fewer CO2 emissions than ICVs due to the country’s heavy dependence on fossil fuels for electricity. In Japan, China, Europe and the United States some ICVs generated fewer CO2 emissions than the BEV in certain conditions. This …continue reading

    

Nissin claims these noodles are their longest ever, and we’re here to put that claim to the test.

What’s your favorite gimmick product? Sometimes, to get ahead in this cut-throat capitalistic society of ours, you have to really think outside the box to get your product off the shelves. Advertising in a strange way can help, of course, and there’s also the option of bringing out new and exciting products to tempt customers to part with their cash.

When it comes to instant noodles, this is usually done by adding new tasty (or bizarre) flavors to the line-up. Nissin, perhaps the most famous instant noodle brand, decided to try another tack. Instead of offering a different flavor of noodles, how about a different…length?

▼ Presenting Donbei Tempura Soba-Longer-Than-Usual Soba to Wish You Longevity.

Our reporter P.K. Sanjun has long given up on wondering why Nissin makes the promotional product choices that they do, but even he was startled by this decision. Longest noodles? Why? There is, specifically, a time and a place for long noodles in Japan. Toshikoshi soba is a New Year’s tradition where the extra-long, thin buckwheat noodles represent a long and healthy life going forward.

This product goes on sale February 8, though, so it seems a bit late for that.

Anyway, P.K.’s interest was piqued now, and he was especially concerned with the comparative word “longer”. Longer than what? Their usual noodles? Well, then. Clearly, it was time to whip out a ruler and do some measuring.

▼ He found a typical pot of Donbei tempura soba noodles for comparison’s sake.

P.K. dug out a noodle …continue reading

    

A sight so otherworldly even the photographer doubts whether they’ll see it again.

Out of all the famous World Heritage sites in Japan, none has inspired more art than Mount Fuji. This famous landmark, standing tall at its current height of 3,776 metres (12,388 feet) for around 10,000 years, can be viewed from a number of vantage points, but one that’s particularly impressive for artists is Satta Pass in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Satta Pass was the site used by famous ukiyoe woodblock print artists like Utagawa Hiroshige, who included a view of Mt Fuji from here, entitled “Yui Satta Pass“, in his Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido series.

▼ Yui was the 16th station on the Tokaido road, an important transport route that linked the old capital of Kyoto with the new capital, Edo (Tokyo)

Image: Wikipedia/Hiroshige

▼ Hiroshige also used Satta Pass for this 1859 print in his Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series.

Image: Wikipedia/Hiroshige

The Satta Pass vantage point overlooking Yui remains popular today, and the view of Mt Fuji from here still looks surprisingly similar to Hiroshige’s paintings from the 1800s, albeit with modern roads now in the foreground. The sky around the mountain itself is ever-changing though, and some days, if you’re lucky, the conditions become just right for a spectacular image of Mt Fuji that would’ve made Hiroshige sigh in awe.

Recently, photographer and Twitter user Ohtake was at Satta Pass when the conditions were right, snapping this amazing image of Mt Fuji, showing it partly concealed by a mysterious cloud formation. While dome-shaped cap clouds like these are sometimes seen above mountain …continue reading

    

Former presenter Reina Triendl and her sister also make an appearance, naked in a bathtub together.

Terrace House, the long-running Japanese reality show that puts six strangers in a house together “without a script”, was pulled off the air and taken off Netflix last year, following the suicide of 2020 house member Hana Kimura.

Kimura’s death exposed the darker side of the show, with housemates claiming producers set scenes up for drama, encouraging the cast to let loose without providing adequate support for stars like Kimura, who became the target of cyber bullying and death threats after she was shown arguing with a fellow housemate in one episode.

It’s been less than nine months since Terrace House was cancelled on 27 May 2020, and now it appears the production team behind the show is back, and they’re attempting to repair the show’s damaged reputation with some feel-good storylines starring a few popular faces from the series.

▼ Two of those familiar faces belong to Seina and Noah, who just announced their marriage last week.

<path d="M556.869,30.41 C554.814,30.41 553.148,32.076 553.148,34.131 C553.148,36.186 554.814,37.852 556.869,37.852 C558.924,37.852 560.59,36.186 560.59,34.131 C560.59,32.076 558.924,30.41 556.869,30.41 M541,60.657 C535.114,60.657 530.342,55.887 530.342,50 C530.342,44.114 535.114,39.342 541,39.342 C546.887,39.342 551.658,44.114 551.658,50 C551.658,55.887 546.887,60.657 541,60.657 M541,33.886 C532.1,33.886 524.886,41.1 524.886,50 C524.886,58.899 532.1,66.113 541,66.113 C549.9,66.113 557.115,58.899 557.115,50 C557.115,41.1 549.9,33.886 541,33.886 M565.378,62.101 C565.244,65.022 564.756,66.606 564.346,67.663 C563.803,69.06 563.154,70.057 562.106,71.106 C561.058,72.155 560.06,72.803 558.662,73.347 C557.607,73.757 556.021,74.244 553.102,74.378 C549.944,74.521 548.997,74.552 541,74.552 C533.003,74.552 532.056,74.521 528.898,74.378 C525.979,74.244 524.393,73.757 523.338,73.347 C521.94,72.803 520.942,72.155 519.894,71.106 C518.846,70.057 518.197,69.06 517.654,67.663 C517.244,66.606 516.755,65.022 516.623,62.101 C516.479,58.943 516.448,57.996 516.448,50 C516.448,42.003 516.479,41.056 516.623,37.899 C516.755,34.978 517.244,33.391 517.654,32.338 C518.197,30.938 518.846,29.942 519.894,28.894 C520.942,27.846 521.94,27.196 523.338,26.654 C524.393,26.244 525.979,25.756 528.898,25.623 C532.057,25.479 533.004,25.448 541,25.448 C548.997,25.448 549.943,25.479 553.102,25.623 C556.021,25.756 557.607,26.244 558.662,26.654 C560.06,27.196 561.058,27.846 562.106,28.894 C563.154,29.942 563.803,30.938 564.346,32.338 C564.756,33.391 …continue reading

    

Surprise: Tokyo isn’t even close to the top five.

While COVID-19 has caused a dip in the number of divorces filed in Japan last year, overall divorce rates have been rising.

There are a multitude of reasons why people divorce, whether due to infidelity, safety, or other socioeconomic issues. But a survey done by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare in 2018 has ranked prefectures by their divorce rates and challenged preconceptions of the nation’s divorce statistics.

▼ Be right back, trying to figure out where to find everlasting love among Japan’s 47 prefectures.

Without further ado, the top five prefectures with the highest divorce rates are:

1. Kochi (46.15 percent)

2. Okinawa (45.87 percent)

3. Wakayama (44.54 percent)

4. Miyazaki (43.82 percent)

5. Hokkaido (43.51 percent)

At first glance, there are a few overlapping factors with the prefectures on this list. All five prefectures are considered relatively rural, and the top four especially have a handful of similar traits, such as being located in southern Japan, having a warmer climate, and having a smaller population.

▼ Divorce paperwork is not what you want to see on the
table after getting home from a long day of work.

But why does Kochi specifically have the highest divorce rate?

With a population of roughly 750,000, Kochi is no major hub, though the prefecture has plenty of cultural-historical clout as the birthplace of yosakoi, a festive form of traditional Japanese dance.

Unsurprisingly, a variety of theories have been thrown around already concerning Kochi’s not-so-lucky spot. One common perspective focuses on Kochi’s population. After all, a smaller population means a smaller …continue reading

    


In the cherry blossom’s shade, there’s no such thing as a stranger” ~ Kobayashi Issa. Are you planning on travelling in Japan in spring someday? I’ve felt your excitement! Through clenched fists and a sideways bobble, I’ll never forget the little squeal of delight that escaped my lips when I first laid eyes on early-blooming cherry […]

The post Enjoying Spring in Japan: Where to Go, What to Pack (& How to Avoid Crowds) appeared first on The Invisible Tourist.

…continue reading