Emperor, Empress visiting Ise
NHK -- Apr 18
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are in the city of Ise in central Japan on their last trip to a local region before the Emperor's abdication on April 30.

The couple left Tokyo Station on Wednesday afternoon. They were seen off by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The couple arrived in Ise about three hours later.

They were greeted at the station by local officials and crowds of well-wishers.

As the couple were driven to their lodgings on the grounds of Ise Shrine, crowds along the route waved and cheered. The Emperor and Empress waved back from open windows, despite the rain.

The Emperor and Empress are traveling with a sacred sword and a jewel. The items are two of the three sacred treasures that symbolize the imperial throne.

The visit to Ise Shrine, which is dedicated to a legendary ancestress of the imperial family, is part of a series of rituals for the Emperor's abdication.

The couple will worship at the Outer Shrine and the Inner Shrine on Thursday.

天皇皇后両陛下は17日午後に東京駅を臨時専用列車で出発し、名古屋駅を経由して三重県伊勢市の宇治山田駅に到着し、伊勢神宮に入られた。退位を前に最後の地方訪問となる。両陛下は18日、天照大神に退位を報告する儀式『神宮に親謁(しんえつ)の儀』に臨まれる。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
Jul 18
Ornately decorated floats paraded through Japan's ancient capital Kyoto on Wednesday at the climax of the annual Gion Festival. (NHK)
Jul 18
A Japanese policeman stabbed another officer by mistake during training when he used a real knife instead of a replica. (NHK)
Jul 18
Tokyo DisneySea will launch a new flight simulator attraction Tuesday that promises to make visitors feel as if they are soaring over famous landmarks such as the Great Wall of China and the Egyptian pyramids. (Japan Times)
Jul 16
A couple in Tokyo was arrested Monday on suspicion of pouring scalding water four years ago over an 11-year-old boy who was living with them at the time, police said. (Japan Today)
Jul 15
Japan's Princess Mako has visited the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru and a village that once had a Japanese immigrant as its chief. (NHK)
Jul 14
Police in Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, said Saturday they have arrested a 20-year-old unemployed man on suspicion of killing his 66-year-old grandfather with whom he lived. (Japan Today)
Jul 13
Police in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, said Friday they have arrested a 27-year-old unemployed man on suspicion of killing his 30-year-old brother in Tahara, Aichi Prefecture, on Thursday. (Japan Today)
Jul 13
Japanese cryptocurrency exchange operator Bitpoint has lost 3.5 billion yen ($32 million) in a hacking attack, parent company Remixpoint announced on Friday. (Nikkei)
Jul 12
Japan's national mint has begun making the first coins featuring the new era name Reiwa. (NHK)
Jul 12
Japan's Hayabusa2 probe made a "perfect" touchdown Thursday on a distant asteroid, collecting samples from beneath the surface in an unprecedented mission that could shed light on the origins of the solar system. (Japan Today)