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JR Kyushu shows off new luxury train
Kyushu Railway Co. on Friday unveiled the ¥3 billion Seven Star luxury sleeper train ahead of its inaugural run on Oct. 15.

The event, held at a rolling stock factory in Kitakyushu, followed the signing a day earlier of a charter service contract with a Hong Kong travel company, the first overseas client for the new train, which boasts stylized interior pieces and furnishings.

JR Kyushu allowed the media to see the first three of the seven cars of what it calls the nation’s first cruise train. It will depart from, and terminate at, Hakata Station in Fukuoka, taking passengers through scenic spots in Kyushu as part of a one-night, two-day package, or a three-night, four-day package.

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Cops in Tokyo arrested five teenagers for throwing dozens of fireworks at a homeless man in Edogawa-ku. One of the boys said he and his friends “wanted to get a thrill from making a homeless person angry and making him chase us.”

Officials at the International Astronomical Union have formally recognized an asteroid discovered by a trio of female Japanese middle school students in 2009.

The transport ministry says at least 18 people fell off train platforms last year because they were too absorbed in their cellphones to notice their surroundings.

The situation has led officials to try and come up with ways to deal with the scourge of aruki sumaho—smartphone walking.

Meet the dry cleaner they call “god”

Master Blaster
There’s so much talk over the level of customer service in Japan that you’d expect the locals to become desensitized to it before long. But every once in a while, a business raises the bar so much that even Japanese people can’t believe it.

One such business can be found in the posh Azabu-Juban area of Tokyo: a dry cleaner called Rejouir that is the one place that will take a paint-stained Hermes coat when no one else would dare try. One after another, customers including boutiques and other cleaners walk away satisfied. To those people, Rejouir’s president Takeshi Furuta is often referred to as “Kami” (god).

Cuddly Prison

Yes, You Bet

There’s Burning Man

Now Meet Burning Tire


Is That A Bridge In Your Pocket

Romanized Japanese on signs to be replaced with English

September 12, 2013

The government announced new guidelines Sept. 11 that call for replacing Romanized Japanese text written on traffic signs across the nation with English to make them easier for foreigners to understand.

According to the transport ministry’s new guidelines issued to regional development bureaus, proper names such as place names must be written using the Roman alphabet, while common nouns such as “school” and “station” must be written in the English language.

For example, “Kanda Eki Nishiguchi” (West exit of Kanda station) will be replaced by “Kanda Sta. West”.

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