ecology

Japan unknowingly wastes over four metric tons of vegetables a year in its instant noodles【Video】

Before you dig into your instant noodles, remember this important step that comes from caring for cats.

Read More

Japanese architecture firm unveils plans for world’s tallest wooden skyscraper in Japan

The new building is a feat of environmentally conscious engineering that will stand taller than Tokyo Tower.

Read More

Young inventor dreams big to cleanup ocean plastic, will launch test in Japan

What did you accomplish by the time you were 20 years old? Did you answer, “inspired an entire world to get behind your idea to clean the ocean”?

A Dutch engineering phenom has done just that with his project The Ocean Cleanup. In 2016, he and his team will launch a pilot program that will eventually lead them to tackle the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that lies between Hawaii and California. However, any idea has to start somewhere, and that somewhere will be Japan.

Read More

Breathe easy – Toyota redesigning Prius plug-in hybrid to double car’s all-electric range

Toyota’s Prius is designed for one purpose, and it’s not to deliver the sort of exciting performance that will seduce you into taking a spirited drive through a moonlit mountain pass (that’s another car’s job). No, the Prius promise is that it will get you from Point A to Point B in the most energy-efficient way possible.

But while the standard hybrid Prius remains a popular choice for eco-conscious motorists, sales of its plug-in variant have been stagnant. Toyota is hoping to change that, though, with an updated Prius that can travel roughly twice as far under purely electric power than the current model.

Read More

River in China turned into carpet of green leaves

This beautiful yet unsettling scene took place in Huizhou City recently as countless little green plants began rapidly sprouting up in the river giving it the appearance of a lush green meadow.

This is actually an annual occurrence in the city and officials are at a crossroads of how to deal with it this plant which may luckily turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

Read More

Company wants to put electric lights on Mt. Fuji, everyone else in Japan says “Please don’t”

In Japan, things that are receiving a lot of love and attention are sometimes described as “shining.” These days, that’s a description you could apply to Mt. Fuji.

After receiving UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2013, Japan has rekindled its love affair with the country’s highest mountain. But just because Mt. Fuji’s star is brighter than usual these days doesn’t mean everyone wants the mountain to be literally shining, as angry online commenters are speaking out against one company’s proposal to light up Mt. Fuji’s summit at night.

Read More

Hugh Jackman stars, sings J-pop cover, and speaks Japanese in ads for Toyota【Videos】

When you get to be as big a company as Toyota, you can afford to go out and get A-list talent for your commercials. Over the last few years, the automaker’s created a series of ads starring boy band SMAP’s Takuya Kimura and film icon Beat Takeshi.

In the commercials, collectively known as ReBORN, Kimura and Takeshi play historical figures Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, reincarnated in modern Japan. The latest installment even has a special guest star as Hugh Jackman, Wolverine himself, shows up to help spread the word about Toyota’s newest eco-friendly cars.

Read More

Coral in Japan’s Ogasawara Islands being threatened by Chinese poaching ships

While the vast majority of Japan’s population is crammed onto its four largest islands, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, and Hokkaido, the country’s territories extend much farther out to sea. For example, if you head about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) south of downtown Tokyo, you’ll come to the Ogasawara Islands, one of Japan’s most remote settlements.

We’ve talked about the Ogasawaras before, and how their beautiful ocean scenery has been helping to attract tourists (and perhaps even a new chef), to the archipelago. Recently, though, the islands have been seeing an increasing number of extremely unwelcome visitors, in the form of ships coming from China to poach coral.

Read More

How many abandoned bicycles can fit in just one Tokyo pond?

One of the odder problems you run into living in Japan is how to throw large things away. Say you’ve just bought a new bicycle, for example. In many countries you could find a charity to donate it to, or perhaps a relative or friend of a friend who’s just starting college or a career.

Japan’s predominantly middle-class society and general dislike of used durable goods means you’re unlikely to find someone willing to take your old bike off your hands, though. Trash collectors won’t haul off something that big unless you shell out an additional fee, either. In some cases, people will simply abandon their bike somewhere, such as a back alley or deserted parking lot.

Or, apparently, in a lake in one of Tokyo’s most beloved parks.

Read More

Japanese company wants to send robots to the moon to build a laser to point at Earth (to help us, of course)

Right now, how terrified would you be if we told you that Shimizu Corporation, one of Japan’s largest and most powerful engineering and contracting conglomerates, is in the planning stages for a project to send a team of robots to the moon in order to build a laser to point at our home world?

Don’t worry though. Shimizu isn’t plotting to enslave the people of earth. Instead, the company is looking to provide us all with clean, renewable energy.

Read More

From trash to usable work of art – used wine bottles transformed into beautiful glassware!

Okay, we have good news for wine lovers who feel guilty about creating lots of trash by opening all of those wine bottles. See the picture above? Yes, you guessed it – used wine bottles are now being made into beautiful glassware! Isn’t this a great, eco-friendly way to recycle wine bottles? I, for one, definitely wouldn’t mind having such nice looking plates at home. Read More