From Tokyo to Hokkaido for under 50 bucks in train tickets–Part 2 of our Japanese rail voyage

The conclusion of our slow-life adventure to Japan’s northernmost prefecture with trains, hot springs, and so muh delicious seafood.

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From Tokyo to Tohoku for less than 25 bucks? Our epic Seishun 18 Ticket Japanese train voyage

Skip the Shinkansen and savor the journey with Japan’s ultra-affordable unlimited-use one-day rail passes.

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Moving video commemorates anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan

The tear-jerking video encourages viewers to “Search for 3.11” on the anniversary to help support reconstruction in the region.

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Breathtaking photos of one of Japan’s most beautiful hot springs have us ready to brave the snow

Ethereally romantic images remind us why a wintertime visit to a snow-covered onsen resort is extra special.

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The long road of the Chusonji Lotus spans nearly a millennium of Japanese history

The Chusonji Lotus is a truly epic flower.

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North Korea fires new missile over Japan, residents woken by government warning systems

Broadcasts warned residents not to touch parts of missile if found.

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Sexy Japanese actress strokes turtle head in tourism promotion video drawing complaints【Video】

Controversial video expected to be taken down shortly.

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Japan’s new Pikachu train ready to take Poké-passengers on a trip they won’t forget this summer

Adorably awesome Pokémon train is part of disaster relief project for tsunami-damaged region.

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Eva tie-wearing Japanese minister resigns after saying “it’s a good thing the tsunami hit Tohoku”

People in Japan responded to the remark with a heartwarming hashtag that immediately went viral, showing support for the Tohoku region.

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Travel tip! Japan Railways to offer awesome new three-day unlimited pass for Tokyo and east Japan

Planning to spend much, but not all, of your Japan trip in Tokyo? Then this could be an unbeatable deal.

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Crowdfunding campaign aims to revitalise disaster region by opening abandoned theme park in Japan

The eerie ruins of this once-thriving amusement park look set to become Japan’s next unusual place to visit.

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Pokémon GO helping tsunami-damaged communities in Japan recover with cool promotion going on now

We traveled to the disaster-stricken Tohoku region to see the effects of Pocket Monster Lapras’ real-world healing powers.

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Disaster-struck region aims to increase tourism by bringing ALL region-exclusive Pokémon to Japan

That means TaurosMr Mime and Kanghaskan could be caught in Japan for a limited time.

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Pokémon GO preserves the memory of building lost in Japan’s 2011 tsunami by making it a PokéStop

The Okada Theater was swept away in 2011, but Pokémon GO players are still visiting its location, and learning a little about this tsunami-ravaged city in the process.

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Zoo Jeans from Japan uses denim marked with the claws and teeth of lions

The venture is being promoted by a local branch of Loft chainstores to help revitalise the Tohoku area.

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Driving up the Miyagi coastline, four years after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami

I recently visited several areas of the Miyagi coastline decimated by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. This is what I saw.

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Photohoku: helping northeastern Japan rebuild, one picture at a time 【Photos】

After the March 11 earthquake and tsunami struck northeastern Japan, Tokyo-based photographers Brian Scott Peterson and Yuko Yoshikawa were frustrated by the limited impact of volunteer options close to home, so they decided to head up to Tohoku with the vague idea that people in temporary housing might be interested in having family portraits taken.

Clearly, that tapped into an unmet need, because four years later that one-off trip has become Photohoku, a ballooning volunteer organization that takes monthly trips to Tohoku, has gifted over 10,000 instant family portraits, and has even inspired similar groups overseas.

Today, as we remember those who lost their lives in the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami four years ago, we take a brief look at how this truly inspired project continues to bring a little bit of extra sunshine into the lives of those who survived one of Japan’s greatest natural disasters.

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Don’t forget: Yahoo! Japan to make disaster relief donation for every person who searches for “3.11” today

Four years on, the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis that befell Japan’s Tohoku region on March 11, 2011 have very little effect on the day-to-day lives of most people in the country. The rolling blackouts have stopped. Batteries and bottled water are once again readily available. Trains are running, and whole cities aren’t spending hours walking home from work or school.

But while a return to normalcy is a desirable, and ultimately necessary, part of recovery, it’s also important to remember what happened. To stem the forgetfulness that often accompanies the later stages of coping with tragedy, on March 11 Yahoo! Japan will be making a donation to the Tohoku recovery efforts for every person that searches for “3.11” through the company’s search engine.

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Imoni-kai: A hidden, delicious cultural gem of northern Japan

Hop on a train to off-the-beaten-path Yamagata Prefecture any weekend from September through November, and you’re bound to see crowds of people congregating and cooking pots of something delicious by the local river. Yup, imoni-kai season is in full swing!

Imoni (芋煮) is the name given to a taro root stew native to the Tohoku region of northern Japan. Apart from its delicious taste, imoni is also famous for the social aspects of its creation. Families traditionally congregate on a riverbank (the practice of which is known as imoni-kai, literally, “imoni gathering”) and cook the stew from scratch over a fire pit. In that sense, you can think of it a bit like an autumn version of o-hanami, the popular Japanese tradition of viewing cherry blossoms in the spring.

Join us after the jump for a glimpse at a unique cultural tradition of northern Japan which many Japanese people in other parts of the country have never even heard of!

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World famous shadow artist shines a light on Tohoku relief【Art】

Often life-altering events can inspire incredible artistic endeavors, and while the Great East Japan Earthquake is a tragic day for many people, that tragedy can inspire amazing creativity. One particular 89-year-old is using his skills to turn melancholy scenes into hopeful invigorating masterpieces.

Already well-known for delighting children with his character Keroyon, the frog who drives a red convertible, Seiji Fujishiro is probably most famous for his shadow art. These brilliant pieces of work show amazing scenes populated by his signature silhouetted elvish characters. Recently, he has turned his attention to the affected areas of the Tohoku region and has created astounding art from some iconic images created by the disaster.

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