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Southwestern Japan Volcano Erupts for First Time in Six Years (News)

Tokyo, Oct. 11 (Jiji Press)—An active volcano in southwestern Japan erupted on Wednesday morning for the first time in about six years, the Japan Meteorological Agency said the same day. Shinmoedake, which is part of the Kirishima mountain range straddling Miyazaki and Kagoshima Prefectures, started erupting around 5:34 a.m. (8:34 p.m. Tuesday GMT). Shinmoedake last erupted on September 7, 2011…

Buried by a Volcano: The Destructive Past of Japan’s Mount AsamaJames Singleton

The residents of Kanbara, a tiny town tucked among rolling hills and fields in western Gunma Prefecture, know all too well the destructive potential of Mount Asama. The fitful volcano, towering 2,568 meters into the sky some 12 kilometers to the south, roared to life in the late eighteenth century, spewing ash, stone, and magma far across the landscape. The cataclysmic eruption, one of the most wi…

Five Japanese MountainsNippon.com Staff

August 11 this year is the first-ever Mountain Day, Japan’s newest national holiday. Japan is known for its rugged, mountainous terrain—over 70% of the national land is mountains and hills unsuitable for agriculture or city-building. And many of these mountains, including Mount Fuji, a symbol of Japan to people around the globe, are volcanoes. Summer is climbing season, and with the new day off…

More Than Just a Weather Service: Japan’s Multifunctional Meteorological AgencyFurukawa Takehiko

The Japan Meteorological Agency is playing an increasingly prominent role as extreme weather events continue to strike the Japanese archipelago. More than just a weather service, JMA also monitors volcanic and seismic activity on land and waves and currents at sea, and it helps protect lives by issuing various types of warnings.

Japan’s Restless Volcanoes

Japan is home to 10% of the world's active volcanoes, and a surge in small-scale volcanic activity has had the nation on edge in the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. We talked to Nakada Setsuya, one of Japan’s leading volcanologists, about the recent spate of eruptions and its implications.

Timeline for May 2015

The volcano Shindake erupts on the southern island of Kuchinoerabujima, a plan to reform local government in Osaka is defeated, and debate over new security legislation begins in the Diet. These are the top Japanese stories for May 2015.

Professor Onsen’s Top Hot SpringsMatsuda Tadanori

Japan is blessed with over 3,000 onsen (hot-spring) areas, but here we look at 12 specially selected by Matsuda Tadanori, a leading expert who has been dubbed “Professor Onsen.” These are hot spring destinations whose invigorating waters and age-old traditions set them apart.

Ontake Erupts, Shows Difficulty of Predicting Volcanic Disaster

On September 27, 2014, Mount Ontake suddenly erupted. The 3,067-meter peak, which straddles the border between Nagano and Gifu Prefectures, is Japan’s second-highest volcano behind Mount Fuji and is listed as one of the nation’s “100 Famous Mountains.” Many climbers enjoying the fine weather of the autumn season were caught up in the disaster, which caused numerous fatalities. This is the first ti…

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