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One Dead, 11 Injured as Volcano Erupts in Eastern Japan

Kusatsu, Gunma Pref., Jan. 23 (Jiji Press)—A volcano in Gunma Prefecture, eastern Japan, erupted on Tuesday, killing one Self-Defense Forces member and injuring 11 other people, including ski resort visitors. The eruption occurred on 2,171-meter-tall Mount Motoshirane, one of volcanoes collectively called Mount Kusatsu-Shirane, at around 9:59 a.m. (12:59 a.m. GMT), the Meteorological Agency sai…

Rebellion of the WildIshi Hiroyuki

So far, this series has focused on wild bird species and their recovery from near-extinction. But protection can at times go too far, upending the natural balance and sending animal populations to dangerous levels. Japan’s deer offer a prime example of this.

Japan Facing Extremely Poor Catches of Baby Eels (News)

Tokyo, Jan. 17 (Jiji Press)—Catches of juvenile Japanese eels have been extremely low in the current fishing season, raising concerns among eel farmers. Baby eel catches in December last year are believed to have totaled only 0.2 ton, down sharply from a year before, according to the Fisheries Agency. If the situation continues, catches in the 2018 season, from last month to April, may slip …

Meteors Rain Down on Mount Fuji (Japan in Photos)

The Geminid meteor shower can be seen streaking down on Mount Fuji in this composite photo of the annual celestial event. The image was made from nine photos taken at a campsite in Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture, over a two-hour period in the early morning of December 14, 2017. (© Jiji)

Slumbering Giants : Three Old-Growth Trees in Early WinterTakahashi Hiroshi

The onset of winter is a special time to admire the raw, robust figures of old-growth trees. Stripped of their mantle of foliage, these giants show their impressive, unadorned forms shaped through countless years of sun, wind, rain, and snow. Below we visit three ancient titans at the start of their long wintertime sleep.

The Return of the Crested IbisIshi Hiroyuki

Kin, Japan’s last crested ibis born in the wild, died in 2003. Her demise did not mean the extinction of the species, however, as researchers in China were successfully breeding other wild crested ibises that they had discovered earlier. This article explores the relationship between the Japanese people and the crested ibis, Nipponia nippon.

Autumn Crown of Gold: Three Ancient Japanese Ginkgo TreesTakahashi Hiroshi

Ichō (ginkgo) provide spectacular late autumn leaf viewing, putting on vivid displays of golden foliage. Japanese have long valued this unique, hardy species of tree, and impressive old-growth specimens are found across the country in such settings as Shintō shrines, public parks, and along roadways. Below we visit three ancient specimens decked out in their seasonal yellow splendor.

Autumn in Tokyo: A Yellow Canopy at Meiji Shrine (Japan in Photos)

A man and child stroll under the deep yellow autumn leaves of ginkgo trees at the Meiji Shrine outer gardens in Tokyo on November 13, 2017. The annual ginkgo festival will be held at the gardens from November 17 to December 3. (© Jiji)

Crane on the Rubbish Heap: The Challenges of Continuing ConservationIshi Hiroyuki

Hokkaidō now has the world’s largest population of red-crowned cranes, but this has also created a dilemma. While the birds are no longer endangered, they are proving a menace to farmers who complain that they are destroying their crops. Is there a way for the cranes and human beings to coexist?

Ancient Colors: Three Old-Growth Trees in AutumnTakahashi Hiroshi

In autumn, Japan’s wooded areas delight the eyes with a vibrant display of seasonal colors. Old-growth giants, known as kyoju, also join the spectacle and frequently steal the show, brightening shrines, public parks, and roadways with their stunning foliage.

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