A FedEx cargo jet crashed and burst into flames on landing at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport on March 23, 2009. It was the first fatal aircraft accident at the airport which opened in 1978.
Sushi in its finest form is far from being a simple dish - the nimble-fingered white-smocked chefs working briskly behind the sushi counter have usually undergone many years of rigorous training.
This festival takes place every November at Otori Shrines across Japan. Otori (the Great Eagle here in Asakusa, the Great Bird elsewhere in Japan) is a god of commercial prosperity and the Otori Shrines of Tokyo and Osaka are particularly famous. Stalls sell bamboo rakes and other good luck charms.
The yellow dust of the Taklamakan and Gobi deserts, Loess Plateau and other areas of continental China is raised thousands of meters into the air and then carried eastward by the prevailing winds, causing problems across China, Korea and Japan. The finger is now being pointed at environmental damage due to such causes as the expansion of pastoral and arable farming in the Chinese interior.
The Amazon rainforest has been declining rapidly since the early 20th century under pressure from felling and farming. The decline is mainly caused by slash and burn farming, a traditional, nomadic farming method of both tropical and temperate zones. The thin acidic rainforest soils would otherwise be unsuited to cultivation but the ash neutralizes the acid.
Solar power generation by silicon cells is drawing ever more attention amid wildly fluctuating oil prices and rising concern about global warming. Taking advantage of the long hours of sunlight, Spain has been building some of the world's largest solar power generation plants. Each produces the output of a small thermal power station.
Japan is home to more than 600 species of birds. The red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis), a bird very much associated with Japan, was once in danger of extinction, but is now strictly protected. Its population has now recovered to more than 1,000. In the winter skies, we can see formations of the greater white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons). They and many other migratory birds winter in Japan.
The Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) is a species of monkey indigenous to Japan. It is a familiar creature which often crops up in children’s tales and folklore. Some troops of monkeys in snowy areas have acquired the habit of warming themselves in hot springs, such as the monkeys at the Jigokudani hot springs in Nagano prefecture, and the monkeys at the zoo in Hakodate, Hokkaido.
Cherry blossoms are the flower most associated with Japan. Flowering cherry trees are ubiquitous in Japan, and they attract throngs of people when they bloom in spring. There are some very old trees, such as the so-called Jindai-zakura, a tree in Hokuto, Yamanashi prefecture, believed to be more than 2,000 years old, and the so-called Miharunotaki-zakura, a tree in Miharu in Fukushima prefecture, measuring more than 12 metres in height.
Shots of Mount Fuji from the air, glistening like a diamond and at sunset… Mount Fuji (3,776m), Japan’s tallest peak, is a representative conical volcano much appreciated since ancient times in literature and art for its beauty. Discover its changes from various viewpoints, angles, and in different times of day and seasons.
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