Seasonal Celebration At Shrine For Akihabaran Soil And Soul

Kanda Myojin's Logo

A shrine located in the Akihabara electric district and was built more than a millennium ago, Kanda-Myojin celebrates its annual biyearly festival in the town, and live streamers are shooting the people who thank the local deity, pray for peace in the town and carry portable shrines on their shoulders.

NTT Communications' Logo

Kanda Channel

As of this writing, the festival is under way.   NTT Communications brings its livecast showing many scenes from the eyes of an audience of the festival.

Kanda Matsuri Livecast
Livecast is available at, and all programs start at every top of the hour.

On the other hand, inspired by Extreme Hanami which was a social event admiring cherry blossoms in Tokyo’s hostspots and hosted by Andrew Shuttleworth and Paul Papadimitriou last month, Steven Nagata organizes a walking/sight-seeing/tweeting/livecasting social event called Extreme Matsuri, the event participants are also shooting many scenes around the festival.

Extreme Matsuri

Kanda-Matsuri is counted as one of Japan’s three biggest shrine festivals.

Ex-school Sites Are On Sale For The First Time In Japan’s Internet Auction History

Yahoo Auction's Logo

A rural town located on the south coast of Hokkaido Island, Niikappu, put four of the town’s unused municipal elementary school sites on sale on Yahoo Auction[J].    The sites consist of school buildings, swimming pools and teachers’ dormitories.   The bid started in the USD21M to USD67M price range.

Because of the declining number of applicants for schools due to the low birthrate, the town government was forced to close seven elementary schools last spring.   The government has been trying to sell all unused facilities to the private sector, but four school sites remained unsold and the government decided to list them on Yahoo Auction.

According to Yahoo Japan[J], these are the first school sites ever listed since the company started handling government items on Yahoo Auction.

Ex-school Sites in Niikappu

via Internet Watch[J] and IT media[J]

See Also:

[edited by mitcho (Michael Erlewine)]

Mixi Bans Their Users From Dating


Social network service Mixi banned users from dating.

Mixi changed their terms of policy on December 1st, in accordance with the “Dating site regulation act”. They are now prohibiting users from “using Mixi mainly to meet with strangers of the other sex”.

Recently, Mixi has deleted many groups which hold group dating or offline meetings.

The decision might also have been influenced by the recent lowering of the minimum age limit for users from 18 to 15.  To be certified as a  “safe site” which can be used by minors from a cellphone without filtering, they had to delete all dating groups from the site.

Japan has already been suffering from very low birth rate, but the National Police Agency wants Japanese to refrain from dating. Very very silly. Is it constitutional to restrict people from dating online?

via J-CAST [JP]

Laptop users plugging in at stations risk police visit

In US airports, many people can be seen using their laptops plugged in to nearby outlets. If you do that in Japan, you could be arrested by the police.

In February 2004, a man using a power outlet in Nagoya Station was questioned by railroad police. The case was reported to the prosecutor’s office as a theft of one cent worth of electricity. It is not known whether the man was prosecuted or not.

In September 2008, a university student charging her cellphone in Sagamihara Station was questioned by the police. In this case, a passerby had reported the “incident”. The student was reprimanded, but was later released without charge.

A blogger reported [JP] that Haneda Airport uses non-standard power outlets (NEMA L5 receptacles) instead of standard Japanese outlets. He suspects that the airport authority wants to prevent travelers from “stealing” electricity.


Japanese society sometimes enforces minor rules too strictly and resists societal changes, but not everyone is opposed to change. JR Shinkansen bullet trains now offer power outlets to all window seat passengers and all first-class passengers on their new N700 series trains.