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Share House with Urban Garden Opens in Central Tokyo

Sep 07 (Wed ), 2011

Share House with Urban Garden Opens in Central Tokyo Slowlife, Tokyo-based real estate company, opened in May 2011 a share house called Motoazabu Farm in Motoazabu, a town in central Tokyo with many luxury homes. The property has three components: a 40-plot urban garden for rent, a 50 square meter community lounge, and a share house with 17 units that come with garden plots. These three spaces were designed to create connections between people and nature and to offer opportunities for exchange among local people and between local and non-local people. The 40-plot urban garden contains three types of plots. The first type is a rental garden, where tenants can freely grow as many vegetables and herbs as they like. Based on the theme, "Easy and simple gardening, even for beginners," it has a well-established beginner support system. Experienced farmers give direct training to beginners on such tasks as watering and weeding, and an e-mail newsletter provides important gardening tips. The second type is a vegetable gardening school, where tenants grow and harvest vegetables with professional farmers while learning from their expertise. This part includes a program for people who have no experience growing vegetables, and a program to teach kids how to garden. It also includes plots exclusively used by tenants of Motoazabu Farm. Motoazabu Farm also offers such learning opportunities as cooking classes using vegetables grown in the garden, lectures by farmers from rural areas, and a class by guest lecturers on how to grow 100-percent organic vegetables. Courtesy of Japan for Sustainability.

MOE Releases Map of Renewable Energy Potential in Japan

Sep 07 (Wed ), 2011

MOE Releases Map of Renewable Energy Potential in Japan Japan's Ministry of the Environment released on its website the results of research entitled "Map Information on Potential for the Introduction of Renewable Energy (FY2009)" on January 13, 2011. The map information, available only in Japanese, provides users with the abundance and introduction potential of renewable energy by prefecture throughout Japan. With the aim of further promoting the introduction of renewable energy in Japan, the ministry has been conducting a research project called "Study of Potential for the Introduction of Renewable Energy." In particular, the research focuses on the Japan's "abundance" and "introduction potential" of solar power generation (nonresidential buildings), wind power generation (onshore and offshore), small -and medium-scale hydro power generation, and geothermal generation. The released Map Data, such as potential of onshore wind power generation, indicates the degree of possibility for introducing each type of power generation to each prefecture. It is available via Google Earth. "Abundance" refers to the energy resources estimated theoretically, without considering the various limiting factors, such as land use and technical feasibility. "Introduction potential" refers to the feasible energy resources estimated with various limiting factors regarding energy collection and use under various scenarios (assumptions). The ministry has released the details of its Map Information report for FY 2009 on its official website at http://www.env.go.jp/earth/report/h22-02/index.html, with a summary in English. Courtesy of Japan for Sustainability.

Project Supporting Disaster-Stricken Farmers and Fishermen

Aug 23 (Tue ), 2011

Project Supporting Disaster-Stricken Farmers and Fishermen Copyright Daichi wo Mamoru Kai Daichi wo Mamoru Kai ("Association to Preserve the Earth"), a provider of organic food home-delivery services, launched on April 1, 2011, a project to help Tohoku farmers and fishermen get their production operations running again. The March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake caused many producers in primary industries like farming and fishing to lose their production infrastructure such as farm fields, ports, and processing plants. While it is hoped that disaster areas will recover and production will resume quickly, repairing ports, acquiring new fishing boats, and restarting organic agriculture in fields inundated by the tsunami will likely take years. The project will provide assistance to enable affected producers to restart their activities in a new environment, utilizing vocational skills they already have. The association will provide various forms of intermediary support. For agriculture, it will ask farmers who were unaffected by the disaster and whose growing practices meet the association's organic and other standards to host affected farmers. For fisheries, it will consolidate support by requesting fisheries associations to donate idle fishing boats and other aid . Aiming to provide recovery assistance that suits individual needs, the project will act as an interface between producers in Japan who want to lend their support and affected producers who have specific requests. For the time being, the association will send information to affected producers who have a contract with the association, but in the future plans to accept non-contracted producers as well. Courtesy of Japan For Sustainability

Summer Splash 2011 (Sep. 3, 2011) / Artist Update

Aug 11 (Thu ), 2011

Summer Splash Weekends 2011! Summer Splash 2011 Mountain Music Revival When? Sep. 3, 2011 Where? Canyons Alpine Lodge, Minakami Gunma What? Music Festival & Adventure Weekend Summer Splash Package Tours? Yes! Jump on one of the bus tours below that include transportation, accommodatin, activities and tickets to Summer Splash. Part of every ticket will go to help support our friends up north. See below for details! Entertainment? If you've been to Snow Splash or Summer Splash, you know there will be no shortage of music and entertainment. This year we'll have some "Splash" favorites plus a few suprises to keep everyone jumping throughout the night. Tickets: Entrance fee will be affordable (2,000 or 1,500 yen) with part of every ticket going to support charities supporting rebuilding efforts in Tohoku. Artists Artists appearing at Summer Splash 2011include... THE DIRTY T'S (Rock 'n' Roll) KARAMOKO CAMARA (African Percussion) VOLGROOMA (Rock - Jam - Percussion) W.E.T. Bandwagon (Rock - Jam - Funk) ファイアーパフォーマンス 遊火 (Fire Performers) DJ SPIRITUS DJ FERGUS And other special guests.... Bus Tours Join one of the all-inclusive bus tours for both weekends through our friends at Tokyo Snow Club and Nippon Adventurers Club. Both groups have some great tours for the weekend that include adventures, tickets, transportation and accommodation. You can also come up on your own and stay at one of the local places to stay below. Accommodation If you are coming up to Summer Splash on your own and want to book accommodation yourself, visit our Minakami accommodation list page for information on places to stay in the area. Book early! If you are interested in camping at Summer Splash, there are a limited amount of camping spots available outside Canyons. There is also a campground a 20-minute walk from Canyons available for 1000 yen per tent site. Toilets and other facilities and mean views of Tanigawa! Contact Canyons at info@canyons.jp for bookings.If you are interested in reserving one of these spots. Outdoor Adventures Contact one of the companies below for some fun outdoor adventure tours. Or you can join one of the Summer Splash Bus Tours for a package tour that includes a ticket, transportation, activities and accommodation. See below for details and book early! Contact Kappa Club about rafting on Sept. 3-4. Book early! Contact Canyons about canyoning or rafting on Sept. 3-4. Book early! Contact MTB Japan about MTB tours on the Summer Splash weekend! Book early! Contact Bungy Japan about taking the leap of faith and the special bungy festivities on Sept. 3-4 and book early! Summer Splash Sponsors Special thanks to our sponsors for their support!   Also check out our Event Page on Facebook! Access to Canyons Alpine Lodge View Larger Map   Summer Splash 2010   Photos by Lou Deikin and Shoko Kurihara

OJ Weekly Giveaway (Aug. 2-9) > Free Bungy Jump!

Aug 02 (Tue ), 2011

OJ Weekly Giveaway This Week's Giveaway: One Free Bungy Jump with Bungy Japan! Prize Details: This week's giveaway is for one free bungy jump courtesy of Bungy Japan (Valid through November 2011.) How do I enter? Simple, go to Outdoor Japan's Facebook Weekly Giveaway Page and enter! How do you choose the winner? Outdoor Japan will gather the names of everyone who liked this week's giveaway, enter them into a drawing and use a random generator that will choose the winner. Note the contest is in no way affiliated with Facebook. When is the deadline to enter? 9am on Aug. 9, 2011 Who can enter this giveaway? Anyone in Japan or outside Japan can enter this week. The winner will be announced on Aug. 9, 2011   

METI Addresses Summertime Power Problems

Jul 26 (Tue ), 2011

METI Addresses Summertime Power Problems Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has been budgeted to fill the electricity supply-demand gap this summer season in the Kanto and Tohoku regions, according to a summary of the FY 2011 Primary Supplementary Budget released in May 2011. To curb power demand, 4 billion yen (US$ 48 million) was earmarked for an electricity saving campaign targeting consumers and industries, and 3.7 billion yen (US$ 45 million) for projects to support electricity savings targeting small businesses. Specifically targeting small businesses, METI plans to dispatch experts such as licensed electrical engineers to individual businesses with high voltage electric power receiving facilities to give them advice on applicable energy saving measures while to support the ones with low voltage electric power receiving facilities to create their own voluntary action plans to make sure they do everything they can to save electricity. Meanwhile, to improve electricity supply capacity METI submitted the first supplementary budget bill of 10 billion yen (US$ 120 million) to subsidize the cost of installing and augmenting private power generation facilities. The ministry also submitted the first supplementary budget bill of 100 million yen (US$ 1.2 million) to draw up a time schedule and a master plan to expand the interconnection equipment that enables electricity interchange between the Chubu and Tokyo Service Areas, Hokkaido and the Tohoku Service Areas, and other interconnections.

Japan Supermarket Chains Launch Earthquake Relief Campaigns

Jul 26 (Tue ), 2011

Japan Supermarket Chains Launch Earthquake Relief Campaigns Japanese supermarket chains Daiei Inc. and Aeon Co. are offering their support to help rebuild areas affected by the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake. Daiei launched a "Ganbaro Nippon!" ("Try Hard, Japan!") campaign in April 2011 to assist both disaster areas and people working for reconstruction. Daiei is also conducting a campaign called "Daiei Disaster Relief Week" during the week starting on the 11th of every month. During its campaign, Daiei will donate one percent of sales proceeds from all products (approximately 1,000 items) in its original brand, "Oishiku Tabetai!" (Want to enjoy meal!). On April 16 and 17, the company also held a product fair featuring local specialties gathered from the three Tohoku prefectures that were particularly devastated by the disaster, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, as well as products using raw ingredients from these prefectures. Daiei pledged to donate five percent of the sales proceeds from these fairs to disaster areas and victims. Aeon, meanwhile, held a "Ganbaro Nippon! Happy Yellow Receipt Campaign" from April 8 to 12. In the Happy Yellow Receipt Campaign, Aeon stores issue yellow sales receipts to their customers, who normally can then drop them in any of a number of nearby boxes labeled with the names and activities of different local volunteer groups. During this campaign period, however, only a box for disaster relief was provided. After adding up the total sales value of the receipts in the boxes, Aeon put one percent of that amount toward reconstruction assistance, donating it to the headquarters for disaster countermeasures in damaged prefectures.

Ibaraki Offshore Wind Farm Withstands Earthquake and Tsunami

Jul 13 (Wed ), 2011

Offshore Wind Farm Withstands Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Japan's first full-scale offshore wind power station, "Wind Power Kamisu" in Kamisu City, Ibaraki Prefecture, was struck by a 6-intensity earthquake on the Japanese seismic scale and 5.0-meter tsunami wave during the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, according to the Japan Wind Power Association. Wind Power Iabaraki Ltd., the station operator, was forced to stop generation due to grid connection trouble caused by blackouts throughout the prefecture immediately after the quake. They resumed operation on March 14, however, because no damage was found in the system, and have been supplying electricity to Tokyo Electronic Power Co. ever since. Copyright Wind Power Ibaraki Wind Power Kamisu started full-scale operation in June, 2010, with seven wind turbine units installed 50 meters offshore from Minamihama in Kamisu. The station provides a total output of 14,000 kilowatts (kW) at a generating capacity of 2,000 kW per unit. Each wind turbine stands 60 meters above the sea and is fixed with three 40-meter-long blades. In addition to Wind Power Kamisu, nine onshore wind power stations along the coast of Kamisu facing the Pacific Ocean are operating 26 wind turbines at a combined generating capacity of 39,100 kW. Kamisu City's Policy Planning Division says that most units resumed operation within three days after the disaster because they escaped serious damage, and that those units have been running normally since then.

Japanese Electronics Companies Help out in Tohoku

Jul 13 (Wed ), 2011

Japanese Electronics Companies Help out in Tohoku Sharp Corp. and Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery Co. produced a disaster-relief photovoltaic (PV) system and shipped their first cargo of the products to earthquake and tsunami disaster-stricken areas on March 31, 2011. This product is a stand-alone PV system combining Sharp solar cells with Shin-Kobe storage batteries and an alternating current (AC) power strip. With the electricity generated by the system, the people suffering in the areas can charge their cell phones, watch TV programs, and light up light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. With the cooperation of the Japanese Ministry of Defense, the PV systems are planned to be shipped by air from Komaki Air Base, Aichi Prefecture, to Matsushima Air Base, Miyagi Prefecture, and then by land transportation in Miyagi Prefecture. The plan is for the PV systems to be installed in the following locations: Kesennuma Fresh Produce Mart (Kesennuma City), Bayside Arena (Minami Sanriku Town), Higashi Matsushima City Hall (Higashi Matsushima City), Ishinomaki City Hall and others (Ishinomaki City). The companies intend to consider further support, appropriate to the local situations.

Panasonic Provides Life Innovation Container for Japan Earthquake Victims

Jul 13 (Wed ), 2011

Panasonic Provides Life Innovation Container for Japan Earthquake Victims Panasonic Corporation, a leading Japanese electronics manufacturer, announced on March 29, 2011, that it would donate one unit of its Life Innovation Container for victims of the powerful earthquake that hit the northeastern part of Japan on March 11, 2011. Copyright Panasonic Corporation The Life Innovation Container -- a transportable unit equipped with solar modules, power storage batteries, and a power control unit -- was originally developed to supply electric power to areas with no electricity in Africa and other developing nations. It will be installed to support a local disaster task force at the Bay Side Arena in Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, by providing power for communication facilities and equipment in the quake-hit area. Panasonic has already contributed 300 million yen (about U.S.$3,600,000) for disaster relief efforts and donated 10,000 units each of radios and flashlights, 500,000 dry batteries, and 4,000 solar LED lanterns. 'Solar Power Truck' Dispatched to Area Affected by Great East Japan Earthquake (Related JFS article)