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TOKYO (Kyodo)--Actor Ken Takakura is among this year's five recipients of Japan's top cultural award, the Order of Culture, the government said Friday.

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Two of Japan's largest theme parks saw stronger visitor numbers in the first half of fiscal 2013, with anniversary events and new attractions cited as reasons for the bumps.

TOKYO (Nikkei)--The Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine in Shimane Prefecture has been undergoing major repairs, a tradition called the "Sengu" that is done once every 60 years. And even though the shrine in Shimane Prefecture is one of the most famous in the country, almost no documents have been preserved of the previous renovation, nor is anyone alive who witnessed it.

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