December 1, 2017 Vol. 13, No. 8

©Tokyo Midtown Management Co. Ltd./©JNTO

Japan in the News

Tourists traveling to Japan this winter may find this detailed blog post illuminating. Whether you are visiting tropical Okinawa, snowy Hokkaido, or any prefecture in between, you can find a nearby nighttime attraction like the one in the photo above. These illuminations range from lightups of natural features to romantic and fantastical parks filled with scenes that only appear after the sky has darkened. So if you are taking a trip this holiday season, plan a night to step into the winter wonderland of Japanese illuminations!

JET Program Office Inundated With Applications

Applications have closed for this year's Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. The Embassy of Japan has been receiving crates of mail for the past two weeks following the postmark deadline of November 18. Office staff are carefully preparing each file for review, and applicants can expect to be notified about interviews in January. Best of luck to the over 4,000 applicants for the 2018 Program! Successful applicants will have the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally when they embark on the adventure of living and working in Japan as educators and cultural ambassadors.

Founded in 1987, JET has sent more than 60,000 global participants (including nearly 32,000 Americans) to work in schools, boards of education, and government offices throughout Japan. With more than 40 countries around the world participating in JET, this program offers a unique cultural exchange opportunity to meet people from all around the world, living and working in Japan.

Sharing And Caring With Onigiri - Japanese Rice Balls

The Japan Information & Culture Center (JICC) and the non-profit TABLE FOR TWO USA took their onigiri-making skills to DC Public School LaSalle-Backus EC this week for the first Embassy Adoption Program visit of the year!

The students learned to make onigiri with the JICC, Embassy, and TABLE FOR TWO USA staff during the visit, which was part of TABLE FOR TWO USA’s "Change the World With Onigiri" campaign.

This visit also provided a chance to introduce the students to "Mottainai Grandma," a humorous book that emphasizes the importance of reducing all kinds of waste, including food and water resources.

Science And Art Make An Affordable Tool

The Foldscope is a Japanese origami-inspired microscope created to help bring science to communities around the world. Developed by a Stanford University team to make microscopes accessible to all, the Foldscope is assembled from a lens and a single piece of synthetic paper, making the total manufacturing cost less than a dollar.

First-year Japanese language students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology got a chance to try out these amazing devices during a recent visit to the school. Members of the Foldscope team created an introductory video to assist the students with assembly, and Embassy First Secretary Keiko Morito and the Japan Information & Culture Center’s Education Coordinator Julia Ford were on hand to help.