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News from Japan - February 9, 2022

The autonomous vehicle for pedestrians

The autonomous japanese  vehicle for pedestrians

Tests have been carried out in the city of Kobe for an autonomous vehicle intended for pedestrians. The Gekidaniino company has designed prototypes moving at low speed (5km/h maximum), allowing pedestrians to brighten up their once monotonous journeys.

The vehicle, equipped with sensors and infrared rays, detects obstacles. Thus, the Japanese company hopes that it will soon be possible to use it on sidewalks and public spaces. It can also accommodate several people, making the road more user-friendly.

There are two models, one for standing or half-sitting: the type-S, and the other for lying down: the type-R.

90s Japanese Horror Manga Predicted COVID Pandemic

90s Japanese Horror Manga Predicted COVID Pandemic

A Japanese horror manga, published in the 90s, seems to predict the coronavirus pandemic that has affected us for more than two years.

Indeed, the manga Virus Fang draws an astonishing parallel between fiction and reality. Published in 1997, it describes a society that is experiencing the rise of a virus with a high rate of infectivity and mortality. Between wearing a mask, closing public places and borders, a collapsing medical system and social chaos, it feels like we are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The work written by famous horror manga artist Yoshimi Seki depicts a world where human psychology is scarier than disease itself. Between panic, bad hoaxes and false rumours, the mangaka is known for his particular style of horror, often highlighting the cruelty of man.

Nevertheless, the story does not only describe chaos, it also tells the story of reasoned people, like the father of the main character. The latter is a pharmacist and offers several ways to avoid infections.

A hot sand bath

A hot sand bath in the city of Beppu in Japan

Japan is famous for its onsen (hot baths, often public). In the city of Beppu, located on the island of Kyūshū (Ōita prefecture), there is a one-of-a-kind experience: A hot sand bath.

The experience, the Beppu Kaihin Sunayu (translating to "Beppu seaside sand bath" or "Beppu beach sand bath") involves covering people with naturally heated sand.

Lying down, hands along the body, head supported on a cushion of sand, customers can admire the sea in front of them, while relaxing. This activity removes impurities and pores from the body, to feel your body and mind rejuvenated after a session.

Admission is 1,500 yen, or just over 11 euros.

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