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Japanese visit shrines and temples on new years day.

Japanese have a custom of visiting shrines and temples during new year holidays in January. They visit shrines and temples to pray for good health, luck on various things for the year. Some go to the local temples and shrines and other go to famous temples and shrines which are not in the area they live in. Meiji shrine in Tokyo is very famous, for example and every year 3 million people are said to visit there.
This year, however, not so many people visit shrines and temples during new year holidays.
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Best Tourist Spots to Explore In Pune
Lying in between the Western Ghats and the Sahyadri Mountain Range, Pune has developed itself as such which suits all kinds of visitors. Based on your interests, you can get almost everything here. From the colossal forts to modern theme parks, well-preserved museums to milky waterfalls, zoological wonders to adventure activities, including camping & trekking, all are present in this city. And yes, don't miss the night clubs! With so many scenic places, you are sure to have a great time roaming around the city with your friends and family. Here are some hand-picked lists of places to hangout in Pune with your dear ones. You can also use the affordable cab service in Pune to explore this city in full comfort. 1. Parvati Hill Temple, Pune Located at the top of the hillock, Parvati Hill Temple, is considered as one of the most picturesque places to visit in Pune. Not only that it is one among the oldest heritage structures built by the Peshwa dynasty. The hill houses a large number of temples and so it can also be referred as a collection of temples. The samadhi of Nanasaheb Peshwa is also one of the prominent places to visit here. Reaching the hill top would nearly take nearly 20 minutes as you need to trek 103 wide and long steps. Visiting Days: All day Timings: 08:00 am to 05:00 pm Duration: 1-2 hours Entry Fee: N/A 2. Shaniwar Wada, Pune Shaniwar Wada was built in the early 18th century. It served as the fortified seat of the Peshwa empire until they lost control to the British East India Company in the early 19th century. After that, an unexplained fire here destroyed large parts of the fort. But still, the remnants of the fort have been maintained as a tourist site. The love story of Bajirao and Kashi as well as of Bajirao-Mastani both started here. Being an architectural marvel, this ancient structure is widely acclaimed across the country. Moreover, light and sound shows are organized here every evening to depict the rich history and culture of the Peshwas. Visiting Days: All day Timing: 8:00 am to 6:30 pm Duration: 2-3 hours Entry Fee: Rs. 5 for Indians & Rs. 125 for Foreigners (doesn’t include the fee for the Light & Sound Show) Trivia- Marathi show timings are from 7:15 pm to 8:10 pm and English show timings are from 8:15 pm to 9:10 pm. There is a nominal ticket price of Rs. 25 per head for these shows. 3. Bund Garden, Pune A serene garden right in the heart of the city is all what one can desire for without spending much. From horse riding lessons to magic shows, you can get an all round experience in this tranquil garden that is surrounded by mini dams built over the Mula river. Not only you can go boating across the river but also this garden is a home to exotic migratory birds during winters. It is also known as the Mahatma Gandhi Udyan as it spans across the river till the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial. With its tranquil ambience and majestic beauty this is one of the best places to visit with your pals in the evening. Visiting Days: All day Timings: 06:00 am to 09:00 pm Duration: 1-2 hours Entry Fee: N/A 4. Vetal Tekdi, Pune Vetal Tekdi or Vetal Hill is the highest point in Pune with an elevation of 2600 ft. above the sea level. Attracting hordes of bird watchers, photographers and joggers, this hill is one of the best places in Pune to hangout with your friends and also capture the panoramic views of the city. Moreover, its rich flora and changing seasonal look has earned it the sobriquet, the ‘Lung of the City’. You can also avail the benefits of taxi service in Pune from Bharat Taxi to visit these places. Visiting Days: All day Timings: 05:00 am to 09:30 pm Duration: 3-4 hours Entry Fee: N/A 5. Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Pune Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum houses over 20,000 artefacts, making it one of the prominent artistic museums of the country. Later donated to the Maharashtra government in 1975, this museum was built by Baba Dinkar Kelkar in 1962. The sculptures, musical instruments, paintings, carvings and ornaments exhibited here date back to the 14th century and cover the important art pieces from the Mughal and the Maratha eras. It is a must visit for art lovers to experience the rich grandiose of the emperors & artists who once lived in the region. Visiting Days: All days Timings: 10:00 am to 05:30 pm Duration: 2-3 hours Entry Fee: Rs. 50 for adults, Rs. 10 for kids (below 12 years), Rs. 200 for adult foreigners, Rs. 50 for for foreigner kids (below 12 years) 6. Osho Ashram, Pune If tired with trekking and sightseeing, then Pune has also got a perfect place for you, Osho Ashram. The Osho Ashram in Pune attracts people from all over the world to gain inner peace. Not only this, it houses the largest meditation hall in the world, and that is why this place is also known as a meditation resort. Built in an area of 32 acres, it has a guest house, a spa, sauna, jacuzzi, gym, and a tennis court. Various meditation courses such as Nadabrahma, Nataraj, Kundalini, etc. are offered here for different rates. This is a must-visit place for a relaxed and peaceful experience. Visiting Days: All days Timings: Check the course & program timings Duration: Based on your convenience & activities/ programs you choose Entry Fee: Rs. 60 per person (separate for programs and compulsory medical test) 7. Swig, Pune Who would deny spending their night relaxing with live music and continental cuisine? Well then, here you are sure to encounter some thriving artists along with an enthusiastic young crowd. The club invites painters, sculptors, dancers and other artists during theme-based nights. Also, this club turned lounge tops the list when it comes to having a casual getaway with friends. Recommended Visiting Time: 07:00 pm to 11:30 pm Average Cost for Two: Rs. 1400 8. Panshet Water Park, Pune Located in the Sahyadri Range of mountains, the Panshet Water Park is surrounded by dams on its either side. Amidst all the regular rides, the water park has several water sports options like kayaking, water scooters, speed boating, and windsurfing, that are sure to give you an adrenaline rush. With such a serene environment and lush green surrounding, this place is bound to prove itself for a thrilling getaway with family and friends. Visiting Days: All days of the weak Timings: 10:00 am to 06:00 pm Duration: 3-6 hours Entry Fee: Weekdays – Rs. 170 for kids and Rs. 250 for adults Weekends – Rs. 230 for kids and Rs. 300 for adults 9. National Defence Academy, Pune If you happen to be in Pune on a Sunday then visiting NDA must be in your bucket list. Situated about 15 km away from the city, it is one of the most unique places to visit near Pune. It holds the honour of being the only academy in the world that provides training to all the three forces – Army, Navy & Air Force together. On Sundays, the academy is open for educational institutions and organized groups for motivational tours. A prior application is required to be submitted beforehand along with the proposed date and number of people. Visiting Days: Sunday Timings: 10:30 am to 01:00 pm Duration: 2.5 hours Entry Fee: Free 10. Mix@36, Pune Located in the Westin Hotel, Mix@36 is rather on the expensive side. If you are still left with some bugs then this place is not going to disappoint you. For those who enjoy the retro beats while munching on some delicious snacks and cocktails, this is one of the best places to visit in Pune with friends or your partner, at night. Also, being surrounded by the Mula-Mutha River, this place is sure to give you an ecstatic experience with your near and dear ones. Recommended Visiting Time: 08:00 pm to 01:00 am Average Cost for Two: Rs. 4000
Working in the Anime Industry: A Struggle
The Japanese Animation Creators Association just recently released the results of a survey taken in 2015 of over 750 different people working in the Anime industry in Japan. Coming from an American standpoint, where our entertainers are paid staggering amounts of money, you might think it would be similar for Anime creators, considering how popular the medium is. You'd be wrong. Here's a collected set of averages from Kotaku that shows the median salary for each different position in the creation of anime. Series Director Average Age: 42 years old Average Monthly Salary: 540,833 yen ($5,036) Average Yearly Salary: 6,490,000 yen ($60,437) Chief Animation Director Average Age: 43 years old Average Monthly Salary: 470,000 yen ($4,378) Average Yearly Salary: 5,640,000 yen ($52,521) Producer Average Age: 39 years old Average Monthly Salary: 451,667 yen ($4,206) Average Yearly Salary: 5,420,000 yen ($50,471) Character Designer Average Age: 38 years old Average Monthly Salary: 425,000 yen ($3,958) Average Yearly Salary: 5,100,000 yen ($47,491) Animation Director Average Age: 38 years old Average Monthly Salary: 327,500 yen ($3,045) Average Yearly Salary: 3,930,000 yen ($36,602) 3DCG Animator Average Age: 34 years old Average Monthly Salary: 320,000 yen ($2,980) Average Yearly Salary: 3,840,000 yen ($35,764) Episode Director Average Age: 41 years old Average Monthly Salary: 316,667 yen ($2,949) Average Yearly Salary: 3,800,000 yen ($35,391) Storyboarder Average Age: 49 years old Average Monthly Salary: 310,000 yen ($2,887) Average Yearly Salary: 3,720,000 yen ($34,647) Art Director (Background Art) Average Age: 35 years old Average Monthly Salary: 285,000 yen ($2,655) Average Yearly Salary: 3,420,000 yen ($31,864) Color Designer Average Age: 38 years old Average Monthly Salary: 278,333 yen ($2,593) Average Yearly Salary: 3,340,000 yen ($31,120) Cinematographer Average Age: 34 years old Average Monthly Salary: 265,833 yen ($2,476) Average Yearly Salary: 3,190,000 yen ($29,723) Production Assistant Average Age: 30 years old Average Monthly Salary: 257,000 yen ($2,394) Average Yearly Salary: 3,090,000 yen ($28,788) Key Animator Average Age: 36 years old Average Monthly Salary: 235,000 yen ($2,189) Average Yearly Salary: 2,820,000 yen ($26,271) Inbetween Checker Average Age: 35 years old Average Monthly Salary: 217,500 yen ($2,026) Average Yearly Salary: 2,610,000 yen ($24,314) Layout Artist/Rough Keyart Average Age: 38 years old Average Monthly Salary: 195,000 yen ($1,817) Average Yearly Salary: 2,340,000 yen ($21,800) Paint Staff Average Age: 26 years old Average Monthly Salary: 162,000 yen ($1,509) Average Yearly Salary: 1,950,000 yen ($18,167) 2nd Key Animation/Clean-Up Average Age: 27 years old Average Monthly Salary: 93,333 yen ($870) Average Yearly Salary: 1,120,000 yen ($10,434) Inbetween Staff Average Age: 24 years old Average Monthly Salary: 92,500 yen ($862) Average Yearly Salary: 1,110,000 yen ($10,340) The people at the top of the pyramid make the most; that's something we can understand universally. However, even at the highest salary, the numbers still pale in comparison to what series directors would be receiving here in the States. It only gets more depressing as you go down the list, where some of these positions mean that these employees are making less than minimum wage. Considering the amount of work and pressure these people are under, it's a little disheartening to see how little they earn for their efforts. So, maybe rethink your foray into the industry for now...
My Food at the Sailor Moon Cafe! (Talk About It Tuesday)
Soooo, for this week's talk about it Tuesday (started by @invinsybll) , the theme was Anime Accessorizing, but I already showed off my accessories last week! So, instead, I wanted to show off something fun I got to do back in September when I took a short trip to Japan. Now, I don't like to brag, but I was lucky enough to go to the Sailor Moon Cafe that was going on at that time!! I haven't really talked about it before, so here goes~ Now, I didn't take many pictures , but this is the food that I ate! Isn't it cute? It was a Sailor Jupiter themed bento box. I loved it! Everything in it was tasty. The rice balls were mushroom veggie rice balls, the spaghetti was sweet, and the little pieces of cutlet were seafood cutlet! Yummmmmmyyyy!! I also got a Tuxedo Mask Coffee! Isn't it cute?! It really didn't taste THAT great (ever had a cold, canned coffee? It sort of tasted like that, lol). But it was adorable and that's all that matters. I also got the Sailor Mars coaster you see in the background, and a little Sailor Mars dessert, too!! I didn't take pictures of the interior, but it was basically just a bar set up with a lot of memorabilia. They played episodes of the show on the TV screens throughout the room, and music from the series the whole time! You could text in a request & they would play that, too. They also had goods for purchase, but it was a bit pricey just to be there so I didn't buy anything. And that was my experience at the Sailor Moon Cafe!
Eiichiro Oda and Hajime Isayama Show Support After Kumamoto Earthquakes
If you missed the news lately, the Kumamoto Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan was recently hit with a series of earthquakes, the foreshock on April 14th and the mainshock on April 16th. The earthquakes reached a magnitude of 7 on the Richter scale and have devastated the communities of the Prefecture and surrounding area, including as far away as the Ōita prefecture. 48 people have been confirmed dead, while thousands more have been hospitalized with injury. Over 40,000 people have been evacuated from their homes as a result of the quakes. The image you see above is a message penned by Eiichiro Oda, the mangaka responsible for One Piece. Kumamoto is Oda's hometown and so he felt personally attached to plights of the people there. The official One Piece twitter tweeted that image of a hand-drawn Luffy and Kumamon, the official mascot of the prefecture. Here's what it says in English: There was a big earthquake in Kumamoto. (all of Kyushu) I was born in Kumamoto, it's my hometown. To those who were greatly affected by the damage, I hope you're doing well from the bottom of my heart. I was able to directly contact my family and friends, but they're all very scared. But they're doing their best. Everyone I got in touch with said things to put me at ease. They're so tough!! But there is a limit to how long people can steel themselves. Before that thread breaks, I want to calm them down somehow. It's crucial that adults don't worry their kids. Most of all, I want to make kids laugh! If they laugh, adults can do their best! It's still hard now for ordinary people to lend a hand, but I will definitely help with the relief effort. Stay strong, however you can!! Oda was not the only member of the One Piece team to speak up in support of the earthquake victims, however. The voice actors for the Straw Hat Pirates also lent their voices to support Kyushu. Ikue Ohtani (Chopper), Kazuya Nakai (Zoro), Akemi Okamura (Nami), Yuriko Yamaguchi (Robin), Kazuki Yao (Franky), Kappei Yamaguchi (Usopp), and Mayumi Tanaka (Luffy) each have promised to do their bests to help the victims in some way or at least encourage them to stay strong and happy. Each of them signed the board above as a gesture of support for the struggling civilians. The Strawhats weren't the only anime/manga stars to lend their voices to the effort, though. Hajime Isayama, the mangaka for Attack on Titan is also from close to the affected region: Hita in Ōita Prefecture. Isayama also contributed a drawing as support for the victims. It shows Eren, Mikasa and Armin with Kumamon and Mejiron, Ōita Prefecture's bird mascot. Isayama wrote on his blog accompanying the image: "When times have been tough for me, even under very harsh circumstances, I'm reminded of manga heroes who fight for their lives, and I remember that they toughed it out. I drew the illustration with those feelings." Though these artists can't do a whole lot in terms of helping on the ground level with the victims, they have chosen to lend their support in the best ways they have available to them; their art. It shows a passion for their homes and their people, and the will of the nation that rallies strongly around their own in times of crisis.
Make A Fist. Then Read This Card.
So I just learned about something cool today called Kobushi Shindan. Have any of you heard about it? Kobushi Shindan (literally, 'fist analysis' in Japanese) is an ancient samurai personality test. All you need to do to take it is make a fist! So make a fist, any fist, and find out what your personal fist form says about you! Fist #1: Your thumb rests on your index finger. People with this fist shape tend to be natural leaders. You like helping others and, likewise, appreciate being leaned on for support. However, despite a strong exterior, you have the tendency to be a bit insecure. In relationships, you are extremely devoted and expect that same kind of loyalty in return. You put others before yourself, and since you're not necessarily good at words, you put that love into compassionate action. Fist #2: Your thumb rests in the middle of your fist. You're a free-spirit with a wide range of talents and plenty of friends. However, you tend to be afraid to try new things because you fear failure. And despite the fact you have a wide group of friends, the amount of friends you consider close is considerably smaller. In love, that fear of failure makes it hard for you to begin romantic relationships, but because of your kind and sociable nature, you're a pretty attractable potential mate! Fist #3: You tuck your thumb underneath fingers. You're much more introverted than the other two personality types. You're a sensitive and private person, and while you don't have a huge social network, the few friends you do have are extremely close and loyal to you. You hate conflict and tend to internalize your feelings, but your compromising nature makes you very attentive in your romantic relationships, which tends to make them pretty long-term. So which fist did you guys get? Do you think Kobushi Shindan has got you all figured out, or are there some things you disagree with?