THE GUARDIAN - Apr 16 - Local government holds social 'machikon' events to introduce people to each other. Machikon take place in cafes and restaurants and are small festivals: the streets are closed to traffic, and participants pay a fee of £15 to £35. In return they get unlimited food and drink. The idea is that people talk and form relationships. According to the Japan Machikon Producers Organisation local government affiliates have organised 59 machikon events since 2012.
by Aya Homei
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