Here is a selection of Kyodo News photos taken this week in Japan and beyond.

Dec. 2

About three dozen Akita dogs and their owners gather in Shibuya for a leisurely stroll in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Japan's famous loyal dog Hachiko. (Kyodo)
Tomoru Honda competes en route to winning gold in the men's 200-meter butterfly at the Japan Open at Tokyo Aquatics Center. (Kyodo)
Bamboo lanterns are lit in Omuta, Fukuoka Prefecture, in memory of Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamura, who spent years as an aid worker in Afghanistan before being gunned down in a roadside shooting there in 2019. (Kyodo)

Dec. 3

Japanese judoka Uta Abe defends the women's 52-kg crown at judo's Tokyo Grand Slam at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, while her brother Hifumi continued his dominance in the men's 66-kilogram class. (Kyodo)
The traditional rugby match between Waseda University and Meiji University is played at the National Stadium in Tokyo, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first game in 1923, with only a break during WWII. Meiji won 58-38. (Kyodo)
Former Samurai Blue and Feyenoord midfielder Shinji Ono retires from professional football. Ono was the oldest player in the Japanese top flight at 44. (Kyodo)
Chichibu Night Festival, one of the three most notable float festivals in Japan, is held in Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture. The event with a 300-year history and included in the UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list since 2016, attracted about 293,000 visitors. (Kyodo)

Dec. 4

"Gochiso onigiri," visually enticing gourmet rice balls featuring luxurious and abundant fillings or toppings, is named "Dish of the Year" by Gurunavi Research Institute as best reflecting societal trends in 2023. (Kyodo)
Nihon University's board of trustees chair Mariko Hayashi apologizes at a press conference in Tokyo for a drug scandal involving members of the school's American football team. (Kyodo)

Dec. 5

Two-way baseball star Shohei Ohtani and shogi prodigy Sota Fujii are among newsmakers of 2023 highlighted by doll maker Kyugetsu Co. in this year's "kawari hagoita" battledores. (Kyodo)
Vissel Kobe forward Yuya Osako is named J-League's most valuable player for the first time, after the season's joint top scorer played an instrumental role in the club winning their first top-flight title. (Kyodo)

Dec. 6

Ambassadors to Japan gather in Yokohama to call for an end to the killing in Gaza at an event hosted by the Japan-based nongovernmental organization Peace Boat. (Kyodo)

Prominent pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow, who recently revealed that she had left Hong Kong to study in Canada with no plans to return, recalls thatagreeing to spend time in mainland China before her departure overseas was a high-stakes decision for her. (Kyodo)

Otaru Port has been misspelled "Otaru Poot" for over 30 years on a road sign in Otaru, Hokkaido, in northern Japan. (Kyodo)

Dec. 7

Buddha's hand citron, an unusual-looking fruit also called fingered citron, is harvested in Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture, in western Japan. (Kyodo)
A transgender man in central Japan obtains a copy of a new family register that now lists him as male, after a landmark ruling this year approved for his gender to be changed without sterilization surgery. (Kyodo)
The Japan Racing Association certifies its first female racehorse trainer, naming 46-year-old Kyoko Maekawa among nine applicants to pass its license test. (Kyodo)

Dec. 8

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno (C) is surrounded by reporters upon his arrival at the prime minister's office. Japan's top spokesman is accused of failing to report more than 10 million yen ($70,000) in income raised through events hosted by his party faction, according to a source. (Kyodo)

The annual Sendai Pageant of Starlight illumination event begins in Sendai, northeastern Japan. Zelkova trees lining a 500-meter street are lit up with about 500,000 LED lights. Around 2.4 million are people expected to visit through Dec. 25. (Kyodo)

Kaori Sakamoto of Japan performs in the women's short program at the Grand Prix Finalfigure skating competition in Beijing. (Kyodo)

Back number:

Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - Nov. 25 - Dec. 1

Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - Nov. 18~24

Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - Nov. 11~17

Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - Nov. 4~10