Landscapes

Bus Ride Through the Mountains of Miyagi Prefecture

Bus Ride Through the Mountains of Miyagi Prefecture

Bus Ride Through the Mountains of Miyagi Prefecture Ride the Miyagi mountain bus like a local! It’s a sunny day in May when the bus departs from the remote Zao Fox Village, weaving its way down winding mountain roads, passing through small villages and stopping half way down so the bus driver can take a cigarette break ;-). Miyagi Prefecture is in the northern Tōhoku region, on the main Japanese island Honshu. Tōhoku has a…

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Driving The Hanshin Expressway – Kobe to Kansai Airport

Driving The Hanshin Expressway – Kobe to Kansai Airport

Driving The Hanshin Expressway – Kobe to Kansai International Airport (KIX) A little different from the films we tend to post, but I know some people like to watch these POV (point of view) videos, partly as it makes it easier to imagine yourself being there! This film (without music, narration or captions to interrupt the view) was shot from a taxi we caught from Kobe to Kansai International Airport (KIX). The quickest way to…

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The Unpredictability of Japanese Architecture

The Unpredictability of Japanese Architecture

The Unpredictability of (Modern) Japanese Architecture Designer and TV presenter Kevin McCloud once said that Japanese architecture and urban planning in Japan was just about the ugliest he’d ever seen. I know why he’d say that relating to much urban building, but I disagree. For me, what I find so consistently rewarding about urban architecture you find when travelling around Japan, is the complete unpredictability of what could pop up next. Chances are that within…

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Walking Around Ainokura Village, Gokayama

Walking Around Ainokura Village, Gokayama

Walking Around Ainokura Village (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Gokayama, Toyama Prefecture Ainokura is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in the mountains in the Gokayama area of Toyama Prefecture, on the main island of Honshu. Ainokura is part of a cluster of villages in the region renowned for their A-frame houses, or gassho-zukuri, with thick thatched roofs. The steep roofs are designed so that the heavy snow that falls in the area slips easily off…

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A Walk Around Nakanoike Ryokuchi Park, Ashiya

A Walk Around Nakanoike Ryokuchi Park, Ashiya

Nakanoike Ryokuchi Park In this short film, we take a relaxing stroll through the suburbs of Ashiya to Nakanoike Ryokuchi Park. Ashiya is our home when we are in Japan. It is in Hyogo Prefecture, (on the main island of Honshu) close to Kobe, and not far from Kyoto and Osaka. Nakanoike Ryokuchi Park is a modest municipal park built around a pond, where ducks, koi card and turtles make their homes. We walk along…

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Goshikizuka Mounded Tomb, View of Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, Kobe

Goshikizuka Mounded Tomb, View of Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, Kobe

Goshikizuka Mounded Tomb, also known as Sentsubo Kofun, is an ancient burial ground between Kobe and the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge (which can be seen in the film). Goshikizuka Mounded Tomb is the largest keyhole shaped tomb mound in Hyogo Prefecture, constructed around the end of 4th century. The site has been restored to the original construction. The sides of the large tomb are covered in fukiishi, which are stones taken from nearby riverbeds, typically used…

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Owari Tsushima Wisteria Festival

Owari Tsushima Wisteria Festival

Around Golden Week (a holiday in Japan from the end of April to early May) the Owari Tsushima Wisteria Festival is held in Tennogawa Park. Families, young couples, senior and school parties gather every year to celebrate Japanese wisteria – the official flower of Tsushima. Tsushima is a city located in Aichi Prefecture in the Chūbu region of Japan – on the main island of Honshu.   Official Aichi Prefecture Tourism website (Owari Tsushima Wisteria…

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Reflections on The Mountains of Central Japan

Reflections on The Mountains of Central Japan

I’m typing this on a bus bound for an area in the heart of Shiga Prefecture, which is in the middle of the main island of Honshu. The views from the window are stunning, and impress upon me just how glorious the mountains of Japan are. Mountains Define Japan Japan is a long, thin strip of a country, comprising some 6,800 islands. The main one, Honshu, is where you’ll find most of the places you’ve…

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12 Reasons Japan Is A Tourist Paradise

12 Reasons Japan Is A Tourist Paradise

  There are hundreds of reasons why Japan is a tourist paradise. And they go beyond the robots, geisha and neon lights we’re used to seeing in the media. Not that there’s anything wrong with robots, geisha or neon lights of course. ;-) Whether you’re staying in a hotel or a traditional ryokan, catching a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyushu or jumping on a long-distance bus, eating out in a high-end restaurant or a…

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Exploring The Island of Shodoshima And Kankakei Gorge

Exploring The Island of Shodoshima And Kankakei Gorge

Shodoshima is an island found in the Inland Sea of Japan – a relatively little-known but well worth exploring part of the Japanese archipelago. There are around 30,000 people living here. Although a holiday destination for some within Japan, this is well off the tourist trail for many foreign visitors and, as ever, all the more enjoyable for it. When planning a trip to or tour of Japan you might want to include exploring the…

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