Landscapes

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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Changing Plans, New Discoveries

Changing Plans, New Discoveries

I recently arrived back after our most recent 16 day Japan adventure. It was one full of discovery and variety, friends, family, seeing a friend’s band perform their first gig in Japan and me DJing in Tokyo(!). Travel wise, what worked especially well this time was taking in several short and one-day trips, rather than building an itinerary around one major trip, as we’ve often done before. However, some things didn’t go as planned during…

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Hand Feeding Deer in Nara Park

Hand Feeding Deer in Nara Park

  Local authorities estimate there are more than 1,200 sika deer in Nara. They’re so loved they’ve been designated a national treasure. They can be found in the heart of the city in the central Nara Park. You can buy approved food to feed the deer with. However, if you are using the picnic tables that are available don’t be surprised if inquisitive and hungry deer boldly walk up to your table and grab whatever…

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Spring: Sakura! Cherry Blossom Party Time!

Spring: Sakura! Cherry Blossom Party Time!

  Spring – or haru – is a perfect time of year to explore Japan. Across large parts of the archipelago the weather is bright, sunny and generally free of rain. It is also the only season in which you can catch the famous cherry blossom in its full glory. There are hundreds of regional sakura-matsuri (cherry blossom festivals) to celebrate this, which incorporate picnicking and drinking beneath the iconic, pink-flowered trees. If you are…

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Tetra Mound in Moerenuma Park, Sapporo

Tetra Mound in Moerenuma Park, Sapporo

  The Moerenuma Park in Sapporo, Hokkaido, is possibly the most incredible and breathtaking park in Japan.   Designed by artist Isamu Noguchi, the 1,888,000 m² park is on the outskirts of Sapporo, transforming what was a waste treatment area into one of the most striking pseudo-natural landscapes I’ve ever seen. There are several massive installations like this in the park, but I’ve chosen this photo of the Tetra Mound as the first image to…

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