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Travel Inspiration  • 

Ōkunoshima – a bunny island in Japan

December 30, 2014
bunny island japan

Photo: Kim Bui

Here’s a bit of fluffness to brighten up your day! There’s a small island in Japan called Ōkunoshima, which is accessible only by sea. During World War II there was a top secret poison gas factory – so secret that even records of the island were removed from maps.

Ōkunoshima is now famous for something completely different. After the war the factory’s buldings were mostly destroyed and the island was gradually developed into a park and tourist attraction. During this time rabbits were set in Ōkunoshima. As one might expect, the bunnies started to breed and now they are a main tourist attraction of the island. The critters are tame, can be approached and fed by people. Many come here just to cuddle with bunnies, as you can see on a film below. And yes, you can totally visit Ōkunoshima island and meet the bunnies yourself!

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Bunnies in front of a factory. Photo: Eugene Y.K. Wong

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Photo: Akika8

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Photo: Leo HSU

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Photo: Sileong

Travel Inspiration  • 

Abandoned Japanese Mayakan hotel

November 21, 2014

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Mayakan (Maya) hotel in the mountains of Kobe, Japan, was built in 1929, but has been abandoned since an earthquake in 1995. Once a luxurious resting place for visitors to the Maya mountain, it has been opened and closed several times during its lifespan, but the original construction is still in a good shape.

Though it’s prohibited to visit the Mayakan hotel, it’s quite a popular place for urban explorers and photographers. Ilko Allexandroff, one of my favourite photography bloggers (if you’re a photographer, you’ll find his page very useful!) has done lots of photoshoots in this location and shares some of his photos from the haunting hotel.

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3rd Floor Green rooms

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3rd Floor Big Hall

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4rd Floor Dance Hall

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4rd Floor Dance Hall – the red couch is not a part of original interior, it was added during a video shoot

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4th Floor Corridor

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The roof

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The view from the roof

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The roof

Check out Ilko Allexandroff‘s page is you like his work. Also, more info on Mayakan abandoned hotel and how to get there on the Abandoned Kansai blog.

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Travel Inspiration  • 

The legendary Yellow Mountain in China

October 24, 2014
Huangshan, Anhui Province, China.

Photo: I. K. Lee

The Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) mountain range is one of the most famous areas in China and has long been an inspiration for art and literature. With its peculiar granite peaks, lush forests and great views from the top, it’s a very popular tourist destination. There’s a number of exciting paths that every hiker would love to take.

One of them leads to Buxian bridge, often called the Fairy Walking Bridge. It’s a picturesque construction between two giant granite peaks. It appears to be small, but the thought of how it was built is quite amazing.

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Photo on the left by David Wicks,
on the right by Konstantin Iagoudine

The trails to the Yellow Mountain attract a lot of tourists but can be quite extreme, as they cling to the rocks and might not be the best place if you’re afraid of heights. It’s absolutely worth it though: the peaks emerging from the clouds are a view that you’ll never forget.

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Photo: Pete T

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Photo: Ming Ge

Culture, Travel Inspiration  • 

Japanese Rice Terraces are disappearing

October 23, 2014

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Rice terraces (tanada) have long been a symbol of Japan and have a great cultural significance for the Japanese. The paddy fields have been in this country for centuries and some even consider cultivating rice an art. Ancient farmers have carved the platforms into hillsides to make the fields more efficient. The modern technology allows better yields though, and the terraces are being abandoned.

Kit Takenaga spent 10 years photographing tanada in Japan, producing magnificent photos that capture the life and culture of his home country. He said he was stunned by the hard work farmers put into their fields, all day every day. And there’s still hope – people are trying to preserve the terraces as they prevent landslides and are home to variety of wildlife.

Enjoy Takenaga’s pictures below and read his fascinating article here.

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Editorials, Travel Inspiration  • 

Fairy Chimneys and Forgotten Churches of Cappadocia

October 20, 2014

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Cappadocia, a region in central Turkey is one of the most exciting and impressive places in this country – and this is saying something because Turkey is huge and quite amazing. Cappadocia is especially famous for its natural formed rocks called fairy chimneys or tent rocks, which look exactly how their name would suggest. As the material of these chimneys is soft, people living in this area have been carving them to form houses they can live in. Some of them are used even to this time and the most notable ones are in Goreme village.

fairy chimneys cappadocia goremeThere’s another secret of Cappadocia, located in the valleys around Goreme. This area was the site of early Christian activity, where people came to flee Roman persecution. There’s still lots of old, forgotten churches and monasteries, with walls painted with Christian symbols and saints. The faces of some figures have been destroyed during the iconoclast period, which opposed showing people on religious paintings.

Some of the churches are even a thousand years old, now abandoned and used by locals as storerooms. They are literally everywhere in Goreme and you can easily find some to explore.

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Goreme village and its valley from above.

The most precious buildings are safe though and protected by the Goreme Open-Air Museum. It’s a vast monastic complex, with churches and monasteries built side by side – and all of them carved in rocks. The impressive frescoes and somewhat mysterious atmosphere of these churches is unmissable and must be on your list if you plan to visit Cappadocia.

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The post is from the series about Cappadocia and all the photos this time are mine.