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Travel Inspiration  •  ,

Otagi Nenbutsu-ji: Kyoto’s best kept secret

November 21, 2016

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Apparently some dreams do come true as I visited Kyoto, Japan this year. It was the most amazing experience of my life but I’m positive though that one of the best places to visit was the remote Otagi Nenbutsu-ji temple in Arashiyama.

The temple itself is about 12 centuries old and has been destroyed three times. The last time was in 1950s when a typhoon hit Nenbutsu-ji, leaving it in terrible state. In 1955 a famed sculptor and restorer of Buddhist statues named Kocho Nishimura became the head priest of Otagi Nenbutsu-ji, which was then a forgotten and desolate temple in the North of Kyoto. Nishimura didn’t have the funds to restore the temple to its former glory but in 1981 he had a magnificent idea.

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Travel Inspiration  • 

Blue flower season in Hitachi Park, Japan

April 17, 2015
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Photo: Azure

Late April to early May is the blooming season of 4.5 million nemophilia (baby blue eyes) in Japan’s Hitachi Seaside Park, which got everyone’s attention after tons of blog posts last year. The blue flower fields get lots of visitors which is perfectly understandable when you look at their beauty, but the Hitachi Park offers colourful sights all year round – just check out their flower calendar!

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Photo: kobaken

hitachi blue fields

Photo: Yumi

blue flowers

Photo: kobaken

 

Art  • 

Haru and Mina by Hideaki Hamada

April 2, 2015

haru_minaToday I’m sharing a different kind of travel than before. I discovered Japanese photographer Hideaki Hamada some time ago thanks to his photos for Kinfolk magazine and since then he became my favourite photographer.

Hideaki shares pictures of his own childrens relationship in an intimate documentary called “Haru and Mina“. He photographs them in a way I never saw a parent do and he becomes invisible to them during their adventures. Watching these photos is always a journey to a simple, happy and carefree world which becomes so unavailable for us when we grow up. Hamada himself notices:

“When I look at them through the finder, sometimes an illusion occurs that those figures are myself when I was a child. It is a strange feeling, like I am looking at myself living a life all over again, standing in close.”


See more of Hideaki Hamada’s photos here or buy his book here (International shipping available).

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hamada_haru_and_mina hideaki_haru_mina haru_and_minahideaki_hamada  hamada_hideaki hideaki_hamada_haru_and_minaAll photographs © Hideaki Hamada.

Travel Inspiration  • 

Ōkunoshima – a bunny island in Japan

December 30, 2014
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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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