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Outdoor Onsen

A Japanese person’s view of Paradise

Ask a Japanese person what they believe paradise is and almost universally the response will be being in an onsen, especially an onsen with a beautiful view of nature.  So what is an onsen? An onsen is bath (some the size of a small swimming pool) where mineral hot spring water runs continuously. Before you…

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Snow Monkeys

Snow Monkeys – A Summer treat

The Japanese Macaque (commonly known as the ‘Snow Monkey’) is unique in its behavior. Best known because it takes to the geothermal spring waters in winter as a way to get warm. So the story goes, it is only a little over 50 years ago when a female monkey first started soaking in the spring…

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Kamikochi - Japanese Alps

Leisurely hiking in the Japanese Alps

On our research trip to Japan this July we were lucky enough to visit Kamikochi, one of the most scenic spots in Japan. Kamikochi approximates to ‘where gods decend’. It is an area surrounded by 3,000 meter-class mountains of the Japanese Alps, that stretches for roughly 10 kilometers along Azusa River. It was originally a…

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At the Star Festival in July

Star Festival

July 7th is called Tanabata or Star Festival in Japan. The star festival is celebrated in the streets of cities and towns all over Japan. We were fortunate enough to be in Asakusa (Tokyo) on the 7th of July and experienced the fun and colour of a parade and decorated streets. In some regions, where…

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Japanese Pottery

Some of the oldest pottery in the world was discovered in Japan. It has apparently been carbon dated as 16,000 to 17,000 years old. That is much older than the ones from Mesopotamia, originally perceived to be the birthplace of pottery. It had been believed that the art of pottery came to Japan through China…

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