July 10th
09:01
July 9th
22:34
Via

emir-dynamite:

sizvideos:

Watch the video of this Japanese salamander

"It is as graceful as it is beautiful."

—My father, upon viewing the video

(You might think this was a sarcastic remark, but I assure you it was not).

July 3rd
11:20

Japan to lift some sanctions on N. Korea | Al Jazeera America

July 1st
12:06
Via

atlasobscura:

Wisteria Tunnel -

Yahatahigashi Ward, Japan
Make sure to visit in late April or Early May, during the “Fuji Matsuri,” or “Wisteria Festival,” when the magical tunnel is in full bloom. Arrive at any other time of year, and its appearance will be a disheartening mass of lifeless, twisted branches
A member of the pea family, wisteria is an ornamental vine, wildly popular in both Eastern and Western gardens for its graceful hanging flowers and its ornate, winding branches. Easily trained, the woody vines tend to reach maturity within a few years, at which point they bloom in cascades of long, lavender flowers of varying pastel shades.
Explore further at Atlas Obscura

June 24th
23:01
Via

Extreme Street View: Google Employee Maps Deserted Island | Urbanist

atlasobscura:

street view battleship island

Street View has mapped much more than roads in its [day], but sending a lone urban explorer through the haunting multistory ruins of a remote island may be one of their riskiest geographic ventures yet.

street view abandoned island

street view japanese employee

Strapped with panoramic photography equipment, this video shows a lone Google employee crawling through rubble, scaling partially caved-inabandonments and standing on precarious roofs, all to document one of the most unique deserted cities on the globe.

street view urban exploration

Occupied for over a century, and briefly the world’s most densely-populated island, Gunkanjima, Japan (aka Hashima) is now one of the loneliest places on the planet.

This is just the beginning! The above article is totally engrossing…

Beyond that, we’ve got so much more on the history of Gunkanjima Island on Atlas Obscura, too…

June 21st
21:46
Via
June 20th
23:48
Via
raku-japanese-designed:

Japanese Word Today - Bon Odori 盆踊り
Bon Odori (盆踊り), meaning simply Bon dance is a style of dancing performed during Obon. Originally a Nenbutsu folk dance to welcome the spirits of the dead, the style of celebration varies in many aspects from region to region. Each region has a local dance, as well as different music. The music can be songs specifically pertinent to the spiritual message of Obon, or local min’yo folk songs. Consequently, the Bon dance will look and sound different from region to region. Hokkaidō is known for a folk-song known as “Soran Bushi.” The song “Tokyo Ondo” takes its namesake from the capital of Japan. “Gujo Odori” in Gujō, Gifu prefecture is famous for all night dancing. “Gōshū Ondo” is a folk song from Shiga prefecture. Residents of the Kansai area will recognize the famous “Kawachi ondo.” Tokushima in Shikoku is very famous for its “Awa Odori,” or “fool’s dance,” and in the far south, one can hear the “Ohara Bushi” of Kagoshima. The way in which the dance is performed is also different in each region, though the typical Bon dance involves people lining up in a circle around a high wooden scaffold made especially for the festival called a yagura. The yagura is usually also the bandstand for the musicians and singers of the Obon music. Some dances proceed clockwise, and some dances proceed counter-clockwise around the yagura. Some dances reverse during the dance, though most do not. At times, people face the yagura and move towards and away from it. Still some dances, such as the Kagoshima Ohara dance, and the Tokushima Awa Odori, simply proceed in a straight line through the streets of the town. The dance of a region can depict the area’s history and specialization. For example, the movements of the dance of the Tankō Bushi (the “coal mining song”) of old Miike Mine in Kyushu show the movements of miners, i.e. digging, cart pushing, lantern hanging, etc. All dancers perform the same dance sequence in unison. There are other ways in which a regional Bon dance can vary. Some dances involve the use of different kinds of fans, others involve the use of small towels called tenugui which may have colorful designs. Some require the use of small wooden clappers, or “kachi-kachi” during the dance. The “Hanagasa Odori” of Yamagata is performed with a straw hat that has been decorated with flowers. The music that is played during the Bon dance is not limited to Obon music and min’yo; some modern enka hits and kids’ tunes written to the beat of the “ondo” are also used to dance to during Obon season. The Bon dance tradition is said to have started in the later years of the Muromachi period as a public entertainment. In the course of time, the original religious meaning has faded, and the dance has become associated with summer. To celebrate O-Bon in Okinawa, the eisa drum dance is performed instead.

raku-japanese-designed:

Japanese Word Today - Bon Odori 盆踊り

Bon Odori (盆踊り), meaning simply Bon dance is a style of dancing performed during Obon. Originally a Nenbutsu folk dance to welcome the spirits of the dead, the style of celebration varies in many aspects from region to region. Each region has a local dance, as well as different music. The music can be songs specifically pertinent to the spiritual message of Obon, or local min’yo folk songs. Consequently, the Bon dance will look and sound different from region to region. Hokkaidō is known for a folk-song known as “Soran Bushi.” The song “Tokyo Ondo” takes its namesake from the capital of Japan. “Gujo Odori” in Gujō, Gifu prefecture is famous for all night dancing. “Gōshū Ondo” is a folk song from Shiga prefecture. Residents of the Kansai area will recognize the famous “Kawachi ondo.” Tokushima in Shikoku is very famous for its “Awa Odori,” or “fool’s dance,” and in the far south, one can hear the “Ohara Bushi” of Kagoshima.
The way in which the dance is performed is also different in each region, though the typical Bon dance involves people lining up in a circle around a high wooden scaffold made especially for the festival called a yagura. The yagura is usually also the bandstand for the musicians and singers of the Obon music. Some dances proceed clockwise, and some dances proceed counter-clockwise around the yagura. Some dances reverse during the dance, though most do not. At times, people face the yagura and move towards and away from it. Still some dances, such as the Kagoshima Ohara dance, and the Tokushima Awa Odori, simply proceed in a straight line through the streets of the town.
The dance of a region can depict the area’s history and specialization. For example, the movements of the dance of the Tankō Bushi (the “coal mining song”) of old Miike Mine in Kyushu show the movements of miners, i.e. digging, cart pushing, lantern hanging, etc. All dancers perform the same dance sequence in unison.
There are other ways in which a regional Bon dance can vary. Some dances involve the use of different kinds of fans, others involve the use of small towels called tenugui which may have colorful designs. Some require the use of small wooden clappers, or “kachi-kachi” during the dance. The “Hanagasa Odori” of Yamagata is performed with a straw hat that has been decorated with flowers.
The music that is played during the Bon dance is not limited to Obon music and min’yo; some modern enka hits and kids’ tunes written to the beat of the “ondo” are also used to dance to during Obon season.
The Bon dance tradition is said to have started in the later years of the Muromachi period as a public entertainment. In the course of time, the original religious meaning has faded, and the dance has become associated with summer.
To celebrate O-Bon in Okinawa, the eisa drum dance is performed instead.

June 15th
19:21
Via
breathtakingdestinations:

Ogaswara - Japan (von LuxTonnerre)

breathtakingdestinations:

Ogaswara - Japan (von LuxTonnerre)

May 31st
16:00
Via
April 24th
18:12
Via

kansaikansou:

Since Tama became the stationmaster, the Kishigawa line has become a big tourist destination. One of the trains has been decked out with calico decor. There are cat shaped lights, Tama patterned curtains, and, just in case you get bored in the 20 minutes it takes to get from one end of the line to the other, book cases filled with cat themed books and manga. While I only got the chance to ride the more popular Tama train, there are also two other “strawberry” and “toy” themed trains. But I mean… they’re not cat-shaped, so how do you compete with that?

April 1st
21:05
Via

solarflight:

charmingmonsters:

As-yet-unreleased dresses featured in the Juliette et Justine Spring-Summer 2014 catalog! 

Pretty sure I need the third one, which features an underwater motif: coral, jellyfish, seaweed and even a lobster!

Lobster chan <3

March 27th
22:02
Via

instagram:

Capturing the Cherry Blossom Season in Japan

To view more photos and videos of cherry blossoms and hanami parties throughout Japan, browse the #, #花見 and #お花見 hashtags on Instagram.

In Japan, sakura (桜), or cherry blossoms, stand as the symbolic flower of spring and start appearing all over the country as the seasons change. During this season, rows of cherry trees with their pastel-pink crowns transform the country and shower the streets in falling petals. People go out to gardens, streets and parks for hanami (花見), or flower viewing, to appreciate the beauty of the cherry blossoms and the mild weather after the long, cold winter. Often, hanami involves picnicking in the best sakura locations and enjoying food and drinks with friends under cherry trees. The blooming of sakura begins from the south around late March and spreads northward through the beginning of May.

Want to see more photos and videos from some of the most famous sakura locations in Japan? Explore the location pages below:

March 23rd
16:01
Via
hideogosha:

Isetan Department Store (1936) Shiro Kazama.

hideogosha:

Isetan Department Store (1936) Shiro Kazama.