In Pictures: The Art Aquarium

Bubble Eye. Pom Pom. Telescope. These are just three of the 25 varieties of goldfish, or kingyo [金魚], that are distributed in Japan today. The ornamental fish have been used as a motif in Japanese art and literature since the Edo Period, when they were first introduced to the country by China. First kept as rare pets by aristocrats and the wealthy,…

Continue Reading

Exploring Wartime Remains on Japan’s Rabbit Island

If any island served as inspiration for ABC’s LOST (a.k.a the best television series of all time) it was surely Ōkunoshima. Featuring a golf course, pylons, old test laboratories and its very own hatch, it is exactly where every fan wants their plane to crash. You can even enjoy polar bears in miniature – the island is overrun with an abundant population of bunnies. The latter has earned…

Continue Reading

The Sacred, Starving Deer of Miyajima

“…so please do not feed the deer,” the announcement played over a loudspeaker as soon as I walked out of the terminal. Wait – what!? There’s deer here? Thanks to the Interwebs, many of Japan’s “animal islands” have become pretty well known in recent years, but I’d never heard of Miyajima being described as one. The small island (officially Itsukushima,…

Continue Reading

Hiroshima’s Peace Park in Black and White

I spent most of my visit to Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park sitting on a bench. This was partly due to the fact that I was supercalifragilisticexpialidociously hungover from the previous night’s festivities; after gatecrashing the Hiroshima JETs’ welcome party to catch up with two old friends, Fiona and Gavin, I ended up at a bar with a lovely Aussie couple on their way to…

Continue Reading