JAPAN: Historical Oldtown – Kurashiki

During our tour of Japan we made a stop in the historical-idyllic city of Kurashiki (Japanese 倉 敷 市, -shi). The Edo-era merchant town is located in Okayama prefecture and the former Bitchū province of Honshu, the main island of Japan. Kurashiki means something like „village from warehouses“. There are still dozens of buildings (Kura) preserved, which represent a symbol of the city due to their typical facades. It’s worth a visit. It is best to stay for a few days in the nearby Okayama and make a day trip by train to the cultural site.

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JAPAN: Himeji Castle and Shironoshita

Hundreds of castles, fortifications and fortresses are scattered all over Japan, some in very good condition or restored and made accessible to the public. During a trip to Nippon you can not avoid a visit, better you should not miss such an amazing and unique tour. One of the most famous sites is the castle tower complex in Himeji (Japanese 姫 路 城, Himeji-jō) from the 17th century. The Himeji-jō in Hyōgo prefecture is one of Japan’s national treasures and was also recognized by UNESCO in 1993 as a World Heritage Site. On our trip from Osaka to Hiroshima we made a stop in this castle town Himeji (Japanese 姫 路 市, -shi), looked at the Himeji Castle and walked through the Koko-en Garden, which is considered one of the three most beautiful in Japan, especially during the cherry blossom festival Hanami. We wandered through the Engyō-ji Temple, climbed Mount Seppiko and shot a video with Tomohisa Shiroshita about the new Shironoshita Guesthouse.

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JAPAN: Anago No Nedoko – Onomichi

The few but increasingly growing tourists who travel to Japan first of course visit the major cultural centers or high-tech cities such as Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo. But if you have a little more time for your trip to Nippon, you have the opportunity to get to know many other sites in the country. Often the smaller villages are hidden and undervalued delicacies. For example, the fishing town of Onomichi (Japanese: 尾 道 市, -shi) on the southwest coast of Honshū Island.

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JAPAN: Hippie Buddha Monks – Miyajima

Here is a little story from our Japan-trip about the little funny hippie buddha monk figures we found. After we spend some time in the metropolitan tumult of Osaka, we headed south towards Hiroshima. It started getting greener on the countryside and shrine visits started to become the order of the day. An extensive site was located on the island Miyajima (宮島) which means translated „shrine-island“. The island is packed with temple sites and there is as well the famous Itsukushima Shintō-Shrine ( 厳島神社).

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JAPAN: DougoyART Paintaction – Artists Baki Baki & Mon

We already stood several days in Matsuyama, we visited and explored all the fantastic sights and the interesting city. Actually we wanted to leave to Ōzu in the south the next day. But our friend Mathew Iannarone from the Sen Guesthouse recommended us definitely to stay another night because he has some secret special insider event. This hostel is a place we can very recommend by the way, but there will be an article about guesthouse owner Mathew and his exciting life in Japan in another article which is in preparation. But back to our special event, which really was worth it to stay. Mathew took us to a livingroom-live-painting session with the graffiti artists BAKI BAKI and MON. The name of the event is DougoyART. It´s an relaxed artistique festivity in an homelike atmosphere which was in the befriended guesthouse of Hisatsugu Shimizu. As well there is audio included and musicians are taking part, this time the band The Sun.

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VIETNAM: Crazy House – Đà Lạt

The name significates very nicely that the building is kind of wired and crazy. But just only the description „crazy“ isn´t adequately sufficient for this wondrous place. There should be added the terms „fantasy“, „fairy tale“ or „other world“. But well, then the name would be too long. When you step into the Crazy House in the south of Vietnam you literally enter another world. A little magic land. We have a lot of great photographs and a walk around video.

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JAPAN: Osaka Junglists – Drum & Bass Japan

This year we could cheer to the start of the next as one of the firsts on the planet. New Year’s Eve in Japan, the country of the rising sun, Yeah! We celebrated in Osaka namely here:  大阪府大阪市住之江区北加賀屋名村造船跡地.That means Namura Zosenjo Atochi and it is an discarded and remodeled shipyard and the Osaka Creative Center, a very cool location and perfect for parties. We knew that there would be DJ-acts like Soichi Terade, Peter van Hoesen and several unfamiliar artists and groups, and we knew that there would be nice electronic music. But we didn´t know that there would be as well fantastic Drum & Bass on the second floor! Surprise! Incredible!

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LAOS: Toilet Streetart and Loo Graffiti – 4000 Islands

Actually I wanted to call it crapper-graffitis, the word is a bit too vulgar for the headline, but I just can´t get it out of my head and during the whole journey we really called this awesome artwork crapper graffitis all the time. In fact it was graffiti on crappers. Toilet graffiti sounded too western and too functioning, it were more some lavatory rooms far away from modern society on some islands without streets and with farmers, who rent some rooms to travelers and backpackers. Two-holer, outhouse or privy isn´t the right word as well, neither shithouse, because they all have some flush and lavation system. So let it be crapper. But in the end it isn´t important what you do at these places, much more what you can see on the outside walls…

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THAILAND: Phangan Rainbow Bungalows – Ko Pha Ngan

The times when we just did beach holidays in summer and skiing trips in winter are over since a long time. Meanwhile you can go very easily and cheap as well to a warm sunny beach on the one side of the planet, while it is freezing in your country, or you can travel during the totally hot mid-summer of your country to a snowy resort somewhere else on a summit in country where there is winter at that moment. We went to Thailand before Christmas, traveled around, had a good time on the sea and collected a lot of nice video and picture material. Our Thailand-Expert Praxinho V., who lived nearly half of his live in Southeast-Asia and who knows all around the islands by experience on exploring by scooter, on elephants, by foot or just crawling – that guy brought us to one of his “Special-secret-super-nice-places”. A lodge where he always goes, and where we all stood for some days and which we definitely can recommend: The Koh Phangan Rainbow Bungalows of Martin Hine and Noy Prante Limkul ….

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JAPAN: Streetart Osaka – 落書き Graffiti Nippon

We started the new year in Osaka, Japan. Konnichiwa! The celebration was great, the food and the sake fantastic, but the Japanese are not very familiar with streetart and graffiti. It is very regularized, officialized, well-signposted, marked and labeled. Streetpaintings which are out of the prevailing rules and raster, get cleaned away fast or cubically painted over. Which is kind of another invitation for some more already framed wish-wash or spray can art….

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