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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LATVIA: Riga – Cultural Capital, Fantastic Food and Balsam Booze

Have you ever been to the Baltic States? No, not Greece, that’s the Balkans. The Baltic States are located in the northeast of Europe, between the Baltic Sea and Russia, and include the countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. We were in Riga, the capital of Latvia, last week, looking for local street art and graffiti. The city is definitely worth a visit, whether as a stopover during a Baltic trip or as a short weekend trip.

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ALBANIA: Tirana Backpacker Hostel

Tirana is the capital and as well a really cool city for going out, getting delicious food and having a lot of fun. The people are all over the country overfriendly and we didn´t have in any case not even rudimental trouble or anger, we couldn´t even notice some anywhere. In a lot of similar situations in Germany there would have been a crash or fight and not only while driving a car. After our arrival we have been the first two days in the Tirana Backpacker Hostel, which is as well the first Hostel in Albania. They have now quite a lot more.

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GHANA: Nursing and Health Assistant Training School Teshie

The Nursing and Health Assistant Training School Teshie (HATS, Teshie) was instituted on 28th January 2008 due to the ministry of health decision to train a middle level cadre to assist the professional nurse in carrying out her duties, and to contribute to the improvement of the staffing situation in the clinical area. One of the tutors – Sandra Opoku – took part at the HITA midwife exchange programme in 2014 and went to Germany for three month. Currently she is teaching at Teshie. As a school their mission is to train competent middle level cadre nurses who will contribute creditably to the health care delivery in Ghana through promotive, preventive and curative services. The school started under a canopy with a teaching staff of four, one non teaching staff and a student numerical strength of seventy-two. Currently, the school has ten staff members with eight teaching staff and three non-teaching staff. The motto for the school is “Service to humanity”.

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BOLIVIA: Cementerio de Trenes – Uyuni

While we drove through the salt desert of Bolivia during our South America trip we made a little stop at an old train cementary. The „Cementerio de trenes“. The scene is just fantastic and a cinematic playground, the perfect place for a new Mad Max movie or a zombie apocalypse. The train cementary is located near the desert town Uyuni at around 3600 meters altitude. And you notice the height with every step for sure. In the big salt desert – the Salar de Uyuni – there is annually the famous Dakar Race on the route between Argentina over Chile to Bolivia with Uyuni as one of the main headquarters.

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LUXEMBOURG: Kasematten and The Grund

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Luxembourgish: Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg, French: Grand-Duché de Luxembourg) has 602.000 habitants and is the last remaining Grand Duchy or Grand Princedom of formerly twelve existing ones in Europe. The state borders to Belgium, France and Germany and forms the Benelux or Low Countries with Belgium and the Netherlands. The mainly rural shaped region is marked by the compact forests and natural reserves of the Ardennes in the north, in the east there are the rocky gorges of the Müllerthal and in the southeast the Moselle Valley. A dream for all nature lovers and hiking fans. The capital is called Luxembourg as well and is famous for its medieval old town which is located on a hill.

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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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