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    • Spring
      • Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.

        Into the Mystic

        While you probably won’t encounter an elusive river sprite in the highlands of the Northern Japan Alps, you may feel a bit lightheaded from the refreshing thin air, remarkable vistas and mystical aura of the mountains and valleys in Kamikochi.
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    • Summer
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        A glass of beer from Kyoto Brewing

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        Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
    • Autumn
      • Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
    • Winter
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        Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
        video

        Shuzenji Sanctuary

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    • Near Tokyo
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        Music Festival Guide 2018

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        Summer Runs, Races & Tours

        Trail running is a great way to explore the beautiful nature of a country while getting away from the usual tourist spots.

        Tokyo Escapes: Summer Camping

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    • Near Kyoto
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        Music Festival Guide 2018

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        Cycling Awaichi

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    • All Regions
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    • Ocean and Beach
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        Air it Out

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        Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
        video

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        Minakami Mofest

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    • Travel
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    • Races and Events
      • Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.

        Music Festival Guide 2018

        Warmer months mean awesome music festivals in Japan. Check out our favorite music festivals!

Protecting Mother

 Protecting Mother  
What will I buy for Mother’s Day? I was thinking about this a while ago as I was walking down the street. Then I saw a poster announcing the 100th anniversary of Mother Teresa’s birth. I’m not a passionate Christian or anything, but I feel her words and deeds deserve respect beyond the religious side of her life. And, because of that, I thought a bit about the word "Mother." 
 

Creatures that live on the earth eat other living things that in turn come from the earth; they live their lives on the earth before finally returning to the earth. People are no different. That is why we call the planet "Mother Earth," a name I believe is appropriate. 

At the same time, we also hear about "Mother Ocean." That’s because it’s also true that all life originated in the sea. When I’m out surfing or waiting for a wave, there’s a wonderful feeling out there that’s probably a lot like the sensation a baby has in its mother’s womb. The ocean really is our mother, too. 

 
What about the beaches? Sandy beaches are the place between the ocean and the land, yet not entirely either one—making them special places. Even though sand doesn’t have the nutrients soil does, there are plants that prefer it; crabs dig the holes that become their homes, and sea turtles come in spring to lay their eggs in the sand. So, I suppose you could call this "Mother Beach" as well. 
 
Which reminds me of an interesting story about those sea turtles laying their eggs on the beaches. Birds, of course, warm their eggs using their own body heat, but turtles use Mother Beach. The turtles dig a hole about 50 centimeters deep in which they lay their eggs; although the conditions will be a little different depending on the place and time, the sand will be about 29°C. If the average temperature is above 29°, there will be more females born; if colder, more males.
 
So what does this mean? Well, if global warming continues, then only females will be born. For sea turtles, it would be a disaster if the balance of male and female were upset, so it might be they will wait past the hottest season or move to a cooler location to lay their eggs. This could be a measuring stick for global warming.
Thinking about mothers and the earth, there is a tradition in Japan that a home is the mother’s territory, and the husband is supposed to stay out of the way. But, there is also the understanding it is also the husband’s job to protect the mother.
 
I love the sandy beaches (and of course, I love my wife, too). It is where I capture many of the images I shoot. I want to do something about the situation all around Japan where the beaches are disappearing.
There’s an old Japanese saying, “Ii hoko ni susumu,” something like the tide is rising, or moving in the right direction—and Mother Teresa said something that has that positive sense: 
"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." 
 
 

 

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