Unkai Terrace is located atop a mountain peak on the island of Hokkaido in Japan, offering tourists breathtaking views of clouds floating below. Unkai (meaning sea of clouds) is a very rare natural phenomenon, usually only seen under certain weather conditions. On clear days, you have to take a gondola ride up to the terrace early in the morning to catch the clouds in action.
Photo by Yosuke Kashiwakura
The crows that live in Tokyo build their nests out of metal clothes-hangers. In such a large city, there are few trees, so the natural materials that crows need to make their nests are scarce. As a result, the crows steal hangers from the people who live in apartments nearby, and carefully assemble them into nests. The completed nests almost look like works of art based on the theme of recycling.
Japanese artist Nagai Hideyuki uses the projection technique called anamorphosis which allows to create 3D illusion when viewed from the correct angle. The way he arranges his notebooks for these photos gives the effect of a pop-up book.
The December 2012 issue of Vogue Japan features the brilliant fragrance editorial ‘In The Mood for Fantasy’ starring Enchanted Dolls created by Marina Bychkova alongside the latest designer fragrances, photographed by Lacey.
Many gas companies in Japan, will artfully decorate their spherical gas storage tanks with colorful graphite, cartoon and traditional folk art. These gas tanks are found all over the country.
Images via Gastank-map
Yayoi Kusama, the 83 years old princess of polka dots, is a sculptor, painter, writer, installation artist and performance artist. As a child, when she started to experience the hallucinations, from which she has since suffered all her life, her response was to paint polka dots. This motif has remained a central feature of her work, and expresses her feeling of revolving ‘in the infinity of endless time and the absoluteness of space,’ and her view of herself as ‘a dot lost among a million other dots.’
Photo by Masashi Mochida
Most monkeys are happy swinging in the trees of tropical jungles but for Japanese macaques there is nothing like relaxing in a hot spring in Yamanouchi, central Japan. So lovely creatures.
On hot summer nights, fireflies take center stage as they fly through the night air, punctuating the darkness with flecks of yellow light. Japanese amateur photographer Tsuneaki Hiramatsu used time-lapse photography techniques to take numerous continuous long-exposure shots of fireflies at night in southern Okayama, showing us a side of nature that is rarely seen.
Shichigoro-Shingo is a Japanese illustrator, working as a freelancer. His illustrations have a particular feel, combining goth looks, futuristic feels of metal and screws, with nature elements, such as animals and plants. Having studied oil painting at Tama Arts University in Tokyo, he started working with Photoshop and subsequently worked as a digital artist for a games company.
Set in the stunning landscape of Hakone, the Hakone Open-Air Museum opened in 1969 as the first open-air art museum in Japan. Constantly changing with the seasons, Hakone is the permanent home for approximately 120 works by well-known modern and contemporary sculptors.
Besides the sculptures, the Hakone Open Air Museum features various indoor galleries, including a sizable Picasso Collection, consisting of paintings, prints, sculptures and ceramic creations.
Kofun are megalithic tombs for rulers in Japan, constructed between the early 3rd century and early 7th century. The most common type of kofun has a shape of a keyhole, having one square end and one circular end, when looked down upon from above. The funeral chamber was located beneath the round part and consisted of a group of megaliths.
Gunkanjima – literally ‘Battleship Island’ – is the nickname for Hashima Island. The island’s nickname came from its apparent resemblance to the Japanese battleship Tosa. Nowadays it is also known as the Ghost Island. It was populated from 1887 to 1974 as a coal mining facility. The island’s most notable features are the abandoned concrete buildings and the sea wall surrounding it.
Aoga-shima is a stratovolcano forming a beautiful small 2.5 x 3.5 km island with steep cliffs in the Izu island chain, 300 km south of Tokyo.
Aogashima’s main attraction is its geologic anomaly, the double volcano. The island itself is one volcano, and another smaller volcano sits inside the caldera of it. Over 200 people live there. And yeah, it is an active volcano.
Japanese artist Shintaro Ohata creates stunning imagery using two different elements. He combines 3D sculptures with 2D paintings, making his illustrations an eye-popping exhibit. “Every ordinary scenery in our daily lives, such as the rising sun, the beauty of a sunset or a glittering road paved with asphalt on a rainy night, becomes something irreplaceable if we think we wouldn’t be able to see them anymore,” he told Yukari gallery. “I am creating works to capture lights in our everyday life and record them in the painting.”
The Izu Islands are a group of volcanic islands stretching south and east from the Izu Peninsula of Honshū, Japan. Miyakejima island rests atop an active volcanic chain that has erupted six times in the last century. However, the danger isn’t just from volcanic eruptions, but from the highest concentrations of poisonous gasses (primarily sulfur) in the world regularly leaking up through the ground. Residents were evacuated from the islands in 2000 due to volcanic activity and dangerously high levels of gas. The people returned in 2005 but are now required to carry gas masks with them at all times in case gas levels rise unexpectedly.
Tetrapods – large concrete objects piled at the base of cliffs, along the beach, or in the shallows just offshore – were designed to remain stable under even the most extreme weather and ocean conditions and when arranged together in lines or piles, they create an interlocking, porous barrier that dissipates the power of waves and currents.
The toys are from the personal collection of the designer Tom Geismar, from Chermayeff & Geismar, which he has been collecting for decades.
Mechagodzilla, the kaiju monster that aliens built to do battle with the real Godzilla in 1974. Released in 2003, this model comes loaded with features like pop-off knee missiles and an opening mouth and chest hatch.
All is possible in Japan. In Cat Cafés you can even enjoy some delicious tea or coffee and relax while petting a cat in your lap. It costs ¥1000 (about $10) an hour. Customers seeking human and feline companionship pay to sip tea and stroke one of the resident cats, representing different breeds. Japanese Cat Cafés feature strict rules to ensure cleanliness and animal welfare, in particular seeking to ensure that the cats are not disturbed by excessive and unwanted attention, such as by young children or when sleeping. Many Cat Cafés also seek to raise awareness of cat welfare issues, such as abandoned and stray cats.
Origami is an ancient Japanese art of paper folding.
The goal of this art is to create a representation of an object using geometric folds and create patterns preferably without the use of gluing or cutting the paper. Most of the creations below belong to Won Park.