nature

Chinese rock stars in rocks – depicting music gods as temples devoted to them【Art】

Artist mixes rock music with Buddhist and Confucian architecture for peak imagery.

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“Bleeding” tree discovered in China, haunts our dreams【Video】

If all trees “bled” like this, it would probably be harder to cut them down.

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Motonosumi Inari Shrine: a site of beauty in Japan that tourists are yet to discover

There’s more to this unusual shrine than its stunning red torii gates that lead down to the Sea of Japan.

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Photos of Antarctica captured by Japanese photographer KAGAYA are absolutely stunning!

Photos taken in Antarctica by digital artist and astrophotographer KAGAYA have been getting lots of love on the Japanese internet—and we can certainly see why!

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Quiz time! How many of these photos of Japanese places can you identify?【Photos】

How well do you know Japanese travel destinations? Test your knowledge and see how many of these locations around Japan you can identify from photos alone!

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Watching these fish feed is a little freaky and frightening【Video】

Feeding fish is an innocent pastime — unless you’ve got a whole pond and a thousand fish instead of a small tank! Then it looks more like a horror movie!

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Dangerous landslide in China takes out road, almost takes out group recording it as well 【Video】

In this age of viral videos, everyone is looking for the next big hit. People constantly have their smartphones out, desperately filming in hopes that something amazing is going to happen in front of them. However, as everyone records the incredible things that occur, we only have one piece of advice: please think a little bit about your own safety!

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We visited Rabbit Island in a bunny suit covered in food, to become a rabbit ourselves【Photos】

People all over the world have heard of Okunoshima, popularly known as “Rabbit Island.” It’s a tiny island off the coast of Hiroshima overflowing with adorable little bunnies who want nothing more than to smother you with love and eat your food.

But on our latest trip to Okunoshima, we wanted to go one step further: we wanted to be covered in as many fluffy bunnies as humanly possible. And what better way to do that than by becoming a bunny ourselves? Read on to see more of our pink, furry excursion.

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Sea to summit: Expat hikers trek from the Japanese coast to the peak of Mt. Fuji in awesome video

Tell someone you climbed Mt. Fuji, and they’ll ask “Where did you start from?”, because there are paved roads that can drop as much as half-way up the mountain. Of course some say you haven’t climbed Fuji unless you started from its base, but even that wasn’t enough of a challenge for these three foreign outdoorsmen, who decided to start their hike from miles away from Fuji at the seashore, then journey from Japan’s lowest point to its highest, making this awesome video along the way.

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We track down the stunning Ghibli-like waterfall made famous online — just outside Tokyo!【Pics】

There are many well-known areas of beauty all around Japan, but sometimes you stumble upon something off the beaten path that simply takes your breath away.

That’s what happened to one person in Japan, who came across a waterfall in a tunnel of sunlight, filled with the same muted hues as a scene from a fantastical animated movie. Upon sharing the atmospheric photograph above on Instagram it received thousands of likes, with people all over the country eager to learn where the secret waterfall was hidden.

It might look like something from the foggy mists of a far-flung island many miles from Tokyo, but the beautiful scene is actually located just a short one-hour drive from the bustling metropolis. We decided to make our way there, and we’ve marked out the route so you can visit it too!

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Love Japanese hot springs? At Nakadake Onsen in Hokkaido, you can dig your own!

Two of the best ways to experience the pleasures of rural Japan are a long hike and a leisurely dip in a hot spring, or onsen, as they’re called in Japanese. With the country’s chains of volcanic mountains, there are plenty of spots where you where you can do both in the same day, with onsen resorts often not too far from where mountain trails start or end.

But instead of booking a room in an inn with a hot spring, you can do something even better in this part of Hokkaido by digging your own onsen!

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Four awesomely beautiful shrines for your next trip through off-the-beaten-path Japan

Any proper itinerary for a trip across Japan should include stops in its three most famous Shinto shrines: Hiroshima’s Itsukushima Shrine, Kyoto’s Heian Shrine, and the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo. Those, however, are just the tip of Japan’s iceberg of breathtaking sacred Shinto spots.

Even if you’ve got no pressing interest in Japan’s indigenous religion, its shrines are often sites of breathtaking natural and architectural beauty, and here are four that, while off the beaten path, are not to be missed.

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Japan’s most spectacular views (and the lists behind them)

Have you ever wondered what the most spectacular views in Japan are? Allow us to enlighten you!

Recently, we told you about Japan’s top three night views according to the Night View Summit 2015. You may have also heard about Japan’s Three Scenic Spots, one of the many lists of the top three this or that in Japan. So, what’s the deal with all these lists? And who designates them? Find out while checking out some of the best scenery Japan has to offer.

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Don’t be fooled by the rocks they got, the Final Fantasy team needs more from around the block

It’s hard to say which game is more highly anticipated, Final Fantasy XV or Kingdom Hearts 3, but with both of them tentatively scheduled for a 2016 release date, we just might find out. Or not…because a recent tweet about the latest Final Fantasy game is causing us to believe that a 2016 release date could be a pipe dream. Although there has been no delay announced, if the date is pushed back it might be in part due to the rocky situation they are in: they need more rocks!

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This “power spot” in Kumamoto, Japan looks straight out of a Ghibli movie, is pure magic 【Photos】

Deep in the forests of Takamorimachi, a small town in Kumamoto Prefecture on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, hides a humble shrine shrouded by trees and moss-covered greenery. Hailed as a “power spot” by the Japanese, Kamishikimi Kumanoimasu Shrine (上色見熊野座神社) is a mystical destination for those looking to feel the earth’s energy and recharge their spirits, or to just take in the all the scenic beauty it has to offer. Even if you can’t make a visit in the near future, you can at least pacify yourself with these stunning images instead.

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Gifu Prefecture’s “Monet’s Pond” is the perfect picturesque place to paint a picture【Photos】

When planning a vacation to Japan, it’s certainly exhilarating to visit big cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kobe, but sometimes there are special locations that aren’t in all the guide books which have just as much, if not more, beauty and appeal. Japan is a gorgeous country with breathtaking nature that can be seen just by taking off in any direction. Perhaps one of those directions will lead you to a beautiful pond like the one in Gifu Prefecture that has been nicknamed “Monet’s Pond“.

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Chinese mushroom picker discovers monstrous beehive

Now that it’s October, fall is slowly beginning to creep up on Japan, which means seasonal favorite dishes including pumpkin, sweet potato, and mushroom will again be arriving on dinner tables across the land in no time. As for the lattermost, people from the countryside are more likely to pick or grown their own rather than buy mushrooms from the supermarket, and some varieties like matsutake can easily retail for a few hundred dollars.

Unfortunately matsutake and other kinds of mushrooms don’t fetch quite as high of a price in China, but while one man was gathering mushrooms, he stumbled across something that was worth much more: a giant bees’ nest.

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Photographer captures serene moments in Japan’s traditional and modern worlds 【Photos】

Anyone can pick up a camera, but it takes a certain level of artistic talent to produce the kinds of photos that you’ll see below.

The work of Japanese photographer Takashi Yasui has been exploding in popularity on major Western websites recently, and for good reason. Yasui has a knack for capturing tranquil moments of time in both the natural world and urban cityscapes in his native Japan. In particular, he’s a master at manipulating light during dawn and dusk, adding an almost otherworldly quality to his vistas. Now take a moment to sit back and relax in order to completely appreciate the scope of Yasui’s craft.

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Winter walking event takes you around Totoro forest loved by Hayao Miyazaki

While the well-known Ghibli Museum in Tokyo might be at the top of the bucket list for any fan of legendary animated film director Hayao Miyazaki, there’s actually an even better place to get in touch with the semi-retired maestro himself.

It’s a beautiful stretch of nature just north-west of Tokyo. called Sayama Hills. Situated in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, and nicknamed “Totoro’s Forest”, this area was the actual inspiration for the animated feature My Neighbour Totoro. Miyazaki has been known to take daily walks through the area, and is so enamoured by the place that he actively participates in regular volunteer events and has made generous donations towards its conservation.

Now, the foundation that protects the forest is inviting the general public in for a special guided walking tour to take place on 5 December. The full-day event takes visitors around some very special areas and includes lots of background information for fans.

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Japan’s Mt. Aso currently erupting, Kyushu residents capture dramatic photos

Japan’s beautiful mountainous scenery and relaxing hot springs are all thanks to volcanic activity, and even today there are still a handful of active peaks to be found in the country. One of the most famous, Kyushu’s Mt. Aso, is even a popular tourist destination. We don’t recommend visiting today, though, because the 1,592-meter (5,223-foot) volcano is currently erupting, as seen in these photos taken by locals.

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