nature

A tree in India is bigger than the average Wal-Mart

A tree in India is bigger than the average Wal-Mart

It may sound hard to believe, but the world’s widest tree, located near Kolkata, India, is bigger than the average Wal-Mart.

The gigantic Banyan tree may look like a forest from far away, but it’s actually comprised of a myriad of aerial roots that cover 3.5 square acres of land, which equals roughly 156,000 square feet, or 14,400 square meters.

Compare that to data from the most recent unit count and square footage report from Wal-Mart, which says that the average store size (that’s not a Supercenter) is just under 105,000 square feet or 9,750 square meters.

Read More

Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】

Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】

For most of the year, the tiny town of Inakadate in Aomori Prefecture doesn’t get a lot of visitors. With only some 8,000 residents, most of whom make their living through agriculture, there’s not much to do there, unless you feel like staring at the farmers’ fields.

Every summer, though, droves of visitors come to do just that, as Inakadate’s rice paddies transform into gigantic works of art. And this year is no exception.

Read More

Cool, super-absorbent handkerchief maps keeping Japanese hikers dry and on-course

Cool, super-absorbent handkerchief maps keeping Japanese hikers dry and on-course

There are a few things you’ll want to make sure you have before setting out on a long hike. Proper footwear is a must, for example, as is a sufficient supply of water.

Especially if you’re heading into the mountains of Japan during the summer months, a hand towel is something else you’ll definitely want to have with you. The high humidity means you’ll be working up quite a sweat, and having something to wipe yourself off will go a long way towards making your day outdoors more enjoyable.

Of course, even more so than being drenched in sweat, getting lost is an easy way to ruin your day out. Thankfully there’s now a way to prevent both of those problems with a towel that doubles as a map.

Read More

Stunning Photos Of The Supermoon

Stunning Photos Of The Supermoon

On Saturday night, July 12, you may have noticed that the moon looked unusually large.

That’s because it was the “supermoon,” which happens when two phenomenon occur at the same time: the full moon and the “perigee moon.” The perigee moon is when the moon passes closest to earth causing it to look about 14% larger and 30% brighter than usual. It looks even larger when it hangs low over the horizon, as it does when it is rising, for reasons scientists can’t completely explain.

Don’t worry if you missed it though. You can catch another supermoon on August 10 and September 9.

Until then, check out our favorite pictures from this past weekend below:

Read More

Japanese giant salamander caught taking a stroll on land

Japanese giant salamander caught taking a stroll on land

Japan is home to many strange and interesting creatures from freakishly huge wasps to beautifully blue glowing squid, but perhaps one of the oddest is the seldom seen Japanese giant salamander or Ōsanshōuo as it’s called in Japanese.

Although they spend most of their lives underwater, every now and again you might just catch one making the trek onto land as the lucky Twitter user who found this guy did. From this image it might be hard to see exactly how big the Japanese giant salamander can be, but the following picture gives us a better sense of scale.

Read More

The beautiful flowers of Hydrangea Temple: Possibly the best thing about Japan’s rainy season

The beautiful flowers of Hydrangea Temple: Possibly the best thing about Japan’s rainy season

As much as I look forward to summer every year, I’ll admit it can be a little hard getting excited about the early part of the season in Japan. The humidity rises, mosquitos come out in force (although we’ve got a secret trick for dealing with them), and the weather is rainy enough that going almost a week without seeing the sun isn’t that unusual.

Still, there’s at least one nice part about June in Japan, which is the blooming of the hydrangeas. The bundles of blossoms are blooming right now, and if you’re in the Tokyo area, there’s no better place to see them than at Meigetsuin Temple in Kamakura.

Read More

That’s not a rabbit, that’s Mother Nature’s version of Pikachu (also known as Viscacha)【Photos】

That’s not a rabbit, that’s Mother Nature’s version of Pikachu (also known as Viscacha)【Photos】

As the end of the week closes in, it’s time to slow things down a bit and unwind. It’s been raining in Tokyo for the past couple of days, and we all know what cool, rainy weather does to us, right? It makes us feel oh so sleepy… like these fluffy… real-life Pikachus…

W-what? Did I just say Pikachu? I mean, Viscacha! Just look at them dozing off on the rocks!

Read More

Hokkaidō’s “Sea of Clouds” Terrace now open, just a 13-minute chairlift ride away! 【Photos】

Hokkaidō’s “Sea of Clouds” Terrace now open, just a 13-minute chairlift ride away! 【Photos】

Nope, the above image isn’t a production still from a live-action version of The Pilot’s Love Song or Zelda: Skyward Sword. Rather, this glorious view can be seen from the popular “Sea of Clouds” (unkai) Terrace on Mount Tomamu, which is entering its ninth year of service.

Such a magnificent vista is generally the sole privilege of determined hikers, but this resort attraction in the heart of Hokkaidō delivers you to it in a mere 13 minutes, and you don’t even need an ounce of upsidasium! Whether you’re a nut for Laputa, a hardcore Bioshock Infinite cosplayer, or just a nature lover like me, you’ve got to check out this unique mountaintop experience.

Read More

Nissan’s endurance racing team combines PlayStation training, hybrid power, crazy design

Nissan’s endurance racing team combines PlayStation training, hybrid power, crazy design

Most if the time, video games and sports cars are two of the more trivial things in life. That said, sometimes it’s those non-productive luxuries that give us the recharge we need to be industrious in our daily grind. Some people draw energy and inspiration from an afternoon spent with a good book or favorite album, others get it from a few hours working a PS4 controller or rowing through a crisp-shifting gearbox.

Competitive gaming and motorsports are getting another boost in legitimacy this summer, as the first has led to a job for some talented virtual racers, and their team’s car is helping pave the way for cleaner, more efficient engines.

Read More

Panda and tiger face packs protect endangered species while they beautify your skin

Panda and tiger face packs protect endangered species while they beautify your skin

It’s kind of ironic that face packs, which are designed to make your skin healthier and more beautiful, actually look pretty ghoulish when they’re in use. Often, the price of eventual beauty can be spending a half-hour or so looking like either The Phantom of the Opera or Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface.

Stepping up with an alternative is a Japanese company that’s selling face masks that promise to temporarily transform their wearer into a cute panda or tiger.

Read More

River in China’s Huizhou turns crimson, earns unflattering nickname

River in China’s Huizhou turns crimson, earns unflattering nickname

China’s Huizhou can count several water-based tourist stops within its expansive city limits. Nearby Daya Bay is dotted with islands and beaches, and the town’s hot springs’ mineral contents are said to soothe a number of ailments.

Recently, Huizhou’s waters once again attracted attention, although not necessarily of the positive sort, when one of its rivers suddenly turned a vibrant hue of red.

Read More

Fallen cherry blossoms make gorgeous “sakura carpet” at Hirosaki Park 【Photos】

Fallen cherry blossoms make gorgeous “sakura carpet” at Hirosaki Park 【Photos】

Seeing a park full of cherry trees in full bloom is remarkable, much like walking through a cotton candy wonderland, but even after the delicate pink petals begin to fall, they continue to offer new perspectives, many so beloved they’ve got their own word in Japanese. There’s hanafubuki, or the blizzard of petals that engulfs you when the wind picks up. There’s hazakura, the young leaves of the tree revealed once the blossoms have fallen. And there’s hanaigata or flower raft, a gathering of fallen petals on water.

At one of the most famous sakura-viewing spots in Aomori, Hirosaki Park, the little pink petals from the park’s 2,600 cherry trees gather so thick and fast on the waterways that they’ve stopped resembling rafts and completely covered the surface of the water, leading to the coining of a new phrase: sakura no juutan or the cherry blossom carpet.

Read More

Photo captures epic lightning strike to Tokyo Skytree

Photo captures epic lightning strike to Tokyo Skytree

At 634 meters (2,080 ft), Tokyo Skytree is not only the tallest building in Japan, but also the tallest broadcasting tower in the world and second only to the Burj Khalifa in tallest structures. With all that height and no small amount of metal, a building is bound to get some serious love from lightning strikes, but catching that moment on film is easier said than done as a strike usually lasts between 1-2 microseconds.

This week, Twitter user @KAGAYA_11949 managed to get a great shot nonetheless.

Read More

These beautiful temple gardens are…15 minutes from Narita Airport?!

These beautiful temple gardens are…15 minutes from Narita Airport?!

For many visitors to Japan, their image of the city of Narita begins and ends with Narita International Airport. As such, most people plan their itineraries with the goal of spending as little time in the town as possible, unless they’re the type of odd sorts who just can’t get enough of waiting in airline check-in or customs lines.

In their rush to get into Tokyo or back home as soon as possible, though, they’re missing out on one of eastern Japan’s most visually impressive temples, Naritasan Shinshoji and its attached gardens.

Read More

Green cherry blossoms blooming now across Japan

Green cherry blossoms blooming now across Japan

If you’re kicking yourself for missing the hanami cherry blossom viewing season in Japan, we have some good news for you. There are still some sakura in full bloom right now and not only are they perfect for picnicking under, they’re a rare green variety that has even Japanese people gasping in delight.

Read More

Shark shocks Ibaraki aquarium staff by swallowing…another shark

Shark shocks Ibaraki aquarium staff by swallowing…another shark

With only about 20,000 residents, the city of Oarai, in Ibaraki Prefecture, isn’t exactly bursting with entertainment options. If you do find yourself with some time to kill there, though, you could stop by the Aqua World aquarium, where aquatic life including sea lions, jellyfish, and dolphins are on hand to greet visitors.

The facility is even home to a number of sharks. Don’t worry, they’re not man-eaters or anything. The sharks might just eat each other, though.

Read More

Chinese beach glows beautiful blue in the dead of night 【Photos】

Chinese beach glows beautiful blue in the dead of night 【Photos】

More often than not when we come across photos of China’s rivers or sea these days, they are accompanied by tales of environmental destruction and depressing statistical data on recent pollution levels. So for once, it’s nice to see some photos being shared online here in Japan that show China looking pretty.

And it doesn’t get much prettier than a beach sparkling a magical blue at night.

Read More

Japan’s 7 most beautiful views in blue

Japan’s 7 most beautiful views in blue

If you try to think of a natural vista featuring the color blue, chances are the first image to pop to mind is a tropical ocean view or maybe a glacial ice-scape. Despite being somewhere in between those to climate extremes, Japan has some beautiful blues to offer as well. Here are seven of the most impressive blue landscapes in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Read More

There’s something about sakura: It’s hard not to fall in love with Japan’s cherry blossom【Videos】

There’s something about sakura: It’s hard not to fall in love with Japan’s cherry blossom【Videos】

Spring has arrived in Japan, and that can mean only one thing: Hanami, or cherry blossom viewing parties! But what is it about hanami, and those pretty pink petals in general for that matter, that manages to capture the hearts and minds of so many?

Let’s take a look at a handful of videos that capture the mood of hanami season perfectly and see if we can pinpoint exactly what it is that makes the season so special!

Read More

Know your sakura: Japan’s three best cherry blossom trees

Know your sakura: Japan’s three best cherry blossom trees

In Japan, cherry blossoms, or sakura, are the rock stars of the plant kingdom. People obsess over them, their rare public appearances send fans into a frenzy, and the most devoted enthusiasts will even follow their flowering tour as it spreads from Japan’s warmer southern prefectures to the chillier north.

But just as some music acts draw larger crowds than others, these three sakura trees are considered to be the absolute peak of the pink-flowered crowd.

Read More

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3