Okawachiyama Village and the Furin Wind Bell Festival

The beautiful, relaxing sounds of small bells chiming softly in the wind is the soundtrack to Okawachiyama’s lovely Festival of Wind Bells. These small bells, with paper attachments swirling in the wind are called furin, and are synonymous with summertime in Japan. In this historic village in Saga prefecture, also known as the ‘Village of … More Okawachiyama Village and the Furin Wind Bell Festival

Meet Finland’s Weirdest Sport – The Wife Carrying World Championships

Every year in the Finnish town of Sonkajärvi, one of the world’s weirdest sporting competitions take place – the Wife Carrying World Championships (known locally as eukonkanto). It’s exactly what it sounds like, with male competitors carrying their wives across an outdoor obstacle course of sand and water. With an amazing grand prize for the … More Meet Finland’s Weirdest Sport – The Wife Carrying World Championships

How Sri Lanka’s Man-Made Reservoirs Created Elephant Migration Areas in Minneriya

Minneriya National Park in central Sri Lanka is known for its amazing seasonal congregation of elephants. Around September and October, up to 300 elephants migrate to the park and congregate around Minneriya Lake. However, this watering hole which serves as the elephants’ main food and water source isn’t natural, and is actually an ancient man-made … More How Sri Lanka’s Man-Made Reservoirs Created Elephant Migration Areas in Minneriya

Water Jousting in Séte – France’s Medieval Sport Tradition

In the south of France, there is an unusual traditional sport that comes along once a year. Water jousting (joutes nautiqes) is just like horse jousting, but is played between two rival boats that row towards each other. Water jousting is a major event in some French towns, most famously in the port town of … More Water Jousting in Séte – France’s Medieval Sport Tradition

Japan’s Squid Celebration – Hakodate Annual Port Festival

Every August, the Japanese city of Hakodate celebrates the humble squid with an annual squid festival. That’s right, an entire festival to honour the tentacled cephalopods of the region! The city of Hakodate is located on a southern outcrop of Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido. Presided over by the dominating Mount Hakodate, the city is perhaps … More Japan’s Squid Celebration – Hakodate Annual Port Festival

Tokyo’s Whale Celebration – Akishima Citizen Whale Festival

Akishima is a city in the west of the greater Tokyo metropolis. Every year, the Akishima Citizen Whale Festival celebrates one of their local symbols, the Akishima whale. But what does a city 50km from the coast have to do with whales? The Akishima Whale Fossil In 1961, a prehistoric whale fossil was discovered by … More Tokyo’s Whale Celebration – Akishima Citizen Whale Festival

Restoring and Celebrating Vizir, Napoleon’s Last Horse

In the Musée de l’Armée, the army museum in central Paris, there is a display of Napoleon’s last horse, Vizir. The taxidermied remains of Vizir are on display behind a glass cabinet for all to see. At 200 years old, Vizir has had an incredible history of epic battles, exile, and even being smuggled overseas … More Restoring and Celebrating Vizir, Napoleon’s Last Horse

Sunamushi Onsen – Volcanic Sand Bathing in Southern Japan

For many people, being buried up to the neck in hot, black volcanic sand doesn’t seem like a pleasant way to relax. But in parts of southern Japan, sunamushi (sand bathing) on a volcanic beach is a popular form of bathing that helps rest the mind and refresh the body. For those who have not … More Sunamushi Onsen – Volcanic Sand Bathing in Southern Japan

Everything Squid In Hakodate, Japan’s Squid Capital!

Hakodate is a port city in Japan’s northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido. Because of its history as a squid fishing port, the city has embraced the humble cephalopod as the official mascot. Squids appear everywhere in Hakodate – live squids in marketplaces, cartoon squids on manhole covers, squid ink ice cream, even dancing squids on your … More Everything Squid In Hakodate, Japan’s Squid Capital!