The spring sunshine made our faces warm and smiling when we sat in the port of the charming Tomonoura. Wooden fishing boats kept the otherwise silent waterfront busy and for a long time, enjoying a local Fukuyama Cola, we watched them come and go. Above us, groups of eagles and seagulls had their own performance nosediving into the water with a hope of catching the fish. On a pier the elegant cranes walked calmly – for a moment it seemed that there were more birds than people in this photogenic old port town!Continue Reading
When we walked along the streets of Hiroshima our attention was drawn to the contrast between the modern, busy city and some old buildings which were left here and there. The aged houses stood still like silent witnesses, the memories of the tragedy that the city faced 75 years ago. It was hard to imagine that once the nuclear bomb was dropped here killing over 100k people instantly scattering down the city to the ground.Continue Reading
We were around 180 km east from the city of Minusinsk where Vissarion gave the first public speech in 1991. Finally the only van on the dirt road stopped – yet again for some time saving us from clouds of mosquitoes and the possibility of a close encounter with a bear. We jumped in the back of UAZ van as if it was our home – it’s pretty common automobile in Central Asia. The driver and his friend were not the followers, two fishermen, already semi drunk, knew little of the community at the end of the road, deep in the Siberian forest. Slowly moving we were getting closer and closer to the place which was a long time pinned on our travel map. Suddenly on the dirt road curve, we spotted an older bearded man walking towards the opposite direction – stick in his hand and a clothes in shades of white and gray made him quite noticeable. “Ha, here you go – a wizard” grunted the driver scratching his arm through a camo shirt. After a few minutes he stopped the machine, they packed up their fishing gear and went somewhere into the forest, we still had 30 minutes walk to do. Our faces were more sweaty than we expected once we got to the wooden guard post. After explaining our story in half-Russian the kind man inside made some calls on the radio. Soon we were greeted and warmly welcomed by the members of the Mountain community.
Japanese macaques, locally known as the snow monkeys, are the most northern-living monkeys in the world. In the Jigokudani Monkey Park, located in the forests in Yamanouchi, we could admire these beautiful primates relaxing in a hot spring! Through the ages macaques have inhabited the area, but as a result of the construction of holiday resorts and deforestation, their habitat began to shrink and in 1964 the park was founded to protect them from harm. The creator Sogo Hara, with the help of other locals, started to leave apples in the valley and soon the macaques started to stick around while at the same time using the convenience of the natural hot springs!Continue Reading