Category: Japan

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Islands of Dark Tourism

In this post I want to take you off the beaten track and to some less well explored, more exotic, remote locations. The eight selected places have only one thing in common: they are all islands. Other than that they are very different from each other and represent a range of distinct categories of dark tourism that dark globe trotters visit for very different reasons.

Of course there are well-known dark islands, too, such as Alcatraz or Robben Island, both former prison islands turned memorials, which today attract large numbers of visitors and hence overlap with mainstream tourism; but here we are going to get further away from that.

Another Dark Valentine’s Day

Today is 14 February, Valentine’s Day! Last year I marked this date with a post featuring a photo of a dark bas-relief by Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland plus photos of a few more works by the same artist on public display in Frogner Park in Oslo, Norway.

For today I searched through my archives looking for other things that could be related to Valentine’s Day, like hearts, flowers and other symbols of love – but with a dark-tourism-relevant connection, of course. I did

Indonesian revelations

The large archipelago nation of Indonesia has been in the media lately for a couple of unexpected revelations – for me at least.

For one thing, the country’s capital city Jakarta will soon no longer be the capital city!
Indonesia is about to go the Brazil/Myanmar way, as it were, with a purpose-built new capital in the very centre of the archipelago, namely in the province of East Kalimantan, on the

Dark Tourism & Ash

This is a theme that featured a couple of times as a candidate in theme polls on this blog (namely here and here) but failed to win on both occasions. I decided to feature it now anyway – inspired by the latest news and dramatic images from Indonesia, where there’s been a major ash eruption of Mt Semeru volcano on the populous island of Java (see e.g. this article from Sunday, more on Volcano Discovery).

I’ve been to Mt Semeru,

Personal and National Celebrations

So here it is, the big day, the date when my book (photo of the title page above) is finally launched globally. In Germany it had already been available for a few weeks. But now that it’s out internationally it’s cause for celebration!

It so happens that this date is also Austria’s “Nationalfeiertag”, literally ‘National Celebration Day’. I could say: that’s nice, so the whole nation is celebrating with me. But

A medical theme

To make up for last week’s absence of a new blog post (and the likelihood of there not being one next week), I give you an extra-elaborate one today – on a medical theme, not decided on by a readers’ poll, but just by myself. The reason being that early tomorrow morning I’ll have my left hand operated on. Hence I picked the above photo as the lead image.

I took that in

Dark Tourism & Pianos

As promised in the previous theme post, I now bring you the other one of the joint winners of our latest theme poll.

So in what ways can pianos be associated with dark tourism? A pretty unique example is this, a piano-shaped tombstone:

The Thornton grave used to have an open lid on the stone piano too, but that got destroyed by vandals. Maybe it’s

1st Anniversary, best of

It was exactly on this day, precisely one year ago, on 28 May 2020, that this blog went live and the first post went up. To mark this first anniversary, I went through the entire blog and picked twelve of my favourite photos used on the blog so far, one for each of the twelve months I’ve been here, as it were.
Here are my 12 choices … in no particular order:

Dark Tourism & Food

As announced yesterday, our latest theme poll had two joint winners. This is the first one – ‘dark tourism & pianos’ will follow next week.

So let’s take a look at how food can play a role in dark tourism:

To begin with it can simply be a case of the location where the food is consumed being a dark travel destination. That could be said for this nice spread of kimchis and other delicacies I had at a traditional restaurant in Kaesong in

Dark Tourism & Animals

Today, 3rd of March, is World Wildlife Day (as proclaimed by the United Nations in December 2013). So I decided to make today’s post one on the theme of dark tourism and animals!

Now, in what ways can animals be ‘dark’? Well, for one thing it could be because a kind of animal may be dangerous to humans. And indeed quite a few animals are

Dark Tourism & Broken Glass

Our latest theme poll had a clear winner so today I give you the requested one of broken glass (DT & bullet holes came second, and I may field that again in a future theme poll).

The photo above is what I consider one of the most appealing images of broken glass in my archives. It’s a close-up of a large war ruin I discovered in Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina, in 2009. Here’s a

Dark Tourism & Lakes

As announced in the previous post and the latest newsletter, today I bring you the other one of the joint winners of our latest theme poll, after DT & spheres. So, now to lakes.
This is Lovatnet in Norway. It looks just very scenic and serene, but this lake has been deadly, twice, in the 20th century, namely when huge rockfalls/landslides from the steep slopes of Mt Ramnefjell crashed into the water, creating massive tsunamis that washed away entire villages on the lake’s shores

Dark Tourism & Clothing

As decided in the most recent poll, and announced on Monday, today we come to the theme “dark tourism and clothing”:

You could be forgiven if you think this is a really exotic theme within the wider subject of dark tourism. But items of clothing do actually come up quite often. And the ones featured below are only a selection.

Perhaps the most predictable case of clothes with a dark association is those iconic and infamous striped

Fukushima water

You may have seen some headlines about Fukushima lately, namely about the site of the stricken nuclear power plant (NPP) planning to release a million tonnes of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. This is not actually news, as this move has been in the pipeline for a long while, nor is it all that sensational and threatening. Over a year ago there were already similar headlines (about the possibility of such a move coming), and on my ex-Facebook page I posted the following text in reaction to this article:

Dark Tourism & Cars

As decided in the latest poll, the theme of this post is ‘dark tourism and cars’. It won by two votes ahead of ‘dark tourism and clothes’, so that will be entered again in the next poll. And since several people said that their second choice (and close contender) was ‘dark tourism and spheres’ I’ll give that another chance next time too. NPPs will have to wait a little longer, but as that is one of my personal favourites it is bound to pop up at some point as well (whether in another poll or independently I can’t say yet).

But now to cars. Searching through my archives I found