Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean

8 March 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Marina Taina in Pape'ete © Remi Jouan/cc-by-sa-3.0

Marina Taina in Pape’ete © Remi Jouan/cc-by-sa-3.0

Tahiti (previously also known as Otaheite) is the largest island of the Windward group of the Society Islands in French Polynesia. It is located in the central part of the Pacific Ocean and the nearest major landmass is Australia. Divided into two parts, Tahiti Nui (bigger, northwestern part) and Tahiti Iti (smaller, southeastern part), the island was formed from volcanic activity; it is high and mountainous with surrounding coral reefs. Its population was 189,517 in 2017, making it by far the most populous island in French Polynesia and accounting for 68.7% of its total population.   read more…

Solana Beach in California

17 January 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Timeforkindergarten/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Timeforkindergarten/cc-by-sa-4.0

Solana Beach (Solana, Spanish for “warm wind”) is a coastal city in San Diego County, California. Its population was at 12,941 at the 2020 U.S. Census, up from 12,867 at the 2010 Census. The area was first settled by the San Dieguitos, early Holocene inhabitants of the area. The area was later inhabited by the Kumeyaay, who set up a village they called Kulaumai, on the southern banks of the San Elijo Lagoon. During the Spanish colonial era, trails heading north near Solana Beach crossed inland to avoid the marshes and inlets of the area.   read more…

Kamehameha Highway on Oahu

22 December 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

Palm trees along the beach at Punalu'u Beach Park © Famartin/cc-by-sa-4.0

Palm trees along the beach at Punalu’u Beach Park © Famartin/cc-by-sa-4.0

Kamehameha Highway is one of the main highways serving suburban and rural O‘ahu in the U.S. state of Hawai‘i. Informally known as Kam Highway, it begins at Nimitz Highway near Pearl Harbor and Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, serves the island’s older western suburbs, and turns north across the O‘ahu Central Valley to the North Shore. At the North Shore, Kamehameha Highway heads northeast around the northern tip of O‘ahu, then southeast to and just beyond Kāne‘ohe Bay on the windward coast. The road was named after King Kamehameha I. A short detached segment of the Kamehameha Highway exists for a few blocks in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kalihi. This segment runs as a short extension of Dillingham Boulevard from Pu‘uhale Road (near the O‘ahu Community Correctional Center) to exit 18B on Interstate H-1. This section was contiguous with the rest of the highway before the construction of the H-1 viaduct.   read more…

Palos Verdes Estates in California

11 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Greater Los Angeles Area Reading Time:  13 minutes

Malaga Cove © Cardinalngold

Malaga Cove © Cardinalngold

Palos Verdes Estates (Palos Verdes, Spanish for “Green Sticks”) is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, situated on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The city was master-planned by the noted American landscape architect and planner Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. The city is located along the Southern California coastline of the Pacific Ocean. The population was 13,347 at the 2020 census, a slight decrease from its 2010 population of 13,438. Palos Verdes Estates is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States. The 90274 ZIP code (covering the cities of Palos Verdes Estates and Rolling Hills) was ranked the 47th most expensive housing area among high property value U.S. ZIP codes in a 2007 study by Forbes.com.Palos Verdes is also known for its high-performing schools; its high school has been regularly ranked among the top 50 nationally by various publications.   read more…

Theme Week Tokyo – Ginza

29 January 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  12 minutes

Wako store © Kakidai/cc-by-sa-4.0

Wako store © Kakidai/cc-by-sa-4.0

Ginza is a district of Chūō, Tokyo, located south of Yaesu and Kyōbashi, west of Tsukiji, east of Yūrakuchō and Uchisaiwaichō, and north of Shinbashi. It is a popular upscale shopping area of Tokyo, with numerous internationally renowned department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffeehouses located in its vicinity. It is considered to be one of the most expensive, elegant, and luxurious city districts in the world. Ginza was a part of the old Kyobashi ward of Tokyo City, which, together with Nihonbashi and Kanda, formed the core of Shitamachi,> the original downtown center of Edo (Tokyo). Each Saturday and Sunday, from 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., the main street through Ginza is closed off to road traffic, allowing people to walk freely. This is called Hokōsha Tengoku or Hokoten for short, literally meaning “pedestrian heaven”. There are some people who do street performance such as magic and playing instruments. As a famous photo spot, some cats sleep on signs, where people can put their own cats onto these signs. The location where cats are is different depending on the date.   read more…

Theme Week Tokyo – Sensō-ji temple

28 January 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

© jreysp/cc-by-sa-4.0

© jreysp/cc-by-sa-4.0

Sensō-ji (Kinryū-zan Sensō-ji) is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. It is Tokyo’s oldest temple, and one of its most significant. Formerly associated with the Tendai sect of Buddhism, it became independent after World War II. Adjacent to the temple is a five-story pagoda, the Asakusa Shinto shrine, as well as many shops with traditional goods in the Nakamise-dōri. The Sensoji Kannon temple is dedicated to Kannon Bosatsu, the Bodhisattva of compassion, and is the most widely visited spiritual site in the world with over 30 million visitors annually. The temple has a titanium tiled roof that maintains the historic image but is stronger and lighter.   read more…

Theme Week Tokyo – National Museum

27 January 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  9 minutes

The Hyokeikan © Kakidai/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Hyokeikan © Kakidai/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Tokyo National Museum or TNM is an art museum in Ueno Park in the Taitō ward of Tokyo, Japan. It is one of the four museums operated by the National Institutes for Cultural Heritage, is considered the oldest national museum in Japan, is the largest art museum in Japan, and is one of the largest art museums in the world. The museum collects, preserves, and displays a comprehensive collection of artwork and cultural objects from Asia, with a focus on ancient and medieval Japanese art and Asian art along the Silk Road.   read more…

Theme Week Tokyo – Imperial Palace

26 January 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  12 minutes

Suwa-no-chaya Tea House © flickr.com - Rob Young/cc-by-2.0

Suwa-no-chaya Tea House © flickr.com – Rob Young/cc-by-2.0

The Tokyo Imperial Palace (Kōkyo, literally “Imperial Residence”) is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. It is a large park-like area located in the Chiyoda district of the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo and contains several buildings including the main palace (Kyūden), some residences of the Imperial Family, an archive, museums and administrative offices. It is built on the site of the old Edo Castle. The total area including the gardens is 1.15 square kilometres (0.44 sq mi). During the height of the 1980s Japanese property bubble, the palace grounds were valued by some to be more than the value of all of the real estate in the state of California.   read more…

Theme Week Tokyo – Tokyo Tower

25 January 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

© flickr.com - Melv_L - MACASR/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – Melv_L – MACASR/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Tokyo Tower (officially called “Japan Radio Tower”) is a communications and observation tower in the Shiba-koen district of Minato, Tokyo, Japan, built in 1958. At 332.9 meters (1,092 ft), it is the second-tallest structure in Japan. The structure is an Eiffel Tower-inspired lattice tower that is painted white and international orange to comply with air safety regulations. Since its completion in 1958, Tokyo Tower has become a prominent landmark in the city, and frequently appears in media set in Tokyo.   read more…

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