Minakami

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By Benjamin Pratt | June 1, 2016

I used to imagine small mountain town bars sheltering twenty or thirty men in flannelette huddled around, stinking of lumberjack sweat and stale beer, watching replays of old college football games. Then I went to Ruins in Minakami, Japan. This bar is far away from that image. It’s pumping with the atmosphere of young locals, seasonal gaijins (foreigners) and…

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By Benjamin Pratt | May 28, 2016

On the outside, during the day amongst the Minakami nature, Doai Station looks like any other semi-abandoned station in the middle of nowhere. There’s no station attendants, no ticket machines to manoeuvre and no signage; not even a hint of civilisation. But, what’s real trippy: Doai Station is 70 metres underground – the deepest active train station…

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By Benjamin Pratt | May 24, 2016

Yeehaw, baby! You’ve decided to immerse yourself in the knee-deep snow and picturesque natural surroundings of mountain-town Minakami. A decision you’re not going to regret. Now you just gotta figure out how to get there. Good news: it’s not far from Tokyo. Only 90 minutes by Shinkansen, and a free trip if you get your…

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By Benjamin Pratt | May 20, 2016

In the valley of the Japanese mountains in Gunma prefecture lays a small, unassuming mountain town called Minakami. Just jump on a Shinkansen from Tokyo for an hour and a half and you’ll be transported from the metropolis jungles of downtown districts to a lavish land of natural splendor and vitality. Engulfed by mountainous peaks,…

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By Benjamin Pratt | April 22, 2016

Picture yourself laying back reading a book beside the gentle rumble of the slow rolling mountain stream; immersed in the flora and fauna and mild murmurings of mother nature; staring up at one of Japan’s most beautiful mountainscapes. You’re not staying far away: a twenty-metre stroll back to your secluded family-run mountain chalet on the…

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