SUMMER WONDERLAND

COVERCHORD FEATURE

SUMMER WONDERLAND

JAPANESE

We have reached the peak of summer. It’s the perfect time to take a break and get away. We asked globetrotting Japanese photographer, author and television personality Kenji Sato to recommend his favorite spots for a summer holiday. Mixing beaches and resorts with culture, food and siteseeing, the list takes in destinations that offer something for everyone, from seasoned explorers to first-time travellers.

Greece・Lindos

When it comes to the European summer, you really can’t go past Greece. On the mainland, in Athens, you have some of the most significant and impressive ancient ruins in the world. While not far south in the Aegean sea, lies a myriad of islands, offering a vast array of different landscapes.
There are popular resorts like Santorini and Mykonos, as well as quieter islands such as Amorgos. With ferries connecting all of the islands, I recommend taking time to hop around and take in the unique beauty of each. The photo is a place called Lindos on the island of Rhodes, a quintessential image of Greece, white walled houses, ancient ruins and prisitne beach.

- The moderate, Mediterranean climate keeps things mild and genreally very comfortable during th esummer months. Fine weather continues from June to September, with temperatures often surpassing 30 ° C, but with low humidity.
- Access from Doha, Paris, Istanbul etc. via Athens, from there about 1 hour to Dia Goras airport.

Brazil・Rio de Janeiro

Brazil is so big that every city and town has its own unique charm, but my favorite is still Rio de Janeiro. With the crowds flocking to the famous Ipanema coast beaches from afternoon till late, you can take your time around the city in a relaxed atmosphere. Though, you can’t visit Rio without also spending time at the beach. While there is an image of danger attached to the city, in my opinion if you take care and use common sense, you should feel Rio is safer than many other cities in South America.

-With its subtropical climate, Rio is mild throughout the year and you can enjoy the beach all year round. The rainy season is from December to April and the dry season from May to November.The weather affects temperatures considirebly from day to day.

-Access via a 10 hour flight from New York, Dallas, Houston etc.

JAPAN・Miyakojima(Okinawa)

Okinawa is still the ultimate place to take a summer holiday in Japan. There are many beautfiul islands on the archipeligo such as the remote Ishigakijima, but my pick of the bunch is Miyakojima. The island has one large beach which is very popular with tourists, but there are also many smaller beaches where only locals go, so even during the height of summer when the island is at its most crowded, it is easyt to find a stretch of prisitne coastline with relatively few people. The town has grown over the years also, so there is plenty of dleivious food now available also. The island is also home to several historic sites which are not to be missed when visiting.

-Miyakojima has hot and humid sub-tropical ocean climate, which is relatively warm in winter. Sea breezes during the summer alleviate some of the heat.
It is a warm throughout the four seasons, and the average annual temperature is a comfortable 23.3 ° C.

-Access via a 3 hour direct flight from Haneda Airport. Or via Naha Airport to Miyako Airport in about 50 minutes.

Cuba・Havana

Fidel Castro, who lead Cuba as a one-party socialist state for almost half a century, past away last year. With Castro’s passing, and America’s subsequent lifting of travel restirctions, rapid changes can already be seen across the country. However, so much of Cuba’s charm and unique cityscape still remains I recommend it for anyone to visit. People are kind and welcoming, the streets are vibrant and the food is great.

-Cuba has a subtropical ocean climate with an annual average temperature of 25.5° C. With trade winds blowing throughout the year, it stays relatively hot through the summer. The dry season is from November to April and the rainy season is from May to October. Hurricanes are frequent in September and October.
-Access from Toronto or New York to Havana airport in about three and a half hours.

Vietnam・Hoi An

While Thailand is probably still regarded by most as the premier resort holiday destination in South East Asia, Vietnam is gaining more and more popularity. One of the reason’s for this is the appeal of Hoi An and its neighbouring city Danang which are located along the central coast. With its mix of French colonial architecture and Chinese shophouses an dtemples Hoi An has a distinctive charm and atmosphere unlike anywhere else. Da Nang offers one of the finest resorts in Vietnam, where its long beaches seem to last forever.

Recently, the number of resort hotels being built has soared as foreign touristshave flocked to the area, but still in the evenings as the locals gather, it maintains its warm and unique character. Incredibly inexpensive and offering a host of delicious food, Hoi An and Danang are not to be missed.

-January to August is the dry season where temperatures average nearly 30 degrees celsius. The rainy season is from September to December.

-It is said that Vietnam has a climate that is like an everlasting summer, but because of its length stretching north to south the climate is varies greatly from region to region. Access from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh to Danang Airport in about an hour. From there it takes another hour by bus or a taxi to Hoi An.



PHOTO&TEXT : KENJI SATO





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KENJI SATO (Photogragher)
After graduating from Musashino Art University specializing in photography, Sato began searching out and documenting “strange places / phenomena around the world”. Employing both a natural history and aesthetic approach to his photography and writing Sato has released best selling books: “KIKAIISAN” (The Wonderland’s Heritage), “Ruins of the World” ,among others. Sato’s recent release “SATELLITE” was in collaboration with Digital Globe, the worlds leading commercial vendor of space imagery. He recently edited a special edition of popular travel and photography magazine “TRANSIT” titled “Beautiful Wonders of the World” and is also a frequent guest on popular TBS television series “Crazy Journey”.
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