The Geological Maps of Volcanos in Japan

It’s impossible to live in Japan without bumping into a volcano or two.

There are currently 110 active volcanoes (volcanoes that have been active/still are active in the past 10,000 years) in Japan, of which 47 are under 24-hour surveillance. That doesn’t mean that they are all billowing ash and lava at the moment, of course. It just means that they have a higher chance of erupting in the near future.

Volcanoes tend to wreak havoc when they erupt. They disrupt the lives of the people in the surrounding area, sometimes stop air traffic, and bring up health issues. I still remember seeing the news of how everyone had to evacuate Miyake-jima when a volcano there erupted in 2000.

But there is a plus side to volcanoes as well, if you can believe it. These volcanoes are one of the reasons why Japan has such an abundance of fresh water. The volcanic ash is also known to be rich in minerals that help fertilize the soil. And of course, the amazing onsen experience would not be possible without volcanoes!

One more thing about volcanoes is that they make beautiful geological maps! (Yes, this is where I was heading all along!)

The maps are bright and colorful due to the many layers of different types of rock units on volcanoes. I’ve always loved geological maps. Even in high school, despite not learning a thing in my earth science class, I was drawn to the flow of shapes and colors in geological maps. If I had payed more attention, I may have realized how gorgeous the maps for volcanoes were! (Kids, studying IS important!)

Have you ever climbed a volcano? What do you think of these maps?

My personal favorite, this is Nasu-dake (那須岳), which is near the Alpaca farm and Onsen Shrine.
This is Miyake-jima (三宅島), where parts of the volcano are still off limits due to poisonous gas.
Mt. Aso (阿蘇山), famous for its caldera form, is a popular tourist spot in Kumamoto.
Mt. Kirishima (霧島山) is right by Sakura Sakura Onsen and the garden cafe in Kagoshima.
And this is the ever active Sakura-jima (桜島), which you can see from downtown Kagoshima.

(via Kateoplis)

The Beautiful City Guides

I’ve been seeing these city guides everywhere…and I love it!
The CITI x 60 city guide series came out this summer and it introduces you to the city through the eyes of 60 local artists along topics such as art, design, and architecture.

What really caught my eye were the book covers. Not only are they beautiful, it can spread out to display a map of the city created by one of their artists! Each map is unique and I have a feeling I won’t be able to stop myself from collecting all the city guides, especially because I’ve yet to visit many of these cities. What do you think?

The first series covers London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, Barcelona, and Berlin.


The ABC Series By Hugo Yoshikawa

Have you seen these beautiful alphabet illustrations by Hugo Yoshikawa?

A French-Japanese illustrator based in London, his City ABC series features illustrations of famous monuments and buildings of a European city for each letter of the alphabet.

I’ve actually never been to Europe so there were some cities in the series that I wasn’t familiar with, like Jerez or Quimper. But it was definitely fun trying to guess the city from the illustrations. I even think it would be a great game to play at a dinner party (is that still a thing?).

These are few of the cities I’d love to visit one day. Can you guess where? x

The Standardized Metro Maps by Jug Cerovic

French Serbian architect Jug Cerovic has designed a standard metro map for 12 major cities, with a goal of make it easier for people to read, memorize and use the subway.
Outside of Japan, I’ve only taken public transportation in the US, South Korea, and Hong Kong. I think the subways of New York were the most confusing for me, mainly because there were no signs or timetable and the trains would randomly switch platforms on you. Or was that my imagination?
Looking at the Tokyo metro map, I’m not sure how much easier this is to read compared to the standard one we usually see in Tokyo. But that may be because I’m already familiar with the geography. I love seeing all the different designs the metro stations draw on each city though.
What do you think of all these metro maps?

(all metro maps via INAT)

The Kind of Moving Treasure Hunt Scarves

Aren’t these scarves beautiful?
My love of all things maps stumbled upon these silk scarves designed by Kind of Moving, a brand by Amsterdam based Japanese designer Kumi Hiroi.
I love the use of simple city maps in pretty colors. The scarves have maps of Tokyo, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Ghent, and Paris printed on it. But it doesn’t end there. There is actually a little mark hidden on the scarf that will lead you to a treasure in each city!
A treasure hunt scarf, how fun is that?

(photos via Kind of Scarf)

The Maps by Masako Kubo

Masako Kubo draws amazing maps.
I love the way she illustrates.
Like this map of Kamakura below.

And did you know the Tokyo Marathon 2013 is this coming weekend?
Tokyo Marathon was added to the
World Marathon Major Series starting this year.
How exciting is that?
(I’m excited and I don’t even run…except to the station sometimes.)
The others are Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York.
Apparently Tokyo is the first one to join in Asia.
Masako Kubo illustrated the Tokyo Marathon course
for the latest issue of metropolitana.
This marathon course is pretty much a tourists paradise.
It starts in Shinjuku,
in front of the Tokyo Metropolis Government building,
and goes by famous spots around Tokyo,
like the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Tower,
and ends the race in Odaiba.
I’ve always wanted to go cheer everyone on.
And also see Jesus Christ.
I’m not even kidding.
Every year this guy dresses up as Jesus
and runs the marathon with a cross on his back.
A styrofoam cross.
But still.
Maybe I’ll spot him this year.
Tokyo Marathon starts at 9:10am
on Sunday, February 24, 2013.
Live on Fuji TV.