Ogimashi, Japan

An Historical-Virtual Japan

Lena in Flight
The dark and demonic side of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Lena flies with a cleaver.
spontaneous session
Satoko, Rena and Keiichii Maebara pose for occasional photographers
Fans & Photographers
Occasional photographers make their own images of famous characters they have known for a long time.
Rika stands out from the Shinto setting of the Hachiman-jinja temple.
Kigurumi de Satoko opens her arms to new Portuguese friends.
Creator and Kigurumi
Kigurumi of the character Satoko from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and one of the series' creators, Chikima.
Mion and Hanyu
Kigurumis from Mion and Hanyu at the temple of Hachiman in Ogimashi.
kigurumis Mion and Keiichii Maebara-Hachiman-Ogimashi-Japan temple
Mion and Keiichii Maebara talk by a tree near Hachiman temple.
Kigurumi Trio
Satoko, Mion and Keiichii Maebara
Rena, Satoko, Mion and Keiichii Maebara, the latter, the one who, in the series, unravels most of the mysteries.
tube message
Message left at Hachiman temple. by a young manga fan.
View of Ogimashi at nightfall.
Mion and Keiichii Maebara
Mion and Keiichii Maebara share the charm of Ogimashi's autumnal landscape.
Satoko & Rika
Satoko and Rika talk on the steps of Hachiman's temple in Ogimashi.
"Higurashi no Naku Koro never” was a highly successful Japanese animation and computer game series. In Ogimashi, Shirakawa-Go village, we live with a group of kigurumi of their characters.

"onikakushi-ken”, the first electronic title of the series “Higurashi no Naku Koro never” (“When Cicadas Cry”) was released in Japan in August 2002 for PC.

It came out in a visual novel style and based on the NScripter engine, information that, these days, will only say something to the most informed programmers.

The enigmatic plot of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.

The story took place in a fictional rural village called Hinamizawa. The place is apparently peaceful and quiet.

Until the newcomer protagonist Keiichi Maebara discovers that, in the last four years, one person has died and another disappeared during the Watanagashi-matsuri (Floating Cotton Festival) that there pays homage to the village guardian Oyashiro-sama.

Throughout the games, intrigued and determined, the teenager investigates the various mysteries she is faced with.

Not satisfied with the already complex plot passed to boards and computers, the creators took the trouble to develop an equally or more exhaustive and, surprisingly macabre, historical context.

It was this dynamic dichotomy between the prevailing loathsome look between the characters and the malevolent involvement behind it that attracted and retained the series' fans.

Ryukishi07 the Mentor of the Series … Bloodthirsty

His main mentor, Ryukishi07 (Knight of the Dragon), confessed himself to be an inveterate fan of the electronic-Japanese epic “final Fantasy”. By the way, the Ryugu Reina of “Higurashi no Naku Koro never” – one of his 6 teenagers – was inspired by the semi-eponymous heroine of that other production.

According to Ryukishi's imagination, centuries before, Watanagashi was known as the Festival of the Floating Guts.

It served for the villagers to cleanse their sins with the blood of a tortured human using tools available in the fictional Furude temple.

Something that was done by a meticulous process that involved driving nails into each knuckle of the victim's fingers before a priest removed his stomach and intestines with a hoe-like instrument. This was followed by an intricate dance.

The entrails and the body would then be thrown into the river and float with the current, thus symbolizing the turning away from people's sins.

Kigurumis Mion and Hanyu, Hachiman temple, Ogimachi, Japan

Kigurumis from Mion and Hanyu at the temple of Hachiman in Ogimashi.

In more recent times, the original Watanagashi had begun to be seen as too violent and cruel. The villagers thus adapted the other meaning of the prefix cotton wool (cotton instead of intestines).

From then on, they contributed old garments whose cotton would be removed and gathered into a large futon.

The priest proceeded to gut the Futon instead of an unfortunate human and it would be up to each villager to remove a piece of the filling to float in the river.

Satoko and Rika, Hachiman temple, Ogimachi, Japan

Satoko and Rika talk on the steps of Hachiman's temple in Ogimashi.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: more than a Series, a Long Saga

Several other events and past connections spice up the unfolding of the saga that follows the most unexpected formulas of psychological suspense.

As of August 2006, there were already eight games. “Higurashi no Naku Koro ni” was so successful that it justified the release of animated CDs. Shortly thereafter, the manga adaptation followed, published in the magazine “Gangan Powered” with illustrations by the famous artist Karin Suzuragi.

Almost at the same time, the anime version “Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai” and a set of original video animations came out.

Messages, Hachiman Temple, Ogimashi, Japan

Message left at Hachiman temple by a young manga fan.

The success, increasingly international, has never ceased to grow and this last experience, in particular, justified, in 2008, the film adaptation of the series.

The Historical and Virtual Discovery of Shirakawa-Go

Last time we toured Japan, we felt the same inspiring appeal as Ryukishi07 by Shirakawa-Go, an interior and semi-rural stronghold of Hida region  UNESCO classified as a World Heritage Site in order to protect its culture.

In particular, the houses gassho-zukuri ("praying hands"), perfected over the centuries in order to resist the capricious weather in one of the most snowy areas on Earth.

We visited the place with high expectations which, despite the almost inevitable excessive flow of visitors to the islands of the rising sun, ended up being fulfilled.

We have reached the end of the second day of exploring the area. The sun has already disappeared behind the steep slope of Hakusan Mountain. The night is announced over the Shokawa Valley.

Ogimachi, Shirakawa go, Japan

View of Ogimashi at nightfall.

The Meeting with the Kigurumis of the Series and the Author, in Ogimashi

Without any warning, the mysterious setting of the Hachiman-jinja temple is invaded by a bunch of kigurumis (people-animated puppets).

Their gaudy, candid figures wander over the uneven staircase. They insinuate and interact with movements and poses so expressive and sentimental that they could seduce the rudest of humans.

A coordinated group of photographers, who react to any request, pursue them, under the relaxed and affable supervision of Chikima, one of the creative sui generis who then developed the series.

Kigurumis, Hachiman Temple, Ogimachi

Rena, Satoko, Mion and Keiichii Maebara, the latter, the one who, in the series, unravels most of the mysteries.

The Passage of the Series to the Cinema Screens

In the time that passed, the film had had an excellent box office return. It justified the studio's bet on a cinematographic sequel “Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Chikai”, a title that, in good Japanese fashion, once again explored the double meaning of words: naku can mean both “sounds made by non-human organisms” and “crying” .

In each episode of the long saga, the protagonist discovers that one of her friends had been demonized and committed the crimes. To top things off, as a rule, the victims are their own friends: Mion, Shion, Rena, Satoko, Hanyū and Rika.

The story unfolds in question chapters, answer chapters and some extra ones. Parallel endings are also created, some terrifying and some milder.

At the end of 2009, it was released for Playstation “Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Matsuri: Kakera Asobi".

In this version, if players make certain decisions, they can generate a more terrible or pleasant outcome for two different purposes of the series: "Miotsukushi-hen" (Drainage of the Channel) which is, according to the author, the true or happiest ending "matsuribayashi-hen” (Festival Music).

The Series that Comes to Life among Ogimashi's Pines and Cypresses

When we meet the kigurumis, despite the somewhat chilling scenery formed by the Japanese pine and cypress trees of the Ogimashi forest, the group is safe and exhibits their best expressions of empathy.

Kigurumi Rika, Hachiman Temple, Ogimashi, Japan

Rika stands out from the Shinto setting of the Hachiman-jinja temple.

We took the opportunity to enter, for a moment, in that improbable socializing and we photographed in her company and in Chikima's without much verbal communication for more than a few “sugoys” (cool, cute) and “arigatos” or were it not for those Japanese, like most, incapable of using foreign languages ​​and, for us, mere lazy students of their demanding dialect.

Chikima and Kigurumi, Hachiman Temple, Ogimashi, Japan

Kigurumi of the character Satoko from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and one of the series' creators, Chikima.

There are only a few minutes left for the dark to completely take over the valley and the onlookers who accompanied the promotional action have already disbanded.

the roofs of gassho they give off white smoke with the smell of wood right next to the makeshift parking lot where we had left the rental car, in a sort of yard full of loaded persimmons. There, we witnessed an unexpected demystification of the series.

We find the van of Chikima's entourage near ours.

After another day's work, the young people who animated the seven kigurumis took off their hair and suits and turned into flesh-and-blood teenagers – more bone than flesh, by the way.

In their underwear, in a near-zero temperature, they were shivering with cold, eager to change that unpleasant end.

Ogimashi, Japan

A Village Faithful to the A

Ogimashi reveals a fascinating heritage of Japanese adaptability. Located in one of the most snowy places on Earth, this village has perfected houses with real anti-collapse structures.
Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Style Passaport-Type Photography

In the late 80s, two Japanese multinationals already saw conventional photo booths as museum pieces. They turned them into revolutionary machines and Japan surrendered to the Purikura phenomenon.
Kyoto, Japan

Survival: The Last Geisha Art

There have been almost 100 but times have changed and geishas are on the brink of extinction. Today, the few that remain are forced to give in to Japan's less subtle and elegant modernity.
Kyoto, Japan

A Combustible Faith

During the Shinto celebration of Ohitaki, prayers inscribed on tablets by the Japanese faithful are gathered at the Fushimi temple. There, while being consumed by huge bonfires, her belief is renewed.
Tokyo, Japan

The Emperor Without Empire

After the capitulation in World War II, Japan underwent a constitution that ended one of the longest empires in history. The Japanese emperor is, today, the only monarch to reign without empire.
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's fashion

In ultra-populous and hyper-coded Japan, there is always room for more sophistication and creativity. Whether national or imported, it is in the capital that they begin to parade the new Japanese looks.
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
Tokyo, Japan

Disposable Purrs

Tokyo is the largest of the metropolises but, in its tiny apartments, there is no place for pets. Japanese entrepreneurs detected the gap and launched "catteries" in which the feline affections are paid by the hour.
Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima: a City Yielded to Peace

On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima succumbed to the explosion of the first atomic bomb used in war. 70 years later, the city fights for the memory of the tragedy and for nuclear weapons to be eradicated by 2020.

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Magome-Tsumago, Japan

Magome to Tsumago: The Overcrowded Path to the Medieval Japan

In 1603, the Tokugawa shogun dictated the renovation of an ancient road system. Today, the most famous stretch of the road that linked Edo to Kyoto is covered by a mob eager to escape.
Nikko, Japan

The Tokugawa Shogun Final Procession

In 1600, Ieyasu Tokugawa inaugurated a shogunate that united Japan for 250 years. In her honor, Nikko re-enacts the general's medieval relocation to Toshogu's grandiose mausoleum every year.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Young people walk the main street in Chame, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a ChameNepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand
Architecture & Design
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
Tibetan heights, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
Saida Ksar Ouled Soltane, festival of the ksour, tataouine, tunisia
Ceremonies and Festivities
Tataouine, Tunisia

Festival of the Ksour: Sand Castles That Don't Collapse

The ksour were built as fortifications by the Berbers of North Africa. They resisted Arab invasions and centuries of erosion. Every year, the Festival of the Ksour pays them the due homage.
Gray roofs, Lijiang, Yunnan, China
Lijiang, China

A Gray City but Little

Seen from afar, its vast houses are dreary, but Lijiang's centuries-old sidewalks and canals are more folkloric than ever. This city once shone as the grandiose capital of the Naxi people. Today, floods of Chinese visitors who fight for the quasi-theme park it have become take it by storm.
World Food

Gastronomy Without Borders or Prejudice

Each people, their recipes and delicacies. In certain cases, the same ones that delight entire nations repel many others. For those who travel the world, the most important ingredient is a very open mind.
Efate, Vanuatu, transshipment to "Congoola/Lady of the Seas"
Efate, Vanuatu

The Island that Survived “Survivor”

Much of Vanuatu lives in a blessed post-savage state. Maybe for this, reality shows in which aspirants compete Robinson Crusoes they settled one after the other on their most accessible and notorious island. Already somewhat stunned by the phenomenon of conventional tourism, Efate also had to resist them.
Swimming, Western Australia, Aussie Style, Sun rising in the eyes
Busselton, Australia

2000 meters in Aussie Style

In 1853, Busselton was equipped with one of the longest pontoons in the world. World. When the structure collapsed, the residents decided to turn the problem around. Since 1996 they have been doing it every year. Swimming.
trip around the world, symbol of wisdom illustrated in a window at Inari airport, Finnish Lapland
Around the World - Part 1

Traveling Brings Wisdom. Find out how to travel around the world.

The Earth turns on itself every day. In this series of articles, you will find indispensable clarifications and advice for those who make a point of going around it at least once in their life.
Moa on a beach in Rapa Nui/Easter Island
Easter Island, Chile

The Take-off and Fall of the Bird-Man Cult

Until the XNUMXth century, the natives of Easter Island they carved and worshiped great stone gods. All of a sudden, they started to drop their moai. The veneration of tanatu manu, a half-human, half-sacred leader, decreed after a dramatic competition for an egg.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

Asparagus, Sal Island, Cape Verde
island of salt, Cape Verde

The Salt of the Island of Sal

At the approach of the XNUMXth century, Sal remained lacking in drinking water and practically uninhabited. Until the extraction and export of the abundant salt there encouraged a progressive population. Today, salt and salt pans add another flavor to the most visited island in Cape Verde.
Bay Watch cabin, Miami beach, beach, Florida, United States,
Miami beach, USA

The Beach of All Vanities

Few coastlines concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the far southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessed by six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is manifestly meager for the number of souls who desire it.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Winter White
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
Cove, Big Sur, California, United States
Big Sur, USA

The Coast of All Refuges

Over 150km, the Californian coast is subjected to a vastness of mountains, ocean and fog. In this epic setting, hundreds of tormented souls follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Henri Miller.
Banks Peninsula, Akaroa, Canterbury, New Zealand
Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

The Divine Earth Shard of the Banks Peninsula

Seen from the air, the most obvious bulge on the South Island's east coast appears to have imploded again and again. Volcanic but verdant and bucolic, the Banks Peninsula confines in its almost cogwheel geomorphology the essence of the ever enviable New Zealand life.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Pitões das Junias, Montalegre, Portugal
Natural Parks
Montalegre, Portugal

Through Alto do Barroso, Top of Trás-os-Montes

we moved from Terras de Bouro for those of Barroso. Based in Montalegre, we wander around the discovery of Paredes do Rio, Tourém, Pitões das Júnias and its monastery, stunning villages on the border of Portugal. If it is true that Barroso has had more inhabitants, visitors should not miss it.
Pilgrims at the top, Mount Sinai, Egypt
UNESCO World Heritage
Mount Sinai, Egypt

Strength in the Legs, Faith in God

Moses received the Ten Commandments on the summit of Mount Sinai and revealed them to the people of Israel. Today, hundreds of pilgrims climb, every night, the 4000 steps of that painful but mystical ascent.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Sesimbra, Vila, Portugal, View from the top
Sesimbra, Portugal

A Village Touched by Midas

It's not just Praia da California and Praia do Ouro that close it to the south. Sheltered from the furies of the West Atlantic, gifted with other immaculate coves and endowed with centuries-old fortifications, Sesimbra is today a precious fishing and bathing haven.
Herd in Manang, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 8th Manang, Nepal

Manang: the Last Acclimatization in Civilization

Six days after leaving Besisahar we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). Located at the foot of the Annapurna III and Gangapurna Mountains, Manang is the civilization that pampers and prepares hikers for the ever-dreaded crossing of Thorong La Gorge (5416 m).
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Executives sleep subway seat, sleep, sleep, subway, train, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's Hypno-Passengers

Japan is served by millions of executives slaughtered with infernal work rates and sparse vacations. Every minute of respite on the way to work or home serves them for their inemuri, napping in public.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Newborn turtle, PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica

A Night at the Nursery of Tortuguero

The name of the Tortuguero region has an obvious and ancient reason. Turtles from the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea have long flocked to the black sand beaches of its narrow coastline to spawn. On one of the nights we spent in Tortuguero we watched their frenzied births.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.