Manami Okazaki

For Manami Okazaki's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Miyagi's hot-spring valley of the dolls

Aug 22, 2015

Miyagi's hot-spring valley of the dolls

If local train rides, bucolic vistas, simple family-run ryokans and hot-spring baths overflowing with mineral-rich waters sounds like the perfect getaway, Naruko Onsen village in Miyagi Prefecture should be your next destination. Accessible by the Rikuu-East train line, the valley is flanked by wooded mountains ...

Ghostly Japanese shipwrecks at the bottom of Chuuk Lagoon

Mar 21, 2015

Ghostly Japanese shipwrecks at the bottom of Chuuk Lagoon

When most people think of scuba diving, they usually envision colorful coral reefs, turtles and countless schools of fish. At Chuuk Lagoon in the Federated States of Micronesia, however, the star attraction is not the abundance of life that exists beneath the waves, but ...

Celebrating friendship with Japan and 100 years of U.S. <em>hanami</em>

Mar 13, 2012

Celebrating friendship with Japan and 100 years of U.S. hanami

Once an activity for the nobility of the Imperial court in Japan, hanami (cherry-blossom viewing) became a popular tradition among the elite ruling class during the Heian Period (794-1185), and then later, with the encouragement of Tokugawa Yoshimune (1684-1751), among commoners. Today, Japanese people typically ...

True glimpses of the underworld

Sep 8, 2011

True glimpses of the underworld

Cloaked in mystery and perhaps a certain degree of myth, the yakuza constitute one of the hardest subculture groups in Japan to infiltrate. But when Belgian photographer Anton Kusters and his brother, Malik, saw a gangster walk by as they were drinking at a ...

The feminine world of photography

May 5, 2011

The feminine world of photography

Bettina Rheims is an iconic French photographer known for her sensual portraits of women, who range from movie stars, models and musicians to androgynous teens, wives of Russian millionaires and Parisian women whom she finds while "hunting" on the streets. Her subjects are often ...

Finding the inner strength to be a survivor

Feb 18, 2011

Finding the inner strength to be a survivor

From Feb. 4 to 27, New York photographer Paule Saviano is exhibiting 22 images from his series of Tokyo and Dresden firebombing survivors in one of the few buildings in Tokyo to survive World War II. The show takes place at the same time ...