The A-Z of climate change
Gallery, December 2019

Climate change is big. So big, in fact, that sometimes it can be hard to grasp. Hearing stories of floods and heatwaves far removed from our little island inspire feelings of pity and powerlessness against a problem too large to be handled in the abstract.

 

It’s time to bring it home, and take a closer look at the everyday things that climate change is threatening. This A-Z is a wakeup call of what we and our children stand to lose if we don’t get off our collective a**es and take action...

Solastalgia: why so many of us have it
The Mind Map, November 2019

The concept of ‘home’ is difficult to define. For some people, it’s another person; for others, it’s an indefinable feeling. But all of us have places that we call home, whether they’re imbued with childhood familiarity or borne of new attachments made later in our lives.

 

That connection to a familiar environment brings with it community, identity and comfort – and a sense of permanence, reassuring us that whatever may change in our own lives, home will still be there to welcome us back. But our homes are changing, and the damage it’s doing to our collective psyche is profound...

In the land of the rising sun, climate efforts are falling behind
Uneven Earth, August 2019

At the beginning of the millennium, faced with a capital city susceptible to cataclysmic flooding, the Japanese government poured millions of dollars into the creation of Tokyo’s Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel, the largest underground water diversion system in the world that can divert the equivalent of an Olympic-sized swimming pool into the Edo River every two seconds.

 

But even with the support of the Channel’s miles of tunnels, Tokyo today—not in some distant climate future, but right now—still faces the prospect of a flood severe enough to require the immediate evacuation of up to 1.78 million people...

This summer, go to Goto
Metropolis Japan, March 2019

If you prefer beaches and stars to people and cars, then welcome to Goto: you’ve come to the right place. Scattered off Nagasaki’s coastline, the historic archipelago’s five islands proffer the kind of local charm that’ll transport you far from any kind of madding crowd.

First things first: to get the most out of an island that’s surprisingly hilly for its size, it’s recommended to rent a car. As for staying the night, my top pick is Utojuku Hostel for its comfortable beds and clean facilities, but more particularly, for its double life as a futon shop by day and buzzing bar by night. Say hi to the owner’s dog, Chikuwa...

'Off the edge' island ideal to discover Japan
The Japan News, February 2019

I often wonder how many other JET participants, before leaving for Japan, sat through a large number of conversations that went like this: No, I’ve never been to Japan before. No, I don’t speak a word of Japanese. Yes, I’ll be living in the middle of nowhere. Yes, I’m sure everything will be fine. I also wonder how many of us started to get indignant after the third or fourth repetition. After all, I was selling myself short; I knew over 10 Japanese words, all to do with food. I figured that would get me by just fine.

My questioners had a point, though: Naru Island might well be the spiritual home of the phrase “the middle of nowhere.” Nestled in the middle of the Goto Islands, it’s home to 2,000 people, a somewhat famous church, and a significant cat population...

©2023 by Imogen Malpas. 

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