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Okinawa

Everyone would like to know the reason for this, but they just call it Nuchigusui, which means “life is a medicine”, a philosphy that is centered around mindfulness, spiritual and physical wellbeing. Reasons to go visit this wonderful place are many, from mindfulness experiences, outdoor adventures, wholesome food experiences, craft and culture lessons and events. Whichever you are looking for, Okinawa is the place to go!

From admiring the Milky Way to taking yoga classes, mindfulness experiences take place is beautiful and peaceful sceneries. Taketomi Island is applying to become part of the International Dar-Sky Association, making Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park part of Japan’s first night sky preservation area. The perfect reason to go on a tour with a star-guide to ask all your questions to. If you prefer yoga, then go and test your skills with a SUP yoga class in the ocean, or on the grounds of the Katsuren Castle, which is one of Okinawa’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

And if you need extra meditation, you can get in touch with nature in Yambaru National Park. Another spot where to meditate is Naha’s Shikinaen Royal Gardens, which was constructed back in the 18th century as a home for the Ryukyu kings.

If you prefer seascapes, then you can visit crystal-clear uninhabited beaches like Hatenohama Beach, near Kume Island, or you can visit Kerama Shoto National Park and the stunning Kerama Islands. Or still, these three uninhabited islands, Kuefujima, Nagannujima, Kamiyamajima are the best place to go diving and explore coral reefs and all the sea life. All islands can be easily reached via ferry from Naha.

As already mentioned, Okinawa is the place of birth of Karate, so why don’t you pay a visit to Okinawa Karate Kaikan, where you can learn and participate in the sport. The institution also holds an arena, a training room and a small museum open to public.

If all that yoga and meditation wasn’t enough, hop on a ferry and visit the island of Kudaka, considered the sacred spot, an islands of the gods, where the ancient Ryukyu people first started cultivating. Many of the locals living here still speak the uchinaguchi dialect. The most sacred spot of this island is Sefa-utaki, where utaki decribes the sacred area in the region, including the one in Nanjo City.

Go to Hamahiga Island if you want to go fishing and have a look at the tradtional red-tiled roofs and stone walls in the two villages of the island, which can be reached from a bridge.

If spiritual wellbeing is not your thing, then Okinawa offers tourist an endless list of outdoor adventures to go on.  Water and nature are perfectly paired if you go at Nirai Beach, north of Naha. Turquoise waters and sandy shores are ideal for a family excursion and a kayaking experience.

For those who instead are looking for a wild adventure, hop over to Iriomote Island, a quick ferry ride from Ishigaki Island, where you can experience the ultimate kayak excursion through dense jungles and beautiful waters.

Another great experience is a perfect horse ride on the beach. You can head on over to Okinawa Horse Riding Club on the coast of Yomitan Village for lessons and guided treks through the area. Don’t worry if it’s the first time on a horse or if you are a master at it, you are all welcome here.

The incredibly clear and beautiful seas around Miyako Island are a special destination and it’s often referred to as ‘Miyako Blue’. Yonaguni Island, west of Ishigaki Island, also offers untouched waters where you can dive deep through underwater sea ruins.

For those trekking-lovers, Okinawa offers something for you too. Head on over to the most beautiful sites at Daisenkirinzan, a park located in a natural wonderland in Yambaru, where you can trek on four different routes. If this area is too far, then head on over to the valley of Gangala, near Naha. The valley is the home to mysterious gajumaru, known as Chinese banyan trees. These trees are said to be the homes of the kijimuna, or forest spirits from Okinawan mythology.

From horses to kayaks to on-foot trekking, Okianwa doesn’t forget about bicycles. An easy route to start with is the hour-long ride from Kencho-mae Station to Okinawa Hassha Okinogu on the main island of Okinawa.

For solo travellers and lazy people, the island of Okinawa offers plenty of tradtional and craft things to do. Just interact with Okinawa’s friendly locals, who are happy to help visitors and guide them through food and objects in the market.  The people of Okinawa enjoy sharing the mentality of ‘treat everyone you meet as family’, a phrase known in the Okinawan language as ‘ichariba chōdē’. If you want to have some fun, head on over to Sakaemachi, a pub district with serious depth.

Enjoy Okinawa’s tradtional music through sanshin players on the street singing and playing, or through live performances, especially those at Shurei, where music is accompanied with A5 Ishigaki beef raised in the Yaeyama Islands. If the art of sanshin making interests you, then enroll yourself in a class with the sanshin master craftsman Tsuneo Yara. If you prefer to just listen to music then head over to Naha’s Sakurazaka and Sakaemachi, where a mix of locals and travellers tend to hang out on the regular.

Awamori is a healthy type of sake, with zero carbohydrates and which tastes better in time. In Okinawa the best way to store awamori is in Kin Koshugura, housed inside a limestone cave, and it offers a perfect place to age into mature the liquor.

If you also want to taste awamori, go to Zuisen Distillery near Shuri Castle and Chuko Distillery, which offers English tours. Izakaya Kozakura is instead the place to go is you want dinner along with your awamori.

Okinawa is rich in culture and traditions and hosts many traditional events like the tug-of-war event Naha’s Great Tug-of-War or the Otsunahiki Matsuri, or the Eisa Festival, Okinawa’s traditional Bon dance celebration.

If you want to head back home with some pottery, then head on over to Yachimun No Sato, or Yomitan Pottery Village, which is lined with numerous ceramic shops, kilns and studios where you can see artisans at work. Visit also the Tsunehide Pottery Workshop for ceramics, or Niji Glassblowing Workshop for glassware. Shopping is tiring so go to one of the few cafès of the area like Gallery Mori no Chaya, run by a pottery master, Meiko Kinjo, and taste a nice cup of tea or coffee.

For those foodies reading, Okinawa is a gourmet heaven, offering a unique dining experience. Not only its food is delicious but it’s also healthy, so don’t worry for your diet. Here lays also their saying, nuchigusui, which describes how someone who eats a meal receives vitality from the person who made it.

For those who love to cook, join the cooking experience at Taste of Okinawa, an English-friendly cooking studio in the heart of Naha, where you can learn how to cook up a tasty Okinawan-style meal using fresh, local ingredients. The program also includes a tour of the public market, where you can learn about local products, and then followed by a cooking class focused on a particular Okinawan dish.

Another way to experience nuchigusui is by visiting local restaurants run by an ‘obachan’ who can cook a tasty spread of Okinawan cuisine with local products. You can try specialities like rafute (braised pork belly), jimami tofu, Japanese bitter melon, umibudo sea grapes and mozuku seaweed in a soy and vinegar sauce, and other dishes.

If you’d like to eat with locals, then head over to Makabe China, housed in an old refurbished tea house where herbs grow in the garden and the residence is shaded by a great Okinawan banyan tree.

Kokusai-dori, International Street, is home to numerous restaurants, where locals often finish a night in town with a delicious protein-packed meal at late-night restaurants like Jack’s Steak House.

When you think of Japan you think of tea, and Okinawa is not different. Sip traditional buku buku cha, a royal tea drink, topped with a foam made from whisked white rice and sitting on top of warm genmai tea. Nowadays the foam can be flavoured with a hint of jasmine tea or with a sprinkle of peanuts.

Another Okinawan speciality is a sweet bean dessert called zenzai. Even if it usually comes in a soup-like form, the kakigori zenzai served at the local shop Inamine is something special. Here you’ll find a sweet mix of kintoki beans and chewy mochi topped off with a mountain of fluffy shaved ice and drizzled in a sweet milk topping. Perfect for the warmer seasons.

How many soba soup have you eaten before knowing that in Okinawa you will eat the best one? The town of Motobu is known as the district called Motobu Soba Main Road. Stop at Kishimoto Shokudo for their delicious homemade noodles in a deep-flavoured broth.

After thinking of soba and tea, how about tasting real sushi? Head on over to the market, where you’ll find tropical fish, used for Okinawa’s unique sushi. Go to Gourmet Kaiten Sushi Ichiba to taste umibudo, sea grape, gunkan and tropical fish nigiri at reasonable prices. If you are nostalgic, take some bentos at Daiko Sushi in Naha Airport to take them home.

crash, baggage

With our magazine, we have been on line since 2007, and this year we celebrate our first 10 year anniversary. It’s a big step for us, something that without our readers we could not achieve!

In 2015 we also have been able to realize something really important: our first print issue, a dream we have been cultivating for so long. Last February we presented in Venice our last issue, and we are pretty happy about it. Every new issue is something that makes us proud, to find new authors to publish, new photographers, new stories and talents from all around the world.

But without our friends, turn Positive into a print magazine it would be just a dream, and we think that now is the time to celebrate one of our main sponsors. Francesco Pavia is the creative director & owner of Crash Baggage, an innovative company which sells amazing design bags all around the world. What a perfect sponsor: as we share the same philosophy, we both love to travel and obviously we like to explore and find different travel solutions.

Our photographers for example are always around the world seeking new stories to deliver on paper and on print. And some of them now have a great friend while they travel: a new Crash Baggage. It’s important to trust a friend, but also when you travel you don’t want to worry about everything. When you put your stuff inside your luggage, you just want to think about your trip and not so much about anything else, freedom is cool, but to get it you have to be organized.

The crash baggage philosophy, “Handle without Care”, is the perfect explanation about this kind of lifestyle, the one we have. Be cool, relax and enjoy the trip. Even if your dog wants to bite your bag because it doesn’t want you to leave, just let him doing it.

Photo by Alessandro Simonetti

With our Crash Baggage we have been around the world: for example last November we have been around Texas to shoot a documentary and our Crash Baggage was the perfect travel buddy: we had so much technical equipment to carry, and thanks to our amazing bags we have always been feeling supersafe.


One important detail is that you just don’t want to feel safe, you also want to be cool. Crashbaggage is also about delivering to their customers a great design, because when you walk with your Crash Baggage you are different from the others, you are delivering a message. We still remember few police guys at the airport: once we had to pass the security check, few times they asked about our bag. They probably see thousands of bags everyday passing through the x-ray, but when they see a Crash Baggage, they think for sure “That’s different”. During our presentation we have been able to show one of their last project, a transparent Crash Baggage: it’s not a bag for everybody, but it’s for those people who are into sharing a philosophy not just on their social networks, but also walking on the streets.


The question now it’s just about: why don’t you have a Crash Baggage? Just click here and find the one is perfect for you. We guarantee that it will be something you will use for ages.

 

Okinawa

This time we would love to share you some beautiful stories about a remote place, but at the same time so cool and interesting. We are speaking about Okinawa, the most Southern Point of Japan, made up of hundreds of islands. The Okinawa chain of islands stretches for 700 miles between Taiwan and the Japanese island of Kyushu.

We love to write about islands, also because our magazine has been founded in Venice. If you are planning a trip to Japan, but after visiting Tokyo you need to relax, to avoid the traffic, the lights of Shibuya and Shinjuku, why not catching an airplane and with just a 3 hours flight moving to a new experience? Okinawa offers a subtropical climate, great flora and fauna. You will be surrounded by hundreds of animals, some of the most amazing beaches with white sand, clear and crystal water: what else do you need to be convinced? Probably nothing, maybe a mojito on the beach?

But Okinawa is not just about beautiful places, but also surrounded by wonderful people. Did you know that in Okinawa the life watch stops for a bit, and you will be able to find the highest number of centenarians in the world? Till now you can’t live forever, that’s true, but you can always try to have a better lifestyle: in Okinawa you would be able to meet people that are able to show how to have a diet full of locally grown vegetables like Goya which is able to offer to your body and your mind fundamental vitamins.

Photo by Ricardo Mangual / In creative Commons license

Okinawa thanks to its beautiful locations is the perfect spot to relax, to try meditation surrounded by positive energy: once there you will be able to see that it’s true, not just words. You just need to meet locals, with their great open personality. Something you can’t really miss. In the video we are proposing you are going to travel around Okinawa with Jen and Sarah from Us, with Daniel from Germany and Tracy from Singapore. If you are into relaxing massages, tea making, cycling, arts, karate and to live disconnected from the real world, this is the trip for you. What are you waiting for?

lens

If you’re looking into buying your first prime lens it’s probably because you’ve had some practice with the standard kit and you’d like something faster. What that means is a lens with a big aperture that allows you to shoot in darker settings without losing detail in the shadows.

The prime lens you choose will be determined in part by the camera system you’ve bought into.
Price, quality and number of lenses available vary a little, but primes come in a set of standard focal lengths whether you own a Nikon DSLR or a Panasonic mirrorless camera.


Unless you own a camera with a full frame senor, the image projected on to your sensor will be cropped. At the beginning of a photography course like those offered at the London Institute of Photography you’ll learn more about sensor sizes and why they’re important.

Each lens series has been designed to give you the same field of view relative to crop.

Standard focal lengths (in full frame terms)
9mm: extreme wide angle – fisheye view
18mm: standard wide angle
35mm – 55mm: normal field of view (what our eyes see)
85mm narrow field of view (great for bringing a subject forward)
105mm+: telephoto

On the Micro Four Thirds system (Panasonic and Olympus) where the crop factor is x2 relative to full frame, a 25mm lens is equivalent to 50mm on a full frame senor. Panasonic and Olympus have a range of primes that fit into the standard focal lengths listed above. Olympus makes a 17mm equivalent to 34mm, Panasonic has a 20mm pancake equivalent to 40mm.

Photo by Alan Levine/Flickr

Both manufactures make variants of the 50mm. This lens is also known as a nifty fifty because 50mm lenses are generally cheap to manufacture and wide enough for a standard field of view, while narrow enough to create a nice depth of field. Basically, a very versatile focal length for many situations.

Remember that a prime lens is going to limit you to a single focal length, no more zooming in or out to capture your shot. With all the options available, choosing just one comes down to your shooting preferences. If you’re having trouble deciding on the best field of view, think about what you want to shoot.

Holiday snaps and family portraits – 18mm, 35mm, 50mm
Landscapes – 9mm, 18mm, 35mm
Street photography – 18mm, 35mm, 50mm (although you may find the 50mm a bit narrow)
Portraits – 35mm, 50mm, 85mm
Sports and wildlife – 105mm+ (to capture the scene from a distance)

Just a quick note. Although the 18mm might seem equally versatile, the wider angle will give you less depth of field which might not be optimal for portraits where you want your subject to really stand out from the background.

Photo by s58y/Flickr

There is no right lens, but there is good glass. Don’t worry about spending more on a better prime when you’re just getting started. Think about the focal length that will capture the kind of photography you’re interested in.

structural
In many ways, it has never been easier to sell your home than it is now. Not only can you guarantee a quick house sale with Open Property group and similar service providers, for example, but demand continues to outstrip supply in the housing market as a whole.

The fact that it is easy to sell your home in 2016 may breed complacency among some vendors, however, causing them to sell quickly without optimising the resale value in their home. This may be a false economy, especially if you are looking to upgrade and invest in a more expensive home.

3 Simple structural and architectural changes that will help you to sell your home

Fortunately, there is a balance to be found between selling your property in its existing form and spending heavily in the quest of an optimal return. More specifically, you can pursue simple and affordable modifications that will appeal to buyers and help you to sell your home quickly, while also justifying an inflated price point.

So here are three structural changes that will help you to sell your home quickly and for a profit:

Modernise your Kitchen and Bathroom

positive1Assuming that you have at least some money to spend when remodelling your home, prioritising the modernisation of your kitchen and bathroom should be a priority. These trend-driven structural changes are easy and relatively cost-effective to implement, while they also serve the dual purpose of appealing to buyers and driving a return.

In financial terms, the installation of a new kitchen and bathroom will cost an estimated £14,500 in total. They deliver an average ROI of 49% and 48% repsectively, which could in theory add in excess of £7,000 to the value of your home. While this is hard to quantify in the current market, there is no doubt that these changes will enhance the visual appeal of your property and driver a higher demand.

Consider installing a breakout fireplace in the living room

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The living room is also an important space, and one that often dominates the thoughts of aspiring buyers alike. There are a number of small structural and architectural changes that you can make in this room, with the addition of a breakout fireplace one of the easiest and most effective. A breakout fireplace simply requires you to make a small recess beneath the chimney stack, and once complete it can serve as a stylish design feature and interior focal point.

While the viability of this will depend on the size and layout of your room, this can add a unique dimension to any living room and help to have a positive influence in the minds’ of buyers.

Redefine the exterior of your home

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This is a sweeping and overarching project, and one that reinforces the importance of curb appeal in the modern age. Buyers take approximately seven seconds to form an impression of your home, meaning that you must take the first opportunity you get to engage them.

Exterior structural changes can vary in their scope and nature, including everything from replacing chipped door-frames and broken roof tiles to landscaping your garden space. The financial ROI on this type of work is estimated at 75%, so you can also add value to your home and target a more motivated audience of buyers.

Images provided by the sponsor
EDITOR NOTE: THIS IS A SPONSORED CONTENT

How much do you like cars? Are you into watching a great challenge? Then this video we are presenting is for you. One of the main questions today is about what is reality, what is fiction. And Castrol EDGE was able to put the virtual world and the real world together.

Castrol presented the Titanium Driving Challenge: a head-to-head race between 2 professional racers: Matt Powers, Formula Drift Champion and the racing & stunt driver Ben Collins. The race took place in Los Angeles on board of the 2015 V8 Ford Mustang and lubricated by the super Castrol EDGE oil to allow the best driving-crazy experience for the pilots.

Thanks to video technology, the race moved to another level. It’s just not about driving a car, but also driving on a real test area but watching a virtual world using a virtual machine showing a virtual reality track, with a crazy terrain of sheer drops and death defying twists, together with fires all around. Both Pilots have been wearing the Oculus Rift Kit2 Headset. The #virtualdrift took place in may 2015 and the quality of the virtual world, featuring a futuristic terrain is pretty amazing.

Now what are you waiting for? It’s time to watch the #virtualdrift video by Castrol EDGE and get the experience.

This article has been sponsored by Castrol, but all thoughts are our own.

Today is the Cyber monday also on Positive Magazine! Four our readers we give a chance to get a nice price drop for the quality clothes OnePiece directly from Norway to the cyber world and then delivered to your home.

OnePiece was founded in Oslo in 2007 and as sometimes happen simple ideas are the best. OnePiece is a great brand to find the best of hoodies, sweatpants all together in one piece: the Jumpsuit, one of the main core product of the norvegian brand. At first when they started it was not easy to communicate an innovative idea into something new to wear. But the dedication was worth and what you can do now is to spend time on OnePiece website and find your favourite clothes to buy and enjoy the Cyber Monday that is allowing you to get a nice discount and get delivered at home your new super comfortable jumpsuit, or one of the many other products you can find designed by OnePiece.

What are you waiting for?!

What they have in common one of the most famous producer of beer such as Carlsberg and the mens beauty? Apparently nothing, but now it’s time to review this idea and to discover the new products of Carlsberg.

The beer company just launched the new super cool limited edition shaving products “Beer’d Beauty”. The mission is important and clear: it’s time to raise awareness of men’s health issues through the movember foundation, the annual event involving the growing of mustaches during November. They do it to focus on men’s health issues, such as depression, prostate cancer and many other pathologies.

Carlsberg_Beerd Beauty_Series_small

The package contains 3 different products: the Shaving Gel, the Aftershave Cream and the Mustache Cream, to give the feeling of beauty and a perfect skin!
The products made from Carlsberg are using the same elements that are made to produce the beer, but this time it’s all about beauty. Did you know that inside the hops you find antioxidants and antibacterial acids? Well that’s it! To increase the beer concentration inside the  shaving products, Carlsberg found a way to freeze-dried its beer into powder to create the best combination with the cosmetic producer Urtegaarden’s organic ingredients.

Carlsberg Brewmaster Erik Lund explains: “With 200ml of beer in each 100ml product, the new Beer’d Beauty series contains all the good stuff from Carlsberg’s natural ingredients.”

It might be a bit early to think about Christmas… but also why not? If you are looking for the perfect gift Carlsberg is just showing you the way: an happy man ready for the Christmas holiday, shaved with a great Beer’d Beauty.

Ed. Note: This is an article sponsored by Carlsberg, but all thoughts are our own

How is important to be accurate in your life? You should take care of that, as sometime if you are not into precision there might be problems. Precision is also about to train yourself for it, as it’s suggesting the tradition of Wilkinson Sword.

In its DNA, since 1772 Wilkinson started as sword manufacturer for the glorious British Army and then thanks to the perfection of the blade they created they started building razors: and it’s a success that goes through centuries and still today when you name a razor, how you can’t connect that word to Wilkinson?

wilkinson 1 copy

But Wilkinson means perfection as a sword can’t fail when you are on the stage and you are ready to duel: that’s why we are presenting this very intense, funny, sexy video to prove that with a Wilkinson razors, for men and women you are not going to fail to have a perfect skin, that’s a must for men and women of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Wilkinson 3 copy

What are you waiting for then, are you ready to fight? Are you ready to prove yourself that your sword, if you know how to use it is the perfect element you have been looking for to get a perfect skin? Try your new Wilkinson and once you got one, you will never use another razors.

#readytoduel now.

Wilkinson 2 copy

This post has been sponsored by Wilkinson Sword, but all thoughts are our own.

 

Not far from Nice there is a little land but full of things you even don’t expect: it’s time to think visit the Principality of Monaco.

Monaco is a city-state or better a microstate that’s located on the beautiful French Riviera with a population of almost 37.000 people.

Photo: Roderick Eime
Photo: Roderick Eime

If you catch a train from Italy and you go all trough the riviera it’s a beautiful trip that you should not miss. Everybody knows for example Monte Carlo, the most populous quartier of the Principality.

In this video we are presenting different testimonials about the Principality of Monaco, explaining what’s so special there and why, at least once in your life is a place to visit. Nico Rosberg, the german F1 racing driver, has been many times there as one of the most important F1 races is the Monaco Grand Prix: in fact since the 1929, every year on the streets of Monaco there are the fastest car in the world running around the circuit, that is narrow and tight with tunnels and super tight corners.

Credit: Nico Rosemberg Flickr Page / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicorosbergpics
Credit: Nico Rosemberg Flickr Page / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicorosbergpics

But Monaco is not well known just for the car racing, but also for its amazing restaurants, such as the The Dorchester, owned by the famous french Chef Alain Ducasse, that’s speaking on the video you can find here in this post.

monaco
Photo: Bruno Cordioli

But there is much more to speak about on Monaco as it’s full of Museum such as the “Musée Océanographique de Monaco”, art galleries and beautifiul shops to discover: as many knows is one of the richest place in the world. The Casino of Monte Carlo probably is the most famous one, where players from all around the world try to win and dream.

What are you waiting for then? Check the video we have been presenting here and book your ticket: it’s worth a visit.

To know more about the Principality of Monaco click here.