New Chinese Airport Opens – Destination Nowhere

 

It’s been hailed as an architectural masterstroke and symbol of China’s explosion onto the world stage of global travel.

But Shenzhen International Airport’s brand-new terminal has a problem: nobody seems to want to go there.

The £612million ($1 billion) travel hub opened at 6am yesterday with much fanfare as a Shenzhen Airlines flight took off to next-door Mongolia.

Smiling staff handed out commemorative model planes to passengers on the flight as dozens of golf carts circulated the lounge to give free rides for anyone in need.

But despite claims on its website that tourists can be spirited away to far-flung locations including Sydney, Dubai and Cologne, no airlines actually appear to offer services to or from any of these cities, The Independent reported.

Scroll down for virtual airport tour video…

Vast: The £612million travel hub opened at 6am yesterday with much fanfare as a Shenzhen Airlines flight took off to next-door Mongolia
Vast: The £612million ($1 billion) travel hub opened at 6am yesterday with much fanfare as a Shenzhen Airlines flight took off to next-door Mongolia read more

Cocoa Island Resort

These photos are of one of the most striking tropical resorts on the planet. It’s Cocoa Island Resort, in the Kaafu Atoll chain about 500 miles southeast off the southern most tip of India in the Laccadive Sea, part of the southern Arabian Sea.

cocoa-makunu

 

Bungalow

 

Walk up to Bungalow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palm Umbrella

 

Bungalow in the Evening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cocoa-Island-Maldives

 

HammockNice View from Your Terrace

 

Tuk-Tuk Camper

The one-man camper van that is perfect for the lonely traveller

 

Travelling long journeys all by your lonesome  can be a chore paved with uncomfortable motels and bad service station  food.

Single camping often means sleeping in the  back of the car, or going to through the effort of putting up a tent by the side of the road.

One designer’s dream of ending the pain for  lone campers has resulted in the Buffalino, a three-wheel mini-van similar to  tuk-tuk rickshaws which are seen across Asia and Africa.

 

Versatile van: Once the miles are managed, the camper van becomes a snug place to sleep for the night until the journey continues
 Once the miles are managed, the camper van becomes a snug place to sleep for the night until the journey continues
Home for one: What was once a three-wheeled scooter has been transformed into a perfect camper van for one
 What was once a three-wheeled scooter has  been transformed into a camper van for one

The fully furnished camper contains a  fold-up bed, a sink, a kitchen with refrigerator and running water  and, of  course, a place to hook up your laptop.

German industrial designer Cornelius  Cormanns modified a three wheeled Piaggio scooter to create the Buffalino,  which is set to meet the requirements of a single individual.

Mr Cormanns wanted to design a vehicle that  would offer greater flexibility during travel, while also creating an economic  and fuel efficient ride.

The Buffalino serves as a greener alternative  for long solitary journeys as well as offering a way out of fast foods and  motels.

 

Happy camper: The camper is designed to meet the single travellers requirements and comes with a complete kitchen and bedroom
The camper is designed to meet the single  travellers requirements and comes with a complete kitchen and bedroom

 

German industrial designer Cornelius Cormanns has skillfully modified a three wheeled Piaggio to create a small camper suitable to meet the requirements of a single individual
Dubbed as an 'economic and fuel efficient ride' the van, named 'Buffalino' is perfect for the lonely rider
Dubbed as ‘economic and fuel efficient’  the van, named ‘Buffalino’,  is perfect for the lonely rider

 

Multitasking: The Buffalino makes it possible to wash your hands, surf the web and drive at the same time - if you can
 The Buffalino motto is to be cheap and  efficient

 

Smart-an: It may not be big or come with a jacuzzi but it has everything you need
 It may not come with a jacuzzi but it has all  you need, even if you technically sleep in the kitchen

Take a seat: When it comes to dinner time, the driver's seat - which also makes up half the bed - simply swings into the kitchen
When it comes to dinner time, the driver’s  seat – which also makes up half the bed – simply swings into the kitchen

 

Room for one: Designer Cornelius Cormanns wanted to provide greater flexibility for the single traveller when he designed the three-wheeled camper van
Designer Cornelius Cormanns wanted to  provide greater flexibility for the single traveller when he designed the  three-wheeled camper van

Traditional: Television vet Luke Gamble seen using a tuk-tuk taxi
 Television vet Luke Gamble seen using a  tuk-tuk taxi

 

Attribution: Sara Malm, Daily Mail

Underwater Hotel

Rooms with a spectacular sea view! Dubai unveils plan for world’s largest  underwater hotel

With its extravagant buildings and masses of  multimillionaires, Dubai can certainly not be accused of being  understated.

But the United Arab Emirates state could soon  have an addition to its array of opulent dwellings, with the introduction of the  world’s largest underwater hotel.

Already featuring some of the world’s most  extravagant resorts, the Water Discus hotel will allow guests to enjoy the high  life at a subterranean level.

Plans: Designs for the Water Discus hotel, which is due to be built in Dubai
 Designs for the Water Discus hotel, which is due  to be built in Dubai

 

Luxury: The hotel has been designed by Polish company Deep Ocean Technology
The hotel has been designed by Polish company  Deep Ocean Technology

 

Room with a view: Interior designs for the hotel, which will be made of up two huge discs, one below water and one above
 Interior designs for the hotel, which  will be made of up two huge discs, one below water and one above

The hotel is the brainchild of Polish company  Deep Ocean Technology, assisted by Swiss firm BIG InvestConsult AG.

The bizarrely shaped building, looking more  akin to something you would travel to space in rather than go for a luxury  break, comprises two large disc-shaped sections, connected by a long narrow  shaft containing stairs and a lift.

Five legs will separate to two main  components, one of which is located underwater, when it is built.

Guests will be able to stay in the hotel’s 21  rooms, designed to ‘integrate with the  underwater world as closely as possible’.

Those willing to delve below the surface will  also be greeted by a dive center and an underwater bar.

Sleeping with fish: The hotel will feature 21 luxury suites
 The hotel will feature 21 luxury  suites

 

 

Subterranean drinking: The underwater facilities also include a dive centre and bar
 The underwater facilities also  include a dive center and bar

Investment: The project has also been backed by Swiss company BIG InvestConsult AG.
 The project has also been backed by Swiss  company BIG InvestConsult AG.

Incredibly, the hotel designers say that its  modular design means it is transferable and can be moved in case of  environmental or economic concerns.

The upper pods are also buoyant and  detachable from the main building, doubling as lifeboats, if the hotel is struck  by a natural disaster.

The Water Discus is not the first hotel to  venture underwater – the three-room Jules Undersea Lodge off Key Largo, Florida,  features three underwater rooms, while the Maldives also has a number of  underwater ventures.

Disaster: The designers claim the individual pod are buoyant and will be able to float in case of a natural disaster
 The designers claim the individual pods are  buoyant and will be able to float in case of a natural disaster

Night view: The underground and subterranean sections are separated by a main shaft, containing stairs and a lift, and five legs
The underground and subterranean sections  are separated by a main shaft, containing stairs and a lift, and five legs

 

Boardroom: Although the hotel could the most expansive underwater hotel, other hotels across the world have underwater rooms
 Although the hotel could the most expansive  underwater hotel, other hotels across the world have underwater rooms

But the Dubai creation is certainly the most  innovative.

Bogdan Gutkowski, President of developer BIG,  said: ‘Water Discus Hotel project opens many new fields of development for the  hotel and tourism sector, housing and city sector in the coastal off-shore  areas, as well as new  opportunities for ecology support by creation of new  underwater  ecosystems and activities on underwater world protection.

‘Additionally we would like to  create here  in the UAE the International Environmental Program and  Center of the Underwater  World Protection – with Water Discus Hotel as a laboratory tool for oceans and  seas environment protection and  research.’

Tourism: Bogdan Gutkowski, President of developer BIG, said: 'Water Discus Hotel project opens many new fields of development for the hotel and tourism sector'
Bogdan Gutkowski, President of developer BIG,  said: ‘Water Discus Hotel project opens many new fields of development for the  hotel and tourism sector’
Attribution: Mario Ledwith, Mail Online

 

Navigating Beetles

How a beetle can use the stars to navigate its way across the vast deserts of  Africa

It might look small and insignificant but the  dung beetle has its sights set firmly on the stars.

The beetle is the first insect proven to use  the light of the Milky Way to help steer its course.

Also known as the scarab, the tiny creatures  feed on animal droppings, which they fashion into a ball and roll away to a safe  spot where it is less likely to be stolen.

Expert navigator: New research has found that scarabs - also known as dung beetles - find their way through their desert habitat by using the stars of the Milky Way as a reference
 New research has found that scarabs –  also known as dung beetles – find their way through their desert habitat by  using the stars of the Milky Way as a reference

Although their eyes are too weak to  distinguish individual constellations, scientists found they used the  glow of  the Milky Way to navigate in a straight line, ensuring they do  not circle back  to the dung-heap and potential competitors.

‘Even on clear, moonless nights, many dung  beetles still manage to orientate along straight paths,’ said Dr Marie Dacke  from Lund University in Sweden.

‘This led us to suspect that the beetles  exploit the starry sky for orientation – a feat that had, to our knowledge,  never before been demonstrated in an insect.’

Field experiments on a South African game  reserve showed that the beetles were able to roll their dung balls along  straight paths under starlit skies, but not in overcast conditions.

The lighter band of the Milky Way's edge: While unable to pick out constellations, the scarabs could detect the light arcing over their heads
The lighter band of the Milky Way’s edge: While unable  to pick out constellations, the scarabs could detect the light arcing over their  heads

For the tests, the beetles were fitted with  tiny cardboard caps to alter their field of vision.

They were placed in a circular arena  surrounded by a meter-high black cloth, making it impossible for them to see  landmarks.

With no moon, it took much less time for the  beetles to roll a dung ball from the center of the arena to the edge when they  were able to see the sky.

When they could not look up, the time taken  increased from 40 seconds to 124 as they wandered aimlessly around.

The experiment was repeated in a Johannesburg  planetarium, with similar results.

The beetles performed equally well under a  full sky of stars, and when only the glow of the Milky Way was  visible.

Most stars would be too dim for the beetles’ tiny compound eyes to see, said the researchers. While unable to pick out  constellations, the scarabs  could detect the light of the Milky Way arcing over  their heads.

‘This finding represents the first convincing  demonstration for the use of  the starry sky for orientation in insects and  provides the first  documented use of the Milky Way for orientation in the  animal kingdom,’  the researchers wrote in the journal Current  Biology.

Previously only birds, seals and humans were  known to navigate by the stars.

Dung beetles also use the sun and moon as  compass cues, said the scientists.

They added: ‘Although this is the first  description of an insect using the  Milky Way for their orientation, this  ability might turn out to be  widespread in the animal kingdom.’

Attribution: Damien Gayle, Mail Online

 

Photos From Above

Photographer George Steinmetz captures an image of himself piloting a motorised paraglider over Shibam, Yemen.Photographer George Steinmetz captures an image of himself piloting a motorized paraglider over Shibam, Yemen

STNMTZ_20080508_0594.TIF Waters stained brown with potassium sulfite cascade from one evaporation pond to another on their way to the potash plant of the dead sea works in Israel

STNMTZ_20070411_02654.TIF Bolivia, These conical piles of edible salt near colchani are drying

Salt caravans pass each other in the enormous plain of the Ténéré Desert Salt caravans pass each other in the enormous plain of the Ténéré Desert

STNMTZ_20060924_594.TIFRed peppers are bagged after being laid out to dry in the gravel plains near Baicheng, Xinjian China

Libya, Volcanic crater of Wau al Namus, (Wau means hole, so Wau al Namus is hole of mosquitoesLibya, Volcanic crater of Wau al Namus, (Wau means hole, so Wau al Namus is hole of mosquitoes)

MM7206_0042Benhaddou-Morocco

STNMTZ_20110312_01261.TIFAfar depression Ehiopia, the steaming volcanic waters of dallol are heavily laced with sulphur, colored green by a bloom of algae, the sulphur is white when it first precipitates

Attribution: UK Telgraph

Window Seat

The window seat is always the  jealousy-guarded spot on a plane and these breathtaking pictures prove  why.

Snapped thousands of feet above the ground,  this set of pictures shows the varying beauty of the earth taken from inside the  cabins of planes.

Among the collection are the landscapes of  New York City, Christ the Redeemer in Rio, Brazil and Doha in Qatar.

The photos were compiled and uploaded by website Twisted Sifter.

Sunny snap: A photo taken by traveller Charlie Gilbert over Doha, Qatar A photo taken by traveller Charlie Gilbert  over Doha, Qatar
Tropical fun: Wake Island in Hawaii captured from above  Wake Island in Hawaii captured from above
Leaving London: A trip from Stansted airport to Tallinn in Estonia captures England's greenery  A trip from Stansted airport to Tallinn  in Estonia captures England’s greenery
Snow-peaked mountains: Yvon Maurice took this breath-taking photo as she flew over WashingtonYvon Maurice took this  breath-taking photo as she flew over Washington
City that never sleeps: Karen Blumberg took this photo, with Central Park in the center as she flew New York City Karen Blumberg took this photo,  with Central Park in the center as she flew New York City
Sky high: As she flew over Mt. Rainier in Washington Bob Horowitz took this photo including the plane's wing As she flew over Mt. Rainier in Washington Bob  Horowitz took this photo including the plane’s wing
Famous landmark: Yvon Maurice took this photo from a cabin as she flew over Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Yvon Maurice took this photo from a  cabin as she flew past Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Another world: Simply identified as Passenger 32A this photo was captured in Asia over Phuket, ThailandSimply identified as Passenger 32A this  photo was captured in Asia over Phuket, Thailand
Below the clouds: Anguilla in the Caribbean as photographed from the air Eugene Delaney Anguilla in the Caribbean as  photographed from the air Eugene Delaney
There's no place like home: Mark Shaiken took this vivid photo as he flew over Kansas Mark Shaiken took this vivid  photo as he flew over Kansas
Another land: Madrid in Spain as snapped by Sidney GomezMadrid in Spain as snapped by Sidney Gomez

Attribution: Daily Mail

It’s a Jolly Holiday

Residents Alerted to Obamas’ Hawaiian Holiday Plans

BY MALIA ZIMMERMAN – KAILUA, OAHU

Residents living near the beachfront homes where President Barack Obama and First Family vacation with their friends every year since 2008 were alerted on Monday to some specifics ofthe Obamas’ holiday vacation plans.

The report delivered to residents living along the ocean and canal that surrounds the multi-million dollar homes at Kailuana Place where the President stays, informed  them of restrictions that will be implemented for 20 days beginning December 17 and running through January 6.Kailuana Place

In a matter of weeks, Kailua residents will see the familiar street barricades fronted by U.S. Secret Service agents and Navy Seals and the U.S. Coast Guard stationed in canal and ocean waters.

The President, who spent some of his childhood years in Hawaii, brings his wife, two daughters, Sasha and Malia, with dog Bo in tow, each holiday season. They settle into the small town community known for its spectacular sparkling beaches, warm turquoise ocean, rolling surf, country shops and restaurants and friendly people.

The homes where they stay are just a two-minute drive from Kaneohe Bay and the Marine Corps Base Hawaii, where the Obamas and friends can access private white sand beaches kailua-beachand military workout facilities.

While many residents welcome the First Family, others are disheartened by the restrictions put on air, water and road travel while the President and family are in town, especially because it is the holiday season and many families on vacation want to use their boats or surf and paddle in the welcoming ocean waves fronting the Kailua homes. In addition, the President’s caravan of at least 22 vehicles including an ambulance can easily overwhelm the community that typically has single lane streets.

Adding to the controversy surrounding the President’s visit is the cost of the trip.

With the staff, special forces, local police presence and equipment, the President’s visit adds up annually to at least a $4 million vacation courtesy of the Hawaii and federal taxpayers.

While the President and his friends pay for their own rental homes, taxpayers pick up the cost of security and waterfront housing for the Secret Service, Navy Seals and Coast Guard as well as staff accommodations at a plush beachfront Waikiki hotel.

TRAVEL: $3,629,622

The greatest expense is President Barack Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii via Air ForceAir Force One One.

A Congressional Research Service report released in May 2012 said the plane typically used by the President, a Boeing 747, costs $179,750 per hour to operate. The U.S. Air Force has listed the cost of travel as high as $181,757 per flight hour.

Travel time for Air Force One direct from Washington D.C. to Hawaii is about 9 hours or as high as $1,635,813 each way for a total of $3,271,622 for the round trip to Hawaii and back.

The cost for USAF C-17 cargo aircraft that transports the Presidential limos, helicopters and other support equipment to Hawaii has never been disclosed in the years the President has traveled to Hawaii. However, the flight time between Andrews Air Force USAF C-17 cargo aircraftBase and Hawaii is at about 21.5 hours roundtrip, with estimated operating cost of $12,000 per hour. (Source: GAO report, updated by C-17 crew member). The United States Marine Corps provides a presidential helicopter, along with pilots and support crews for the test flights, which travel on another C-17 flight. That is $258,000, not including costs for the 4 to 6 member crew’s per diem and hotel.

The rentals are fronted by the ocean and backed by a canal. So, the taxpayers must cover the costs for housing U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Coast Guard and Navy Seals in beach front and canal front homes around where the President stays.

Last year, that added up to about $200 per bedroom per day, or $21,600 per average home for a nearly three week period, with special forces renting at least 7 homes. Security arrives ahead of the President costing taxpayers about $176,400 for the length of the visit.

The President’s staff and White House Press Corps typically stay at one of Hawaii’s oldest and most elegant hotels, the Moana Surfrider. Besides its stunningly beautiful view of Waikiki, and its traditional Hawaiian architecture and decor, it is one of the most priceymoana-surfrider hotels in the state and government rates are not available during the holiday season. Rooms  start at around $270 but can cost as much as $370 a night for an ocean view before Christmas, and climb much higher around the new year.

A conservative estimate with rooms at $270 (excluding a 9.25 percent Transient Accommodation Tax and a 4.712 percent General Excise Tax on each bill, meals, internet charges and other charges) means the taxpayers are covering more than $129,600 in hotel bills for some two dozen staff.

LOCAL TAXPAYER COSTS: $260,000

Local police are paid over time for the President’s visit, which has historically cost Oahu taxpayers $250,000.

The city ambulance the accompanies the President 24 hours a day through his entire visit is about $10,000 to city taxpayers.

UNKNOWN COSTS

There are several costs the White House annually refuses to release, citing security.

  • For example, the President’s security usually rents an entire floor of an office building in Kailua on the canal during the president’s stay.
  • There are security upgrades and additional phone lines to several private homes where Obama and friends are staying. That includes bullet proof glass installed, home security systems disabled, new security measures put into place and additional phone lines added.
  • There is the cost for car rentals and fuel for White House staff staying at a Waikiki Hotel.
  • And there are additional travel costs Secret Service and White House staff traveling ahead of the President.

The total cost (based on what is known) for a 20-day round trip vaobama-lazy-americans-congress-should-work-hardcation to Hawaii for the President and his family and staff and security is more than $4 million.

Hawaii Reporter annually has requested details on the cost of the President’s trip, but the White House will not release any figures, citing security concerns. A spokesperson has maintained the costs are “in line” with other presidential vacations.

Hawaii Reporter has sought to determine the cost of vacations for the current president and last two presidents but the Government Accountability Office referred Hawaii Reporter back to the White House spokesperson.

Hawaii Continues it’s Growth

A volcano on Hawaii’s largest island is  spilling lava into the ocean creating a rare and spectacular fusion of steam and waves that officials say could attract thrill-seeking visitors if it continues.

Lava from a vent in Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii began flowing into the ocean 7 miles away on Saturday.

The volcano has been erupting continuously from its Pu’u O’o vent since 1983.

Scroll down  for video

Fire and brimstone: Lava from a vent in Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii flows into the ocean creating a rare and spectacular fusion of steam and waves Lava from a vent in Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii flows into the ocean creating a rare and spectacular  fusion of steam and waves
Battle of the elements: Lava from the volcano, which has been erupting continuously from its Pu'u O'o vent since 1983, reached the ocean at the weekendLava from the volcano, which has  been erupting continuously from its Pu’u O’o vent since 1983, reached the ocean at the weekend

The flow was the first from the volcano to  reach the ocean since December, said Janet Babb, spokeswoman for the U.S.  Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Even as Hawaii tourism officials awaited an  increase in visitors drawn by the explosive natural show, officials warned of  potentially deadly risks and urged visitors to stay a safe distance away and respect barriers placed around the lava flow.

‘Ocean entries can be quite beautiful but also quite dangerous,’ Babb said.

When the lava reaches the ocean, it cools, darkens and hardens into a lava delta amid an outpouring of steam. The lava delta is newly created land that is unstable and can collapse without warning.

Forces of nature: Waves crash over lava as it flows into the ocean. The hardening lava forms a delta which is unstable and can collapse without warningWaves crash over lava as it flows into  the ocean. The hardening lava forms a delta which is unstable and can collapse without warning
Steam rises from the waves as the lava meets the ocean
Waves crash over lava as it flows into the ocean near Volcanoes National Park in Kalapana, Hawaii
  Officials have warned any thrill-seekers of  the potentially deadly risks if they try to get too close to the area because  the hardened lava can break off hurling hot water in their direction

When it collapses, even visitors standing 100  yards (meters) away can be hurt because large chunks of lava and hot water are  hurled their direction by the collapse, Babb said.

‘The molten lava meeting the ocean creates  steam which may look innocuous, but can be quite hazardous,’ she said.

‘It’s acidic and contains tiny particles of  volcanic glass. And waves crashing with the lava can send out scalding water.’

It was not clear how long the lava would continue flowing into the ocean.

Unpredictable: Experts say it was not clear how long the lava would continue flowing into the oceanExperts say it was not clear how long the lava would continue flowing into the ocean
Molten masterpiece: A plume of smoke rises from Kilauea crater in Volcanoes National Park in Volcano, Hawaii A plume of smoke rises from Kilauea  crater in Volcanoes National Park in Volcano, Hawaii

George Applegate, director of the Big Island  Visitors Bureau, said he expected an increase in tourists due to the latest  occurrence of the phenomenon.

‘We always do,’ Applegate said. ‘A lot of  people want to see a live lava flow.’

Tourism officials declined to estimate how  many more visitors they might see on the Big Island because of the lava flow.  Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which encompasses Kilauea, welcomed more than  1.3million visitors last year, according to park spokeswoman Jessica  Ferracane.

Security workers were keeping people beyond  the barriers during approved viewing hours, said Barry Periatt, plans and  operations officer for Hawaii County’s Civil Defense Agency.

No communities around the volcano are  threatened by the lava flow, Periatt said. The nearest town is Kalapana Gardens,  which is more than half a mile away. It suffered major damage from a 1986  volcano flow.

Attribution: Simon Tomlinson, Daily Mail

Unique Insight of Japan

For years it had remained shut off from the rest of world and shrouded in mystery.

But this unique collection of images taken 100 years ago are some of the first ever insights in to rural Japan before it was opened up to the rest of the globe.

The collection of pictures – the first ever used to promote tourism in the country – show geishas relaxing in pleasure gardens while workers pick tea leaves from the fields.

Memoirs of a Geisha: Geishas enjoy a summer's day in a landscaped garden in this 100-year-old photo by Tamamura Kozaburo  Geishas enjoy a summer’s day in a  landscaped garden in this 100-year-old photo by Tamamura Kozaburo
Unique insight: The rare collection of images show Japan just before its industrial revolution The rare collection of images show Japan before its industrial revolution
The collection of 100-year-old photos were taken to try and attract tourists to the country after the lifting of the bamboo curtain at the beginning of the 20th century
The collection of 100-year-old photos were taken to try and attract tourists to the country after the lifting of the bamboo curtain at the beginning of the 20th century
 The collection of 100-year-old photos were taken to try to attract tourists to the country at the  beginning of the 20th century after the lifting of the bamboo curtain
Mysterious: Japan remained cut off from much of the world until the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854 Japan remained cut off from much of the  world until the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854

Iconic landmarks such as the Kintai-kyo bridge, built in 1673, and the Great Buddha of Kamakura, first constructed in 1252, appear much the same at the beginning of the 20th Century as they do today.

But while the monuments themselves may look unchanged, the surroundings are now packed with tourists and often surrounded by skyscrapers to house the ever-growing population which has more than doubled  from 49,852,000 in 1910 to 128,056,026 in 2010.

The photos were taken by Tamamura Kozaburo to try to attract tourists to Japan after the country opened up to the rest of the world following the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854.

The convention opened the Japanese ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to U.S. trade for the first time in 200 years and ensured the safety of shipwrecked American sailors.

But before the convention, Japan had cut itself off from the rest of the world for more than two centuries and was lagging behind in new technologies.

Landmarks: The Imperial Palace Osaka was completely isolated 100 years ago  The Imperial Palace, the main residence of  the Emperor of Japan, was completely isolated 100 years ago
The past and the present: The Imperial Palace is now surrounded by modern skyscrapers in Tokyo The Imperial Palace is now surrounded by modern skyscrapers in Tokyo
A bygone era: A lone fisherman is captured coming in to shore  A lone fisherman is captured coming in to shore
Water under the bridge: The Kintai-kyo bridge still stands today The Kintai-kyo bridge, built in  1673, still stands today
Spot the difference: Today the Kintai-kyo bridge is lit up at night and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in JapanSpot the difference: Today the Kintai-kyo bridge is lit  up at night and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in  Japan

It was only when Commodore Matthew Perry of the United States Navy steamed into the bay in Yokohama with four warships – the Mississippi, Plymouth, Saratoga, and Susquehanna – in 1853  that the channels of communication were forced open. This eventually lead to the Convention agreement the following year.

Japan soon undertook drastic political,  economic, and cultural transformations to emerge as a unified and centralized state to try to put itself on an even keel with the West.

It’s industrial revolution began around 1870 as national leaders hoped to catch up with the West by building railway lines,  better roads, and invested heavily in modern industry such as textiles,  including cotton and silk.

By 1910, Japan had come out triumphant in a war with Russia and become the first Eastern modern imperial power. It was around this time that this collection of photos were taken to show off Japan to the outside world, which had previously been rigidly introverted and anti any foreign or outside influence.

Photographer Kozaburo  was the first to produce tourist shots for Japan with an album of 51 collotype black and white photographic prints, which were painstakingly inked in by a team of 100 colorists, and gave Europe one of its first glimpses of life inside the previously secretive state.

Out at sea: A few fishing smacks are seen off the Japanese coast which would later become an international port  A few fishing smacks are seen off the Japanese coast which later became an international port
Rural village: The black and white images taken by Kozaburo were painstakingly inked in by a team of 100 colourists The black and white images taken by  Kozaburo were painstakingly inked in by a team of 100 colorists
Country retreat: The Japanese would eventually become renowned for their beautiful gardens The Japanese are still renowned for their beautiful gardens

These photos show Japan at a prosperous time,  when it was starting to build itself into a dominating world power during a period of rapid economic growth and on the cusp of significant technological advancement.

But as Japan began to catch up with the rest of the world powers, it began to exert its brutal power by declaring war on surrounding countries such as China.

This provoked condemnation from the West and tensions with America began to further escalate over its control of Japan’s oil resources, eventually leading to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and entry in to World War II.

But these hand-colored prints show untouched Japan before its disastrous losses in World War II forced the country to surrender. They are mounted in an oblong folio within its original box  and are expected to fetch £800 ($1300) at auction through Woolley and Wallis auctioneers of Salisbury, Wiltshire, England.

Clare Durham, Asian art expert at Woolley and  Wallis, said: ‘Japan had been closed off until the 1860s so it was still relatively new to Europeans.

‘The photos were taken at a time when everything Japanese was of great interest to people in Europe and at a time when photography was in its infancy.

‘They offer a fascinating look at the geisha culture at this time. It is a really interesting historical snapshot of Japan and its cities 100 years ago.’

‘It has come to us from a person in the south west who has had the album for a while now.’

Classic temple: A Buddhist shrine set alone in the mountains  A Buddhist shrine set alone in the mountains
Unspoilt: Mount Fuji dominated the skyline of the rural countryside  Mount Fuji looks much the same 100 years ago as it does today
Braving the rapids: Ladies travelling along a dangerous mountain river in a wooden boat Ladies travelling along a dangerous mountain river in a wooden boat
Idol: Locals appear to be climbing over the Great Buddha of KamakuraLocals appear to be climbing over the Great Buddha of Kamakura, first built in 1252
Iconic: Great Buddha Kamakura is approximately 13.35 metres tall and weighs 93 tonnesGreat Buddha Kamakura is approximately 13.35  meters tall, weighs 93 tons, and is today one of the most visited landmarks in  Japan

‘This would appeal to anybody who has an interest in Japanese culture but it is also a really nice album to dip in and out of for anybody interested in photography or art.’

‘The geisha is emblematic of what Japanese culture was at that time and the photographer was a specialist at capturing it.

‘Japan had been closed off and there was a huge interest in the country at that time and it was almost like the country was being discovered all over again.’

The photo album went to auction at Salisbury on November 15.

Authentic: Japanese theatre was promoted to try and attract tourists Japanese theatre was promoted to try to attract tourists
Back in time: A rural village street is completely untouched by machinery A rural village street is completely untouched by machinery
Division of the classes: A peasant woman entertains a child with a handmade toy
Geisha's look at their reflections in a landscaped garden pond
A peasant woman entertains a  child with a  handmade toy, above, and Geishas look at their reflections in a  landscaped garden pond, below
Working hard: Women picking tea leaves  Women picking tea leaves in long dresses with garments protecting their faces from the sun
Lasting tradition: Japanese woman wear traditional outfits - similar to those worn 100 years ago - to pick tea leaves today Japanese woman wear traditional  outfits – similar to those worn 100 years ago – to pick tea leaves today

Attribution: Mail Online