- Pulwama attack: Reason, not emotions must drive our response to Pakistan
- Arpit Palace owner arrested at IGI Airport for hotel fire that killed 17
- IL&FS-led liquidity woes, Aadhaar ban roil NBFCs, micro-lending dips by 15%
- How easy credit from shadow banks has begun to haunt Indian realty sector
- Modi to visit Jharkhand, lay foundation stone for hospitals, water schemes
- Nissan weighs outside director as board chairman as Carlos Ghosn's era ends
These polystyrene dome houses in Japan are earthquake resistant
Nestled near a volcano in southern Japan, 450 quake-resistant dome houses put up by a health resort and decorated with flowers and dinosaurs are drawing visitors from across Asia.
Text & Photos: Reuters
A dozen polystyrene foam pieces, each so light that two adults can pick it up, are glued together to make the houses.
Despite the light materials, the domes withstood last year's deadly earthquakes in Kumamoto prefecture, where Aso is located, said Masaya Konishi, manager of the Aso Farm Land resort.
"These dome rooms were completely unharmed," Konishi told Reuters.
"Not a single pane of glass broke." Wind and earthquakes do not easily damage the dome houses because they have no beams that can be broken, Konishi said.
Japan Dome House, the company that makes the polystrene pieces used in the structures, says that after the 2016 earthquakes, sales spiked two to three-fold.
The head of Aso Farm Land resort, Katsuyuki Kitagawa, designed the dome-shaped cabins after being inspired by his work in the Japanese sweets industry, Konishi said.
One day, Kitagawa thought it would be interesting to put people inside "manju" - traditional Japanese sweets that are round and filled with red bean paste - and decided to make rooms shaped like the confection.
The colorful result has proven alluring for tourists looking for a quirky family holiday, especially the domes adorned inside and out with images of Japan's popular "Kumamon" bear character, mascot of the Kumamoto region.
"We were looking for something very Japan and different that would just be fun," said Singaporean tourist Tsalina Phang, who was staying in a dome house with her two daughters and husband.
"This, with all the decorations of Kumamon, just sounded perfect for us," Phang said, as one of her daughters bounced happily on a bed in front of an image of a red-cheeked bear.
Quake-resistant dome houses are pictured at the Aso Farm Land resort
FEBRUARY 25, 2018, SUNDAY
Justin Trudeau's youngest child Hadrien1350 views
JANUARY 03, 2018, WEDNESDAY
The call for a general strike across the western state of Maharashtra ...562 views
DECEMBER 30, 2017, SATURDAY
A look back at the major political events of the year228 views
DECEMBER 30, 2017, SATURDAY
A look at major happenings around the globe in 201778 views
SEPTEMBER 05, 2017, TUESDAY
Thousands of gigantic, large, medium and small idols of the ...436 views