Japan is such a beautiful country
to visit, it is always a top tourist destination with more than 2.5 million
travelers annually. Tourists are enthralled with the mix of high technology and
the traditional ways. Japanese are also famous for their movies especially the
horror genre. Aside from the lovely shrines, parks, and bizarre futuristic
restaurants dotting the country there are also eerie places in Japan that gives
birth to horror stories and scary urban legends. Here are the top 3 scariest
places in Japan.
Just in the northwest of the
iconic Mt. Fuji is the Sea of Trees or formally known as Aokigahara Forest.
Like its moniker, the foliage is so thick that you can’t even hear any wind
passing through the trees. Roots intertwine over jagged rocks, dead leaves and
sometimes dead bodies are what covers the whole forest floor. Yes, dead bodies
that sometimes are from ages ago, because this forest is also known as the
Suicide Forest. Japan has an ancient tradition of glorious suicide or hara-kiri
or seppuku and they have the highest suicide rate in the world. And because of
the thousands of trees in this 13.5 square mile forest, death by hanging is the
most common method of suicide.
This suspension bridge holds a
tragic story despite of its natural scenery all around. During the 16th
century, there was a thriving gold mine here owned by a rich Japanese family,
and they put up brothels with “oiran” or prostitutes to make the miners happy,
but after a huge battle, they had to close down the area but to keep the gold
mine a secret, they killed more or less 50 oirans by inviting them on the
bridge and cutting the ropes so they all fell down to the abyss below. Up until
now, passersby have sworn to hear wails and cries from down the gorge.
Inukane Pass or also known as the
Old Chusetsu Tunnel is infamous for its many haunted stories from casual goers.
Before it was only blocked off by a guardrail but since there were a lot of
people who visit the abandoned tunnel leading to minor injuries and some
wrongdoings, it is now partially blocked by large concrete. It was said that
before you enter the haunted pass, you will hear a voice whispering a warning
for you not to enter it, but if you’re a brave soul and decided to enter the
tunnel despite the warning prepare to hear unearthly sounds as you go deeper
down the secluded old passage. Beware though because aside from the creepy
sounds you might, also, encounter some vengeful spirits.
Adjusting the juice and wine making is a critical step. It is also a rather easy step. Using a simple titration kit that you can buy at a wine shop, you will need to measure the acid content. For dry reds, you will want an asset level that is around 6 to 7 g/L. For dry whites, the asset level should be between 6 ½ to 7 ½ g/L. If your levels are off, you will need to add tartaric acid to your wine in intervals of 1/8 teaspoon. After adding a little tartaric acid, check the acidity again carefully. Continue to add it until you reach the desired level of acidity. Make sure to always have tartaric acid on hand when you are making wine. You can find it at your local wine making shop. I tend to forget to buy tartaric acid for I start a batch of wine. Luckily, my neighbor who works with roofing Edmonton always has extra on hand for me to use.
You will also need to use your hydrometer to measure the sugar level. For both reds and whites, the must level should be about 22° Brix. If you need to bring the concentration of sugar up, you can make your own sugar syrup with 1/3 cup of water to 1 cup of sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil in a pot and then remove it from the heat immediately. You will need to let this mixture cool before adding it in 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the Brix degrees desired. If you need to lower your level of sugar, you can use water or juice to dilute your must.
To provide the perfect environment for the yeast cells in the wine, you may need to adjust the temperature of your must. You can do this through gently warming up the juice to bring it to pitching temperature without damaging the wine quality. Just be careful not to boil it.
If you find that your grapes are too cold, you can heat a little of the juice in a microwave and then mix it back into the pail and test the temperature again. You can also opt wrap an electric blanket around the fermentation pail, but this will usually take longer.
Racking the wine must be done on a regular basis. Racking is a method that separates the fermenting wine from the sediment. To rack the wine, use a clear plastic hose to siphon the fermenting wine into another jug that has been sanitized, leaving the sediment behind. Top off the wine and put on a fermentation lock.
Not much feels better and more satisfying than using fresh grapes to make your first batch of wine. The best time to start a batch is the early fall when the grapes are at their ripest in the vineyards all over the country.
Depending on where you live, there are many kinds of grapes that you can choose from. The classic choice for flavor is Vitis vinifera, with its historic authenticity and beautiful character. The grapes in this family from Europe includes varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Chardonnay. These grapes tend to thrive best in the Pacific Northwest and California areas of the United States. There are also many microclimates throughout this nation where the grapes tend to do well. These microclimates can be found in places across the mid-Atlantic states, the Great Lakes, and New York.
The Vitis vinifera grapes may not be found in climates that are wetter and colder. There are some hybrids, though, that can withstand cold and disease that can be raised in those areas. Another way to find grapes to make wine is to go to a local produce wholesaler or a winemaking shop.
Regardless of the kind of grapes you decide to use for your wine, the general ingredients, equipment, and techniques remain the same. You can do a brief search online to find a list of equipment that will be needed to make your wine.
The first step in making wine is inspecting the grapes. You do this by picking up a double handful and squishing them to strain the juice, and then use a hydrometer to measure the level of sugar. You can purchase a hydrometer at any winemaking supply shop. The density of the sugar should be about 22° Brix. Also, taste the fruit to ensure that it is ripe, sweet, and slightly tart.
You will also want to check over the grapes thoroughly to make sure they are clean and mostly free of insects and debris from the Vineyard. If you find grapes that look rotten or otherwise bad, discard of them. It is also important that you remove the stems from all the grapes because they will make your wine taste bitter.
Now that you have your grapes picked out and clean, you are ready to start making your wine.
Recently, while attending a class for wine appreciation, a student asked whether or not wine could be manufactured in a lab. The teacher said, “Yeah, sure,” in response but did not offer any kind of explanation. I was rather disappointed in the response given, since it seemed to reduce wine to a basic kind of drink. I thought it had been a great opportunity for the teacher to educate the students, but one that was passed over.
The answer the teacher gave was correct, nonetheless. Theoretically, wine can be made in a lab. Practically, though, it would be an almost impossible task.
Wine is quite the complex beverage, consisting of thousands of complex and simple organic compounds. Many of these compounds have not even been identified yet, though it has been stated that most of the grape’s chemical compounds in wines that add the flavor and aroma have been identified now. Some of the organic compounds in the wine includes sugars, phenols, acids, alcohol, aromatic and amines compounds. Each of these compounds contribute to the flavors and aromas of the wine. Other organic compounds also found, such as thiols and aldehydes that can give an off-flavor or cause the wine to spoil. Each of the compounds are synthesized within the grapes through the process of growing and ripening. They can also be formed through the process of fermentation from certain yeast and from the operations of winemaking like barrel aging. There are other compounds that are inorganic that come from the soil and the nutrients from it.
Each of the compounds in the wine are in different concentrations. Some are trace amounts while others are measurable. They come in countless permutations and combinations as well, and are all a function of the many varieties of grapes, kinds of yeasts, differences in practices, factors such as climate and soil, all making creating wine in a lab a pretty impossible job.
It is an interesting question, though. Why should we try to reduce the lovely wines to a solution produced in a lab, though? I think we should all sit down over a glass of wine to explore this question more.