Inner city and countryside areas are often talked about in opposing terms. Lively and peaceful. Man-made and natural. Overpopulated and underpopulated.

The opposing characteristics can be clearly seen in Japan, a country with both sprawling metropolises, as well as vast swathes of countryside.

This designer’s (Arimura Taishi) image starkly illustrates one aspect of the urban-countryside dichotomy. If the black background represents night-time scenery, the sparkling lights of the city come from the buildings, illuminating the bottom half of the image. But flip the image vertically and it becomes the rural areas, the white dots expressing the stars, and the bottom half in pitch black.

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They are labelled as tokai, meaning inner-city, and inaka which means countryside. Many commenters online praised the straightforward images that clearly expressed both areas without any unnecessary frills.

The design could lead people to lament the light pollution in urban areas, which prevents us from fully enjoying the night sky. Although some people are quick to point out the pitfalls of living in the city, this simple illustration shows the beauty of both places. In some ways they’re the same. Just flipped over.

By - Jess.