10 Most Unique Places You Must Visit In Japan

Travel

Written By Aranya Agarwal.

A place where modern outlook and traditional beliefs walk hand in hand, Japan, is definitely one of the top destinations on every travellers’ bucket list. A country that possesses magnificent scenic views, historical castles, and beautiful floral displays. The unusual sights of this island country look exactly like something out of a fairytale. 

With great food and unusual sites at its centre, Japan has been winning the hearts of travellers for ages.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Japan is a hub for great food, vivid culture, and spectacular places. Basically, a traveller’s paradise on earth.

Owing to the great history of the country, Japan has some gems embedded in it, which are not yet discovered. These hidden gems of Japan provide a true picture of the great civilization that lies on the foundation of the country. 

We all know Japan as one of the most powerful and prosperous island countries in East Asia. What we don’t know is that Japan was inhabited for the first time during the upper-palaeolithic period, and since then Japan has been a part of many significant cultural, political, and economical changes in the world. 

The fourth most populous country in the world, Japan definitely has some of the most amazing ‘unique’ places that would surely gratify a traveller’s curiosity.

Thus, below are some of the most unique places in Japan, that will make you want to visit it and learn more about it.

1. Mount Koya

Mount Koya
Picture Credit- GaijinPot Travel

A place denoting peace, and tolerance, Mount Koya is complex, made up of shrines, pagodas, and temples. The place dates back to the year 816 AD and is said to be one of the ancient religious places in Japan. Moreover, the complex also became the emergence of Shingon Buddhism, which was founded by Kobo Daishi, thousands of years ago. 

Mount Koya is a perfect representation of religious peace in Japan, as it holds the essence of Japanese traditions, Buddhism, and Shintoism. One of the largest places of Buddhist worship, it is embellished with natural views that envelop the complex, making it a UNESCO world heritage site.

2. Sagano Bamboo Forest

 Sagano Bamboo Forest
Picture Credit- Maikoya

If you are looking for an eye-catching landscape, then the Sagano Bamboo Forest is just the right place for you. Unique to Japan’s culture, this forest is located in Arashiyama, Kyoto. Sagano Bamboo Forest mainly comprises ‘Moso bamboos’ that are native to Japan. The interesting fact about the forest is that the ministry of the environment of Japan considers the forest as a soundscape of Japan. 

A serene nature spot, the forest provides the visitors with a picturesque view, and a calming voice of the rattling of bamboos. This voice is so meditative and peaceful that it fills the human soul with a feeling of tranquillity. 

A contrasting representation of Japan’s highly urbanized life, Sagano Bamboo Forest is really unusual in every sense.

3. Nishinomaru Garden

Nishinomaru Garden
Picture Credit- Pinterest

A garden that could only be found in Japan, the Nishinomaru garden is home to the most beautiful flowers that couldn’t be seen in any other part of the world. The garden beholds in its womb the native flowers of Japan which also includes the infamous cherry blossom. A fascinating place, Nishinomaru garden is situated in Osaka and is not very far away from the main city. 

The most dazzling aspect of the garden is the Osaka castle that is situated near it.

One of the heritage sites of Japan, both the Nishinomaru garden and the Osaka castle holds historical and cultural significance in Japan.

4. Aokigahara Suicide Forest

Aokigahara Suicide Forest
Picture Credit- Marriott Activities

If you have watched ‘the dark tourist’ on Netflix, then you must have been aware of this particular place in Japan. A thrilling destination for all the travellers, this place holds a lot of social dilemma and significance. Aokigahara forest, also known as the sea of trees, is a popular forest situated on Mount Fuji.

The forest is notorious as a suicide spot in Japan, and one can easily trace personal artefacts belonging to people while strolling through the forest. The forest is said to have a spooky vibe to it, with rumours of several paranormal activities. 

If you are someone looking for some thrill and dark adventure, well! This place might be just right for you.

5. Jigokudani Monkey Park

Jigokudani Monkey Park
Picture Credit- The World Travel Guy

A unique place situated in the Nagano Prefecture, this place is a part of the Joshinetsu Kogen National park. The interesting part of the Jigokudani monkey park is the steam that erupts out of the boiling water that could be found in small cleavages of the frozen lake. The park is surrounded by cold and misty forests, thus giving it a landscape view. 

Jigokudani park is mostly uncrowded given its high elevation and heavy rainfall, despite its popularity. 

Moreover, several wild Japanese Macaques could be found in this park. 

A great place to visit to get a moment away from the hustle-bustle of the city.

Also Read: Top 11 Remote Hostels Around The World.

6. Japanese Cat Cafes

Japanese Cat Cafes
Picture Credit- Reckon Talk

One of the most unique places in the world. Japan takes delight and honour in presenting its unique cat cafes. A country where cats rule humans, the cat cafes in Japan are a must-visit. Several cat cafes could be found strolling through the capital city of Japan, Tokyo. 

The idea behind the cat cafes is to provide people a way to pet animals, especially cats, and get some time away from their busy schedules, and spend time with these wise and fun creatures.

Tell them your tales, pet them, or maybe feed them food, cat cafes make you feel cherished and relaxed at the same time. 

The infrastructure and the ambience in the cat cafes are astonishingly unique as well.

7. Nagoro Island

Nagoro Island
Picture Credit- Shikoku Tours

This island holds a history that is both ‘creepy’ but also ‘interesting’. Nagaro is a village that has been shrinking with time. The residents of the village left it in search of employment. After several years, Tsukimi Ayano visited the village and made the dolls in remembrance of every member of the village. 

Today, the Nagaro island is infamous as the doll island, as it is home to more than three hundred life-size dolls that look exactly like humans. 

Strolling through the Nagaro island, the visitors could find eye-catching monuments, and wonderful lakes as well.

8. Okinoshima Island

Okinoshima Island
Picture Credit- The Independent

A traditional place in Japan, Okinoshima island holds religious importance in the hearts of the natives. The ‘unique’ aspect of the island is that women are completely banned from entering the place, and men must strip their torsos naked before entering. 

Moreover, only two hundred men are allowed to visit the temple on the island, once a year. Okinoshima island is a place of great cultural importance in Japan and hence is also authorized and recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. 

9. Pokemon Centre

Pokemon Centre
Picture Credit- Japan Web Magazine

Do you still miss Pokemon, or the sound of Pikachu – pika pika!! Well, if you do, then this place is going to fill your heart and soul with happiness. It is unreal for this place to exist on earth, but it does. 

For all the pokemon fans, there is a pokemon centre situated in Japan. In fact, there are several stores in different cities of the country. You can find great pokemon goodies, hampers, stuff toys, games, and lots more. So the next time you head to Japan doesn’t forget to visit this fun-filled place. 

10. Miyajima Island

Miyajima Island
Picture Credit- Viator

If you are looking for a place to view the mesmerizing sunrise or the sunset, then Miyajima island is where you should head to. Not far away from Hiroshima, this island offers the most serene and beautiful views in the whole of Japan. 

Moreover, it is the most unexplored island in Japan as it is covered by mostly forests and tiny villages, thus, it doesn’t hold any chaos or hustle-bustle as compared to the other islands of the country. 

An ideal place for soul-searchers, who want to get away from the noisy voice of the outer world, and listen to the sounds of within.

A place where deers and humans walk side by side along the shores of the sea, it is great for spending an evening alone or with loved ones. 

Roman Coppola, an American filmmaker once said, “Japan is the most intoxicating place for me. The Japanese culture fascinates me: the food, the dress, the manners and the traditions. It’s the travel experience that has moved me the most.”

And, I believe that we all couldn’t agree with it more.  

All the places in japan have an essence of their culture and traditions embedded in them. Whether it be the Nagaro island or the modern Japanese cat cafes. Every destination in Japan holds close significance to the lives of people and the art that they signify.  

Nature, unlike in other countries, holds the most importance in the architecture and the destinations of Japan. 

Japan is still one of the only countries that still cherishes its natural landscape more than its urban. Every place in Japan is raw and untouched making it a country with several ‘unusual’ and ‘unique’ destinations. 

A place where nature meets the man-made city, Japan is an ideal destination for every backpacker who is searching for some unreal and mesmerizing destinations. 


<strong><em>Aranya Agarwal</em></strong> 
Aranya Agarwal 

is a contributor at The Strong Traveller. She is a graduate student in Sociology and has an ardent interest in writing about different cultures and travelling experiences. She is a keen promoter of minimalism and tries to be sustainable in her lifestyle as much as possible. With an academic background in Sociology, understanding cultures and different needs of the society is amongst her strong pursuits. She has worked with several non-profit organizations and believes in the idea of ‘living every moment to the fullest’. A vivacious person at heart, you can catch her strolling around the streets with dogs by her side.


8 thoughts on “10 Most Unique Places You Must Visit In Japan

  1. Yeah, I regret never heading to mount Koya! I lived in Kansai for 5 years but just never found the time to head out there. Someday I’ll make another trip back to the Osaka area and head down there for a king of unofficial pilgrimage of sorts. I recently moved to Tokyo, but which area of Japan are you living in?

    1. Hey, first of all, we are really glad and excited that you could relate so much to our post… We are not based out of Japan. We are a small group of people working towards creating a platform for fellow travelers to create and share their stories so that it would be a great help for everyone who is willing to know more and travel around our beautiful planet Earth…

      Do follow us as we regularly publish many such beautiful contents, you might fall in love with.. 🙂

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