5 of the Most Unique and Fascinating Places to Visit in Japan

Japan has a lot of popular tourist destinations. It is also famous for having a wide array of some of the coolest, quirkiest, and weirdest attractions. If you want to go off the beaten paths of Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and other touristy places, you will find plenty of most interesting places worth exploring. And here are just a few of them.

1. Akame 48 Falls (Nabari, Mie)
Akame 48 Falls
The Akame 48 Falls refers to the series of waterfalls that can be found along the riverside path that stretches to about 4 kilometers. Located in an area steeped in mystery and legend, the waterfalls make for enchanting nature scenery that has been used as a base by the Iga-ryu ninja between the 15th to 18th centuries. The area also serves as home to giant salamanders that are among the Akame 48 Falls’ top attractions.

2. Aogashima (Aogashima-mura, Tokyo)
The volcanic island of Aogashima sits in the Philippine Sea. Still a part of Tokyo, the remote island can only be reached by boat or helicopter. The town basically sits in the heart of an active volcano with a handful of residents of about 200 or less.

3. Aokigahara (Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi)
Also known as the Suicide Forest, Aokigahara in the shadow of Fujisan (Mount Fuji). It ranks only second to the world’s most popular place to die. Suicide rate in the mysterious forest is high with plenty of bodies are believed to remain undiscovered within its depths.

4. Aoshima Cat Island (Ozu-shi, Ehime)
Aoshima Cat Island
Aoshima is one of Japan’s many cat islands where the feline residents outnumber their humans. The island is a popular destination not just for cat lovers but also for tourists who are curious about the island’s story.

5. Koyasan (Ito-gun, Wakayama)

Koyasan or Mount Kōya is home to the ancient and still active sect of Japanese Buddhism that dates back to twelve centuries ago. The mountain is widely considered as a sacred site and teeming with temples and other religious structures. Some of the things to see and experience in Koyasan include the temples and graveyards, the otsutome or Buddhist ceremonies at the temples, the form of Shingon meditation known as Ajikan, the Shukubo Temple Lodging stay, and more.