There are countless incredible places to visit in Japan. You read about them everywhere, like the beautiful castles that take your breath away and the temples that transport you to another world. But, all of these are very popular spots so you can expect to see numerous tourists around you.
If you are the kind that wants to explore lesser-known destinations or simply want to avoid the crowds, there are many incredible tourist destinations to consider. Those below tend to be overlooked since there are other more popular destinations that keep getting advertised. But, you should seriously give them a try.
Located in Kitakyushu, in the lovely Kawachi Fuji Gardens, the Wisteria Tunnel is wonderful for every single person that loves botanical gardens. It is practically a feature of the incredible gardens but it offers a simply stunning view you wouldn’t want to miss if in the area.
Wisteria flowers of white, purple, and pink colors overhang the tunnel structure to create a fantastically whimsical look. Basically, the entire place looks magical. You want to visit during early May or late April. This is because the flowers bloom then and the tunnel looks like taken out of a romantic movie.
The small Okunoshima island can be found in Takehara. Its history is quite dark since it involves producing poison gas. But, this is exactly what led to its infamous popularity. The Poison Gas Museum that was opened is now a tourist attraction that educates people about what was going on in the past in the area.
Obviously, the museum is not the main highlight you want to see though. The main reason why this place is incredible and you have to get there is that there are hundreds of beautiful rabbits that roam free on the island. Since there are zero natural predators present, the rabbit population kept going. And most of the rabbits there are very happy to see humans. If you are an animal lover, Okunoshima is the place to go to. Bonus if you also love history.
If you want to visit Kyoto, make sure to put the Yokai Street on the list of destinations to consider. There, you can find several statues of monsters. They feature several depictions of stories, fables, and traditional Japanese folklore. Usually, statues in Japan are placed in front of buildings, including shops, to be guardians. On the Yokai Street, you can see them and there is even a parade every single year featuring people dressing up as monsters. It is quite impressive to see.
While this cave in Okinawa is more popular than the ones mentioned before, it is still not that known and you can get your peace and quiet when you visit. We are basically talking about a limestone cave. You can explore it thanks to different walkways, stairs, and bridges.
What is particularly interesting is that through the cave there is an underground river. It is illuminated and this creates a perfect travel destination if you want some adventure and you really want to go deep into Japan. If you love Guokusendo, you surely also want to experience some other caves. Another recommendation is the Ryusendo Cave.
Tenshou-Kyousha Shrine (The Mermaid Mummy)
This is where you can find what locals know as Fiji mermaid mummy. We are talking about a mummy that resembles a combination between a fish and a monkey, which is why we refer to the mermaid.
Those interested in the folklore of Japan will surely be interested in this incredible sight. The only problem is that it will be a little difficult to get to the place. This is because there is no public transport that reaches this shrine. However, if you do want to visit, this is a wonderful place to consider.
Oku-Iya Kazurabashi Bridge
You can find this bridge in Oboke Gorge, in Iya Valley. Actually, Oku-Iya Kazurabashi is a series of vines and suspension bridges placed over a valley. All bridges were reinforced and are completely stable and safe for every single tourist who is very brave. However, if you are afraid of heights, you will find it very difficult to cross the bridges.
The Dainichibo Temple Mummified Monks
This temple is located in Tsuruoka on Mount Yudono. It houses a shokushinbutsu, which is a mummified monk. Actually, there are several mummified monks who went through the process. The reason why the monks volunteered to become mummified is that they wanted to reach a state of enlightenment. With many who attempted it, just a very small fraction actually succeeded. We are talking about self-mummification after all, which is not that easy to do. Visiting this temple is a truly fascinating experience that will surely be thought-provoking.
Yunessun Spa Resort
This spa resort is definitely something interesting to visit in Japan. It takes the traditional onsen and puts a wild spin on it. You can find it in Hakone and it is actually a theme-park resort. It gives you access to very interesting flavors in their onsens. For instance, you can enjoy a wine bath, a ramen broth bath, and a tea bath. If you are not that keen on the traditional bath system, the onsens are child-friendly, co-ed, and can function as pools. You would use swimwear when you visit and you would be more comfortable if you choose the co-ed option.
Chinoike Jigoku is a reddish steaming-hot spring located in Beppu. It is also known as Bloody Hell Pond and is actually a series of hot springs with a hellish description. It is quite away from many other springs and does have a unique color due to the park base having iron oxide. This is a spring that you do not use to take a bath. Even so, the sight alone is just fascinating. Chinoike Jigoku is a perfect place for all tourists who are interested in different sights. And you can pick up skincare goods made out of the mud present in the spring.
The island is locally known under the name battleship island and it is located on the Nagasaki coast. It used to be a mining island that was densely populated. Now it is completely abandoned though. The island features so much history and you will love what you can get from all the abandoned places. Tours are available to see what was once a very big part of the region.