The Land of The Rising Sun is one of the most beautiful countries you can visit. It has something for every tourist, from advanced technology, beautiful traditions, and mouth-watering food, to stunning landscapes, big, bright cities, and thousands of comic books known as manga. Other than that, Japan has also a lot of unusual places that became tourist attractions.
The Cat Islands: Aoshima and Tashirojima
If you are a cat enthusiast, then this is your lucky day! Aoshima Island is one of the many “Cat Islands” in Japan that has a bigger population of felines than people. This particular island is only 1.6 km (1 mile) long. Currently, it has a population of only 6 people and around 210 cats walking freely on the small patch of land. So, expect to be greeted by many cats the moment you step on the island. However, there are no cars, hotels, or restaurants, so you have to come prepared.
Tashirojima is another famous “cat island” with a population of over 130 cats and only 100 people. There are some more attractions to see here such as a cat shrine situated in the middle of the island and the “Manga Island”, a small area where you can rent a cat-shaped cabin.
The Doll Village – Nagoro
Nagoro Village, also known as the Doll Village is situated on the Shikoku island. As the population of Japan started to decrease, the village slowly started to become emptier with every passing year. Tsukimi Ayano moved away with her family when she was a child, but returned years later. Ayano’s first doll resembled her father that she placed in a field. Since then, she made more than 350 dolls, replacing most of the residents of the village that either left or passed away.
Jigokudani Monkey Park
The park, located in Yamanouchi, and its name translates to “Hell Valley”. It may sound scary, but the name actually comes from the volcanic activity and the steaming water of the hot springs. Jigokudani became one of the tourist attractions of the country for its large population of Japanese Macaques, also known as Snow Monkeys. During winter, the monkeys head to the warm water of the springs, offering a unique view for the tourists.
The Rabbit Island
Ōkunoshima is a National Park Resort that became a tourist attraction due to the big number of rabbits roaming the grassy land. There are over 1,000 rabbits inhabiting the island and their population keeps growing. They can often be seen following the tourists, hoping to get some food from them. The island is roughly 3.7km (2.30 miles) and there are no cars you can use, but you can ride a bicycle to move faster from one side of the island to another.
Sagano Bamboo Forest
Located in western Kyoto, the Sagano Bamboo Forest is one of the most unusual, yet beautiful forests you will ever see. Once the wind starts blowing, the bamboo trees start to knock together, filling the forest with a calming sound. For a better experience, it is recommended to visit the forest early in the morning or in the evening, to avoid the tourists.
The Blue Pond
Hokkaido’s Blue Pond (Biei) has become one of the famous tourist attractions in Japan due to its unusual color. It is an artificial pond made in 1988 to stop the volcanic mud from reaching the town of Biei. Now, you may be wondering why it has that color. That is the result of the presence of aluminum and sulfur in the water, giving it a bright turquoise color that can vary, depending on the season and weather.
As you can see, Japan doesn’t make an exception when it comes to unusual yet beautiful places. If you ever plan on visiting Japan, check out at least one of these strange tourist attractions, you won’t regret it!