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Hidden Japan; 13 Unusual Places To See

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From snow-capped mountains and glistening cave formations to constellations of islands, Japan is home to natural splendor outside of its incredible cities.

Explore the natural beauty of Japan off the beaten path through these pictures below.

1. Hashima Island

Hashima Island, unusual place to see in Japan
Hashima Island, unusual place to see in Japan –
www.smartage.pl

Hashima island is an abandoned island about 9 miles from Nagasaki. Hashima Island, commonly known as Battleship Island, is an abandoned island lying about 9 miles (15 km) from the Nagasaki, in southern Japan.

Hashima Island, hidden place to see in Japan
Hashima Island, hidden place to see in Japan
Hashima Island, Battleship Island in Japan
Hashima Island, Battleship Island in Japan

Formerly the home of coal workers on the island in the first half of the 20th century, it is now known for its crumbling concrete buildings and surrounding sea wall. The island is open to tourists and has been featured in several movies, including the James Bond film “Skyfall.”

2. Ogasawara Islands

Ogasawara Islands, hidden place in japan
Ogasawara Islands, hidden place in japan

Ogasawara Islands is an archipelago of more than 30 islands. Also known as the Bonin Islands, the Ogasawara Islands are an archipelago of islands 966 km (600 miles) south of Tokyo.

hidden Japan, Ogasawara Islands
hidden Japan, Ogasawara Islands

This UNESCO World Heritage Site has been compared to the Galápagos Islands because of the abundance of unique plant, and animal life found there.

3. Shiretoko National Park

Shiretoko National Park, hidden place in Japan
Shiretoko National Park, hidden place in Japan

Shiretoko National Park is a remote national park in northern Japan. Shiretoko National Park is located at the northernmost tip of Japan.

Shiretoko National Park, hidden place to see in Japan
Shiretoko National Park, hidden place to see in Japan
Beautiful Shiretoko National Park Japan
Beautiful Shiretoko National Park Japan

The Shiretoko Peninsula, on which it is located, derives its name from the Ainu word meaning “the place where the earth protrudes,” and is one of the most isolated areas in the world, accessible only by boat or on foot. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005, the park is home to Japan’s largest brown bear population and offers views of Kunashiri Island.

4. Kumano Kodo Trails

Kumano Kodo trails, hidden place to see in Japan
Kumano Kodo trails, hidden place to see in Japan

Kumano Kodo is a sacred pilgrimage trails in Japan. Kumano Kodo is a series of ancient and sacred pilgrimage routes that cross the Kii Hantō, the largest Peninsula of Japan.

Kumano Kodo, hidden place to see in Japan
Kumano Kodo, hidden place to see in Japan – www.okujapan.com
Kumano Kodo trails in Japan
Kumano Kodo trails in Japan – www.actionasia.com

These trails are used for pilgrimage to Kumano Sanzan, a collection of three important Shinto shrines. There are three trail routes, up to 70 km in length, which were registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004.

5. Great Seto Bridge

Great Seto Bridge, place to see in Japan
Great Seto Bridge, place to see in Japan

Great Seto Bridge is the World’s longest two-tiered bridge system. The Great Seto Bridge is a series of double-decker bridges across a series of five small islands in the Seto Inland Sea.

Great Seto Bridge, hidden place to see in Japan
Great Seto Bridge, hidden place to see in Japan

These bridges were connecting Okayama and Kagawa prefectures in Japan. At 13.1 km, it is the world’s longest two-tiered bridge system. The bridge can be crossed by automobile or train.

6. Akiyoshidō

Akiyoshido, the large limestone cave in Japan
Akiyoshido, the large limestone cave in Japan

Akiyoshidō is a large limestone cave system in Japan. Up to 100 meters wide and including nearly 9 km of passages, Akiyoshidō is the longest cave in Japan and one of the longest in Asia.

Akiyoshido, hidden place in Japan
Akiyoshido, hidden place in Japan
Akiyoshido, hidden place to visit in Japan
Akiyoshido, hidden place to visit in Japan

Visitors to the cave, which is part of a national park, can enter a 1-km-long section entering the cave at it’s lowest point and exit the cave via an elevator. This portion of the cave is also decorated with a variety of large and colorful mineral deposits.

7. Iwami Ginzan

Iwami Ginzan, historical silver mine in Japan
Iwami Ginzan, historical silver mine in Japan

Iwami Ginzan is a historic silver mine in Japan. For nearly 400 years until it closed in 1923, the Iwami Ginzan was the largest underground silver mine in Japan.

Iwami Ginzan, hidden place to visit in Japan
Iwami Ginzan, hidden place to visit in Japan – retrip.jp

Located on the island of Honshu, it was discovered in 1526 and became home to the Haifukiho Method of mining. During its period of peak production in the 1600s, the mine produced silver coins for the Japanese empire. Today the mine and the surrounding buildings, including three castles built originally to protect the mine, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

8. Mount Yari

Mount Yari, hidden place to visit in Japan
Mount Yari, hidden place to visit in Japan

Mount Yari is a popular climbing mountain in Japan. A 10,433-foot peak in the southern part of the Hida Mountains of Japan, Mount Yari rises on the border of Ōmachi and Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture and Takayama in Gifu Prefecture.

Mount Yari, popular mountain in Japan
Mount Yari, popular mountain in Japan

Popular with mountain climbers, this four-ridged mountain has been called the Matterhorn of Japan due to its shape. Yari, which means spear, is said to reflect the way the peak thrusts into the sky.

9. Sumikawa Snow Park

Sumikawa Snow Park Japan
Sumikawa Snow Park Japan

Sumikawa Snow Park, a multi-level ski resort in Japan. A popular destination for off-piste skiers and snowshoers alike, Sumikawa Snow Park is located in the mountainous regions of the Miyagi prefecture.

Sumikawa Snow Park in Japan
Sumikawa Snow Park in Japan – pinterest.com

The snow park’s mountain reaches a maximum elevation of 1,400 meters and has nine trails, the longest of which is 3,000 meters. The open season runs from early December to mid-April.

10. Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel

Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel Japan
Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel Japan

Water infrastructure project and tourist destination. The Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel, on the outskirts of Tokyo, is the world’s largest underground flood water diversion facility.

Completed in 2006, it was built to mitigate overflowing of the city’s major waterways and rivers during rain and typhoon seasons. Visitors to the site can take a free tour of the five concrete containment silos with 59 massive pillars connected to 13,000-horsepower pumps that can pump up to 200 tons of water per second into the Edo River.

11. Jigokudani Monkey Park

Jigokudani Monkey Park, place to visit in Japan
Jigokudani Monkey Park, place to visit in Japan

Jigokudani Monkey Park, home to wild snow monkeys in Japan. Located in the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park in the Yokoyu River valley, the Jigokudani Monkey Park is home to a large population of wild Japanese macaques, commonly known as snow monkeys.

Jigokudani Monkey Park, hidden place to visit in Japan
Jigokudani Monkey Park, hidden place to visit in Japan

In winter, the snow monkeys climb down from the park’s cliffs and forest to sit in in hot springs, before returning to the forests in the evenings. There are no barriers in the park, leaving visitors able to see the snow monkeys up close.

12. Awa Dance Festival

Awa Dance Festival Japan
Awa Dance Festival Japan – wikimedia.org

Awa Dance Festival, an annual dance festival in Japan. Dancers and musicians take to the streets in Obon dance costumes as they perform in the Awa Odori/Awa Dance Festival, held every August in Tokushima Prefecture in Japan.

The festival, which draws its name from the old name for the province, Awa, has its origins in Japanese Buddhist Day of the Dead Festivals, called Bon, which dates from the 1600s. Today, the festival brings more than 1.3 million visitors to Tokushima each year.

13. Mount Nōtori

Mount Notori, hidden place to visit in Japan
Mount Notori, hidden place to visit in Japan

Mount Nōtori, a 10,000-foot mountain in Japan. Mount Nōtori or Nōtoridake, is one of the highest points in the Akaishi Mountains.

Mount Notori, hidden mountain to visit in Japan
Mount Notori, hidden mountain to visit in Japan

It has two peaks: its southeastern peak, Mount Nōtori, is 9,928 feet, while the northwestern peak, Mount Nishinōtori is 10,010 feet. Together with Mount Kitadake and Mount Aino, the peaks are known as Shiranesanzan or the three white summits.

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