13 Weirdest Places to Visit in Japan
Japan is a cool place to go, but as we all know, it has some pretty weird attractions, too. If you’re looking for a unique adventure in Japan, you’ll have no lack of things to do. From rice paddy art to abandoned theme parks, there are so many places to go! Put a few of these weird Japanese destinations on your bucket list.
1. Cat Island
There are actually several “Cat Islands” in Japan, so no matter where you go, you’re likely to have a chance at visiting one. Aoshima Island is one of the most popular of the “Cat Islands,” so if you’re in the area, stop by and check out all the felines! This tiny island is a fishing village with way more cats than people. If you visit, you’ll be one of the hordes of tourists who come to visit and feed the cats.
2. Zao Fox Village
What does the fox say? We’re still not exactly sure, but you can find out when you visit Zao Fox Village! This place actually isn’t as weird as you might imagine. It’s really a very fun place, where you can go visit adorable little foxes, pet them, and feed them. The foxes are far from domesticated, which adds to the fun but makes bringing little kids a bad idea.
3. Aokigahara Suicide Forest
This is a weird place you can visit, but it’s also a horrible place you probably would be better off skipping during your trip to Japan. On the northwest side of Mount Fuji, Aokigahara Forest is the second most frequented destination for suicide victims. This horrifying tradition came from the many tales about ghosts who walk through the trees at night.
4. Alice in a Labyrinth
Local food is always an adventure when you’re traveling, but Alice in a Labyrinth takes a step further. When you arrive, “Alice” will lead you to a fantasy-themed room and offer you a menu with themed food. You’ll dine in a place that makes you feel very small—giant playing cards and more decorate the room! This is a fun way to experience Japanese cuisine.
5. Nara Dreamland
Theme parks are cool, but what about abandoned theme parks? Well, they are weird and creepy and absolutely enticing! Japan actually has a few of these, but one of the most famous is Nara Dreamland, near the city of Nara. This was once basically the Japanese version of Disneyland. When a real Disneyland was built in Tokyo, Nara Dreamland began to go under and finally closed. If you want to explore the abandoned park, you better hurry! Word has it that demolition is underway.
6. Kabukicho Robot Show
Come see the weirdest show on earth! This cabaret-style robot show has received laughter, disgust, confusion, smiles, and the whole gamut from the many tourists who pack into the facility for each show. You can get food if you want, but the lights, sounds, and colors from the show are enough sensory input for one evening.
7. Toyama Bay
With all the weird manmade things you can find in Japan, it’s ironic that the strangest thing of all is purely natural. Each night in the spring, Toyama Bay is lit up in a blaze of blue iridescence. What causes the eerie light? Nothing other than firefly squid! These glowing jellies are an incredible sight to see.
8. Yoro Park
Yoro Park is known as “The Site of Reversible Destiny.” What does that mean? We have no idea. But what we do know is that this bizarre theme park is not to be missed! Enjoy the weirdness of this place—a dangerous playground, big holes to get stuck in, human-sized rat mazes, and more. Yes, please!
9. Ramen Museum
Love ramen? You better, if you expect to be accepted at this museum. The Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum is totally dedicated to—you guessed it—ramen. Enough said.
10. Takakonuma Greenland
This is another of the many weird abandoned theme parks across the world. This is your best bet if you want to see an amusement park that is truly laid waste and unvisited. It’s actually not that far from Tokyo, and you can easily take a day trip to find this weird place. Search the forest, and you just may get lucky and stumble across Takakonuma Greenland!
At the Kamioka Observatory, there is a huge underground detector. Located a thousand meters below the surface of the earth, this huge, technological room is waiting to detect neutrinos from a supernova.
12. Nagoro Village
What is Negoro Village? Well, it’s a place where a doll replaces every person who dies. Creepy? Yes. But what’s a vacation without a little weird hauntedness? If you visit, you can walk through the village and check out all the doll residents: an elderly couple on a porch, a child fishing, and a woman working.
13. Inakadate Tanbo Art
This is about the closest thing to a crop circle that really exists. At Inakadate Village, art is as much a part of farming as planting and harvesting. Each rice paddy farmer creates an incredibly beautiful art scene on their field! Every year has a different theme. Visit in October to witness this amazing art show!
Just about everything in Japan is likely to trigger culture shock. With our stereotype of the stoic, polite Japanese demeanor, the vibrant, well, weirdness is sure to make you do a double-take. These are some of the weirdest places you can visit in Japan. Check them out!