10 OffBeat Spots to See in Japan

Japan has everything for the visitor. A mix of heady culture, super fast technology and the renowned bullet trains. However, hidden behind these unique experiences are some quirky attractions, which you may not find in any guide book. These 10 places are all one of a kind and worth a visit, at least once.

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Image Credit – Pixabay

1) Ryusendo cave

One of the three largest limestone caves of Japan, Ryusendo caves are open to the public in small parts. The three rivers flowing here, make for a colourful setting in crystal clear water.

2) Owl family cafe

This unique concept allows visitors to interact with various species of owls while enjoying their favourite drink. The owls are allowed to be handled by customers, once every hour. Great place to spend time with owls perched on the cafe sides.

3) Oya stone museum

This underground stone quarry resembles an Egyptian ruin, but was actually used as a substitute for construction work before the use of concrete came in vogue. This museum is now a shooting and concert site. However, the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo is a prime example of a stone built hotel.

4) Mount Koya

This spiritual home of Shingon Buddhism, emerges from a sect founded more than 1200 years ago. The home of the sect is located on the forested slopes of Mount Koya. Nowadays, there are hundreds of temples which have mushroomed here.

5) Shikoku Island

The fourth largest island of Japan is connected by a two bridge system. This place is also home to the 88 temple route, which is a prominent pilgrimage area. Natural beauty is another hallmark of this place.

6) Kiso Valley

This scenic valley is dotted with villages which once housed testing places for travellers and others who ventured on this long journey. These still well preserved home towns and villages are till date easily accessible to the daring ones.

7) Kenrokuen Garden

Known to be one of the top three gardens as far as landscaping is concerned, Kenrokuen is filled with trees,flowers, trekking routes and flowers. Opened to the public, only in the 19th century, the beauty of the garden gets enhanced with change of season.

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Image credit – Japan Rail Pass

8) Matsumoto Castle

The oldest wooden castle of Japan, is a part of some of the few remaining citadels built way back in 1504. The castle is famous for it’s three turreted keep.

9) Nachi Falls

This 133m tumbling cascade, is Japan’s highest waterfall. The Nachi Taisha shrine, supposed to be built 1400 years ago, was built in honour of the spirit of the waterfall kami and serves as an important religious site.

10) Gokayama

This UNESCO World Heritage Site includes the area of the villages of Shirakawa-go, an area known for its traditional farmhouses. Dating back to hundreds of years, these villages, somehow have remained aloof from the present day intrusions. They remain quiet and secluded as on date.

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10 OffBeat Spots to See in Japan

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