Japan is a gorgeous place to visit. With lush greenery, delicious food and drink around every corner, and endless forms of cultural entertainment, it’s no wonder that it is one of the tourism capitals of the world. However, with its growth in popularity comes the inevitable reveal of the nation’s darker side.
By now, knowledge of Aokigahara forest at the foot of Mount Fuji is no longer the mystery it once was to tourists. Those of us who love the macabre may still choose to visit Aokigahara to retrace the final steps of the unfortunate, but the thrill of discovering a new creepy location still lurks in our hearts.
For those of us who don’t have the luxury of being able to jet set to Japan, Metroplague is proud to take you on a visual vacation in terror as we ‘explore’ five of the eeriest locations of Japan. While they may not all be haunted, the beauty of these sites is quite haunting in itself.
Metroplague.com does not claim to own any of the photographs used in these galleries.
1. Maya Hotel
The Maya Kanko Hotel rests on a Japanese hillside, overlooking Kobe City. The once bustling location has been abandoned for the last 23 years and has become a home for overgrowth, and phantom memories from its heyday in the 1920s. Although there are no official reports of paranormal activity on this property, the gallery below depicts a location that is an urban explorer’s fantasy and has been described by Forbes as a ‘Japanese time machine.’
2. Old Chusetsu Tunnel
Located in Fukuoka, Old Chusetsu Tunnel is famed as a supposed murder site that has created paranormal activity at the location. Trespassers who take the perilous journey into Old Chusetsu report hearing voices yell “Stop!” as they delve deeper into the forbidden depths of this ‘cursed’ tunnel. The site Haunted Houses has further information on this mystery location.
3. Round Schoolhouse
Hokkaido’s Round Schoolhouse ruins weren’t always the haunting location it is today. Built in 1906, it was used as an elementary school up until the 1970’s. Since then, the schoolhouse has been left to rot over time. Of course, rumors of missing children and murder are involved, but those aren’t the supernatural aspects of this site. The ghostly legend behind this location is that visitors who visit the schoolhouse either disappear or go mad.
4. The Temple of Lies
If a room full of thousands of relics holding the souls of the dead is what you are looking for, then the Temple of Lies hidden deep in the mountains of Ibaraki is the place for you. This abandoned temple was the site of a religious cult that conned thousands of families into paying money to store tablets for the souls of their dead relatives in the temple. The con was up in 2002 and the cult disbanded; but to this day, the thousands of tablets remain scattered about the temple. Visitors can explore this abandoned temple and take in the thousands of cruel reminders of how easy false hope is to sell to those in mourning.
For even more detailed photos of this site, visit Haikyo.
5. Nagoro Village
Like scarecrows? How about lifesize dogs in a village that have a higher population than actual human beings? If so, welcome to Nagoro Village, your new happy place. This village in the valley of Shikoku was abandoned long ago. When Tsukimi Ayano returned to the town after eleven-years, she found herself overwhelmed with loneliness. The emptiness of the village caused her to create over 350 replicas of former residents of Nagoro. Each of Ayano’s dedicated dolls is in an area of the town doing what she remembers the actual individual doing in life.
Stay Tuned For More Chills from the East
Even though it’s Friday, we aren’t done giving you the gifts of J-Horror Week. Take the time to visit our review of the Netflix series, Re:Mind and then check out an overview of the Yurie-themed board game, Ghost Stories.
Stay tuned with Metroplague for another strange top 5, and a look at how Japanese culture approaches death. ‘Til next time!