31 Aug Why Japan Should Be Top Of Your Bucket List
For a country that’s twenty times smaller than Australia, Japan has contributed a significant amount to popular culture. Matcha and sushi are common menu items, and Hello Kitty and the waving ‘Fortune Cat’ (Maneki-Neko) are instantly recognisable. This might lead you to believe that you’ve experienced the best Japan has to offer, but in reality, it’s the tip of the iceberg – and one you’d be foolish to leave off your bucket list!
Here are a few reasons why a Japan trip should be in your future list:
1. You can sneak a peek at heaven and hell
Figuratively speaking, of course! Japan is home to Osorezan, or “fear mountain”, a site known for volcanic activity that literally steams and smells sulphuric. Many consider it to be a gathering place for the dead and an entrance to the afterlife. This afterlife can be found minutes away in Lake Usori, a crater lake with white sands and clear, turquoise waters, giving it the nickname “paradise beach”.
2. Every day is Dress Up Day
Ever bemoan the fact that you can only dress up or in costume on special holidays or at conventions? In Tokyo’s Harajuku District, the rules don’t apply. Here you’ll find Punks, Lolitas and everything in between, with high-end fashion brands vying for attention alongside second-hand stores. Even if you prefer to observe and not participate, it’s unlikely that you’ll leave empty-handed.
3. You can hang out with dinosaurs…
Japan is rich in dinosaur fossils, the largest of which (a 72-million-year-old, 8-meter- long Hadrosaurid) was discovered just last year. You can brush up on your knowledge with an entertaining and educational visit to the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum. You’ll find over 40 dinosaur skeletons, alongside several life-sized animatronic ones to scare you senseless.
4. …. or hang out on an island of cats
Tashirojima is a tiny island that’s home to about 100 people and six times that amount in cats. Many
believe that cats bring good luck, and you might just find it by exploring the island’s many
monuments and shrines or petting a cat, or three.
What other country lets you rub shoulders with heaven, hell, cosplayers, cats and dinosaurs at once?
If this doesn’t convince you to add Japan to your bucket list, nothing will!