Modern travel has become a huge phenomenon, spanning across the world and including a wide range of travel trends and genres. People travel nowadays for the most unbelievable and peculiar reasons, depending on what their passions are. Among the more unusual types of travel, horror travel is definitely at the top, with travelers searching for the scariest places they can find in a particular destination. From famous haunted places to unexplained events, and from the settings of horror movies to horror-themed hotels or restaurants, many find it extremely intriguing and inciting to visit these fascinating places. These might not be for everyone as some are truly scary; while many are still quite harmless and extremely interesting to visit. Among the top horror destinations of the world, Japan is definitely at the top, with travelers searching for thrilling experiences in local myths and urban legends spread across the country. Horror travel in Japan has become more popular over the years, thousands of travelers arriving for this particular reason, going in veritable horror tours and itineraries. Starting with haunted houses up to chilling legends that span over centuries, every type of horror attraction can be found in Japan. The reputation of Japanese ghost stories and horror movies has become hugely popular over the last decade, becoming one of the most intriguing and unforgettable destinations in the world. Travelers can find some of the best and most fascinating horror-related highlights of Japan briefly described below.
Probably the most famous horror travel destination in Japan is the Aokigahara Forest, also known as the Suicide Forest. It is one of the most chilling experiences imaginable, as only the truly brave can venture into this ghastly place. Located in the Yamanashi Prefecture, this forest has been the location for hundreds of suicides over the decades, so much so that the authorities began placing suicide prevention information inside the forest. It is said that the souls of the people who die here still haunt the place. The haunted ruins of the Nakagusuku Hotel are another frightening location, with a bone-chilling legend surrounding them. The hotel started construction over a holy site and the owner disregarded the advice from a monk to halt the project. It was never finished and the owner has disappeared forever, with stories of the places still being haunted today. Within the Himeji Castle, the site known as Okiku’s Well is also haunted by the shrieking banshee, the ghost of a young girl who was thrown in the well for not responding to a samurai’s advances. For something truly macabre and bone-chilling, the Labyrinth of Fuji Q Highland theme park is a scary attraction that leaves visitors breathless. Inspired by a real hospital where body organs were harvested unwillingly, this shattering experience is filled with pure horror sights. The Himuro Mansion just outside Tokyo is equally scary, renowned as being the site of occult rituals and horrid murders. It is believed to be haunted by the ghosts of the family members who practiced rituals inside.
Other destinations include the Suzugamori and Kozukappara Execution Grounds in Tokyo, where tens of thousands of people where executed for centuries, some in the most horrific ways imaginable. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial itself is said to be haunted, as people nearby often hear ghostly voices and sounds. These are only several of the dozens of horror-themed travel destinations in Japan and things get even scarier ahead. Japan is also filled by scary urban legends, stories that truly make your skin crawl, like the tale of the ghost taxi in Tokyo, where a young woman was said to take the taxi in rainy days to visit her lover and her family, only to find out she was really long dead from a car accident in a rainy day while going to see her lover. The Hanako of the Toilet is a spirit that can be summoned in a specific bathroom stall, the legend says she is a girl who died in a bathroom stall during the war or hiding from her parents. Kuchisake-Onna or the Slit-Mouthed Woman is another legend involving a woman with her mouth cut from one year to the other, returning as a vengeful spirit. There are many other myths and legends, some more frightening than others, making Japan a truly scary place at times. With all these, it is no wonder that horror-themed establishments appeared there, from the Vampire Café in Tokyo to the Dark Gothic Bar Camille in Osaka, or the Mysterious Lodging in Kyoto, there are plenty of destinations to visit while on a horror trip in Japan.