Chikura no Iwaya: Secret beach cave only appears for two hours a day, and here’s how to see it

Created completely by nature, this is a hidden gem you won’t want to miss during your Japan travels.

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Kuroshima, a remote, heart-shaped island in Okinawa where there are more cows than people

We visit a hidden gem in Okinawa that’s home to fewer than 250 people.

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No car? No problem! We find photogenic hidden gems in Yakushima that are easy to get to

Our reporter finds beautiful sightseeing spots not found in any guidebooks.

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We soak in the island scenery and so many shisa statues at this peculiar garden in Okinawa

You won’t be disappointed if you want to experience an otherworldly atmosphere with plenty of singular photo ops.

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Reserve your own spot on an uninhabited Japanese island for an unforgettable camping experience

This isn’t just camping. This is advanced, survival-mode camping.

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We visit Oshima, an island in Japan where walking counterclockwise means death【Haunted Japan】

We send Seiji to find out more about the terrible curse!

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Non-existent phantom island in Japan finally removed from atlas after eight years of publication

Good thing no one tried to go there.

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This private island in the Pacific Ocean is open to guests – but only Japanese ones

Jeep Island lists snorkeling, diving, and swimming with dolphins as its main attractions. But only Japanese people are permitted to visit.

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Creating a cat island – Japanese organization plans to buy island turn it into kitty paradise

Cat cafe operator Neco Republic comes one step closer to founding its own country.

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Our Japanese reporter tries to escape the crowds by heading to… a Tokyo desert??

Did you know that Tokyo has its very own desert? Our reporter went to check it out…

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Want your own private island? We visited one for sale off the coast of Japan【Pics & Video】

Who wouldn’t want to have their own private island? Imagine being able to get away from the world whenever you liked, free yourself from the stress of the daily grind and just relax under the sun or the nighttime stars on the beach.

Well the best place to start looking for such a private island is Japan. There are lots of small uninhabited islands owned by real estate companies that you can buy one almost as easily as you’d buy a house.

We recently visited one such island for sale to see what it was like and decide whether we should start saving up our pennies to buy one ourselves—after all, Rocket Island has quite a nice ring to it. Read on to see what our trip there was like, and to see some of the surprises that we ran into.

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Japan’s “cat island” Aoshima is being overwhelmed by tourists

Aoshima (青島), which is incorporated into Ozu City, Ehime Prefecture, is a small, unpretentious island in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan (which one of our English-language correspondents has covered extensively). However, the 0.5 km² island does have one unique claim to fame–it’s known as a paradise for cats and cat lovers.

We actually featured Aoshima on our list of the 11 top cat islands in Japan back in April. After one Japanese Twitter user shared photos of the island’s hordes of cats online, Aoshima has experienced an unprecedented influx of tourists, leaving the local residents baffled and unprepared to deal with the flood of people streaming in.

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【Exploring Unfamiliar Japan】We stayed in a 120-year-old Japanese home, here’s how you can too

When European writer, Lafcadio Hearn, wrote about Shimane prefecture in 1894, he described a land steeped in tradition and nature. Since then, all of Japan seems to have ignored this sleepy area of the Chugoku region whose most recent claim to fame is having the country’s largest population of the elderly. But if Shimane prefecture is stuck in the olden days, the Oki Islands are lost in time. Lazily floating out at sea in what is technically Shimane, but is actually an entire world of its own, Oki is a forgotten gem tucked in a dusty corner of Japan. Rambling down the overgrown back roads, you’re sure to come across a wrinkled face and a hearty “konnichiwa,” a small experience that seems to have become a rarity in the always busy metropolises of this country.

It is in this uncommon place that we had the privilege of staying in a home that has stood for over a century. Join us as we share our experience staying at the Japanese guesthouse called Tsukudaya.

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Five uninhabited Japanese islands you can buy right now

While living in Tokyo, or any of Japan’s big cities, it’s hard not to want to get away from the crowds every once and a while. Of course the countryside offers a considerable amount of extra breathing room, but we know you’ve no doubt day dreamed of being alone on your own private island as you were sandwiched between two sweaty salarymen on the rush hour train. For those unable to tolerate the constant congregation of city-dwellers, this list is for you. Take a look at five uninhabited islands for sale right now in Japan and start to plan your life of solitude.

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Just 45 Minutes From Haneda Airport, And I’ve been Flying to Okinawa like a Chump! – Six Things That Make Hachijō-jima a Hidden Gem

Technically a ward of Tokyo, Hachijō-jima (Hachijō Island) is just 45 minutes away by plane, making it an incredibly accessible get-away destination. Despite being so close, few people have actually visited, or even heard of, the island, and whenever they’re asked to think of an “island holiday location”, most people living in Japan immediately respond with “Okinawa”. That’s only natural, of course, since Okinawa has a well-earned reputation for being an exotic island paradise (and for being the home of The Karate Kid’s Mr Miyagi…), but we hope that after reading this article our readers might also consider Hachijō-jima the next time they feel like jetting off for a break on the beach. Read More