Makomanai Takino Cemetery

You could go to see the the Moai statues over on Easter Island, or, you could just head on up to the Makomonai Takino Cemetary in Hokkaido, Japan for a somewhat less original experience. It’s a little ways outside of Sapporo, and hard to get to in the winter (all that snow!), but seems like a nice and relaxing (and bizarre) day trip to me. I’m hoping to make it here the next time I’m in Hokkaido when it’s not during blizzard season. If the Moai statues aren’t enough for you, there’s also a Stonehenge replication and daibutsu (giant Buddha) there as well and 1,800,473㎡ worth of land to explore. It’s also a cemetery too.

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Meguro Parasite Museum

Why would you want to visit a parasite museum, let alone this one? Well, first of all, this is the only parasite museum in the world. So, if you’re going to visit one, it’s going to be this one. Second, you’re never going to be able to see things like this in person unless you’re the proud host of said parasites. Come here to enjoy giant tape worms, parasitic turtle heads, educational maps, and more! We spent maybe an hour or so here, but it was very educational and interesting. So, if you’re into science, or if you’re just into weird things, head on over to the Meguro Parasite Museum. Give them a donation, though, they need your yens to do all that parasite-related research upstairs!

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Aokigahara Suicide Forest

Called "the perfect place to die," the Aokigahara forest has the unfortunate distinction of the world's second most popular place to take one's life. (The first is the Golden Gate Bridge.) Since the 1950s, Japanese businessmen have wandered in, and at least 500 of them haven't wandered out, at an increasing rate of between 10 and 30 per year. Recently these numbers have increased even more, with a record 78 suicides in 2002.

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