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.
On Japan’s northern island, Hokkaido, the Makomanai Takino Cemetery Park hosts, among other impressive stone sculptures, a full sized Stonehenge replica. A striking element of this replica is that the ditch and bank that make Stonehenge a henge have been included. Nicely done! Of course, the authentic feel ends in the middle, at the Buddhist shrine. There’s also a giant Buddha nearby, and a row or two of Easter Island moai.
“The unexpected is to be expected", I always say. But I sure wasn't expecting to see a row of towering moai off in the distance in the backroads of Sapporo's countryside that winter's day. What a mysterious sight. I didn't see any signs. Later I discovered it was Makomanai Takino Cemetery. Back to “the unexpected”, Stonehenge, a Great Buddha and other iconic monuments decorate the grounds. Great Buddha, Stonehenge, moai, oh,my!