10 Insane Things on Google Street View in Japan

Because actually flying to Japan is expensive.

by Monica Hunter-Hart
Google Street View

Google Street View has really taken its offerings to the next level recently. Not only can you walk up to the rim of an active volcano and look at the world through the eyes of a sheep, you can also survey some of the most photogenic environments and interesting cultural sites from countries across the globe.

Japan’s a perfect example of the diverse range of places that you can explore on Street View; just take a look at these ten amazing sites.

Looks pretty darn comfortable.

Google Street View

10. A Zoo Train

Considering that you’d have to pay both to enter Asahiyama Zoo and to board this train if you were there in person, you’re pretty lucky to be able to “walk” through it for free.

That foliage, though.

Google Street View

9. Mt. Kurikoma in Autumn

Mt. Kurikoma is considered to be one of the 200 mountains that “represent” Japan. (You can tour 14 Japanese mountains on Google Street View.) Kurikoma is an active volcano that is 5,335 feet tall.

Hashima is also known as "Battleship Island."

Google Street View

8. A Former Coal Mine on an Abandoned Island

Japan’s Nagasaki Prefecture hosts 505 uninhabited islands, including Hashima Island, which is home to undersea coal mines that were used in Japan’s industrial revolution. More sinisterly, these mines became forced labor camps for Chinese prisoners of war and Korean conscripted civilians during the Second World War. The island became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2015.

If you thought D.C.'s cherry blossoms were the coolest, think again.

Google Street View

7. An Extremely Old Cherry Blossom Tree

Japan’s famous for its gorgeous cherry blossoms, and those outside the Jissoji Temple are no exception. This tree is one of the largest sakura trees in the country, and it’s thought to be around 2,000 years old.

No blurred face required.

Google Street View

6. A Cat Station Master

This feline’s oozing power at Kichigahara Station. Japan has many “cat stationmasters” across the country. They keep away mice, entertain passengers, and mostly chill hard.

When Google Street View becomes your grandparents' fantasy.

Google Street View

5. An Antique Mall

Literally an entire shopping mall devoted to antiques — with three floors — in the Ginza district of Tokyo.

The epitome of picturesque.

Google Street View

4. This Beautiful Castle

Uwajima Castle was built in 1596 and is one of only 12 remaining castles with an intact tower from Japan’s Edo period. The castle used to sit right next to the ocean, but land reclamation has since moved it further inland.

And you thought flying first class was fancy.

Google Street View

3. A “Train of Dreams”

The Aru Ressha train, known as the “sweet train” and “train of dreams,” is a 2015 revival of a train that was built in 1908 but never put into service. The train is famous for serving an enormous helping of desserts with your meal (four dessert dishes after the “bento” main course).

This ain't your parents' aqua park.

Google Street View

2. A Futuristic Aqua Park

This part of the Aqua Park Shinagawa is called the “jellyfish ramble.” GO TOKYO says that the park “transcends the category of aquarium.” Sure looks like it.

"Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating a rice paddy is approximately 3,720 to 1." - C3PO

Google Street View

1. Star Wars-Themed Art in a Rice Paddy

Rice paddy art originated in Japan; it’s created by planting different types and colors of rice in an intentional arrangement. The people who live in the village of Inakadate make incredible designs like this one every year. Besides Star Wars, they’ve also done the Mona Lisa, Shin Godzilla, and many others.

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