Japan is a diverse country that has just about anything for just about anyone. For adventurers who seek tranquility on unreachable lands, far away from metropolitans and media, there are a number of islands that seem like a small piece of Eden to those who look for it. This article will focus on the best islands for animal lovers, history lovers, and art lovers, inspiring you to go look for more on your own.
For animal lovers – Aoshima and Tashirojima
More than 120 cats live on these islands, outnumbering humans, which is great because you get to keep as many as you want for about a day. There are no hotels, shops, or kiosks however, so your trip should be planned to make the most of your day with the cats only.
For animal lovers – Okunoshima
If you’ve done your research, you know that this island used to be a chemical warfare testing site. Rabbits were shipped there for experimentation, but when the experiments ended, they were left to dominate the land. They’re all yours to cuddle now.
For history lovers – Hashima
An abandoned island rich in history and the set of a fair number of films, Hashima was once home to coal mines. Roaming around the deserted, almost eerie buildings, you’ll get a great feel of the spooky side of Japan. Almost every travel blog recommends this island – you just can’t miss it. It was used as the set for a number of films and documentaries, and it’s really worth seeing for yourself why the world takes so much interest in this small island off the coast of Nagasaki. As fun as it is, there are a lot of safety precautions and rules. Only the physically able can get through, and certainly no one who screams at the sound of a crumbling piece of concrete should make the journey.
For history lovers – Tomogashima
Loaded with historic sites and buildings, this island is sure to give you that time-travel feel as you roam and wander aimlessly around the small, quiet island, gazing around you at the endless ancient structures. It’s only about an hour or two away from Wakayama, so be sure to spend at least a day there.
For art lovers – Naoshima
This is basically an open art gallery for those who create under the stars and clouds. You’ll find imaginative, unique, and daring works sitting there as naturally as if they were a part of the island all along. If you can recognize them, here’s a few artist that gave their contributions to Naoshima: Yayoi Kusama, Tadao Ando, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Yasumasa Morimura, Andy Warhol, and Richard Long.
For art lovers – Teshima
Teshima is another island, similar to Naoshima, that hosts the work of famous and undiscovered artists, and makes for an unforgettable journey with its luxurious tours and coffee shops. Only you can decide whether it’s worth your time, but with all its beauty modestly collected in a gallery and two museums, it might very well be worth the trip.