You probably don’t know this but I am a huge fan of Japanese culture. From the sushi to Harajuku, Japan seems to be the perfect destination for anyone who is searching for an intriguing experience, full of beauty and tradition. But there’s another side to Japan, one full of mystery and haunting history… If you’re planning a trip or need a reason to visit, check out these chilling, ghostly locations!
Disclaimer: The following contains disturbing and gruesome stories, so be warned.
Old Inunaki Tunnel
Located in the Inunaki Mountain Pass, Miyawaka-shi town, Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan, this tunnel is one of the scariest places we will discuss here. It’s shrouded in death as its past consists of murder and people burning to death. On December 7th, 1988, Umeyama Kouichi (age 20) was discovered, his body burned. A group of teenagers (ages range from 16-19) were arrested as they were suspects in Umeyama’s death, said to have poured gasoline on him and set him on fire while he was on his way home from work. They approached his car as he was stopped at a stoplight and urged him to get out of his car so they could use it to pick up girls. When he refused, the teenagers abducted and attacked him. He managed to escape but only for the group to catch up to him soon after. After a few more rounds of assault, they were going to dump his body at Rikimaru Dam but feared that he would be spotted floating, so they made their way to the tunnel where they doused him in gasoline and set him on fire. But as he was surviving, he attempted to run a third time, fleeing into the nearby forest. The teenagers called out to him saying they would no longer hurt him and he believed them, so he stepped out and sure enough, they captured him again, and for the second time, poured gasoline on him and lit him on fire. That time, he didn’t survive.
Unfortunately, he was not the only person to be murdered. A few decades ago, a young girl was murdered and was never laid peacefully to rest and she is said to haunt the tunnels today alongside Umeyama. Many who have visited experienced disembodied whispers, many hearing the word, ‘stop’ urging them to turn back. It’s been deemed as the most horrifying place in Kyushu and one of the three most haunted places in Japan and has been sealed up with a large mound of concrete so that no one else may meet their fate here.
Nakagusuku Hotel Ruins
Also referred to as the Royal Hotel or Takahara or Kogen Hotel, this eerie-looking hotel is located near the walls of Nakagusuku Castle (about 50 meters) In Kitanakagusuku, Okinawa. It was believed to be built by a businessman with the intent of taking advantage of the 1975 Okinawa Ocean Exposition as it’s in clear view of the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea. Though many monks warned that the site chosen was home to several sacred sites and graves, they were ignored. But due to numerous work and construction accidents afterward, the employees refused to finish the hotel but the owner was desperate. He promised to spend the night at the hotel in an attempt to prove it was safe to continue. But instead of returning with a promise of safety, he returned with insanity, talking crazy and he was said to have just disappeared after that. Those who wander in the area feel a cold presence in the vacant corridors. Maybe they weren’t alone…
Located in the Yamanashi Prefecture, this forest has a dark, chilling reputation. It’s sometimes referred to as the Sea of Trees but takes on another name, The Suicide Forest. Hundreds, even thousands of individuals visit this forest every year to end their life. Outside of the forest is a sign that talks about suicide prevention in an attempt to persuade those to turn back and to contact a suicide prevention association. With a place of such horrible and sad happenings continuously occurring, lost and sad souls are said to be lurking…
Some visitors spot wondering shadows, apparitions without any features and one report is from a witness who was there with a friend. They said that a shadow was following them around and even seemingly teleported due to the increased speed and rapid distance of the entity. Another report is hearing the sound of a woman crying, weeping in anguish in the distance. Attachments have always been reported, where they feel like something follows them home and swears it’s from that forest as this is the most common activity. One of the more disturbing stories is from a man who stated that he was there to hike but throughout his hike, he began getting visions of people he didn’t know and memories he didn’t recognize, and felt as though something was possibly attempting to take over his body. With so many accounts and activity turning negative, some say even demonic, you have to wonder…Are there more than just unrested souls within the forest…Or is there something darker roaming here?
The Round Schoolhouse Ruins
On the Japanese island of Hokkaido sits an abandoned schoolhouse, round and rugged with ominous decay. It was built around 1906 and was an elementary school from the 1940s until the ’70s when the school closed for unknown reasons. Tables, chairs, and desks still reside the way it was left, collecting dust, awaiting for students that will never return.
Rumors and ominous stories began to circulate shortly after the school’s closing. Locals claimed that the surrounding woods were haunted by mysterious, bobbing lights as well as shadow figures. They claimed that the silence of the night would end due to the sound of disembodied screams and shrieks. Rumors of disappearing children also spread as many claimed when children would play out in the woods, that they wouldn’t return.
Later in the 1970s and ’80s, the schoolhouse became a popular place for paranormal thrill-seekers to search for ghosts and that’s what they apparently encountered every time. Ever since, this abandoned schoolhouse that had once been filled with children is now a hotspot for haunted happenings.
Located just outside of Tokyo (thought the exact location is unknown), this mansion is said to be the creepiest in all of Japan. It was the site of one of the most gruesome murders in modern Japanese history and members of the occult utilized the location for their practices. According to lore, the Himuro family that was housed here practiced Shinto (a brutal strangling ritual) to prevent and close bad karma within the Earth every 50 years. The master had picked out a maiden at her birth and isolated her form the world in order to prevent any ties to the outside. On the day of the ritual, her wrists, ankles, and neck were bound by ropes which were then tied to oxen or horses to rip her limbs from her body. But the ritual was ruined when she had apparently fallen in love with a man that tried to save her from the ritual. Due to her bond, her blood was tainted as well as her spirit. Afterwards, the master killed everyone in the family then himself with his own blade.
While this story has not been confirmed nor denies, many say the ghosts of this family still reside, yearning to attract someone to complete the ritual.
The mansion was featured in the Japanese horror game, Fatal Frame as the Chief Producer became interested in the horrific story.
Weekly Mansion (not pictured)
Located in Akasaka, this luxury hotel is said to be one of the most horrifying places to spend your night as it’s shrouded in paranormal activity. In building 1, many see white mists manifesting from the vents while others are pushed while asleep on the bed, and electrical appliances are known to turn on and off by themselves. One woman claimed that she was even dragged on the floor of the room and her back had scratch marks.
While this hotel looks beautifully historic, the backstory of this location remains a mystery to me as it’s not easy to find. And since there are many other beautiful places to stay near Tokyo, you might want to avoid this one.
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