Lesser-Known Attractions in Japan

Wisteria Tunnel
Wisteria Tunnel


The president and CEO of research and development at SoftJoint, Inc., John Frauens, MD, has spent the last four decades leading a successful career. Focusing his practice of orthopedics and rehabilitation, he has performed over 3,000 joint replacements. Outside of work, Dr. John Frauens enjoys traveling to such locations as Japan. Some of its most beautiful sights are missed by many tourists. Below are just some of Japan’s best lesser-known destinations:

Wisteria Tunnel: Found in Kitakyushu, the Wisteria Tunnel serves as unique alternative to the more popular cherry blossom viewings in other places in Japan. In late April and early May, the tunnel takes visitors under a blanket of hanging wisteria flowers. The experience is often regarded as magical, but the tunnel is rather lackluster during the rest of the year.

– Tanizen Suspension Bridge: The longest steel-wire suspension bridge in Japan stretches along for close to 1,000 feet. It rests roughly 170 feet above the Nara Valley floor and is the sight of Yuredaiko, an annual event that involves playing Japanese drums on the bridge. It offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

– Zao Fox Village: Home to more than 100 foxes, the Zao Fox Village in Mount Zao gives visitors the chance to get up close and personal with six different fox species. Visitors to the village can purchase small amounts of food for the foxes in the large free-range section, and enjoy the village’s various torii gates that pay homage to the animal’s role in Japanese myths.