Japan tops the list for virtual travel destinations

Technology Travel Trends & Culture - January 31st, 2014
Dotonburi Canal, Osaka

Japan has always been a popular tourist destination, and now it’s on the top of the list for virtual travelers too.

Thanks to those squads of goofy cars, Google Street View has made it easier to find destinations (and captured some people in awkward situations). But it has also allowed us to have a look at places around the world that might be out of our reach, or given us a bit of inspiration for our next trip abroad: many of the world’s famed sightseeing spots can be explored through the map feature.

Places like Stonehenge and the Eiffel Tower have long been favorites for the internet jet set, but locations around Asia have been going on the rise over the last years. And the Land of the Rising Sun sits on top of the list of Asian locations, with 8 out of the top 10 places visited on Street View.

What’s interesting are not the famous destinations around Japan—we’ve already discussed the experience of an internet-aided climb up Mt. Fuji, and it’s no surprise to see Osaka Castle and the Hiroshima Peace Park on the list—but the lesser-known places around Japan. The abandoned island of Hashima, or Gunkanjima is one of the top locations. The other two on the top ten are Jiou Fen Old Street in Taiwan and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. You can see a full list of the rankings around Asia here.

So to what your appetite for some on-screen travel, here are a few of the top spots around Japan on virtual travelers’ Street View itineraries:

Mt. Fuji

Mt. Fuji

 

Osaka Castle Park

Osaka Castle Park

 

Roppongi Hills, Mori Tower

Roppongi Hills, Mori Tower

 

The area around Yufuin, in Oita Prefecture

The area around Yufuin, in Oita Prefecture

 

Hashima, also known as "Battleship Island," in Nagasaki.

Hashima, also known as “Battleship Island,” in Nagasaki.

Now, if Google could get their virtual smell projects together, we’d never have to leave home.

–Alec Jordan