Are these true? Japan's top 6 urban legends

In this world, there are many unbelievable rumors that nonetheless seem plausible. Of course, Japan has its own urban legends too. Here are some of those legends!'s up to you whether or not to believe them.


1. Mt. Fuji will erupt soon?

Japan's tallest mountain, Mt. Fuji, gets hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
There is always talk of Mt. Fuji potentially erupting. Is this really something that could happen?


Mt. Fuji is considered an active volcano. Its last eruption was in 1707, during the Hoei eruption that occurred in the middle of the Edo period.

Mt. Fuji is an active volcano that erupts every 200-300 years. There are still records of Mt. Fuji's eruptions from the Edo period, and the last eruption was the Hoei eruption in 1703. Mt. Fuji has been silent for more than 300 years. It would not be strange if Mt. Fuji erupted at any moment. It is predicted that if Mt. Fuji erupts, thanks to the volcanic ash and the pyroclastic flow, there may be a great number of casualties, airplanes will be unable to fly, and electronic equipment may be adversely affected.

It's said that signs that Mt. Fuji is ready to erupt re the occurance of small earthquakes and a fall in the water levels of the lakes and rivers. Though it's been said that Mt. Fuji wouldn't erupt in the spring, in the beginning of 2013, Mt. Fuji had a large earthquake. Also, even though there was plenty of rain, the water levels of the lakes and rivers fell for some reason.

2. The end of the Edo period was predicted 400 years in advance?!

The Edo period was when Japan's culture was truly formed.
The end of the Tokugawa family, the rulers of the Edo period, was predicted 400 years in advance by a lone monk?!


The final shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate was Yoshinobu.
That Yoshinobu went from the Edo shogunate to the Mito domain in the northeast to meet with a shogun there.
However, a monk under the Tokugawa shogunate, said that Akechi Mitsuhide left behind a strange promise of "nankou bou tenkai."

This meant, "When an heir (shogun) goes to meet someone from the northeast (unlucky), that will be the end of the House of Tokugawa."

Just as predicted, Tokugawa Yoshinobu went to the northeast to Mito from Edo to meet a shogun. He didn't know that that was the end of the Tokugawa...

3. Mysterious and unconfirmed animal that may or may not exist: the Tsuchinoko

There are many unconfirmed sightings of the Tsuchinoko, but it has never been officially discovered.
There may also be Tsuchinoko Hunters who look for it in order to get rich quick...

exist: the Tsuchinoko

The Tsuchinoko looks like a snake.

The Tsuchinoko (ツチノコ or 槌の子?) literally translating to "hammer's spawn," is a legendary snake-like cryptid from Japan. The name tsuchinoko is prevalent in Western Japan, including Kansai and Shikoku; the creature is known as bachi hebi (バチヘビ?) in Northeastern Japan.

The Tsuchinoko

Length is about 30-80 cm. It's shaped like a snake with a fat, flat torso, a triangle-shaped head about the side of three adult fingers.
It has a neck and its thin, short tail pokes out from its rear end. It can be black, ash brown, or gray. Its back may have speckles or patterns and its stomach is yellow with lines. It doesn't move like a snake, but rather it uses the lines on its stomach to move forward and back, so it's more like an inchworm. It rolls and also has the ability to jump up to 2 meters in one bound. Its eyes are bigger and sharper than a snake's. It has eyelids and sometimes winks. There are violent tsuchinoko and docile tsuchinoko. Its saliva is poisonous.

4. The hidden function of Japan's only research city, Tsukuba Science City

Tsukuba City, Tochigi, is a town where various research facilities are in the center of Tsukuba University.
There are many urban legends about this city where space development, atomic energy development, and other high-technology research is conducted night and day.


There is an urban legend that beneath Tsukuba Science City, there is a space large enough that tanks and jeeps can easily pass through, and it's used as the imperial and defense headquarters in case of a nationwide emergency. There are also rumors of there being large tunnels beneath Tsukuba University. The formal name of this tunnel is the "Kyoudoudobu," and electric cables, net cables, telephone lines, and other essential utilities run through it.

5. You'll be visited by happiness if you touch the postman's fundoshi

On the trucks of express shipping company Sagawa Kyuubin, there is a drawing of a postman wearing a fundoshi (traditional Japanese underwear).
There's a rumor that if you touch the fundoshi you'll be visited by happiness...

After it was said that if you touch the fundoshi of the postman drawn on the Sagawa Express trucks you would find happiness, the number of people touching the trucks have increased. This esclated into the urban legend that it would be good to touch the rear ends of male delivery employees.

Because of this rumor, there were repeated cases where people approached the truck to touch it and an accident would occur. Because of this fear, the company directed all of their employees to make multiple safety checks before driving the truck away in order to prevent more accidents.

Since they've changed the truck design since then, this urban legend is now a thing of the past.

This is the new design for the Sagawa Kyuubin trucks.

6. Couples shouldn't go to Inokashira Park in Tokyo?!

Did you know, that if you come sightseeing in Tokyo as a couple, there is a place you should definitely not go?!
Even though it's full of cherry blossoms, Inokashira Park might be a dangerous spot for couples.

If you ride the boats at Inokashira Park as a couple, it's said you will break up. 
Saraswati, the god of wealth, music, eloquence, and water, lives in the lake in Inokashira Park and she is a very jealous goddess. It's been said since ancient times that she will break couples up. It is also said that you should be okay if you visit a shrine together after riding the boat.


The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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