“Kaidan” is a general term for the telling of scary stories. It is said that many Japanese horror movies are actually based on kaidan stories. For horror-enthusiasts, actually visiting haunted spots for kimodameshi or a “bravery test” may be of interest, in addition to hearing kaidan stories. In this article, we’ll spotlight famous haunted places in Tokyo.

Where are the Famous Haunted Places in Tokyo?

There are numerous haunted spots in Tokyo. When you think of haunted places, you may imagine desolate or tucked away locations, but there are spots in the midst of the city like the Aoyama Cemetery, which is situated in Aoyama, a fashionable and upscale area, and Toyama Park, which is located in Shinjuku, an area renowned for a lively atmosphere. Visiting the haunted places may provide an insight to another side of Japan. Certainly, hit up these spots if you love horror!

Participate in the Ghost Story Tour in Asakusa — an Area Rich with Folk Stories. Tokyo Ghost Story Tour will first visit a haunted house at a historic theme park in Asakusa. After enjoying the thrilling experience at the haunted house, the guide will lead you to dinner and an unusual bar. Enjoy the paranormal experience!

Add These Spots to Your Itinerary in Tokyo?! Top 5 Haunted Places

1. Sendagaya Tunnel

The Sendagaya Tunnel was constructed for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The tunnel was built below a cemetery. Usually, a tunnel would be built around a cemetery; however, this tunnel was dug directly below the cemetery to finish construction before the Olympics. Maybe due to the unfortunate location, there have been numerous reports of paranormal activity. The most famous incidents feature a long-haired woman appearing upside down in the tunnel. The ghost falls on the car bonnet and runs after you.

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2. Aoyama Cemetery

Aoyama Cemetery is located in the Minami Aoyama area of Minato-ku. The serene cemetery occupies a huge space and many historic figures lie in the grounds. Aoyama Cemetery is also famous for paranormal activity. One famous story features a taxi-riding woman who suddenly disappears from the back seat, leaving a wet puddle. There is a caution sign near the cemetery entrance, but interestingly it is not a warning for the road. What could it be for? Visit the cemetery and find out for yourself.

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3. Taira no Masakado’s Kubizuka

Taira no Masakado was a samurai from a renowned clan based in the Kanto area during the 8th century. His head is buried at the *kubizuka *a burial site for severed heads. The site, which is also called Shomonzuka, is located in a central part of Tokyo, near the imperial palace. Legend says that disrespectful acts at the site will be punished. One example is when the Ministry of Finance built a building around the kubizuka, several construction workers, ministry employees, and even the minister himself passed away from unknown causes. Currently, the site is specified by Tokyo city as a historic site.

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4. Sugamo Prison

Sugamo Prison was a prison that was located in the east Ikebukuro area of Toshima-ku. Many war criminals from WWII were imprisoned at this facility and it appears on textbooks as a significant place in Japanese history. Famous war criminals, including Hideki Tojo, were jailed and eventually executed at this place. Due to its history, there have been ghost sightings at the East Ikebukuro Central Park, which is located next to Sunshine 60. Curiously, this spot is also famous amongst cat lovers. This is a must-visit spot if you like both cats and the occult.

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5. Toyama Park

Toyama Park is located in Shinjuku-ku. The spacious park is a resting spot for neighboring residents during the day, but at night it turns into a haunted place with numerous reports of paranormal activity. Long time ago, this area sheltered medical facilities for the Japanese army. Accordingly, bones from over 100 bodies have been excavated around this area and there are countless sightings of ghosts that have been reported over the web. There are no lights from the park entrance to the hill top, where the bones were excavated. The park is unusually quiet and eerie considering its central location and makes for a perfect setting for kimodameshi or a bravery test.

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