Okinoshima island Japan

Okinoshima island: The island only allows men to enter

An island in Japan is one of the few places in the world that only men are allowed to enter, with women being banned from stepping foot on it.

Okinoshima island, lying between the Korean Peninsula and Kyushu, is still home to ancient rituals that men must abide by.

One of the rules still in place is the preventing of females from being allowed to see the island.

It was awarded a UNESCO World Heritage status last year due to the cultural heritage it holds.

Okinoshima island Japan

Okinoshima island: The island lies between the Korean Peninsula and Kyshu

Men who enter the island must strip all of their clothing

Men who enter the island must strip all of their clothing before being cleansed in a ritual and bathing in the sea.

One of the biggest rules is that nothing is allowed to be taken off the island, nor are people allowed to talk about the goings-on on the island.

Male travellers wanting to visit it themselves only have one day of the year that the island is open for visitors, which is May 27.

Only 200 visitors are allowed during this period.

Okinoshima island Japan

Okinoshima island: Men must strip and then bathe naked

It is home to the Okitsu shrine from the 17th Century, with the Shinto religion still practicing as one of the largest faiths in Japan.

The prayers at the shrine were often for the safe passage of sailors when out at sea.

Experts believe, according to The Japan Times, that women were banned due to their menstrual blood.

Rio Hashimoto explained: “There are varying explanations for the ban, but some say it is because menstruation would defile the site.

“Shinto treats blood as an impurity.”

Okinoshima island Japan

Okinoshima island: It is home to the Okitsu shrine from the 17th century

The island is even home to over 80,000 trinkets left by sailors over the years who stopped to pray on the island, with some dating back to the 4th century.

Despite being awarded the UNESCO status, the chief priest of the Munakata Grand Shrine, Takayuki Ashizu, told Japan times that it wouldn’t be opened to the public because “people shouldn’t visit out of curiosity”.

It isn’t the only island in Japan that is slightly out of the ordinary.

Locals from the island of Miyake-jima must carry a gas mask with them due to the risk of volcanic eruption.

Source of Travel News

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