Dive into the treasure box that is Japan and you’re sure to find a little bit of iconic magic no matter where you go, from Tokyo’s tallest towers to Kyoto’s oldest shrines, you can always find something that screams ‘Hey everyone, look where I am!’

Even in Japan’s smaller cities and towns there are a number of signs, monuments and statues that seem to shout about their very existence to the world. Though not as grand as Tokyo Skytree or as ancient as Kyoto’s Kamigamo Shrine, these monuments do a great job at attracting curious tourists and help to boost the local economy.

If you’re interested in checking out some of Japan’s ‘mini Hollywood’ signs but are unsure of where to start, take a quick look at this list put together by lifeguide.com which ranks the very best of Japan’s local statues in order of popularity.

Coming in top place is the bold white ‘AWAJI object’ monument of Awaji island.

Though a strong sign on any given day, the brilliantly white capital letters of the AWAJI object seem to beam more intensely when contrasted against skies of azure blue or sunset red.

Located at the entrance to Aiga beach on the eastern coast of the island, the AWAJI object monument was installed in 2019 as a way to draw in tourists to the area, whilst simultaneously raising awareness of the island’s charm and abundance of nature.
Whilst the sign makes for a wonderful standalone photography subject, one of the most popular things to do is to take a group selfie with friends from atop the letters.

Reasons why individuals voted for the AWAJi object monument include;
“Awaji Island is the best location! It’s so nice with it’s beautiful view and different scenery from everyday life.”
“Beautiful during both the daytime and at night, the monument is perfect for an instagram photo!”
“Alongside the sea, sky and trees the monument is beautiful”

Ranking in second place is the ‘RINKU Park LOVE’ monument which can be found in Osaka prefecture’s Izumisano City.

Listed as one of Japan’s top 100 sunset viewing spots, this monument draws in dozens of romantics daily, and as such is a hot spot for viewing knee-benders as the monument is a popular backdrop for marriage proposals.

As the day draws to an end the last rays of sunlight cast long shadows of the RINKU Park LOVE monument onto the floor, which makes for an impressive insta-friendly mirror image.

Taking third place is Chiba’s ‘ONJUKU’ monument.

This colourful piece is installed on the sand of Onjuku-cho Beach in Chiba’s Ojuku town and takes inspiration from the Cancún monument located in Mexico. Heighten the excitement of a summer day spent at the beach with a photograph in front of the brightly coloured ONJUKU monument.

Following close behind, at joint fourth place the runners up of the contest for Japan’s most popular monument are (click the links for each monument’s location on Google Maps); The ‘♡ TOBA’ monument in Mie prefecture
Shinjuku’s ‘LOVE’ monument
The ‘AMAZING TOYAMA’ sculpture in Toyama prefecture
Kobe city’s ‘BE KOBE’ port monument

By - Connie Sceaphierde.