Women Are Banned from Visiting This Japanese Island—Here’s Why

Hint: it has to do with the island's lone inhabitant.

Women-Are-Banned-from-This-Historic-Island-7930923i-Everett-Kennedy-BrownEpaREXShutterstockEverett Kennedy Brown/Epa/REX/ShutterstockThe Japanese island of Okinoshima has no bars—but if it did, there would definitely be no ladies night.

Okinoshima sits in the Sea of Japan between the mainland and South Korea, around 360 miles southwest of Tokyo. It’s approximately 240 acres in size and is occupied by only one regular inhabitant, a caretaker of the island’s Okitsu shrine.

The Shinto shrine abides strictly by orthodox teachings which includes disallowing women from stepping foot on the island. Any man who visits is required to strip naked and go through a purification process before visiting the holy place.

The island’s history dates back to the fourth century, when sea voyagers would stop at the island to pray for safe passage. The shrine itself was built in the 17th century.

The site applied to become a part of the UNESCO World Heritage List back in 2009, and just recently received the nod on July 9th. Some notable landmarks from the World Heritage List include Grand Canyon National Park, Stonehenge, and the Pyramids of Giza—there are 1,073 total properties on the list. (You’ll want to see this awe-inspiring, spectacular photo of the Grand Canyon, plus more of America’s national parks!)

Inspired to take an overseas adventure now? Check out the most extreme travel adventures in the world—just be sure to follow these tips for packing light on your trip.

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