4. Daisen Kofun – Osaka, Japan
Spectacular and almost totally unknown, imperial Japanese burial mounds (aka kofuns) from the third to sixth centuries AD are the pyramids of the Asian world. Shaped like a keyhole, kofuns served not only as oversized caskets but as a place an emperor could spend eternity with his most prized possessions. The biggest of them all is Daisen Kofun, built for Emperor Nintoku. Over 1,500 feet long and 1,000 feet wide, you can only really appreciate its scale from above.
Surprisingly, instead of capitalizing on the kofuns, the Japanese government has prohibited any excavation or research into them since the 1970s. There are three moats surrounding the Daisen Kofun, and entry is strictly forbidden.
Unlike the barren desert home of the pyramids, we like the lush greenery of the kofun. Who wouldn’t want their remains and greatest treasures to hang out, undisturbed, for thousands of years?