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Travel & Leisure

Japan underground: Explore a vast 'temple,' lake or gold mine

The country's subterranean world is rich in history and mystery

Tourists can ride a tram in the historic Ashio Copper Mine in Nikko, north of Tokyo.

TOKYO -- People have excavated beneath the earth from time immemorial: mining for riches, tunneling for transport, and creating spaces for safety and storage.

In a modern example, Boston's "Big Dig" in the U.S. has moved elevated highways in the downtown area underground, creating parks and bring people back into the city center. Shanghai has expanded its subway network to tackle air pollution.

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