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Google Street View Takes Users To Awesome New Locations In Japan, South Africa (PICTURES)

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 02/15/2012 5:21 pm   Updated: 02/15/2012 10:14 pm

If you often find yourself too busy (or broke) to travel, fear not. Google Street View lets you virtually explore 360-degree views of many exotic (and run-of-the-mill) locations around the world, as if you were really there.

Thanks to Google's most recent forays into the world's hidden nooks and crannies, not only can you travel underground to an ancient Japanese silver mine, you can also check out a limestone cavern in Japan and enjoy the views around a few wineries in South Africa's Western Cape.

To poke around underground in Japan, visit Google Street View Japan's homepage where the Okubo-mabu mineshaft and the Akiyoshi-do limestone cavern are featured alongside other Japanese landmarks.

The Western Cape winery additions -- Boekenhoutskloof, Groot Constantia, Hartenberg Wine Estate, Môreson Winery, Rustenberg Wines and Warwick Winery, according to TechCentral -- can be viewed by searching each of their names on Google Maps, and dragging the yellow "Pegman" (located in the upper left-hand corner of the maps) onto one of the surrounding blue roads. Using the wheel in the upper left-hand corner to rotate your view or clicking on the right or left arrows to move down a road will allow you to more deeply explore any Street View map Google has available (for more information on how to use Street View, see its website).

Since the service first launched in five U.S. cities back in 2007, Street View's offerings have expanded to include ground-level images from all seven continents. With the help of cars, trikes, trolleys, and even snowmobiles outfitted with elaborate camera systems, the mapping service has compiled enough photos to allow users to peek inside buildings, visit the Antarctic's Half Moon Island, or check out Rome's Colosseum.

Once its team is finished snapping and processing their growing collection of panoramic photos, Street View will also allow you to travel through the Swiss Alps via its railways, look around Botswana, and maybe even explore Bulgaria.

To a get a first glimpse of some of Google's newest Street View additions, as well as some of the other cool locations already available in the service, check out the slideshow (below). In the comments, let us know which places you want Google to explore next! Then, check out our slideshows featuring the craziest sightings in Google Street View and in Google Earth.

Akiyoshi-do Limestone Cavern
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The Akiyoshi-do limestone cavern is located in Japan's Yamaguchi Prefecture and has amazing features, such as the Hyakumai-Zara ("100 plates") section, which contains layer upon layer of limestone, as reported by CNET.
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