World Heritage

World Heritage

In June 2013 there were thirteen cultural and four natural sites which were inducted into the UNESCO World Heritage List. These sites are located throughout Japan and are an example of not only the beauty of the countryside, but the history of it as well. For different reasons, these sites have become a natural treasure for the inhabitants of Japan and something to be savored by those who are visiting the region. While staying you would remiss to not catch at least a couple of them for viewing.
Description Over 500 years are represented by the monuments of Gusuku sites. They mix the most modern of history with the creations of the distant path. A sight for the eyes, there is a mixture of the old with the new that comprises the heritage of the Japanese culture. Showing the passage of time through the art of the buildings formed, it is a testament to the changes that have been made to the people, and the culture, of the Japanese countryside.

Shiretoko

Description Shiretoko is a peninsula that is located on Hokkaido and all the marine areas around the Island. It is a site that was created by sea ice that has made a spectacular display of scenic beauty. The perfect ecosystem, it displays all the beauty and exotic nature of the Japanese marine life. Housing many endangered and exotic creatures of the Japanese marine life, it is well protected, and something that delights the senses. Inducted as a World Heritage site, it is something that you should definitely make sure to put on your to do list.

Shirakami-Sanchi

Description Shirakami-Sanchi is a spot that sits in the mountains of Honshu. It is a wildlife mixture that has all the original exotic creatures, some of which are now endangered, with over 87 different types of birds to be ogled over. Nestled deep in the forest are sights to behold that are different than anywhere else on earth. It is a national treasure because of the beauty it withholds and what it has to offer that no other place on earth does.

Hiraizumi

Description The Hiraizumi is a region that is known as the Buddhist pure land. It holds five sites that represent the gardens, temples and archaeological sites associated with the Buddhist tradition. Including Mount Kinkelsan, which is a sacred mountain to the religion, it is the place that the people of the Buddhist religion dream of when they consider the afterlife because of its beauty, majesty and sacred feeling of serenity. A place like no where else on Earth, it should not be missed when visiting.

Shrines and Temples of Nikko

Description An example of age old Tokugawa Shoguns, the temples and shrines of Nikko are something that is treasured and celebrated by both Japanese inhabitants and visitors alike. They are deeply seeded in the tradition of shoguns and who off not only the beauty of the shrines and temples, but the surroundings of nature that adorn them. It is a true showcase of the age old and majestic beauty of Japan and its natural sites.

Ogasawara Islands

Description The Ogasawara Islands comprise over 30 separate islands which are divided into three separate grounds. They each have their own set of unique qualities and wildlife that can be found no where else. Over 195 endangered birds fly around this majestic land, and marine life that you can see no where else. Making the total package are the plants and landscaping specific only to this rare place on Earth and what makes them a site to behold.

Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

Description Once separated from the rest of civilization, the mountain regions of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama is now a place that can be viewed by the world at large. Located in this region are some amazing wildlife and scenic landscaping that makes it like no where else on Earth. Like it is frozen in time, the hands of commercialism has not reached out and destroyed the majestic nature of these lands. It is a place that should be visited and enjoyed for all it’s mystical majesty.

Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities)

Description The original imperial capital of Japan, these historic monuments were first built in 794 AD. It was the first inception of the Japanese culture for the first 1,000 years of its existence. The architecture and the sights of these historic monuments are unlike anywhere else you can imagine. Truly a sight to behold, they have become a symbolism of the rich culture and beauty that Japan was built on. From buildings to gardens, there is no limit to its awe-inspiring beauty.

Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara

Description The original capital of Japan from the ages of 710 to 784 AD, it was the original place where the Japanese government was formed. Still located in Nara are the original architecture, gardens and shrines that Japan was formed on. Seeded in deep history, it is like walking back in time and defines the heritage that Japan was formed on. It is the place where Japan first defined their cultural and political belief system. Left untouched, it is not only beautiful but educational as well.

Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area

Description Somewhat of a Buddhist central area, Horyu-ji has over 48 different Buddhist monuments located in the Nara site. Dating back as early as the 7th century, they display all the ordain and beautiful architecture that signifies the Buddhist religion. Melding both the Buddhist ideals and the Chinese and Japanese cultures, these are something that any historian would find exciting, and something that any visitor should not miss. When visiting, it is one of the historical sites that you would be remiss to not spend a day, or more, sightseeing.

Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range

Description There are three sites which are sacred located on the Kil Mountains. They are mountains that survey the Pacific Ocean, Yoshino and Omine, Koyasan and Kumano Sanzan, they combine the best of nature worship, or Shinto and Buddhism that Japanese culture is built on. Located on these sites are some of the oldest, and most majestic, historical adventures that Japan has to offer its visitors. Whether you want to hike, or just to frequent the historical sites, there is something for everyone.

Himeji-jo

Description Himeji-jo is one of the oldest and most beautiful castles located in both Japan and compared to anything elsewhere. It was built in the 17th century and has over 83 distinct buildings from the Shogun period and beyond. The sheer building of this castle was a human feat of great proportion and something that is so impressive it seems unimaginable. The architecture is wizardry and truly comprises the great arts of the Japanese cultural heritage.

Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and its Cultural Landscape

Description Containing one of the most expansive mining sites in the world, the Iwami Ginzan Silber mine is nestled in the most beautiful landscape and scenery. Hailed not only for its mining capabilities, it was built during the beginning of what Japanese culture was still in its infancy. The mines span the entire region, and are a reason why Japan rose to be one of the great powers that it is in the world today. Heavily wooded, it still holds the same mystic that it did back when it was the basis for the wealth of the Japanese people.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome)

Description Nothing defines a culture more than the tragedy that it endures. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial is the only surviving building in the place where the atomic bomb was dropped. It stands as a memorial to the millions of people who lost their lives during the incident. It also symbolizes the sheer desire for world peace and for there never to be such a tragedy in the future. Those who do not remember are destined to repeat the past, so seeing this monument is something everyone should do.

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine

Description The Shinto Shrine of Itsukushima is the first holy place of the Shintoism movement. Although not exactly known for sure, it is estimated that the shrine was constructed sometime in the 6th century. Not only a symbolism for the Shinto beliefs, it is an architectural feat unparalleled by anything else in the Asian culture, and highlights the natural scenic beauty of the Seto inland sea. Historical buffs and natural lovers alike will awe in its scenic majesty.

Yakushima

Description A place where the palaearctic and oriental regions meet, the Yaku islands are home to the most exotic and rare species on Earth. Housing not only natural wildlife, there are also natural ancient forests that are indigenous to Japan only. It encompasses not only the style and architecture of Japan, but also of European inspiration as well. For any architectural lover, this is really a sight to behold. Go to see the buildings or the amazing sightseeing of the wildlife creatures, it will surely be a day filled with things never seen before.

Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration

Description Mount Fuji is perhaps the most famous sacred mountain range on earth. It is located around a volcano and has all the marvels of nature surrounding it. Lakes and the sea, it is an amusement for the sights. Visit the small quaint villages, or just awe at the scenery, there is so much to do while visiting. It mixes the old cultural tradition of Japan with the new modernization of the world around it. Lava formed masterpieces abound, it should not be missed.

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