Japan

10 World Heritage Sites to Check Out in Japan

If you travel to discover a country's unique history and culture, these are definitely places you should check out when you're in Japan!

When UNESCO declares a particular place a ‘World Heritage Site,’ you know it’s incredibly important to the local community and holds a lot of historical and cultural importance. Japan is one country scattered with incredible sites that will reawaken the history geek in you!

1. Mount Fuji

“Mount Fuji” formally became a world heritage site in 2013.  Mount Fuji, often called, “Border Between Heaven and Earth” is an incredible natural wonder and a holy site for the Shinto and houses numerous temples and shrines.

If you are looking for a Mount Fuji 1-day tour, you can check out the package that KKday has for you.

2. Shrines and Temples of Nikko

Photo credit: Andrea Schaffer via Visualhunt / CC BY

The shrines and temples of Nikko, along with their incredible natural surroundings, have long been associated with Japan’s Tokugawa Shoguns. With a unique mix of both Buddhist and Shinto architecture flushed against woodlands, it’s no wonder why this place has earned a world heritage site distinction.

Get a Nikko Pass when you are visiting the Shrines and Temples of Nikko! This will give you unlimited rides on bus routes, along with discounts on various rides and attractions such as the heritage sites, hiking and walking trails and even hot springs!

3. Bomb Dome of Hiroshima

Photo credit: Imahinasyon Photography via Visual hunt / CC BY

Located in Hiroshima City, the Hiroshima Bomb Dome became a world heritage site in 1996. The park’s main facility is the Peace Memorial Museum, which serves as a sobering reminder of the price of war and the cost of peace. Between the Museum and the Bomb Dome, is the Cenotaph for the Bomb Victims, a tribute to all the people who died from the explosion or the radiation.

Get a Hiroshima Pass and this will give you unlimited use of JR trains. This pass will not only help you to save money, it will help you save time too!

4. Horyuji Temple

Photo credit: kanjiroushi via VisualHunt.com / CC BY

Horyuji Temple was founded by Prince Shotoku, who is credited for the early promotion of Buddhism in Japan. Horyuji is one of the oldest temples and it has the world’s oldest surviving wooden structures. It became a world heritage site in 1993.

5. Yakushima

Photo credit: tetedelart1855 via VisualHunt / CC BY

Yakushima is an island located in the southern Kyushu Osumi and in 1993, it was included in the World Heritage. It is covered by an extensive cedar forest and it contains some of Japan’s oldest living trees of more than a thousand years old! The most ancient trees might be over 7000 years old.

Travel around Kyushu in ease with the Kyushu JR Pass!

6. Shirakawa-go and Gokayama Village

Photo credit: tsuda via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

These historical villages were declared as a world heritage site in 1995. They are famous for their traditional Gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. The architectural style of these farmhouses was developed and designed over many generations to withstand large amount of snow that falls over the region during winter. The roofs, made without nails also provided a large attic space for cultivating silkworms. The historical villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama have been hailed as “the winter fairy tale village,” for the magical winter image they posses.

If you are looking for a detailed tour to the historical villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, KKday has got a tour just for you.

7. Shiretoko Peninsula

Photo credit: Robert Kroos via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA

Shiretoko National Park is one of Japans most beautiful and unspoiled national parks. It is home to a variety of wildlife, including brown bears, deer, and foxes. Visit the peninsula during winter, where you can spot drift ice coasting along the Okhotsk Sea.

8. Himeji Castle

Photo credit: reggiepen via Visual hunt / CC BY

Himeji Castle also known as the White Heron Castle is considered as one of Japan’s most spectacular castles. Unlike the others, it remains unfazed by war, earthquake, or fire. Himeji castle is particularly popular during the cherry blossom season, and tourists from all over the world flock to see the flowers bloom.

9. Itsukushima Shrine

 
Photo credit: greggman via Visualhunt / CC BY

Itsukushima Shrine is best known for the optical illusion it casts. At high tide, the torii gate appears to be floating, and some cruises take you through it. The sight is especially enchanting during the sunset.

10. Nijo-jo Castle

 
Photo credit: BriYYZ via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA
Nijo-jo Castle became the residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo Period. As a safeguard against intruders, the castle was built with nightingale floors, which chirp when stepped on. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1994 as it serves as one of the best surviving examples of Japanese Feudal era architecture. Because the Emperor once lived
If you travel to discover a country’s unique history and culture, these are definitely places you should check out when you’re in Japan!
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