World Heritage Sites in Japan

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WORLD HERITAGE SITES

With its long history, traditional culture and beautiful nature, Japan has sixteen locations registered as World Heritage Sites. These consist of ten Cultural Heritage Sites and three Natural Heritage Sites. The twelve Cultural Heritage Sites are the Buddhists Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area, Himeji-jo, the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities), the Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome), Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, the Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara, the Shrines and Temples of Nikko, the Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu, the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range, Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and the temples of Hiraizumi. Japan's four Natural Heritage Sites are at Yakushima, Shirakami-Sanchi, Shiretoko and the Ogasawara Islands.

Traditional - World Heritage Sites

  • HIRAIZUMI - IWATE

    Hiraizumi features a cluster of temples and ruins left by the Oshu Fujiwara warrior family that ruled Japan’s Tohoku region from the 11th to the 12th centuries. Hiraizumi's most famous attraction is Chusonji, a Buddhist temple established in 850 with a stunning Golden Hall. Read more...

    Chusonji Temple
  • OGASAWARA ISLANDS - TOKYO

    The Ogasawara Islands are an archipelago of over 30 subtropical and tropical islands 1,000 kilometres south of Tokyo. They are home to over 100 kinds of indigenous plants and more than 14 kinds of animals. The Ogasawaras are popular for whale watching, scuba diving, swimming with dolphin, surfing, kayaking, snorkelling, bird watching and hiking. Read more...

    Ogasawara Islands
  • SHIRAKAMI-SANCHI MOUNTAIN RANGE - AOMORI & AKITA

    The vast primeval beech forest, which is home to a precious population of animals and plants, is just like a forest museum. Read more....

    View of Shirakami Mountain Range
  • SHRINES & TEMPLES OF NIKKO – TOCHIGI

    Sacred spot of the Edo Shogunate with striking religious architecture in beautiful natural setting. Read more...

    Toshogu shrine in Nikko
  • SHIRETOKO NATIONAL PARK - HOKKAIDO

    Shiretoko, considered to be the last pristine wilderness remaining in Japan, is a long narrow peninsula located in north-eastern Hokkaido. Read more...

    Deer in Shiretoko National Park
  • SHIRAKAWA-GO & GOKAYAMA VILLAGES - GIFU & TOYAMA

    Remote mountain villages of gassho-style farmhouses in an area of heavy snow. Read more...

    Traditional thatched buildings in Shirakawa-Go
  • HISTORIC MONUMENTS OF ANCIENT NARA – NARA

    Nara first developed after being designated the capital of Japan in 710. The Great Buddha of Todaiji remains today an awe-inspiring symbol of the ancient capital of Japan. Read more...

    Todai-ji
  • BUDDHIST MONUMENTS IN THE HORYU-JI AREA – NARA

    The oldest wooden building in the world, thirty-eight national treasures and 151 important cultural assets are preserved on Horyu-ji Temple's vast premises. Read more...

    Horyo-ji
  • HISTORIC MONUMENTS OF ANCIENT KYOTO - KYOTO & SHIGA

    Kyoto flourished as the capital of Japan for as long as 1,000 years after 794. Thirteen temples, three shrines and Nijo Castle are all registered as World Heritage Sites. Read more...

    The roof of Nijo Castle in Kyoto
  • KII MOUNTAINS PILGRIMAGE ROUTES - NARA, WAKAYAMA & MIE

    This world heritage site incorporates three sacred sites across Nara, Wakayama and Mie prefectures: "Yoshino/Omine", "Kumano Sanzan", "Koya-san" and the pilgrimage routes that connect them. Read more...

    Kumano sanzen pilgrimage route with two pilgrims in traditional dress
  • HIMEJI CASTLE – HYOGO

    A classic example of Japan's beautiful castle architecture remarkably well preserved. Read more...

    Himeji Castle surrounded by cherry blossoms
  • IWAMI GINZAN SILVER MINE – SHIMANE

    The ancient remains of the mine which produced fine-quality silver over 400 years within an environment abounding in nature, and the landscape which retains vestiges of traditional Japanese lifestyle and culture. Read more...

    Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine Shimane
  • HIROSHIMA PEACE MEMORIAL & ITSUKUSHIMA SHRINE – HIROSHIMA

    A memorial park surrouding the ruins of the former Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall that was destroyed when the first atomic bomb in human history was dropped in 1945 and a majestic Shinto Shrine dedicated to the God protecting people from sea disasters and wars on Miyajima island. Read more...

    Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
  • RYUKYU KINGDOM GUSUKU SITES – OKINAWA 

    Cultural heritage sites are scattered among the southernmost islands of Japan and on the main island of Okinawa. There are nine ruins symbolizing the unique culture and religious beliefs of the Kingdom of Ryukyu that once flourished here. Read more...

    Shuri Castle Ruins in Okinawa
  • YAKUSHIMA ISLAND – KAGOSHIMA

    Enjoy the unspoiled richness of nature on a mysterious island where time stands still. Read more...

    Stream on Yakushima