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10 recommended World Heritage sites in Japan that are too beautiful to visit at least once.

10 recommended World Heritage sites in Japan that are too beautiful to visit at least once.


Japan is home to 25 World Heritage sites. These World Heritage sites are worth seeing for their unique history, culture, and scenery, including the natural beauty of the Shirakami Mountains and Yakushima Island, as well as the temples and shrines of Nara and Kyoto, which have been cherished by people since ancient times. Here are some World Heritage sites that offer beautiful and spectacular views of Japan that you should visit at least once in your lifetime.

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Healing in the primeval forests of Japan "Shirakami Sanchi "

"Shirakami Sanchi "is the first place in Japan to be registered as a World Natural Heritage site, along with "Yakushima "in Kagoshima Prefecture. "Shirakami Sanchi "is the collective name for a vast mountainous area covering 130,000 hectares, where Japanese beech and other native forests remain untouched. "Within Shirakami Sanchi ", hiking courses and mountain trails have been developed, allowing visitors to enjoy the World Heritage site at their leisure.
If you want to enjoy "Shirakami Sanchi "easily, enjoy forest bathing in a beech forest or visit "Kurokuma Falls ", which is one of the 100 best waterfalls in Japan. If you want to try your hand at mountain climbing, you can climb the 1,235-meter-high "Shirakamidake "and enjoy the panoramic view of the "Shirakami Sanchi "mountain range. If you are lucky, you can even see a sea of clouds.

Location: 61-1 Aza-Kanda, Oaza-Tashiro, Nishimeya-mura, Nakatsugaru-gun, Aomori-ken
Fee: Free of charge

Remembering the Oshu Fujiwara family "Chuson-ji "

"Chuson-ji "is registered as one of "Hiraizumi's cultural heritage ". It was opened about 1,700 years ago by a monk from Enryaku-ji Temple on Mt. Later, the Oshu Fujiwara clan constructed a large scale pagoda, which is now in its present form.
"The famous "Golden Hall "in Chuson-ji "is a valuable structure that retains the original form of "Chuson-ji "when it was first built. The gilded hall is decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay and features statues of the Amida Nyorai and other Buddha images, representing the world of the Pure Land. The meticulously crafted "Golden Hall "is so beautiful that one loses track of time. "In the austere atmosphere of Chuson-ji ", feel the Oshu Fujiwara clan's "desire to bring peace "to the Tohoku region.

Location: 202 Korozeki, Hiraizumi, Hiraizumi-cho, Nishibai-gun, Iwate Prefecture
Admission: Adults 800 yen / High school students 500 yen / Junior high school students 300 yen / Elementary school students 200 yen
Reference website: https://www.chusonji.or.jp/

Dream Dolphin Swim on Chichijima Island in the Ogasawara Islands

The Ogasawara Islands ", registered as a World Natural Heritage site, "offer beautiful emerald-green waters even though they are located in Tokyo. You can enjoy the standard activities such as snorkeling, diving, and sea kayaking, but "the Ogasawara Islands "offer a unique activity: "dolphin swim ". You can swim with dolphins. You can search for dolphins from the cruise ship, and when you find them, you can enjoy a walk with them in the water. Besides dolphins, you will be healed by coral reefs and colorful tropical fish in the clear water.

Location: Ogasawara Village, East Kyoto, Father Island
Fee: 11,000-14,000 yen (*Depends on tour company)
Reference website: https://www.ogasawaramura.com/play/activity/sea/dolphin/

Fuji. "Miho Matsubara "

"Miho Matsubara "was registered as one of "the World Cultural Heritage "sites of Mt. "Miho Matsubara "is a scenic spot with about 30,000 pine trees along a 7-km-long coastline. The blue sea, green pine trees, and Mt. Fuji rising majestically before your eyes will overwhelm you. In ancient times, waka poems about "Miho Matsubara "were included in the Manyoshu (Anthology of Myriad Leaves), and it was even depicted in ukiyoe woodblock prints of the Edo period (1603-1868).
Since there is a bike path along the coast, we recommend renting a bicycle and enjoying the sea breeze while enjoying the spectacular view of Mt.

Location: 1338-45 Miho, Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture
Fee: Free of charge
Reference website: https://miho-no-matsubara.jp

Feel the quiet Kyoto "Kozanji Temple "

"Takayama-dera Temple "is a quiet temple located deep in the mountains of Kyoto City, at the end of Arashiyama. "It was registered as a World Heritage Site as one of the cultural assets "of the ancient capital of Kyoto. The temple on top of the mountain is so quiet that it is hard to believe it is in Kyoto City, and you can take your time to look around the temple grounds. "Takayama-dera Temple "does not charge a fee to enter the temple grounds, but "Ishimizu-in Temple "does.
"At Ishimizuin "you can see a beautiful Japanese garden that makes use of the natural beauty of the mountain. In addition, you can see historical paintings and sculptures including "the caricatures of birds and animals "owned by "Kozanji ". "In the Japanese-style room at Ishimizu-in ", you can have a set of matcha green tea and enjoy the beautiful view of the mountain. "Kozan-ji Temple "is a must-see World Heritage site for fans of caricatures of birds, beasts, and animals, with limited-edition goods of the paintings available for sale.

Location: 8-8 Umegahata Tsugao-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Material: Ishimizu-in Kanko 800 yen

Walking the mountainous Shugen no Michi "Omine Okugakemichi "

"Omine Okugakemichi "was registered as a World Heritage Site as one of the "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range ". The 170-km long mountain trail, which connects Yoshino in Nara Prefecture to Kumano in Wakayama Prefecture, has been used by ascetic practitioners for centuries as a training ground. Nowadays, mountain lodges, designated camping sites, and signboards have been developed, making it easier for ordinary hikers to walk. Nevertheless, "Sankamigatake "still has a code forbidding women, and the custom of faith still remains.
"The highest peak in Omine Okugakemichi ", "Hachikyogadake "has a mountain lodge and you can enjoy the deep nature of the Omine Mountains.

Location: Yoshino Village, Nara Prefecture - Kumano Town, Wakayama Prefecture
Fee: Free of charge
Reference website: https://www.vill.tenkawa.nara.jp/tourism/spot/5188/

Nara's hidden gems "Toshodaiji Temple "

"Toshodaiji "is registered as a World Heritage Site as one of "the cultural assets "of the ancient capital Nara. The temple is famous as the temple founded by the Chinese Tang Dynasty monk, "Kamijin Wajo ". Built about 1,200 years ago in the Nara Period, "Toshodaiji "remains as it was when it was founded.
After passing through the Nandaimon gate, visitors are first greeted by the Kondo Hall. Inside the hall, a seated statue of Rushanabutsu, a statue of Yakushi Nyorai, and a statue of Senju Kannon (the thousand-armed Goddess of Mercy) create a solemn atmosphere, and the size of the hall, which is hard to believe was created 1200 years ago, is overwhelming. Further into the temple grounds, there is an auditorium, a drum tower, and other buildings, and if you go further into the temple, you will find the grave of "Kamijo-Wajo ". Unlike Nara's famous tourist attractions such as "Todaiji "and "Kasuga Taisha ", you can enjoy the quiet atmosphere of this World Heritage Site.

Location:13-46 Gojo-cho, Nara-shi, Nara
Admission: Adults 1,000 yen / Junior high and high school students 400 yen / Elementary school students 200 yen
Reference website: https://toshodaiji.jp/

Get away from the city and be healed by beautiful moss "Saiho-ji Temple "

"Saiho-ji Temple "is registered as a World Heritage Site as one of "the cultural assets "of the ancient capital Kyoto. It is also known as "Noriji ", and as the name suggests, moss grows thickly in the temple's garden. The temple is now famous for its beautiful moss garden, but it has a long history dating back to the establishment of the temple by Gyoki Bosatsu (Gyoki Bodhisattva) some 1,300 years ago. It is also said that Prince Shotoku had a villa there during the Asuka Period.
The garden has a path that circles a pond called "Golden Pond ". "The colors of moss and trees reflected in the Golden Pond "are beautiful and can be enjoyed in various ways depending on the season and time of day. "Saiho-ji Temple "must be reserved in advance with a return postcard, and children under elementary school age are not allowed to visit except on designated days. In addition, visitors must complete sutra chanting in the main hall before being allowed to stroll through the gardens.
This World Heritage site is recommended for those who want to enjoy the atmosphere of the temple at a leisurely pace without worrying about crowds in Kyoto City.

Location: 56, Matsuo Kamigayacho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Fee: 3,000 yen (*Please note that elementary school students and younger are not allowed to visit the shrine except on designated dates and times)
Reference website: http://saihoji-kokedera.com/top.html

Feel like Ghibli in Yakushima "Shiratani Unsui Gorge "

"Yakushima "was the first place in Japan to be registered as a World Natural Heritage site, along with "Shirakami Sanchi "in Aomori Prefecture. A remote island in Kagoshima Prefecture, Yakushima nurtures a unique ecosystem, and if you go to the ocean, you can see tropical fish swimming around. If you go to the mountains, you can see the highest mountain in Kyushu ", Miyanoura-dake ", which is covered with snow in winter.
"Yakushima "is famous for "Jomon Cedars ", but "Shiratani Unsuikyo "is also recommended. The moss-covered "Mossy forest "is said to be the model for the Ghibli movie "Princess Mononoke ". If you are lucky, you can see Yakushima's endemic species "Yakushika deer "and "Yakusaru ". "If you go up the mountain a little more from the moss forest ", you will find "Taikura-iwa "and you can see the forest of Yakushima and even Miyanoura-dake. This is a spot where you can feel the rich nature of the World Heritage "Yakushima "

Location: Miyanoura, Yakushima-cho, Kumage-gun, Kagoshima Prefecture
Material: 500 yen for college students and above
Reference website: http://yakukan.jp/

Feel the history of the Ryukyu Kingdom "Ruins of Nakijin Castle "

"Nakijin Castle Ruins "is registered as a World Heritage Site as one of the "Gusuku and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu ". The castle was destroyed by fire during the Satsuma invasion of Ryukyu in 1609, so it does not exist today. However, the stonewalls and ruins of the castle from that time remain intact. As you walk up the stairs from the parking lot, you can see the castle walls as they were then. You can also see the beautiful sea of northern Okinawa in the distance.
You can even go down close to the ruins of the castle surrounded by castle walls, so you can see up close what it was like in those days. Also, "Inside the ruins of Nakijin Castle ", kanhizakura cherry trees are planted, and you can enjoy the pretty pink cherry blossoms from mid-January to early February every year.

Location: 5101 Imadomari, Nakijin Village, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa Prefecture
Admission: Adults 600 yen / Junior high and high school students 450 yen


We have introduced 10 World Heritage sites where you can experience the rich nature and culture unique to Japan. While overseas World Heritage sites are of course fascinating, the World Heritage sites in Japan are just as beautiful. If you are a traveler and have not yet visited any of these sites, why not make a visit to see the beautiful scenery?

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