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World Heritage Sites

Places that are ‘inscribed on the World Heritage List’ for Japan are listed below. Where relevant the page numbers in Japan by Rail are given.

Shirakawago
Traditional steep thatched houses in
Shirakawa-go (© Japan by Rail)

Honshu

Central Honshu

Cultural

• Historic villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama (see pp224-6 & pp232-3)

Mt Fuji (Fuji-san), sacred place and source of artistic inspiration, (see p138 & 170); the inscription actually includes 25 sites on and around Mt Fuji

Tomioka Silk Mill and related sites Tomioka City, Gunma Prefecture. Each of the four sites included in this inscription played a different role in the production of silk.

Natural

Ogasawara Islands; also known as the Bonin Islands. These have a wide variety of flora and fauna and are in the Pacific Ocean about 1000km from Tokyo. They can only be reached by ferry (a 24hr journey).

On the tentative list

The main building of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo (see p114)

Temples, shrines and other structures in ancient Kamakura (see pp133-7)


Kansai

Koya-san
Pilgrims rotate the prayer
wheel at a stupa in the
Danjo-Garan complex, Koya-san (© LR)

Cultural

Horyu-ji (see pp270-1), near Nara, and other Buddhist monuments in the area

• Historic monuments in ancient Kyoto (see pp250-64), Uji (Byodo-in; see p265) and Otsu

• Historic monuments in ancient Nara (see p266)

• Sacred sites and pilgrimage routes in the Kii mountain range, Wakayama (see p241, p242). The best-known site in this grouping is probably Koya-san; Danjo-Garan is one of the two most sacred sites in Koya-san.

On the tentative list

Asuka-Fujiwara, near Nara, Kansai: archaeological sites of Japan’s ancient capitals and related properties

Mozu-Furuichi Kofungun, ancient tumulus clusters


Western Honshu

Cultural

Itsukushimatorii
Itsukushima torii, Miyajima (© Japan by Rail)

Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome; see pp302-3)

Himeji castle (see p274)

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, Miyajima (see pp308-9)

Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and its cultural landscape (see p286, pp287-8)

Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and steel, shipbuilding and coal mining Yamaguchi and Kyushu

On the tentative list

Hikone castle (see p236)

Tohoku

• Shrines and temples in Nikko (see p324)

MotsujiHiraizumi
Pure Land Garden, Motsu-ji, Hiraizumi (© Japan by Rail)

Cultural

Hiraizumi: temples, gardens and archaeological sites
representing the Buddhist Pure Land (see pp334-5)

Natural

Shirakami-Sanchi

On the tentative list

Hiraizumi: temples, gardens and archaeological sites representing the Buddhist Pure Land (extension to the area already inscribed

• The Sado complex of heritage mines, primarily gold mines

Jomon archaeological sites in northern Tohoku, Hokkaido and other regions

Hokkaido

Natural

Shiretoko (see p382)

On the tentative list

Jomon archaeological sites in northern Tohoku, Hokkaido and other regions

Kyushu

Cultural

Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and steel, shipbuilding and coal mining Kyushu and Yamaguchi

26martyrs
On the tentative list:
Site of the Martyrdom of the 26 saints of Japan
(© Japan by Rail)

On the tentative list

Natural

Yakushima, Osumu Islands, nr Kagoshima, Kyushu

• Churches and Christian sites in Nagasaki (see pp442-4)
Okinoshima Island and related sites in Munakata rigion

Okinawa

Cultural

Gusuku sites and related properties of the kingdom of Ryukyu