Did you know that there are 19 properties have been inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List in Japan? (15 cultural sites and 4 natural sites, as of August 2015.) This is part2 of the article to explain the World Heritage in Japan.
In this article, I will introduce 5 sites in Kinki area.
1. Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto
Kyoto is a typical city to stay for overseas visitors. This city is so famous for historical temples, shrines and city itself with old buildings. Kyoto used to be the capital of Japan for about 1,000 years (There are different hypothesis about the period), therefore lots of temples and shrines were built, and unique culture such as Geisha has developed.
The picture above is Rokuon-ji (鹿苑寺) aka Temple of the Golden Pavilion (金閣寺 Kinkaku-ji). 19 different sites are registered as the World Heritage. You must stay few days to see all of them.
More about temples in Kyoto:
2. Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara
As well as Kyoto, Nara used to be the capital of Japan for about 200 years. Eight places are registered as the World Heritage, five are buddhist temples, one is a Shinto Shrine, one is an old Palace, and one is a primeval forest. The temples and shrines are left still beautiful today, telling us that the city of Nara was prosperous with cultural influence from China and Korea.
More about Temples in Nara:
3. Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area
Horyu-ji are is also located in Nara prefecture. The registration includes a variety of buildings found in Horyu-ji and Hokki-ji in Ikaruga, Nara. These Buddhist architecture are highly influenced by Chinese culture. Especially a building called Saiin-Garan (西院伽藍) is well known as one of the oldest wooden architecture in the world.
4. Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range
This path in Kii Mountain is historically important in religious pilgrimages. It is said that the great mixture of Buddhism and Shinto is represented in this path and related temples and shrines. Also, the nature scenery of Kii mountain along the path is so beautiful with many streams, rivers, and waterfalls. Hiking around this path and breathing air will definitely be nice.
5. Himeji-jo (Himeji Castle)
Himeji-jo is a Japanese castle located in Hyogo prefecture. Many of the important parts are most well preserved until today. You can walk around inside the castle, and see how it was at the time.
The castle was originally built in 1333, and has just ended the restoration recently. Today this castle is the largest and most visited castle in Japan.
How about staying around Kyoto to see these sites?
Thumbnail image is from Wikipedia