7 Japanese sites waiting to be on UNESCO's World Heritage List
1. The temples and shrines of Kamakura
Ancient samurai city, once the political capital of Japan from 1192 to 1333 established by the famous samurai Minamoto no Yoritomo when he was appointed as Seii-Taishogun (shogun) by the Imperial court. Kamakura city recieves many visitors from home and abroad. The city now retains exceptional vestiges of the history, possessing one of the largest seated Buddha statues of the archipelago. The statues is refered as "The Great Buddha of Kamakura" whose is about 13.5 meters high, made by bronze in the 13th century, sits on on the grounds of Kotoku-in Temple. Kamakura is also home to Japan's the most important Zen temple out of five great Zen temples, Kencho-ji Temple, surrounded by beautiful forest. And this temple is just one example of many famous temples and shrines, such as Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine, or the Hase-dera temple and its beautiful hydrangea gardens. Many wonders are to contemplate in this small seaside town where the old Enoden tramway still circulates in the narrow lanes to the open sea, to the sacred island of Enoshima.
Click here to see our excursion to Kamakura.
2. The Hikone Castle
In the medieval times of Japan was the age of provincial wars, the country was divided into several states, each led by a lord. But a decisive battle occurs at Sekigahara in 1600, "Sekigahara no tatakai" location is currently Gifu prefecture, pitted the samurai armies from the east and west. It was the revered Tokugawa Ieyasu who came out triumphant and united Japan for the first time. It was the first Shogunate. Hikone Castle, located on Lake Biwa in Shiga prefecture near Kyoto, was Tokugawa's offering to his favorite lord, Naomasa li (the four great generals serving Tokugawa), in honor of his bravery on the battlefield. Hikone Castle therefore has a capital historical importance, symbol of the unification of the country. Many daimyo survived until 1868. Its structure is composed of different architectural styles that makes the castle unique, and at the base of the castle, there is a beautiful Japanese garden, the garden Genkyu En.
3. Fujiwara archaeological site, former capital of Japan in the Asuka region.
The Asuka region near Nara guards the remains of the ancient city of Fujiwara, the first imperial capital of Japan from 694 to 710. Archaeological excavations have revealed traces of a vast palace of more than 1 km² in a city whose area would have been 5 kilometers. Today we still learn about the construction technologies of the time and we found ancient tombs and walls decorated with paintings. The city of Fujiwara burned while Nara became the new capital, and was never rebuilt.
4. Jomon archaeological sites in Hokkaido, northern Tohoku region and other areas.
5. Kofun (tombs built in the 3rd to 7th century) of Mozu-Furuichi
In fact, there are more than 80,000 of Kofun (gigantic lock-shaped tombs) have been discovered across the country, and one of the largest is the Mozu-Furuichi Kofun located on the outskirts of Osaka. This practice would be dated from the 3rd to the 7th century. The identity of those buried remains a mystery today. But weapons, armors, and tools were discovered that demonstrating the technological and military power had already very advanced at the time.
6. The Sado Island Gold Mine
7. Amami Oshima, Tokunoshima, the northern part of Okinawa Island and Iriomote Island