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Nikko

NikkĊ is best known for its spectacular shrines and temples built during the Tokugawa Shogunate, particularly the Tosho-gu Shrine, which is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu himself. Unlike the more austere shrines in other regions, the Nikko shrines are heavily carved and brightly decorated, and bear a particularly famous painting of a sleeping cat, as well…

Type: World heritage  |  Category: Kanto  |  Tags: , , , , , ,

Shirakawago

Although modern roads now make the traditional area of Shirakawa-go accessible in under an hour from the nearby city of Takayama, for many centuries the surrounding mountains and heavy winter snowfalls made the district nearly unreachable. Cut off from the rest of the country, the villagers at Shirakawa-go continued their traditional lifestyle until very recently,…

Type: World heritage  |  Category: Central Honshu  |  Tags: ,

Yakushima

Yakushima is a small subtropical island located off the southern coast of Kyushu and part of Kagoshima Prefecture. It is extensively covered by a cedar forest containing some of Japan’s oldest living trees, many of which are more than 1000 years old and are known as yakusugi. The most ancient of these trees are said…

Type: World heritage  |  Category: Kyushu  |  Tags: , , , ,