Japan is a country rich in culture and history. The World Heritage Organization recognizes this and has awarded Japan a number of UNESCO World Heritage designations. Here, Japan Ski Experience listed five important sites you should not miss when traveling in Japan.
Located on the gorgeous and sacred island of Miyajima, the Itsukushima Shrine is regarded as one of the most beautiful shrines in all of Japan. Many tourists flock here for photos of one of Japan’s iconic images — the floating torii gate.
The shrine and torii gate are easily reached from Hiroshima and are definitely worth a trip. You can spend the day wandering the island, the shrine, and enjoy some local food specialties. If you want to get a picture of the gate “floating”, you need to check the tide schedule as the gate only appears to be floating during high tides, which vary by time of year.
A potentially emotional site for many, the Hiroshima Dome is the only remaining structure that predates the atomic bomb dropped in 1945 during World War II. The A-Bomb Dome is the focal point in the Hiroshima Peace Park. There is a World War II museum onsite, and you can easily spend an afternoon or full-day wandering the grounds and museum. Just a few streets away is the Hypocenter that shows the actual location the atomic bomb was dropped.
In Nara, you will find at least six shrines, temples, and other sites that make up the Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara. These historic monuments paint a clear picture of life in Japan around the 8th century A.D. and had a direct impact on future architectural development.
Many people only spend a day in Nara passing between Tokyo and southern Japan, but given the amount of history, Nara is worth more than just a day trip.
The Horyuji Temple is located near Nara. It is one of Japan’s oldest temples and was founded by Prince Shotoku, regarded as the person who brought Buddhism to Japanese culture. The pagoda and its gate date back to the 7th century and are the oldest surviving wooden structures in the world.
Japan is full of castles, but the one that many regard as the most beautiful is Himeji. Unlike many of the other castles in Japan, Himeji was never destroyed in any natural disasters or during war. Aside from the castle’s beauty itself, tourists flock to Himeji during springtime to see the cherry blossoms.