World Heritage Sites in Japan

World Heritage sites are designated by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), whose aim is to promote the preservation and growth of the world’s intellectual and cultural property. Japan currently has 19 World Heritage sites and most are very accessible for budget travellers.

Koyasan

Koyasan will really take your breath away. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a town of Buddhist temples...

Ginkaku-ji Temple

Ginkaku-ji (Temple of Shining Mercy) is a stunning Zen Buddhist temple and a highlight of any...

Kiyomizudera Temple

One of the most celebrated Buddhist temples in Kyoto and a UNESCO World Heritage site....

Kamigamo Shrine (FREE)

Kamigamo Shrine (上賀茂神社), twinned with Shimogamo Shrine to the south, is an important Shinto shrine...

Toji Temple

Toji Temple (東寺) is one of the two 'guardian temples' that was built when Japan's capital was...

Shimogamo Shrine (FREE)

Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社), linked to the northern Kamimono Shrine, is part of the world heritage...

Miyajima

Miyajima is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site near Osaka and Hiroshima.  It's often near the top of the list...

Uji

Uji (宇治) is a popular tourist spot known for it's many centuries old shrines and...

Nara

Nara iorr a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of great shrines and temples, not far from Kyoto...

Shikina-en Garden

Shikina-en Garden (識名園), another unique World Heritage site in Okinawa, is a stunning garden containing...

Yakushima – Japan’s top hiking experience

Yakushima (屋久島) is a World Heritage listed subtropical island in southern Kyushu. It is usually...

Honganji Temples (FREE)

The Honganji temples, consisting of Nishi Honganji (west temple) and Higashi Honganji (east temple), are large Buddist...

Mount Fuji

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the view from the top of Mount Fuji has...

Ninna-ji Temple

Ninna-ji Temple (仁和寺) is yet another awesome World Heritage listed temple in Kyoto. The temple was founded...

Himeji

Himeji is most famous for it's castle, which became a World Heritage Site in 1995....

Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

Shirakawa-go (白川郷) and nearby Gokayama (五箇山) are secluded World Heritage villages known for their vernacular farmhouse-style houses...

Ryoanji Temple

Ryoanji Temple (龍安寺), meaning The Temple of the Dragon at Peace, is a World Heritage listed "dry...

Hiroshima

Hiroshima (広島) can be an extremely emotional, sad place, but it's one that must be...

Shurijo Castle

Shurijo Castle Park (首里城公園) is a world heritage listed national park and castle near Naha...

Nijo Castle

Another UNESCO World Heritage site, Nijo castle is another must see in Kyoto.  The free...

Daigoji Temple – the forgotten World Heritage site of Kyoto

Daigoji Temple (醍醐寺) is a picturesque Buddhist temple in south Kyoto. While a bit run...

Nikko

One of Japan's many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Nikko is a great way to spend...

Tenryuji Temple

Tenryuji Temple (天龍寺) is ranked as one of Kyoto's top temples and a World Heritage site. The large, but...

Kinkaku-ji Temple

Kinkaku-ji Temple, AKA Temple of the Golden Pavilion, is something you really have to see with...

Hiraizumi

While Japan's other World Heritage sites get more attention, Hiraizumi (平泉) is the one to...