World Heritage Sites in Japan

Nihon no Sekai Isan

There are 21 World Heritage Sites in Japan.

Shiretoko Hantoo



Shiretoko Peninsula is located in the northeast of Hokkaido which is the northernmost island of Japan. The site includes the land from the central part of the peninsula to its tip and the surrounding marine area.




Aomori & AKita prefecture

Situated in the mountains of northern Honshu island, this trackless site includes the last virgin remains of the cool-temperate forest of Siebold's beech trees that once covered the hills and mountain slopes of northern Japan.


Nikkoo no Bunkazai

Shrines and Temples of Nikko

Tochigi prefecture

The shrines and temples of Nikko, together with their natural surroundings, have for centuries been a sacred site known for its architectural and decorative masterpieces.



Mt. Fuji

Yamanashi & Shizuoka prefecture

Mt. Fuji, rising above the clouds, is the symbol of Japan and has provided a spiritual basis for the Japanese since ancient times.


Shirakawagoo & Gokayama Gasshoozukuri

Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

Gifu & Toyama prefecture

Located in a mountainous region that was cut off from the rest of the world for a long period of time, these villages with their Gassho-style houses subsisted on the cultivation of mulberry trees and the rearing of silkworms.


Kii Sanchi no Reijoo to Sankeidoo

Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range

Wakayama, Mie & Nara prefecture

Set in the dense forests of the Kii Mountains, three sacred sites - Yoshino and Omine, Kumano Sanzan, Koyasan - linked by pilgrimage routes to the ancient capital cities of Nara and Kyoto.


Kyoto no Bunkazai

Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto


Built in A.D. 794 on the model of the capitals of ancient China, Kyoto was the imperial capital of Japan from its foundation until the middle of the 19th century.


Nara no Bunkazai

Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara

Nara prefecture

Nara was the capital of Japan from 710 to 784. During this period the framework of national government was consolidated and Nara enjoyed great prosperity, emerging as the fountainhead of Japanese culture.


Nara no Hooryuu-ji

Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area

Nara prefecture

There are around 48 Buddhist monuments in the Horyu-ji area, in Nara Prefecture. Several date from the late 7th or early 8th century, making them some of the oldest surviving wooden buildings in the world.



Himeji castle

Hyogo prefecture

Himeji-jo is the finest surviving example of early 17th-century Japanese castle architecture, comprising 83 buildings with highly developed systems of defence and ingenious protection devices dating from the beginning of the Edo period.


Hiroshima Genbaku doomu

Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome)

Hiroshima prefecture

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome) was the only structure left standing in the area where the first atomic bomb exploded on 6 August 1945.


Itsukushima-jinja (Miyajima)

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine

Hiroshima prefecture

The island of Itsukushima, in the Seto inland sea, has been a holy place of Shintoism since the earliest times. The first shrine buildings here were probably erected in the 6th century.


Iwami Ginzan

Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and its Cultural Landscape

Shimane prefecture

The Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine in the south-west of Honshu Island is a cluster of mountains, rising to 600 m and interspersed by deep river valleys featuring the archaeological remains of large-scale mines, smelting and refining sites and mining settlements worked between the 16th and 20th centuries.


Ryuukyuu no Gusuku (castle)

Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu

Okinawa prefecture

Five hundred years of Ryukyuan history (12th-17th century) are represented by this group of sites and monuments. The ruins of the castles, on imposing elevated sites, are evidence for the social structure over much of that period, while the sacred sites provide mute testimony to the rare survival of an ancient form of religion into the modern age.




Kagoshima prefecture

Located in the interior of Yaku Island, at the meeting-point of the palaearctic and oriental biotic regions, Yakushima exhibits a rich flora, with some 1,900 species and subspecies, including ancient specimens of the Sugi (cedar).




Iwate prefecture

Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land comprises five sites, including the sacred Mount Kinkeisan.


Ogasawara Shotoo

Ogasawara Islands


The property numbers more than 30 islands clustered in three groups and covers surface area of 7,393 hectares. The islands offer a variety of landscapes and are home to a wealth of fauna, including the Bonin Flying Fox, a critically endangered bat, and 195 endangered bird species.


Tomioka Seishijoo

Tomioka Silk Mill

Gunma prefecture

Tomioka Silk Mill is the first model silk-reeling factory which Japanese government established in 1872. In the mid 19th century, Japan opened its doors to the world and began to trade with Western countries. The most important Japanese export to the West was raw silk.


Meiji Nihon no Sangyoo Kakumei Isan

Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution

8 prefectures

The site encompasses a series of twenty three component parts, mainly located in the southwest of Japan. It bears testimony to the rapid industrialization of the country from the middle of the 19th century to the early 20th century, through the development of the steel industry, shipbuilding and coal mining.


Kokuritsu Seiyoo Bijutsukan

National Museum of Western Art


The architectural work of Le Corbusier - Tokyo's Le Corbusier building and 16 other buildings designed by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier


"Kami Yadoru Shima" Munakata-Okinoshima

Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region

Fukuoka prefecture

Okinoshima Island has long attracted the devotion of the local population in the Munakata region, who possessed advanced nautical skills.

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