The first UNESCO Japanese World Heritage Site was registered in 1993. There are now a total of 23 main World Heritage Sites in Japan, and many additional Temples, Shrines and gardens included in the World Heritage Cultural Assets of Ancient Kyoto.
1000 people that have visited Japanese World Heritage Sites in the last 3 years, were asked on which Japanese World Heritage they would like to visit once more. They ranked as follows, and I wonder which one you would like to visit again?
# 10 : Mt Fuji : The symbol of faith and source of art.
# 09 : Horyuji Temple – Nara : The oldest wooden structure in Japan.
# 08 : The Cultural Assets of Ancient Nara – Nara : A total of 8 symbolic and important shrines, temples and imperial palaces.
# 07 : Shiretoko – Hokkaido : Not an easy area to access, but is a Natural World Heritage area, and along with the white beach and sharp cliffs, there are many chances to see Japanese wildlife on land, along with whales and seals in the ocean.
# 06 : The Atomic Bomb Dome – Hiroshima : A precious location to relay the facts of war and atomic weapons.
# 05 : Shirakawago and Gokayama – Gifu / Toyama prefectures : A photogenic area to show the old style Japanese Houses. The roof of each house is steep and looks like 2 hands joined together praying.
# 04 : The Shrines and Temples of Nikko – Tojigi prefecture : Where the lavish and sacred shrine and burial area for the War Lord, Tokugawa Ieyasu is located.
# 03 : Himeji Castle – Hyogo Prefecture : Along with Horyuji Temple in Nara, Himeji Castle was also the first registered World Heritage site in Japan. The castle has 8 Japanese National Treasures and 74 Japanese Important Cultural Assets.
# 02 : The Cultural Assets of Ancient Kyoto – Kyoto / Uji / Otsu City : There are 17 registered World Heritage locations in Kyoto including the famous Kiyomizu Temple, Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle, and many more. As Kyoto was the capitol of Japan since 794 and her reign lasted for over 1200 years, Kyoto is known as the Cultural Capitol of Japan.
# 01 : Itsukushima Shrine – Hiroshima : One of the 3 most beautiful areas of Japan, and most photographed. The Shrine was built some 850 years ago, and has the famous Torii gate in the ocean.