5 must-see Unesco sites in Japan

The country’s heritage sites are rich in historical and cultural significance, but are also places of tremendous beauty.

From temples, shrines and castles, to islands and villages, Japan has it all. We’ve picked five must-see Unesco attractions from a remarkable total of 21 Unesco World Heritage sites in Japan.

Sacred Island of Okinoshima

A beautiful and sacred island in southwestern Japan – where naked male-only visitors can visit the shrine before going ashore during an annual festival in May – was declared a Unesco World Heritage site last year. Okinoshima, which preserves the tradition of worship on the island, is home to a huge collection of Japanese cultural assets, attesting to its importance as an early centre of international exchange with the people of the Korean Peninsula and China.

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