Do you know how many World Heritage Sites exist in Kansai, where includes Kyoto and Osaka ?
2 Nov 2023
Kansai is a center of Japanese culture.
The Kansai region, including Osaka and Kyoto, has been the historical heart of Japan for over a thousand years, with a rich tradition of cultural heritage that can be found throughout the area. Among Japan's approximately 13,000 designated Important Cultural Properties, 47% are located in Kansai. Kansai also accounts for about 56% of the country's National Treasures. Furthermore, out of Japan's 25 World Heritage Sites, 6 are located in Kansai, making it the epicenter of Japanese culture.
Kansai: A Journey to Explore Japanese Culture
In Europe, it's said that all roads lead to Rome. In Japan, it can be said that all roads lead to Kansai. This region, centrally located on Honshu-island, has always played a pivotal role in the country's history. In ancient times, it saw the creation of numerous colossal tombs associated with the Japanese imperial family's history, served as the political epicenter during the era of samurai, symbolized by castles like Himeji Castle. On the commercial front, it boasted significant ports that connected to other parts of the world. In the realm of religion, influential sects and temples shaping the spiritual and cultural fabric of the Japanese people are concentrated here. Nara's Todai-ji Temple, home to Japan's largest Great Buddha, is a symbol of this. Moreover, the largest Buddhist sect in Japan, Jodo Shu, has its headquarters in Kyoto. The head temples of Zen Buddhism are also located in Kyoto and Fukui. Shingon Buddhism places its head temple on Mount Koya, and Tendai Buddhism's head temple is at the summit of Mount Hiei, located between Kyoto and Japan's largest lake, Lake Biwa. In addition, the famous Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails on the Kii Peninsula, as well as the mountain paths leading to Shugendo, a fusion of Shinto, Taoism, and Buddhism, have their base in Yoshino, Nara, known for its cherry blossom-covered mountains. To fully savor the essence of Japanese culture that abounds in Kansai, one lifetime may not suffice, but taking small steps to get to know Kansai can be a lesson in your life's journey. Starting with the World Heritage Sites in Kansai might be a good way to begin, and the world is sure to be amazed by their presence.
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