Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range

Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range

From the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range World Heritage Inscription: Set in the dense forests of the Kii Mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean, three sacred sites—Yoshino and Omine, Kumano Sanzan, Koyasan—linked by pilgrimage routes to the ancient capital cities of Nara and Kyoto, reflect the fusion of Shinto, rooted in …

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Video – Yakushima, Japan

Back in November 2007, I visited Yakushima Island in Japan. It is one of the most magical places I’ve visited during my travels. I created an audio slideshow of the photo I took on the island. Yakushima was the inspiration for the animated film Princess Mononoke. I’ve recently been working on some audio slideshows again …

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Go Oman!

I picked the right day to come to Oman. The night I arrived Oman beat Saudi Arabia in the Gulf Nations Cup in Soccer. The last two days everyone has been going nuts, wearing Omani flags and scarves, driving around with cars decked out in red, white and green, honking and cheering. I’m typing this …

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Shrines and Temples of Nikko

Shrines and Temples of Nikko - UNESCO World Heritage Site

From the World Heritage inscription for the Shrines and Temples of Nikko: 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. They are closely associated with the history of the Tokugawa Shoguns. Nikko is a day trip from Tokyo. …

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Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara

Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara World Heritage Site, Japan

From the World Heritage inscription for Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara: 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. The city’s historic monuments – Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and the excavated …

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Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area

Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area - UNESCO World Heritage Site

From the World Heritage Inscription of the Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area: 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. These masterpieces of wooden architecture are important …

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Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto

Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto - UNESCO World Heritage Site

From the World Heritage inscription for the 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. As the center of Japanese culture for more than 1,000 years, Kyoto illustrates …

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Himeji-jo, Japan

UNESCO World Heritage Site: Himeji-jo

From the the World Heritage inscription for Himeji-jo: Himeji-jo is the finest surviving example of early 17th-century Japanese castle architecture, comprising 83 buildings with highly developed systems of defense and ingenious protection devices dating from the beginning of the Shogun period. It is a masterpiece of construction in wood, combining function with aesthetic appeal, both …

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Itsukushima Shinto Shrine

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine UNESCO World Heritage Site, Japan

From the World Heritage inscription for the Itsukushima Shinto Shrine: 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. The present shrine dates from the 12th century and the harmoniously arranged buildings …

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