Popular Historic Sites Attractions in Japan

Senso-ji
Tokyo·Japan
4.5/5
4,445 Reviews
Temple
Historical Site
One of Tokyo’s oldest and most significant Buddhist temples, Senso-ji is located in the city’s Asakusa District. Dedicated to the Bodhisattva of compassion, the first temple was founded as far back as 645 CE. Destroyed during World War II, Senso-ji was eventually rebuilt and stands now as a symbol of rebirth and peace. Many small shops line the main street approaching the temple. It is a popular area for tourists and among the more well-known parts of Tokyo. Each spring a grand festival is held in and around Senso-ji. Over the course of a few days upwards of 2 million people visit the temple complex.
Nijo Castle
Kyoto·Japan
4.5/5
1,208 Reviews
Historical Architecture
UNESCO World Heritage-Cultural Site
Once the acting residence of the Tokugawa shoguns while in Kyoto, Nijo Castle is also serves as a symbol of the power of the Tokugawa Shogunate. The castle is surrounded by high walls and a moat, with the inside rooms connected by a corridor installed with the famous "nightingale floors". These floors were designed to make a chirping sound when walked upon so as to prevent intruding assassins at night. The castle opens in the evening during cherry blossom season, attracting flocks of visitors to view the magnificent cherry blossom trees.
Todaiji
Nara·Japan
4.6/5
977 Reviews
UNESCO World Heritage-Cultural Site
Temple
Todaij, located on the east side of Nara, boasts a history of over 1,200 years. As one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara, it has been listed as a World Cultural Heritage site. Jianzhen, an eminent monk of the Tang Dynasty in China, set up the temple here as the ordination hall for monks. The large bronze Buddha and the reconstructed East Hall are must-see attractions.
Hanamikoji
Kyoto·Japan
4.5/5
742 Reviews
Featured Neighborhood
Hanamikoji is located in the Gion district of Kyoto and is well known for its old streets. Geisha still live here today, and as night falls, tourists have a good chance of encountering one of Japan's living national treasures flitting past. The area has remained a stylish place ever since the Edo period, and it is one of the few places where geisha can still be seen.
Kasuga Grand Shrine
Nara·Japan
4.5/5
828 Reviews
UNESCO World Heritage-Cultural Site
A local Shinto shrine, Kasuga Grand Shrine has a history of thousands of years and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was founded by the powerful Fujiwara family and is dedicated to four guardian spirits of the Fujiwara family. It is now an important place of worship in Japan. White deer are said to be the messengers of gods, of which this site has many. Visitors here can walk among the deer along the Kasuga Grand Shrine omotesando and immerse themselves in the nature of the surrounding ancient trees.
Shuri Castle
Naha·Japan
4.5/5
924 Reviews
UNESCO World Heritage-Cultural Site
Shurijo Castle Park (including its facilities) has been partially opened from November 5th (Tuesday). Opened Facility, “Suimuikan”, is a Rest Center, which has General information center, restaurant, cafes, shops, and parking lots. Located in Naha, Okinawa, Shuri Castle was once the site of the capital and palace of the Ryukyuan Kingdom. In those days, the king of Ryukyu was known to handle state affairs, receive envoys, or hold important ceremonies here, and it has now been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. According to historical records, Shuri Castle was burned down and reconstructed several times, with today's castle a replica of the Chinese Tang dynasty style architecture that remained from the Second World War. The Ryukyu-style castle combines the architectural features of China, Japan and Okinawa. One of the most iconic buildings is the Chinese-style Shureimon Gate, the plaque on which is inscribed with "Nation of Propriety", which was given by the Chinese Emperor when conferring titles to the Ryukyu King.
Shirakawa Village
Shirakawa·Japan
4.7/5
338 Reviews
UNESCO World Heritage-Cultural Site
Ancient Settlement
Historic Villages of Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama is in the northwest of Gifu-ken. The houses are constructed in a characteristic manner. The shape is very sharp, like a hand joint, so it is called Gokayama Village. In Shiriwaka Town, there are houses built all in the same style, including Wada-ke House, the Shiroyama Observatory, and Shirakawa Yasaka Shrine. Most of the buildings here are still used as homes.
Ginkakuji
Kyoto·Japan
4.4/5
399 Reviews
Temple
UNESCO World Heritage-Cultural Site
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Ginkakuji was originally built as a villa for shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa and modeled after Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) The temple has two floors. The first floor, built in the same style as Saihoji Temple, is called Shinku-den, and the second floor Cho-onkaku is dedicated to Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. Despite its nickname as the Silver Pavilion, the exterior of the temple was never actually covered in silver, but rather painted white instead. The garden is comprised of the Silver Pavilion, Togudo Temple (East Seeking Hall), and a pond, accompanying a white sand garden representing the sea and waves.

Historic Sites in Japan