Japan Heritage is a joint endeavor by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and the Japan National Tourism Organization to introduce various cultural properties across Japan, from those famous around the world to hidden gems known only to a few. The official website features in-depth reports on the historical background of these properties, stunning virtual reality and video content, and a great deal more. Links are provided to download much of this content free of charge.
Travel through the ancient history of Japan, nurturing both mind and spirit as you delve deeply into this nation’s culture and savor the richness of its distinctive cuisine. Guided by the Luxury Travel pages of the official English website of the Japan Heritage Project, you can unwind in a traditional country villa or modern seaside resort and sample carefully selected local ingredients cooked to perfection.
As you enjoy a variety of activities, both at your accommodations and in the surrounding area, you will experience the essence of Japan and the cultural legacy that has been passed down through the generations. Japan Heritage also stands witness to the bold innovators who have shaped this nation over the centuries, driving it toward the future.
Japan Heritage Official English Site
Highlighting the harmony between history and nature
These unforgettable places are among the many destinations featured on the website:
1) Explore the spiritual mountains of Muro
Deep within tranquil mountains, you will feel the rejuvenating power of nature. Located in the hinterland of Nara Prefecture, whose namesake city was the capital of Japan in ancient times, the Muro area is replete with temples, shrines, and sacred sites that have endured for over a thousand years. Here you will glimpse the spiritual foundations of Japan’s diverse religious culture. Stay in a traditional wooden farmhouse, sample delicious local specialties by the hearth, and unwind with a private meditation session in the depths of a secluded valley.
2) Nakasendo: The path to a bygone era
An ancient path cuts through the picturesque countryside of Nagano Prefecture. This is the Nakasendo, a centuries-old mountain road traveled by countless samurai, monks, peasants, and even an emperor. Along this path you will discover local shops, hidden shrines, and breathtaking views.
A world away from the bright lights of Tokyo, the Kiso region of Nagano Prefecture allows visitors to discover a Japan that is straight out of a storybook. Stone paths, wooden buildings, and quaint post towns await those travelers lucky enough to be let in on the secret of the Kiso Valley. Here you can truly immerse yourself in the history of Japan, while staying in some of the most exclusive traditional lodgings in the nation.
3) Where land meets sea, discover the heritage of ama divers
Ise-Shima is home to many of Japan’s remaining ama divers, bold women who live in close harmony with nature. Plunging into the inky depths without any modern diving equipment, they rely on their expert knowledge of the sea and weather conditions to make their dives successfully. A typical catch includes abalone shells, turban shells, and seaweed, although the ama are careful never to take too much and disturb the delicate marine ecosystem. This form of sustainable fishing dates back to at least the 8th century, when ama divers were mentioned in the Man’yoshu poetry compilation, and was once practiced throughout Japan.
Today, visitors can join ama divers underwater as they practice their craft or sit with them in their amagoya huts where they rest after dives, grilling the fresh shellfish and imparting unique tales of ama life. The observation deck atop Mount Yokoyama offers expansive views of Ago Bay and its many islands.
The Japan Heritage Site (English version):