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9 Fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Experiences!

— Discover the two world heritage sites, five festivals, and two cultures registered by UNESCO north of Tokyo —

(Click on the images below to find out more)

① Visit the Shrines and Temples of Nikko

Japanese: 日光の社寺(栃木県)

😌Immerse yourself in the 🏔️ breathtaking beauty and rich culture of Nikko!

👀Come and marvel at the splendid carvings and magnificent 17-century ⚒architecture of  ⛩Nikko Toshogu Shrines and Temples while strolling through the beautiful deep 🌲forest setting.

There is much to offer in Nikko. From 🏞nature and culture experiences, such as visiting the famous Kegon waterfall and lakes, trecking through ❄️winter mountains to see frozen waterfalls or observing precious 🐾species in protected 🌱marshland in the summer 🌙evenings as well as ️relaxing in amazing hot springs(onsen) and visiting 🏺museums.

 

55 buildings including 8 national treasures and 34 important cultural properties are registered as the UNESCO World Heritage site of Shrines and Temples of Nikko.

2301 Sannai, Nikko-shi, Tochigi 321-1431

All Year round

1-2 days (including surrounding areas)

JR Nikko Station, Tobu Nikko Station

Taxi 5min, 

Bus 10min, 

Walk 30min 

from either station

+81-288-22-1525
(Nikko Tourism)

This information was correct at the time of publishing, but please check with the attractions and/or the tourist board before traveling.

② Visit the Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites

Japanese: 富岡製糸場と絹産業遺産群(群馬県)

👘Come Visit The Historic Tomioka Silk Factory!!🐛

👀Let these beautifully preserved 🏛️historic buildings transport you into the past❗

⚒️⚒️Built by the 🎌Japanese government in 1872, the 🏭silk mills of Tomioka are the largest silk mills of their time and played a huge part in the modernization of Japan.

😃Enjoy an excursion through this 🌏UNESCO World Heritage Site and learn about how the industrial revolution in the western world brought about change to the 🏭silk-making industry in Tomioka and how it changed lives of local 🚶workers living in the surrounding 🏠villages!

1-1 Tomioka, Tomioka-city, Gunma Pref. 370-2316 Japan

All Year round

Take the Jyouetsu Shinkansen / Hokuriku Shinkansen to JR Takasaki Station. Then take Jyoshin Dentestsu Railway to Nishi-Tomioka Station

Nishi-Tomioka Station

10min walk from Nishi-Tomioka Station

Tomioka Tourism Association

+81-274-62-6001

This information was correct at the time of publishing, but please check with the attractions and/or the tourist board before traveling.

③ Kawagoe Festival
(UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage)

Japanese: 川越まつり(埼玉県)

🔥Battle of the Floats!

Feel the True Japanese 🎉Festival Spirit in a Historical District

Come join us at one of the liveliest 🎉festivals in Japan this fall!

Known for its thrilling 🔥“competition” of massive floats, the Kawagoe Festival is held on the third Sunday of October and the day before (Saturday) this year. The bustling festival reaches its climax when the ✨magnificent floats 👏🏻challenge each other along with traditional festival 🎶music performance. The splendid floats, epic performances, and the ✨lively celebration will surely be a 📷memorable Japanese festival experience!

The area is also known as “Koedo (Little 👘Edo)” because of its traditional architecture, adding a unique vibe to this 370-year-old festival!

2-1-10 Motomachi, Kawagoe-city, Saitama Pref. 350-0062 Japan

All Year round

Take the Jyouetsu Shinkansen / Hokuriku Shinkansen to JR Takasaki Station. Then take Jyoshin Dentestsu Railway to Nishi-Tomioka Station

JR Kawagoe Station or Tobu Kawagoe-Shi Station

10min walk from JR Kawagoe Station or Tobu Kawagoe-shi Station

Kawagoe Tourism Association

+81-49-225-2727

This information was correct at the time of publishing, but please check with the attractions and/or the tourist board before traveling.

④ Chichibu Night Festival
(UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage)

Japanese: 秩父夜祭(埼玉県)

✨A Night to Remember!

Witness Dazzling 🎆Fireworks at a Colorful 🏮Night Festival!

Praised as one of the ✨top three float festivals in Japan, the Chichibu Night Festival is perfect for your winter experience in Japan! This 300-year-old 🎉festival is held every year on the 2nd and 3rd of December. 

The exquisitely carved floats, charming paper 🏮lanterns, and the stunning 🎆fireworks bring vivid colors to the winter night full of 🍡festivities. Watch out for the Kabuki performances staged on the floats!

The highlight is the evening of the 3rd, when the floats are pulled all the way up on the Dangozaka hill — a cue for the 🎆fireworks to start!

This information was correct at the time of publishing, but please check with the attractions and/or the tourist board before traveling.

⑤ Hitachi Sakura Festival
(UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage)

Japanese: 日立さくらまつり/日立風流物(茨城県)

🌸🎎🌸Come enjoy the cultural treasures of Hitachi among the Sakura!!🌸🎎🌸

🏮🎎🏮🎎A UNESCO Intangible Cultural Treasure!🎌 Watch the incredible five layer stage fold out atop the floats, bringing heroic battles to life before your eyes!✨ 

At over 15 meters tall, the giant floats tower above you in an incredible display!👏 The music will transport you as they show comedic folktales through music and puppetry, as the 🌸Sakura🌸 creates a magical pink curtain around you. 🎭With shows in the front and back, there’s no way to miss the exciting performances!🎭

This is an incredible Japanese cultural experience absolutely not to be missed!🏮🎎🏮🎎

This information was correct at the time of publishing, but please check with the attractions and/or the tourist board before traveling.

⑥ Karasuyama Yamaage Festival
(UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage)

Japanese: やまあげ祭り(栃木県)

👹👸🏻Come Watch Dynamic Kabuki on a Stunning Outdoor Stage!🎨🎋

🎎This outdoor kabuki spectacle which is a ‘UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Event’ is worth a very special trip!

Watch as the people of Karasuyama construct a beautiful outdoor stage of 🎋bamboo and washi (traditional paper) and perform ancient legends! 🏯This festival is over 450 years old and is said to have started when the lord of Karasuyama castle wanted to ward off a terrible disease.

Join us in watching these legends of daring escapes and intrigue and be awed by the majesty of the backdrops, which are broken down and moved several times throughout each day.

This information was correct at the time of publishing, but please check with the attractions and/or the tourist board before traveling.

⑦ Kanuma Autumn Festival
(UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage)

Japanese: 鹿沼秋祭り(栃木県)

👀Come Watch the 💥💥Clash of the Taiko Drums on Hand Carved Wooden Floats!

🎌A UNESCO Intangible Folk Cultural Asset!🎌

This two-day festival celebrates peace and a good harvest while still having reverence for the difficulties of the past. 🏯 Along with the usual mikoshi (portable shrines) Yatai, or hand-carved elaborate wooden floats parade through the streets, but watch out!

🎶The taiko (Japanese drum) musicians riding on each float battle their drums against each other as they pass, sending your heart rate sky-high as the drums 💥thunder around you! Once night falls, these battles are illuminated against a stunning backdrop of fireworks, making a scene straight out of a postcard. This is an amazing and unique festival not to be missed!

This information was correct at the time of publishing, but please check with the attractions and/or the tourist board before traveling.

⑧ Yūki-tsumugi
(UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage)

Japanese: 結城紬(栃木県)

✨Weaving, ✨Wearing, and ✨Witnessing traditional Japanese 👘Silk!

Come experience the craft of Yūki-tsumugi, the traditional silk fabric cherished in Oyama and Yuki City! Known for its soft and warm texture, the Yūki-tsumugi is made into kimonos of ✨premium quality.

The best part is that you get to try out handmade 👘kimonos at the Oyama Honba Yuki-tsumugi Craft Museum and 📷walk around the city! (See this page for the Kimono experience!)

This museum also offers ⭐weaving workshops and yarn spinning workshops for beginners as well as displaying information in English to help overseas visitors understand what makes this craft so special. Why not use this opportunity to participate in this 😍mesmerizing craft that has been passed down from generation to generation!

This information was correct at the time of publishing, but please check with the attractions and/or the tourist board before traveling.

⑨ Hosokawa Washi Paper
(UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage)

Japanese: 細川和紙(埼玉県)

😍Fun Workshops to Experience

The ✨Magic of Japanese Paper Making

Come to 🌄Ogawa Town and Higashi Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture to learn about and experience the art of “Hosokawa Washi” making!

🌲“Washi,” or Japanese paper, is a true example of Japanese traditional craft — the spectacular skills have been passed down from generation to generation over a ✨thousand years.

The 🌲“Hosokawa Washi” is especially known for its high water-resistance, and has been cultivated in this region surrounded by the beautiful 🌄Chichibu mountains. At places like 😍“Washi-no-Sato” in Higashi Chichibu, you can experience the Washi making in addition to soba-making, not to mention their yummy 🍚🍵local food!

This information was correct at the time of publishing, but please check with the attractions and/or the tourist board before traveling.

9 Fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Experiences near Tokyo

Not what you’re lookig for?

How about Bungee jumping or Sky divingSkiing and SnowboardingHiking / Trecking?

Or Cycling in the coutryside near Tokyo?

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