Let's go on a trip to Japan's World Heritage Site

 Let's go around the popular World Heritage Sites

In recent years, the number of spots registered as World Heritage Sites has increased one after another in Japan. Transportation has been improved, so it will be easier for us to visit. Therefore, it can be said that World Heritage Sites are much closer than before.

This time, we will introduce some of the most popular World Heritage sites in Japan. "Tomioka Silk Mill and Silk Industry Heritage Group", which was at the forefront of modernization of Japan, "Shirakawa-go / Gokayama Gassho-zukuri Village" with impressive triangular roofs lined up in heavy snowfall areas, and the restoration work is finished and it is pure white "Himeji Castle" reborn with a unique appearance, "Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Atomic Bomb Dome)" that conveys the tragedy that Japanese people must never forget, "Yakushima" protected by cedars over 1000 years old, etc. Embark on a diverse world heritage journey that blends nature and history!

Activities of female workers-Tomioka Silk Mill and silk industry heritage group-

"Tomioka Silk Mill and Silk Industry Heritage Group" is a general term for industrial heritage related to the silk industry in Tomioka Silk Mill in Tomioka City, Gunma Prefecture and the surrounding cities and towns.

Japan has been exporting raw silk since the Edo period, but I was worried that the quality was gradually decreasing. Therefore, the Meiji government tried to revive the raw silk industry through the breeding industry promotion policy. Therefore, the Tomioka Thread Mill was a government-owned factory built in 1872 by introducing French technology.

Buildings such as a reeling station, a cocoon storage, a water tank, and a dormitory for French engineers are left on the large site. The operation was suspended in 1987, but the owner, Katakura Industries Co., Ltd., preserved its appearance as it was at that time, so it looks as if it had stopped yesterday.

It was women who played an active part here. The female workers, who were mainly the daughters of the former samurai, became the driving force for Japan to become the world's largest exporter of raw silk through their efforts. Female workers are graded according to their skill level, and when it comes to first-class female workers, their treatment and clothes are better, so I was longing for them.

In Isesaki City, there is Tajima Yahei's old house, which has established a method for raising silkworms. Since descendants still live here, you can only visit the garden.

The site of Takayama-sha, which developed Tajima Yahei's sericulture method in Fujioka City, is open to the public as the "Takayama-sha site". There is a guide in this place, which is also called "the headquarter of sericulture nationwide", so it is perfect for understanding the sericulture industry at that time.

In Shimonita Town, there is a wind hole "Arafune Cold Storage" that stores cocoons. At that time, it was necessary to have a place where natural cold air blows to store the cocoons.

The operation of the Tomioka Thread Mill was the start of modernization in Japan. Our current life is supported by such an industrial heritage, isn't it?

Gassho-zukuri village in Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

The Hagimachi district of Shirakawa-mura, Ono-gun, Gifu Prefecture is called "Shirakawa-go", and the gassho-zukuri village in the Ainokura and Suganuma districts of Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture is called "Gokayama" and is registered as a World Heritage Site. increase.

Known as one of Japan's most heavy snowfall areas, there are many houses with steep triangular roofs called gassho-zukuri. It seems that this slope is used to prevent the house from being crushed by snow. This will reduce the burden of removing snow.

It is said that the prototype of the village was formed at the end of the 17th century and in the middle of the Edo period. It seems that there were more than 1800 houses in the 1800s, but due to depopulation, the number of cases currently registered as World Heritage Sites in Gassho-zukuri is 59 in Shirakawa-go, 20 in Gokayama Ainokura area, and 9 in Suganuma area. It has decreased to the ridge.
The characteristic gassho-style roof is thatched, and it is fixed with ropes without using nails. This is to prevent the roof from being damaged by metal corrosion. Re-roofing requires manpower, but the traditional spirit of mutual aid in the local area called "Yui" is alive, and it seems that it will be completed in one day if all the villagers do it. This traditional spirit was also evaluated when it was registered as a World Heritage Site.
In the high attic of the gassho-zukuri, sericulture and papermaking were carried out to make smoke glass, which is the raw material for gunpowder. The reason why the gassho-style house is large is also because of this kind of domestic industry, and because all the relatives and all the servants who are responsible for it lived together.

Both Shirakawa-go and Gokayama have an atmosphere that embodies the good old days of Japan, and you may feel as if you were lost in the world of old tales.
Surrounded by blessed nature, you can always see the beautiful scenery of the four seasons. Cherry blossoms bloom in spring and are surrounded by deep greenery in summer. In autumn, the autumnal mountains and thatched roofs are wonderful, and the water discharge by fire prevention training is a feature of this area.
The most beautiful is the winter scene that is unique to heavy snowfall areas. The sight of the snow-covered gassho-style houses lit up is even fantastic.

At Gokayama, you can experience staying in a gassho-zukuri style. You can enjoy the famous Gokayama tofu and char in the hearth, and you can also experience Japanese paper making.
In addition, there are plenty of accommodations and restaurants around Shirakawa-go, so it's a good idea to use them.

Why don't you experience the good old Japanese scenery in Shirakawa-go and Gokayama? There is no doubt that you will forget even the passage of time and stare at it.

Reborn Shirasagi Castle-Himeji Castle-

Himeji Castle, which represents Japanese castle architecture, was registered as Japan's first world cultural heritage along with Horyuji Temple in Nara in 1993.

In recent years, the wall has been reborn as pure white because the repairs in Heisei have been completed. This wall is a technique called white plaster full-painted basket making.
Himeji Castle is also known as "Hakurojo / Shirasagijo". There are several theories as to the reason for this.

1. In contrast to Okayama Castle, which has a black wall
2. Because Himeyama, where the castle was built, is also called Sagiyama
3. Because the appearance of the castle is like a flying egret
4. Because a lot of night herons, a kind of heron, have lived for a long time
And so on.
The prototype of Himeji Castle was raised in 1333 by Prince Akamatsu Norimura, the guardian of Harima Province (southwestern Hyogo Prefecture), in response to Prince Moriyoshi, who raised the Kamakura Shogunate. It all started with the construction of a fort in Himeyama on the way to Kyoto.
In 1580, Yoshitaka Kuroda (Kuroda Yoshitaka: Kanbei Kuroda, Josui), who participates in the castle, presented it to Hideyoshi Hashiba as a base. Hideyoshi built a castle tower with a major renovation, renamed the castle to Himeji Castle, and built a castle town.
The current chalk castle is due to a major renovation by Terumasa Ikeda, who became the owner of the castle after the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. After that, Senhime, who was Toyotomi Hideyori's regular room, lived with her newly-married Honda Tadatoki.

After that, the castle owner changed many times, but the biggest crisis of Himeji Castle came in the Meiji era. The Meiji government issued an abolition order for castles nationwide. Himeji Castle barely escaped the abandonment, but it became an army position and gradually became rough. However, the activities of Colonel Nakamura Shigeto paved the way for conservation and repair, which later led to the citizens' conservation movement.
There are many attractions on the large site of Himeji Castle.
The Hishimon Gate at the entrance to the castle is the largest and heaviest gate in the castle. If you go through here, you will be able to see Himeji Castle.
From Nishimaru to Decorative Turret, Senhime, who married her second husband, Tadatoki Honda, worshiped Otokoyama in the northwest of the castle. She built Otokoyama Tenmangu Shrine and is still a place of connection. By the way, the marriage between Senhime and Tadatoki was short, but she was very close to each other.

The castle tower of Himeji Castle, where you can see the elegance of its appearance even from a distance, is a system called a simultaneous castle tower. The large castle tower on the 5th and 7th floors and the three small castle towers, East, West, and Inui, are connected by a turret. The height of the castle tower is 92m above sea level, which is a skyscraper class. It can be said that the majesty of Himeji Castle is symbolized by the white plastered white walls.
Also, I would like you to pay attention to the curve of the stone wall. A beautiful arc with a gentle bottom and a steep angle as it goes up is called the "fan gradient" because it seems to have spread the fan. This is done to prevent foreign enemies from climbing.

It's nice to walk around with the pamphlets, but if you have a smartphone or tablet, a very useful app has been released. You can see explanations and videos of Himeji Castle, and you can get to know Himeji Castle more fun and easily.
The beautiful appearance of Himeji Castle remains in modern times because it has never been the stage of the battlefield for 400 years since its construction, and it is also close to a miracle. You might think that it has some mysterious power.

Himeji Castle has many folklore.
The Okiku Well in the corner is an anecdote of Bancho Sarayashiki, and it is said that the maid Okiku was thrown into it. Perhaps you can hear the voice of a chrysanthemum counting dishes from the bottom of the well, saying "Ichimai, Nimai ...".
In the past, a monster called Osakabehime lived in the castle tower, and she appeared once a year to predict the future of the castle.
There is also folklore related to it. It is said that when Miyamoto Musashi was young, he was ordered to exterminate the youkai who settled in the castle tower, and when he drove him away, Princess Jinbe appeared and gave her a wonderful sword as a thank-you.

With many folklore, miracles, and the efforts of many people, Himeji Castle still looks beautiful to us during the cherry blossom season. It is also lit up after sunset, so you will want to visit it many times. White plaster gradually becomes less vivid over time, so if you want to see the pure white Himeji Castle, please do so as soon as possible!
Pray for Peace-Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Atomic Bomb Dome)-
At 8:15 am on August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb dropped by the U.S. military fighter Enola Gay exploded over Hiroshima, and a blast and a fierce battle destroyed the entire city in an instant. ..

The Atomic Bomb Dome (Hiroshima Peace Memorial) is located just 160 meters from the hypocenter. However, the skeleton of the outer wall and the dome still remains, and it still conveys the devastation of the atomic bomb.
It is called "negative heritage" in the world heritage, and it has a meaning as a lesson to remember the mistakes made by human beings and not to repeat them again.

The Atomic Bomb Dome was built in 1915 by the Czech design of Jan Letzel. The brick European-style building was very rare in the cityscape of Hiroshima at that time. At first, it opened as the Hiroshima Prefectural Product Exhibition Hall, but when the atomic bomb was dropped, it was named the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall.

After the atomic bombing in 1945, the city quickly turned into dust, but the dome and walls of the Industrial Promotion Hall remained. It seems that this is because the shock wave was from almost directly above. However, the people inside the building died instantly.

After the war, citizens began to call the Industrial Promotion Hall the Atomic Bomb Dome. A voice that did not want to remember the painful experience of the atomic bombing came up with a plan to demolish it, but on the other hand, there was also a voice that the atomic bomb dome was a means to convey the misery of the atomic bomb, and in 1966 it was permanently preserved by the Hiroshima City Council. Decided.
In 1996, the abolition of nuclear weapons, the permanent peace of the world, and the spirit of "No More Hiroshima" transmitted by the Atomic Bomb Dome were evaluated and registered as a World Heritage Site.
Every year on August 6th, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony is held at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park to pray for memorial services and world peace. You can see the Atomic Bomb Dome through the Atomic Bomb Memorial in the center of the park, and every time you pray, you will be strongly conscious of peace and you will feel tight.
In addition, there is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (Atomic Bomb Museum) in the park, where you can learn about the situation at that time. By all means, this is a place you should visit at least once.
There are many other monuments and statues around the Atomic Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park. There is also a statue of the Children's Peace Monument, known for offering a thousand paper cranes.

The Atomic Bomb Dome is lit up, so you can enjoy a fantastic view at night. On the night of August 6th, lanterns are washed away in the Motoyasu River on the immediate side, and many people throw colorful lanterns with the thought of peace and memorial service. The appearance is not beautiful, but it strikes my heart.

As a World Heritage Site in Japan, I would like to make a candidate first.

The stage of "Princess Mononoke" -Yakushima-

Yakushima floats about 70 km south of the southernmost tip of Kyushu (Osumi Peninsula, Kagoshima Prefecture). The size is about 500㎢, which is about the size of the 23 wards of Tokyo. About 90% of the island is covered with forest, making it an island rich in nature.

In addition, the island is lined with mountains with an altitude of over 1000 m, and Yakushima is sometimes called the "Ocean Alps." In the center of the island is Mt. Miyanoura (1,936m), the highest peak in the Kyushu region, and about 20% of the island including this is registered as a World Heritage Site.

Yakushima is known for its heavy rain, because the moist winds from the sea hit high-altitude mountains and cause it to rain. In addition, although it belongs to the subtropical climate in terms of latitude, it changes as the altitude rises and the climate near the summit becomes subarctic, so the flora and fauna are quite diverse.
Speaking of Yakushima, Yakusugi is famous.
Yakusugi is a sugi that is unique to Yakushima and is over 1000 years old. It has been cherished as a sacred tree since ancient times.
The first is Jomon cedar, which is said to be 2000 to 7200 years old. It is a giant tree with a height of 30m and a trunk circumference of 16m. Known as a symbol of Yakushima, all visitors are looking for it, but since it is in the deep mountains, it is better to go with appropriate equipment.

There are many Yakusugi on the way to Jomon cedar.
The Wilson's Stump, named by Dr. Wilson, is a 3000-year-old stump. The inside is hollow and you can enter it, and when you look up from there, the stump looks like a heart, so it is very popular as a spot for fulfilling romance. By all means, I would like to take a picture and use it as a talisman.
Yakusugi called Daio cedar is also a big one. It was 3000 years old and was called the Great King because it was the largest Yakusugi cedar until Jomon cedar was found.

In addition, Shiratani Unsuikyo, a valley overgrown with trees, became famous for being the setting for the Ghibli movie "Princess Mononoke." The mossy rocks and the clear stream that flows between them are a different world that makes you forget that this is Japan.
If you want to see Yakusugi such as Jomon cedar, you will go on a trekking course. There are beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses, so it's better to equip them accordingly. As mentioned above, the route to Jomon cedar is very difficult, so please take into consideration your physical condition and physical fitness.

In addition, you can enjoy various activities on Yakushima. There are plenty of outdoor activities such as mountain climbing such as Mt. Miyanoura, diving in the beautiful sea, sea kayaking experience, and mountain climbing.
A hot spring is the perfect place to heal your tired body. Yakushima, where you can enjoy the sea and mountains, take a hot spring bath, and be surrounded by the sacred power of a World Heritage Site, is a recommended World Heritage spot for those who want to experience extraordinary life.
If you visit Japan's World Heritage Sites, your heart will be enriched
How was it?
If you take a look at Japan's World Heritage Sites introduced this time, you will be able to know more about the blessed nature and long history.
There are stories in miraculous nature and in historic buildings.
Some people may find the history of studying at school a little boring, but when you go around like a trip, you'll find it surprisingly smooth.

Knowing what you didn't know, or knowing more about what you knew, will nourish your mind. Especially if it is a World Heritage Site that the world can be proud of.
I would like to strongly convey that even if you cannot go to a World Heritage Site overseas, the World Heritage Sites in Japan are wonderful enough.