Tourism in Japan is at an all-time high. Although visiting a metropolis like Tokyo or Osaka is exciting, most people want to cross off at least a few of the extensive list of cultural heritage sites the country has to offer. This is where the Japan Heritage Official Site becomes a welcomed planning tool. With comprehensive lists, pre-planned itineraries, videos and VR experiences, the Japan National Tourism Organization has launched this website to explore Japan’s many heritage sites. For those who haven’t bought their Shinkansen tickets yet, this categorized list is a perfect way to brainstorm your dream destination.

The Murakami Kaizoku of the Geiyo Islands – Policemen Pirates of the Setonaikai Sea | Photo via the Cultural Properties Digital Content Download Site

Navigable Lists of Japanese Heritage Sites

One of the main features of this website is certainly the full list of Japanese heritage sites. Find locations through the website’s easily navigatable directory thanks to region and category filters. What’s more, every destination comes with a gallery of stunning photos, engaging titles, and detailed explanations of their cultural significance. 

If you’re planning a visit to the Shikoku region, for example, one click on the interactive map will give you all the sites you shouldn’t miss, from the Henro pilgrimage to the Geiyo Islands of the Setonai Sea. If you want to explore based on genre, the website has listed the heritage sites into four convenient categories: history and culture, nature, religion and beliefs, and cultural experiences.

Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine | Photo via the Cultural Properties Digital Content Download Site 

Enticing Itineraries

Itineraries can get a travel enthusiast excited like nothing else, but they’re not always the easiest thing to plan. The Japan Heritage Official Site, however, has done all the heavy lifting and curated thought-through itineraries for travelers to peruse. From the “Plan Your Visit” tab, you can search through half-day, one-day, two-day, or three-day trips to fit your travel schedule. 

Each itinerary gives you a story of the region, a run-down of the sites to see and other nearby sites, so you can curate your perfect trip. You can even find recommended routes and helpful information such as transportation options, activities, accommodations, and local specialties you should check out. With the “Plan Your Visit” feature, you get to pick and choose your favorite sites and routes, so you only have to do the fun parts of planning a trip. 

Three-story pagoda, Hoyoji Temple | Photo via the Cultural Properties Digital Content Download Site


It can be hard to get a sense of what your travel destination will be like when planning a trip online. The Japan Heritage Official Site takes away this hurdle by providing you with plenty of videos and VR clips so you can know for certain what to expect from the heritage site you choose to visit. Perfect for visual people, the video library offers beautifully shot and edited clips that give you a great understanding of the heritage sites. 

The website is linked with the Cultural Properties Digital Content Download Site, which gives you access to stunning, high quality images and videos of the heritage sites you’re interested in.

With so many heritage sites, it’s impossible to explore all that Japan has to offer in a short trip. However, the Japan Heritage Official Site makes it easier to explore options, plan trips and get educated on Japanese cultural heritages. If nothing else, the site can tickle your imagination and get you excited about how much of Japan remains for you to discover.