National

Japan adds 16 properties, including a gold mine and Kansai-area temples, to its national heritage list

JIJI, Staff Report

The Cultural Affairs Agency on Monday announced 16 additions to its Japan Heritage list of tangible and intangible cultural properties that have been preserved based on unique regional histories and traditions, including narratives.

The list now contains 83 sets of properties in 46 of the country’s 47 prefectures, with only Tokyo lacking any listings.

The latest additions, from 21 prefectures, include the first entries from Okinawa, Kagoshima and Iwate.

The agency established the list in 2015 in an effort to promote tourism in the country by spotlighting the histories and traditions of its cultural properties. It plans to have the list include about 100 sets of properties by 2020.

Among the new additions are gold-related properties in the prefectures of Miyagi and Iwate, including the Chusonji temple’s gold-covered Konjikido hall in Iwate’s Hiraizumi, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Shishiori gold mine in Miyagi. The gold mine’s history was highly rated in particular.

The new additions also include 33 Buddhist temples scattered around the Kansai region — such as Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto — for traditional self-purifying pilgrimages, as well as salt production-themed properties in Ako in Hyogo Prefecture, whose history and culture were recognized as attractive to visitors from abroad.

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