The government's bid to have a sacred area in western Japan registered as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site is being challenged by those who claim it reinforces gender discrimination.

Kiisanchi no Reijo to Sankeimichi (Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range and Surrounding Cultural Landscapes) has been proposed by the government to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a candidate heritage site.

The area encompasses the holy sites of Yoshino-Omine, Kumanosanzan and Mount Koya, and straddles Nara, Wakayama and Mie prefectures.