See Mount Fuji!
Still classed as an active volcano by geologists, despite not having erupted since 1707, Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan! Despite lying around 100km south-west of Tokyo, it can be seen from the Japanese capital on a clear day.
Mount Fuji is one of the country’s ‘Three Holy Mountains’, along with Mount Tate and Mount Haku, and is sacred to both Buddhists and Shintoists.
It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a national symbol of Japan. Mount Fuji has inspired poets and artists for centuries, placing it right at the heart of traditional Japanese culture - no trip to Japan is complete without a visit here.
Did you know? Mt. Fuji is actually three volcanoes in one – making it a stratovolcano! The bottom layer is made up of the Komitake volcano, the middle layer is the Kofuji volcano and the top layer, which is the youngest, is Fuji.
Visit the A-Bomb Dome!
Part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the A-Bomb Dome has been preserved in the same state it was left in after the US dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. It now stands as a reminder of the devastation and as a symbol of hope.
Commonly known as the Genbaku Dome, the building managed to retain its shape because the explosion was almost directly overhead. Because the blast was downward, the building’s vertical columns managed to resist and keep the Genbaku Dome standing when others were destroyed.
‘Little Boy’, as the bomb was codenamed, was dropped on Hiroshima at 8:15am on 6th August 1945 and possessed a force equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT.
Did you know?
Hiroshima was a target for the US because it had an important port on Honshu (Japan’s main island) and was also the headquarters of the Japanese Second General Army.
Visit Himeji Castle!
Widely considered Japan’s most spectacular castle, it has withstood earthquakes and survives in its original form, unlike many other Japanese castles.
The castle is nicknamed the ‘White Heron’ because it’s considered to resemble that animal taking flight. And recent renovations have seen this UNESCO World Heritage Site returned to its former glory.
And you can now download an app that will allow you to experience castle life in virtual reality as you explore!
Did you know?
Himeji Castle is famous for its complex defences, despite the fact that these have never been tested! There are paths that turn back on themselves, blind corners and trapdoors through which boiling water can be poured. And when it was built it had three moats – one of which was over a mile away from the castle!