The Top Ten Landmarks in Japan – From the Historical to the Modern!

There are a lot of famous buildings in the world. Japan has its share of beautiful buildings; from the historical to the modern, let us introduce our 10 favorites!

First, our top 5 historical edifices!
1. Kiyomizu dera
The first one is from numerous temples and shrines. Kiyomizu dera is a temple located in Kyoto. It was built in the Nara period and overhauled in 2003. The gate at its entrance and three-storied pagoda are beautiful, but the most splendid one is the main hall that looks like a stage. The hall built pushing out on the precipice looks dynamic and attractive.

2. Kumamoto Castle (Kumamoto jo)
Kumamoto Castle is located in Kumamoto prefecture as the name shows. It was built in the early Edo period and selected among the top three castles in Japan. The stone wall that is 20m high to repel the enemy attacking from outside and the gorgeous interior like a room where the ceiling and all the walls are applied with gold leaves, you can see them all day.

3. Kaminarimon
Kaminarimon is a gate towering at the entrance of Senso ji temple in Asakusa, Tokyo. There are Fujin (the god of the winds) on the right and Raijin (the god of thunder) on the left towering inside the gate as you faced it and a huge paper lantern which is 3.9m high, 3.3m in diameter and about 700kg in weight is hung on the center. It is the symbol of Asakusa.

4. Gassho zukuri
Gassho zukuri is the traditional style of Japanese architecture. The specific shape of thatched roofs that are steep to both sides looks like Gassho that means to hold palms and fingers of both hsnds together. Why those roofs are so steep is said to be able to make it easy to clear the snow in a snowy area or to make it well drained from the rain.

5. Hiroshima Peace Memorial
Hiroshima Peace Memorial known as Genbaku Dome is in Hiroshima prefecture. At the time of World War Ⅱ, when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and buildings all over Hiroshima city were broken, it survived by a miracle. With a wish of never to repeat such a tragedy, it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Next, the 5 selected modern buildings!
1. Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree

Needless to say, they are noted places in Japan, aren’t they? Both of them are radio towers and transmitting radio waves of digital televisions or radios in the Kanto region. Tokyo Tower is 333m high and Tokyo Skytree is 634m high. Each of them lights up beautifully at night!

2. Tokyo Station
Tokyo Station is the starting point of the travel from Tokyo to various places. It was built in 1914, but partly broken by war and restored. By the technique at that time, however, it could not be restored completely. In 2012, with the advanced technology it was restored to original beautiful redbrick building for the first time in about a hundred years. It is the best station in Japann with splendid exterior and interior.

3. Seto Ohashi
Seto Ohashi is almost the longest bridge in the world connecting the main island of Japan (Okayama prefecture) to Shikoku (Kagawa prefecture) over the Seto Naikai or Inland Sea. It consists of ten bridges and 12,300m long in all. There are a road on the upper part and a track on the lower part. The white big straight bridge on the beautiful blue sea is splendid!

It is the fifth Japanese national art museum opened at Roppongi in 2007. It was designed by Japanese famous architect Kurokawa Kisho. The exterior all glassed and waved is modern and beautiful, isn’t it?

5. Umeda Sky Building
Umeda Sky Building is located in Umeda, Osaka. It is 173m high, with forty stories above ground level and two beneath. It consists of two skyscrapers named tower east and tower west. The Floating Garden Observatory placed on the tops of the two skyscrapers is a specific structure. From its looks, it is called Future Arc de Triomphe.

Each of them is splendid. Be sure to go and see there when you come to Japan!

Photo by earth-tronic, JAKUTAKU, みのやん, duncan-su, 群青色のライオン, ひらおさつばさ, photoland, acwork, Takuma Kimura, Dick Thomas Johnson

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