Photo: Montage by Niklas Wendt

A virtual journey to Japan’s historical treasures


Travel through the rich cultural history of Japan, visit castles, temples and shrines, see magnificent natural beauty, and learn about centuries-old traditional arts – all without even leaving home via the Japan Heritage website.

Presented by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and the Japan National Tourism Organization, Japan Heritage is a diverse selection of cultural properties designated by the agency, ranging from some of Japan’s most famous locations to hidden gems almost unknown outside Japan. Now, people around the world can travel to these sites in a moment, immersing themselves in the wonders of these prized cultural landmarks.

Key features of the Japan Heritage Official Site include:

・Stunning virtual reality and video content – visitors will feel as if they have actually journeyed to each location.

・Historical and cultural backgrounds are provided for each cultural property, helping visitors understand their true significance in the history of Japan.

・When an actual trip is possible, visitors can draw on the website’s rich store of travel-related information, including useful facts about hotels, local cuisine and hands-on activities.

Detailed information is currently available on seven Japan Heritage sites. Content for the remaining sites will be expanded in stages.

Digital Content Available for Free Download and Use

A wide array of materials on Japan Heritage and other cultural assets throughout Japan – including photographs, videos and explanatory texts – are available for download here (materials are available in both Japanese and English). The virtual reality, 4K, and 8K videos, in addition to other digital content found here, not only allow visitors to experience Japanese culture online, they can be freely shared by anyone.

All downloadable material may be used in accordance with the site’s Terms of Use and the applicable Creative Commons license.

Content is currently available for cultural assets in all 47 of Japan’s prefectures, with more digital content to be added in the future.

© Japan Today

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