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Monday, 9th May 2011
In Japan Travel News,

Hiraizumi could make World Heritage list

The historic Hiraizumi area in Iwate Prefecture, and the Ogasawara Islands off Tokyo have been recommended for inclusion on the Unesco World Heritage list, the Japanese government has said.

Following this submission, the two sites are expected to be approved by Unesco in Paris next month.

This would be particularly good news for Hiraizumi, as it would become the first cultural heritage site in Tohoku, a region that has been particularly affected by the March 11th earthquake.

The site features a cluster of temples and ruins left by the Oshu Fujiwara warrior family that ruled from the 11th to the 12th centuries, as well as Chusonji, a Buddhist temple known for its golden hall.

Visitors to Japan are also encouraged to visit the Ogasawara Islands, which are known as the Galapagos of the East for their unique ecosystem and various indigenous species.

If this site were to be included in the Unesco list, it would become Japan's fourth World Natural Heritage site and the first to be listed in six years since the Shiretoko area in eastern Hokkaido, which attained this honour in 2005.

Written by Kimberley Homer



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