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Lesson Transcript

Talking Japanese Culture, Season 1, Lesson 14 –
Top 5 Must-visit World Heritage Sites in Japan
Hello, and welcome back to JapanesePod101.com.
I’m Eric.
In this lesson we will talk about the ​"Top 5 Must-visit World Heritage Sites in Japan".
The first topic on the list is Japan’s eco 
paradise island, called (J: Yakushima).

This subtropical island is part of Kagoshima 
Prefecture, off the southern coast of Kyushu. 
Often called the “Galapagos of the East”, 
it is covered by dense and ancient cedar forest 
including a 7,200 year-old Jomon Cedar Tree.
The trek to this tree is quite long, taking 
about 10 hours, but it is well worth the 
The island also boasts about 200 species of 
indigenous plants that are only found here.

The next topic on the list is one of Japan’s most 
beautiful and unexplored peninsulas, called (J: 

This peninsula is situated on the eastern edge of 
Hokkaido, and it is very popular among tourists
during winter when the ocean is filled with drift 

But don’t miss out on its “8 breathtaking views”, which are as magnificent as their names suggest. One such example is the (J: Kamuiwakka no taki) or kamuiwakka Falls, where you will be treated to the rare view of a hot spring waterfall.
The next topic is Shirakami Mountain 
Range, known as (J: Shirakami Sanchi).

This is an extensive mountain range stretching over 
the border between Aomori and Akita in 
northern Japan.

The vast area is covered by untouched primeval  
beech forest which is also a home to precious 
animals and plants. Walking deep into the forest 
will leave you with a wonderful feeling of peace 
and calmness.

Keep in mind, however, that entry to most of this 
protected “core zone” requires a permit.
The next topic is the remote mountain 
villages in Gifu, called (J: Shirakawa-go).

These villages are well-known for their houses that 
are built with steep thatched roof, known as 
(J: Gassho Zukuri) or “Gassho-style”. The word 
(J: Gassho) actually means “hands in prayer”.
The steeply-sloped roofs demonstrate the wisdom of farmers in the old days, as they were designed to help snow slip off and prevent the houses from being crushed in this region of heavy snowfall.

Last but not least is the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima (J: Genbaku Dome).
This dome is the only structure left standing around 
ground zero of the first atomic bomb which exploded on August 6, 1945.

Everything within 2 kilometers of the hypocenter 
was completely destroyed due to the blast 
and heat of some 3,000 degrees celsius.
The A-bomb dome had been used as the Hiroshima 
Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. But 
most parts were blown away and only the dome 
part remains now.
That’s all we have for this lesson.
As of 2014, they are 18 World Heritage sites in Japan. Which one do you think is a must-see?  
Leave us a comment and let us know!
Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time. Until then, bye!


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