Tokyo is home to two of Japan’s 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are two others within easy daytrip distance of the city. Here are all the details on UNESCO World Heritage Sites in and around Tokyo.
National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo: picture cells / Shutterstock.com
World Heritage Sites in Tokyo:
While located within Tokyo Prefecture, this group of semi-tropical islands is actually only accessible by a 26-hour ferry that leaves from Hamamatsu Pier in the city. This is one of the most incredible off-the-beaten-track journey’s you can do in Japan. We plan to do a full feature on the islands in the future.
Minami-jima Island in the Ogasawara Islands: Kazumi Hirose / Shutterstock.com
National Museum of Western Art
Located up in Tokyo’s Ueno district, this museum is one of 17 structures designed by the Swiss-French architect that are collectively listed by UNESCO as “The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier” (all the others are located outside Japan). If you’re a fan of brutalist concrete structures and the work of Ando Tadao, you’ll probably like this building as well. Even if you don’t like the building itself, the collection is pretty strong. Click our page on the National Museum of Western Art for all the details.
Sculptures outside the National Museum of Western Art: Ned Snowman / Shutterstock.com
World Heritage Sites near Tokyo:
Shrines and Temples of Nikko:
An easy 2-hour train trip north of Tokyo, Nikko is one of the most incredible sights in Japan. The shrines and temples here are unlike anything else in the country; they’re the peacocks of Japan’s religious architects – bold, colorful and intense. Check our Nikko Day Trip Itinerary for all the details.
Toshogu Shrine at Nikko: Luciano Mortula - LGM / Shutterstock.com
A 2-hour bus ride from Tokyo, Mt Fuji is Japan’s most iconic sight. Listed by UNESCO with the surrounding lakes and spiritual sites as “Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration,” the mountain is rewarding whether you climb it or just gaze at it from afar. If you plan to climb it, check out our Mt Fuji Climbing Guide. If you just want to explore the area around the mountain, check out A Day Trip to the Mt. Fuji Area: Lake Kawaguchiko.
Mt Fuji rising over Lake Motsu: Arata Matsumoto / Shutterstock.com
More Japan World Heritage Site Information
Tokyo Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Tokyo guide
- Check Tokyo accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Tokyo
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online for collection on arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda airports. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare airline flight prices and timings for the best Japan flight deals. Check my guides to arriving at Narita Airport and at Haneda Airport.
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's why it's worth it
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Tokyo much easier - here's how
- World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world