Cultural Landscapes

1. What are Cultural Landscapes?

Cultural Landscapes are formed by the climate of a given region and people's lives or work there, and are indispensable for understanding the livelihood and work of the Japanese people (Item 5, Paragraph 1, Article 2 of the Act on Protection of Cultural Properties).

The value of cultural landscapes may not be easily recognizable, as they are the familiar landscapes that are deeply rooted in the daily lives of the people. By establishing systems for protecting Cultural Landscapes, their cultural values are properly appreciated, protected and passed on to the next generation.
Particularly important cultural landscapes are selected as Important Cultural Landscapes based on proposals from prefectures or municipalities.
Any alterations to the current state of Important Cultural Landscapes, or other actions that would impact their preservation, require a prior notification to the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs under the Act on Protection of Cultural Properties, with the exceptions of normal production activities and emergency measures during disasters.
The national government subsidizes various projects to protect and utilize cultural landscapes, including research projects, projects for formulating preservation plans, maintenance projects, and dissemination and awareness-raising projects.
Important Cultural Landscapes are in accordance with the new method of protecting cultural properties introduced with a partial amendment of the Act on Protection of Cultural Properties in 2004.

2. Important Cultural Landscapes

As of October 7, 2015, 50 areas across the country have been selected as Important Cultural Landscapes.

  1. Cultural Landscape along the Sarugawa River resulting from Ainu tradition and modern settlement
  2. Farm village of Hondera area, Ichinoseki
  3. Tono Arakawakogen Farm, Tsuchibuchi Yamaguchi Community
  4. The Mogami river and Aterazawa landscape
  5. Wetland of meeting of Tonegawa and Watarasegawa Rivers
  6. Agricultural and mountainous landscape of Sado Nishimikawa trace back to Sado Gold Mine
  7. Mine and Mining town of Sado Aikawa
  8. Cultural landscape in Kanazawa. Tradition and culture in the castle town
  9. Ōzawa and Kami-Ōzawa Village surrounded Windbreak Bamboo Fences
  10. Rice terraces in Obasute
  11. Cultural landscapes of Kosuge village and Mt. Kosuge
  12. Cultural landscape of Gifu seen in the middle area of Nagara-gawa River
  13. Wetland in Omi-hachiman
  14. Waterfront of Kaizu, Nishihama, and Chinai in Takashima City
  15. Waterfront of Harie and Shimofuri in Takashima City
  16. Mountainous landscape of Higashi Kusano
  17. Lakefront village landscape of Sugaura
  18. Ōmizo Lakeside Landscape
  19. Cultural Landscape in Uji
  20. Cultural landscape of Miyazu Amanohashidate
  21. Cultural Landscape of Okazaki in Kyoto
  22. Farm village of Hinenosho Ogi
  23. Cultural landscape of Ikuno mine and townscape
  24. Cultural landscape of Oku-Asuka
  25. Agricultural and mountainous landscape of Aragijima and Mita/Shimizu
  26. Cultural landscape of Tatara iron manufacturing and rice terraces in Okuizumo
  27. Rice terraces and farm village in Kashihara
  28. Danbata (terraced fields) in Yusumizugaura
  29. Cultural landscape in the Shimantogawa River basin. Villages in the mountains to the headwater region
  30. Cultural landscape in the Shimantogawa River basin. Villages and rice terraces in the mountains at the upstream region.
  31. Cultural landscape in the Shimantogawa River basin. Circulation and traffic among agricultural and mountainous villages at the upstream region.
  32. Cultural landscape in the Shimantogawa River basin. Circulation and traffic among agricultural and mountainous villages at the middlestream region
  33. Cultural landscape in the Shimantogawa River basin. Vocations, circulation and traffic in the downstream region.
  34. Kure port and fishing townscape
  35. Rural landscape at Kubote
  36. Rice terraces in Warabino
  37. Cultural landscape in Hirado Island
  38. Cultural landscape of the Ojika islands
  39. Cultural landscape of Kuroshima Island in Sasebo
  40. Cultural landscape of Hisakajima Island in Goto
  41. Cultural landscape of Kita-Uonome in Shinkamigoto
  42. Landscape with terraces retained by stonework at Sotome, Nagasaki
  43. Island landscape at Shinkamigoto
  44. Landscape with Tsujun irrigation channel and rice terraces in Shiraito Plateau
  45. Fishing village of Sakitsu, Amakusa
  46. Cultural landscape of Misumiura
  47. Ontayaki Village
  48. Rural landscape of Tashibunosho Osaki
  49. Steam and hot spring landscape at Beppu
  50. Agricultural and mountainous landscape of Sakatani and rice terraces of Sakamoto
  • Photo
    Mine and Mining town of Sado Aikawa
    (Sado City, Niigata)
  • Photo
    Ōzawa and Kami-Ōzawa Village
    surrounded Windbreak Bamboo Fences
    (Wajima City, Ishikawa)
  • Photo
    Cultural Landscape of Okazaki in Kyoto
    (Kyoto City, Kyoto)

3. Our Treasure Cultural Landscapes to future generations

This pamphlet provides easy-to-understand description of cultural landscapes protection systems. Click here to view the pamphlet.

4. Contact

Cultural Landscapes Branch, Monuments and Sites Division, Cultural Properties Department, Agency for Cultural Affairs
Phone: +81-(0)3-5253-4111 (Extension: 3142)

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