Monuments

Historic Site, Takanashi Family Residence Site (Nagano)

Historic Site, Takanashi Family Residence Site (Nagano)
(Provided by Nakano City, Nagano Prefecture)

"Monument" is the collective term to refer to the following types of cultural properties:

  1. Shell mounds, ancient tombs, sites of castle towns, sites of forts or castles, old houses, and other sites of a high historic or scientific value to Japan
  2. Gardens, bridges, gorges, seashores, mountains, and other places of scenic beauty of a high artistic or aesthetic value for Japan
  3. Animals, plants, minerals, and geological features of a high scientific value to Japan

The national government designates significant items in these three categories as “Historic Sites,” “Places of Scenic Beauty,” and “Natural Monuments,” and seeks to preserve them. Those which are of particularly high significance are designated as “Special Historical Sites,” “Special Places of Scenic Beauty,” and "Special Natural Monuments,” respectively.
Under the terms of the Act on the Protection of Cultural Properties, any alterations to the existing state of an area designated as a Historical Site, or other category of activities that would affect its preservation, require authorization from the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs. Any losses exceeding a certain amount incurred by these regulations must be compensated. However, local governments will make arrangements for substantial compensation to land owners by purchasing designated land with the support of state subsidies. Local governments also conserve land in order to widely utilize such Historical Sites with the support of state subsidies.

Places of Scenic Beauty, Ogami and Megami Rocks, and Mt. Torigoe (Iwate)

Places of Scenic Beauty, Ogami and Megami Rocks, and Mt. Torigoe (Iwate)

Natural Monument, Hibiscus hamabo colony and sub-tidal habitat near the Manose River outlet

Natural Monument, Hibiscus hamabo colony and sub-tidal habitat near the Manose River outlet
(Kagoshima)

Number of Designated Historic Sites by Category and Age

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As of April 1, 2014

Age Primitive Ancient Middle Ages Premodern Modern Total
Category
Shell mounds, ancient tombs, etc. 655
(14)
15 4     674
(14)
Site of castle towns, etc. 1 97
(9)
182
(1)
97
(9)
4 381
(19)
Sites of shrines, temples, etc.   217
(14)
56 12   285
(14)
School and other sites related to education,
scholastic, and cultural activities
  1 1 21
(3)
4 27
(3)
Medical facilities and other sites
related to society and living
    3
 
3   6
Transportation facilities and other sites
related to economic activities and production
11 40 25 91
(2)
17 184
(2)
Tombs, tombstones, etc.   10
(3)
11 55 1 77
(3)
Old houses, gardens with ponds, etc.   6 19
(2)
57
(4)
  82
(6)
Sites related to foreigners or foreign countries       7
 
1 8
Total 667
(14)
386
(26)
301
(3)
343
(18)
27
 
1,724
(61)

Note: The numbers in parentheses are Special Historical Sites and included in the total.

Number of Designated Places of Scenic Beauty

As of April 1, 2014

Category Number Category Number
Gardens 207(24) Springs 1
Parks 10 Beaches 36
Bridges 2 Islands 9(2)
Flowering trees 14 Sandbars 1(1)
Pine groves 6(1) Hot springs 2
Rocks and caves 14 Mountains 16(2)
Ravines and mountain streams 34(5) Hills, highlands, flatlands 2
Waterfalls 9 Rivers 1
Lakes and marshes 3(1) Panoramic views 10
Floating waterweeds 1 -
Total 378(36)

Note: The numbers in parentheses are Special Places of Scenic Beauty and included in the total.

Number of Designated Natural Monuments

As of April 1, 2014

Category Number
Animals 194(21)
Plants 548(30)
Geological and mineral formations 246(20)
Nature conservation areas 23( 4)
Total 1,011(75)

Note: The numbers in parentheses are Special Natural Monuments and included in the total.

Number of Registered Monuments

As of April 1, 2014

Category Number
Ruins 8
Places of scenic beauty 69
Animals, plants, geological and mineral formations 5
Total 82

Number of Selected Important Cultural Landscapes

43

Remarks

The number in each of the categories includes cross-listed cultural landscapes (e.g. Places of Scenic Beauty and Natural Monuments).
Counting cross-listed properties as single entries, the number of designated properties is 3,004 and the number of registered properties is 80.

  • "The Road of History to Explore, See, and Feel" Project

    Roads and waterways have traditionally hosted an exchange of culture and people. They are one of the most common cultural properties that are vitally important for understanding the history of Japan. The Agency for Cultural Affairs has launched a program to research and develop the Road of History since 1978 to conduct a comprehensive and systematic research and preservation project on old roads and canals from the pre-Edo period together with cultural properties and the surrounding environment.
    Since 1993, the Agency for Cultural Affairs has been advocating for the "Road of History to Explore, See, and Feel" project in an attempt to help people understand local history and culture, as well as to promote the protection of cultural properties and their surrounding environment. The "Road of History" project provides opportunities to explore old roads and experience local cultural properties throughout the country. 1995 was the first year in which the Nara Central Conference was held, along with two regional conferences in Tochigi and Fukushima.

  • Research on Modern Gardens and Parks

    The Agency for Cultural Affairs carried out "Research on Modern Gardens and Parks" from FY2009 through 2011.
    This research program targets human and cultural Places of Scenic Beauty, including modern gardens and parks. After a nationwide location survey, those places were reported in a list, and important cases were selected based on the evaluation standards developed prior to the selection. Methods of evaluation and protection were also discussed as part of the research program.

  • General Survey on Places of Scenic Beauty - Nationwide Survey (Location Survey)

    The Agency for Cultural Affairs conducted a nationwide location survey on places of scenic beauty in 2011 and 2012.
    This complete survey covered all the undesignated and unregistered places of scenic beauty and their locations in Japan, followed by a discussion of the places to be protected as well as methods of evaluation and protection.
    The result of the survey was summarized in the "Result of the General Survey on Places of Scenic Beauty - National Survey (Location Survey)."

  • Maintenance, management, and preservation of Special Historic Sites, Nara Palace Site, etc.

    Nara Palace Site and Fujiwara Palace Site are designated as Special Historic Sites. These important sites not only possess high historic and scientific value but are also well-preserved in a wide area. They are cultural properties of the people of Japan and must be preserved under proper maintenance and management.

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