I’m not sure how much stock should be put into Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice awards, but Hiroshima’s local media has been making a big deal out of them since its two World Heritage Sites, the A-bomb Dome and Itsukushima Shrine, have been coming out on top of some of its rankings over the past few years.
It’s nice to be recognised, but its ranking may come to a surprise to those used to seeing the Peace Memorial Park taking top spot in previous destination polls. Kyoto took the top three spots with Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kinkaku-ji Temple and Kyomizudera Temple (as well as 9th and 10th destinations too). Mt Koya, very popular for its temple stays, took 4th place. Even more surprising, perhaps, than the A-bomb Dome’s slip in the rankings, is the absence of Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima from the top 10. I mean, it’s supposed to be one of Japan’s top three views!
Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice Top 10 Japan Landmarks 2015
- Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto
- Kinkaku-ji Temple, Kyoto
- Kyomizudera Temple, Kyoto
- Oku-no-in, Mt Koya
- Todai-ji Temple (Daibutsu), Nara
- A-bomb Dome, Hiroshima
- Meiji Jingu Shrine, Tokyo
- Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo
- Nijo Catsle, Kyoto
- Sanjusangendo Hall, Kyoto
Japan is in the midst of a huge effort to attract more and more foreign visitors, and records for numbers of overseas visitors a being broken almost every month. Here comes the bad news. The world rankings, topped by Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, show that Japan still has a way to go in establishing itself as a bucket list destination. Not one Japanese landmark made the list. Japan’s top 2, Fushimi Inari Shrine and Kinkaku-ji Temple, only made in the Asia Top 25 at 10th and 16th respectively.