Yasukuni Shrine (靖国神社, Yasukuni Jinja) is a Shinto shrine in central Tokyo that commemorates Japan's war dead. The shrine was founded in 1869 with the purpose of enshrining those who have died in war for their country and sacrificed their lives to help build the foundation for a peaceful Japan.
Located at the center of the castle town, the three main streets that make up the most popular part of Takayama's Historic District served as a bustling merchant town in times past. This area is referred to as "Sanmachi-dori," and it is distinguishable by the distinctive, old architecture and shops that remain to this day.
Hidden away deep in the mountains is this quaint settlement in Shirakawa Village that is famous for its ”gassho-zukuri” houses whose grand roofs resemble hands clasped in prayer. Many of these houses are still inhabited to this day, and together with their adjacent rice paddies, they paint an incredibly picturesque landscape that is a joy to behold and to take a stroll through.
Standing atop Mt. Kinka, Gifu Castle was the home base of one of Japan's great military commanders, Nobunaga Oda, and was said to be unassailable. The Japanese armor and swords exhibited in the castle are very impressive as well.
The Sado Gold Mine was the largest gold and silver mine in Japan. It has a 400-year heritage spanning economic ups and downs from its opening in 1601 to its closure in 1989. The industrial remains of the gold mine including tunnels and mining infrastructure are designated both as a national treasure and as part of Japan’s Heritage of Industrial Modernisation. The site is a nominated candidate to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The remains of the gold mine are a popular location for history enthusiasts. The abandoned buildings remind visitors of Hayao Miyazaki's movie “Castle in the Sky”. Visitors can spend all day here to exploring the site’s photogenic scenery.
The gold mine offers two routes that visitors can explore (no reservation is required, each route takes 30 to 40 minutes). These routes are open every day. Large groups or anyone particularly interested in the history of the mine can make a reservation for one of two guided tours. The guided tours are available from April to November and take about 100 minutes. One is available for groups of over 10 people, the other is only for visitors over 13 years.
The image of the temple richly adorned in gold leaf reflects beautifully in the water of Kyokochi, the mirror pond.
It is perhaps the most widely-recognized image of Kyoto. Seen reflected in the adjoining "mirror pond" with its small islands of rock and pine, Kinkaku-ji Temple, "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion," is a breathtaking must-see.
The building's first purpose was to serve the retiring Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358-1409) as a residence. The gold-leaf-adorned building was converted into a Zen temple shortly after his death. In an event that was later fictionalized by the renowned author Yukio Mishima, a 21-year-old monk burned Kinkakuji down in 1950. The temple was rebuilt in 1955 and continues to function as a storehouse of sacred relics.
The temple's garden is also a scenic delight and contains in its grounds a charming teahouse.
Kakuzan Park is on the ruins of an ancient castle, Tsuyama Castle, which was built about 400 years ago. The castle’s approximately 10 m tall stone wall remains today, greeting visitors with a majestic view of overlapping stones even from a distance. The ruin has been selected as one of Japan’s top 100 castles and has earned a spot as one of Japan’s top 100 cherry blossom sites. The Tsuyama Cherry Blossom Festival held every year in early to mid April gives visitors the chance to experience the park’s 1,000 or so cherry trees. After sunset, looking down from atop the stone wall at the cherry trees illuminated below, visitors will be treated to an unimaginably beautiful view.
The Kibi Plain is a charming, rural flatland just outside of central Okayama City that is covered in sprawling fields and dotted with shrines, temples and small clusters of farmhouses. The plain is best explored from an attractive cycling trail which visits several historic sights along the way.
Iyama Hofuku-ji Temple was built in 1232 as a Zen temple. The temple is famous as the childhood training grounds for the painter Sesshu—the most prominent Japanese master of ink wash painting, which employs shading from a single-color inkstick. A popular attraction at the temple is the Buddhist practice of zazen, where worshippers sit in meditation for spiritual unity. Visitors can join early morning zazen sessions on the second Sunday of every month with no reservations required, and tea and sweets provided after the meditation offer a chance to experience the hospitality of Japanese culture. The temple’s fresh green of spring and vibrant foliage in autumn also make for beautiful sights.
Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park (平和記念公園, Heiwa Kinen Kōen) is one of the most prominent features of the city. Even visitors not looking for it will likely stumble upon the large park of over 120,000 square meters. Its trees, lawns, and walking paths are in stark contrast to the surrounding downtown area.
Before the bomb, the area of what is now the Peace Park was the political and commercial heart of the city. For this reason, it was chosen as the pilot's target. Four years to the day after the bomb was dropped, it was decided that the area would not be redeveloped but instead devoted to peace memorial facilities.
The Historic Village of Hokkaido (開拓の村, Kaitaku no Mura) is an open air museum in the suburbs of Sapporo. It exhibits about 60 typical buildings from all over Hokkaido, dating from the Meiji and Taisho Periods (1868 to 1926), the era when Hokkaido's development was carried out on a large scale. There are four different sections: a town, fishing village, farm village and a mountain village.
Mutianyu Great Wall is located 70 km away from Beijing, which makes it significantly less busy and features some fun, modern amusements, such as a cable car, chairlift, and toboggan. It has unique design and construction, having 3 enemy towers build next to each other. When visiting, each season bring their own beauty to the scenery. From green mountains and flowers to snowy mountain tops tops and autumn leaves.
The Forbidden City, also known as the Palace Museum, lies in the city center of Beijing, and was once the Chinese imperial palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 - 1911). It was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is the largest, best-preserved ancient timber-built palace complex in the world.Rectangular in shape, the Forbidden City is enormous, covering an area of 72 hectares, and boasting more than 9,000 bays of rooms. It is divided into two parts – the Outer Court for national affairs in the south and the Inner Court as living quarters in the north. It is not only an immense architectural masterpiece, but also a treasury housing a unique collection of 1.8 million pieces of art, including ancient calligraphy and painting, imperial artifacts, ancient books and archives. A must-see in Beijing and the world’s most visited museum, it is worth spending half to one day to visit the Forbidden City and appreciate the precious cultural heritage of China.
Designed by local architect Wang Da-hung, this memorial hall was established in memory of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the father of the Republic of China. The hall also serves an educational and research role, hosting various cultural and art events throughout the year, including the Golden Horse Awards, Golden Bell Awards, and Culture Awards. The hall is surrounded by a large park, further making it a popular weekend escape for city residents.
This memorial hall was built in memory of Chiang Kai-shek, the first president of the Republic of China. Work on the hall began in 1976, a year after President Chiang passed away. Design by C.C. Yang, who was also the architect for The Grand Hotel, the memorial hall is white with a blue roof, representing the dominant colors in the ROC flag; while the emblem of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) adorns the vaulted ceiling. A bronze statue of Chiang looks west symbolically to the Presidential Office Building and mainland China. The front plaza of the hall is also a major venue for democratic assemblies.
The Summer Palace is said to be the most well-preserved imperial gardens and the largest of its kind still in existence in China. There’s so much to see and enjoy that most people prefer to stay there at least half a day. Composed mainly of Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, it owns over 3,000 man-made ancient structures, including pavilions, towers, bridges, corridors, etc. On the grounds of the Palace you will be able to walk through 'The Long Corridor' which is the longest corridor in the world.
The East Gate sits on a granite base pierced by an arched walkway. On the upper half of the gate is a building originally constructed of wood and later rebuilt in concrete. The building is supported by 24 columns on which sit a double-eaved roof with a short upturned ridge that adds to the power of the design. In front of the gate is a stone stele recounting the history of the construction of the Hsinchu City wall. There is also a public square that joins both traditional and modern elements at the front of this major Hsinchu landmark.
This Chen Clan Academy was organized by two Chinese-Americans who wanted Chen clan students to have an academy in Guangzhou. It was built just before the end of the Qing era between 1890 and 1894. It became a museum in 1957, and the remaining artwork and traditional architecture and decorations were deemed to be so valuable that in 1988 it was named a National Key Cultural Heritage Protection Unit by the State Council of China. It now is a Chinese folk art museum.
The building covers 13,200 square meters or 142,000 square feet. It has 19 buildings with nine halls and six courtyards that are connected in a symmetric pattern. On the main axis are the Main Entrance (头门), the Assembly Hall, and the Rear Hall (后堂). These three main buildings are separated by courtyards.
It is one of Guangzhou's best tourist highlights.
Shamian Island is Guangzhou's scenic foreign settlement, and ranks as one of the best tourist attractions in Guangzhou and is a treat for fans of architecture and history alike. Tree-lined quiet pedestrian-only roads make for a wonderful place to visit for a stroll, and the area is a quiet reminder of Guangzhou's colonial European period.
Sightseers will notice that structures in one area of the island have more of an English style and that one area has more of French style, which is a result of Guangzhou's tumultuous history on this island.
While walking around Shamian Island, there are lots of incredible buildings to be seen, and there is a lot of opportunity to try different cuisines including the local Cantonese cuisine. It's a great place for a stroll, and you'll find many old official embassy buildings, cathedrals, churches, as well as shade walking along the greenery.
Lady of Lourdes Chapel, a big French cathedral, stands out as one of the most interesting buildings on the island. It was built in 1892. There is also the British Protestant Church, Christ Church Shameen, which was built in 1865 and makes for an interesting sight.
Tourists appreciate the island as a quiet place to get away from the crowds and noise of the city, and you'll find various bronze statues around depicting life on the island in earlier times. Traffic is controlled to keep the island quiet, so it is partly pedestrian only.
In Vinh Moc - you'll find a very impressive temple complex. They are the remains of a North Vietnamese fishing village, where the people have built a tunnel complex to protect themselves against the American bombing. Literally, the village went underground. It offered protection to more than 90 families. The tunnel complex has three levels. The majority of the tunnels is open to visitors and is kept in their original state (with the exception of the recent addition of electric lighting).
The tunnels were used not only for civilian purposes (the distinction between civilians and Vietcong is a dim area), but were also used to transport weapons and other equipment. These were brought to Con Co Island, a base off the North Vietnamese coast near Vinh Moc in the South China Sea.
The tour usually starts at the museum, which is above the ground. There are objects and photographs on displays. There is also a watch, which is a gift from the GDR.
Then begins the real visit to the tunnels. The tunnels are situated at a depth of 11 to 20 meters. You'll pass the "family quarters" - really just niches on the side of the main tunnel, with barely enough room for three people and zero privacy. They also show you larger dwellings, which were used for meetings, storage, and as a hospital. Nowadays, there are life-sized puppets, to make it clear for the tourists.
Suddenly you stand again in daylight, right by the sea, just above a beach. This output is well camouflaged. This output was at night to receive weapons and other supplies, which were sent via Con Co Island. Then you go back in and finally you'll get out at one of the ground-level exits.
During the approximately four years they lived under the ground, there were 17 babies born in the "tunnel hospital." In principle, these babies would only see the light when the war was over.
Tam Toa Church is a Catholic church located on Nguyen Du Street, Dong My Ward, Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province. The church was built in 1886.
Han Mac Tu was baptized here in 1912 with the Christian name Nguyen Trong Tri Franois. In the eight years from 1964 to 1972, the US air bombardment of North Vietnam. Dong Hoi was flattened, Tam Toa church was bombed only the bell tower remained. After the Geneva Agreement in 1954, the whole Tam Tran migrated to the South. Since then the church has been abandoned. During the Vietnam War, Tam Toa Church was bombed 48 times by the United States Air Force. On February 11, 1965, the church was hit by a bomb, leaving only the bell tower with bullet holes.
Dong Hoi town was razed by US bombs and the church bell tower became a war relic. On February 26, 1997, the People's Committee of Quang Binh province issued Decision No. 143 / QD-UB, The court has become a war crimes vestige and is historical-cultural vestiges of the province, which need to be strictly protected.
October 23, 2008, Quang Binh People's Committee and the Bishop of Doai was united and signed a memorandum saying: "The old Tam Toa Church is now evidence of war crimes. The two sides will maintain and embellish in order to protect and serve the traditional research and education for the young generation...
In the Quang Binh tour short or long, visitors more or less have the opportunity to visit many historical relics, evidence of war in this land. Tam Toa Church is the largest Catholic church in Quang Binh, also the largest and only church of Dong Hoi city, located in the heart of the city.
The Chu Chi Tunnels are part of a massive war museum in Ho Chi Minh. They offer visitors a sneak-peek at the underground life of Vietnamese soldiers back in 1948. The site has over 120km of underground tunnels, with trapdoors, living areas, kitchens, storage facilities, armoury, hospitals, and command centres. After the war against the French, Vietnamese soldiers expanded the tunnels and included effective air filtration systems, which helped them survive the Chu Chi carpet-bombings.
It is now one of Ho Chi Minh’s most iconic attractions. You can enjoy plenty of activities during your visit. A popular option is following the narrow routes of the underground tunnel. Before entering the underground tunnels, visitors watch a short film of Chu Chi Tunnels so that they understand how the tunnel system works. Parts of Chu Chi Tunnels are also cemented and widened so that the crawl is less harrowing than it would have been in the past.
The tenth century temple of Banteay Srei is renowned for its intricate decoration carved in pinkish sandstone that covers the walls like tapestry.
Banteay Srei is an exquisite miniature; a fairy palace in the heart of an immense and mysterious forest; the very thing that Grimm delighted to imagine, and that every child's heart has yearned after, but which mature years has sadly proved too lovely to be true. And here it is, in the Cambodian forest at Banteay Srei, carved not out of the stuff that dreams are made of, but of solid sandstone.
Shrouded in dense jungle the temple of Ta Prohm is ethereal in aspect and conjures up a romantic aura. Fig, banyan and kapok trees spread their gigantic roots over stones, probing walls and terraces apart, as their branches and leaves intertwine to form a roof over the structures. Trunks of trees twist amongst stone pillars. The strange, haunted charm of the place entwines itself about you as you go, as inescapably as the roots have wound themselves about the walls and towers', wrote a visitor 40 years ago.
Ta Prohm is among the largest of the monuments in the Angkor complex, the inscription gives an idea of the size of the temple. The complex included 260 statues of gods, 39 towers with pinnacles and 566 groups of residences. Ta Prohm comprises a series of long low buildings standing on one level, which are enclosed by rectangular laterite wall (600 by 1,000 meters, 1,959 by 3,281 feet). Only traces of the wall are still visible. The center of the monument is reached by a series of towers connected with passages. This arrangement forms a ' sort of sacred way into the heart of the monument’; three-square galleries enclose the area.
There are few places anywhere on earth to match the splendour of Angkor Wat. The temple is one of the largest monuments to religion ever built and is truly one the wonders of the world. Believed to have been constructed as a temple and mausoleum for King Suryavarman II at the peak of the Khmer empire in the first half of the 12th century, Angkor Wat is probably the best-preserved of the Angkorean temples. As with other Angkorean temples and walled cities such as Angkor Thom, the central theme of Khmer architecture revolved around the idea of the temple-mountain.
Angkor Thom is undeniably an expression of the highest genius. It is, in three dimensions and on a scale worthy of an entire nation, the materialization of Buddhist cosmology, representing ideas that only great painters would dare to portray.
Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire, was a fortified cit enclosing residences of priest, officials of the palace and military, as well as buildings for administering the kingdom. These structures were built of wood and have perished but the remaining stone monuments testify that Angkor Thom was indeed a "Great City" as its name implies. Temples inside the walls of the city described are Bayon, Phimeanakas, Baphuon, Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King, Prah Palilay, Tep Pranam and Prasat Suor Prat.
Symbolically, Angkor Thom is a microcosm of the universe, divided into four parts by the main axes. The temple of the Bayon is situated at the exact center of the axes and stands as the symbolical link between heaven and earth. The wall enclosing the city of Angkor Thom represents the stonewall around the universe and the mountain ranges around Meru. The surrounding moat (now dry) symbolizes the cosmic ocean.
It is a testimony to the love of symmetry and balance which evolved its style....in pure simplicity of rectangles its beauty is achieved. It is a pyramid mounting in terraces, five of them ...Below Bak-Keng lays all the world of mystery, the world of the Khmer, more mysterious ever under its cover of impenetrable verdure.
Phnom Bakheng is located 1,30 meters (4,265 feet) north of Angkor Wat and 400 meters (1,312 feet) south of Angkor Thom.
Enter and leave Phnom Bakheng by climbing a long steep path with some steps on the east side of the monument (height 67 meters, 220 feet) In the 1960 this summit was approached by elephant and, according to a French visitor, the ascent was "a promenade classic and very agreeable.
Arrive at the summit just before sunset for a panoramic view of Angkor and its environs. The golden hues of the setting sun on this vista are a memorable sight.
Wat Preah Keo Morakot (Silver Pagoda) is located in the southern portion of the Royal Palace complex. The pagoda was formerly known as Wat Uborsoth Rotannaram because it is where the King worshiped, prayed and practiced every Buddhist Silas Day. In the additional, the royal family and officials also held Buddhist ceremonies there.This pagoda has no monks. However, this Majestic King Norodom Sihanouk lived there for one year when he entered the monkhood on July 31, 1947. Because the pagoda has no monks, visitors usually refer to it as Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot. When the King celebrates Buddhist ceremonies, monks from other pagoda such as Wat Unaloam and Wat Botumvattey are invited to attend the ceremonies. Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot was built between 1892 and 1902, during the reign of King Norodom, but at that time it was constructed of wood and brick. Its design is base on Cambodian architectural style. Then Banhchos Khan Seima ceremony was held on Feb 5, 1903.
There are 1,650 art objects housed in this temple. Most of them are Buddha figures. They are made of gold, silver, bronze and other valuable materials. Some are decorated with diamonds. They are gifts from the King, the royal family, dignitaries and other people who worship at Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot, where they pray for peace and prosperity, for happiness and for the preservation of Cambodian cultural heritage for the next generation. In front of the throne, site a Buddha statue made of gold, weighing 90 kilograms (about 200 pounds) and decorated with 2,086 diamonds. The biggest diamond is on the crown. It is 25 millimeters. This statue was commissioned in 1904 by King Sisowath, following the suggestion of King Norodom. King Norodom said, after his body was cremated the gold casket should be melted to make Buddha statue representing Preah Srei Araymetrey. This Buddha statue is named Preah Chin Raingsei Rachik Norodom.
Tana Toraja is safely protected beyond the lofty mountains and rugged granite cliffs of the central highlands of the island of Sulawesi and the home of the Toraja people. 'Discovered' and opened to the world from their long isolation only since the beginning of the last century, the Toraja today still adhere to their age-old beliefs, rituals and traditions. The nobility of Toraja are believed to be descendants of heavenly beings who came down by a heavenly stairway to live here on earth in this beautiful landscape. To keep up the energy of the land and its people, the Toraja people believe that these must be sustained through rituals that celebrate both life and death, which are attached to the agricultural seasons. Tourists to Toraja, therefore, are either attracted by its unique culture and rituals, most of which are mostly centered around graves and death ceremonies. While others prefer to avoid the morbid images and go trekking through the spectacular, almost untouched Toraja countryside visiting remote villages, or exhilarate in rafting the Sa'dan river rapids.
The fort of Aurangabad, popularly known as the Lalbagh Fort, was built in 1678 AD by the then Viceroy of Bengal Prince Mohammad Azam, son of the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb. The fort has a three storied structure with slender minarets at the South Gate. It has many hidden passages and a mosque of massive structure. Outstanding among the monuments of the Lalbagh Fort are the Tomb of Pari Bibi (Fairy lady) and Audience room and Hummam Khana (bathing place) of Nawab Shaista Khan, now housing a museum.
The fort was the scene of bloody battle during the first war of independence (1857) when 260 spays stationed here backed by the people revolted against British forces. It is one of the great historical places of Mughal era. A small museum is there in this fort where you will find the clothes and weapons of the Mughols.
These are a small 3-domed mosque, the mausoleum of Bibi Pari the reputed daughter of Nawab Shaista Khan and the Hammam and Audience Hall of the Governor. The main purpose of this fort was to provide a defensive enclosure of the palatial edifices of the interior and as such was a type of palace-fortress rather than a siege fort.
Standing majestically at the western coast of Makassar, South Sulawesi. Fort Rotterdam is recognized as the city’s most iconic landmark. With historical traces dating back to the Kingdom of Gowa from the 16th century to colonization by the Dutch, this Fort has silently witnessed many episodes in Makassar’s history, playing a most essential role in its development.
Its magnificence and authenticity has always captivated those who set eyes on it. Originally called Benteng or Fort Jumpandang or Ujung Pandang, the huge complex was first built in 1545 in the era of Imanrigau Daeng Bonto Karaeng Lakiung or Karaeng Tunipalangga Ulaweng, the tenth King of Gowa. Initially, the fort was made from a mixture of Stone and burnt clay, and took the shape of a typical square Portuguese architectural style.
The fort was also expanded and took on a new shape resembling a sea turtle, thus the fort gained a new name, Benteng Pannyua (Penyu) or Fort Sea turtle. The shape is not only unique, but also contains deep meaning. For just as a sea turtle lives both on land and at sea, the glory of the Gowa Kingdom also stretched on land as well as over the seas.
Doleshwar Mahadev Temple, which lies in Bhaktapur district of Nepal, is 20 km from the capital city of Kathmandu. It is an approximately of 30 minutes drive from Kathmandu to Doleshwar. For all the Shiva devotees, it is believed that the trip to Kedarnath is incomplete without visiting Doleshwar Mahadeva and Pashupatinath. The visit to all these three holy places is believed to wash off all the sins of one’s lifetime and an opportunity of receiving holy blessings from Lord Shiva.
One of the most popular monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism is the Kapan Monastery which is perched on a hill not far north of Boudha. Each year a large number of foreigners arrive here to study Buddhism and meditation. Kapan Monastery was founded by Lama Thubten Yeshe who died in 1984. Interestingly, a small Spanish boy named Osel Torres became his successor after he was declared a reincarnation of the great Lama. However, the reincarnation does not reside at Kapan anymore.
Take an early morning or evening stroll around the inspiring white dome buzzing with energy; observe the devout passersby, light a butter lamp and send a prayer where you wish, look around for souvenirs, or observe all from a nearby rooftop restaurant, coffee in hand.
Situated 8 km to the east of downtown Kathmandu, Boudhanath, is one of the most imposing landmarks in Kathmandu, visible as soon as you land at the Tribhuvan International Airport. It is the largest stupa in the Kathmandu Valley.
The 36-meter-high stupa of Boudha is massive and dominates the skyline in the area. With countless monasteries around it, Boudha is the center of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal.
Built in the shape of a mandala designed to replicate the Gyangtse of Tibet, the stupa was renovated by Licchhavi rulers in the 8th century. The location of the stupa is interesting as it once lay on the ancient trade route to Tibet and it was here that Tibetan merchants rested and offered prayers for many centuries. It is one of the major pilgrimage sites for Buddhists from around the world.