Last Friday 24th April 2015, the Cultural Affairs Agency finalised a selection of 18 cultural sites to be part of a ‘Japan Heritage’ list to attract tourists. These 18 sites are just the first of a long list of 100 that the agency wishes to certify by 2020 for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Games in Tokyo.
This first selection was made following 83 applications made by 40 prefectures and so far, more than half of the 47 prefectures are represented in this list. The local governments where the sites are located will receive financial help from the agency to provide tourists information boards and guides etc.
One of the ‘Japan Heritage’ sites is, for example, the former Kodakan (Ibaraki Prefecture). It opened in 1841 and served as a school for the Mito feudal domain, and also was the school of the last shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, during his childhood. He was also confined to this building after resigning as shogun in 1867, one year before the Meiji era.
This project is also a new hope for local government looking for a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Japan Times (Jiji Press)