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Japan has one of the world’s ten most captivating Unesco World Heritage Sites in 2023

With Japan’s rich cultural heritage and well-preserved historical attractions, it’s no surprise that the country is home to over 20 Unesco World Heritage Sites. Beyond that, Japan is filled with some of the most stunning sights in the world, ranging from traditional villages to sacred shrines and temples. Tour operator Explore Worldwide seems to agree, as it has ranked a historical site in Japan in its list of 2023’s top ten most captivating Unesco World Heritage Sites.

For this ranking, Explore Worldwide analysed 52 of the world’s most recognisable Unesco sites across seven continents. To measure how ‘captivating’ they are, special eye-tracking technology was used to measure how long participants spent gazing at each landmark.

Kiyomizu-dera Kyoto
Photo: Snitz/UnsplashKiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto

In this year’s roundup, the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (including the cities of Kyoto, Uji and Otsu) is ranked in tenth place. The temples, shrines and gardens in this collection scored a total of 125 fixations and an average gazing time of 0.29 seconds. Although not in the top ten, Mt Fuji made the top 20 ranking in 16th place.The sacred mountain and icon of Japan gained a total of 85 fixations and an average gazing time of 0.29 seconds.

Here are 2023’s top 10 most captivating Unesco World Heritage Sites.

1. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal, United Kingdom
2. Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, Canada
3. Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes, Brazil
4. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia; Maloti-Drakensberg Park, South Africa (tie)
5. Island of Mozambique, Mozambique
6. Ancient City of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
7. Angkor Wat, Cambodia; Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán, Mexico (tie)
8. Sceilg Mhichíl, Ireland
9. Petra, Jordan
10. Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto, Japan

For deets on this year’s most captivating Unesco World Heritage sites, visit the website.

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