Heritage and its aspects

When you say Japan, the first thing you think of is technology. But then, travel magazines also swear by the country’s scenic beauty. And now, Delhiites have a chance to get a glimpse at the country’s various heritage sites.

The ongoing Japan Heritage exhibition is a collection of photographs of the beautiful heritage sites of the country. This exhibition has been divided into three parts — Kyoto Heritage, Gift from the nature and Incense of Ancient Japan.

The exhibition aims to acquaint people with Japanese culture and landscape. Organised by the Japan Foundation, the photographs provide a glimpse into the various heritage sites in Japan which are listed as Unesco World Heritage sites.

Gift from the nature, the second part of the series which is on display now, looks at Japan’s natural beauty, its rich history, religion and culture. Divided into six themes, there are photographs of rare sacred sites and the ‘pilgrim routes’ in Kii Mountains, set in dense forests and overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

There are three sacred sites — Yoshino and Omine, Kumano Sanzan and Koyasan — linked by pilgrimage routes to the ancient capital cities of Nara and Kyoto, rooted in the ancient tradition of nature worship in Japan, and Buddhism, which was introduced from China and the Korean Peninsula.

Then there are photographs of the Nachitaisha shrine and the Nachi No Otaki falls (the first falls, in Japanese) in Wakayama. Both places are of historical and religious significance. Shrines like Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Hayatama Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha are where Shintoism and early Japanese nature worshippers had built a place of worship for the Kumano deities or the Sanzan.

Photographs show various mountain pathways that guided the pilgrims on their religious quests.

The Iwami-Ginzan silver mines, that date back to 1306, was put in the World Heritage List in July 2007 because the mine was managed keeping environmental concerns in mind, without destroying the environment. There are also photographs of the Ryugenji-Mabu mine shaft, Shiamine and Kamaya Mabu mine shaft.

On display are stunning photographs of the Japanese archipelago, showcasing the different forms of life it supports. In Shiretoko, for instance, the confluence of the sea and the river preserves a unique ecosystem and one can find animals like brown bears, Yezo deers, red foxes, white-tailed eagles and many more.

Other photographs, likewise, draw attention to the various life forms and also unique villages like the Gokayama village which is built on the footholds of the mountain and river terrace, facing the direction of the wind. All buildings here are triangular in shape and no nails and clamps have been used to build them.

Welcome to Japan!


At: Japan Foundation, 5- A, Ring Road, Lajpat Nagar -IV
Till: 28 July, 11 am to 6 pm daily
Phone: 26442967
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