Japan's Top 3
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This article is a travel topic
After the Three Views were composed in the 17th century, many authors have come up with their own lists of Japanese sites and attractions. While there are countless lists and variations thereof, here is a selection of the best-known ones:
三景 Sankei in Japanese. The most famous list of them all, attributed to scholar Hayashi Razan back in 1643.
New Three Views
Three Famous Castles
Three Great Mountain Castles
Three Great Flatland Mountain Castles
- Tsuyama Castle in Tsuyama, Okayama
- Himeji Castle in Himeji, Hyogo
- Matsuyama Castle in Matsuyama, Ehime
Three Famous Gardens
Three Famous Mountains
三名山 Sanmeizan (Three Famous Mountains), also 三霊山 Sanreizan (Three Sacred Mountains)
Three Sacred Grounds
Three Famous Big Buddhas
Three Great Festivals
Three Great Festivals of Tohoku
Three Great Festivals of Kyoto
- Gion Matsuri
- Aoi Matsuri
- Jidai Matsuri
Three Hot Springs
Certainly one of the more hotly contested categories. (No pun intended).
Three Great Hot Springs
Three Famous Springs
三名泉 Sanmeisen. This list, too, was authored by Hayashi Razan.
Three Old Springs
Three Baths of Fuso
扶桑三名湯 Fuso-sanmeiyu. Fuso is a poetic name for Japan and this one is credited to traveling haiku poet Matsuo Basho.
Three Great Night Views
- Hakodate seen from Mount Hakodate
- Kobe and Osaka Bay seen from Mount Rokko
- Nagasaki seen from Mount Inasa
New Three Great Night Views
- Kitakyushu seen from Mount Sarakurayama,
- Nara seen from Mount Wakakusayama
- Yamanashi seen from Fuefuki River Fruit Park
Three Holy Places of Ōshū
奥州三霊場 Ōshū sanreijō are the three most famous pilgrimage sites in the ancient land of Oku (奥), now known as Tohoku.
Three Great Inari Shrines
三大稲荷 Sandai Inari
- Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto
- Toyokawa Inari Shrine, Aichi
- Saijo Inari, Okayama or Yūtoku Inari Shrine, Kashima
As the head of all Inari shrines, Fushimi Inari Shrine is naturally one of the top three, but there is little historical or present consensus on the others. While it is generally agreed that Toyokawa Inari Shrine deserves the second spot, the third varies depending on the source, and Takekoma Shrine in Iwanuma and Kasuma Inari Shrine in Kasama are also suggested by some.
Three Great Tenjin Shrines
三大天神 Sandai Tenjin
- Kitano Tenmangu in Kyoto, Kyoto
- Dazaifu Tenmangu in Dazaifu, Fukuoka
- Hofu Tenmangu in Hofu, Yamaguchi
All Tenjin (Tenmangu) shrines are dedicated to the worship of Sugawara Michizane. This top three list actually highlights his exile from Kyoto to Dazaifu. Along the way, he stopped in Hofu and built the first Tenjin shrine. Official dedication of shrines to him began after his death when a series of natural disasters and tragedies in the capital were believed to be caused by his restless soul seeking vengeance for his unjust exile. Kitano Tenmangu was built to pacify him.