Japan's Top 3
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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
The following castles are also top contenders:
Three Famous Gardens
Three Famous Mountains
三名山 Sanmeizan (Three Famous Mountains), also 三霊山 Sanreizan (Three Sacred Mountains)
Three Famous Sacred Grounds
Three Famous Big Buddhas
Three Great Festivals
Three Great Festivals of Kyoto
Three Hot Springs
Certainly one of the more hotly contested categories.
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
New Three Great Night Views
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
Note: As the head of all Inari shrines, Fushimi Inari Shrine is naturally one of the top three. The other top shrines have been proposed in various famous historical texts, so this particular "Top 3" is highly debated, often consisting of a list of more than three shrines (despite being a "Top Three" list). While it is generally agreed that Toyokawa Inari Shrine deserves the second spot, the third varies depending on the source. The most commonly listed are Saijo Inari and Yūtoku Inari Shrine. Most of the disputes regarding this list revolve around which of these two shrines should receive the third position.
Three Great Tenjin Shrines
日本三大天神 sandai tenjin
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 shrine dedication 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.
Three Hidden Regions