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:
- Sankei (三景). The most famous list of them all, attributed to scholar Hayashi Gahō back in 1643. They follow the Snow-Moon-Flower (雪月花) aesthetic with Amanohashidate representing the snow (雪), Matsushima representing the moon (月), and Miyajima representing the flower (花), although the "flowers" are said to actually be the autumn leaves.
New Three ViewsEdit
Three Great Night ViewsEdit
- Hakodate seen from Mount Hakodate
- Kobe and Osaka Bay seen from Mount Rokko
- Nagasaki seen from Mount Inasa
New Three Great Night ViewsEdit
- Kitakyushu seen from Mount Sarakurayama,
- Nara seen from Mount Wakakusayama
- Yamanashi seen from Fuefuki River Fruit Park
Three Famous CastlesEdit
三名城 Sanmeijō. A list written by Ogyu Sorai in the Edo Period. He chose these three castles as the top among those designed by Kato Kiyomasa and Todo Takatora who he considered to be the best castle designers. All three are modern reconstructions, since Kumamoto Castle burned down during the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion and Nagoya and Osaka Castles were destroyed during World War II. Himeji Castle, widely recognized as Japan's greatest surviving castle, didn't make the cut back in the late 1600s.
Three Great Mountain CastlesEdit
Three Great Flatland Mountain CastlesEdit
- Himeji Castle in Himeji, Hyogo
- Matsuyama Castle in Matsuyama, Ehime
- Tsuyama Castle in Tsuyama, Okayama
Three Famous GardensEdit
It is unclear when these gardens were chosen or by whom. The first recorded list dates back to 1899, but a postcard bought by Shiki Masaoka from his visit to Korakuen Garden in 1891 has "Korakuen Garden, Number 1 of the Top 3 Gardens" written on the back. It is widely believed that the gardens follow the "Snow-Moon-Flower" (雪月花) aesthetic coined by a famous Chinese poem by Bai Juyi. Kenrokuen Garden, famous for its snowy scenery, represents the "Snow" (雪), Korakuen Garden, which to this day has an autumn moon-viewing event, represents the "Moon" (月), and Kairakuen, known for its early spring plum blossoms, represents the "Flower" (花). In addition, each of the gardens are strolling gardens built by famous daimyo (The Tokugawa built Kairakuen, the Ikeda built Korakuen, and the Maeda built Kenrokuen) which is also believed to have played a role in which gardens were given the prestigious designation.
Three Great FestivalsEdit
Three Great Festivals of TohokuEdit
Three Great Festivals of KyotoEdit
- Gion Matsuri
- Aoi Matsuri
- Jidai Matsuri
Three Great Festivals of ShikokuEdit
Three Beautiful FestivalsEdit
日本三大美祭り (Nihonsandai bimatsuri)
- Gion Festival (Kyoto, Kyoto)
- Takayama Festival (Takayama, Gifu)
- Chichibu Yomatsuri (Chichibu, Saitama)
The beauty list is often referenced interchangeably with the Three Great Float Festivals (日本三大曳山祭り Nihonsandai hikiyamamatsuri), which sometimes features Nagahama's Hikiyama Festival in place of the Chichibu Yomatsuri.
Three Great Obon FestivalsEdit
Three Great Naked FestivalsEdit
- Saidaiji Eyo (Okayama, Okayama)
- Wakamiya Shrine Autumn Festival (Bungotakada, Oita)
- Konomiya Naked Festival (Inazawa, Aichi)
Three Great FireworksEdit
- Omagari Fireworks (Daisen, Akita)
- Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks (Tsuchiura, Ibaraki)
- Nagaoka Fireworks (Nagaoka, Niigata)
Certainly one of the more hotly contested categories. (No pun intended).
Three Great Hot SpringsEdit
Three Famous SpringsEdit
三名泉 Sanmeisen. Authored by Hayashi Razan, father of Hayashi Gahō.
Three Old SpringsEdit
Three Baths of FusōEdit
扶桑三名湯 Fusō-sanmeiyu. Fusō is a poetic name for Japan and this one is credited to traveling haiku poet Matsuo Basho.
Three Great Inari ShrinesEdit
三大稲荷 Sandai Inari
- Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto
- Toyokawa Inari Shrine, Aichi
- Saijō 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. After Fushimi Inari, the list varies depending on the source. Takekoma Shrine in Iwanuma and Kasuma Inari Shrine in Kasama are also suggested by some.
Three Great Tenjin ShrinesEdit
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 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.
- Kitano Tenman-gū in Kyoto, Kyoto
- Dazaifu Tenman-gū in Dazaifu, Fukuoka
- Hōfu Tenman-gū in Hofu, Yamaguchi
Three Great Hachiman ShrinesEdit
三八幡 San Hachiman
- Usa Hachimangu Shrine (Usa, Oita)
- Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine (Yawata, Kyoto)
- Hakozaki Hachimangu Shrine (Fukuoka, Fukuoka)
Three Great ToriiEdit
三大鳥居 Sandai Torii
Three Sacred GroundsEdit
Three Holy Places of ŌshūEdit
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 Famous Big BuddhasEdit
Three Hase TemplesEdit
Three Famous MountainsEdit
三名山 Sanmeizan (Three Famous Mountains), also 三霊山 Sanreizan (Three Sacred Mountains)
Top Three GorgesEdit
Three Pine GrovesEdit
- Miho no Matsubara (Shizuoka, Shizuoka)
- Niji no Matsubara (Karatsu, Saga)
- Kehi no Matsubara (Tsuruga, Fukui)
Three Snow MonstersEdit
三大樹氷 Sandai juhyo
Certain mountains in northern Japan have the right trees and weather conditions to cover the trees completely in snow to transform them into Juhyo (樹氷) or "Snow Monsters" (also sometimes called "Ice Monsters" in Japanese). These three places were chosen because they have Ski Lifts along with the snow monsters.
Cherry Blossom SpotsEdit
Cherry Blossom TreesEdit
- Miharu Takizakura (Miharu, Fukushima)
- Neodani Usuzumi-zakura (Motosu, Gifu)
- Yamataka Jindai-zakura (Hokuto, Yamanashi)
Cherry Blossom Spots of TohokuEdit
みちのく三大桜名所 Michinoku Sandai Sakura-meisho
"Michinoku" is a term used to refer to the Tohoku Region. Traditionally, it excludes Akita and Yamagata Prefectures but over time has become synonymous with the entire region as demonstrated by the presence of Kakunodate in Akita Prefecture on this list.
- Hirosaki Castle Park (Hirosaki, Aomori)
- Kakunodate (Kakunodate, Akita)
- Kitakami Tenshochi (Kitakami, Iwate)
Night Cherry BlossomsEdit
Three Hidden RegionsEdit
Three Sake TownsEdit
Three Historic Merchant TownsEdit
Three Lacquerware TownsEdit
- Sapporo Ramen (Sapporo, Hokkaido)
- Kitakata Ramen (Kitakata, Fukushima)
- Hakata Ramen (Fukuoka, Fukuoka)
Some sources also claim Yonezawa Beef (Yonezawa) is one of the top three beefs.