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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:

ViewsEdit

Three ViewsEdit

 
Amanohashidate's "Bridge to Heaven"
  • 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

日本新三景

Three Great Night ViewsEdit

 
View from Mount Inasa

三大夜景 Sandaiyakei

New Three Great Night ViewsEdit

新三大夜景 Shin-sandaiyakei

  • Kitakyushu seen from Mount Sarakurayama,
  • Nara seen from Mount Wakakusayama
  • Yamanashi seen from Fuefuki River Fruit Park



CastlesEdit

 
Himeji Castle
 
Bitchu Matsuyama Castle, Takahashi

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

三大山城 Sandaiyamashiro

Three Great Flatland Mountain CastlesEdit

三大平山城 Sandaihiroyamashiro.


Three Famous GardensEdit

 
Korakuen Garden, Okayama

三名園 Sanmeien

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.


FestivalsEdit

 
Gion Matsuri, Kyoto
 
Nebuta Matsuri, Aomori
 
Gujo Odori, Gujo
 
Konomiya Naked Festival in Inazawa
 
Omagari Fireworks, Daisen

Three Great FestivalsEdit

三大祭 Sandaisai

The Nebuta Matsuri of Aomori is often considered to be one of the top three festivals, but it is actually only listed as one of the top three festivals of the Tohoku region (below).

Three Great Festivals of TohokuEdit

東北三大祭り

Three Great Festivals of KyotoEdit

京都三大祭

  • Gion Matsuri
  • Aoi Matsuri
  • Jidai Matsuri

Three Great Festivals of ShikokuEdit

四国三大祭り

Three Beautiful FestivalsEdit

日本三大美祭り (Nihonsandai bimatsuri)

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

日本三大盆踊り

Three Great Naked FestivalsEdit

日本三大裸祭り

Some lists replace the Konomiya Naked Festival with the Hadakabo Festival in Hofu, Yamaguchi or the Furukawa Festival in Hida, Gifu.

Three Great FireworksEdit

日本三大花火


Hot SpringsEdit

Certainly one of the more hotly contested categories. (No pun intended).

 
Shirahama Onsen

Three Great Hot SpringsEdit

三大温泉 Sandaionsen

Three Famous SpringsEdit

三名泉 Sanmeisen. Authored by Hayashi Razan, father of Hayashi Gahō.

Three Old SpringsEdit

 
Bathhouse, Dogo Onsen

三古湯 Sankosen

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.


ShrinesEdit

Three Great Inari ShrinesEdit

 
Fushimi Inari, Kyoto
 
Usa Shrine, Usa
 
Kehi Shrine's Torii Gate

三大稲荷 Sandai Inari

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.

Three Great Hachiman ShrinesEdit

三八幡 San Hachiman

Three Great ToriiEdit

三大鳥居 Sandai Torii

TemplesEdit

Three Sacred GroundsEdit

 
Okunoin graves on Mount Koya

三大霊場 sandai-reijo

Three Holy Places of ŌshūEdit

 
Sulphur pit, Mount Osore

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

 
Great Buddha of Kamakura

三大大仏 Sandai-daibutsu

Three PagodasEdit

三名塔 Sanmeitō

Three Hase TemplesEdit

三長谷 Sanhase

NatureEdit

 
Mount Fuji
 
Osugi Gorge
 
Akiyoshido Cave, the largest in Japan
 
Kegon Falls
 
Mount Moriyoshi in Kitaakita
 
Yamataka Jindai-zakura
 
Kitakami Tenshochi in Kitakami

Three Famous MountainsEdit

三名山 Sanmeizan (Three Famous Mountains), also 三霊山 Sanreizan (Three Sacred Mountains)

Top Three GorgesEdit

三大渓谷

Three CavesEdit

日本三大鍾乳洞

Three WaterfallsEdit

日本三名瀑

Three Pine GrovesEdit

三大松原 Sandai-matsubara

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

三大桜名所

Cherry Blossom TreesEdit

三大桜 Sandai-zakura

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.

Night Cherry BlossomsEdit

三大夜桜


TownsEdit

 
Vine bridge, Iya Valley
 
Kurashiki's Historic District
 
Chinatown, Yokohama

Three Hidden RegionsEdit

三大秘境 Sandaihikkyō

Three Sake TownsEdit

日本三大酒処

Three Historic Merchant TownsEdit

日本三大蔵の町

Three Lacquerware TownsEdit

日本三大漆器

Three ChinatownsEdit

三大中華街 Sandai-chūkagai

FoodEdit

 
Kitakata Ramen
 
Sanuki Udon

SobaEdit

三大そば Sandai-soba'

RamenEdit

三大ラーメン Sandai-raamen

UdonEdit

三大うどん Sandai-udon

BeefEdit

三大和牛 Sandai-wagyu

Some sources also claim Yonezawa Beef (Yonezawa) is one of the top three beefs.

This travel topic about Japan's Top 3 is a usable article. It touches on all the major areas of the topic. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.