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World Heritage / Hiraizumi - Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land

Criteria: (ii) (vi) | Date of Inscription: 2011 | Location: Iwate Prefecture | Justification for Inscription

UNESCO

Description

Islands Blessed with Indigenous Flora and Fauna

Ogasawara Islands
Ogasawara Islands
Ogasawara Maru
Ogasawara Maru
Swimming with wild dolphins
Swimming with wild dolphins
Ecosystem protection
Ecosystem protection
The subtropical Ogasawara Islands are located 1,000 kilometers south of central Tokyo. The island group consists of more than 30 islands that have an oceanic climate with an annual average daily temperature of 23.3 degrees Celsius.
Because they are far from other lands and have been isolated from a continent since their creation, species that happened to inhabit the islands have evolved in unique ways. Thus, Ogasawara Islands are home to many indigenous flora and fauna and have a rare ecosystem.
With its unique evolution of an ecosystem on small ocean islands, the Ogasawa Islands were recognized as having worldly value and designated as a World Natural Heritage site in 2011.
Acceptable by Boat Only
The only way to visit the Ogasawara Islands is by enduring a 25-hour boat ride from Tokyo, but the extraordinary beauty of the islands is well worth the journey. Above all, the geographical distance allows you to leave all cares and worries behind so the opportunity for total relaxation is an irresistible feature of the Ogasawara travel experience.
Activities in Nature
Ogasawara is home to a lot of activities. Many exciting marine activities, such as swimming with wild dolphins, whale-watching, diving and snorkeling amongst the coral reefs and swarms of tropical fish, sea kayaking, and fishing, are available. Other activities include forest and mountain nature hikes, sunset and evening tours and bird watching.
Ecosystem Protection
In addition to administrative ordinances, some organizations have voluntarily set up rules for protection of the vulnerable ecosystem of the Ogasawara Islands and control the balance between use and protection. Please be aware of the rules prior to visiting the islands.
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