Japan Data

Japan’s Famous Threes: Scenic Views, Gardens, Festivals, and More!

Society Environment

Japan has many top three rankings, including the best scenic views, gardens, and night views.

Japan has many lists of famous threes for people, places, and events. In September 2021, the company Hankyū Travel International ran a survey targeting 524 people aged over 20, in which 29% answered that they know all of the Three Scenic Views, the most well-known of Japan’s top threes.

The Three Scenic Views are considered to be Miyajima in Hiroshima Prefecture, Amanohashidate in Kyoto Prefecture, and Matsushima in Miyagi Prefecture, chosen by the Confucian scholar Hayashi Gahō in the seventeenth century. Of these, 11.5% said they know two and 30.5% one, so in total more than 70% knew one or more of these views. However, 29% could not name even one.

The next most well-known of the top threes were the Three Great Gardens, representing the best traditional Japanese gardens. Out of the three gardens—Kenrokuen in Ishikawa Prefecture, Kōrakuen in Okayama Prefecture, and Kairakuen in Ibaraki Prefecture—21% knew all three, 12.2% knew two, and 24.4% knew one. Only about 10% of respondents said they knew all three for each of the Major Night Views, Great Castles, and the Major Festivals.

Japan’s Famous “Top Threes”

Three Scenic Views Miyajima (Hiroshima)
Amanohashidate (Kyoto)
Matsushima (Miyagi)
Three Great Gardens Kenrokuen (Ishikawa)
Kōrakuen (Okayama)
Kairakuen (Ibaraki)
Three Major Night Views Mount Hakodate (Hokkaidō)
Mount Maya (Hyōgo)
Mount Inasa (Nagasaki)
Three Great Castles Osaka Castle (Osaka)
Nagoya Castle (Aichi)
Himeji Castle (Hyōgo)
(In some cases, Edo Castle or Kumamoto Castle is named instead of Himeji Castle.)
Three Major Festivals Kanda Matsuri (Tokyo)
Gion Matsuri (Kyoto)
Tenjin Matsuri (Osaka)
Three Major Fireworks Festivals Ōmagari Fireworks Festival (Akita)
Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition (Ibaraki)
Nagaoka Fireworks Festival (Niigata)
Three Great Hot Springs Arima Onsen (Hyōgo)
Kusatsu Onsen (Gunma)
Gero Onsen (Gifu)

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: The “floating” torii gate at Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima. © Pixta.)

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