Experienced traveler and blogger Kim-Ling tells us that visiting World Heritage sites while overseas will allow you to form your own connection to a country. It also enables you to gain a greater understanding of its culture and history.
‘From the Zen Japanese gardens, located in busy cities, to the more traditional sites that have remained unchanged for centuries, Japan goes beyond looking after its traditions and heritage – it embraces them, and keeps them alive today.’
On her last visit to Japan, Kim-Ling visited two important cultural sites: the ancient keyhole tombs of Sakai, Osaka, and the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, a World Heritage-listed site. Prior to visiting, she hadn’t heard of the tomb sites in Sakai, so she expected them to be similar to other burial sites, with plaques and ornate structures. The Golden Pavilion in Kyoto is of course an iconic site known by most, so she had a fairly good idea of what it would be like visually.
‘I was blown away by the enormity of the keyhole tombs, and how nature is such a significant part of them,’ says Kim-Ling of her experience visiting the tomb sites in Sakai, which are known as the ‘Mozu-Furuichi Kofungun’. She had a bird’s eye view from the 21st floor of the observation deck in Sakai City Hall – which as she describes, was ‘enthralling’.
On the other hand, the word Kim-Ling chose to describe her experience of visiting the Golden Pavilion is ‘mesmerising.’ ‘It was smaller than I originally expected, but with its interesting architectural styles and brilliant golden leaf, this site was more beautiful than I could ever have hoped.’
For her next visit, Kim-Ling has Miyajima Island’s Itsukushima Shrine on her list. ‘The image of the torii gate rising out of the water is both hypnotic and alluring, and to be able to see it both at high tide and walk up to it at low tide would be something special.’
Cover photo ©JNTO
From her first overseas trip at only 6 years of age, Kim-Ling has had an evolving wanderlust and has often dreamt of travelling the world. Believing that the world is her oyster, Kim-Ling is determined to make travel blogging her career. You can read her work at http://travel-ling.com/.