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world heritage

UNESCO’s world heritage list exceeds about 1,000 sites all over the world, which may have a significant historical, cultural, scientific etc. importance.

Recently, a small piece of land of has made it to this list. This island is present on the northwest coast of Kyushu, and it is the southernmost of the four main islands of Japan. This land was Important for the foreign trade of Japan in the ancient times, which formed a part of a trade route to the Korean peninsula and China.

However, this Island is no ordinary Island, it contains a shrine where a Shinto priest prays to a goddess all around the year. Moreover, this Island is a men-only zone. No women are allowed to come here. However, it has quite specifically been explained that this ban on women coming to visit this site has nothing to do with gender discrimination. It is believed that it may be dangerous for women to travel by sea and come to the Island to visit it themselves, hence, this ban on women visiting this site is solely for the purpose of protecting them from any dangers.

This men-only Island requires men to strip off their clothes and bathe naked in the ocean in order to purify themselves before they set foot on the shrine. Very limited number of people are allowed to visit this Island, and this year the number was only 200.

Several valuable items such as gold rings have been found on this site. It is believed that these items were offered to gods in order to have national prosperity and keep the marine traffic coming.

The sites on the world heritage list of UNESCO are indeed wonders!

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