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Uji shortlisted for key cultural landscapes

The Council for Cultural Affairs has recommended that the education/culture minister designate the townscape of Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture, as an 'important cultural landscape' selected from the Kansai region. It also suggested two other scenic places in the region be chosen as 'registered monuments.' The latter two are part of 'Omi Hakkei'(Eight Views of Omi) in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture. One is 'Katata-no-Rakugan'(Descending Geese at Katata). The other is 'Mii-no-Bansho'(Evening Bell of Miidera Temple).
The system of designating important cultural landscapes was established in 2005 to protect with government support such characteristic archetypal scenes as 'tanada' terraced paddy fields and 'satoyama' countryside areas with paddy fields, forests and streams. 'Omihachiman-no-Suigo'(lakeside waterway district) in Omihachiman City, Shiga Prefecture, was picked as the first such landscape. The designated landscape of Uji comprises the Uji River neighborhood that includes Byodoin Temple, the urban district that has developed since the Heian period (794-1192), and suburban scenery dotted with tea plantations.
'Omi Hakkei,' likened to China's Eight Views of Xiao Xian, is picturesque scenery on the shore of Lake Biwa. It became known throughout the country after it was sketched by ukiyoe artist Utagawa Hiroshige of the Edo period (1603-1867). 'Katata-no-Rakugan' is known for the sight of a flock of geese alighting from the sky onto the Ukimido floating hall (photo courtesy of Otsu City) that juts into Lake Biwa and Mangetsu Temple colored by pine trees. 'Mii-no-Bansho' is noted for the evening scene of a temple bell ringing at Onjoji Temple (aka Miidera Temple).

For inquiries, please contact Monuments & Sites Div., Cultural Properties Dept., Agency for Cultural Affairs (Tel: 03-5253-4111; URL: http://www.bunka.go.jp/).