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Okinoshima - A UNESCO Site

A small island, located off the coast of Japan’s southernmost mainland – Kyushu, has been selected as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Named Okinoshima, the island is the abode of a goddess worshipped by the Japanese for centuries. A Shinto priest is permanently present at the island worshipping the goddess throughout the year.

The specialty of the island is that, only men are allowed to enter the island that too after taking bathing themselves in the surrounding sea naked.

Banning entry of women is to do with the tradition of banning everyone except the priests who pray there. Also, women travelling by sea was considered dangerous and tradition is to protect the gender that gives birth. So,

Only 200 members are allowed to visit the shrine in a year. Now, with the heritage tag, Munakata Taisha shrine which owns the island worry that there will be a surge in tourists arrival that may destroy the island. They are mulling a total ban on tourism on the island.

UNESCO selects sites such as this for their outstanding universal value to humankind.
All these sites, natural phenomena and monuments are included in the World Heritage list of UNESCO.

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