The custom of making lists of the top three things in Japan supposedly goes back to the sankei list of the Three Best Views thought up by the Confucian scholar and thinker Hayashi Razan (1583-1657) in 1643.
Razan's Three Best Views are Amanohashidate on the Japan Sea Coast in Kyoto Prefecture, Matsushima, near Sendai in Miyagi and the island and shrine at Miyajima outside Hiroshima.
Since the Edo Period, Top Three Lists have grown up for just about everything from Famous Japanese Castles (Nagoya Castle Nagoya, Osaka Castle and Kumamoto Castle), the Top Three Japanese Gardens (Kairakuen in Mito [see video below], Kanazawa's Kenrokuen and Korakuen in Okayama).
There are Japan Top Threes for night views (Nagasaki viewed from Mt Inasa, Hakodate from Mt Hakodate and the neon of Kobe and Osaka seen from Mt Rokko), Chinatowns in Japan (Yokohama, Kobe, Nagasaki), caves (Akiyoshi-do, Ryuga-do and Ryusen-do), festivals (Gion Matsuri, Kanda and Sanno Matsuri, Tenjin Matsuri in Osaka), hot springs (Atami, Beppu, Shirahama), Disney characters (Mickey, Minnie and Pluto), Top Three Theme Parks (Huis Ten Bosch, Nagashima Spa Land, Meiji Mura), Top Three Oden (Egg, Daikon, Konnyaku) - I made the last few up, but you see what I mean, as basically anything can be put into a Top Three in Japan list.
Do you have any suggestions for a new Top Three in Japan list?
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