Rokuon-ji Temple

Welcome to the Atlas Obscura Community discussion of Rokuon-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan. Ask questions or share travel tips, experiences, pictures, or general comments with the community. For the story behind this place, check out the Atlas Obscura entry:

The entry itself is informative and interesting but isn’t it odd that we’re putting some of the most famous tourist sites in the world on this website now? Isn’t it supposed to be hidden and lesser-known places?

It seems to happen a lot more often with Asian or African sites than American or European ones. Rokuon-ji is one of the most famous and frequently visited places in Asia

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Hey @JLowdown thanks for pointing this out, truly appreciated. We do tend to lean in more to with certain places that may be a little well-known but are in regions that we feel are underrepresented in the Atlas. If it’s not too much trouble, could you drop a few names of places you felt maybe didn’t fit the Atlas motif? It would certainly help us going forward when making decisions on enteries. Truly appreciate the note!

While I’m not the one being asked, I’ve found some examples of this myself that I’d like to share.

In Chichén Itzá, the Pyramid of Kukulcán or “Castle”, is the single most iconic structure and therefore one of the most symbolic of Mexico worldwide. The entry is focused not on the building but on its yearly “lightshow,”, which is a bit more obscure. But you wouldn’t be able to tell that from the title:

Then the Caracol/Observatory is probably the second best-known structure:

Palenque is an entire archeological site and I’d say the single most popular Mayan one in Mexico outside of the Yucatan Peninsula:

The three places in Mexico City listed below are hugely popular, feature on the top “things to do” in sites like TripAdvisor and are almost guaranteed to have a queue on weekends and holidays:



Similarly, the Mummies of Guanajuato usually top the same kinds of lists and domestic tourism packages will sometimes only include Guanajuato as a stop to see them:

Greyfriars Bobby has had a novel written about him, a Disney movie based on that novel, and has about 6 times as many "been here"s as "want to visit"s on the site (that kind of ratio might actually be a good way to determine what entries feature places that are not quite obscure):

Finally, these three feature areas that are too big for single entries to make them justice. Niue is an entire country, Socotra I’d say is quite well-known already and Kaliningrad is the largest of the lot, roughly the size of a whole country like Albania, and still gets an entry that pretty much only focuses on “it’s an exclave”:



I made a suggestion regarding this before:

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Thanks a bunch for these @linkogecko and the suggestion! We always appreciate the feedback. We have been discussing ways to treat some of our older Atlas entries and as we continue those discussions I’ll certainly keep this thread in mind. Perhaps a way to denote that they are very popular destinations or as you mentioned a legacy tag of sorts?

However, I would say that there is some value in some of those places being in the Atlas. While places like the Eifel Tower, are pretty well known, not all may be familiar with the Museo de las Momias de Guanajuato, although it may be a popular tourist destination, perhaps not to the layperson. I also think there is value in documenting the history of these places from our community, in a way some parts of the Atlas have become a time capsule of sorts, where places that no longer exist still live on.

But this is certainly something we always keep in mind when discussing what goes into the Atlas. And as always thanks a ton for the feedback, I can’t stress that enough, always feel free to drop us a line or your thoughts!:+1::fist::beers:

@linkogecko SN: thanks for helping keep the forums clean !!!

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No problem, I am glad to help.

I would also like to point out that organizing entries by “most visited” seems to be a good way to find some less obscure places on the site:

Alcatraz, High Line Park and Sagrada Familia Are all there.

Funnily, yesterday’s article on Moose Boulder highlighted another potential use for “legacy” tags, non-existent locations that still have an interesting story:

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Sorry for the delay in response

The ones that really stood out to me were the big, mega-ticket ones. Things like the Forbidden City in China, Petra in Jordan, Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar. These are all the sorts of places that millions visit every year – they are featured on the front covers of most guidebooks to their countries and largely touted as “must see” places. Not making any judgement on those things – they are all magnificent places. But I just dont think they fit the mold of “obscure” or hidden. They are some of the most famous places in the world

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@JLowdown Thanks a bunch for the feedback! Its truly appreciated. We will certainly look into how we categorize things in the future. :beers: