Spread across eight prefectures, the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution ({̎YƊvY, Meiji Nihon no Sangyō Kakumei Isan) highlight the country's rapid development into an industrial power in the second half of the 19th century. They are mainly related to iron and steel production, cannon forging, shipbuilding and coal mining. In July 2015, the sites received world heritage status.

Towards the end of the Edo Period (1603-1868), Japan was desperate to modernize her armed forces, manufacturing industry and other aspects of society in order to stave off encroachment by the imperialist Western powers and establish herself as a strong, independent nation. Through the import of Western technology, Japan was successful in closing the gap with Europe and America to become the first industrialized country in Asia over the period of just half a century.

The world heritage sites number over twenty and are spread across various parts of Japan. For better understanding, they can be grouped into nine clusters, six of which are located on Kyushu and one each in Yamaguchi, Shizuoka and Iwate Prefectures. They are listed below in an order that illustrates their relevance from a chronological perspective:

  • Hagi
  • Kagoshima
  • Nirayama Reverberatory Furnace
  • Kamaishi
  • Mietsu Naval Dock Ruins
  • Nagasaki
  • Miike
  • Misumi West Port
  • Kitakyushu