02 Nov 2016

“Omairi”, the act of going to worship at shrine or temple in Japanese. It has also become a popular style of traveling in Japan. Take Fushimi Inari-taisha for example, it is famous for its thousands of Torii gates, and has been listed as one of the most popular tourist destinations.

Here is the list of 30 best spectacular shrines and temples in Japan, and some of them are set in beautiful natural surroundings. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit them while traveling in Japan!

 

Toshogu Shrine

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Toshogu shrine – An extravagantly decorated World Heritage site
Toshogu enshrines Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first Shogun who established the Edo Shogunate. In addition to the spectacular, extravagantly decorated Yomemon gate, there are many highlights including the Sleeping Cat and the Three Wise Monkeys.

Animal sculptures and carvings are the highlights of Toshogu shrine Toshogu enshrines Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first Shogun (military governor) of the Edo Shogunate (government), and it is also the location of Ieyasu’s grave. It was originally a simple and plain structure but the third Shogun Iemitsu built a host of brilliant shrines. This section introduces the must-see spots of Toshogu shrine. When the temple bell of Rinnoji is sounded at 8 o’clock in the morning, the gate of Toshogu shrine is opened. The shrine begins to get crowde...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
Phone
0288-54-0560
Price
- Adult: 1300 JPY
- Child: 450 JPY
Website
en.wikipedia.org

Hasedera Temple


Hasedera Temple is home to Japan’s largest wooden-statue of Kannon Bosatsu (Buddhist Goddess of Mercy) and popular amongst visitors for its beautiful outdoor garden.
Hasedera Temple was constructed on the mountainside with views of both the ocean and city. The beautiful garden is blooming with hydrangeas and irises all year round and as such, the temple has also become acclaimed as the ‘flower temple’.

Hasadera Temple If you set aside time to visit Kamakura during your trip to Japan, Hasedera Temple is one of the spots that must be visited during your time in Kamakura city. The wooden carving of the Kannon Bosatsu in the main hall, also known as the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, towers at a colossal height of 9.8 meters and is the largest of its kind domestically. The eleven-faced wooden seated statue of the Kannon Bosatsu has been designated as an important cultural property in Japan. In addition to the significant cultural properties present...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
0467-22-6300
Price
- Adult: 300 JPY
- Child: 100 JPY
Website
www.hasedera.jp

Okunoin Temple

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Stroll around Okunoin Temple – the sanctuary of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism, the place where the souls of samurai warriors rest
Since 200 years ago, the sanctuary Okunoin Temple has been a place of comfort and support not only for the customary pilgrims, but also for samurai warriors. Stretching for 2km, the approach to the temple is located within a mystic grove of Japanese cedar which leaves you with a lasting impression. It is a power spot that cleanses your soul.

Known as a power spot, Okunoin Temple is where the founder of the Shingon sect, Kobo Daishi (the monk Kukai), performed the ultimate ascetic training in which he practiced austerity to the point of death. To get to Okunoin Temple, visitors walk along a 2km approach to the temple from Ichi-no-hashi Bridge to the mausoleum. According to the tradition, Grand Master Kukai comes to this Ichi-no-hashi Bridge to greet you at your arrival and then later to see you off. For this reason, visitors bring their hands together and bow once toward this bridge...

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Business hours
- Everyday (6:00 AM ~ 5:30 PM )
Phone
0736-56-2002
Price
- Free
Website
www.koyasan.or.jp

Narita-san Shinsho-ji Temple

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Narita-san and its sando path, the only remnants of the old streets from the Edo Era
This temple boasts the second largest number of visitors in Japan on New Years Day, and also has buildings that have been designated National Cultural Properties. Easy to access from Narita airport, it's a place you can feel the Japanese atmosphere without having to travel into the city.

Strolling along the path to Narita-san Taking 10 minutes from Narita Airport by JR, you can reach JR Narita Station. The way from the station to Narita-san is called the Narita-san Sando (the path to Narita-san). The area around the temple once flourished with ryokan, and for that reason, there were many dining establishments to relax weary travelers. When walking along Narita-san Sando, you may notice a lot of signboards for eel which come from memories of hoping for travelers to work hard. On this path towards Narita-san which still retains...

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Business hours
- Everyday
Phone
0476-22-2210
Price
- Free
Website
www.naritasan.or.jp

Kumano Nachi Taisha

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Nachi Taisha – a sacred location in Kumano that overlooks the scenic Nachi Falls
Nachi Taisha is among the red-lacquer temples that glisten among the mountains along the beautiful stone steps of the Kumano Kodo route. Here, close to Nachi Falls, you will experience the impressive nature of Kumano.

Nachi Taisha – a World Heritage site Nachi Taisha is one of the Kumano Sanzan (three sacred shrines), and both the shrine and the grounds are designated World Heritage sites. The shrine, consisting of six buildings at the top of 467 stone steps, is situated in the Nachi mountains at a height of approximately 500m. From the temple grounds, you can see Nachi Falls, which is a designated National Place of Scenic Beauty. The beautiful red-lacquer shrine also features Bird Rock (karasu-ishi), which is said to be the petrified form of Yatagara...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
0735-55-032
Price
- Free
Website
www.jnto.go.jp

Todaiji


Daibutsu is the highlight of this exemplary ancient-Nara temple, which has fascinated people for time immemorial.
People have always loved Todaiji, which was completed in the year 752 and continues to be a religious place down to this day. The essential sights include the buildings that were rebuilt after being destroyed in fires caused by wars, Daibutsu (the great Buddha), masterpieces from the geniuses Unkei and Kaikei, and the statues of the guardian deities.

Todaiji is a provincial temple established by the state to implore the gods for peace and to prevent accidents and disasters Todaiji is a cultural property in Nara that is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. It is home to countless works of art and structures that are designated National Treasures, and is full of objects of extremely significant cultural value. Here, you will experience the dynamic atmosphere of a history spanning the ages in such objects as the main temple building, which houses Japan’s largest temple, and Daibuts...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
0742-22-5511
Price
- Adult: 500 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Website
www.todaiji.or.jp

Chuson-ji Temple


The Golden Hall (Konjiki-do) in the green forest is a World Heritage site showing Buddhist culture in all its glory within the Tohoku region
The temple of the Fujiwara clan that had enjoyed 100 unbroken years of prosperity before becoming mired in war. The Golden Hall, created under the aegis of the founder of the Northern Fujiwaras, Kiyohira, must be seen as a hidden treasure that illustrated Paradise and prayed for peace.

Chuson-ji Temple, a heritage site for Heian Buddhist culture that came of age in the Tohoku region Chuson-ji is a temple built upon a 130m hill in the middle of deep forest. Beautiful 300-year-old cryptomeria trees line the gentle Tsukimizaka Slope on its way to the temple. The history of the temple is old: it had been established by Buddhist abbot Ennin in 850 before further construction was initiated in 1105 by the first of the Northern Fujiwara clan, Kiyohira, which began an age of prosperity for the temple. However, due to the ravages o...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:30 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
0191-46-2211
Price
- Adult: 800 JPY
- Child: 200 JPY
High school students 500 yen
Middle school students 300 yen

Website
www.chusonji.or.jp

Zuigan-ji Temple


A National Treasure temple which Masamune Date devoted himself to building with the air of gorgeous Momoyama culture
The dazzling main hall constructed in Matsushima by the first feudal lord of the Sendai clan, Masamune Date, cannot be missed. At Zuigan-ji Temple, where many Important Cultural Properties including National Treasures are maintained, experience the art of Japan’s Middle Ages.

The family temple of the Date clan with a history going back over 1100 years At the beginning of the Heian Era in the year 828, the priest Jikaku Daishi Ennin founded a temple in Matsushima with the help of 3000 students and monks. Afterwards, with the changes in authority, there came changes in patrons and even denominations as the temple continued to survive, but in the year 1600, the military commander Masamune Date built a castle in Sendai, and with the construction of the town, construction of temples and shrines proceeded. One of those...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:00 AM ~ 3:30 PM )
Phone
022-354-3218
Price
- Adult: 700 JPY
- Child: 400 JPY

Kinkakuji

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Kinkakuji – the World Heritage site of gold that glitters with nature in each season
Kinkakuji was established in 1397 by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. The dazzling appearance of the reliquary hall on the temple grounds, which is decorated with gold leaf, is what Kinkakuji is known for.

Kinkaku glitters with gold Kinkaku is a three-story building made of wood. The first story is in the style of a Heian palace, the second story is in samurai-house style, and the third story is in the style of a Zen Buddhist temple. The second and third stories are covered in gold leaf, as is the inside of the third story, except for the floor. The Kinkakuji seen today was rebuilt in 1955 after the building was destroyed by fire in 1950. Major repairs were carried out in 1986, when the gold leaf was reapplied so as to achieve the appearance see...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
075-461-0013
Price
- Adult: 400 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Website
en.wikipedia.org

Zenko-ji Temple

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

A non-sectarian temple that has gained a lot of worship under the phrase of “Visiting Zenko-ji Temple once in one’s lifetime”
Not belonging to any one sect since its construction, Zenko-ji Temple has welcomed believers of all stripes. It is especially famous for its Gokaicho ceremony which is held every 7 years in which the replica of a hidden Buddha is shown to the public.

A unique temple providing relief to people regardless of their religious affiliation Built about 1400 years ago, Zenko-ji Temple has garnered wide worship as a base for the hearts of the people. Founded in Japan before Buddhism was split into different sects, it has become famous as a temple that doesn’t ascribe to one particular denomination. Also, it became well known nationwide during the Heian Era as a temple that rescued women which was unusual in Old Buddhism when temples wouldn’t allow women to enter. Regardless of social p...

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Business hours
- Everyday
The grounds are open daily 24 hours a day, although the inner temple, the Zenko-ji museum and the tour of the Sanmon gate depend on the day.
Phone
026-234-3591
Price
- Adult: 500 JPY
- Child: 50 JPY
Website
www.zenkoji.jp

Motsu-ji Temple


A World Heritage site of Scenic Beauty with a surviving elegant garden of Heian aristocracy that came of age in the Tohoku region
The garden culture of the powerful Northern Fujiwara clan that has been retained all these centuries. Walk in the Pure Land that merges nature and the world of Buddhism, and reminisce over the lifestyle of the elegant Heian nobility.

The miraculous Motsu-ji Temple with its legend of the white deer When the great priest Ennin came to this land during his pilgrimage through the Tohoku region, there was a thick fog which he couldn’t escape. He then noticed some white fur at his feet which led to a white deer crouched down on the ground. When the deer disappeared beyond the fog, an old white-haired figure appeared and that figure prophesied that a temple would be built on the land before he disappeared. After the temple was established in the year 850, Motohira Fujiw...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:30 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
0191-46-2331
Price
- Adult: 500 JPY
- Child: 100 JPY
High school students 300 yen
Website
www.motsuji.or.jp

Hokoku-ji Temple

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

A bamboo grove, moss and matcha tea. Spend a day of tranquility surrounded by vivid greenery.
Hokoku-ji is a Zen temple that was established 700 years ago. It has been thoughtfully maintained over a long period of time and the lush and beautiful bamboo grove will take your breath away. Have some matcha tea while viewing the forest during a tea ceremony.

The Bamboo Temple with a beautiful bamboo grove At the end of the 12th century, political rule by the military class took root in Kamakura and lasted until 1333. In the Kanto region at Kamakura, which was the capital city longer than Tokyo, even now retains many historical buildings giving an air of the old capital. In the background of those times, Hokoku-ji is a Zen temple belonging to the Kencho-ji school of the Rinzai sect that was built in 1334, after the demise of the Kamakura shogunate. Also known as the Bamboo Temple, it has attracted...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
Phone
0467-22-0762
Price
- Adult: 200 JPY
With matcha tea 500 yen
Website
www.houkokuji.or.jp

Kongobuji Temple

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Experience the teachings of Buddhism through your eyes and heart – Participate in the meditation session at Kongobuji
Kongobuji temple is the headquarters of Mount Koya Shingon Buddhism. This is THE place for experiencing Japanese culture with your five senses – encounter the beauty of Japan by walking through the great variety of rooms, listen to the Buddhist sermons given by monks, and participate in a meditation session.

Try out the Shingon Buddhism breathing method and meditation method At the spacious and gracious, approx. 160,000 square meters premises of the Kongobuji temple, the headquarters of Mount Koya Shingon Buddhism, visitors can leisurely enjoy a variety of rooms and gardens. The area collectively called Kongobuji temple includes the Main Hall, the Head Monk’s Room, the Inner Hall, the Annex, the New Annex, the Drawing Room, the New Drawing Room, the Scripture Storage, the Bell Tower, the Shinzen Hall, the Goma Prayer Hall, the Ajikan Meditat...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:30 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
0736-56-2011
Price
- Adult: 500 JPY
- Child: 200 JPY
Website
www.koyasan.or.jp

Ninjadera

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Myoryuji, commonly known as Ninjadera, is full of ideas for the protection of feudal lords
Myoryuji is known by the nickname Ninjadera. The tense historical background to this precious building can be felt in the unique traps and mechanisms set for the Shogunate army.

A temple with 23 rooms and 29 staircases Myoryuji is a Nichiren Buddhist temple constructed in 1643 by the third feudal lord of the Kaga Domain, Toshitsune Maeda. As the original temple of good luck, many people came to visit the shrine regardless of social standing or sect, not to mention lords and vassals. The situation was tense for Lord Maeda of the Kaga Domain, who was also the Tozama Daimyo (a Daimyo who followed the House of Tokugawa at the 1600AD Battle of Sekigahara and after), due to constant surveillance from the Tokugawa Shogunate,...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
Phone
076-241-0888
Price
- Adult: 800 JPY
- Child: 600 JPY
Website
www.myouryuji.or.jp

Sensoji Temple

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Get an impression of Japanese culture at Sensoji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo, and Nakamise-dori with its many shops
Sensoji Temple is Tokyo’s oldest temple and surrounding the main temple is a 5-story pagoda as well as various shops along Nakamise-dori leading up to the temple. The famous Sanja Festival, which snakes its way through the temple grounds, and the Hozuki Festival occur along with other events on a yearly basis at Sensoji Temple.

Sensoji at the centre of the Edo Period culture During the Edo period, Sensoji Temple was used as the main temple of prayer for the Tokugawa shogunate and resultantly, Sensoji Temple flourished in the city of Edo. Asakusa as a whole is representative of this shitamachi (downtown-style) culture during the Edo Period, and Sensoji Temple is the sightseeing spot that represents this history and culture of Asakusa largely due to the number of visitors it receives on a yearly basis. There are over a staggering 30 million worshippers whom visit t...

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Business hours
- Everyday (6:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
03-3842-0181
Price
- Free
Website
www.senso-ji.jp

Toshodai-ji

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

A World Heritage temple relating vestiges of Tempyo culture to the present age
Founded by the Chinese high priest, Jianzhen, in the Nara Era, Toshodai-ji is well known. Within the temple grounds where the buildings and Buddhist statues have existed since that age, it’s also interesting that ancient memories are evoked.

A temple associated with the Chinese high priest, Jianzhen Toshodai-ji is the head temple for Risshu, one of the six sects of Buddhism brought to Japan. In 759, Jianzhen began a place of Buddhist meditation that was for students to learn the mores and principles that needed to be protected in the religion. At the time, there had been no high priest to instruct these precepts in Japan, and there was a huge problem with a decrease in the quality of monks. It is at that point that Emperor Shoumu invited Jianzen from China to establish the correc...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:30 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
0742-33-7900
Price
- Adult: 600 JPY
- Child: 200 JPY
Website
www.toshodaiji.jp

Great Buddha(Kotoku-in)


The Great Buddha: the best sightseeing spot in Kamakura
Kamakura is a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture, nestled in between the mountains and the ocean and considerably abundant with nature. The Great Buddha of the Kotoku-in Temple has been designated as a National Treasure.

The City of Kamakura Kamakura is famous as a summer spot where many people enjoy surfing and marine sports along the coast. With its many historical temples and shrines, it’s a place that has an abundance of nature including the hydrangeas during the rainy season. The local Enoshima Railway linking many of the tourist spots is also popular. Kamakura is one of the recommended tourist spots where you can spend a leisurely time. Also, Kamakura is the site where the Kamakura shogunate was positioned. It is a place that had an enormously impo...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
0467-22-0703
Price
- Adult: 200 JPY
- Child: 150 JPY
Website
www.kotoku-in.jp

Kiyomizu-dera


Kiyomizu-dera – Kyoto’s most popular tourist attraction
Kiyomizu-dera is a Kannon temple where the goddess Kannon is worshipped. Among Kyoto’s temples, Kiyomizu-dera has a particularly long history, and is a registered World Heritage site. It is one of Kyoto’s most popular tourist attractions.

Enjoy the National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties of Kiyomizu-dera Kiyomizu-dera was constructed on Mt. Kiyomizu (Mt. Otowa). The main temple at Kiyomizu-dera, which is also referred to as the “Kiyomizu-dera stage,” was rebuilt by Tokugawa Iemitsu in 1633. The main temple building, constructed early in the Edo period, is a National Treasure. It is supported by more than 100 keyaki (Japanese Zelkova) trees and not a single nail is used. Jojuin, in the northern area of the temple grounds, features the Moon Garden, which...

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Business hours
- Everyday (6:00 AM ~ 5:30 PM )
Phone
075-551-1234
Price
- Adult: 300 JPY
- Child: 200 JPY
Website
www.kiyomizudera.or.jp

Kencho-ji Temple

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Kencho-ji is Japan’s first Zen temple where you can serenely view the garden and experience meditation.
Kencho-ji is Japan’s oldest Zen temple which has been in existence since the 13th century. Calmly sense the world of Zen while walking through the large grounds of the solemn temple and viewing the garden of the chief priest.

Feeling the world of Zen Kencho-ji Temple is located between Kamakura and Kita-Kamakura Stations, surrounded by trees and nature in a quiet place. From the 12th century going into the 13th century, Kamakura was going through an age of control by the warrior and a time when learning, culture and religion were flourishing. It was in this region that numerous temples were being constructed. Among these temples, Kencho-ji is famous for being the first Zen temple in Japan to be built and is ranked the first among Kamakura’s Five Great Zen Te...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:30 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
0467-22-0981
Price
- Adult: 300 JPY
- Child: 100 JPY
Website
www.kenchoji.com

Sanjusangen-do

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

A museum of Buddhist statues – 1001 life-size statues of Senju Kannon
Sanjusangen-do, which was rebuilt in 1266, has been maintained for more than 700 years while repeatedly undergoing repairs. 1001 statues of Kannon are enshrined in the 120-meter long temple, which is made entirely of Japanese cypress.

1001 statues of the 1000-armed and 1000-bodied Kannon Higashiyama-ku is one of Kyoto’s most popular tourist destinations. It is a hub of historical buildings, including Kiyomizudera, Ginkakuji, and Yasakajinja. Even among them, Sanjusangen-do is a popular destination for tourists that was given three stars in the Michelin guide. The sitting statue of Senju Kannon, which is the principal object of worship in Sanjusangen-do, is enshrined in the Buddhist temple. The statue, which is made of wood, is a designated National Treasure. On both s...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
Phone
075-561-0467
Price
- Adult: 600 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Website
en.wikipedia.org

Eikan-do


Eikan-do, where you can refresh your soul from the beautiful autumn leaves and the Mikaeri Amida
With the temple grounds colored by the autumn leaves, there is a wonderful harmony among the beautiful architecture, the pond and the garden, and so an elegant scene arises. Beautiful autumn leaves striving to be the best even in Kyoto can be seen.

When thinking of Eikan-do, the beauty of the autumn leaves comes to mind In 853, Shinjo, the student of the monk Kukai, established the temple. The official name is Zenrin-ji, but due to the deeds of helping out the disadvantaged by the 7th head monk Yokan, it started to be called Eikan-do. Since long ago, fall foliage that strives to become the best in Kyoto can be seen here to the extent that people say “Autumn means the maples in Eikan-do”. Passing through the main gate, the path lined with autumn trees continues on, and there i...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
075-761-0007
Price
- Adult: 600 JPY
- Child: 400 JPY
Website
www.eikando.or.jp

Myosen-ji Temple


An ancient temple surrounded by a cedar forest with an impressive and beautiful five-story pagoda that took two generations of temple carpenters to complete
Its beauty is not just restricted to the dignified thatch-roofed Niomon Gate, the five-story pagoda or the garden but is also conveyed from the must-see tranquil woodland scenery as seen from the old graveyard behind the Hozo treasure repository. It is a famous temple where you can relax amid nature.

The five-story pagoda designed with the heart and soul of two generations of carpenters Myosen-ji’s five-story pagoda was built in the latter half of the Edo Era and is one of only 22 such precious structures to survive in the country. This pagoda was completed in 30 years by father-and-son temple carpenters from the Mozaemon family. At a height of 24.11m with each side measuring 3.6m, this Edo Era pagoda is notable for every floor from bottom to top basically having the same dimensions with a beautiful carving of an elaborately-designe...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
April-October 8:00am-5:00pm
November-March 8:00am-4:00pm
Phone
0259-55-2061
Price
- Free
Website
enjoyniigata.com

Mitaki-dera Temple

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

The temple of more than 300 serenely standing stone Buddha statues is located close to downtown Hiroshima
You are enveloped by the deep serenity of stone Buddha on the mountainside becoming one with nature. Known as a famous place for cherry blossoms and autumn leaves, an old residence has been refurbished as a popular teahouse with a calm atmosphere.

A temple to enjoy the serenity despite its proximity to downtown By car, it is only a 10-minute drive from the core of the city of Hiroshima. Located in a deep mountain valley, Mitaki-dera Temple is on the side of Mt. Mitaki and has a quiet air about it although it is close to the downtown area. The temple grounds which have a grand view of the city are in the form of a garden, and on the sando path to the temple, there are stone Buddha statues and tanka inscriptions which look out for the worshipers. The 3 waterfalls which flow within the gr...

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Business hours
- Everyday
March-November AM8:00~PM5:30
December-February AM8:00~PM5:00

Phone
082-237-0811
Price
- Free
Website
en.wikipedia.org

Kumano Nachi Taisha

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Nachi Taisha – a sacred location in Kumano that overlooks the scenic Nachi Falls
Nachi Taisha is among the red-lacquer temples that glisten among the mountains along the beautiful stone steps of the Kumano Kodo route. Here, close to Nachi Falls, you will experience the impressive nature of Kumano.

Nachi Taisha – a World Heritage site Nachi Taisha is one of the Kumano Sanzan (three sacred shrines), and both the shrine and the grounds are designated World Heritage sites. The shrine, consisting of six buildings at the top of 467 stone steps, is situated in the Nachi mountains at a height of approximately 500m. From the temple grounds, you can see Nachi Falls, which is a designated National Place of Scenic Beauty. The beautiful red-lacquer shrine also features Bird Rock (karasu-ishi), which is said to be the petrified form of Yatagara...

more information

Business hours
- Everyday (8:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
0735-55-0321
Price
- Free
Website
www.jnto.go.jp

Seisui-ji Temple


This ancient temple on a lush green mountain built to resemble Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto was established in the Heian Era
A truly secluded temple. The vermilion Guze-den Hall patterned after Kyoto’s Kiyomizu-dera Temple has a venerable appearance as it stands tall amid the trees. The sound of the river off in the distance further deepens the tranquility of the temple.

Guze-den Hall resembling Kyoto’s Kiyomizu-dera Temple was established in consideration for the people of Sado who could not make it as far as Kyoto to worship Seisui-ji Temple which was established in 808 is Sado’s oldest temple of note which has existed since the Heian Era. At the time, Emperor Kammu, who deeply worshiped the Thousand-Armed Kannon which was the principal image enshrined at Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto, took into consideration the people of Sado who couldn’t make the trip to Kyoto to pray there and started...

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Phone
0259-22-2167
Price
- Free

Engaku-ji Temple

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

A grand Zen temple that has retained its charm from the Kamakura Era. It must be seen for its National Treasures and fall foliage
Even among the Zen temples of the Kamakura Era when the samurai class flourished, Engaku-ji is a historic temple that has been ranked as the second of Kamakura’s Five Mountains. The gently-sloping vista is first-rate and the changing colors in the fall are especially splendid.

The wonderful beauty of the placement of the temple buildings born from the topography   The construction of Engaku-ji began in 1278 during the Kamakura Era which was under the authority of the warrior class. At the time, the most powerful man in the nation, Tokimune Hojo, invited the Chinese monk Sogen Mugaku to establish Engaku-ji. The origins of the temple lay in the desire to spread Zen Buddhism to the world and also to mourn for those who had died protecting the nation during the Mongol invasions. It was here that not only the Japanes...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
Phone
0467-22-0478
Price
- Adult: 300 JPY
- Child: 100 JPY

Ginkakuji (Higashiyama Jisho-ji)

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Ginkakuji, or “Temple of the Silver Pavilion,” is representative of the Higashiyama Culture, which saw the blossoming traditional Japanese culture
Built in 1490, during Japan’s Muromachi shogunate, by Yoshimune Ashikaga, the Eighth shogun, who prospered in the Muromachi period, Ginkakuji is a structure in which the first floor section is built in a domestic style, and the second floor section is built in the style of a Buddhist temple.

The Appeal of the Ginkakuji Beyond the main gate of Ginkakuji, proceeding further inside is the Kannon-den, also called the Silver Pavilion. This has been designated a national treasure; the Silver Pavilion is also a building that preserves the hallmarks of the culture of the Muromachi Period. It is said that the Muromachi period, in which Ginkakuji was built, was an age that blended the aristocratic culture of samurai warriors, monks and court nobles.Much of the well-known Japanese traditional culture that came to be cherished by many people...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
075-771-5725
Price
- Adult: 500 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Website
en.wikipedia.org

Kofuku-ji

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

With the statues of Ashura and the Thousand-Armed Kannon, it is a valuable Buddhist treasure house.
Known for its 5-storied pagoda as a symbol of the ancient capital of Nara, Kofuku-ji is a World Heritage site. Starting with its architecture as a National Treasure, there are many attractions to see such as the many Heian Era Buddhist sculptures.

Kofuku-ji boasts a history of 1300 years Kofuku-ji is the head temple of the Hosso sect, one of the 6 Nara Era Buddhist sects. Its history began in 669, when the wife of Fujiwara-no-Kamatari prayed for her husband’s recovery from illness at the preceding Yamashina Temple which had worshipped various Buddhas. Following the Jinshin War of 672 when the capital was moved to Asuka, the temple was re-named Umayasaka Temple. And then in 710 when the capital was relocated to Heian, it was moved to its current location and was named Kofuku-ji by...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
0742-22-7755
Price
- Adult: 600 JPY
- Child: 200 JPY
Website
www.kohfukuji.com

Natadera Temple

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

A sacred place that has existed since before Christ, Natadera is a cave temple which has been called “The Mother’s Womb”
Countless numbers of caves exist on the exposed rock wall. Natadera Temple is infused with a mysterious beauty surrounded by the nature of the mountains with features such as a garden with soaring strangely-shaped rocks and a main hall situated in a cave.

Experience a rebirth beyond the cave at the mysterious temple on the rock wall Natadera Temple which is located in the caves and caverns on a high rock wall has come to be revered as an ancient sacred ground. It is believed that its worship originated from the Jomon Era (14,000 BC-several centuries before the birth of Christ). The cave was believed to be “The Mother’s Womb” in which people entered to wash away their sins and then come out reborn. In the year 717, the Buddhist priest Taicho carved out the image of the Thousan...

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Business hours
- Everyday
Summer 3/1 ~ 11/30 8:30am - 4:45 pm
Winter 12/1 ~ 2/28 8:45am - 4:30 pm

Phone
0761 -65-2111
Price
- Adult: 600 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Kuri Shoin/Garden
General admission + 200 yen (toddlers and elementary school students are free)

Website
www.natadera.com

Tocho-ji Temple

The best 30 Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Try the trial of luck with the amazing 10.8m-tall Fukuoka Daibutsu (Great Buddha Statue) during the pilgrimage of Hell and Heaven
A temple with many highlights such as the country’s largest wooden seated statue of Buddha, the Rokkaku-do which can only be visited once a month, and the recently-built 5-floor pagoda.

The temple built by Buddhist monk Kukai is Japan’s oldest 10 minutes away from Hakata Station on foot, Tocho-ji was built in 806 by the monk Kukai (Kobo Daishi) as the head temple for the Shingon sect in Kyushu. It is also the oldest Shingon temple of the area. It was initially located by the sea, but it was moved to its current location by the leader of the Fukuoka clan, Tadayuki Kuroda, and became the family temple for the Kurodas. The Rokkaku-do, which was built in 1842, is a civic cultural property in which is enshrined a hexagonal...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
092-291-4459
Price
- Free

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