01 Dec 2016

The Kinki Region, as known as Kansai, including prefectures of Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Osaka, Shiga and Hyogo. It is one of the most famous regions that attracts many travelers for famous historical spots and World Heritage Sites. Kansai has more temples than other regions in Japan, so you can enjoy a wonderful intellectual journey by exploring temples and shrines in Kansai. Here are the best 30 shrines and temples you can not miss when you pay a visit in Kansai, Japan.

 

Onokorojima Shrine

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

The splendid torii which represents one of Japan’s three greatest shrine gates is amazing
One of the largest torii in Japan is a highlight at the shrine which is famous for providing good fortune in safe childbirth and matchmaking. Onokorojima Shrine is located in an area which is known for the mythology behind the creation of the nation and the gods according to the Kojiki, Japan’s oldest historical record.

Encounter history in the birthplace of Japan According to Japan’s oldest historical record, the Kojiki, Onokorojima Shrine is known as the sacred land of the gods Izanagi and Izanami where the nation was born. The two gods are enshrined within Onokorojima which is visited by many people in search of good luck in matchmaking and safe childbirth. But the most famous sight is the deep red giant torii gate. At a height of 21.7 meters, its huge size is overwhelming. This enormous torii at Onokorojima Shrine is one of Japan’s Three Majo...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
0799-42-5320
Price
- Free

 

Izanagi Shrine

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Japan’s oldest shrine enshrining the gods Izanagi and Izanami who gave birth to the nation
Recorded in Japan’s oldest historical records, the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, this is the nation’s oldest shrine enshrining Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto, the gods who gave birth to the Japanese archipelago.

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Business hours
- Everyday
Phone
0799-80-5001
Price
- Free
Website
en.wikipedia.org

 

Ikuta Shrine

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

An 1800-year-old shrine located right in the center of the commercial area of Sannomiya
The name of Kobe was derived from the original name of Kanbe, the family protecting the Ikuta god, and the shrine is one of the three great shrines of Kobe beloved by its citizens. It is very popular as a shrine for matchmaking.

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Business hours
- Everyday
24 hours a day
Phone
075-254-7414
Price
- Free
Website
www.ikutajinja.or.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

 

Kasuga Taisha


Among a red shinden sanctuary to amaze you and the tranquility of a primeval forest, there is a pantheon of gods.
The World Heritage site of Kasuga Taisha (Kasuga Grand Shrine) was established to enshrine the local deity at around the time of the transfer of the capital 1300 years ago. The brilliant vermilion shinden in the primeval forest is magnificent and mysterious.

1300 years ago, the wisteria blossoms which make up the crest of the Fujiwara clan which built Kasuga Taisha have a special beauty   Kasuga Shrine which is located inside Nara Park has continued on from ancient times with its brilliant red shinden, its beautiful cloisters and an overwhelming impression to its guests. Its red appearance among the lushly green cedar grove at the bottom of Kasugayama Primeval Forest evokes that mystery of a sacred country of the Far East. The gorgeous main building that has also been registered as a UNESCO Worl...

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Business hours
- Everyday (6:30 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
0742-22-7788
Price
- Adult: 500 JPY
The shrine repository and botanical gardens require separate admission
Website
www.kasugataisha.or.jp

 

Kofukuji Temple

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Kofukuji Temple, Japan’s oldest Chinese temple which brings forth the trading city of Nagasaki in the Edo Era to the current day
Kofukuji is the first Chinese temple to be built in Japan in the international city of Nagasaki which developed as a trading port. Having escaped from damage from the atomic bomb, it is a nationally designated Important Cultural Property which displays its appearance back then to the present day.

In the early part of the Edo Era (around 1600), Nagasaki had become an international city specializing in trade. There was an overwhelming number of Chinese people among the foreign traders, and it was said that one in six residents were from China. At the time, prohibition against Christianity was strict and there were questions about Christians among the Chinese, so to show that they were Buddhists, many Chinese temples were constructed. Among them, Kofukuji Temple was said to be Japan’s oldest example, and was established in 1620 for t...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
095-822-1076
Price
- Adult: 300 JPY
- Child: 100 JPY
Website
kofukuji.com

 

Yakushi-ji Temple

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

A must-see temple during a trip to Nara that has been designated as a cultural property of the ancient capital
The famous Yakushi-ji Temple, which is one of the religious landmarks symbolizing Nara alongside Todai-ji and Kofuku-ji, possesses many valuable historical heritage items such as Buddha statues, paintings and buildings.

A temple with an overwhelming presence for a World Heritage site Yakushi-ji is one of the many temples to be found in the city of Nara in Nara Prefecture. In the prefecture, there are numerous famous temples and shrines all over such as Todai-ji, Kofuku-ji, Kasuga Taisha, Toshodai-ji, Horyu-ji and Gango-ji. Including these temples and shrines, Yakushi-ji was registered as a World Heritage site along with the other buildings under the collective name of Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara in 1998. It was a temple commissioned by the Emperor Ten...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:30 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
0742-33-6001
Price
- Adult: 1100 JPY
- Child: 700 JPY
Admission differs depending on whether the Genjo Sanzo-in Temple is open to the public or not, so please check the homepage
Website
en.wikipedia.org

 

 

Horyuji Temple

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Immerse yourself in the historical wonders of Horyuji, the first Japanese temple listed as a World Heritage site
For over 1,400 years, the beauty of Horyuji has continued to fascinate its visitors. Immerse yourself in the mysterious legends and intriguing historical facts of Japan’s oldest wooden temple.

A variety of buildings built with the cutting-edge technology of the time The area with a group of buildings including Japan’s oldest wooden structure is collectively called Horyuji. Recognized for its exceptional historical and cultural value, Horyuji is Japan’s first World Heritage site. On the 187,000 square meters premises of Horyuji stands the Saiin Garan (the Western Precinct) built in the Asuka Period (7th century) and an array of buildings built in subsequent years with the cutting-edge technology of the time they were con...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
0745-75-2555
Price
- Adult: 1500 JPY
- Child: 750 JPY
Website
www.horyuji.or.jp

 

 

Shin-Yakushi-ji Temple

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

The healing Buddha, Yakushi Nyorai, and the Twelve Heavenly Generals looking over the people’s health and praying for a world without sorrow
A precious statue and building survive today in belief of the healing Buddha from 1200 years ago during the Nara Era. The distinct and spectacular Twelve Heavenly Generals are well worth seeing.

A temple built in the hopes for an Emperor’s recovery from illness Shin-Yakushi-ji Temple was constructed in 745 by Empress Komyo in the hopes for Emperor’s Shomu’s recovery from illness with 7 statues of the Yakushi Nyorai enshrined within. At the time, more than 100 monks served in the huge grounds, and Kon-do Hall where the Buddhas were enshrined was even larger than the council hall at the Nara Imperial Palace. The temple was almost completely burned down due to a lightning strike in the year 780, and the hall that had b...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
0742-22-3736
Price
- Adult: 600 JPY
- Child: 150 JPY
Website
en.wikipedia.org

 

Heijo Palace

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

The Imperial palace for the ancient capital of Heijo-kyo (present-day Nara) that has also been registered as a World Heritage site
On its huge grounds, there are structures such as the Excavation Site Exhibition Hall, the Heijo Palace Site Museum, Suzaku Gate and a garden. The opulence of the former capital which flourished as the center of Japan still lives now.

Experience the long history of Heijo-kyo, the Nara capital The site for Heijo Palace was established in 710 when the capital was transferred from Fujiwara-kyo to Heijo-kyo, and until its next move to Nagaoka-kyo in 784, the Greater Palace served as the center of Heijo-kyo, itself the center of Japan. The palace grounds were huge with an area of approximately 120 hectares. Heijo Palace, where you can get a glimpse of a gorgeous age when it flourished as the capital, was registered as the first World Heritage site that was an archeological ruin...

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Business hours
- Tuesday (9:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
- Wednesday (9:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
- Thursday (9:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
- Friday (9:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
- Saturday (9:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
- Sunday (9:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
0742-35-8201
Price
- Free
Website
en.wikipedia.org

 

Fushimi Inari Shrine


Fushimi Inari Shrine – A 1,300 years old shrine for the God of bountiful crops and prosperous business
Serving as a place of worship for commoners over 1,300 years, Fushimi Inari Shrine is the headquarters of inari shrines. The tunnel consisting of 10,000 torii gates is something to see. Enjoy a stroll through the gently rolling land of the spacious grounds of the shrine.

Red torii gates and white foxes – the symbols of Fushimi Inari Shrine For more than 1,300 years, people have come to Fushimi Inari Shrine to worship the Inari God that assures bountiful crops. The shrine is the headquarters of the more than 30,000 inari shrines across Japan. The red torii gates and white foxes are the symbols of Fushimi Inari Shrine. It is said that the red color of the torii gates and the shrine building has power against supernatural powers and that the color also indicates the bountifulness of the Inari God. Foxes are...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:30 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Shrine grounds are open 24 hours a day
Phone
075-641-7331
Price
- Free
Website
en.wikipedia.org

 

 

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

 

 

Ninna-ji Temple

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Ninna-ji is recommended for the beautiful late-blooming cherry blossom season
The temple was built in 888 by Emperor Uda. An example of Heian Era palatial architecture that served as a residence for the nobles of that time, Ninna-ji was recognized as a National Treasure and has also been registered as a World Heritage site, famous for its cherry blossoms.

Enjoy the National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties of Ninna-ji Temple There are many National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties inside Ninna-ji. The Golden Hall that retains the notable atmosphere of a palace has been recognized as a National Treasure for its Heian Era style as it served as a residence for the Heian nobility. The Goei-do Hall which was constructed in the Momoyama style is an Important Cultural Property as is the temple’s five-storied pagoda, which, unlike other similar pagodas whose roofs usually g...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
075-461-4070
Price
- Adult: 500 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Website
www.ninnaji.or.jp

 

 

Kifune Shrine


The God of Water and The God of Marriage
Upstream from the Yodo and Kamo Rivers, it was said that the main building of the 1500-year-old Kifune Shrine had been built in an area gushing with water. It is a famous Shinto shrine which, as a shrine dedicated to marriage, has also been visited by historical figures.

A shrine whose god rules the water Kifune Shrine, which has a history of 1500 years and is surrounded by woods along the banks of the Kibune River, the source of the Kamo River, is a shrine that deifies the God of Water. It’s separated into 3 rear shrines: the main shrine devoted to the God of Water, an associated shrine devoted to the God of Marriage, and the site of the original main shrine. It is also said to be one of Japan’s three major marriage shrines and known as the place where Izumi Shikibu, one of the poets for the Hyaku...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
075-741-2016
Price
- Free
Website
en.wikipedia.org

 

 

Ryōan-ji


Relax in the famous Ryōan-ji Rock Garden
Hosokawa Katsumoto established Ryōan-ji in 1450 during the Muromachi period, when Zen sects flourished. Without using water, karesansui, or dry landscape, gardens represent water using stones and sand, and “Ryōan-ji’s Rock Garden” is famous for this.The garden is listed as a World Heritage Site.

Enjoying the Rock Garden at Ryōan-ji The Rock Garden at Ryōan-ji is listed as both A National Site of Special Scenic Beauty and a National Historic Site.As a karesansui, or dry landscape, garden, sand is used to represent the sea, its waves represented by lines drawn in the sand using a rake. The stones are said to represent mountains and islands.Additionally, the Rock Garden’s meanings are interpreted variously as a “Garden of Tiger Cubs Crossing,” or as the shape of the Chinese character for “heart” or “mi...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:30 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
075-463-2216
Price
- Adult: 500 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Website
www.ryoanji.jp

 

Nanzenji

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Kyoto’s foremost location for cherry blossoms and autumn colors – enjoy the Cultural Properties of Nanzenji
Nanzenji was built as a temple of prayer for the prosperity of the country. It was inaugurated by the Cloistered Emperor Kameyama in 1291 during the Kamakura period. It is one of the most popular locations for the beautiful cherry blossoms in spring and autumn colors in the fall.

Enjoy the cultural properties at Nanzenji Nanzenji is a designated National Historic Site, and there are many Cultural Properties on the temple grounds. First of all, there is Sanmon, which is a National Important Cultural Property, and one of Japan’s three greatest gates (it is the entrance to the temple and one of the locations that must be passed through during Buddhist training). The view of northwest Kyoto from the upper floor of the gate (known as Gohoro) at a height of 22 meters is very popular. Hojo (meaning “room”) i...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
075-771-0365
Price
- Adult: 500 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Website
www.nanzen.net

 

Saiho-ji Temple (Koke-dera)

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Covered in 120 kinds of moss, it’s a splendid garden which spreads out like a green carpet.
This is a moss garden that is a lush green thanks to the rainy season, and the contrast of red and green during the fall is beautiful. Reservations are necessary to see Koke-dera, a place which has been said to have been visited by Steve Jobs many times incognito.

Koke-dera, a World Heritage site Reportedly founded by the Buddhist priest Gyouki in the 700s, the temple was destroyed by war and floods after which it was rebuilt by Soseki Muso as a Rinzai sect temple in 1339. Its official name is Saiho-ji but the temple grounds are covered in approximately 120 kinds of moss which spread out beautifully like a green carpet thereby earning it the name of Koke-dera or “moss temple”. It has been registered as a World Heritage site. Viewing by reservation only Currently visits are restricted by...

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Phone
075-391-3631
Price
- Adult: 3000 JPY
- Child: 3000 JPY
Website
www.saihoji-kokedera-reservation.com

 

 

Tofuku-ji Temple


Tofuku-ji Temple whose buildings have been designated as National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties
The temple has plenty of highlights including 25 sub-temples and a rock garden. It is also famous as a place to see the fall colors. The colors are especially beautiful at Tsutenkyo Bridge linking the main hall with Kaisan-do Hall.

Tofuku-ji, Kyoto’s leading group of temple buildings There are 5 famous temples in Kyoto which have been ranked as the Kyoto Gozan or the Five Great Zen Temples of Kyoto, of which one is Tofuku-ji Temple. As well, the buildings of the temple show characteristics that belie its status as a Rinzai sect temple. The 22-meter high sanmon gate has been designated as a National Treasure and is known as the oldest sanmon gate in Japan. Also, Tokufu-ji has the oldest zen meditation hall in the nation. Furthermore, Tsutenkyo Bridge which makes us...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
Phone
075-533-0621
Price
- Free
Tsutenkyo Bridge
adults 400 yen/children 300 yen
Garden
adults 400 yen/children 300 yen

Website
www.tofukuji.jp

 

Yasaka Shrine


The guardian deity of the Hanamachi (geisha quarter) providing hope through protection against evil, the warding off of disease, and prosperity of business
A shrine located close to Hanamachi that was the origin for Kyoto’s Gion district. It has been popular as a place to earn the grace of the gods through protection against evil, warding off of disease, business success, matchmaking and beauty among other things.

A venerable shrine for the Gion Festival Yasaka Shrine was established in 656, approximately 150 years before the transfer of the capital to Kyoto. Affectionately called Gion-san, it can be visited from a walk through Hanamachi. Its guardian deity is known as Susano Kushi-inada Hime Yahashiranomiko-kami. Revered from all over Japan as the capital underwent development, even today, it has 3000 branch shrines all over the nation. The Gion Festival which is the great annual summer festival for Kyoto which lasts for almost a month from July 1st i...

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Business hours
- Everyday
Phone
075-561-6155
Price
- Free
Website
www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp

 

 

Byodoin Temple

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Heaven on earth – A World Heritage site, Byodoin Temple
Byodoin Temple embodies the heaven envisioned by an aristocrat of the Heian period. A valuable building that attests to the prosperity of the Fujiwara clan. The temple’s Phoenix Hall has been recovered in a brilliant state following the recent completion of its restoration work.

Aristocrat’s second house turned into a temple Byodoin temple was established in 1052 when an aristocrat named Yorimichi Fujiwara decided to turn his second house into a temple. The temple building and the Buddha statues created nearly 1,000 years ago have been collectively listed as a World Heritage site. Adding to its glory, the temple’s Phoenix Hall is featured on the Japanese 10 yen coin. The Phoenix Hall recently underwent nearly 2 years of restoration work including a roof replacement and re-coating of its exterior layer; th...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
Phone
0774-21-2861
Price
- Adult: 600 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Website
www.byodoin.or.jp

 

 

Ise Jingu Naiku (Kotaijingu)

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Japan’s prominent holy ground enshrining the goddess Amaterasu-omikami, the tutelary god of the Japanese people
Naiku (Inner Shrine) which is officially known as Kotajingu is a prestigious shrine that has been venerated by generations of Emperors. Within its 93ha grounds, an ancient forest spreads out and there is a majesty to the atmosphere.

After sightseeing at the Geku (Outer Shrine), go to the Naiku where the highest god is enshrined   Naiku enshrines Amaterasu-omikami, the progenitor of the Imperial Household and the tutelary god of the Japanese people. The object of worship is the Yata-no-Kagami (Sacred Mirror), and along with the Yasakani-no-Magatama (Jewel) and the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi (Sword), they are collectively called The Three Sacred Treasures. Within Naiku, there is the Shogu which enshrines Amaterasu-omikami, plus 2 associate shrines and 10 administrative shrines....

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Business hours
- Everyday (5:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
0596-24-1111
Price
- Free
Website
www.isejingu.or.jp

 

Okage Yokocho

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

The bustling atmosphere of the Edo Era during pilgrimages to Ise Jingu has been recreated
Okage Yokocho is a lively area that is inside the shrine town (Oharai-machi) by Naiku (Inner Shrine) of Ise Jingu. There are buildings from the Edo and Meiji Eras and the area has delicacies and souvenirs unique to Ise.

Every day is like a festival! A spot for cuisine and shopping! Okage Yokocho is located in one part of Oharai-machi. Transferred and recreated buildings that represent the Ise-ji Route from the Edo Era to the Meiji Era are all lined up, and the streets have that distinct character. Within its approximately 13,200 sq. meters, there are about 50 food stores and souvenir shops that can only be found in Ise-Shima where you can get a taste of the liveliness of touring Ise Jingu and the activity of the Edo Era. Experience the traditional culture o...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:30 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
0596-23-8838
Price
- Free
Okage-za Shinwa no Kan: Adults 300 yen Children 100 yen

 

Saiku

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

The only place of its kind in Japan where the Saio who served Ise Grand Shrine lived. It was recognized as the first Japan Heritage site
The remains of the 1000-year-old palace and offices of the Saio who served the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, the main deity which has been enshrined in Ise Grand Shrine, for 660 years. In 2015, the Saiku was recognized as the first Japan Heritage site.

A city that was built from the Saio system Saiku, which is located in the northwestern sector of Ise Grand Shrine, consisted of the palace and offices for the Saio who served at the shrine. The Saio, who served the enshrined deity of Amaterasu instead of the Emperor, was represented by generations of unmarried Imperial princesses who may have numbered as many as 60 women. She offered daily prayers for the nation’s peace and prosperity. According to surveys, Saiku had a grid pattern criss-crossed by roads and was basically a well-ordered...

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Phone
0596-52-0055
Price
- Free
Website
en.wikipedia.org

 

 

Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

The main shrine of all Sumiyoshi shrines, beloved by Osakans for the Taiko-bashi Bridge and the Hattatsu-san Festival
The distinctive architectural style of Sumiyosh-taisha Shrine is unusual, beloved for the arched Taiko-bashi Bridge and the Hattatsu Mairi for business prosperity, and 2 million people come annually for the first visit to the shrine in the New Year (hatsumode).

A shrine with its own original culture Sumiyoshi-taisha is the main shrine for the nation’s 2300 Sumiyoshi shrines, boasting a history of 1800 years. The honden main hall is separated into four structures with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd main shrines built in a row, and the 4th built across from the 3rd, a highly unusual configuration. Called the sumiyoshi-zukuri style, the shrine’s buildings have been declared a National Treasure, and the special form is the oldest of its type in the history of shrine architecture. The Kakutorii stone...

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Business hours
- Everyday (6:30 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
06-6672-0753
Price
- Free
Website
www.jnto.go.jp

 

Shitenno-ji Temple

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Japan’s oldest temple, Shitenno-ji, built by Prince Shotoku
Shitenno-ji is Japan’s oldest temple which was established by Prince Shotoku in his bid to create a new nation centered on the Emperor. It was erected to provide salvation for the world.

A temple built for salvation of the masses This was Japan’s first genuine Buddhist temple, built in 593, by Prince Shotoku to honor four heavenly kings. The central gate, the five-storied pagoda, the Kon-do main hall and the Kodo lecture hall are arranged in a line facing from south to north, all surrounded by a corridor, a precious architectural form seen in China and the Korean peninsula from the 6th to 7th centuries as the prevalent style in Asia brought to these times. As the site to put the fundamental principles of Buddhism into p...

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Business hours
- Everyday
Phone
06-6771-0066
Price
- Adult: 300 JPY
Website
www.jnto.go.jp

 

 

Osaka Tenman-gu Shrine

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

Boasting a history of 1000 years, it is a place where the god of learning and performing arts is enshrined and the standpoint of the merchants of Osaka
Osaka Tenman-gu is where Michizane Sugawara is enshrined. For the city of water, Osaka has the funatogyo (sea procession) and a fireworks competition at the 1000-year-old Tenjin Matsuri festival which are reminders of the Osaka summer.

Osaka Tenman-gu where Michizane is enshrined Losing a bid for power at the Imperial court, scholar and politician Michizane Sugawara found himself demoted to the Dazaifu region but on his way there, he went to pray at Daishogun Shrine in what is currently the grounds for Tenman-gu. Following Michizane’s death in 949, Emperor Murakami heard rumors of a shining pine tree planted at that location and had Michizane enshrined at Daishogun which began Tenman-gu. At the time, with a trend of lightning strikes and epidemics occurring, it was th...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
06-6353-0025
Price
- Free
Website
en.wikipedia.org

 

 

Enryaku-ji Temple

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

The entirety of the 848m Mt. Hiei makes up the temple grounds. The view from the summit is also magnificent
Mt. Hiei is worshiped as the headquarters of the Tendai sect and as a birthplace for Japanese Buddhism. Enryaku-ji Temple is divided into 3 areas: the East Pagoda, the West Pagoda and Yokawa.

Filled with highlights! You can sightsee at your leisure throughout the day With 1200 years of history, Mt. Hiei continues to be worshiped as a site of Buddhist practice and world peace. It is even depicted in a famous poetry card game as Japan’s premier mountain, and for its tradition and history, it was registered in 1994 as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The 848-meter mountain is considered to be the grounds for Enryaku-ji and is divided into 3 areas. It is recommended that 1 day be devoted to a leisurely tour of this wide area. First...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:30 AM ~ 3:30 PM )
Phone
077-578-0001
Price
- Adult: 700 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Website
www.hieizan.or.jp

 

Ishiyama-dera

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

One of the temples on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage, Ishiyama-dera is associated with Shikibu Murasaki
Shikibu Murasaki was said to have started writing The Tale of Genji while ensconced at Ishiyama-dera, and during every spring and fall, the Shikibu Murasaki Exhibition is held at the temple which can be enjoyed for its flowers all throughout the seasons.

more information

Business hours
- Everyday (8:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
077-537-0013
Price
- Adult: 600 JPY
- Child: 250 JPY
Website
en.wikipedia.org

 

 

Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

A shrine known for practicing the warding off of evil depending on direction and for its divine messenger in the form of a monkey
Built 2100 years ago at the foot of Mt. Hiei, this is the head shrine for the more than 3,000 Sanno shrines in the country. Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine is known for bringing good luck through its practice of direction-based cosmology since it is located in the northeastern (and therefore, unlucky) direction as seen from the ancient capital of Kyoto.

more information

Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
077-578-0009
Price
- Adult: 300 JPY
- Child: 150 JPY
Website
en.wikipedia.org

 

Mii-dera (Onjo-ji)

The best 30 Shrines and temples you can't miss if you visit Kansai, Japan

Photo by Planetyze

The head temple of the Tendai Jimon sect known for the “Evening Bell at Mii-dera”, one of the Eight Views of Omi
Beginning with the National Treasure of the Main Hall, the temple has over 100 prominent National Treasures and Important Cultural Assets. It is also famous for its temple bell from the Momoyama Era which has been chosen as one of the Top 100 Soundscapes of Japan.

more information

Business hours
- Everyday (8:00 AM ~ 11:00 PM )
Phone
077-522-2238
Price
- Adult: 600 JPY
- Child: 200 JPY
Website
www.shiga-miidera.or.jp

 

 

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