26 Oct 2016

The Kansai region is the go to destination for shrines and temples. Home to the two old capitals of Japan, Kyoto and Nara, this is by far the best region of Japan for history and culture. The top 10 shrines and temples of the Kansai area are Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kinakakuji, Todaiji, Kiyomizu dera, Kasuga taisha, Sumiyoshi taisha, Sanjusangen-do, Ginkaku-ji, Ryoan-ji and Toshodai-ji. 

1. Fushimi Inari Shrine

Top 10 Most Beautiful Shrines and Temples in Kansai Japan

Photo by Planetyze

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

2. Kinkakuji

Top 10 Most Beautiful Shrines and Temples in Kansai 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

3. Todaiji

Top 10 Most Beautiful Shrines and Temples in Kansai Japan

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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

4. Kiyomizu-dera

Top 10 Most Beautiful Shrines and Temples in Kansai Japan

Photo by Planetyze

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

5. Kasuga Taisha

Top 10 Most Beautiful Shrines and Temples in Kansai Japan

Photo by Planetyze

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

6. Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine

Top 10 Most Beautiful Shrines and Temples in 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

7. Sanjusangen-do

Top 10 Most Beautiful Shrines and Temples in Kansai 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

8. Ginkakuji (Higashiyama Jisho-ji)

Top 10 Most Beautiful Shrines and Temples in Kansai Japan

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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

9. Ryōan-ji

Top 10 Most Beautiful Shrines and Temples in Kansai Japan

Photo by Planetyze

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

10. Toshodai-ji

Top 10 Most Beautiful Shrines and Temples in Kansai 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

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