The word “temple” can conjure up different images for different people. For some, it might be a place of worship, while for others it might be a place of history or culture. No matter what your image of a temple is, Japan has a temple to match it.
There are over 80,000 temples in Japan, and each one has its own unique story and purpose. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the most popular temples in Japan, including their histories, features, and what you can expect when you visit them.
So whether you’re looking for a place to pray or simply want to experience some of Japan’s rich cultural heritage, read on for our guide to the best temples in Japan.
Famous Traditional Shrines and Temples In Japan
There are many famous traditional shrines and temples in Japan. Some of the most popular ones include the Meiji Jingu Shrine, the Ise Grand Shrine, and the Kiyomizu-dera Temple.
The Meiji Jingu Shrine is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. The shrine is located in Tokyo, and it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan. Every year, millions of people visit the shrine to pay their respects to Emperor Meiji.
The Ise Grand Shrine is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the goddess Amaterasu-omikami. It is located in Ise, Mie Prefecture. The shrine is considered to the most important Shinto shrine in Japan. Every year, thousands of people visit the shrine to pray for good luck and fortune.
The Kiyomizu-dera Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Kyoto. The temple is best known for its large veranda, which offers stunning views of Kyoto city. The temple is also a popular spot for cherry blossom viewing in springtime.
Todai-ji Temple is one of the most famous and popular temples in all of Japan. It is located in the city of Nara, which was the country’s first capital. The temple grounds are home to many important buildings and artifacts, including the world’s largest bronze statue of Buddha.
Todai-ji Temple founded in 752 AD by Emperor Shomu. It originally built to house a much smaller statue of Buddha, but it later expanded to accommodate the massive bronze statue that stands today. The current statue, which dates back to 1203 AD, is an impressive 16 meters tall and weighs around 500 tons.
In addition to the main hall and Buddha statue, Todai-ji Temple also houses a number of other important buildings and artifacts. These include a seven-story pagoda, a treasure house full of priceless artifacts, and a museum with exhibits on the history of the temple.
Todai-ji Temple is one of Japan’s most popular tourist destinations. It welcomes millions of visitors each year from all over the world. If you’re planning a trip to Japan, be sure to add Todai-ji Temple to your list of places to see!
Kinkaku-ji, or the “Golden Pavilion,” is one of Japan’s most popular temples and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple was built in 1397 by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the third shogun of the Muromachi period, and serves as his mausoleum. The three-story building is covered in gold leaf and sits amidst a beautiful pond garden.
Kinkaku-ji is a must-see for any visitors to Kyoto. The temple is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm, with last entry at 4:30pm. Admission is ¥400 for adults and ¥300 for children.
Ginkaku-ji Temple is one of the most popular temples in Kyoto. The temple was built in 1490 by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa as a retirement villa and garden. It was later convert into a Zen temple. The name “Ginkaku” means “silver pavilion,” although the building is not actually cover in silver.
The main hall, known as the Kannon-do, contains a statue of Amida Buddha. The Kannon-do is surround by a beautiful garden with moss, sand gardens, and gravel paths. Visitors can also enjoy views of the city from the second floor of the Kannon-do.
Another popular spot at Ginkaku-ji Temple is the moon viewing platform, known as the Tsutenkaku. The platform offers sweeping views of the city and is especially beautiful during moonlight hours.
Tenryu-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. The temple was found in 1339 by the shōgun Ashikaga Takauji, and is the head temple of the Tenryū branch of Rinzai Zen. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple complex includes a main hall, lecture hall, monks’ quarters, and a garden that is consider one of the finest examples of Japanese gardens.
Senso-ji is a Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Tokyo. It is the oldest temple in Tokyo and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. The temple is dedicate to the Bodhisattva Kannon, also known as the Goddess of Mercy. Senso-ji is surrounde by a large man-made lake called Sumida Park, which is a popular spot for cherry blossom viewing in spring. The temple complex includes several shrines and buildings, as well as a five-story pagoda that offers views of the surrounding area. Visitors can also enjoy traditional Japanese arts and crafts at the nearby Nakamise shopping street.
Kawasaki Daishi Temple is one of the most popular temples in Japan and receives over 1 million visitors each year. The temple found in 1128 by Dainichi Nyorai, the main Buddha of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. Temple is located in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, just outside of Tokyo.
The temple grounds are extensive and include a five-story pagoda, a main hall, a belfry, and several smaller shrines. Temple is also home to a large bronze statue of Daikokuten, one of the Seven Lucky Gods of Japanese mythology. Visitors can participate in many activities at the temple, such as writing wishes on ema (wooden plaques), ringing the bell, and making offerings at the main hall.
Kawasaki Daishi Temple is open daily from 6:00am to 5:00pm. Admission is free, but there is a small fee for some activities such as writing ema.
Hase-dera is a Buddhist temple in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The temple dates back to the 8th century AD, and has rebuilt and expanded several times over the centuries. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kamakura.
The main hall of Hase-dera contains a large statue of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of compassion. The temple also has a number of other shrines and buildings, as well as a garden with views of the surrounding area.
Hase-dera is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Admission is free, but there is a small charge for using the facilities such as the garden and main hall.