Explore Japan's essential sites and hidden gems
Tenryuji is the most important temple in the Arashiyama area of west Kyoto.
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Kiyomizu-dera, 'Pure Water Temple' in Kyoto
Kiyomizu-dera is a very popular place to visit for visitors who want to discover Kyoto's history.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Byodoin temple is considered the height of expression of the aristocratic art of the Heian Period (794-1185).
Located in the south-east of Kyoto, Tofukuji is a large open temple complex, with 23 sub temples. The temple is famous for its stone and moss gardens and has the largest Zen temple gate in Japan.
Sanjusangendo, in the Higashiyama district, is a Buddhist temple with a well guarded secret interior. Discover its celebrated works of art.
Steeped in history, the Toji complex spans the years from its expansion in the ninth century to its current collaboration with the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in France.
If you're looking for the quintessential Japan don't miss Nanzenji.
The shrine is dedicated to the two most important Japanese emperors and built to celebrate the Kyoto 1100th anniversary and named Heian, the city's former name.
Daitokuji Temple Kyoto
Daitokuji is a functioning Rinzai Zen temple complex in northwest Kyoto.
Fushimi Inari Taisha
South of Kyoto, the torii of Fushimi Inari Taisha, traditional gates at the entrance to Shinto shrines, lined up in their thousands on the mountainside. This is a must-visit place in Kyoto
Ryoanji Temple Kyoto
Ryoanji Temple located in the northwest of Kyoto is home to Japan's best known stone garden. Now a World Heritage Site this a must see attraction in Kyoto.
Saihoji (Kokedera) Temple
Plants mark the passing of the seasons. Here, nearly 120 varieties of moss have created a color palette of infinite varieties of yellow and green. Welcome to the Kokedera Moss Temple.
Located in southeast Kyoto Daigoji Temple was founded by Shobo in 874. Now a World Heritage Site the temple is a great place to see the changing of the leaves.
Located in a beautiful part of Higashiyama Ward, Kodaiji sits atop a slight hill. The temple is a jewel of Momoyama Period architecture.
The brightly painted Yasaka-jinja Shrine is one of the city's best known and most popular landmarks, especially the two-story vermilion entrance gate at the end of Shijo-dori Avenue.
The Byodo-in Temple
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, recently renovate in 2014, the Byodo-in is located in the center of the small town of Uji, not far from Kyoto.
The Kurama-dera temple
There is no doubt that Kyoto concentrates an unparalleled quantity of temples and shrines.
Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion Kyoto
In the shadow of Kyoto's northwestern hills, sits a jewel of the ancient capital: Rokuon-ji temple, better known as Kinkakuji, or the Golden Pavilion.
Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine
In the prefecture of Shiga, not far from the famous Kyoto, is the city of Otsu and the Hiyoshi-Taisha shrine. This Shinto shrine is the counterpart of the nearby Enryaku-ji temple on Mount Hiei.
Jojakkoji Temple Arashiyama
Jojakkoji Temple, in Arashiyama, western Kyoto is a Nichiren sect temple dating from the late 16th century. It is known for its tranquility and autumn leaves.
Arashiyama Temples Kyoto
Arashiyama in west Kyoto has several temples of great beauty: Tenryuji, Jojakkoji, Nison-in, Gioji, Adashino Nembutsiji, Otagi Nembutsuji and Daikakuji.
The Ryôzen Kannon, a giant statue in Kyoto
With regard to the emblematic sites and monuments of the historic district of Higashiyama, literally "the mountain of the east", the Ryôzen Kannon temple is an outsider in the classic tourist itine
Otagi Nembutsuji Temple
Otagi Nembutsuji Temple in Arashiyama, Kyoto is uncrowded and has thousands of unique moss-covered statues called Rakan each carved individually.
Ishiyama-dera, a temple near Lake Biwa
Ishiyama-dera Temple is one of the two major Buddhist temples in the coastal city of Otsu. It is the 13th temple of the Kannon pilgrimage in the Kansai region.
Seimei Shrine (晴明神社) in Kyoto is dedicated to Abe no Seimei, a Heian Period astrology and diviner who was a favorite of the Imperial Court.
Anyoji & Chorakuji Temples Kyoto
Anyoji (安養寺) and Chorakuji (長楽寺) temples are two historic Buddhist temples in the hills above the Gion district of south east Kyoto.
Otatsu Inari Shrine
Otatsu Inari Shrine (御辰稲荷神社) is a small Inari (fox) shrine just north of Heian Shrine in the Okazaki district of central Kyoto. It dates from the Edo Period.
Kanchi-in Temple (観智院) in Kyoto is a sub-temple of Toji. It dates from 1359 and contains two ink paintings by the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi.
Iwashimizu Hachiman-gū Shrine
South of Kyoto is the Iwashimizu Hachiman Shinto shrine, built in the town of Yawata on Mount Otokoyama.
A few minutes from the famous Byôdô-in , on the other bank of the Uji River, a real treasure awaits, and above all, deserves your visit.
Joruriji Temple Kyoto Prefecture
Gansenji Temple Kyoto Prefecture
Gansenji Temple in the south of Kyoto Prefecture dates from the 8th century and is known for its three story pagoda and lovely autumn colors.
Nonomiya Shrine: Heian Love & Zen Tea
Nonomiya Shrine in Arashiyama, Kyoto is a small shrine associated with the purification of imperial princesses before becoming priestesses at Ise Shrine.
A Zen temple tour of Kyoto
Kyoto, the city with 1,000 temples, is home to some of the most impressive Zen Buddhist complexes in the country.
Atop a hill in northeast Kyoto, the thousand-year-old Temple of Shinnyodo is an ideal excursion between the Philosopher's Path and Heian Shrine!
Higashi Honganji Temple
Kyoto is known for its many temples, scattered throughout the city. Tentokuin Temple is one of a series of shrines near famous Tofukuji, southeast of Kyoto Station.
Miidera Temple Otsu
Miidera Temple (aka Onjoji), near Otsu in Shiga Prefecture was founded in 672 during the Nara Period of Japanese history. There are over 40 buildings in this large Tendai temple complex.
Ryosoku-in Temple, in the historic Gion district in Kyoto, invites you for Zen meditation, under the precepts of Buddhist philosophy.
In Kyoto, the Nishi Hongan-Ji and Higashi Hongan-Ji temples represent the Jodo branch of Buddhism.
Shoden Eigen-in Temple
Shoden Eigen-in Temple (正伝永源院) is a small sub-temple of Kenninji, the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto.
Rokuharamitsuji Temple (六波羅蜜寺) in Gion, Kyoto was founded in the 10th century by the monk, Kuya.
Ujigami Shrine in Uji, south of Kyoto, is a UNESCO World Heritage Listed Shrine, and has the oldest shrine building in Japan dating from the 11th century.
Mimurotoji Temple Uji
Mimurotoji Temple, Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture 三室戸寺: In the wide garden of Mimurotoji Temple in Uji there are 30 different kinds of hydrangea some of which seem to have the shape of a heart.
Saihoji Temple Application
Saihoji Temple Application: use a proxy service to have JapanVisitor complete the application process to visit Saihoji Temple (Moss Temple) in Kyoto.
Kawai Shrine: women of all ages flock to Kawai Shrine with Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto to pray for beauty and good looks.
Nison-in Temple (二尊院) is located in the Sagano Arashiyama district of western Kyoto and is known for the beauty of its autumn foliage.
Gioji Temple is a tiny sub-temple of Daitokuji in the Saga-Arashiyama district of western Kyoto famous for its moss garden and its association with a love affair gone wrong.
Jakko-in Temple Kyoto
Jakko-in Temple in Ohara, Kyoto has been a nunnery since 1186 and is associated with the classic feud between the rival Taira (Heike) and Minamoto (Genji) clans.
Raigo-in Temple Ohara
Raigo-in Temple Ohara 来迎院: Raigo-in Temple is one of several Tendai-sect temples in the pretty, farming village of Ohara in the hills north east of Kyoto.Raigo-in like its more famous neighbor, San
Anrakuji Temple Kyoto
Anrakuji Temple in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto on the Philosopher's Path is a quiet Jodo-shu sect temple known for its brilliant autumn leaves.
Okazaki Shrine in Kyoto is associated with the gods of fertility and easy child birth. Statues and motifs of rabbits dominant this pleasant shrine's grounds.
Sugawarain Tenmangu Shrine
Sugawarain Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto near the south west corner of the Gosho is believed to be the birthplace and home of Michizane Sugawara, the noted Heian era poet and court official.
Oharano Shrine in the Oharano district of south west Kyoto is an ancient shrine connected with the tutelary deity of the Fujiwara clan and mentioned in the Tale of Genji.
Hosen-in Temple Ohara
Hosen-in Temple in Ohara, north east Kyoto, is known for its exquisite gardens and its bloody ceilings brought from Fushimi Castle.
Shorin-in Temple in Ohara, north east Kyoto is a Tendai-sect temple seen as a well-spring of shomyo or Buddhist chant.
Kongoji Temple is a small Jodo-shu sect temple in the Okazaki district of Kyoto with its main hall dating from the Edo Period.
Chionji Temple at the Hyakumanben intersection in Kyoto is known for its monthly tezukuri ichi crafts market held on the 15th of each month.
Shogoin Temple in Kyoto is monzeki temple with priceless fusuma paintings by the Kano School of artists. A monzeki temple it served as a temporary residence for two emperors.
Yoshiminedera is a Tendai sect temple located in the mountains south west of central known for its superb autumn leaves and historic, elongated pine tree.
Bukkoji Temple Kyoto
Bukkoji is a Jodo Shinshu sect temple in the Gion district of central Kyoto and was founded by the priest Ryogen (1295-1336), a disciple of Shinran in 1324.
Koetsuji Temple in the Takagamine district of north west Kyoto was once the artist colony of the noted Edo period artists and tea master, Honami Koetsu (1558-1637).
Yasui Konpira-gu Shrine
Yasui Konpira-gu Shrine in Gion, Kyoto is known for its power stone said to end bad relationships or initiate good ones as well as an annual comb festival.
Joshoji Temple in north west Kyoto is a Nichiren temple associated with the Edo Period courtesan Yoshino Tayu, who is buried here.
Jingoji Temple: Jingoji Temple, famous for its fall leaves, is located in the Takao district of north west Kyoto close to Kozanji Temple.
Making A Reservation At Saihoji Temple
Making A Reservation At Saihoji Temple 西芳寺 - Advance reservations are needed to visit Saihoji Temple (aka Kokedera - the "Moss Temple") in Kyoto.
Kyoto Top Ten Free Admission Temples and Shrines
Kyoto top ten free admission temples and shrines: see a listing of the best temples and shrines in Kyoto that are free to enter.
Kyoto Top Ten Quirky Temples & Shrines
Kyoto top ten quirky temples: see a listing of ten quirky, strange and fun temples and shrines in and around Kyoto.
Kyoto Top Ten Temples & Shrines
Kyoto top 10 temples & shrines: see a listing of Kyoto's best Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines including Kinkakuji, Ginkakuji, Nanzenji and Heian Jingu.
Oharame - the peddler maidens of Ohara Kyoto
Oharame 大原女 The Oharame (maiden of Ohara) is a historical female peddler of firewood (kindling rather than big blocks of it) from the town of Ohara.
Jissoin Temple in Iwakura in north east Kyoto is a Monzeki temple known for its superb garden and Kano School painted sliding doors.
Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple
Imagine: 8000 small stone statues for 8,000 abandoned souls.
North of Kyoto is the Enryakuji temple of Mount Hiei, which was one of the most powerful temples of Japan. A visit to one of the great places of Japanese Buddhism.
Among the many temples of Kyoto's UNESCO World Heritage sites, Ninna-ji Temple is one of the largest. It has become famous throughout Japan for its cherry blossoms.
Everything is big, stupefying and remarkable in Chion-in. To believe that it was solely built to amaze visitors.
Also called 'the maple leaf temple"; Zenrinji is nestled in the Higashiyama mountains to the east of the ancient capital.
A major figure of Zen Buddhism, Tofukuji especially delights enthusiasts of momiji, the red foliage that the maple trees adorn in the fall.
Of modest appearance, Yasaka-jinja still charms with its pale lanterns that warm hearts when evening comes.
Trees tower over the entrance, towering trees, some over seven hundred years old, guarding the temple. The sound of birds calling, wind in the leaves, silence.
Kyoto in its hunger for land has long since swallowed the village of Ichijo-ji. And yet, the neighborhood has never lost its village spirit.
The village of Ohara seems lost amid the rice fields and mountains.
The headquarters of the Obaku branch of zen, the third school of Zen Buddhism in Japan, smaller and less known than the Rinzai and Soto schools, the Ôbakusan Manpukuji remains one of the few enclos
Small and lost amongst a dozen similar temples, the large Nanzenji Temple only stands out thanks to its garden.
A city within a city. Myoshin-ji and its maze of cobblestone pavements lead visitors on the path to Zen.
The Todasu-no-mori forest embraces and encercles the Shimogamo Jinja like a treasure. The latter is close to another shrine like a brother, the Kamigamo Jinja.
Rokkakudo Temple Kyoto
Rokkakudo Temple in Kyoto is considered the spiritual home of ikebana (flower arranging) in Japan.
In ancient Japan, widowers built grandiose mausoleums in honor of their deceased other-half and deified them within dedicated temples.
A Buddhist building that despite the marks of time, has been able to keep many works of art, which now belong to Japanese National Treasure.
Not far from Ginkakuji or the Silver Pavilion, above the Philosopher's Path, Honen-in Temple merits special attention. Not to be missed.
Discover Arashiyama, its walks, the Tenryuji and its sea of bamboo and the village where locals still cultivate the slow life.
Around a street corner in Gion, the Kenninji invites you to meditate. A temple with beautiful gardens, in April it hosts a celebration in in honor of a Zen master.
What a strange paradox that this place dedicated to Kamo Wake-Ikazuchi, the Shinto god of thunder, is so peaceful. Yet the nearby town seems to be so far away.
Surrounded by greenery, nestled in the Higashiyama district, this temple, dating from 1264, which had originally served as a secondary villa to the Emperor Kameyama (1249-1305) is now considered o
A cow, examinations successfully completed and a thousand-year-old curse...
Yougenin (養源院) is a small temple that was built for Toyotomi Hideyoshi's last concubine, who bore him a son. It is not far from JR Kyoto Station.
Shodenji Temple (正伝寺) is one of several temples in Kyoto that retain blood-stained floorboards from Fushimi Castle.
Genko-an Temple in the north west of Kyoto is known for its garden and lovely autumn leaves and the bloody footprints visible on its ceiling.
Sennyuji Temple (Mitera) is a large Shingon sect temple complex close to Tofukuji with many sub-temples and tombs of historic emperors.
Sesshuji Funda-in Temple
Funda-in (Sesshuji) guide: Funda-in is a small, Rinzai Zen sub-temple of Tofukuji and is known for its lovely garden laid out by the artist Sesshu.
Senbon Shakado guide: Senbon Shakado (Daihoonji Temple) is one of the oldest buildings in Kyoto and was built during the Kamakura Period.
Shiramine Shrine in Kyoto is the home of the kemari and is popular with soccer players of all levels, who come to pray for success in sports competitions.
Rokuoin Temple in Saga near Arashiyama in western Kyoto is known for the beauty of its autumn leaves and the borrowed scenery of its garden.
Dedicated to the two most important Japanese emperors, Heian-jingu invites people to rally around its history.
Daruma-dera / Horin-ji
These intriguing blind snowmen of Daruma-dera bring a touch of magic to Buddhism.
Saihoji / Kokedera: Moss Temple
Plants mark the passing of seasons. Here, nearly one hundred and twenty varieties of moss have created a color palette of infinite varieties of yellow and green. Welcome to the Temple of Moss.
With its harmonious landscapes and refined architecture, the beauty of Ginkakuji surpasses that of the Golden Pavilion in the hearts of many Japanese ...
With eyes on alert and the wind in your nostrils, Torin-in is a sensory experience. Its doors open only two days a year, making it a rare treat not to be missed.
Kumano Shrine Kyoto
Kumano Shrine Kyoto: read a guide to Kumano Shrine on the intersection of Higashiyama and Marutamachi streets in the north east of Kyoto.
Goryo Shrine Kyoto
Goryo Shrine: read a guide to the historic Goryo Shrine in Kyoto located north of Imadegawa Dori and Shokokuji Temple.
Ryozen Kannon Temple
Ryozen Kannon Temple is a war memorial to the dead on both sides of the Pacific War in the Gion district of Kyoto, Japan.
Kyoto Ryozen Gokoku Shrine
Kyoto Ryozen Gokoku Shrine honors the patriots who died during the struggles to overthrow the Tokugawa regime in the mid-19th century as well as soldiers in later wars.
Imamiya Shrine Kyoto
Imamiya Shrine: Imamiya Shrine in Kyoto near Daitokuji is dedicated to the gods of good health, longevity and match-making.
Sanzen-in Temple Ohara
Sanzen-in Temple: Sanzen-in Temple in Ohara in the north east of Kyoto is justly famous for its lovely garden and autumn colors.
Shoren-in Temple Kyoto
Shoren-in Temple in Kyoto was founded in the 12th century and is known for its beautiful gardens designed by Soami and Enshu Kobori.
Iwashimizu Hachiman-gu Shrine
Iwashimizu Hachiman-gu Shrine in Yawata-shi, south of Kyoto, is an ancient and important shrine dedicated to Hachiman, the God of War.
Bloody Temple Ceilings of Kyoto
Take a tour of five temples in Kyoto that retain the blood stained ceilings of the defenders of Fushimi Castle.
Hirano Shrine: read a guide to Hirano Shrine (Hirano Jinja). Read about Hirano Shrine's history, cherry blossoms, and other features of this Kyoto shrine.
Kenninji Temple Gion Kyoto
Kenninji Temple in the Gion area is the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto and was founded by the priest Eisai.
Enryakuji Temple: read a guide to Enryakuji Temple on Mt. Hiei, the headquarters of the Tendai sect of Japanese Buddhism.
Kurodani Temple: Kurodani Temple aka Konkai-komyoji is an historic Buddhist temple in the east of Kyoto.
Shinnyodo Temple Kyoto
Shinnyodo Temple: read a guide to Shinnyodo Temple in the Yoshidayama area of Kyoto known for its autumn colors and close to Kurodani and Yoshida Shrine.
Manshuin Temple Kyoto: read a guide to Manshuin Temple in the northern Higashiyama district of Kyoto famous for its beautiful garden.
Enkoji Temple: read a guide to Enkoji Temple, Kyoto. Read about Enkoji Temple's history, location, and other features of this Kyoto temple.
Honnoji Temple: read a guide to Honnoji Temple. Read about Honnoji Temple's history, location, and its association with Oda Nobunaga.
Shokokuji Temple: read a guide to Shokokuji Temple. Read about Shokokuji Temple's history, location, and other features of this Kyoto temple.
Kamigamo Shrine: read a guide to Kamigamo Shrine in north west Kyoto and sister shrine of Shimogamo Jinja.
Entsuji Temple: read a guide to Entsuji Temple. Read about Entsuji Temple's history, location, and other features of this Kyoto temple.
Matsuo Taisha Kyoto: read about Matsuo Taisha in western Kyoto. Matsuo Taisha is famous for its connections to sake and its gardens.
Manpukuji Temple: read a guide to Manpukuji Temple in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture. Read about Manpukuji Temple's history, location, and other features of this Buddhist temple.
Eikando Temple: read a guide to Eikando Temple along Philosopher's Walk in Kyoto known for its famous pagoda.
Chishakuin Temple: read a guide to Chishakuin Temple in Kyoto famous for its stunning gardens and painted screens.
Hiko Shrine Yawata
Hiko Shrine in Yawata is associated with Chuhachi Ninomiya an early Japanese aviator and dedicated to safe flight.
Koryuji Temple: read a guide to Koryuji Temple founded in 622 by Korean immigrants and a treasure trove of Buddhist art.
Myoshinji Temple: read a guide to Myoshinji Temple in Kyoto, the headquarters of the Myoshinji school of the Rinzai Zen sect.
Koshoji Temple Kyoto
Koshoji Temple: read a guide to Koshoji Temple in Kyoto, which stands just south of Nishi-Honganji Temple.
Chionin Temple: read a guide to Chionin Temple in Kyoto, famous for its massive Sanmon Gate and huge temple bell.
Myomanji Temple: read a guide to Myomanji Temple in north eastern Kyoto, famous for its Yukinoniwa Garden.
Honen-in Temple Kyoto
Honen-in Temple: read a guide to Honen-in Temple in Kyoto built in the 17th century to honor the monk Honen.
Nishi & Higashi Honganji Temples
Nishi & Higashi Honganji Temples: read a guide to Nishi & Higashi Honganji Temples in Kyoto.
Tojiin Temple: read a guide to Tojiin Temple in the west of Kyoto. Find Tojiin Temple's history, location, and nearby Kyoto temples.
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine Kyoto
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine Kyoto: read a guide to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto famous for its monthly flea-markets and plum blossom in spring.
Shimogamo Shrine Kyoto
Shimogamo Shrine: read a guide to ancient Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto, setting for the annual Aoi Matsuri.
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Fushimi Inari Shrine: read a guide to Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in south east Kyoto known for its 1000s of torii gates.
Ginkakuji Temple: read a guide to Ginkakuji Temple (Silver Temple) in Kyoto, formerly a villa for the artistic Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa.
Daikakuji Temple: read a guide to Daikakuji Temple and Osawa Lake in western Kyoto known for its tranquil Heian Period grounds and pond.
Ninnaji Temple: read a guide to Ninnaji Temple famous for its pagoda and late-flowering cherry trees.
Tenryuji Temple: read a guide to Tenryuji Temple. Read about Tenryuji Temple's history, location, and garden of this Kyoto temple.
Nanzenji Temple: read a guide to Nanzenji Temple in Kyoto. Read about Nanzenji Temple's history, location, and other features of this Kyoto temple.
Kozanji Temple: read a guide to Kozanji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site with the oldest tea field in Japan.
Shisendo Hermitage: read a guide to Shisendo Hermitage, a peaceful temple in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto.
Go'o Shrine Kyoto Bizarre Wild Boar Shrine
Go'o Shrine Kyoto: the shrine enshrines Wake no Kinomaru (733–799), an adviser to the Heian Period Emperor Kammu (737–806).
Omuro Ninnaji Temple Kyoto
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