Explore Japan's essential sites and hidden gems
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.
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Tenryuji is the most important temple in the Arashiyama area of west Kyoto.
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).
Sumiyoshi Taisha, in southern Osaka, is claimed to be one of the oldest shrines in Japan.
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.
This Buddhist temple of the Edo era (1603 - 1868) was the scene for one of the most famous samurai stories, 47 Ronin.
At the heart of an arrangement of memorial buildings for soldiers who died whilst fighting for the Emperor. The shrine seems so peaceful yet Yasukuni Jinja became very controversial.
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Located in the heart of Tokyo in a wooded area of over 100,000 trees, Meiji-Jingu is one of Japan’s most famous shrines and is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.
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.
Todai-ji, the temple to the great Buddha of Nara
The Todai-ji is an important Buddhist temple located in the heart of the city of Nara, in Kansai.
The 'Married Couple Rocks' of Meoto Iwa
Meoto Iwa, literally "Married Couple Rocks" or "Husband and Wife Rocks," are sacred rocks located in the sea near Futami, a small town in Ise, Mie
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.
Kamakura: a Japanese Zen city
Kamakura is often called "the city of the samurai" because the former political capital of Japan was established and then controlled by warlords for nearly three centuries.
Spiritual Retreats Near Tokyo
With its many buildings and bustling center, hectic Tokyo is not necessarily the city that we think of when we talk about spiritual retreats in Japan.
Sengakuji temple and its 47 samurai
This Buddhist temple from the Edo era (1603-1868) was the theater of one of the most famous samurai stories.
Hokekyoji Temple Cherry Blossom
Hokekyoji Temple near Tokyo is an important Nichiren-sect temple famous for its cherry blossom in season and several historical temple halls and pagoda.
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.
Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima
The Shinto shrine of Itsukushima and its famous torii gate are located on the island of Miyajima, south of Hiroshima.
Matsuo Kannonji Temple
In Ise, the Matsuo Kannon-ji dedicated to the goddess of mercy Kannon is the subject of several beliefs and legends that are particularly popular in Mie Prefecture.
Hananoiwaya-jinja in Kumano, Japan's oldest shrine
Since the 8th century, the Hananoiwaya-jinja in Kumano has been recognized as a high place of Japanese cosmogony given the tombs it houses; that of Izanami, the co-creating deity of the world and o
Top 5 unmissable Shinto shrines in Tokyo
Japanese shrines are places of worship for Shintoism, the original religion of Japan. During a trip to Japan, they are undoubtably among the most beautiful discoveries you'll make.
All that remains of the ancient Kotoku-in temple is its jewel which, for centuries, has marked its existence: the Great Bronze Buddha.
Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine
Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine in Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture is dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane and is the head shrine of 10,000 Tenjin Shrines across Japan.
Senso-ji temple in Asakusa
Located in the Asakusa district of Tokyo, not far from the Sumida River, the Senso-ji Buddhist temple is particularly popular with the Japanese but also arouses the interest of tourists.
Motonosumi Inari Shrine
Motonosumi Inari Shrine on the Sea of Japan coast in Yamaguchi Prefecture has a line of 123 vermilion torii gates in a beautiful setting.
Located near Ochanomizu station, the astonishing Yushima Seido intrigues with its majestic and elegant black buildings.
Seimei Shrine Nagoya
Seimei Shrine in Nagoya is dedicated to the Heian Period cosmologist Abeno Seimei and is a sister shrine of a Seimei Jinja in Kyoto.
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.
Nagoya Temples & Shrines
Nagoya temples & shrines: see a listing of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture including Atsuta Shrine and Osu Kannon Temple.
Kaikoji Temple Mummies
Kaikoji Temple in Yamagata Prefecture is famous for two mummies or Sokushinbutsu of priests who fasted and meditated to self-mummification.
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.
Takayama Temples & Shrines
Takayama Temples & Shrines, Gifu Prefecture: see a listing of Takayama's most interesting Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines.
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.
Chikurinji Temple Kochi
Chikurinji Temple in Kochi is the 31st temple on the Shikoku Pilgrimage and has a 5 story pagoda in the style of the Kamakura Period, though built in 1980.
Near the city of Komatsu and the Sea of Japan, Natadera Temple worships the Buddhist goddess Kannon and Mount Hakusan.
Meigetsu-in Temple Kamakura
Meigetsu-in Temple in Kamakura is an historic Rinzai Zen temple famous for its colorful hydrangea blossoms which flower in June.
Kamakura Temples & Shrines
Kamakura Temples & Shrines: see a listing of the major Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture.
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.
Founded in the early 11th century, the Ushimado jinja shrine sits on top of a hill from where the view extends over the Seto Inland Sea and the surrounding small islands.
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.
Shiofune Kannon Temple Ome
The Shiofune Kannon Temple in Ome, Tokyo is a Shingon sect temple known for its beautiful azaleas which bloom throughout April and May.
Iwashimizu Hachiman-gū Shrine
South of Kyoto is the Iwashimizu Hachiman Shinto shrine, built in the town of Yawata on Mount Otokoyama.
Honpukuji Temple Water Temple
Honpukuji Temple aka the Water Temple on Awaji Island was designed by architect Ando Tadao. It creates different forms of light and shade at different times of the day.
When they want to give their mother a gift, some children give flowers, write a poem or compose a song.
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.
Torigoe Shrine in Taito ward, Tokyo, is an ancient Shinto shrine over 1,300 years old, and a picturesque, photogenic spot to visit near Asakusabashi and Kuramae.
World Peace Giant Kannon
The 80 meter tall World Peace Giant Kannon statue on Awaji Island was once one of the biggest statues in the world when constructed in 1982.
Shoshasan Engyoji Temple
Shoshasan Engyoji Temple near Himeji in Hyogo Prefecture dates from 966 and has increased in popularity since being featured in the movie, The Last Samurai.
Kameido Tenjin Shrine
Kameido Tenjin Shrine is a picturesque Shinto shrine in Kameido, Tokyo, famous mainly for its beautiful landscaping, springtime wisteria and turtle pond.
Togo Shrine Harajuku
Togo Shrine is a Shinto shrine in the Harajuku district of Tokyo built less than a century ago to commemorate Japan's naval war hero, Heihachiro Togo.
The Senso-ji under the magnifying glass
The Senso-ji is one of the essential visits to the Japanese capital.
Dainichiji Temple Kochi
Dainichiji Temple in Kochi Prefecture is the 28th temple on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. According to legend it was founded by the priest Gyoki n the 8th century.
The Nezu-Jinja is the main shrine of the Yanesen region, northwest of Ueno Park in Tokyo. It is also one of the oldest shrines in Japan.
Ise Grand Shrine
Ise Grand Shrine in Mie Prefecture is Japan's most sacred and important shrine. It is demolished and rebuilt every 20 years.
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.
Hanazono Shrine Shinjuku Tokyo
Hanazono Shrine in Shinjuku, Tokyo is an historic shrine connected with entertainers and known for its cherry blossom and Reitaisai festival.
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.
Shichifukujin Meguri: The 7 Lucky Gods Pilgrimage in Tokyo
How about a little luck to start the year off right? In Tokyo, the Shichifukujin Meguri pilgrimage is a tradition followed by many locals.
Okamoto Otaki Shrine
Okamoti Otaki Shrine, located in the city of Echizen, is the only shrine in Japan to be dedicated to Kawakami Gozen, the goddess of paper.
Main temple of the Nichiren School in the region, the Myôjô-ji monastery is made up of a set of remarkable buildings, including a 5-storey pagoda with a tochibuki structure roof, the only one in Ja
The Togan-ji, a Buddhist temple with Indian inspirations, preserves an impressive bronze colossus 15 meters high: the Daibutsu of Nagoya.
In Matsue in Shimane prefecture, you don't need to connect to a dating site to find love...
Shika Choryuji Temple
Choryuji Temple is a Buddhist temple located northeast of Shika City. Built in 1449, it is best known for its traditional Japanese garden, classified as a “cultural asset of the city”.
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.
Hotsumisakiji Temple Kochi
Hotsumisakiji Temple Kochi: Hotsumisakiji Temple in Kochi is the 24th temple on the 88 temple Shikoku Pilgrimage around the island of Shikoku, overlooking Cape Muroto.
Oyaji Temple Utsunomiya
Oyaji Temple in Oya near Utsunomiya is a cave temple with Japan's oldest relief statues which are believed to date from the early Heian Period.
Over 1,200 years old, the Suwa-taisha is one of the oldest shrines in Japan. It consists of four building complexes, all located around Lake Suwa in Nagano Prefecture.
The largest ancient temple in the city of Saku, in Nagano prefecture, the Teisho temple is renowned for having spread Zazen meditation outside the archipelago, as far as Europe.
The Chiyobo Inari Shrine
In Kaizu, Gifu prefecture, the Chiyobo Inari Jinja, founded more than 1,000 years ago, is a small Shinto shrine dedicated to worshiping the Inari deity.
Hikifune Takagi Shrine
Let yourself be told the story of Join Rin, a confectioner of Chinese origin who arrived in Nara in 1349 and whose destiny was completely changed thanks to the extraordinary powers of his manjû
Mount Mitoku Sanbutsuji & Nageiredo
Mount Mitoku Sanbutsuji & Nageiredo: Mitokusan, a 900 meter high mountain in Tottori is sacred to yamabushi, followers of Shugendo.
During a visit to the Udo-jingu coastal sanctuary in Nichinan, immerse yourself in one of the founding myths of the archipelago. In addition, the landscape is exceptional.
Saba Daishi Temple
Saba Daishi (Yasakaji) is one of the 20 extra temples of the 88 Temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage known as Bangai Temples.
Byodoji Temple: Byodoji Temple is the twenty second temple on the 88 Temple Shikoku Pilgrimage dedicated to Kobo Daishi.
Dojima Yakushido Temple
In the Kita district of Osaka, discover the astonishing Dojima Yakushido with its super-contemporary design, a temple founded 1,400 years ago!
Kinryuzan Rinsai Kappa Temple
Kinryuzan Rinsai Temple in Oita is famous for its collection of kappa (water sprite) statues.
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!
Imado jinja shrine
The Imado-jinja shrine is a Shinto shrine dedicated to Maneki-neko, the lucky cat. They also venerate Izanagi and Izanami supposed to bring good fortune to couples.
Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen-jinja Shrine
Awashima jinja, the doll shrine in Wakayama
The Awashima Jinja Shrine houses a collection of several thousand dolls believed to bring good luck to those who come to deposit them there.
Yufuin Temples & Shrines
Yufuin Temples & Shrines: see a guide to the shrines and temples of Yufuin in Oita Prefecture. These include Tenso Shrine, Bussanji Temple, Rokusho-gu (Unagihime Shrine) and Ogosha 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.
Toyokawa Inari Shrine
The Toyokawa Inari temple, located about fifty kilometers southeast of Nagoya in Aichi prefecture, is one of the three great Japanese temples (along with the Fushimi Inari temple in Kyoto and the Y
Monet Shrine Nemichi Shrine Gifu
Nemichi Shrine (根道神社), known as Monet Shrine, is located in Gifu Prefecture in central Japan and has become a tourist destination over the last few years.
St. Mary's Cathedral
The Cathedral of Sainte-Marie has a unique architecture, far from our European Gothic cathedrals. Its construction dates back to 1964, but it could also come from the future!
Seitenkyu Temple in Sakado in Saitama Prefecture is Japan's largest Taoist temple. Seitenkyu Temple was part-financed and built by the Taiwanese businessman Kang Kuo Den.
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.
Asuka was the capital of the country in the Yamato period, when Japan first discovered writing and Buddhism, whose introduction into Japan led to a clash between the great feudal clans.
Raizan Sennyoji Daihioin Temple
Not far from the artists' studios of Itoshima is the Raizan Sennyoji Daihioin Buddhist temple, which has a few surprises in store for you!
Ryosoku-in Temple, in the historic Gion district in Kyoto, invites you for Zen meditation, under the precepts of Buddhist philosophy.
Idoji Temple Tokushima
Idoji Temple (井戸寺) is the 17th temple on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. It is the last of a cluster of 5 temples near Tokushima city center.
A night at Zenko-ji Temple
Sôgen-ji, the temple of the kappa
Sôgen-ji is a very modern looking temple. However, any lover of legends must visit it: it is dedicated to Japan's most famous folkloric character, the kappa.
Hokkaido Jingu Shrine
Kannonji Temple in Tokushima is the 16th temple on the 88 Temple Shikoku Pilgrimage. There is a second temple on the pilgrimage named Kannonji, number 69 in Kagawa.
Ube Shrine Tottori
Ube Shrine is very popular shrine in Tottori having been the Ichinomiya, the highest ranked shrine in the province in historical times.
In Kyoto, the Nishi Hongan-Ji and Higashi Hongan-Ji temples represent the Jodo branch of Buddhism.
Hakuto Shrine (白兎神社) in Tottori is associated with two famous stories: the White Rabbit of Inaba and the wani and the Yasogami brothers and the White Rabbit.
Built at the end of the 8th century in Uda, in the north of Nara prefecture, the Muro-ji is home to the smallest 5-storey pagoda in Japan.
Nestled at altitude, in the heart of the Kii peninsula, in the south of Nara prefecture, the Tamaki-jinja sanctuary is part of a site of more than 500 hectares classified as a UNESCO World Heritage
Kokubunji Temple Tokushima
Kokubunji Temple (国分寺) in Tokushima, is the fifteenth temple of the 88 temple Shikoku Pilgrimage.
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.
Shinganji Temple, in the free and easy youth hangout that is Shimokitazawa, Tokyo, is a four-century year old temple dominated by a giant ginkgo tree dating from its founding.
Kitazawa Hachiman Shrine
Kitazawa Hachiman Shrine is a large Shinto shrine in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo, that has numerous small shrines on its grounds, and a big festival every September.
Tomioka Hachiman-gu Shrine
Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine is the largest Hachiman Shrine in Tokyo, and is adjacent to the the most famous Buddhist temple in the Fukagawa district of Tokyo.
Not far from Matsue Castle, Gessho-ji is both the family temple and burial place of the Matsue daimyo, lords of the Matsudaira clan.
Tanzan Shrine, located in the mountains bordering the historic town of Sakurai, east of Asuka in Nara Prefecture, is famous for its beauty and autumn foliage.
Rokuharamitsuji Temple (六波羅蜜寺) in Gion, Kyoto was founded in the 10th century by the monk, Kuya.
Dainichiji Temple & Ichinomiya Shrine
Dainichiji Temple is the 13th temple on the Shikoku Ohenro Pilgrimage and shares its name with the 4th temple. Ichinomiya Shrine is adjacent.
Isshinji Temple Osaka
Isshinji Temple, 一心寺, in Tennoji, Osaka is remarkable for its modern architecture.
Shosanji Temple is the twelfth temple of the Shikoku Ohenro Pilgrimage and is located a tough climb up a mountain 800 meters above sea level.
Kotokuji Temple Tottori
Kotokuji Temple in Tottori City has a unique French-inspired garden and a cemetery with a rich sumo-related history.
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.
Kosokuji Temple in Kamakura is associated with the 13th century priest Nichiren and is famous for its seasonal flowers.
Kotoku-in Temple (高徳院) in Kamakura is home to the famous 11.4 meter (37 ft), 121 ton copper statue of the Buddha, constructed in 1252.
Hasedera Temple Kamakura
Hasedera Temple in Kamakura is famous for having one of the largest wooden statues in Japan, that of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy.
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is Kamakura's most important Shinto shrine. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu is dedicated to the Minamoto clan's deity, Hachiman, the god of war.
Fujiidera Temple: Fujiidera Temple is the 11th temple along the famous 88 temple Shikoku Pilgrimage.
Saishoji Temple (西生寺) in Niigata is home to a 600 year-old mummified priest who put himself on a fat-eliminating diet of nuts and limited his water intake for years to prevent natural decay after d
Kirihataji Temple in Awa city, Tokushima, is the 10th temple on the world famous 88-temple Shikoku Pilgrimage.
Sojiji Temple Yokohama
Sojiji Temple in Tsurumi ward, Yokohama, is a head temple of Zen Buddhism in Japan and has sprawling, green, park-like grounds.
Onoterusaki Shrine in Taito ward, east Tokyo, is a shrine with its own "Mt. Fuji" and is visited by entertainers and scholars to pray for success.
Kumano Hayatama Taisha Shrine
Kumano Hayatama Taisha Shrine, known as "The Place of Resurrection", is an unmissable stop on the pilgrimage route of the Kumano Kodo.
Kumano Sanzan is the collective name of the three shrines of the Kii Peninsula, one of the most sacred places in Japan and an unmissable place of pilgrimage.
Asuka Shrine Shingu
Asuka Shrine (阿須賀神社) in Shingu, Wakayama Prefecture is an ancient Shinto shrine on the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage route.
Kumano Hayatama Taisha
Kumano Hayatama Taisha (Kumano Hayatama Grand Shrine) in Shingu is one of the hree Kumano Sanzan shrines along with Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine and Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine.
Shohoji Temple Gifu Daibutsu
Shohoji Temple Gifu Daibutsu: The Gifu Daibutsu at Shohoji Temple in Gifu is the largest dry lacquer statue in Japan at over 13 meters tall.
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.
Horinji Temple Shikoku
Horinji Temple in Tokushima is the 9th temple on the 88 temple Shikoku Pilgrimage. Horinji Temple is set in a walled compound among rice paddies.
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.
Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine
Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine in Nachi is one of the three Kumano Sanzan shrines and sits in beautiful scenery near Nachi Falls, Japan's highest waterfall.
Kimiidera Temple in Wakayama is famous for its cherry blossom that signs the official start of the cherry blossom season in Kansai (western Japan).
Shimogamo Shrine & Rugby History in Japan
Shimogamo Shrine & Rugby History 下鴨神社: The draw for the 2019 Rugby World Cup to be held in Japan was made earlier this month on May 10 in Kyoto.
Kawai Shrine: women of all ages flock to Kawai Shrine with Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto to pray for beauty and good looks.
Located in a relatively un-touristy district of Tokyo, Kanda Myôjin can easily be overlooked by travelers.
Saidaiji Kannon-in Temple
Saidaiji Kannon-in Temple in Okayama is the venue for the annual Hadaka matsuri (Naked Festival) in February when 10,000 men compete to catch two wooden charms thrown into the throng.
Toyokuni Shrine Nagoya
Toyokuni Shrine in Nakamura Park in Nagoya was built in 1885 at the birthplace of Hideyoshi Toyotomi and enshrines the spirits of Hideyoshi and his general Kato Kiyomasa.
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.
Anrakuji Temple Shikoku
Anrakuji Temple (安楽寺) is number six on the 88 temple, 1400 kilometer Shikoku Pilgrimage. The current main hall was built in 1966, replacing the one that burned down in 1955.
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.
Dojoji Temple, in the Kii Peninsula in Wakayama Prefecture, is a very old temple, founded in the early 8th century, with some highly ranked statues and artworks connected with the Anchin and Kiyohi
Jyomyoin Temple in the Yanaka district of Tokyo is known for its vast collection of 25,000 statues of Jizo.
Shiseibyo Confucian Temple
The Shiseibyo Confucian Temple in Naha, Okinawa was first built in the 17th century and reconstructed in 1975.
Naminoue Shrine in Naha is the most important shrine on Okinawa Island dedicated to nirai kanai, the source of all life in Okinawan mythology and to the sea.
Yamadera Temple (Risshaku-ji), in Yamagata Prefecture, is a Tendai-sect temple located deep in the mountains and is known for its spectacular fall colors.
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.
Hosenji Temple Seto Aichi Prefecture
Hosenji Temple is located in the east of Seto in the quiet Kamagaki district of the city close to Kamagaki-no-komichi and the Seto Hongyo Kiln.
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.
The Shikoku pilgrimage
On the island of Shikoku, the pilgrimage of the 88 Buddhist temples is one of the most famous paths in the world.
Joshoji Temple in north west Kyoto is a Nichiren temple associated with the Edo Period courtesan Yoshino Tayu, who is buried here.
Tranquil Yanagimori Shrine near Akihabara in Tokyo is a fascinating mixture of Japanese history and folklore, and home to no less than seven Japanese gods.
Komagatado Hall is a tiny Buddhist temple on a street corner, a short walk from the famous Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo, and is intimately connected with Sensoji's history.
Sumo Shrine Sakurai
Sumo Shrine is an ancient shrine that is claimed to be the birthplace of sumo in Japan after the first bout between Nomi no Sukune and Taima no Kuehaya.
Tokudaiji Marishi-ten Temple is a Hindu-inspired Buddhist temple squeezed into the bustling market of Okachimachi in Tokyo.
Usuki Stone Buddhas
The Usuki Stone Buddhas (magaibutsu) are a collection of ancient Buddhist statues that are carved directly into exposed rock, in Usuki, Oita Prefecture, Kyushu.
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.
Arako Kannon Temple
Arako Kannon Temple in Arako, south west of Nagoya Station, has the oldest building in the city, a two story wooden pagoda dating from 1536.
Jindaiji Temple Chofu
Jindaiji in Chofu is Tokyo's second oldest temple, and combines ancient Buddhist history with a sylvan setting, soba restaurants and a pet cemetery.
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.
Ryozenji Temple Naruto
Ryozenji Temple in Naruto near Tokushima is temple number 1 on the Shikoku Pilgrimage.
Yashimaji Temple on the summit of the Yashima plateau near Takamatsu was founded in the 8th century by the Chinese monk, Ganjin.
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.
Mountain Cave Temples of Shodoshima
The Shodoshima Temple Pilgrimage on Shodoshima Island in the Inland Sea includes a number of temples built in caves high up in the mountains.
Kinosaki is an ancient water town that was already active during the Edo period. Among its prestigious onsen are ancient streets and temples, including Gokurakuji temple.
Kashihara Jingu (Kashihara Shrine) dates from 1889 and enshrines the mythical emperor Jinmu, the first emperor of japan.
With its mossy steps, thatched roof, and pennants, the oldest temple in Kamakura is reminiscent of the temples lost in the countryside or in the Japanese mountains.
Osu Kannon Temple
The Osu Kannon temple of the Shingon Buddhist sect, houses fabulous treasures despite a turbulent history!
Tachibanadera Temple, in the Asuka district of Nara Prefecture, is said to be the birthplace of Prince Shotoku Taishi in 572.
The Takaoka Daibutsu in Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture is proclaimed as one of the three great Buddha statues of Japan.
In the shadow of the brilliant Toshogu shrine lies Taiyuin temple, mausoleum of shogun Iemitsu. A discreet temple hiding architectural treasures that have nothing to envy of its grandfather.
Hasedera Temple Nara
Hasedera Temple is located on a wooded hillside overlooking the valley of the Hase River in Sakurai city in the center of Nara Prefecture.
Yusuhara Hachimangu Shrine in Oita Prefecture, Kyushu, was founded in 827 as a branch of Usa Hachiman Shrine.
Zuiryuji Temple Takaoka
Zuiryuji Temple, in Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture, is a large Soto Zen temple with a number of buildings classified as National Treasures.
Around Osaka is the Nakayama-dera Temple of Kannon, the Buddhist figure of compassion and pillar of the Buddhist religion loved by all.
Asukadera Temple in Nara Prefecture is the oldest large scale temple in Japan and contains the country's oldest bronze statue.
Heirinji Temple is an active Zen temple in Saitama Prefecture and dates from 1375; it is famous for its spectacular fall colors.
Nigatsudo & Sangatsudo Temples
Nigatsudo & Sangatsudo Temples are both sub-temples of Todaiji in Nara; Nigatsudo is the venue of the ancient Omizutori ceremony, while Sangatsudo holds many important Buddhist statues.
Nikko Futarasan Shrine
Futarasan is not the most impressive shrine in Nikko, but is the source of its religious importance. Futarasan, a place where the religions of Japan meet ...
Meoto Daikokusha Kasuga Taisha Nara
Meoto Daikokusha 夫婦大国社 is a sub-shrine of Kasuga Taisha (Kasuga Grand Shrine) in Nara. Meoto (夫婦) translates as husband and wife or married couple.
The famous cypress bridge marks the entrance into the magical world of Ise.
Known throughout Japan, Izumo Taisha shrine (literally Izumo Grand Shrine) is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Japan.
This was built temple in honor of the monk Kukai, Otherwise Known As Kobo Daishi, the Buddhist monk Most Famous in Japan.
Kunozan Toshogu Shrine
In Shizuoka prefecture lies the last residence of the Edo era shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, who won the civil wars of Sengoku.
Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple
Imagine: 8000 small stone statues for 8,000 abandoned souls.
Horinji Temple Nara
Horinji Temple in Nara is believed to have been built by Shotoku Taishi's oldest son to pray for his health.
Chuguji Temple, a nunnery, next door to Horyuji Temple in Nara, contains two National Treasures: a sitting image of Buddha and an historic, embroidered mandala.
Saidaiji Temple (西大寺) in Nara was one of the original Seven Great Temples of Nara and is the headquarters of the Shingon Risshu sect of Japanese Buddhism.
Yakushiji Temple in Nara was founded in 680 by the Emperor Tenmu and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its ancient East Pagoda.
Toshodaiji Temple Nara
Toshodaiji Temple, in Nara, was founded in 759 by the Chinese monk, Ganjin, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Listed site.
Kairyuoji Temple in Nara dates from 731 and served as a guardian temple of the north east where evil was thought to originate.
Hokkeji Temple in Nara was converted into a nunnery in 782 by the Empress Komyo (701-760) on the grounds of the residence of her father, Fujiwara Fubito.
Kaidan-in, in Nara, in the grounds of Todaiji Temple, was the original ordination hall for priests in Japan established by Ganjin in 754.
Gangojii Temple in the Naramachi district of Nara can lay claim to being one of the most ancient temples in Japan.
Myogi Shrine Gunma
Myogi Shrine on Mount Myogi in Gunma Prefecture is an historic shrine with buildings dating from the Edo Period.
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.
Hiroshima has its dome, survivor of the atomic bomb. Nagasaki has Urakami Cathedral, tragic testimony of an entire segment of the history of this multicultural city.
Horyuji Temple Nara
Horyuji Temple in Nara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to some of the world's oldest surviving wooden buildings including a Five-Story Pagoda.
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.
Eko-in Temple Ryogoku
Eko-in Temple in the Ryogoku area of Tokyo is the spiritual home of sumo and a place where the victims of disasters, criminals and animals are laid to rest.
Fudo-in Temple Hiroshima
Fudo-in Temple in Hiroshima survived the atomic bomb in 1945 and is an historic Shingon sect temple with its buildings dating back to the 16th century.
Kumano Hongu Taisha
Isolated in a dense cedar forest in the center of the regional Pilgrimage route network, Hongu shrine commands respect.
Zeniarai Benzaiten, the Hidden Temple
Hidden in the wooded area around the Great Buddha , accessible by one of the many hiking paths of Kamakura , is Zeniarai Benzaiten, the temple of the miraculous source and carrier of wealth.
Kanda Myojin Shrine
Kanda Myojin is an historic shrine close to Akihabara which is the home shrine of the Kanda matsuri, one of Tokyo's top festivals.
Sofukuji - China in Japan
Among all Japanese temples, Sofukuji temple holds a particularly special place. It is considered a national treasure, and is among Nagasaki's major attractions.
Kotohiragu Kompirasan Shrine
The island of Shikoku is a land of pilgrimage. One of them ends in the locality of Kotohira, in direction of Kotohiragu Kompirasan shrine. A popular pilgrimage despite its difficult walk.
Hiroshima Peace Pagoda
The Hiroshima Peace Pagoda was built on a hill overlooking Hiroshima city in 1966 by followers of the Nipponzan Myohoji sect of Buddhism.
Hokokuji - The Bamboo Temple
Also nicknamed Takedera (bamboo temple), Hokokuji is one of the many Zen temples of Kamakura. A temple rarely visited by foreign tourists, but rich in wonder.
At this famous shrine, the dance ritual known as kagura is still performed, the origins of which are shrouded in myth.
Kumano Nachi Taisha
The paved route from Daimonzaka winds through a cedar forest before reaching Nachi, culminating in an encounter between Buddhism, Shintoism, and nature.
Everything is big, stupefying and remarkable in Chion-in. To believe that it was solely built to amaze visitors.
Inside the Shiroyama Park is a small temple, which seems to have been put there by chance. After having traveled in the area, the Shorenji settled in the city of Takayama.
Nothing seems to disturb the serenity of the emerald mountains that surround Takayama.
Built in 746 by the Emperor Shomu (701-756), the oldest temple in Takayama proudly at the heart of its enclosure an imposing tree, old thousand two hundred years.
Also called 'the maple leaf temple"; Zenrinji is nestled in the Higashiyama mountains to the east of the ancient capital.
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.
A major figure of Zen Buddhism, Tofukuji especially delights enthusiasts of momiji, the red foliage that the maple trees adorn in the fall.
Higashi Betsuin Temple
Higashi Betsuin Temple in Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, is a large sub-temple of Higashi Honganji Temple in Kyoto.
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.
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.
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
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.
Kofukuji Temple Nagasaki
Kofukuji Temple, is located in the Teramachi district of the city and is one of the most important Chinese temples in Nagasaki, Kyushu.
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...
Naritasan Shinshoji Temple - Introduction
Narita-san temple is a Shingon sect Buddhist temple situated in Narita, Chiba Prefecture and was founded in 940 by Kancho Daisojo, a disciple of Kukai.
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.
Hanazono Jinja Shrine
Hidden between the skyscrapers of Shinjuku and close to the nightlife district of Kabukicho, the discreet sanctuary Hanazono Jinja Shrine invites for full meditation in the metropolis.
On Jizôdori street, Koganji temple attracts lots of Obachan - grandmothers - for symbolic healing powers.
Notable for its five-story pagoda, the Kanei-ji watches over the graves of six Tokugawa Shoguns.
Tucked between the Yanaka cemetery and Kaneiji temple in Ueno Park, Jomyo-in's plot is recognizable by its thousands of stone statuettes.
Leaning against a hill between the buildings of Akasaka, Hie Jinja has an soothing atmosphere for overworked employees and disoriented travelers.
A discreet Shinto Shrine in Ueno Park, Toshogu has the distinction of having resisted the multiple upheavals Tokyo has suffered over the centuries.
In Miyajima, the sea and sky mix together in an old wooden building.
Thousands of statues lost in nature and some old buildings scattered here and there: This is what the start of the ascent of Mount Misen looks like.
On a small piece of wood a little girl is writing her wish. "Winning the next gymnastics competition!".
The home of Zen in Kanazawa is Daijoji. This temple, a faithful refuge of the Soto sect, gladly welcomes the curious to participate in religious services. Tempted by introspection?
Ninja-Dera Temple (Myoryuji)
Located in Kanazawa, Ninja-Dera temple's normal appearance doesn't give the impression of anything ninja-like. But under its ordinary outside hides a castle filled with traps.
Treasure is not always what we think it is. At Tentokuin temple, the wonder is not in the place of worship, but in its door, opening to a princess's destiny.
Tour of the Higashiyama Teramachi Temples
The walk from Higashiyama Teramachi to Takayama looks just like a miniature city tour of Kyoto. To the delight of visitors, temples and shrines are plentiful.
Tenmangû Shrine plays an important role for the people of Osaka. Beyond being the gathering place for the Tenjin Matsuri, it captures the attention as a large Tenjin place of worship.
Once upon a time there was a prince. Seduced by a new religion, Buddhism from China, he defended it body and soul during a war that shook the country.
Steel pipes and cement blocks intertwine to mark the entrance to the eight hundred year old temple.
The Ohatsu Tenjin, also called Tsuyunoten, stands as one of the most popular shrines of Osaka . A place with a symbolic past linked to a dramatic love story.
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
With an architecture free of any continental influence, the buildings of the Sumiyoshi Taisha illustrate the religious of old, a time when Buddhism from China had not yet influenced the Japanese st
Suwa Taisha Shrine
Suwa Taisha Shrine in Nagano Prefecture near Lake Suwa is one of the oldest and most important Shinto shrines in Japan dating back over 1200 years.
The tutelary temple of the powerful Fujiwara family is considered one of the finest museums of sacred Japanese sculpture from the seventh to the thirteenth century. Its name: Kofukuji.
Symbol of the reforms initiated by Emperor Shomu (699-756), a devout Buddhist, Toshodaiji figures amongst the great monasteries of the former imperial capital.
Kongoji Temple and Statue of Kobo Daishi Gamagori
Just a little west of Laguna Ten Bosch in Gamagori on the coast of Aichi Prefecture is Kongoji Temple and its giant statue of Kobo Daishi.
Nara's Horyuji, located in Ikaruga, is a vast place of worship amid the pine trees, and houses the oldest recorded wooden buildings in the world. It remains the oldest temple in Japan!
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