Updated May 26, 2023
Japan is a country of culture, with most of the population following Shintō and Buddhism. Apart from that, people also follow Christianity here. If you love to explore religious places, then Japan is the country for you. Here you’d find approximately 80,000 temples and 100,000 Shinto shrines. Here locals from everywhere come and pay their respects as the Japanese temples give almost a profound experience that’s seldom found anywhere. If you are visiting this country, make sure that you check out the temples, they are worth your vacation. Check out the list of temples in Japan that would make you feel holy, tranquil, and at peace.
Top 7 Temples in Japan
#1 Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto
It is one of the most beautiful temples in Japan and is on the eastern side of Kyoto, sneaking out of the pink cherry blossom trees and lush green woods. It is after Kiyomizu, the waterfall there which means “pure water.” As you visit the holy place, make sure that you drink from the clean waterfall from the bottom. According to spiritual stories, this waterfall gives you love, success, and long life.
#2 Enryaku-ji in Kyoto
It is a Buddhist monastery in the eastern mountainous region of Kyoto. It is one of the sacred sites in Japan and belongs to the Japanese Tendai sect. There are plenty of scholars and monks who are well-studied and worshipped. They hold influential power over the people of Japan, and if you are curious about the history of Buddhism or Japanese culture, this place can be a great learning experience for you.
#3 Hida-Sannogu Shrine in Kamakura
Hida-Sannogu is a modest shrine in Japan that gives you a nice change. It is well-known for its scenic beauty and mild effects on visitors. Surrounded by trees, the Hida-Sannogu shrine offers a pleasant shade that creates an impression of modest size. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, the shrine actively celebrates the Shinto Sanno Matsuri festival, which holds significant importance for the Japanese people. This festival is widely celebrated with great enthusiasm, marking it as one of the important occasions in Japan. During the festival, a vibrant parade originates in Tokyo and culminates in a grand ceremony at the Hie-Jinja shrine, showcasing the lively spirit of the festivities. You will witness a parade that moves from Tokyo and ends with a ceremony at the Hie-Jina shrine.
#4 Hasedera Temple in Kamakura
Hasedra is one of the most peaceful temples in Japan and is a shrine to Guanyin – the goddess of mercy. The temple belongs to the Japanese Buddhist Jodo sect and is the home of an eleven-headed sculpture. The gist of the story is that several hundreds of years ago, a monk carved sculptures from the camphor tree. One shrined in the city of Nara, and another was set loose to find its place in the world. It washed up around Kamakura, and then a temple was later built.
#5 Senso-ji Temple at Asakusa in Tokyo
Senso-ji is one of Japan’s oldest temples, dating back over a thousand years. Its history makes the temple famous, and for a long time, pilgrims from around the country have visited to worship. Its major modern structure was after the 2nd World War, and despite that, the temple remains a place of cultural significance and history. As you visit here, you’d notice a major chunk of colored crimson.
#6 Golden Pavilion in Kyoto (Kinkakuji Temple)
Another addition to the list of beautiful temples in Tokyo is Kinkakuji or Golden Pavilion. It is on the bank of a huge pond and yet occupied by beautiful bushes and trees. This hotel is where you’d visit and get the true sense of tranquility, and as you go closer, you’d see that the 2nd and 3rd temple floors were also covered in gold. This hotel beautifully makes the temple glisten under the sun. Then as you move forward, you’d acknowledge the architectural beauty of the temple. The public cannot visit a few temple spaces but can still walk around and admire the beauty.
#7 Tōdai-ji Temple
Tōdai-ji is one of the ancient temples in Japan and is home to a beautiful complex. At some point in time. This temple was one of Nara’s seven great temples. Constructed in 738 CE and only opened doors by 752 CE. This temple is so special because it has a statue in the Buddha hall, made of pure bronze – Buddha Vairocana.
If you are visiting the country, don’t forget to check out the temples in Japan. They’d bring you closer to your spiritual self and give you memories for a lifetime. Take your family here and experience a much-needed retreat in the country. It is one of the most popular religious countries in the world.