Top 40 most beautiful shrine in Japan

Shinto and Buddhist's culture are crucial part of Japanese culture. When visiting Japan, drop a visit to the beautifuls temples and shrine. Try to wear beautiful Japanese traditional kimono as you visit the temples. Here is a list of famous temples and shrines from all over Japan that you can take a look for your trip to Japan. Why not visiting these Japan's heritage?

Meiji Jingu Shrine
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Meiji Shrine is located in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. A large number of visitors from all over Japan come for “hatsumode” or the first shrine visit of the New Year. On the day of your visit, you can catch a glimpse of a traditional wedding ceremony if you’re lucky.
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Fushimi Inari Shrine
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Fushimi Inari Shrine is the headquarters of all the Inari shrines. It has served as a place of worship for the common people over 1,300 years. The tunnel consisting of 10,000 torii gates is something to see. Enjoy a stroll through the rolling land on the spacious grounds of the shrine.
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Kinkakuji
Kinkakuji
Kinkakuji was established in 1397 by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. Kinkakuji is known for the dazzling appearance of its reliquary hall in the middle of the pond, decorated with gold leaf.
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Sensoji Temple
Sensoji Temple
Sensoji Temple is Tokyo’s oldest temple. Surrounding the main temple is a 5-story pagoda, as well as various shops along Nakamise-dori street leading up to the temple. The famous Sanja Festival, which spreads its way through the temple grounds, and the Hozuki Festival are held annually at Sensoji Temple.
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Kiyomizu-dera
Kiyomizu-dera
Kiyomizu-dera is a Kannon temple where the goddess Kannon is worshipped. Kiyomizu-dera has a particularly long history among the temples of Kyoto and it is a registered World Heritage site. It is one of Kyoto’s most popular tourist attractions.
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Todaiji
Todaiji
Todaiji was completed in the year 752 and continues to be a popular place of religious importance to this day. The essential sights include the buildings that were rebuilt after being destroyed in fires caused by wars, the Daibutsu (the great Buddha), the masterpieces of the geniuses Unkei and Kaikei, and the statues of the guardian deities.
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Toshogu Shrine
Toshogu Shrine
Toshogu enshrines Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first Shogun who established the Edo Shogunate. There are many highlights including the extravagantly decorated Yomemon gate, and the decorative carvings known as the Sleeping Cat and the Three Wise Monkeys.
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Hasedera Temple
Hasedera Temple
Hasedera Temple was constructed on the mountainside with views of both the ocean and city. The beautiful garden is blooming with hydrangeas and irises all year round. And because of this, the temple has also become known as the “flower temple”.
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Narita-san Shinsho-ji Temple
Narita-san Shinsho-ji Temple
Narita Station is just 10 minutes away from the airport. The 800m path, leading to the temple from the station, is an old traditional street. You can experience Japanese culture through the famous regional delicacy of eel and traditional festivals. It would be a waste to go to Narita just to use the airport.
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Chuson-ji Temple
Chuson-ji Temple
This temple of the Fujiwara clan enjoyed 100 unbroken years of prosperity before becoming caught up in war. The Golden Hall, created by Kiyohira, the founder of the Northern Fujiwara clan, is a hidden treasure that illustrates Paradise and prayers for peace.
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 Okunoin Temple
Okunoin Temple
The sanctuary Okunoin Temple has been a place of comfort and support not only for the common people, but also for samurai warriors from 200 years ago. The road to the temple is 2 km long, surrounded by a mystic grove of Japanese cedar trees, which leaves you with a lasting impression. It is a power spot that cleanses your soul.
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Great Buddha(Kotoku-in)
Great Buddha(Kotoku-in)
Kamakura is a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture, nestled between the mountains and the ocean. It is an area that is abundant in nature. The Great Buddha of the Kotoku-in Temple has been designated as a National Treasure.
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Hokoku-ji Temple
Hokoku-ji Temple
Hokoku-ji is a Zen temple that was established 700 years ago. It has been carefully maintained over a long period of time and the lush bamboo grove will take your breath away. Drink some matcha tea during a tea ceremony and take some time to quietly view the forest.
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Sanjusangen-do
Sanjusangen-do
Sanjusangen-do was rebuilt in 1266 and has been maintained, repeatedly undergoing repairs, for more than 700 years. 1001 statues of Kannon are enshrined in the 120-meter long temple, made entirely of Japanese cypress.
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Ise Jingu Geku (Toyouke Daijingu)
Ise Jingu Geku (Toyouke Daijingu)
Located close to Iseshi Station, “Geku” (Outer Shrine) is a major shrine at Ise Jingu Shrine along with “Naiku (Inner Shrine)”. On these sacred grounds surrounded by the green of nature, there are three associate shrines around “Shogu” (Main shrine).
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Kongobuji Temple
Kongobuji Temple
Kongobuji temple is the headquarters of Mount Koya Shingon Buddhism. This is the place to experience Japanese culture through your five senses. Encounter the beauty of Japan by walking through the great variety of rooms, listening to the Buddhist sermons given by the monks, and participating in a meditation session.
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Ginkakuji (Higashiyama Jisho-ji)
Ginkakuji was built in 1490 by Yoshimune Ashikaga, the Eighth shogun, who prospered in the Muromachi period. The first floor section is built in a domestic style, and the second floor section is built in the style of a Buddhist temple.
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Eikan-do
Eikan-do
The elegant temple scene is created by the beautiful architecture, the pond, and the garden, all covered in golden autumn leaves. This is one of the best places in Kyoto to see the autumn foliage.
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Ninna-ji Temple
Ninna-ji Temple
This temple was built in the year 888 by Emperor Uda. Ninna-ji, built in the style of Heian Era nobility residences, was recognized as a National Treasure and has also been registered as a World Heritage site. It is also a famous place to enjoy the cherry blossoms.
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Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine
Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine
The distinctive architectural style of Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine is unusual. And it is popular for its arched bridge Taiko-bashi, and Hattatsu Mairi (praying for business prosperity). 2 million people come annually for the first shrine visit of the New Year or “hatsumode” in Japanese.
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Itsukushima Shrine
Itsukushima Shrine
The island of Itsukushima (also called Miyajima) is known as one of the three most scenic spots in Japan. Itsukushima shrine, an invaluable location, is a visual representation of the ancient religion of Japanese Shinto. The gorgeous shrine and grand torii gate “floating” in the sea are spectacular.
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Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple once possessed all of the Arashiyama area. It has a garden which hasn’t changed in 700 years and an ink painting 9 meters in diameter titled “Unryu-zu” that is a splendid World Heritage asset.
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Tofuku-ji Temple
Tofuku-ji Temple
The temple has plenty of highlights including 25 sub-temples and a rock garden. It is also famous as a place to see the fall colors. The colors are especially beautiful at Tsutenkyo Bridge linking the main hall with Kaisan-do Hall.
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Ryoan-ji
Ryoan-ji
Hosokawa Katsumoto established Ryōan-ji in 1450 during the Muromachi period, when Zen sects flourished. “Karesansui” or dry landscape gardens represent water using stones and sand. The rock garden of Ryōan-ji is famous for this. The garden is listed as a World Heritage Site.
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Shoren-in
Shoren-in
Shoren-in has a history of being of used as a temporary Imperial Palace. The Kacho-den guesthouse has a beautiful view of the garden and pond.
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Shitenno-ji Temple
Shitenno-ji Temple
Shitenno-ji is Japan’s oldest temple, established by Prince Shotoku in his endeavor to create a new nation centered on the Emperor. It was built to provide salvation for the world.
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Horyuji Temple
For over 1,400 years, the beauty of Horyuji has continued to fascinate its visitors. Immerse yourself in the mysterious legends and intriguing historical facts of Japan’s oldest wooden temple.
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Yakushi-ji Temple
Yakushi-ji Temple
The famous Yakushi-ji Temple is one of the religious landmarks symbolizing Nara alongside Todai-ji and Kofuku-ji. The temple possesses many valuable historical items such as Buddha statues, paintings, and the buildings themselves.
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Chokoku-ji Temple
Chokoku-ji Temple
Reincarnation?! At this ancient and honorable temple, you can undergo intense Buddhist experiences! You will feel calm in your heart through these experiences coming from a chief priest filled with ideas
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Byodoin Temple
Byodoin Temple
Byodoin Temple was made in the image of heaven by an aristocrat of the Heian period. It is a valuable building that shows the prosperity of the Fujiwara clan. The temple’s Phoenix Hall is brilliant following the recent completion of its restoration.
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Daisho-in
Daisho-in
A temple that has been greatly worshipped by the Imperial family and successive leaders of the nation. There has also been a Buddhist memorial service with the Dalai Lama in attendance. The view from inside the temple grounds is also wonderful and you will want to visit Daisho-in along with Itsukishima Shrine.
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Toji (Kyo-o-gokokuji)
Toji (Kyo-o-gokokuji)
Roughly about a 10-minute walk from Kyoto Station. Surrounded by modern buildings of the city center, Toji exudes an atmosphere as though time stopped flowing at some point. Established 1,200 years ago, it is the first Esoteric Buddhist temple in Japan. Experience the unusual and distinctive world views expressed at this temple
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Sanzen-in Temple
Sanzen-in Temple
This temple is so beloved that whenever Ohara is mentioned, people always think of Sanzen-in. In the beautiful mossy garden, smiling child jizo statues show their faces charming the hearts of visitors.
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Daigo-ji Temple
Daigo-ji Temple
Daigo-ji Temple was reconstructed so that Hideyoshi Toyotomi could hold the most gorgeous cherry blossom-viewing parties there. In spring, 1000 cherry trees blossom and the fall foliage that Hideyoshi couldn’t see is also breathtaking in its beauty.
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Ikuta Shrine
Ikuta Shrine
The name Kobe was derived from the original name of Kanbe, the family protecting the god of Ikuta Shrine. The shrine is one of the three great shrines of Kobe beloved by its citizens. It is very popular as a shrine for matchmaking.
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Zojo-ji Temple
Zojo-ji Temple
Zojo-ji is also famous as a Tokyo photo spot. It’s inseparable from Tokyo Tower as a place for tourists.
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Kodai-ji
Kodai-ji
Kodai-ji was established by the widow of Hideyoshi Toyotomi, Nene. There is a splendid Japanese garden taking advantage of the natural scenery of Higashiyama that has not changed in 400 years. It reflects the rich pageantry of the Momoyama Era.
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Sengaku-ji Temple
Sengaku-ji Temple
There is the tale of Chushingura that has been related by countless numbers of people over the past 300 years. The souls of the feudal lord and his 47 warriors who carried out their vengeance in the name of loyalty and clan pride rest at this temple.
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Sofuku-ji Temple
Sofuku-ji Temple
Built with the help of local Chinese merchants in Nagasaki which flourished as a trading port, Soufuku-ji is a Chinese-style temple that has enshrined the god of the sea to ensure safety for sea voyages. It is also a temple where you can feel the rich history of Chinese culture.
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