Japan Buddhist Temples & Shinto Shrines: Listing
Japan Temples & Shrines
Japan has a wealth of religious architecture - Kyoto alone is estimated to have well over 2,000 temples and shrines. But it is not just in the large cities where the visitor will find Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines - nearly every village in Japan will have a local shrine or temple.
Most temples and shrines in Japan are free to enter but the more famous, historic temples will charge an admission fee for which you will receive entry and usally an explanatory leaflet in either Japanese or English.
Japanese temples usually close around 4pm or 5pm, though shrines often stay open around the clock.
Many temples and shrines in Japan are set in well-tended garden spaces and are often connected with local festivals and other events.
No visit to Japan would be complete without at least one visit to a Japanese temple or shrine.
Byodoin Temple - World Heritage Site - located in Uji south of Kyoto.
Chionin Temple - HQ of the Jodo sect of Japanese Buddhism.
Chishakuin Temple - famous for its lovely gardens.
Daigoji Temple - World Heritage Site - established in the east of Kyoto in 874.
Daikakuji Temple - Shingon "Temple of the Great Science" with lovely lakeside location.
Daitokuji Temple - large Rinzai Zen temple complex with 22 sub-temples.
Eikando Temple - located in Higashiyama and known for its autumn leaves.
Enkoji Temple - small, delightful temple and garden in eastern Kyoto.
Enryakuji Temple - large temple complex located on the summit of Mt. Hiei.
Entsuji Temple - famous for its garden's use of "borrowed scenery."
Funda-in - or more commonly, Sesshuji, is a small sub-temple of Tofukuji, containing a garden by Sesshu.
Ginkakuji Temple - World Heritage Site - aka the Silver Pavilion and previously a villa of the shogun Yoshimasa.
Honen-in Temple - small, atmospheric temple near Philosopher's Walk.
Honnoji Temple - city center temple where warlord Oda Nobunaga met his end.
Kenninji Temple - founded by Eisai in 1202 and the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto.
Kinkakuji Temple - World Heritage Site - the Golden Pavilion and a Kyoto icon.
Kiyomizu Temple - World Heritage Site - Kyoto's most popular temple especially with young people.
Kodaiji Temple - a nunnery established by Kitano Mandokoro (Nene), the widow of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
Koryuji Temple - World Heritage Site - established in the memory of Prince Shotoku.
Kozanji Temple - World Heritage Site - contains Japan's oldest tea field.
Kuginuki Jizo aka Shakuzoji Temple is dedicated to the relief of pain through the offering of a pair of pliers and two 8" nails.
Manpukuji Temple - founded by the Chinese priest Ingen and built in Ming style.
Manshuin Temple - Tendai-sect temple located in the Higashiyama district.
Myomanji Temple - peaceful temple with Indian-style pagoda.
Myoshinji Temple - large Zen temple with over 40 sub-temples.
Nanzenji Temple - Zen temple associated with vegetarian cuisine.
Ninnanji Temple - World Heritage Site - the "Temple of Benevolent Harmony."
Nishi & Higashi Honganji Temples - World Heritage Site - wealthy Jodo-Shinshu temples located near Kyoto Station.
Rokuoin Temple - known for its fall leaves and shukubo lodgings for women only.
Rozanji Temple - situated near the Imperial Palace and hosts a setsubun festival in February with ogres.
Ryoanji Temple - World Heritage Site - the world's most famous Zen stone garden.
Saihoji Temple - World Heritage Site - aka the "Moss Temple."
Sanjusangendo Temple - known for its 1,001 wooden statues of Kannon.
Sanzen-in Temple - in the village of Ohara in north east Kyoto is known for the splendor of its gardens.
Sekizanzenin Temple - tranquil mountainside temple near Shugakuin Rikyu.
Sembon Shakado - dates from 1227 and the Main Hall is one of the oldest buildings in Kyoto.
Sennyuji Temple - is a large Shingon sect temple complex with imperial tombs close to Tofukuji.
Shisendo Hermitage - small Soto Zen sect temple in Higashiyama
Shokokuji Temple - Rinzai Zen temple near the Gosho and Doshisha University
Shoren-in Temple - Tendai sect temple famous for its gardens and giant camphor trees.
Tenryuji Temple - World Heritage Site - located in the Arashiyama district of western Kyoto.
Tofukuji Temple - one of the most important Zen temples in Kyoto.
Toji Temple - World Heritage Site - near Kyoto Station and known for its pagoda and monthly markets.
Tojiin Temple - pleasant temple near Ritsumeikan Kinugasa campus.
Fushimi Inari Shrine - known for its 1000s of torii gates.
Goryo Shrine - dedicated to the protection of the ancient capital.
Heian Shrine - Heian Shrine is a scaled-down reproduction of the original Imperial palace (Daigoku-den) built in 794.
Hirano Shrine - famous for its cherry blossoms in season.
Iwashimizu Hachiman-gu Shrine - is dedicated to Hachiman and has an interesting connection with Thomas Edison.
Kamigamo Shrine - World Heritage Site - sister shrine of Shimogamo Shrine.
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine - is dedicated to Tenjin, the patron saint of students.
Kumano Shrine - founded in the 9th century by Nichiren.
Matsuo Taisha Shrine - known for its connection with sake and sake brewers.
Nashinoki Shrine - small shrine on the north east side of Kyoto Imperial Palace famous for its fresh water spring.
Shimogamo Shrine - World Heritage Site - sister shrine of Kamigamo Shrine and home of the Aoi Festival.
Shiramine Shrine is associated with the game of kemari and popular with soccer players of all levels.
Waratenjin - dedicated to safe child-birth.
Yasaka Shrine - popular shrine in Gion associated with the Gion matsuri and the area's geisha.
Ryoanji Temple in western Kyoto is as iconic as Mt Fuji in Japan
Pagoda and Main Hall of Sensoji Temple, Asakusa, Tokyo
Gokokuji Temple - Edo Period temple connected with the Tokugawa clan.
Kita-in Temple Kawagoe - temple of the famous 500 rakan (arhats).
Sengakuji Temple - temple associated with the 47 Ronin story.
Sensoji Temple - historic temple in Asakusa.
Tokyo Top 10 Temples & Shrines - a listing of the best temples and shrines in the capital.
Toyokawa Inari Akasaka - is a Buddhist temple that venerates a Shinto deity, the fox god, or Inari.
Temples in Tokyo's Koenji district (Suginami ward) - temple listing in Koenji.
Yushima Seido - Confucian temple and educational establishment.
Zojoji Temple - impressive temple close to Tokyo Tower.
Meiji Shrine - shrine set in huge grounds and dedicated to the Emperor Meiji.
Nezu Shrine- famous for its 1,000's of azaleas in May.
Yasukuni Shrine - controversial shrine which enshrines Japan's war dead.
Yushima Tenmangu (Tenjin) - famous shrine for scholars.
Mitsumine Shrine - the wolf kami are believed to protect from fire and theft.
Shinmeisha Shrine - Tokorozawa shrine famous for its doll burning ceremony.
Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo is a controversial shrine that enshrines Japan's war dead
Komyozenji Temple's front garden is a dry stone Zen garden, the rocks of which spell out the character for light
Kawasaki Temples & Shrines
Kawasaki Daishi Temple (Heiken-ji) - dedicated to the founder of Shingon Buddhism - Kukai.
Shimane Temples & Shrines
Gakuenji Temple - ancient 7th century temple.
Ichibata Yakushi Temple - temple dedicated to prayer for the cure of eye diseases.
Izumo Taisha - is Japan's second most important shrine after Ise.
Taikodani Inari Shrine is the 5th largest Inari shrine in Japan.
Zenkoji Temple - Nagano's most important temple.
Osaka Temples & Shrines
Shitennoji Temple - Japan's oldest state temple founded by Prince Shotoku.
Sumiyoshi Taisha - a 3rd century shrine in Osaka dedicated to sailors and seafarers.
Shuzenji Temple - supposedly founded by Kukai in 807.
Yakuoji Temple - is number 23 on the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage.
Temples on Sado Island - see a listing of some of Sado's most historic temples.
Fukui Temples & Shrines
Eiheiji Temple - Eiheiji is one of Japan's most famous temples - an active training center of Soto Zen Buddhism in Fukui Prefecture.
Shofuku-ji Temple - the beginnings of Zen in Japan.
Kushida Shrine - hosts the Yamakasa Gion Matsuri, the biggest festival in Fukuoka.
Komyozenji Temple Dazaifu - Rinzai Zen temple.
Nanzoin Reclining Buddha - said to be the world's biggest bronze statue.
Umi Hachimangu Shrine - connected with the Ojin Legend.
Sofukuji Temple - Ming Dynasty Chinese temple.
Suwa Shrine - home to the Kunchi Festival.
Confucius Shrine - built in 1893 by Chinese residents of Nagasaki.
Yamaguchi Temples & Shrines
Tokoji Temple Hagi - family temple of the once-ruling Mori clan.
Kumamoto Shrines - see a shrine listing.
Okayama Temples & Shrines
Iyama Hofuku-ji Temple - connectedwith the life of the artist Sesshu.
Saijo Inari Okayama - one of the 3 great Inari shrines in Japan.
Terukuni Shrine - in Kagoshima enshrines the 28th Lord of Satsuma, Shimazu Nariakira.
Read a listing of the most important shrines in Kyushu.
Shimenawa sacred rope and stairs to Kitaoka Shrine in Kumamoto, Kumamoto Prefecture