Kyoto Temples

Kyoto Temples 京都のお寺

Kinkakuji Temple, Kyoto, Japan.

Kyoto has an estimated 2,000 plus temples and shrines made up of around 1,500 Buddhist temples of various sects and 500 Shinto shrines.

Kyoto's temples range from such world famous UNESCO World Heritage listed temples such as Kinkakuji and Ginkakuji to small, much less well-known neighborhood temples.

Kyoto's temples also range from the ancient such as Toji Temple, south of Kyoto Station, which was established in 796 to the Agonshu Temple in Yamashina, eastern Kyoto, which was built in the 1990s.

Many temples and shrines are set in beautiful garden spaces and are often connected with local festivals and other events.

Famous temples may be crowded all year round, while others draw most visitors for a particular festival or event or when a particular flower in the garden is in season. Crowds gather during the cherry-blossom viewing season in early April and for the autumn leaves in October-November. Look out for special night viewings and temple illuminations - inquire at the Kyoto tourist office.

No visit to Kyoto would be complete without at least one visit to a Japanese temple or shrine.

Temples usually close around 4pm-5pm, though shrines may often stay open around the clock.

Ryoanji Temple, Kyoto, Japan.
Ryoanji Temple in western Kyoto is as iconic as Mt Fuji in Japan
Shinsenen Temple, Kyoto.
Shinsen-en Garden & Temple, Kyoto

Kyoto Temples

The Temples of Kyoto.

Anrakuji - pretty, petite temple and garden off the Philosopher's Walk in Higashiyama.

Bukkoji Temple - is a Jodo Shinshu sect temple in the Gion district of central Kyoto.

Byodoin Temple - World Heritage Site - located in Uji, south of Kyoto and featured on the 10 Yen coin.

Chionin Temple - known for its huge gate and temple bell.

Chionji Temple - holds a popular flea market selling arts and crafts on the 15th of each month.

Chishakuin Temple - famous for its exquisite gardens.

Daigoji Temple - World Heritage Site - large temple with pagoda in the far east of Kyoto.

Daikakuji Temple - lakeside Buddhist temple in western Kyoto near Arashiyama.

Daitokuji Temple - famous Kyoto temple associated with the tea ceremony.

Eikando Temple - Tendai-sect temple celebrated for its autumn leaves.

Enryakuji Temple - large temple complex on the summit of Mt. Hiei.

Entsuji Temple - known for its borrowed landcape or shakkei.

Funda-in - or more commonly, Sesshuji, is a small sub-temple of Tofukuji, containing a garden by Sesshu.

Gantokuji Temple - a small Tendai-sect temple in the Oharano district of south west Kyoto home to a seated image of Kannon, a National Treasure.

Ginkakuji Temple - World Heritage Site - originally the mountainside villa of shogun Yoshimasa.

Gioji Temple - a small nunnery in Saga-Arashiyama and a retreat for the former lovers of a famous warrior of the Taira clan.

Honen-in Temple - small, peaceful temple off Philosopher's Walk in eastern Kyoto.

Honnoji Temple - place where warlord Oda Nobunaga was killed.

Hosenin Temple - a tranquil Tendai temple in Ohara with beautiful gardens and "Bloody Ceilings."

Jakkoin - a nunnery in Ohara where the Empress Kenreimon retired in 1186.

Jikko-in - a small Tendai-sect temple in Ohara with beautiful gardens and connections with the development of Buddhist chants in Japan.

Jingoji Temple - mountain temple with superb valley views of the Kiyotaki River in north west Kyoto.

Jissoin Temple - Monzeki temple with a superb garden in the quiet suburb of Iwakura in north east Kyoto.

Joshoji Temple - a Nichiren temple in north west Kyoto associated with the famous Edo Period courtesan Yoshino Tayu.

Kenninji Temple - founded by Eisai in 1202 and the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto.

Kinkakuji Temple - World Heritage Site - known as the Golden Pavilion and a Kyoto blockbuster.

Kiyomizu Temple - World Heritage Site - popular temple known for its large wooden terrace and fine views.

Kodaiji Temple - established in the 16th century by Nene, the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Kodaiji is illuminated after dark in spring, summer and fall.

Koetsuji Temple - is an Edo Period Nichiren temple associated with the artist and tea master Koetsu Honami.

Koryuji Temple - World Heritage Site - founded by Korean immigrants with a fine collection of Buddhist art

Kozanji Temple - World Heritage Site - the oldest tea field in Japan.

Kuginuki Jizo aka Shakuzoji Temple is dedicated to the relief of pain through the offering of a pair of pliers and two 8" nails.

Manganji Temple - a small Nichiren sect temple of Japanese Buddhism containing the grave of movie director Kenji Mizoguchi.

Manpukuji Temple - Headquarters of Japan Sencha Tea Ceremony.

Manshuin Temple - lovely garden temple in Higashiyama area.

Myomanji Temple - tranquil temple in north eastern Kyoto.

Myoshinji Temple - large Zen temple with over 40 sub-temples.

Nanzenji Temple - large Zen Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto.

Ninnanji Temple - World Heritage Site - known for its late-flowering cherry blossom.

Nishi & Higashi Honganji Temples - World Heritage Site - large Jodo-Shinshu sect temples near Kyoto Station.

Nison-in Temple - small hillside temple in Sagano known for its autumn leaves.

Rokkakudo Temple - the spiritual home of ikebana in Japan.

Rokuharamitsuji Temple - founded in the 10th century by Kuya and with a superb collection of historic statues.

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.

Ryoanji Temple - World Heritage Site - probably the most famous stone garden temple in the world.

Saihoji Temple - World Heritage Site - the Moss Temple or kokedera in south west Kyoto.

Sanjusangendo Temple - 1,001 ancient wooden statues of Kannon.

Sekizanzenin Temple - peaceful temple at the foot of Mt. Hiei.

Sembon Emmado - or Injoji Temple defies the Buddhist King of Hell, Emma (aka Yama).

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.

Shinsen-den Temple - contains the beautiful Shinsen-en Heian-era garden.

Shisendo Hermitage - small Soto Zen sect temple in Higashiyama.

Shoboji Temple - historic temple with modern rock garden in the Oharano district of south west Kyoto city.

Shogoin Temple - a monzeki temple with over 100 painted fusuma screens by the Kano School.

Shokokuji Temple - Rinzai Zen temple near the Gosho and Doshisha University.

Tanukidani Fudoin - is a hillside temple known for its summer fire festival and car blessing ceremonies.

Tenryuji Temple - World Heritage Site - founded in 1339.

Tofukuji Temple - Zen temple known for its gardens and flowers.

Toji Temple - World Heritage Site - a Kyoto icon known for its pagoda and monthly flea-market.

Tojiin Temple - small temple close to Ryoanji and Ritsumeikan University.

Top Ten Temples & Shrines in Kyoto - a listing of Kyoto's 10 ten temples and shrines.

Top Ten Quirky Temples & Shrines in Kyoto - a listing of Kyoto's 10 strangest temples and shrines.

Top Ten Free Temples & Shrines in Kyoto - a listing of Kyoto's 10 ten temples and shrines with no admission charges.

Yoshiminedera Temple - a remote mountain temple in south west Kyoto.

Map of Kyoto's temples and shrines - see a map of Kyoto's temples and shrines.

Kyoto Shrines

Kyoto Shrines - guides to Kyoto's many Shinto shrines.

Honen-in Sanmon Gate, Kyoto.
Honen-in Temple, Kyoto
Honen-in sand sculpture, Higashiyama, Kyoto.
Honen-in Temple, Kyoto

Kyoto Temples & Shrines Map

Kyoto Temples Video

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