Los best temples in japan are one of the jewels that you should explore if you visit this interesting country of Asia. It is a very rich destination in its culture, gastronomy, landscapes, history and incredible places. We recommend you spend a minimum of 10 days to see the essentials. We stayed for 3 weeks and we had many things to discover. So we will surely return to complete the list. We tell you what are the best temples in japan. They are an icon of the country!
Contents of this article
10 BEST TEMPLES IN JAPAN: THE MOST BEAUTIFUL!
1. Kiyomizu-dera Temple (Kyoto), one of the best temples in Japan with spectacular views
Kiyomizu-dera was built during the 8th century in honor of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy, a symbol that has existed for more than 1,200 years. Its name translates as “pure water temple” and it is a Buddhist temple located in the eastern kyoto. It is situated on a hillside overlooking a valley and the city, which gives it extra points for being one of the best temples in japan.
Did you know that it is the most visited temple in Kyoto? And probably the most famous in all of Japan. At night it is illuminated and the temple looks beautiful. You can go from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. And if you plan visit japan in autumnfrom here you will have a magnificent landscape to admire the colors of this season.
Guide to visit Kyoto:
2. Temple Todai-ji (Nara)
this temple it has been standing since 728 and has survived a couple of tragedies. In 855, the head of the Great Buddha statue in the temple fell to the ground after an earthquake and had to be repaired. Then a series of fires and lightning damaged the Aula Magna. And in 1180, more than half of the compound was damaged in a fire after the attack on the temples of ancient Nara by Taira no Shigehira. So you will be very lucky to be able to visit it!
Initially Todai-ji Temple opened as a training center for Buddhist monks. It was the largest wooden building in the world for a millennium and houses the largest bronze Buddha statue on the planet. Today it is one of the largest and most spectacular monuments in Japan.
And if you are a nature lover, you will be happy to know that there are very friendly herds of deer that roam the site. Of course, you should consider that there are different hours during winter (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and summer (7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).
3. Kinkaku-ji Temple or Golden Pavilion (Kyoto)
Also know as golden pavilion, Kinkaku-ji Temple is one of the most iconic and famous places in Japan. Considered the king of japanese temples and shrines. The Kinkakuji was built in 1397 as the home of a shogun, or military chief. The building was covered in its entirety with gold leaf, from there it gets its name. A curious fact is that the gardens were designed to represent an earthly paradise. Awesome!
The photos you will take here will be great. He The best time to visit Kinkaku-ji Temple is very early in the morning, when there is almost no wind since you will be able to see the reflections in the pond. It will take more than one breath from you! You can visit it from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
4. Ninna-ji Temple (Kyoto), one of the best temples in Japan surrounded by cherry trees
This temple is charming not only because of the architectural designs but also because of the cherry trees that surround and adorn the landscape perfectly. Initially the temple was built in the 9th century. But due to the wars and fires that plagued Kyoto throughout its history, none of the temple’s foundation buildings are still standing.
The oldest buildings you’ll see today date back to the 17th century, including the Kondo main hall, Kannon Hall, Niomon main gate, Chumon inner gate, and the five-story pagoda. This temple is a World Heritage Site. And it is not for less because it is absolutely beautiful!
5. Sensō-ji (Tokyo), one of the best temples in Japan and the oldest!
A gem among the best temples in Japan is Sensō-ji, in fact, it is the oldest in Tokyo, since it dates from the year 645 AD. C. and is located in Asakusa. Legend has it that in the year 628 AD, some fishermen found a statue of Kannon in the sumida riverso they built the Sensō-ji temple to worship her.
Take a good look at the big red lantern from the center of the Kaminarimon gate. It is estimated that he has a height of almost four meters and weighs 700 kilograms. This lantern gives a special touch to the temple. On both sides of the Kaminarimon, you can find the statues of Fujin y Raijin. These are the gods of wind and thunder It is said that they are in charge of guarding the main door of the temple. Awesome!
This temple has been destroyed almost 20 times and fortunately they have managed to rebuild it with donations from the Japanese. The famous Kannon statue is located inside the main hall and is a obligatory stop at the temple of Senso-ji. At night this place becomes magical. The lights light up on the red and gold colors of the structures. Everything glows!
Useful information for visiting Tokyo:
6. Fushimi Inari-taisha (Kioto)
This is one of the most popular and oldest shrines in Kyoto. What is most striking are the orange torii surrounded by forest. ohthere are more than a thousand! They form a kind of labyrinth and walking around here is an extraordinary experience. There are also very nice mountain trails if you dare to take a walk in the middle of nature. So you should definitely visit it.
Fushimi Inari Taisha was built in the year 711 and is the Japan’s main Inari Shrine. And today it is one of the most visited sites. So it can be super crowded with tourists, so we recommend you go early in the morning or late in the afternoon. It is a must see in Japan!
7. Templo de Okuno-in (Koya)
This impressive temple keeps the Mausoleum of the great Buddhist teacher Kobo Daishi. Also know as For the cakewas a monk, scholar, engineer and founder of the school Shingon. He lived between the years 774 and 835 CE and legend has it that he still rests in the mausoleum in a position of eternal meditation. But access to the mausoleum is not allowed so as not to disturb Kobo Daishi. So everyone worships him from the outside. Awesome!
As if that were not enough, in the temple area there is also the largest cemetery in Japan. Has more than 200,000 graves which include Japanese historical figures. Inside the main hall Torodo Hall there are 20,000 lanterns that always stay lit and make a magnificent spectacle. Okuno-in temple is located northeast of Koyasan.
8. Daigo-ji Temple (Kyoto), one of the best temples in Japan to visit in autumn
For the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism, Daigo-ji is a very important temple. has even been declared World Heritage. The temple is composed of three different structures: Sambo-in, Shimo-Daigo y Kami-Daigo. This last section is located at the top of the mountain, it can only be accessed by a fairly demanding hike. But the payoff, in addition to the wonderful views, is that you won’t have to deal with crowds of visitors.
The great temple complex is located southeast of central Kyoto. Daigoji’s oldest structure dates from the year 951. It is a five-story, 38-meter-tall pagoda, which also happens to be the oldest verified building in Kyoto. Fortunately, this pagoda has been the only structure that survived the fires that have repeatedly destroyed Daigo-ji over the centuries.
Another area of the temple that you cannot miss is the Bentendo Hall. It is located by a pond at the back of Shimo Daigo. The landscape is beautiful, so you should take a couple of pictures here because they look great. If you think travel to japan in autumn you will be able to see the beautiful colors of the season that adorn the place. It’s a surreal scene!
9. Byodo-in (Uji) Temple, one of the best temples in Japan featured on the 10 yen coin
If you have been in Japan for a few days, surely this temple will seem quite familiar when you see it. And it is that it is in the 10 yen coin. Byodo-in is located in Uji, a small town between Kyoto and Nara. It was built in 998 and is so famous that even there is a replica in hawaii from 1968. This commemorates the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the island. Amazing!
Also, here there are 1,000-year-old Buddhist statues and other national treasures. The main hall of Byodo-in Temple it was built to simulate the Buddha’s palace in paradise. And they succeeded because it is majestic! It is also known as Phoenix Hall due to its elegant lines and warm colors like the impressive phoenix spreading its wings.
10. Pagoda Yasaka (Kioto)
We have reached the end of our list of best temples in japan and Yasaka Pagoda cannot be left out. You will be blown away! Is a 46 meter high 5 story pagoda with elegant sloped ceilings. It is located in the middle of an old Kyoto neighborhood and gives it the perfect touch. As you walk through the Distrito de Higashiyama this temple will completely amaze you.
Yasaka Pagoda was originally built by the imperial prince Shotoku in 589. It is said that the inspiration for this pagoda came from a dream. And it’s not hard to believe! You can enter the temple to admire it inside and have magnificent views of the district. Although we also recommend photographing the temple from the outside from a street. It will be postcard!
WHERE ARE THE BEST TEMPLES IN JAPAN?
In the following map you will find located the 10 best temples in Japan.