Visiting Japan? You must visit these 5 temples!



  • While travelling to Japan is currently made difficult due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we cannot look forward to the day where borders are reopened, and safe travel can be resumed once more.

    As we wait for the day to come, figured it’d be the perfect time right now to start planning your visit to Japan!

    If you’re a fan of Japanese culture and tradition, a visit to their temples is a must! We’ve compiled our top picks below.

    Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo

    Image by Michelle Raponi from Pixabay

    Located in the heart of Tokyo, Senso-ji is one of the oldest and most famous temples in the city. Built over a thousand years ago in honor of Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, the temple is still used today for worship and traditional celebrations. Consisting of ten buildings, as well as a shopping street, the temple complex is known for its brightly colored structures and giant lanterns, including one of Japan’s largest “chochin,” a giant red lantern weighing in at 700 kilograms.

    Kinkaku-ji Temple, Kyoto

    Image by pen_ash from Pixabay

    Originally constructed in 1397 as the retirement home of a shogun (military chief), Kikaku-ji now serves as a Zen temple and popular tourist destination. Nicknamed the Golden Pavilion, Kikaku-ji is most famous for the gold leaf that coats its upper floors. The temple is located right next to a large pond, which provides a beautiful reflection of the structure and its golden colors. Surrounded by lush gardens and tall trees, the temple’s complex is a peaceful and tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of Kyoto city.

    Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kyoto

    Image by Michelle Raponi from Pixabay

    Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kiyomizu-dera is one of the most celebrated temples in Japan. Located in eastern Kyoto, this Buddhist temple was founded in 780 in honor of the Goddess of Mercy, Kannon. Built near the Otowa Waterfall, Kiymoizu-dera, also known as the “Pure Water Temple,” is known for its spiritual waters and stunning landscape. It’s situated high up on the hillside overlooking Kyoto, offering panorama views of the city and is a popular spot to watch the sunset.

    Todai-ji Temple, Nara

    Image by Luis Iranzo Navarro-Olivares from Pixabay

    Located in the city of Nara, Todai-ji Temple is one of the largest wooden buildings in the world. Standing at 48 meters high, the temple was originally built in 752 as the Buddhist headquarters for Japan. The construction of this temple complex marked the adoption of Buddhism as the state’s religion. Today the temple is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and houses many of the country’s religious artifacts and cultural treasures, including the world’s largest bronze Buddha statue, a massive figurine weighing in at over 400 tons.

    Horyu-ju Temple, Ikaruga, Nara

    Image from Wikimedia

    Built in 607 by Prince Shotoku, Horyu-ji is one of Japan’s oldest temples. Located in the town of Ikaruga, in the Nara Prefecture, the Horyu-ji Temple complex is home to a total of 48 Buddhist monuments and buildings, including the world's oldest surviving wooden structures. The first temple in Japan to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Horyu-ji represents an important aspect of Japan’s history, as it signifies the introduction of Buddhism to Japan. The temple grounds are also home to many important cultural treasures, including some of the country’s oldest Buddha statues.