The 5 Best Temples In Japan

The 5 Best Temples In Japan

A woman looking at a Buddhist temple in Japan

Explore Japan’s spiritual richness with our guide to the best temples in Japan. Dive into their beauty and history, each revealing unique cultural insights. From Kyoto’s iconic temples to hidden gems, join us on a journey of discovery and wonder!

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The 5 Best Temples In Japan

Kinkaku-Ji (Golden Pavilion)

Golden Pavilion Temple

The Zen Buddhist temple known as Kinkaku-Ji (Golden Pavilion) is located in Kyoto. The stunning structure combines Shinden and Bukke architectural styles on two floors covered in gold leaf.

It should be mentioned that visitors are not allowed inside the temple. You are welcome to roam around the temple grounds and observe the temple from the outside. A nice tea garden and a gift shop are also present.

Want to explore more temples in Kyoto? Check our guide to the most beautiful temples in Kyoto!

Location: 1 Kinkakujicho, Kita Ward, Kyoto, 603-8361, Japan

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Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine is one of Japan’s most visited tourist attractions. It is renowned for its stunning “floating” gate and is located in Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture. The main hall, a noh theater stage, and a prayer hall are all part of the beautiful and newly restored shrine complex.

Location: 1-1 Miyajimacho, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima 739-0588, Japan

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Senso-ji Temple

Senso-Ji Temple in Tokyo

Nestled in Tokyo, Senso-Ji temple is often admired for its Kaminarimon gate and a huge red lantern. It’s also Tokyo’s oldest temple with more than 1300 years of history.

Visit the Kannondo Hall, Yogodo Hall, Awashimado Hall, a breathtaking five-story pagoda, Denboin, and the vibrant gardens. Admission is free, but you’re not allowed to take photos inside.

Location: 2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan

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Horyu-ji Temple

Horyu-Ji famous temple in Japan

This beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site is only 10km southwest of Nara. It used to be one of the Seven Great Temples in Japan. Horyu-ji or the Temple of the Flourishing Dharma also features some of the oldest wooden structures in the country. Furthermore, it’s considered to be the cradle of Japanese Buddhism.

Location: 1-1-1 Horyuji Sannai, Ikaruga, Ikoma District, Nara 636-0115, Japan

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Todai-ji Temple

Massive Buddha statue in Todai-Ji Temple in Japan

In Nara, the Todai-ji temple was founded in 738 CE. It’s home to a 15-meter-tall Buddha statue known as Daibutsu-san. A tour around the temple grounds usually lasts 4 hours.

It includes top attractions like the Belfry, the Kaisan-do Hall, the Kaiden-in, the Nandai-mon Gate, the Kaiden-in, the Shunjo-do Hall, the Hokke-do Hall (Sangatsu-do), and more. Plus, the stunning temple is only 15 minutes away from the Kintetsu Nara Station.

Location: 406-1 Zoshicho, Nara, 630-8211, Japan

Recommended Read 10 Best Things To Do In Japan


What are the best temples in Japan?

The 5 best temples in Japan:

  • Kinkaku-Ji (Golden Pavilion);
  • Itsukushima Shrine;
  • Senso-ji Temple;
  • Horyu-ji Temple;
  • Todai-ji Temple.

Where is the famous temple in Japan?

Senso-ji temple is the most famous temple in Japan and is located in Tokyo.

Which Japanese city has the most temples?

Kyoto is a city with the most temples.

Are Japanese Buddhist temples UNESCO World Heritage Sites?

Yes, most Japanese temples are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Where is the Hosso School of Japanese Buddhism located?

It’s located at the Yakushi-ji Temple.

What is the biggest temple in Tokyo, Japan?

Senso-ji temple.

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