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Japan is a country of vibrant culture and history, and one of the best ways to explore its past is by visiting the numerous temples located throughout the country. With over 80,000 temples across Japan, visitors are sure to find a temple that suits their interests and travel style. In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of the most popular temples in Japan, and why they are worth a visit.

One of the most famous temples in Japan is the Fushimi Inari-taisha near Kyoto. Known for its thousands of vermillion torii gates, this temple is dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice and prosperity. Visitors can hike the 4km path up the mountain and pass under thousands of torii gates. It’s a popular spot for photographers, especially during the autumn leaves season, when the torii gates are framed by the beautiful colors of fall.

Another must-visit temple in Japan is the Kinkaku-ji, also known as the Golden Pavilion, located in Kyoto. This Zen Buddhist temple is one of Japan’s most popular tourist attractions, and for good reason. Its top two floors are covered in gold leaf, and the reflection of the pavilion in the pond below creates a breathtaking scene. Visitors can stroll through the temple’s beautiful gardens, which were designed to represent different landscapes from Japan.

For those looking to get off the beaten path, the Toshogu Shrine in Nikko is a hidden gem. This Shinto shrine is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate that ruled Japan for over 250 years. The shrine is a masterpiece of Japanese art, with intricate carvings and vibrant colors. Visitors can also see the famous carving of the three wise monkeys: “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”

The Horyu-ji temple in Nara is one of Japan’s oldest temples and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple was built in the 7th century and contains some of the oldest surviving wooden structures in the world. Visitors can see the temple’s famous five-story pagoda and explore the various halls and buildings that make up the complex. The temple also houses an extensive collection of Buddhist art, including statues and paintings.

Lastly, the Senso-ji Temple in Tokyo is a must-visit for those traveling to the capital city. This Buddhist temple is the oldest in Tokyo, dating back to the 7th century. Visitors can walk through the temple’s main gate, called the Kaminarimon, and see the large red lantern that hangs from the gate’s ceiling. The temple’s main hall, called the Hondo, is a beautiful example of traditional Japanese architecture.

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Michelin Rated
UNESCO World Heritage
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