There are thousands of Buddhist Temples and Shinto Shrines to see on a Japan tour or Japanese vacation. Kyoto alone is home to over 2,000. Their unique architecture and calm atmosphere invite visitors from all over the world to partake in rituals and observe Japan’s deep rooted traditions.Here are a few of our favorites.
Located in Nara, Todai-ji was once the most influential Buddhist authority throughout Japan. Today the temple is still an important historical site and has earned the title as one of Japan’s most famous UNESCO World Heritage sights. Guests visiting the area can even enjoy the company of the many sacred deer which roam the park, considered messengers of the gods. See this temple on our Japan Classics Tour.
Insider Tip #1 Entering: As a form of respect, you should always enter a temple through the left side and exit through the right side. Avoid the center entrance as this is reserved for the deities.
Above the Seto Inland Sea, the quiet meditative atmosphere of Konpira-san is a great place to get views of the beautiful Japanese countryside. If you can make your way to the very top of the 1,368 steps, you will be rewarded with an unforgettable view of the ocean at your feet. See this shrine on our West Japan Tour.
Insider Tip #2 Purification: It’s important to purify one’s body before entering a shrine or temple. A simple act of washing hands and rinsing orally is sufficient for purification.
Founded by a businessman turned priest commemorating his mother, Kosan-ji is unique for its portrayal of Japan’s most famous buildings. While Kosan-ji is off the beaten path, it is a special showcase of Japanese art and visiting the grounds is a truly unique experience. See this shrine on our West Japan Tour.