NAVITIME Travel - Japan Travel Guides, Transit Search and Itinerary Planner

Top 5 Temples in Kyoto

Kyoto is one of the spiritual capitals of the world, with beautiful shrines and temples on every street corner. This is a wonderful opportunity, but it can be overwhelming there are over one thousand temples in Kyoto and it’s difficult to know which to visit. However, our guide to the top 5 temples in Kyoto tells you everything you need to know about the best of the best.

  • Chion-in

    Chion-in

    Chion-in

    Chion-in is the head temple of Jodo, one of the largest Buddhist sects in Japan. The temple is most famous for its imposing wooden gate, the largest of its kind in Japan. The temple buildings inside the grounds are larger than those in other complexes in Kyoto. Please note that Chion-in’s Miedo Hall will be undergoing renovation until 2019. During much of this time, Miedo Hall will be under construction and closed to the public, with ceremonies being held in alternative halls.

  • Nanzen-ji

    Nanzen-ji

    Nanzen-ji

    Standing imposingly at the foot of the Higashiyama mountains is Nanzen-ji. Like Chion-In, its size reflects its importance; Nanzen-ji is the head temple of Rinzai, a school of Japanese Zen Buddhism. The temple complex is expansive, with atmospheric temples, gardens and other beautiful features. The grounds are open to the public free of charge, but there are fees to enter the temples. Highlights include a large brick aqueduct, built during the Meji period, and Nanzenin, a temple famous for its gardens, which have stunning foliage in the autumn. Be sure to pay a small fee to climb Sanmon Gate, the impressive entrance to the grounds. The view from the top is well worth seeing.

  • Kinkaku-ji

    Kinkaku-ji

    Kinkaku-ji

    The iconic photograph on every postcard, Kinkaku-ji is one temple not to miss. The Golden Pavilion is just that the two top floors are covered in gold leaf. It was originally built as a villa for Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, a 14th century shogun. The temple overlooks a large pond, which, with its enchanting reflection of the structure, provides stunning waterside photo opportunities. Visit in the off season or early in the morning to avoid the inevitable crowds.

  • Daitoku-ji

    Daitoku-ji

    Daitoku-ji

    There is no shortage of spiritual wisdom in Kyoto, but to truly experience the city’s Zen, Daitoku-ji is a good place to go. The Daitoku-ji complex is walled, which contributes to the sense of intimacy and quiet. The rock gardens here are not as well known as those of nearby Ryoan-ji, but no less worth seeing. Of the 22 sub temples within Daitoku-ji’s walls, only four are regularly open to the public, but this has its advantages. Calmly and mindfully contemplating the beauty in front of you is wonderful Zen practice.

  • Tenryu-ji

    Tenryu-ji

    Tenryu-ji

    Tenryu-ji has been standing since the 1300s, but the buildings have been destroyed several times in fires, natural disasters and wars, giving the current temple architecture an unusual and interesting Showa feel. The gardens, however, have remained virtually unchanged throughout the centuries. What really sets Tenryu-ji apart is its stunning location: the Arashiyama mountains provide an unparalleled backdrop that blends seamlessly into the landscape of the temple gardens.

    Alas, it’s impossible to see every temple in Kyoto… but luckily, the temples mentioned here and many more have enough beauty and history to speak for themselves with their own personalities. Whichever temples you choose to visit, you are sure to have a fascinating cultural experience and leave feeling spiritually refreshed and inspired.

    Chion-in temple
    Address
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Rinkachou 400
    Phone
    0755312111
    Nanzen-ji Zen Temple
    Address
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Sakyou-ku Nanzenjifukuchichou
    Phone
    0757710365
    Nanzen-ji Temple
    Address
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Sakyou-ku Nanzenjifukuchichou
    Phone
    0757710365
    Rokuon-ji Temple (Kinkaku-ji Temple)
    Address
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Kita-ku Kinkakujichou 1
    Phone
    0754610013
  • Daitokuji Temple
    Address
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Kita-ku Murasakinodaitokujichou 53
    Phone
    Ryoanji Temple
    Address
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Ukyou-ku Ryouanji Otoritoshita 13
    Phone
    0754632216
    Tenryu-ji Temple
    Address
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Ukyou-ku Sagatenryujisusukinobabachou 68
    Phone
    0758811235
  • Facebookでシェアする
  • Twitterでシェアする
cntlog