What is a temple?

Temple refers to the building where Buddhist monks practice and have their residence. It includes facilities such as the shodo where memorial services worshiping Buddhist statues and images are held, towers worshiping the stupa regarded as the relic of the Buddha, ascetic practice facilities, missionary facilities, etc.

Going around the temple

At present many Japanese temples are accepting worship of ordinary people. There are various purposes for going to the temple such as fulfillment of prayers through devotion to Buddhism, annual events, worship of Buddhist images, garden viewing and seasonal flower appreciation. Buddhism and temples have had close ties with Japanese politics, economics and art since ancient times. By visiting a temple you can experience Japanese culture and history.

On entry of temples often visited by many tourists, an admission fee of 500 to 1000 yen is charged. Please be careful as there are temple that require reservations prior to worshiping.

World Heritage Temples

There are 75,000 temples in Japan. When you choose a temple to visit, we recommend that you refer to the temples registered as World Heritage Sites.

Buddhist Monuments of the Horyuji area: Horyuji, Hokkiji
Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara: Todaiji, Kofukuji, Gangoji, Yakushiji, Toshodaiji
Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto: Kyoogokokuji (Toji), Daigoji, Enryakuji, Kiyomizudera, Byodoin, Ninnaji, Rokuonji (Kinkakuji), Tenryuji, Saihoji (Kokedera), Nishihonganji, Ryoanji, Jishoji (Ginkakuji)
Shrines and Temples of Nikko: Rinnoji
Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range: Kinpunsenji, Ominesanji, Fudarakusanji, Seigantoji
Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and its Cultural Landscape: Rakanji

Butsuzo (Buddhist image)

Butsuzo are mainly statues or paintings which are subjects of worship in Buddhism but in general, it often refers only to statues. Various Buddha statues are placed in temples all over Japan and they are worshiped as objects of faith.

Japanese Garden

Generic name for gardens made with technique unique to Japan. Many of them express Buddhist teachings and originally they were made by monks to practice meditation, etc. Also, they are mainly based on natural materials and often they are miniaturized or symbolically reproduce the landscape.