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The 6 Most Beautiful Shrines and Temples

Kyoto, Japan

Collection of 8 places
The zen garden of Ryōan-ji

Ryōan-ji (Shinjitai: 竜安寺, Kyūjitai: 龍安寺, The Temple of the Dragon at Peace) is a Zen temple located in northwest Kyoto, Japan. It belongs to the Myōshin-ji school of the Rinzai branch of Zen Buddhism.

Temple of Shining Mercy Ginkaku-ji

Ginkaku-ji (銀閣寺, lit. "Temple of the Silver Pavilion"), officially named Jishō-ji (慈照寺, lit. "Temple of Shining Mercy"), is a Zen temple in the Sakyo ward of Kyoto, Japan. It is one of the constructions that represents the Higashiyama Culture of the Muromachi period.

One thousand statues of Sanjūsangen-dō

Sanjūsangen-dō (三十三間堂, lit. thirty-three ken (length) hall) is a Buddhist temple in Higashiyama District of Kyoto, Japan. Officially known as "Rengeō-in" (蓮華王院), or Hall of the Lotus King, Sanjūsangen-dō belongs to and is run by the Myōhō-in temple, a part of the Tendai school of Buddhism. The temple name literally means Hall with thirty three spaces between columns, describing the architecture of the long main hall of the temple.

The god of Rice Temple Fushimi Inari-taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) is the head shrine of the god Inari, located in Fushimi Ward in Kyoto, Japan.

Take a look at the Phoenix Hall in Byōdō-in

Byōdō-in (平等院) is a Buddhist temple in the city of Uji built in late Heian period; it is a temple of the Jōdo-shū (Pure Land) and Tendai-shū sects at the same time. A striking example of Buddhist Pure Land (Jodo) architecture, together with its garden, the temple represented the Pure Land Paradise and was instrumental on later temple construction. Byodoin was initially built in 998 as a countryside retreat villa for the powerful politician Fujiwara no Michinaga, not as a temple; his son turned Byodoin into a temple and ordered the creation of its most spectacular feature, the Phoenix Hall.

Japan's tallest wooden tower Tō-ji Temple

Tō-Ji (東寺, East Temple) is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect; once had a partner, Sai-Ji (West Temple) and, together, they stood alongside the Rashomon, the gate to the Heian capital. It previously functioned as a temple providing protection to the nation; founded in the early Heian period, the temple dates from 796. Tō-ji is located in Minami-Ku near the intersection of Ōmiya Street and Kujō Street, southwest of Kyoto Station.

The Golden Pavillion Kinkaku-ji

Kinkaku-Ji (金閣寺), officially named Rokuon-Ji (鹿苑寺), is a Zen Buddhist temple whose top two floors are entirely covered in gold leaf and a different style for each floor, that's one of the most popular buildings in Japan, attracting a large number of visitors every year. Kinkakuji is an impressive structure built overlooking a large pond, burned down numerous times throughout its history including twice during the Onin War, a civil war that destroyed much of Kyoto; and once again more recently in 1950 when it was set on fire by a fanatic monk. The present structure was rebuilt in 1955. It has been appointed as a National Special Historic Site and a National Special Landscape, and it is one of 17 locations making up the Historical Monuments of Ancient Kyoto which are World Heritage Sites.

A widely worshipped holy palace Kiyomizu-dera
Ancient Temple

Kiyomizudera (清水寺, literally "Pure Water Temple") is one of the most renowned temples of Japan: founded in 780 on the site of the Otowa Waterfall in the wooded hills east of Kyoto, its name derives from the fall's pure waters, Kiyomizudera is best known for its wooden stage that juts out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below: it affords visitors a beautiful view of the numerous cherry and maple trees below that erupt in a sea of color in spring and fall, as well as of the city of Kyoto in the distance. When you visit the temple, simply put your hands together when in front of the statue of Kannon and offer a prayer of thanksgiving. In 1994, the temple was added to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites.