03 Oct 2017

Temples and Shrines in Japan

Temples and Shrines in Japan

Japan is a country filled with religious architectural structures. Kyoto alone has about more than 2,000 temples and shrines. However, it is not the only city where one can find magnificent Buddhist structures; almost every Japanese village and town has its religious monument.

There’s an admission fee available on the famous temples, and they are usually crowded. Most Japanese religious architectural structures are built in beautiful gardens, and the local festivals are connected to the history of these structures.

Yasukuni Shrine| Shinto Shrine

Source: BuffaloTrip.com

The Yasukuni Shrine is a national religious structure that has been created to honor the souls of those who sacrificed their lives in the service of Japan. It contains a mix of military men and some upper-class civilians who died during the war.

The 2.5 million people enshrined in this structure are said to have become ‘Kami’ or revered spirits in Shinto religion.

Bukkoji Temple in Kyoto

Source: happy-travelling.com

Initially named as Kosho-Ji, this temple was found by Ryogen, a well-known priest and the staunch believer of Shirnan. Also known as ‘the temple of light,’ Bukkoji was opened in the year 1324 and by late 15 century, it became one of the most frequently visited temples.

Located in the center of Kyoto, there’s no admission charge to this temple and is easily accessible.

Daigo-JI Temple

Source: kyoto.travel

A prestigious temple of Japan and a designated World Heritage Site, the Daigo-Ji in Fushimi-Ku is one of the world’s most beautiful religious structure.

While entering the temple grounds, one can easily spot the Sanboin, a majestic home of the head priest that was elegantly constructed and designed in the year 1115. A small walk further inside would lead you to some famous buildings, stores and a seated statue of the Buddha.

Sensoji Temple

Source: japanitalybridge.com

Built in a lovely town called Asakusa, the Sensoji temple is the oldest and the most colorful temple of Japan. A legend states that in the year 628, two brothers who once went fishing together found a statue of Kannon (known as the Goddess of mercy) in the Sumida river.

Every time they placed the statue back in the river, it kept coming back to them in mysterious ways. The Sensoji temple was then built to honor this statue of Kannon.

Kawai Shrine

Source: tatsushinkan.com

Kawai shrine is also known as the ‘beauty shrine’. Women from all over Japan gather at this shrine to pray for good looks. Visitors can draw or paint their most desired face on a vanity mirror-shaped ema votive plaque and place it on a rack.

Most women also purchase a glass of bijinsui (beauty water) which is said to be good for the complexion.

If you’ve heard any interesting stories about the temples and shrines in Japan then do tell us about them in the comments below.