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Japanese Temple TOP5

Top 5 Japanese temples and Sanctuaries

3 min read

Japan is a wonderful country with a culture and many traditions rooted in today’s society. Japanese people are very spiritual and have many beliefs whether religious or not.

Before going through our Top 5 of Japanese Temples and Shrines, let’s see the differences between temples and sanctuary.

Differences between Temples & Sanctuaries

As you may know, originally, in Japan there were two main religions, Shintoism and Buddhism. Indeed, they have some similarities, however we will see in this article what differenciate them from each other.

What is Shintoism? What does that mean?

Shintoism means in Japanese « The voice of the Gods », Shintoism religion expresses that certain living beings as humans, animals and even some natural elements are divine. These deities are called « Kami ». Shintoism then implies that there is not only one God but many of them as there is many Kami.

What is Buddhism? What does that mean?

Buddhism is originally from India and arrived in the land of the rising sun between the 6th and the 7th century.

Besides, Buddhism arrived in China before Japan and that is why some parts of the Japanese culture are inspired by China. Many people wonder if Buddhism is a religion or a philosophy.

Indeed, Buddhism has a very interesting spiritual background and a true philosophy that many people like to adopt without being a religious adept. Calm and Zen have an important place in Buddhism including meditation and slow walking.

In Japan, each religion has its own place of worship; the temple is made for the Buddhists and the sanctuary for the Shintoists.

As already stated, these both religions share similarities but both stand out with different beliefs and different culture which are also reflected in the architecture of places of worship. 

Therefore, let’s see the TOP 5 NOW!

#1 - The Temple of Maneki-Neko (Gotoku-Ji)

These famous Japanese cats are known for bringing good luck and wealth to those who have them. This is the reason why Maneki-Neko is widely adopted in Japanese’s homes and also everywhere like in stores.

This Temple is in the Setagaya district and it is known because of the cats with the raised paw. It’s a beautiful place to rest and to admire Japanese Folklore.


This temple is certainly not unknown to you because it’s a very touristic place and easily findable online. This temple is located in the Asakusa district and built on the favourite colour of Japanese people, in bright red.


Nestled on a lake, the Kinkaku-Ji is a truly special temple. Located in a very calming place, in the middle of the nature, the best place where to relax and meditate. This temple built in 1397, is the most visited temple in Kyoto, located at the foot of the Mount Kinugasa. This is an historic place that lived through difficult time but which is still standing for our happiness.

According to the Japanese legends on the shrines, it is possible to see mythical creatures such as the Japanese Tiger or Dragon. If you believe in these legends, our amazing paintings will be perfect for you.


The Todai-Ji temple is located in Nara, this Buddhist temple is part of the UNESCO world heritage. Usually, when people got to this temple, they generally wear elegant clothes like a Japanese Kimono or a vintage dress. However, a streetwear style would be inappropriate in this traditional place in Japan. You can find the kind of dresses hereat Japanese Temple.


This place is emblematic of Tokyo and Japanese Temple invite you to visit it during your stay! It is the benchmark of Shintoism and a perfect sanctuary for mediation.