Updated: March 24, 2017
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Perfect Guide To Famous Temples And Shrines In Japan

Travel junkies visiting Japan are spoilt for choice as Japan is chock-full of amazing temples and shrines. But just which ones to visit? This guide will show you the iconic ones you should not visit!

#1 Meiji Jingu Shrine

Meiji jingu shrine 05 https://goo.gl/nPo3Ms
To get a brief respite from bustling Tokyo, visit Meiji Jingu Shrine. Take a leisurely stroll on the path leading to this shrine and let the evergreen, lush woods take your stress away.

As this shrine was built to honour Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, history buffs may want to visit the Treasure Museum where they can learn more about their lives. In any case, be sure to visit Meiji Jingu in June where the iris blossoms will transform the grounds to a paradise on earth!

#2 Sensoji Temple

Sensoji temple https://goo.gl/XS7dq1
Sensoji Temple is said to house a golden statue of the goddess Kannon that was fished out of the nearby Sumida River by two fishermen in AD 628. If you can visit Tokyo in May, you will be in time to attend the Asakusa Sanja Matsuri (Festival) where all 44 districts in Asakausa will showcase their unique portable shrine. It's fun watching the locals jolt their shrine up and down as they believe that doing so will enhance divine power!

#3 Izumo Taisha Shrine

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Boasting an illustrious history of 1500 years, Izumo Taisha Shrine is said to be the oldest shrine in Japan. If you are interested to get married, be sure to visit this shrine as it is dedicated to Okuninushi no Okami, the God of marriage. Remember to clap four times instead of the typical two times when you say your prayers: two times for yourself and another two times for your future partner!

#4 Ise Jingu

G7 leaders visit to ise jingu https://goo.gl/qeroy2
Do you know that the prestigious G7 Summit was held in Mie prefecture in May 2016? One reason why it was held in Mie is due to the presence of Ise Jingu, renowned as Japan's most sacred Shinto shrine. Ise Jingu is comprised of two main shrines, mainly the inner shrine and outer shrine. They are dedicated to the goddess of the sun and the goddess of cereals and grains respectively. So when you visit Ise Jingu, remember to start praying at the outer shrine before moving on to the inner shrine!

#5 Tenryu-ji Temple

Tenryu ji temple https://goo.gl/baBZmr
Visitors to Kyoto will be very familiar with Kiyomizudera Temple, but do you know of Tenryu-Ji Temple? Feast your eyes on the Sogenchi-teien (Zen garden) that not only showcases sprawling trees but also presents you a magnificent view of the Arashiyama mountains. And if this isn't reason enough to visit, the weeping sakura tree that will dazzle your eyes with vibrant cherry blossoms during spring will surely be motivation enough.

#6 Todai-ji Temple

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Nara was once the capital of Japan, so it will definitely house one of the most iconic temples in Japan. Introducing to you Todai-ji Temple, whose main hall - the Daibutsuden (Big Buddha Hall - is the world's largest wooden building. Step inside it and admire in awe at the world's largest and oldest glided bronze Buddha statue!

#7 Nanzoin Temple

Reclining buddha in nanzoin temple 20150429 https://goo.gl/J64ypd
When you visit Fukuoka, take some time out to visit Nanzoin Temple. You will be rewarded with a compelling sight of a humongous reclining Buddha statue, said to be of the same size of the Statue of Liberty! While you're there, check out the soles of his feet. You will find many coins there. Apparently, if you succeed in placing a coin between or on top of the gold-carved designs on his feet, you will have awesome luck with money!
Which of these temples and shrines appeal most to you? Regardless of which ones you visit, you will definitely get to soak in the atmospheric vibes of ancient Japan!
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