Temples (, tera) are the places of worship in Japanese Buddhism. Virtually every Japanese municipality has at least one temple, while large cultural centers like Kyoto have hundreds.

Temples store and display sacred Buddhist objects. Some temples used to be monasteries, and some still function as such. Structures typically found at Japanese temples are:

Main hall

Example: Main hall of Todaiji in Nara

Lecture hall

Example: Lecture hall of Toji in Kyoto


Example: 3-storied pagoda of Kofukuji in Nara


Example: Sanmon Gate of Kenchoji in Kamakura


Example: Great Bell of Kenchoji in Kamakura


The best cities to visit temples are Kyoto, Nara and Kamakura. One of the best places to overnight at temples is Mount Koya.

Best Temples in Japan

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