Visit These Top 10 Kyoto Temples for Free!

  • Perhaps, most of us are not followers of Buddhism or Shintoism. However, visiting shrines and temples is a good idea in Japan and all visitors are welcome, including non-Buddhist or Shinto followers. Visiting shrines or temples to see their beauty and unique construction will make us really sense the strong feeling of being in Japan.

    Kyoto is one the best places to see many shrines and temples in Japan. And for those of you who want to go to Kyoto backpacker or budget style, you can visit some of these places for free. Many shrines and temples in Kyoto are free for the public. But of course, their beauty still enchants whoever comes to see it.

    So here is the list of free shrines and temples in Kyoto:

    1. Fushimi-Inari Shrine


    Located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, this shrine located at the base of Inari mountain, about 233 meters above sea level. It includes a trail up to the mountain which ranges along 4 kilometers and takes 2 hours to walk up.

    Fushimi Inari Taisha

    2. Toyokuni Shrine


    This shrine was located in Higashiyama area, Kyoto. This shrine was built in 1599.

    Kyoto Tourism*Japanese Only

    3. Honen-In Temple


    This is also one of my favorite temples in Kyoto. This temple has a refreshing and calm atmosphere. You can walk from Ginkaku-ji to reach this temple.

    Honen-In Temple

    4. Kyoto Imperial Palace

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    Kyoto Imperial Palace was a former residence of Japan Imperial Family until 1868. It is located in the spacious Kyoto imperial park.

    Imperial Household Agency

    5. Kamigamo-Jinja Shrine

    Located in the Kita ward of Kyoto, this is the oldest shrine in town. Most of the shrine complex has been designated as Preservation Areas of Historic Landscape.

    Kamigamo Shrine

    6. Kitano-Temmangu Shrine


    This shrine is the comprehensive head shrine in Japan’s Tenmangu shrine.

    Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

    7. Matsunoo-Taisha Shrine

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    Matsuno Taisha is also one of the oldest shrines in Japan. It is home to a spring at the bottom of Arashiyama mountain that is believed to be blessed.


    8. Mibu-Dera Temple


    This is a Buddhist temple in Kyoto that was established under Emperor Shomu, for the Chinese monk in Japan. Monk Ganjin introduced the Ritsu sect from China to Japan.

    Mibu-Dera Temple

    9. Nishi Hongan-Ji Temple


    This temple was established in 1602 by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Nishi Hongan-Ji was listed as one of the historic monuments of ancient Kyoto as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Nishi Hongan-Ji Temple

    10. Shimogamo-Jinja Shrine


    This is also one of the oldest shrines in Kyoto. This shrine was built in the middle of 19th century. Another shrine, Kamigamo shrine is just beside this shrine.

    Shimogamo-Jinja Shrine



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