There are thousands of shrines scattered all over Japan, and if you are planning on visiting them all. It would take thousands of years as well. So in your few days or weeks in Japan, to shorten your educational tour and immersion, here is a shortlist of the most beautiful shrines in Japan you might want to visit.
This shrine is part of the UNESCO WORLD Heritage Sacred Sites. It is one of the four Pilgrimage Routes in the Kil Mountain Range of Japan and also one of the three sacred Kumano Sanzan shrines. Today, the Kumano Nachi Taisha is one of the most visited shrines in Japan, the roaring waterfall in the background adds beauty to the entire scenery.
This very famous shrine is not just known all over Japan but also to the entire world. Hence, it is not a place to be missed when you are visiting Kyoto. Its gated trail is approximately 4 kilometers walk up to the mountain top making it a very scenic hike. People crowd at the base of the trail, but once you have gone up the people thins out. So if you still can, go continue to its highest point. The higher you go up, the lesser the crowd and the better the scenery below.
This Toshu Shrine located in Nikko was originally built in 1916 during the Edo period. The entire shrine complex is more than a dozen buildings decorated in beautiful carvings and gold leaf. Visit early morning just before the tour buses pours tourists in and enjoy the place’s quietness and sacredness.
Another place you shouldn’t miss in Kyoto is the Temple of the Golden Pavilion or also called Kinkakuji. It is best seen during winter when the snow covers everything but the golden beauty of the temple. It is beautifully situated overlooking a very large pond creating a unique sense of tranquility.
The Great Budda of Kamakura is a gigantic bronze statue in Kotoku-in Temple. Prior to the bronze statue, a giant wooden Budda was build in the temple and was completed in 1243. However, a great storm in 1248 damaged the wooden Budda. Approximately 10 years after, when Lady Inada has accumulated more funds, the bronze statue was build (1952).