Jan. 24, 2019 UPDATE

Kyoto’s absolute top 20 temples and shrines you must visit!

There are over 3000 temples and shrines in Kyoto, but here you can find a list of the 20 best ones!
Kiyomizu Temple

When most of us hear the word Kyoto, we think of temples and shrines. There are both famous and not-well-known temples, from big ones to little cozy ones. In this article, you can find out the best 20 temples and shrines in Kyoto chosen by Sharing Kyoto’s writers!

20Shoren-in Temple

Shoren-in Temple

This temple is in the Higashiyama area where there are many historic temples and shrines like the famous Yasaka Shrine. The reason for this temple’s popularity can be found in the quiet atmosphere, the modern paintings on the sliding doors, and in the regularly held illumination events.

Address 69-1 Sanjobo-cho Awataguchi Higashiyama-ku Kyoto Japan
Open Hours 9am - 5pm (Tickets sold until 4:30pm) *In spring and autumn, they hold special night visits

19Shimogamo Shrine

Shimogamo Shrine

Shimogamo Shrine is a shrine with a long history, and it has even been designated as a World Heritage Site. The vast shrine is always quiet, and walking on the white pebbles of the shrine always makes you feel refreshed. There are also smaller shrines for each of the Chinese zodiac signs, so you can pray at the shrine dedicated for your zodiac sign!

Address 59, Shimogamo Izumigawacho, Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 606-0807
Open Hours 6:30a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

18Unryu-in Temple

Unryu-in Temple

Unryu-in Temple is known as a place where you can have a different temple experience. You can spend a quiet, contemplating moment at the temple looking out from this round window at just one part of the garden, makes for a charming way of spending the day.

Address 36 Sennyuji Yamanochicho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City 605-0977
Open Hours 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (5 p.m. close)

17Kiyomizu Temple

Kiyomizu Temple

If it is your first time to Kyoto, you probably want to go to Kiyomizu Temple. The view you get from the stage of Kiyomizu Temple is something you need to see at least once. The temple is right now under renovation work so the view from the stage is obstructed by wooden scaffolding, but the scale of the temple is something that will surely stop you in your tracks.

Address 294 Kiyomizu 1-chome, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi
Open Hours 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. For special night time light-ups, temple reopens for the night depending on the season

16Byodo-in Temple

Byodo-in Temple

Byodo-in Temple is what Uji is famous for. On a fine day you can clearly see the vermillion Phoenix Hall reflected on the pond.

Address 116 Uji Renge, Uji-shi, Kyoto 611-0021
Open Hours 【Garden Gates】 8:30am - 5:30pm * Reception area closes at 5:15pm 【Byodoin Museum Hoshokan】 9am - 5pm * Reception area closes at 4:45pm 【Inside of Hoo-do Reception area 】 9:30am - 4:10pm 50 persons at a one time every 20 minutes. * Please understand that if there are many guests who desire to visit inside, reception area may be closed before the final reception time. * Due to Buddhist memorial services or events, admission inside may not be available. ※The open hours was changed.  9:50am -15:50pm  20 persons at a one time every 20 minutes.
Erika[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]
These are the best 20 temples and shrines in Kyoto, chosen by us here at Sharing Kyoto. I hope you will visit them in the near future!
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