Temples Of Japan
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Welcome
to Temples of Japan. 

Even though the website name says Temples of Japan, I will cover the Shrines of Japan also in this web site.  There are hundreds of, thousands (yes thousands...) of temples and shrines in Japan.  It is estimated that there are more than 80,000 shrines and temples in Japan. 

I love the serenity of the surroundings in these temples, the gardens and the history.  Some of these temples are architectural marvels and have stood the test of time.  They have gone through wars, earthquakes, fires and numerous rebuilds.  In spite of these, the temples continue to not only enchant the casual visitors but also provide a place of worship to the followers of various sects of Buddhism.

These enchanting Temples are one of the main attractions of Japan Tourism and millions of visitors all over the world visit these Temples and Shrines.  In addition to covering the most popular tourist attractions in Japan, I will also cover "off the beaten path" type Temples which I find them as interesting and enchanting.

Temples are basically places of worship for various sects of Buddhism, where there is usually an some form of Buddha.  The temples also act as a location where historical documents are preserved pertaining to the Temple.  Many temples also contain burial grounds in the backyard.  Japanese people visit these burial grounds and pay respects to their departed ancestors.

Shrines are associated with Shintoism, which is the oldest Japanese religion before the advent of Buddhism to Japan in the sixth century via China.  Shintoism can be loosely understood as "nature" worship, where trees, mountains, rivers and other items associated with nature are designated as a "kami" (in Japanese it means "god") and worshiped.    Shrines are also built as a remembrance of:  a person, rulers of japan, or a historic event.  Shrines are as interesting and enchanting as the temples.

Please read my summary of Shintoism and Buddhism in the Special Topics section.  The summary will cover how the Japanese embraced the ancient Buddhism that was originated in India.


Japan's topology is divided into eight regions.  They are: Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Chubu, Kansai (also called Kinki Region), Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu (includes Okinawa Islands).  Each region consists of multiple prefectures (except for Hokkaido, which is a region and a prefecture).  Each prefecture contains multiple cities and each city is divided into multiple wards. 

Many of the famous temples in Japan are concentrated in the Kansai and Kanto regions.  In this website, I categorize the temples in these regions under two main sections and all other temples in the Other Regions section.  Discussing about Japanese Temples and Shrines is not complete without discussing about Japanese Temple Pilgrimages.  Pilgrimages are very popular with the Japanese and occasionally by the non Japanese temple enthusiasts (like me).


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I will also discuss multitude of Special Topics that are associated with temples of Japan.  Some topics I will add are elaborate sections on Buddhist holy sites like Kamakura, Nikko etc. since they need that special attention.   I will cover the fascinating tales associated with these temples, in my Tales and Temples section.  Gardens are also a very fascinating and enchanting aspect of Japan, specially in the temples in the Western Japan's Kyoto Prefecture.  I will cover these gardens in my Zen Gardens section.

 
Japan is not a very large country, it is probably in the size of California.  Traveling in Japan is very convenient on Train and Japan has some most fascinating trains and train stations in the world.  During my travels, I have the chance to ride most of the trains and visit the train stations.  I know there are many train enthusiasts around the world, so in addition to introducing the temples of Japan, I have included a section which introduce you to Trains of Japan.  I hope to cover various Train Stations and Train Rides, inside Japan.

If you are ready to do one of these adventures yourself, please read my Travel Tips in Japan section for some advice and guidance.

After going through my website if you are fired up about Japan Travel, various tourist destinations and attractions in Japan, I would recommend two websites that I use for my own travel needs.  The first site Japan National Tourism Organization's (JNTO)'s website and the second site is Japan Travel Bureau (JTB)'s website.  Please visit their website for more information about your travel to Japan.

Finally, I would love to hear from the visitors to this web site.  You can send me a question, comment or a suggestion at the Contact Me  page.

Cheers,
Guru P. Lukalapu








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