You don’t have to go far to experience the ancient, living practice of Kannon Pilgrimage. One of Japan’s three major Kannon pilgrimages is just eighty minutes by train from Tokyo!
Calling all bunny lovers! This shrine is a must visit if you’re planning a stop in Kyoto. Just a few blocks east of the bustling Heian Shrine lies the far more peaceful Okazaki Shrine. Once you make your way inside, you’ll quickly see why it’s become a popular place.
If you are in Tokyo and want to experience the Buddhist tradition of temple lodging, or “Shukubo”, you are in luck. Taiyoji, The Temple of the Sun, has everything you could want in a temple stay, just a two- hour train ride away.
However, ask tourists to draw a castle that looks quintessentially Japanese and nine times out of ten you’ll probably end up with something that looks like Himeji Castle. It may not be Japan’s most storied or strategically valuable castle, but it is almost certainly one of its most pleasing to the eye.
Whether you're in search of Zen or beautiful architecture, Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples will undoubtedly be included on the itinerary for all visitors to Japan. Shrines and temples are open everyday with many hosting exciting festivals throughout the year.
Okawachiyama, Saga. As soon as you get off the bus, sightseeing starts. You see the mountains in the background, narrow roads, pottery and porcelain everywhere, a stream and cute little bridges over it.
Here is the center of Rokugo Manzan, where Buddhism and Shintoism intertwined, blending along with local mountain worshipers and creating its own unique religious culture.
Boarding the train leading to Shibamata Station, I can smell and notice the sudden change in my surroundings and the crowd around me. The usual hundreds, populated Tokyo center is slowly turning into a 2-car train with fewer people in it, a few tourists and some old men and women.
The religion Buddhism has deep roots in Japanese culture beginning thousands of years ago. Present day, Japan is now the home of some of the most famous Buddha statues in the world. They are often referred to as "Daibutsu" meaning giant or grand Buddha. Aichi prefecture has some magnificent Daibutsu's which are less known to people but worth visiting.
Layered between the civic surface of Tokyo’s landscape lie scores of dedicated shrines and graves dotting the city, each one offering a much more intimate view of the samurai. Home to vengeful spirits, ninja protectors and aristocratic war heroes, here are five resting places of Tokyo’s legendary warriors.
Enkoji Temple is not usually listed in popular tourist guides, which makes it all the more alluring. Yet, it can be found in some of the top autumn attraction rankings of Kyoto, and perfectly captures the refined balance of a garden park, viewing hall, art display, bamboo grove, and mountain hike.
You can avoid the long waits outside temple entrances and bus stops by avoiding the guidebook-recommended spots, such as Kiyomizu-dera, Nanzenji, Heian Shrine or Arashiyama. Indeed, these gorgeous sites reveal Kyoto’s most treasured maple views; yet, there are other 1,600 and more temples and shrines in Kyoto that likewise exude charming beauty in their simplicity, solace, and natural landscapes.